Thursday, May 27, 2010

A First Time For Everything, With a Side Helping of Racism

Had to do this is one take due to time constrictions (MAN NIGHT), so try to wade through the uh's and um's and random asides.


And so there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Kind of a "that's what she said" for the next generation of silent racists. Or of the older, more openly racist generation. Now you too can shock, awe, scare, and intimidate others with the sensation that's sweeping the nation: The Racism Game!

Bonus points if you make someone cry. On accident, of course.


Just noticed: everything in the video is white. Say it with me folks:


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

And Rise It Shall


I could spout off all sorts of excuses for my blogging absence. Like starting a new job, and moving into a new apartment (still not unpacked yet.... ><), and disturbingly large bug infestations that's it.

But I won't.

Instead, I'll just jump right back into the swing of things (though apologize for the huge amount of parentheses, tangents, incoherence, and misspellings that will ensue. I'm damn tired).



I have some good stuff worked up for the next couple days, including the possibility of a "serious" post *GASP* (working around my weekend trip back home for the brosef's grad party), but I wanted to ease myself back into the blog world first with something that I was reminded of during training for the aforementioned new job.

As I've said previously here on soft nonsense, I am employed by my school as an orientation leader (the fools hired me back for a second summer). My job is to welcome all the scared little freshies and apathetic transfer students to the university, make them feel welcome, give them a good impression, yadda yadda yadda. As the school's first line of defense, we have to know a whole lot about, well, a whole lot. Student advising, financial aid, all that good stuff. But at the end of the day it boils down to making new students comfortable, no matter their background. As such, we are (rightfully) required to have diversity training.

We began by saying our names, years, major, and an interesting fact about ourselves. My interesting fact is generally that I lead a rather uninteresting life. Answers vary between my large autograph collection, the span of my nerdiness, the fact that my high school football team was was nationally ranked by ESPN, or that I was tutored by my friend (who actually put off going to college to go study in a Korean Shaolin Temple in tae kwan do for a semester until he got into a Vespa accident that sidelined him for a few months and gave him the appearance of a kung fu villain:

Moral of the story: almost die, and you too can look more badass.

Then we got to talking about race and sexual orientation and whatnot (an interesting talk, considering one of the biggest inside jokes in our group is saying "Oh my God, that's so RACIST" after things that are, in fact, not in the least). And all this (my nerdiness and racism) reminded me of possibly the greatest idea for a movie ever conceived by man. My best friend, another zombie/kung fu enthusiast, found this back in high school, showed it to me, and changed my life forever.

May I introduce to you "The South Will Rise Again"

Yes. You saw that right. Karate + Zombies + Stereotypes + Meaningless Explosions = Cinematic Gold.

Unfortunately, the video's creators never got their surprisingly well-made trailer off the ground, and according to the Internets their site has been shut down and the group hasn't updated their MySpace since 2005.

But by God, a man can still dream.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Scenes From an Apartment




As many of your know (though, judging by the comments on my "return to blogging" post, maybe that isn't the case), I recently moved into a new apartment. My roommate and I channeled our inner bargainers and got $200 knocked off a three bedroom apartment with a ballin' view and got a third friend to sublet for the summer. In short, we were set:

With excellent views...

But, obviously it doesn't make afor a good blog post to simply toot my own horn. And if I considered it to be a good one, likely none of you would be reading anything that I've been writing. This apartment, as with many things in life, has a catch. In all its splendor, what with its super Eastern European landlord and 15th floor view, it discriminates against m lifestyle. That's right everybody, I, soft nonsense, am calling discrimination and shenanigans. Behold the sign adorning one of the elevators:

Now, to the untrained eye, the sign may simply be espousing a ban upon smoking.

Nay nay.

It in fact has nothing to do with smoking. Besides, igarettes are pretty gross. Instead, note the picture itself...through the use of subliminal messaging (aided by the crudely drawn line, no doubt written by the Man) a statement is very clearly made:

Still don't see the disturbing amount of hatred toward the American way? Maybe this will help.

Still no? Well hold on to your horses, blog friends.



I love this apartment, but....

*cue above video*

I think I've made a huge mistake.



For your enjoyment:

A classic song that if you don't know the words to, you probably aren't truly living.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Justin Who?

In order to make up for last postings, I decided to semi- double down on today's posts. That, and I needed a break from the constant errands I've been running, and decided to further hone my Photoshopping skillz.

