Wednesday, December 29, 2010


New kitty in his natural habitat on top of the kitchen cabinets.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Seasons Tweetings

Would that my mother were still alive, the fact that Loehmann’s tweeted at me would make her absolutely kvell.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Wiener Dog Wearing a Sweater

Look who walked into my edit! A wiener dog wearing a sweater! Here I am, just hanging out with a wiener dog wearing a sweater!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Fucking With Facebook

I am interested in activities! And my activities include interests!

(Facebook fuckery for Josh, who refuses to join the damn thing).


Can't breathe!


Comedy Show! Tonight!

 Come watch me do comedic things, and I promise I will wear my bear hat!

Tonight! It's the Totally Jewy Family Hour Hannukah Party! At 8pm, but it'll totally start late (Jewish Standard Time!)

Your favorite shiksa aunt, Sara Benincasa,  co-hosts a night of Hebraic revelry with Uncle Ben Lerman!

Glennis McMurray
Eliot and Ilana Glazer
Heather Gold
Amy Beckerman
Bex Schwartz

FREE treats for Hannukah! FREE admission!
Luca Lounge
222 Avenue B (between 13th and 14th)
New York, NY

Monday, December 06, 2010


Stringer Shanghai / Reuters
A researcher dressed in a panda costume puts a panda cub into a box before its physical examination at the Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center for the Giant Panda in Wolong National Nature Reserve, Sichuan province, Dec. 3. The 4-month old cub, the first in the centre to be trained for reintroduction into the wild, is monitored by hidden cameras. Researchers performing physical examinations on the cub wear panda costumes to ensure that the cub's environment is devoid of human influence, according to local media.

You guys! I found my dream job! Or rather, Noahsam found it for me!

Can you imagine? I'd get to spend my days dressed like a giant panda, hugging little baby pandas and putting them into boxes!

I feel like I have something to aspire to, all of a sudden.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

But Captain Trips Will Get You High Tonight

I love everything about this story, mostly about how everyone on facebook posted a link to that HORRIBLE gizmodo article like "OMG ALIEN LIFE, WOW" as opposed to grokking that what this discovery means is that bacteria in an arsenic-filled lake are able to replace phosphorous with arsenic, which means that maybe life on other planets could exist with arsenic instead of phosphorus, which means we should be looking for arsenic on top of HONC and sulfur and phosphorus when we are looking for alien friends out there.

What I am GREATLY LOOKING FORWARD TO is the annoucement that DARPA has already weaponized arsenic-y bacteria and that the resulting biological weapon not only turns you in a zombie but also kills everyone first with Captain Trips.

Monday, November 29, 2010


DANCE REMIX (of @joshfrench trying vegemite for the first time in Australia) from starbex on Vimeo.

Best Friend Josh went to Australia to go to Nerd Camp and they made him eat Vegemite and filmed the experience. And so, clearly, someone had to go make a dance remix. And that someone, as per usual, is me.

Monday, November 22, 2010


This is me, all the time. Just a baby panda, looking for a hug.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

That's The Very Reverend To You

Continental Airlines sends me as emails as a woman of the cloth. Somehow, I won something at life.

Dance Central Promo! (it will blast your socks off!)

I wrote/directed this promo for Dance Central. You can view this version and the alt cut at this superspecial page right here! I am super thrilled with these spots! The game is so much fun and so delightful and I love it so much.

It stars many awesome people from New York City / The Internets. People such as:
Carolyn Castiglia
Tyler Coates
Jessica Delfino
Ron Dizon
Ilana Glazer
Lucas Hazlett
Sergio Mejia
Heather Mingo
Paul Wielunski
Keisha Zollar

I do not know why the freezeframe is Tyler Coates (making his patented “confused face”), but I am thrilled to the gills that it is.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Drink Me

This is real and DEEEElightful. I’m going to a BYOB birfday dinner tonight and I would very much like to BYO-me. But according to their distributors list, the only people in NY who carry it are based, oddly enough, in my hometown of Glen Rock, NJ. This is very confusing to my head.

Other awesome things that happened on 9/20

NO BIG DEAL AT ALL, but the shark was officially jumped on MY BIRTHDAY.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Timothy! Timothy! Joe Was Looking At You

So now that the Chilean miners are totally free and running marathons and being kickawesome on Letterman, I must share that I had to physically refrain from blogging about the song "Timothy" by the Buoys throughout the length of their ordeal. But now it is fine to make jokes about how the people in the song who were trapped in the mine eat each other in order to survive and then write a peppy pop song  about it! Indulge yourself in these glorious lyrics:
Trapped in a mine that had caved in
And everyone knows the only ones left
Were Joe and me and Tim
When they broke through to pull us free
The only ones left to tell the tale
Were Joe and me

Timothy, Timothy, where on earth did you go?
Timothy, Timothy, God why don't I know?

Hungry as hell no food to eat
And Joe said that he would sell his soul
For just a piece of meat
Water enough to drink for two
And Joe said to me, "I'll have a swig
And then there's some for you."

Timothy, Timothy, Joe was looking at you
Timothy, Timothy, God what did we do?

I must have blacked out just around then
'Cause the very next thing that I could see
Was the light of the day again
My stomach was full as it could be
And nobody ever got around
To finding Timothy
And this song came up on my ipod today while I was running so I figured it was kismet and it was time for sharing. With my stomach as full as it could be (full of ... TIMOTHY!)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Avatar avatar! Avatar avatar! Avatar avatar!

Nearly a year later, my IM avatar is still an Avatar. It’s an Avatar avatar. I will probably never stop being entertained by this.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Monkey Capybara Nosepunch

Let us please use a monkey punching a capybara in the nose as our new internetz shorthand!
I made a gif all by myself! (original video via Julie Klausner, goddess).


