Monthly Archives: April 2012

It was a great big world, with lots of places to run to

5:45am. I AM FREEZING. Why is it so damn cold? Oh, because I put the fan on high last night because I hoped all that noise would help me sleep in a little longer because when I’m excited I can’t sleep. So I haven’t slept in days. I’m running on about 10 h0urs sleep in three days. I’m not the prettiest sight right now. But, the fan plan (hee!) was not the best, as we’re having some sort of cold snap and now it’s a FREEZER in here. Also, Dumbcat decided to sleep with me because he TOTALLY knows something is up, but he’s ALSO freezing, so he decided to make himself into my Russian fur hat (Wikipedia says that’s called a ushanka, I just call it a Dumbcat hat) so now my allergies have acted up and my eyes are all swollen up and I’m completely congested. DAMMIT DAMMIT.

Imagine this, but made of a Dumbcat.

6:00am. It is amazing to me how many people are awake on Twitter at the moment. It’s 6am on a SUNDAY. Why aren’t you people ASLEEP? Obviously not you people in other time zones. You have a reason. But the rest of you should be in BED. ASLEEP. Good grief. Also, Dumbcat is so excited I’m awake this early on a weekend that he cannot contain himself. His way of showing this is to stand in front of me wherever I walk and then NOT MOVE. So I almost trip and die. I’m starting to think I’m going to not make it to Florida, because I’m going to die of a Dumbcat-induced broken neck. I don’t want to spend my nine days off in traction due to Dumbcat wanting to be glued to my legs.

6:15am. I just ate breakfast and now I have over six hours to wait until I can leave for the airport. I am ANTSY. I keep adding things to my suitcase and my backpack and now I can barely close them. Listen, I’m going to be gone for a week. Who knows what I will need for a week? All the things, is what. And I don’t want to get to Florida and need something that’s all the way in New York. I’m having separation anxiety from my things and I haven’t left yet.

7am. Might as well write a blog post. WANT TO GO TO FLORIDA NOW.

9am-12pm. Watch television. Check watch every five minutes. Sigh like a fancy lady of leisure. This is how I know I would never be good at being incarcerated. Waiting for anything would KILL me.

12:15 pm. Get an email from the library that some of my books are going to be due back while I’m in Florida. Curse at my poor planning. Grab my things and leave the house earlier than planned in order to return them.

12:45-3:15pm. Drive to the airport. Listen to music at unreasonably high levels. See ALL THE PEOPLE pulled over for speeding. Consider not speeding. Realize that not speeding would be like not breathing. Continue to merrily speed.

3:15pm. Get to the exit for the airport. Realize I have never BEEN to this airport. There seem to be signs. Follow the signs. The signs stop. All of a sudden, BAM, THERE IS THE AIRPORT. I feel like there should have been better signage. I wave apologetically at the person who was following behind me for almost causing him to rear-end me (NO NOT A EUPHEMISM) and turn in.

3:30pm. Call Dad as promised. He is FREAKED OUT that I am only two hours and fifteen minutes early for checkin. “Aren’t I supposed to be two hours early?” I ask. “Yes, but you KNOW I always get places at LEAST an hour earlier than they tell me to. I would have BEEN there by now.” I sigh.

3:35 pm. I walk into the airport and am immediately confused by what I’m supposed to do. In front of me is security. So I assume I’m supposed to go through security? I attempt to do so. The very nice man at security tells me I have to get a boarding pass first. Dammit. I already fail airports. I go over to the airline and get my boarding pass, then head back to security. I haven’t been on a plane, as I mentioned, in 12 years. This security thing boggles the mind. And also makes me sad. Seeing grownups take off their shoes and stand in an x-ray machine in a weird stance just to get on a plane made me mad at the terrorists all over again. HOWEVER, I had been prepared for all the hoopla and people pulling crap all willy-nilly out of my luggage and being questioned in a small room by very loud people and none of that happened. I think because I was grinning like a moron because I was so excited about my vacation.