Last night at dinner, we had a bunch of family friends over to see me before I head back to Chitown (their culinary excellence certainly didn't hurt). During the dinner (over at the "kids' table") there ended up being three teenage girls. Naturally, the conversation turned to one thing: Justin Beiber.

Now, I've seen one of the young lad's videos (Baby? Maybe? Whichever one had the bowling alley awkwardness). And by seen, I of course mean "watched 30 seconds of before closing the window in slight disgust." So help me, I can't figure out why people like him or his music.

But I digress.

As the two older (non-related to me) girls were talking about him, when my sister, ever the follower/suck up whose only knowledge likely comes secondhand from her chattery high school friends, decided to add her two cents.

"Oh yeah, Justin Beaver is such a hottie."

....wait, what?

"Justin Beaver is sooooo cute."

Indeed, sister dear. Justin Beaver IS adorable.

Awww. Look at him. Gettin' ready to gnaw a tree down I bet....

(I wasn't sure which was better, so here's the alternate version...)

If there's one thing family is always good for, its blog material.

The Triumphant Return: An Unfinished Promise

No, please. PLEASE. You're too kind. No, really, please, all this digital applause and raucous internets cheering is just too much. No really! I have to start the post now.

Well okay, you can keep going as you read.

After nine days of near inactivity here at soft nonsense, I've finally finished all of my papers, my finals, and the exhaustive task of moving into a new apartment; finally caught up on a little bit of sleep and all of the old blog posts I'd missed; drove all the way from Chicago to Kansas City with only my iPod, an overly punny mother, and a grumpy younger brother to keep me entertained; finished my extensive stack of comic books as well as a book called American Shaolin about a guy who takes a year off of college and learns kung fu in China (if only...); and watched Iron Man 2, a couple episodes of Star Trek: Enterprise, and most of Pleasantville. Now, as I sit here in the kitchen of my Kansas City familial home wishing there were more cinnamon rolls, I know now that I am ready.

In summary, to quote the fantastic Tom Hanks once said in the movie Forrest Gump:

I'm back, bitches.*

*There is no evidence Tom Hanks has ever said the word "bitches," either in the derogatory term for women, descriptions of those you are not fond of, use to describe cowards, or in the way Riley uses the term to describe his Grandfather as Robert "Bitches" Freeman. Though the image of Tom Hanks reppin' the thug life is interesting, as captured by this Photoshop mess:

I inadvertently chose a headshot that would make Tom Hanks look less like a pimp and more like a velvet-clad child molester, but so be it.

And so, to commemorate my glorious first post of the summer, I give you (as pledged, like...a month ago):


Like most children, I was born. As I entered the world, I found companionship under the cuddle hoof of one Mr. Moo Cow, who to this day can be made to play "Catch a Falling Star." I can hear your aww's from here.

I was always a complex child, full of wonder, always questioning the world. Or at least I hope that's what my face is saying in this picture:

And my parents...oh my parents...Those lovely people were always looking out for me, including giving me the best airbag diapers money could buy.

Seriously, that thing could probably cushion me from a good 10-foot drop, which was convenient because my parents were/are intimate friends with a tribe of Bornean natives affected (effected?) with Humongous Gigantus. Which is totally a medical term.

They taught me all the skills I would need to survive in the world, including the ability to close my eyes during pictures:

As well as how to drive a fort/tractor while simultaneously wearing disturbingly-patterned 90s shorts.

Both skills that I proudly use to this day.

They even took me to meet famous people, like Babe Ruth robots.

Sidenote: this picture was totally on the FRONT COVER of the KC Star's sports section the next day. The photographer recognized the budding greatness.

Soon, I grew into a fine young man. The in-between I will not show you, not only because I don't have pictures of the era on my computer, but also because I was Fatty McChubberson in said time frame, and bear a strong resemblance to the child Santa Clause and the Michelin Man would co-sire.

I eventually became interested in exctracurriculars such as acting,

Here I am, pictured in 7th grade as one of my finest roles as a thespian, that of Pierre Poitier, a temperamental French director who's basic role was to run around and insult people. I was very good at it (including insulting a small child in the audience), despite the fact that I only got the role because my teacher forgot to cast me in a no-cuts show. So, he had to make up a role for me. C'est la vie.


What you can't see in this picture is that, after a mighty swing with me and my siblings' kiddie golf clubs, the ball was still resting at my feet.

And cross-dressing,

(Lots of cross-dressing, apparently)

And now, here I am, only a lowly blogger with a wonderful girlfriend, trying to stay warm in Chicago, and riding the ride that is life.