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bunny Whipped

I whipped my hare back and forth.

Monday, October 18, 2010

"I'm hiding ... in the front closet!"

Um, HELLO? CNN! If you send everyone a mass-email about where Bin Laden's hiding, don't you think he'll know that we know and then he WON'T HIDE THERE ANYMORE?

I mean. Like he's not looking at on his iphone just as soon as he gets that breaking news alert? And then high-tailing the fuck out of northwest Pakistan?

I do not run the media or anything. But I wouldn't announce these things.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

... with two, baloney!

When I was home during Christmas break of my frosh year from college, my little brother and I stayed up late one night. In fact, we stayed up so late, there was nothing good on tv, so we turned to the tv guide thing that used to come in the Sunday times. Do they still do that? The print version of the NY Times tv guide thing? Anyway. We were looking through it for something to watch at 4am, and it said:
"With Six You Get Eggroll" ... with two, baloney!
To me, this is a paragon of blurb-humor and I aspire to its greatness on a daily basis.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts on The Shipoopi

So! It turns out I know someone who did the Shipoopi with Kerri Green. This is probably the greatest thing I have ever heard in my entire life, and that guy is now my hero. I mean. Andy from Goonies is only the hottest babe ever in the history of babes. Robo-babe, Baberaham Lincoln, Babia Majora &c. But! More importantly! It has been a long time since I was in the Music Man as a freshman in high school. And I sort of remembered the lyrics, but not really.
And so:
Well a woman who’ll kiss on the very first date
Is usually a hussy.
And a woman who’ll kiss on the second time out
Is anything but fussy.
But a woman who waits ‘til the third time around,
Head in the clouds, feet on the ground!
She’s the girl he’s glad he’s found—she’s his
Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi! Shi-Poo-Pi!


The girl who’s hard to get!
SO. I only recently found out about the “Third Date Rule” because it was in that episode of Gr’anatomy where Bailey is nervous because she is going on a 3rd date with the hot anesthesiologist and the lesbian doctor is like “Third date! Wax your vagina! The third date means sex!”  I didn’t know this was a thing. But apparently, it is a thing, because people talk about the “third date rule” on the internet, and if it’s on the internet then it must be true.

So … clearly the third date rule comes from the Shipoopi, right? I mean, long before “The Rules” or Rachel having a “third date sweater” on Friends, Marcellus Washburn was singing about how a girl who kisses on the first date is a hussy, and a girl who kisses on the 2nd date is anything but fussy, but a girl who’ll wait til the 3rd date is your Shipoopi. In 1957!

So, clearly we should stop calling it the “third date rule” and instead just refer to it by its rightful title, “The Shipoopi.”

Also: according to The Shipoopi, I am a hussy (AND PROUD).

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Bunnies in Cuppies

I was feeling a lot like I was in out-of-control drowning-stressed-mode until I watched these bunnies wiggle their noses. Now I feel a teensy bit better. Bunnies in cuppies wiggling their their noseys.

Thanks, buzzfeed!


Via the inimitable Molls.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Cause love's such an old fashioned word And love dares you to care for The people on the edge of the night

Double Kermit performance of "Under Pressure."

This is, probably, the greatest double Kermit performance of "Under Pressure" you will ever see. At the very least, it is the most passionate and fervent. It is making me weep with longing.
Via Odd Todd's facebook!

Friday, October 01, 2010

A little less conversation, a little more actionhero demonstrations

Dolph Lundgren. A little less conversation, a little more actionhero demonstrations while lip-syncing to himself singing Elvis, please.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

“Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.” - ON YOUR BLOG.

Last night when I was making tofu pups at 11pm after the gym, “Boys of Summer” came on my ipod (don’t hate, some of us love Don Henley) and I was thinking about the lyric:
“Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.”
Did you know Wiki considers that to be the most famous lyric of the song?  The wiki entry even explains the line, in case you never thought about it while sauteeing processed tofu in spray-olive-oil:
After a mid-way instrumental break is perhaps the song’s most famous lyric: “Out on the road today I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac.” This image of once-countercultural Deadheads driving establishment status symbol Cadillacs immediately connected with Henley’s age group, and neatly encapsulated the song’s feelings of loss and aging. It is rumored that this line was inspired by Henley seeing Joe Walsh driving a Cadillac Hearse with a Grateful Dead sticker on it while on Sunset Boulevard, despite Walsh’s 1978 driver’s license revocation.
Anyway. We all get it — a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac (don’t look back, you can never look back) is pretty self-explanatory.

So then I thought — what if there were things like Foursquare badges, but more like stickers that you could stick on to people’s blogposts or tumblrs? Like a sort of shorthand commentary — if someone goes to see, I don’t know, Lou Reed perform at that Boom Boom Room thing on top of the Standard and they’re all like “It was all fashionistas and anorexic girls in PR and people only knew the words to ‘Sweet Jane’ and then they didn’t even use the right shape of icecube in my scotch” then you could stick a “Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac” badge onto that post.

There could be other commentary-stickers, of course, but I only got as far as thinking about how I would to maybe stick a “Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac” badge onto certain blog posts (not yours, though) and then my tofu pups were done.

It’s badges for tumblr! Or stickers for tumblr! Badgr? (hat tip to Josh!) Or Stickr?

N Train Pretzel Epiphany

This morning when I was going to work from thurpy on the N train, I realized that the (N) on the LED sign looks just like a DELICIOUS NEWMAN’S OWN PRETZEL.

This is maybe a sign that I should allow myself to start eating carbs again.