3:50pm. I can’t figure out where I’m supposed to wait for my plane. The problem seems to be that none of the signs in this airport are in English. Yes, the airport is in the States. But it’s close to the border. And almost everyone here is Canadian. Luckily, I have 5 years of high school French and two years of college French under my belt, so “pour les avions Allegiant, allons-y” with an arrow pointing up some stairs wasn’t the most confusing thing ever. However, I did overthink it and wonder, is this only for French people? Why isn’t the sign in English, too?

4pm -5pm. I waited and waited and waited. Everyone in the waiting room spoke French. The children spoke French. The adults spoke French. I felt like I was in a foreign land. I looked for my cousin I was supposed to find, but no luck. There were a lot of people there and I hadn’t seen him in twenty years. I didn’t know what he looked like now. I just gave up. Twitter kept me entertained. Also, I had a new Stephen King book. And a crappy MP3 player that I can’t figure out how to reload with music so it has the same songs I loaded five years ago. All is well. Ready to be there already, but all is well. MAN is this a long day.

5pm. My mom’s plane lands so I meet her at her gate, which is also my gate, to say hi. She asks if I’ve gone to the bathroom. I reply that I am almost forty, and am pretty good at knowing when I have to pee. A woman comes over and says hi to us. It is my cousin’s wife. Apparently, they’ve known where I was THE WHOLE TIME but didn’t say hi. Why do you hate me, cousins? So I didn’t even get to do my good and funny trick of pretending to be a nefarious ne’er-do-well. Also, my dad told me when looking for my cousin, to look for a tall, handsome man with a gorgeous wife and two little kids. My cousin is my height, extremely average-looking, his wife is pretty enough, and his kids might be young, but they’re tall enough they’d never pass for little. It’s like his family was undercover as another family. FAIL. (Also, I apparently am old, because my cousin’s only a couple years older than I am, and he looks old. Dammit.)

5:30pm. The plane starts boarding. The guy boarding the plane apparently took lessons from these people:

Buh bye. BUH-BYE.

He was the WORST. He kept saying these passive-aggressive inside-jokey things over the intercom, like “If you are old enough to HOLD a boarding pass, PLEASE DO. Thank youuuuu” and then he and the other guy working the gate would giggle like trolls. I hated him the most. Sir, if your life is so sad that the highlight of it is being a jackhole at the loading gate of an airline, please reevaluate. Thanks ever so.

5:45pm-8:45pm. Flying isn’t really the worst thing ever. I got a row all to myself and just read and listened to music until it was over. Easy as pie. There were some weird soccer players sitting next to me who were super-loud, but I just ignored them. When the flight took off, one of them refused to sit. My cousin, who is apparently a big deal cop now, turned around and in his big-deal-cop voice, was all, “YOU NEED TO BE SITTING NOW” and that guy popped into his seat like a chastened child. I giggled. It was impressive. Also, is it a thing that there is never free food or beverage service on a plane anymore? Since when? The cart went by twice and you had to PAY for food and drinks. I mean, I brought my own because I’m cheap but it seemed weird. It was like $5 for a bag of Ritz Bits and some M&Ms or whatever. Or $7 for a mixed drink the size of my thumb. No, thanks.

8:45pm. We land. I call my Dad, as requested. “WHERE ARE YOU,” he asked. I tell him Albuquerque. He is not amused. He is waiting for me when I get to the bottom of the TALLEST ESCALATOR KNOWN TO MAN ZOMG. By the way, I hate escalators, I think they’re going to eat my feet.

8:45pm-9:25pm. We drive back to the condo. Dad drives SLOOOWWWW. We get caught in a drag race with a monster truck and a car. The monster truck has a dead deer painted on the side. A little way up the road, the monster truck is pulled off the side of the road and smells like burning death. Dad says the clutch burned out. That makes me laugh.


The condo is lovely. Last night when I got here, I went to the ocean and put my feet in and giggled like a child. Here is the view from the balcony this morning:

I am attempting to teach Dad that the internet is non-scary. So far I have shown him photos of some of my people. To each of them, he said, “Killer.” This is not the best experiment, but I am undaunted.

Today we are going to WALMART. You know. As you do. On vacation.