Woo indeed.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Roommate Memories Pt. 2 (The E-mail)

So my post today was going to be about celebrating Star Wars Day (May the Fourth be with you), but then my ex-roommate (the one featured in "The Disappearance") sent me a forwarded e-mail.

Now, for those of you who don't remember, my ex-roommate is rather impulsive, and has a long and proven history of subversion. Once he decided to transfer away from Loyola last year, he began a terrorist campaign the likes of which would put anyone named "John" on a national no-fly list had he directed it toward even an aid to an aid of a low level government official. He went to extreme lengths to extend his grand-scale harassment, generally carried out via e-mail. He even created a fake e-mail account via a proxy server via his out-of-state friend while said friend was in Mexico*.

*And if you didn't understand any of that, then good. That was kind of the point.

His greatest triumph to date was a long e-mail correspondence with our Residence Hall Graduate Supervisor, culminating with a picture of the supervisor photoshopped into the middle of "Goatsie."* He still occasionally dabbles, especially because he still apparently

*I won't link to what Goatsie is, nor describe it, nor particularly recommend you looking it up, even if it's to prove the point of my roommate's deviousness. It is one of the grosser things out there. I'm also aware that I likely just piqued most of your interests because of my disgust and trepidation. You've been warned.

But the e-mail he sent to me, the rest of my roommates, and a sorority, might just rival it.

From: "John Bertinet"
Date: Tue, 04 May 2010 14:37:35 -0500
Subject: Dear Kappas

Dear Kappas,

Let me begin by saying this has been long overdue. I have appreciated
your organization for a full year and a half now. I am an undergraduate
student enrolled at Loyola University- Chicago, and the student body of
which I am a part has been fortunate enough to be graced by your
organization. While a Greek presence is limited, your Loyola chapter
makes that much more of an effort to solicit smiles and sunshine to all
of us residing in Roger's Park. I can stand back no longer; I must join
your ranks.

Now, you may have noticed the small detail of my name. It is John, and
yes, I am a man.

But if you would lend me your time for but a moment I feel I can make a
compelling case for myself and at the very least be considered. After
all, we are not so different.

I'll get right into it.
I like to party.
And I know how the Kappas are famous for social events of all types. Ask
anyone on my campus- they know that if a party doesn't have the Kappa
sorority involved in some way, it is fated to be sub-par. I am confident
that I would be able to add to the KKG's impressive legacy. Of course, I
would never be so ignorant as to think that to be a Kappa would
necessitate that one parties. But I think it goes without saying that
one of this sorority's strongest assets is its ability to throw a rager,
whilst maintaining the class and dignity of the contemporary woman. To
give you a sense of what I would offer your institution, let me tell
give you a short description of one of my finest moments.

I was invited to a friend's wedding and attended in the company of
several other mutual friends. Following the exchange of vows and rings,
all of us in attendance congregated in a beautiful, silk and linen
adorned open-air tent for the reception. The man of the hour and his
stunning bride made their rounds to greet their guests. Noticing they
were on the opposite side of the space from me, I knew that I had some
time before they made their way to me. My friends and I thought that
would be a good time to take advantage of the open bar. We did so, and
before long we were all rather inebriated. Remembering we were only
there to await our friend and his newly-anointed wife, we looked up to
locate them. Seeing they were still a long way off, we continued to
consume gin and tonics. This is the point of the story where my memory
becomes very hazy. The next thing I remember is seeing the bride and
groom looking at me with a puzzled look on their face. As I recall, the
only words I could muster were Arkansas, crucifixion, and prostate. The
looks of confusion quickly became those of grave concern. As the two of
them advanced towards me to guide me to a quiet place where I could
sober up, all the gin and tonics made themselves known. Projectile vomit
pumped out of me then like a fire hose, saturating my friend's wife's
angelic, draping wedding dress with hard evidence of my 0.29 Blood
Alcohol Content. My friend, reacting as quickly as he could, dove to
shield his bride from the spray of stomach bile coursing through the
entire opening of my mouth. In doing so, he slipped on the ground which
was now lubricated with a $35 bar tab and broke his femur. With my
friend laying on the ground in agony and his wife crying hysterically
over her destroyed wedding dress, I did what any socialite would do: I
reached into my front pocket, pulled out my white satin handkerchief,
and held it out to my two suffering friends.