Just wanted to share!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That Giant Cat Goes Everywhere!

Remember that time Josh and I were 18 and frosh at Wesleyan and we took that giant cat to this Bare Naked Ladies concert in Hartford for Earth Day and then we met Jim Creeggan AND WE ALSO HAD THAT GIANT CAT WITH US?

Best earth day EVER!

GPO-Your-Family-And-Also-A-Giant-Cat Tuesday!

This is a photo of my family from this weekend when I was the Rabbi/Minister at a wedding. I have been making getting-a-giant-cat noises for a long time, so, in order to persuade me to follow through on this plan, my best friend Josh photoshopped a giant cat into the portrait.
He says: "artist's rendering of what it would be like with a giant cat."

Oddly enough, this is EXACTLY what it would be like if there were a giant cat in this family portrait. My brother and I would be thrilled and my dad would be making a face like "Ooooh Nooooooooo, does there REALLY need to be a giant cat in this family, REALLY?"

GPO-Your-Family-And-Also-A-Giant-Cat Tuesday!

The Scary Mask Lady Thing in that Snickers Ad is SO TOTALLY Viola Swamp, just an FYI.

Last night at 2am when I was watching HIMYM on my DVR, there was a terrible terrible scary Snickers ad with this weird creepster mask lady. And I was like: “That is not just a mask lady! That is the evil substitute teacher from a book that perhaps I read when I was six!”

Nearly 12 hours later, I realized I thought the mask lady looked like Viola Swamp from “Miss Nelson is Missing,” because this is apparently the way my brain works.

You are so welcome!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Craig Finn Sings About Baseball!

Attention, The Hold Steady fans who also love baseball and also the music of people like my buddypal Scott McCaughey! When I saw Scott last week, he was telling me that Craig Finn wrote and recorded a song about the Twins (the Minnesota Baseball Peoples, not, like, the identical peoples in the doublemint gum commercials) for his band The Baseball Project, and it was already getting played at Twins' games and now it is on the internet for your listening pleasure. Listen to Craig Finn sing all about the Minnesota Twins. I have no idea what most of it means because I don't speak baseball, but apparently the moral of the story is: Please don't call them twinkies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You know how when you are a little, little kid and you have the flu and you're sort of semi-delirious and you are watching tv with your parents because your sleep schedules are all fucked up because you're taking all that childrens' tylenol along with your antibiotics and you see a thing where Joe Piscopo sings a song to Tony Denono with the lines "Tony Denono, I can't believe that's your name" and then NOBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN THIS even though you talk about it all the time and you are convinced you hallucinated it?

It motherfucking exists. Somehow I feel like a large chunk of my life has suddenly shifted, rather satisfyingly, into space.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Happy 9/02/10

Here is my contribution to 9/02/10!
A few years ago, I was lucky enough to cowrite and codirect a spot for I Love the 90s. It was set at a recreation of the Peach Pit and starred none other than Joe  E. Tata, better known to you as Nat!

Joe was a pleasure to work with, a consummate pro and a total sweetheart who regaled us with tales from the set during the 90210 glory days. He even humored me when I joked about the Peach Pit offering a dish called a “Joe E. Fritatta” for brunch.

A week or so after the shoot, a box arrived at our office. We opened it up and it contained a thank you note from Joe, along with an autographed headshot and his “Nat” shirt from the Peach Pit, that he signed. I always meant to frame it, but instead it has been all crumpled up in a box for several years. Until today. Happy 90210 Day, peach pitters.
(inspired by Emily,  inspired by Slaughterhouse 90210)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The ol' Glen Fuck Bushes

How does this happen? I was thinking about the bushes in Glen Rock that kids used to cut so they said “Glen Fuck” — they would cut off the round bit of the R and the top of the o — so I twittercized about it, and then I googled the bushes to see if I could maybe find something about it, and HuffPo had already picked up my tweet? Is this a thing that happens now? The internet is eating itself and then pooping itself and it is a human centipede  / ouroboros?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Best. Backpack. Ever.

There is too much internet for me to catch up on, and I haven’t seen Mad Men or Jersey Shore or any of the Big Brothers I missed when I was away by myself in Belize. So I am going to stop catching up on the internets RIGHT NOW, because Sean won them. Because this is the greatest backpack the world has ever seen.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bex Schwartz: The Zulkey Interview

I could not be more excited than I am about being interviewed by the legendary Claire Zulkey.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Purify the Colours, Purify My Mind

Via Growing Pangs!

I hate everything, except for this. I just watched this four times with tears streaming down my face in a combination of joy and just plain being overwhelmed by the eye injections. EYE INJECTIONS. Why did it take until now for the Rockafire Explosion to sing The Arcade Fire while the world is destroyed and Mitzi and Beach Bear get EYE INJECTED?

When I was about 4 and my brother was teeny tiny, we went to visit my dad's family in Charleston. When we flew back, my brother got his finger stuck the fold-out airplane tray that comes out of the seat when you're sitting in the bulkhead. His finger was gushing blood. The stewardesses called an ambulance to meet us when we landed. My brother and mom went to Valley Hospital in the ambulance. My dad and I met them there. There was a toy shaped like Ernie from Sesame Street that was filled with sand and you could tilt Ernie and let the sand flow from his fingers to his feet. We were not supposed to be spending that night in the emergency room waiting for my baby brother to have his hand stitched up. WE WERE SUPPOSED TO GO TO SHOWBIZ PIZZA TO SEE THE ROCKAFIRE EXPLOSION. My parents PROMISED. But we TOTALLY DIDN'T GO. We went to the ER and there were no animatronic animal bands or ball pits. There was just a stupid plastic Ernie filled with sand.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Turtle Who Says WOW (during sexytimes)

Even better than the turtle who says "Goodnight, Ned" in Three Amigos. This is the only thing that is making me feel better about the universe.