More excitement soon!

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always ourselves we find in the sea

As you read this (well, if you’re reading it when it posts, I mean, of COURSE you all drop what you’re doing when I post, right? RIGHT), I am about an hour from getting on the road, heading to the airport. Because I am a very poor poor person, my dad’s footing my vacation. Yes, I know, that’s kind of sad. I’ve decided not to feel overly guilty about it. I know I SHOULD, but listen, I have not had a vacation, a real one, in ten years. The last vacation I had that was not me going to my parents’ cabin in the woods (now THAT sounds creepy) for a week and that barely counts as a vacation was right before I moved back to New York, when my friend and I went to California for a long weekend and it was GLORIOUS. So yes, I know. I should feel ultra-guilty that I am a grown woman whose father has to pay the bill for her vacation. But otherwise, I would not GET a vacation. Also, it’s not like he gave me a choice. He kind of just told me to take the time off and emailed me the plane tickets the next day. Yes, I’m spoiled rotten. I know. I KNOW.

I’m leaving out of another airport than the one in my town, because for some reason the plane tickets were hundreds of dollars cheaper if you flew out of the teeny-tiny airport close to my parents’ house and not the normal-sized airport near my house. I don’t know, either. So this morning, I’m in the car and on the way to upstate New York. Yes, I’m aware of the irony of driving the opposite direction from my ultimate direction to get to my ultimate direction.

Oh, and I will of course be sneaking up on my poor cousin that I haven’t seen in over twenty years and pretending to be a psychostalker and saying his name and seeing if I can startle him. My dad says maybe that’s a bad idea because he’s a cop and he might be “packing heat” but I said he’s not an air marshal, so probably he’s not “packing heat” on the plane. My dad says that cops can “pack heat” wherever they want. I asked him if that was a euphemism. He told me he didn’t know what that meant and to stop using big words to try to confuse him. Oh, and in other “what the hell, Mom and Dad” news, my mom ACTUALLY WARNED ME not to join the mile-high club while on the plane. When I asked her who she thought I’d be joining it with, she said, “Well, I don’t know who you might meet, but those bathrooms are really unsanitary.” THANKS FOR CALLING ME A DIRTY WHORE MOM.

I'm pretty sure this sign means "Don't do the nasty in here, you'll catch salmonella."

I just checked the internet about what I can and can’t take on an airplane, because I haven’t been on one since 2000. You remember what it was like in 2000, right? All willy-nilly with the weaponry and the liquids and such because we weren’t afraid of the terrorists winning. Now there are SO MANY RULES. You can’t have gel inserts in your shoes. I assume because of that shoe-bomber guy, I don’t know. That makes me laugh, but sadly. Sadly laugh. I also am a little distressed I can’t seem to bring a bottle of water onto the plane. I get VERY THIRSTY. My father informs me that for a large amount of money I can buy water once I get past security. Listen, I’d probably pay ten dollars for a bottle of water to bring on a plane. I don’t like to go places without water. If I’m somewhere without water I get stressed out. When I’m stressed out, I’m thirsty. IT IS A VICIOUS CYCLE. Is it a vicious cycle or circle? Can it be both? Both sound equally possible.

Anyway, things I can’t bring on the plane are nunchucks (dammit!), baseball bats (d’oh!) and my aforementioned bottle of water. I can bring breast milk, which will come in handy in case I find a lost child who is nursing. Also, I cannot put lighters in my checked luggage. It’s a good thing I’m not checking any luggage, because all I’m bringing to Florida is a BAG FULL OF LIGHTERS. No clothes, no laptop. JUST ALL THE LIGHTERS. Now that I know I can bring them, it’s all I can think about. It didn’t mention nail clippers, which has me confused, because my dad was all “NO NO NO NAILCLIPPERS! Those TSA bastards will steal your nailclippers and sell them on Ebay and use that money to go on vacation.” And now I’m petrified of losing my $.99 nailclippers I bought at Rite Aid so I think I’ll leave them home. Even though they weren’t even mentioned on the TSA website. Oh, also I can’t bring knives, which is worrisome. How will I stab people who sit too close to me, or open my airplane pretzels?