You should be pleased to know I share your view on personal hygiene. I
shower AT LEAST once a week and have been known to brush my teeth twice
in the same day (forgive me, I am a bit obsessive ;) ). Certainly, in an
organization that has never been home to a male resident, the atmosphere
and infrastructure would be expectably feminine-leaning. It is
completely understandable for you to question how a male could ever
become assimilated into such an environment. Not to worry. I played
hockey back in the day and am quite comfortable doubling up on the
stalls. Being women who pride themselves in serving others in their
community, this should come as second-nature to you, as well. Speaking
of serving the community, how far does your creed extend? Because I have
some far-reaching needs, governed primarily by my nether regions.

Lastly, but in no way less important, is the subject of appearance. For
better or worse, Kappas have a reputation for "attracting the
attractive". This prejudice is as pervasive on my own campus as any. I
am proud to tell you that for me, nothing comes before appearance. In
fact, I have taken it upon myself to study the essence of beauty and
have even made some breakthroughs in the field. My diligence has lead me
to find that there are three focal points on a person's face wherein
that person is deemed attractive or not. They are the skin, eyes, and
teeth. This discovery may seem small but in actuality it is much more
significant than most realize at first. Knowledge is power and if we
understand how we determine beauty, we can take the measures necessary
to make ourselves attractive. I have developed a near-perfect system
based on my findings. To get my skin lustrous, I apply a Ukrainian
cleansing lotion to my face before turning in each night. However, I do
not use it for its intended purpose. You see, I have a fierce allergic
reaction to it and it causes my skin to peel away in sheets, leaving me
with a new supple and radiant layer of flesh. Unfortunately, FDA
opposition to its importation has proven quite adversarial, and that
particular brand has been difficult to obtain. In order to accentuate my
eyes, I have found the best way is by confining myself to my bedroom in
total darkness for no less than 15 hours. When I come out, not even a
sliver of white remains; my pupils have grown to immense proportions and
give my eyes more depth than I ever thought possible. Lastly, healthy
teeth are a feature that does not go unnoticed. Unfortunately, brushing
can only go so far. By chewing dense foods, your teeth grow stronger and
whiter. I have learned through experience that many of the dense foods
are also high in fiber, further promoting wellness. This system is not
without its faults, however, as I have recently been diagnosed with an
unidentifiable type of cancer, cataracts, and bowels that could rip
through the hull of a ship. I've been in contact with the Navy.

On that note, I apologize for taking up your time. Again, if you would
please consider me to be your first male member, you would not regret
it. I just know in my heart of hearts that my unique talents would be
best served under the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

Best, John Paul Bertinet



Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
The Magnetic Fields - You Must Be Out Of Your Mind
The XX - VCR
La Strada - The Traveler
Freelance Whales - Generator^First Floor
Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
Vampire Weekend - Cousins
MGMT - Song for Dan Treacy
Spoon - The Underdog
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
The Apples in Stereo - Dream About the Future
Phoenix - Lisztomania
Portugal. The Man - The Dead Dog
Weezer - (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To
Catch 22 - Walking Away


Yesterday's Nostalgic Music Monday Make-Up:

One of my all-time favorite old guilty pleasures (that I've certainly worked into the occasional radio set list....), a song that my father embarrassingly/kinda awesomely put on a mix CD in his car and still gets stuck in my head like I was in middle school all over again.*

*Which would totally blow.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Update: I Will Survive! (My Life in Videos) PLUS: 50th Post Post Update!

I still don't really have time/energy for a proper post, so I'll let the funniness of my life events come through other people's posts on YouTube. ReadyGo.


Still having finals, but rocked my WWI test this morning. Tomorrow: radio, turn in a 10-12 page paper (that I'm on page 2 of right now), and Writing and Reporting final.


However, that paper WAS supposed to be due in an hour. What happened? Well, my roommate + alcohol + rage problems + various personal possessions = lots of breakage and not much sleep. I won't go into details to respect his privacy (because you are all intimately familiar with all of my roommates), but luckily my professor saw the challenge that writing a large paper after going to bed at noon would present. I feel this one deserves two:


Needless to say, I've been under near-constant stress the last two weeks or so. Soon Girlfriend will be gone back home for a couple weeks (along with the fourth season of How I Met Your Mother...), as will all the friends, and so all that will remain for me is studying and the promise of a possible trip to see Avenue Q on Sunday.


But through it all, I know I must persevere. Summer's right around the corner, and I'll be able to relax and make money and go out with friends and yadda yadda. Just a couple more days...

And until then, I guess have this to comfort me.

Low humor indeed. For shame, Softy. But I have no regrets.


As the title promised, I'll finally do good on my promise of the 50th post adorable childhood picture post, likely Tuesday or Wednesday. Get pumped.