Via Gawker TV.

Spirit Animal

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Primus and Bob Saget! What a Dream!

Oh, Wellmont Theater of Montclair, NJ (did my dad put me on your mailing list? Why are you emailing me?) All I can say is: you have put your Primus chocolate into my Bob Saget peanut butter and I am not sure if you aware of the raw genius that is this email blast.

Primus and Bob Saget! Two delicious tastes that go even better together!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

On Rent (if you were me at age 17)

Truer words about me have never, and will never, be written.

Burying the lede! I wrote about why 'Rent' was so fucking important to me when I was 17.  (for my favorite internet homepage, The Awl!) Also, I will gladly sing any and all of the original cast album with you at karaoke.

Friday, July 30, 2010

ROBYN ROBYN ROBYN ROBYN (all robyn, all the time)

My secret girlfriend Robyn did a secret (?) show in Tribeca yesterday and nobody remembered to tell me about it. But at least there is video.
Also, I am totally into the half-blue-head thing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

FEELING IT with Robyn


Remember on Lost when everyone had to FEEL IT? This song makes me FEEL IT. I have been FEELING IT for months, me and this song. But this morning on the way to work, I super duper FELT IT. It was totally a could-have-been-on-Lost FEELING IT moment, except before Lost decided to suck like nobody's business with the world's worst cop-out of crap. Stop thinking about how much Lost sucked! Watch Robyn! She will make you FEEL IT. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dog Who Sings Batman!

Via Lindsay and Urlesque, today I internet-met a pug named Teddy Almond Turtle who yells BATMAN! Except, in my head, he sings it. Because I am tone-deaf and can't really sing, so basically hitting the right words at the correct time with a vague sense of rhythm is good enough for me. By which I mean to say: I very sloppily and hastily cut the pug into the Batman theme song, because I am very, very, very easily amused.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Suck it, Quizno's

This new Quizno's spot wants to be by Joel Veitch, the genius behind the singing kittens and the original spongmonkeys Quizno's campaign. This new spot is not by Joel Veitch. It is a poor man's version of Joel Veitch.

Joel is my friend and we collaborated many years ago on 9 singing kitten spots for VH1. Quizno's can suck a dick for ripping off the Veitchness and hiring someone else to do the awesomeness that Joel does so well -- but at least they fail, so there's that.

AHEM. This new Quizno's spot is NOT BY JOEL VEITCH.

It lacks his cleverness and mastery of the absurd.

I just wanted to make sure you know this.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

That's not how it's spelled on my diploma

I truly hope a Wesleyan grad copy-edited this ad. LIKE!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friend Survey!

If my entire internet presence consisted of the words “Bex likes sriracha,” would we still be pals?

Friday, June 18, 2010



Sometimes I just feel like a giant panda who REALLY REALLY REALLY wants a denim jacket and will stop at nothing to get it, not even turning into a violent panda like the one in Tekken.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

in re: the california gurls video

“I refuse to accept that Snoop plays dice with the universe.” — Albert Einstein

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Paging All Archeology Types?

Hello, internets! Paging people who know something about archeology, maybe? I found this thing, that I think is maybe a spearhead? Or something similar? I found it in September of 2001 when I was at my friend’s place on Vinalhaven, off the coast of Maine. It was in the shallow water right off the beach. At the time, I had just completed a heroic dose of mind-expanding natural plants during which I imagined that I was some sort of Native American healer, so you can only imagine my joy at finding what I thought was a token (what does Ayla call them, the things she puts in her amulet? A totem?) or a sign from the universe or something.
So. It is this thing. Next to a penny for scale-reference. What is this thing? I truly hope it is actually a thing and not just a random rock that my brain decided was a thing. It does look like it was hammered or chipped away at or something like that.  It's not sharp like a spear but maybe it is some other sort of tool? Dr. Jones? Anyone?

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's all in my Wildlife Treasury!

This is the part I remembered:

“Time to check out the wildlife I've got captured here in my room, in my illustrated Wildlife Treasury! Hey, Rhinocerous! Says here, you sleep standing up and you only eat at night! This monkey holds up his long nose when he eats. And the duck-billed platypus has feet like a duck, but it’s furry! They’re all in my Wildlife Treasury!”

This is the part that just broke my heart into a million pieces because I remember how anxious it made me feel that the mom was going to just DESTROY this kid's dreams:

Mom: Hey, Jungle Jimmy! More Wildlife Treasury cards just came!
Jungle Jimmy: GREAT!
Mom: You could cancel after the next shipment ...
Jungle Jimmy: But we won't ... will we, Mom?

He is so forlorn at the very notion that you could cancel after the next shipment! Don't do it, commercial mom! Let this kid cling to just one dream. Everything is totally going to suck for him eventually. So let him be 6 or 7 or even 8 and convinced he's really on a fucking safari.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Would You Like to be Someone's English Drinking Buddy?

My best friend is looking for an English drinking buddy. Would you like to be an English drinking buddy? He's advertising over on Craigslist.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bangkok Devastation

This is what the mall looked like from the outside:

This is what is happening right now (via Reuters):

From the airtrain station right outside the mall, in December:

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On Courtney Love's Sex Life and other Important Matters of Great Merit

Two weeks ago, I was on The Joy Behar Show to talk about things that are really really important, like Courtney Love's sex life and TomKat's awesome dancing skillz. I use the phrase "badger sex" at one point. And I make a lot of faces when I talk. Do I do that in real life?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Schwartz Family Star Trek Adventure!