I'm not even making it up. You can totally buy craploads of TSA-confiscated knives and shit on Ebay.

Then I will be on a plane for three hours. I don’t know anything about this. It’s like being an ASTRONAUT, what with the uncharted territory I’ll be traversing. Can I use my cell phone on the plane? (UPDATE UPDATE I spoke to my lovely friend R. at work today, who is a ray of sunshine, and she says I can only use my phone until the doors close, then I’ll have no service, so if I want to use it, I should load it up with games and use it in airplane mode. THANK YOU R!) Should I bring a book in case I can’t? (UPDATE I have TWO books! I’m prepared!) Will I get a window seat? I asked my mom and she said it depends, and that I’m not allowed to elbow anyone out of the way for one. Dammit. Will the person next to me want to chat? My mom flew down on Sunday and she was SO EXCITED because the woman next to her wanted to chat THE WHOLE TIME and her husband owned a McDonald’s and they talked about that FOR THREE HOURS. Um. I can’t imagine that would be something I’d want to talk about. I told my mother that sounded like possibly the worst time ever, and she said, “I know, when it was happening, I thought, oh, Amy would hate this, and probably want to smother this woman with an airline pillow.” Can I bring my teeny tiny shitty MP3 player in case the person next to me DOES want to chat so I’ll have music playing and I can gesture to it helplessly like, “What are you going to do? Can’t hear you! Music’s playing!” SO MANY QUESTIONS. These questions were not answered on the TSA or the airline FAQ pages. I checked.

I may develop a drinking problem.

Once I get there, my father will be waiting for me. I asked him to have a sign that said my last name and to also wear very dark sunglasses and look impassive but he said he wasn’t going to do that, so I told him way to crush my dream. This did not move him, though. He’s really quite immovable when it comes to dream-crushing. Then we will drive back to the condo. I’m sure this will be exciting because I have not seen him in person since Christmas and I will talk his ear off. He alternately likes that and hates that and sometimes sighs dramatically and sticks a finger in his ear and wiggles it around as if his ear is sore or broken. Don’t worry. It doesn’t stop me from talking. He’s immovable about pretending I’m a celebrity at the airport, I’m immovable about not ever ever ever shutting up. It’s a thing.

Kind of like this, only more black ops. What, wouldn't that be the funniest? It's like my dream.

THEN THEN THEN. Once we’re at the condo it will be late but I am PROMISED Dad has a number of flashlights and I am welcome to go frolic on the beach in the dark. He said to just watch out for crabs and poisonous jellyfish. Well, that’s not at all worrisome. I want to say hi to the Atlantic Ocean. I think it wants me to say hi to it. I mean, it’s been waiting for me to come back and see it since the last time I saw it which I think was 1995, so it’s probably been pretty bereft without me.

Then I will fall asleep in my room with the screen doors open so I can hear the ocean ALL NIGHT LONG. I know. It’s kind of the most exciting. Dad says I will not be able to sleep because that ocean is SO LOUD. He hates the sound of the ocean. That makes me laugh the hardest. I don’t understand why he keeps getting a condo on the beach if he hates the sound of the ocean so much. His complaint about the ocean? “IT NEVER STOPS.” I tried to explain that if it stopped, the world probably would, too, and we’d all be dead, but he didn’t seem to understand or appreciate my totally awesome logic. I will be able to sleep JUST FINE with the sound of the ocean. Because I sleep year-round with a fan on just for the white noise. I know, it would be smarter to have a white-noise machine. But I tried that and I didn’t like it. It bothered me. I am a weirdo.