When I was 12 we went to California for a family vacation, using my bat mitzvah money! I was DESPERATE TO BE AN ACTRESS at that point in my life. My parents indulged my pleas to wait on line to be cast in the Star Trek Adventure at Universal Studios.
(from the website): "Based on one of the most popular series on television, Star Trek® Adventure is our latest and greatest live-action show. At each performance, members of the audience are selected to join Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock in battling Klingons, fantastic space creatures and alien superbeings. Then only minutes later, you see these scenes videotaped and edited into actual Star Trek footage. You may go in a spectator and come out a star!"

We were wearing matching "May The Schwartz Be With You" shirts. And, because we were amazing and also because we were wearing matching shirts, they cast ALL OF US. My dad is an alien precept (the tall one with glasses and the prosthetic forehead). My brother is the dragonhound (in the dragonhound suit). My mom is in the landing party. (She is the one giggling after they get beamed). I am the sleeping engineer who sleeps through the crisis (in a white jumpsuit). ACTING! I told them I was taking acting classes so they could give me a really juicy role. Ugh, I must have been despicable.

August, 1991! (Annotated for your viewing pleasure).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Spectral Tarsier Says Hey

The spectral tarsier says hey. Hey, hey! That is what a spectral tarsier says! And sometimes it says "WOO" and sometimes it says "uh-huh." The spectral tarsier loves Jay-Z! Hey! Hey! Hey! Show me what you got, spectral tarsier!

(Great adventures in insomnia. This is what happens.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

Despite All My Glee, I Am Still Just A Bear In a Tree

Happy pre-Mother's Day! You should watch this video of a momma bear rescuing her baby bear from a tree at the bearpark in Berne (it is really called a Bear Park; I went when I was in Berne doing Einstein research for my senior thesis production. Quelle reve! A park full of BEARS. Bears.) (link via Claire Zulkey's facebook update.)

Also, and not in a fishing way, more in a musing out loud way, I sometimes wonder who would rescue me if I were stuck in a tree.

When I was 7 or so, we went to a barbecue at a friend's house in Glen Rock and I climbed a tree. Getting up the tree was very easy. Getting out of the tree was terrifying. So I stayed in the tree and cried and my dad told me he was taking my allowance away (this was during the 4 month phase of my life when I got an allowance; I am pretty sure it was taken away after the stuck-in-a-tree incident and never reinstated). I was probably in the tree for a few hours, crying hysterically, as my dad tried to coax me down. I think eventually someone stepped on a stool and helped me down - I was probably only 6 feet in the air. But it was terrifying! I was paralyzed with fear and I was pretty sure I was going to fall out of the tree and die if I moved at all. (To this day I am pathologically afraid of heights. I am so much fun to be around!)

And so, although, admittedly, I am scared of many things that will probably never actually happen, such as being on a boat that gets turned over by a whale and then being trapped under said boat and drowning, or somehow surviving a nuclear armageddon and then having to stick it out, The Road-style, there is definitely a chance that I could once again climb a tree and get stuck in it. Great. Now there is one more thing about which to worry and one less reason to sleep at night.

You know those terrible horrible online dating commercials where the girl is like "I'm just a goof, looking for my ball?" (Which, seriously, someone approved this copy? Because in my head, she is actually saying "I'm just a vagina, looking for a scrotum!") Anyway. My point is, "I'm just a baby bear stuck in a tree, looking for someone to rescue me."

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Tune-in Alert

tonight ... on the joy behar show:

Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank and renowned feminist Gloria Steinem discuss the significance of the birth control pill, which was approved by the FDA 50 years ago this Sunday. Plus, 70's action herione Pam Grier, whose new memoir is entitled "Foxy: A Life in Three Acts." Tonight at 9 pm ET on HLN.

AND ME! (with andy borowitz and ben widdecomb) talking about pop culture stuff for about 15 minutes. Hopefully I will be endearing and sort of almost well-spoken, maybe kinda sorta.

We Built Sioux City on Rock and Roll

My dad has to spend Monday -  Friday of every week in Sioux City, aka SUX. (Seriously, they call themselves SUX). He sent me this video and I have to say - it is a paragon of wonder. (stay with it, it only gets better, and more literal as it goes on.) This is truly a thing of beauty. Oh, Sioux City, bless your earnest, eager little heart. I am so glad you couldn't even afford to get into a studio and actually overdub the words "Sioux City" over "This City" and instead you forced your fine citizens to awkwardly stop lipsyncing in order to shout out your name. I just kept waiting for Leslie Knope to show up. Or for them to wage war against, say, Omaha. Oh, Sioux City. Via my dad, via this awesome site which promises that you will have a ROCKIN' time in Sioux City.
And clearly, clearly, you will.

edited to add: via my friend Sean, have you seen these AMAZING Cleveland tourism videos? The 2nd one is extra doublesauce amazing.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

And the Heart Says Whatever

I don't review friends' things because that is weird! And I am overly analytical and deconstructive and no one really wants to hear a 10 minute exegesis on a sentence they wrote a year ago! But! I will tell you: a book called "And the Heart Says Whatever" by Emily Gould comes out today! And you should get it. And I am not saying that just because Emily will sing duets with me at Karaoke. I am saying that because it contains this sentence, among others: "I came back from a trip to the tiny bathroom and made a joke about the poster on the back of the bathroom door: 'It's the Belle and SeBathroom!'"

And also because Emily is one of my favorite people on this planet. So you should totally buy her book.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Freeze Company

When I was a little kid, I was only allowed to watch educational TV during the week, which meant things on PBS like 3...2...1 Contact. (I could watch cartoons on Saturday mornings, don't worry). In first grade, my classmates were really into a show that I thought was called "Freeze Company." They would talk about it during art times and play it during recess after lunch. I had no idea what they were talking about. I knew there was a guy and two girls. When I was (rarely) invited to play, I would just ask to be the cat because I imagined there would be a cat there. Because in my head, since I knew the show was called "Freeze Company," I decided that it must be a show that took place in an igloo. Like, there was a guy and two girls and they lived in an igloo where they made ice. Because they worked for the Freeze Company.

One night at dinner, I asked my parents to tell me about Freeze Company because that day during lunch I eagerly suggested that I could be the penguin, because, surely, if these people named Jack and Janet and Chrissy lived in an igloo making ice (for their job!) then there, clearly, would be a penguin in the igloo, as opposed to a kitty. My parents had no idea what I was talking about. I explained that it was a popular tv show that took place in an igloo. My parents were stumped.

And then first grade was over and then in 2nd grade no one was talking about Freeze Company anymore and I forgot about it, and eventually I was allowed to stay up to watch the Cosby Show and finally by the time I was in 7th grade I actually sneaked downstairs to watch 90210.

And then I stopped thinking at all about Freeze Company until John Ritter died and I was like, "Oh. (blink blink blink). I see."

Friday, April 30, 2010

No Shlomo

I love Survivor. Love, love, love, love, love. So if you haven't watched last night's episode yet, SPOILER ALERT, although I am going to remove names so that you can read this interview with the ousted Survivor and hopefully it won't fug you up too much (although if you haven't watched last night's Survivor, you shouldn't be on the internets, you know that.) Anyway. From EW/Dalton Ross's interview with the person who was (SPOILER ALERT) voted off of Survivor last night:
Q: Since your wrestling match with Person X ended way too early for my taste, tell me what would have happened had it continued? Would you have come out on top?
A: Oh yeah, are you kidding me? I wanted Person Y just to get (pronoun redacted) off me, then I was going to run to the bathroom, read the clue, and flush it down the toilet. That was the plan. Then all of a sudden, my weakness is I have a big conscience and I feel bad about things pretty quickly. I’m not Jewish or anything; it just happens.
Let's just go over one little comment in there again, shall we? "My weakness is I have a big conscience and I feel bad about things pretty quickly. I’m not Jewish or anything; it just happens."

UMMMMM. Look, I am not a practicing Jew or anything. But I was raised pretty hardcore culturally (and religiously) Jewish and that included attending Camp Ramah for eight summers where we performed broadway musicals in Hebrew because we were that fucking hardcore, and I feel like that, combined with the fact that I can still read and write Hebrew and read the Torah even if I no longer practice the religion, and also, have you seen my nose recently, gives me the permission to say: THIS IS REALLY ICKY.

Having a big conscience and feeling bad about things pretty quickly is not necessarily a Jewish thing, because if it were, Hollywood wouldn't exist. (ha ha, Elders of Zion joke, ha ha). And look, I'm a not-practicing-but-definitely-a-Jew, and I do feel bad about things pretty quickly, and I have a huge conscience. Like if a 3-inch-tall Jiminy Cricket represents Pinocchio's conscience, then my conscience is one of those ginormous woolly mammoths that they were always hunting in the 3rd book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series. With the spear-thrower. A HUGE, big, keeps me up at night thinking about things I might not have done perfectly or things I ought not to have said out loud sort of conscience.

And of course I wasn't there when the Ex-Survivor gave this delightful little soundbite, but the way that its tossed off -- "I'm not Jewish or anything" -- like this person feels the need to assert that (spoiler alert at this point, fuck it with the pronoun shifting) she HAS TO TELL THE PUBLIC THAT SHE IS NOT JEWISH. Lest we instantly assume that just because she feels bad about things that she is Jewish, and HEAVEN FORBID that we possibly think that this one-time pageant queen and former Miss Montana is a Jew? As in: she is so quick to assert that she is not Jewish that it seems like she would be horrified if we all thought that she was.

It's like the weirdly anti-semitic no homo. "I am saying these things that apply to my own preconceptions of what it is like to be Jewish, and I am implying that I behave in a manner that I am judging to be Jewish, but don't think that I am Jewish, because I am totally not. Do not think that I'm a Jew. I'm not. "

Or, rather: "I like bagels. No Shlomo."

Seoul, I Hear You Calling

There was karaoke last night. I missed it, because I got there late, because I had a show, but Bennett sang Erasure's "Respect." And then Emily mentioned it on her tumblr.


Can we talk about this Erasure song? Because in the video, which was in some episode of Al TV that my brother and I taped with the VCR and then watched and re-watched obsessively, there is a moment when Andy sings "Souuuuuuuul" and they show the logo from the Seoul Olympics (at :48) and for the longest time I was convinced that this song was actually about "Seoul, I hear you calling," like it was some epic anthem for the Seoul Olympics -- except, at the same time, I remember the Seoul Olympics because I am ancient and because I love the Olympics so much, and there was an official anthem called "Hand in Hand" but anyone who is a dedicated Olympics person who then also had to do warm-ups to the song in ballet class will recall that the Seoul Olympics are forever associated with "One Moment in Time" by Whitney Houston, which she performed during the opening ceremonies. Oh wait, maybe she didn't, but it was totally the theme song because DIG THE VIDEO. That is some inspirationally epic shit right there. And just listening to these lyrics makes me want to warm up for ballet class. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY:

If you think about it, "a little respect" could totally be about the Seoul Olympics, a tiny bit? Like you hear the siren tones of Seoul calling your name and you know that you need a little respect so that you can muster the courage and confidence to do rhythmic gymnastics? Okay, admittedly, if you read the lyrics, I guess it's a really big duh that this song is not about the Seoul Olympics at all, especially when you factor in the line: "What religion or reason / Could drive a man to forsake his lover." (Also: props to Erasure for non ambiguous gender pronouns. A man and HIS lover. That is totally in your face gay. Just like Erasure!)

And yet, there is still something appealing about these lyrics being in a song about the Olympics:
And if I should falter
Would you open your arms out to me
We can make love not war
And live at peace in our hearts
Because I always thought this line was, like, about people doing hurdles or running a relay or a marathon in the Seoul Olympics and, you know, stumbling or something - and it's a plea to the people of all nations to support each other. JUST LIKE THE OLYMPICS.

But that is because I was a child! And confused by the video! Because, man, he is totally not singing about stumbling during the 4x400 relay at the Olympics and metaphorically making love, not war. He is singing about doing it.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

One Year Later

My mom died last year on April 29th. It was a Wednesday. That week is really clear in my mind. I went to see her on Sunday and even though she had lost her voice because of the radiation, she seemed to be doing a lot better. She couldn't talk but she could whisper and she was downstairs in her snuggie doing the Times crossword (in pen). When I got there, my dad was so thrilled because he had managed to get her to eat a scrambled egg for breakfast and that was probably the most food she'd eaten in weeks. So she was eating and she seemed like she had a little more energy and she was snarky and witty despite the whispering thing.

I brought all these pedicure supplies because I thought that it would be nice to pamper her a little bit, and we listened to the Beatles while I attended to her toes. I painted them some quick-drying shade of reddish orange. She had lost almost all of her hair because of the chemo but before it started to fall out, she bleached it to a brassy platinum. She refused to shave it, because she thought it was short enough not to be a problem, but there were brassy blonde hairs everywhere -- on the snuggie, on the couch, on the floor. My dad kept up constant dustbuster maintenance. She wore a hat when she went into Mt. Sinai for chemo or to the local hospital for brain and chest radiation. But at home, she just had one little dreadlocked tuft of hair left, right in the center of her head. It was sort of Tintin-esque. She didn't like the fact that the hair was all matted and she asked me to comb it out. I was afraid of hurting her, and when I tried to untangle the hairs, they all came out in my hand.

We spent a few hours together and then she got a blackberry alert that there was some problem with NJ Transit so she insisted that we get going so we'd make it back to the city. She wasn't loud, but she was adamant. My dad drove us to Liberty State Park to catch the Path train but of course we took the wrong Path train and ended up in Jersey City, where we finally caught the correct train back to Manhattan. We walked back to my apartment from Penn Station. I was feeling better about things. It seemed like she was doing a little bit better.

On Monday, I had jury duty and I had already postponed it as many times as I could by phone. I spent a few hours waiting in jury duty, cutting a rough version of a spot for VH1 Mobile on my laptop. After the clerks kept saying things about committing to two weeks of jury duty, if selected,  I freaked out and ran to get an official deferral. I told them my mom was sick and I couldn't commit. They pushed it to October.

Emily and I went to karaoke that night and I drank a little too much and got emotional and sang songs from Barbra Streisand's "Broadway Album" in honor of my mom. Specifically the song "Being Alive," which, if you don't know it, is from Company and is particularly amazing when Babs sings it. My mom's favorite song off that album was "Send in the Clowns" but I couldn't bring myself to sing it.

On Tuesday, I worked on the VH1 Mobile spot and was getting ready to shoot a segment with my friend Graham about the intersection of science and pop culture.

On Wednesday, my dad called early in the morning and said my mom was in the ER and that I should get to South Orange as soon as I could. I called my brother and told him to meet me at the train station. I threw some shit in a bag and grabbed my laptop and ran to Penn Station. I emailed my friends who were supposed to come over that night to watch Top Model that I didn't know what was going on and that we should probably plan on postponing our viewing party.

My brother and I got to the hospital, where my aunt Sherry and my dad were with my mom in the ER. She was drifting in and out of consciousness. I held her hand and told her about singing Streisand for her. She had an oxygen mask over her face and couldn't speak but one tear slipped out of her right eye and slid down her cheek. My dad took us outside to tell us that the doctors were preparing a room for her but that they couldn't get her blood pressure back up and that we needed to be ready for hospice. While we were talking in the parking lot, by the loading dock, my dad's cel phone rang. It was the doctor. He said we needed to come back inside.

My mom was already in a coma when we got back. My aunt called her rabbi to come over to say the things that rabbis say in this situation. The rabbi arrived and said things in Hebrew and we all watched the monitors as her blood pressure dropped lower and lower. The rabbi told us that we should stop looking at the machines and instead spend this time telling my mom that we'd be okay. We told that we loved her, that it was okay to go, that we'd be okay without her.

She was gone in a matter of minutes. Her blood pressure was so low that she instantly went completely pale. I was still holding her hand.

I am not so sure that I am okay without her.

True Story! Tonight at 9!

You guys. I am trying to distract myself from things. I am doing a storytelling comedy showthing tonight. At 9:30 pm.

The Tank

354 West 45th Street

(between 8th and 9th Avenues)

April 29th, 9:30PM

$10 and CHEAP CHEAP Drinks!


Your host, Rob Gorden (Spike TV, The Food Network)


Brad Lawrence (Author: Monsters in the Wood)

Bex Schwartz (VH1)

Fiona Walsh (Creator: "Sundays at Seven" at the Irish Arts Center)

Andy Christie (Master and Commander of "The Liar Show!")

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Take Off Your Thirsty Boots

I wanted to listen to Eric Andersen's "Thirsty Boots" because I was thinking a think. For whatever reason of awesomeness, one of his shows from 1970 is on youtube.

I want to go to there, really really really badly. Those Canadians don't quite know the lyrics yet although the Judy Collins version came out in 1965 and Eric Andersen's version dropped (ha! a folk album dropped!) in 1966 -- maybe it took longer to get to Canada? Or maybe I am just really familiar with Judy Collins because "The Fifth Album" was one of my mom's favorites, although less beloved than "In My Life" and certainly no match for Wildflowers (but how do you match Wildflowers? You don't)  --  and when Eric sort of plaintively cajoles these late-blooming Canadian hippies to at least hum the melody, and then no one sings when he asks them to - well, it just breaks my little hardened heart.

Also, there is a version of "Thirsty Boots" on youtube with Judy, Eric, AND Tom Rush and Arlo Guthrie. If you were also inside of my brain right now and you were listening to this, you would be crying.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fox 5's Weird Early Primetime lack of dayparting spoke in class today

There was an ad for the Dr. Oz show about having your best orgasm ever after age 40. On tv! Primetime! At 8:51pm. During "House!"  Surely there are a lot of kids who are watching tv between 8-9pm! And maybe they don't know what an orgasm is! Consider their minds to be blown. LIKE IN JEREMY.  (not really like in Jeremy. I was thinking about what it would be like to be 8 years old and watching tv with your parents and seeing this promo. And in my head, a sort of metaphorical Jeremything would happen). It's a metaphor! A metaphor for being 8 and seeing this promo and being like "say what now?"

I don't know. I was in the kitchen draining my edamame (not a euphemism) and I heard the tv talking about orgasms. I thought it was a wee bit early for that. But, I suppose, it's important for the children to know.

And this is a stupid remix thing but I made a minivow that I had to make whatever weird stupid video mashup thing went through my head, so, I made this. It is dumb. But I am entertained by it.

And I actually didn't watch it until 11:00pm because I timeshift all my television so forgive my delayed response.

This metaphor is an analogy for something that is not meant to be interpreted literally!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Favorite Twitter Exchange of Recent Memory

starbex: A haiku: "seltzer while in bed / Thirst-quenching! What could go wrong? / Spilled it down my shirt."

noahsam "But when seltzer spills / a paradoxical mess / for it cleans itself."

starbex: "the zen of seltzer / a spill, yet nothing ruined / just a wet tee shirt."

noahsam "dudes say, 'wet t-shirt: / not a mess, but a success!' / yay chauvinism!"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Stars, The Moon - They Have Been All Been Blown Out

This is my new favorite song in the entire multiverse. Florence + The Machine, "Cosmic Love."
I am totally a year behind on this one but if you haven't heard this song and let it blow your mind (or just my mind, I am in a weird place), you should listen to it right now. (the rest of the album is amazing, too).

Or rather: if you want a direct link to my heart, it's probably via this song.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Puh Puh Puh Puh Platypus Puh Puh Puh Pokerface

 Puh Puh Platypus is my favorite thing of the day:

(credit to Popwatch/Margaret Lyons).

I can't sleep even though I am SO tired. So this happened:
Puh Puh Puh Puh Puh Pokerface Platypus:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bear / Sloungewear

Just thought maybe you wanted to look at a bear wearing a sloungewear.
Remember sloungewear?
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


This is why I want to move to Thailand:

A Thai police force has begun taking a monkey dressed in officer's uniform on patrol each day to help improve relations with Muslim separatists.

 (hat tip to my brother Adam!)



Monday, April 05, 2010

Snurfle snurfle snurfle snurf snurf snurf

I am single and I have a lot of time on my hands. And apparently my new hobby is making sounds for animals that I think they ought to make. (You guys can stage an intervention at any point, really). So, in my head, I think that a goby fish climbing a waterfall would go "snurfle snurfle snurf snurf snurf!"

This one is for Joey who requested it after the mudskipper thing.

Mudskippers, Mudskippers, Fight Fight Fight!

This is how mudskippers fight.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It is true that I can no longer get through the day without watching this.




Great Scott. The backstory to Prisencolinensinainciusol is far greater than I ever imagined.
"Prisencolinensinainciusol" is a song composed by Adriano Celentano, and performed by Celentano and his wife, singer/actress-turned-record producer Claudia Mori. It was first released as a single on November 3, 1972, and later on his album Nostalrock. The lyrics are pure gibberish, often described as sounding like American English as heard by a non–English-speaker.
In an interview, Celentano explains that the song is about "incommunicability" because in modern times people are not able to communicate to each other anymore. He added the only word we need is prisencolinensinainciusol, which is supposed to stand for "universal love."
Celentano's rationale for the song was that, after releasing albums about ecology and social issues, "having just recorded an album of songs that meant something, I wanted to do something that meant nothing"

In modern times people are not able to communicate to each other anymore. Holy fucking shit, prisencolinensinainciusol. 

Also, can I get a what what for the fact that Celentano is also a vegetarian JUST LIKE ME?

Friday, March 26, 2010

... in which I Irrationally Want to Hurt a Character in a Commercial

This horrible horrible dreadful "don't talk to me until i've had my coffee" spot (for mcdonald's coffee! who is drinking mcdonald's coffee? No one who reads this blog, I can pretty much guarantee that) airs on VH1 all the time which means it is on the tv in my office every single day, drilling its way into my brain. And I have to say: I hate this character and also the actor who portrays him which such seething fury that if I ever encounter him in real life I will probably go all stabbytown on him.