Then I have a WHOLE WEEK ZOMG in Florida. There will be zoo-visiting. There will be flea-market visiting. There is the potential for a visit to some sort of turtle sanctuary. (I KNOW! This is a new thing that was just sprung on me recently. I’m very excited about the potential to see ALL THE RESCUED TURTLES.) There was the possibility of seeing Jim, which made me so excited I ALMOST died, but unfortunately Jim and I are two ships passing in the Florida night and will not be able to meet. See, Jim is going on a business trip to Florida while I’m in Florida, and there was the possibility his plane would come into the airport near my condo, but that was not the case after all. I told Dad about this potential scenario and he was all, “Oh, that’s nice,” and I said “Won’t that be fun? Jim’s totally an Amy’s Dad fan, he would love to meet you!” and Dad said “I AM NOT GOING. He’ll expect me to be FUNNY. I’m not a trained SEAL. I can’t perform on COMMAND. I’ll give you the car. You can go ALL BY YOURSELF. Don’t crash that car, I need it to get home.” However, he didn’t even once say that Jim might murder me, so I’m really pleased with this development. Apparently, Jim gets a pass from Dad on the “all internet people are spies, assassins, or psychokillers” thing. I’m pretty sure it’s because I told Dad that Jim’s a Republican. IMMEDIATE LOVE FOR ALL REPUBLICANS! That’s Dad for you. That’s ok. I think that Florida might sink from the awesome with both Jim and me in it at the same time ZOMG, so look out, Florida, the collective awesomeness in you this week might be mind-boggling, even if we don’t get to meet. Someday I WILL meet Jim and we will have the best of times so WATCH OUT MERKA.

Oh, also, apparently we’re going to every single happy hour in Florida to try every single margarita. I’m completely down with that. I’ll drink all the slushy drinks that the town has to offer. Oh, and eat all the seafood. And and AND, Dad found one bar that is on the water and apparently, while you are drinking the margaritas and eating the seafood, DOLPHINS SOMETIMES SWIM BY. I think that sounds like something that happens in a movie and will believe it when I see it.

I'm going to drink these until I fall down or I get brain freeze. Either way.

So, there you have it. Yes, I promise to blog while I’m in Florida, complete with a ton of photos of me having adventures. I’m bringing the laptop. The TSA website says I can. I CHECKED. And also Dad knows that I need at least 2-3 hours a day for computer time. He calls that my “dealing with those weird internet people” time, which makes me laugh. He has also been informed I will be Tweeting while we visit places together. I have been told to inform you all “that kind of behavior is very rude and NO DAUGHTER OF MINE would have behaved like that BEFORE SHE MET ALL OF YOU.” I consider this a win for all of you, because it implies he believes you all exist. DING DING DING WIN WIN WIN. (Oh, side note, my dad was VERY CLEAR on the fact that I am NOT to take any photos of him for internet viewing. “I don’t want those people to see me,” he said. “Then they’ll be tracking me. And I can’t have that.” No, Dad, we can’t have that. They might see you go to the grocery store for soda, or the gas station for lotto tickets. OH THE HORROR.)

However, tomorrow’s blog might not be at the EXACT TIME YOU HAVE GROWN TO EXPECT IT. It might. And I’ll do my best. But I am not promising anything. I might be frolicking with the turtles, who knows, and it might be a little delayed.

Send “plane, please stay up in the air” thoughts, because, although a turbulence-filled flight would make for a very funny blog post, a fiery death by airline crash would not.

Here I go!

Who could ever, ever ask for more? Love without complications galore!

Remember a few days ago, I was all, hey, we don’t talk about sex enough around here? Well, friends, neighbors, and, yes, especially you, Ding Dong Joe, the TIME has COME. It’s Saturday! And it’s time for talking about ALL THE SEX! OK, well maybe not all the sex. SOME of the sex. And, just a warning, it’s probably not all that sexy. More “perplexing” and “generally off-putting” and “ew ew ew”-ing, overall. Sorry. Did you think things were actually going to get SEXY around here? Oh, I’m sorry. No. No, they’re not.

Are you ready?


This scares me so, so much, I can't even. SO MUCH.

In this article I discovered today (helpfully entitled “Robots: The gateway to ‘mind-blowing sex’?” NO THEY ARE NOT I ANSWERED YOUR QUESTION) I learned some very important things.


The gentleman above (please put air-quotes around “gentleman”), Douglas Hines, the founder of True Companion, has invented the horrifying soulless sex-doll up there. Her name is Roxxxy. The triple-xxxs are for how SEXXXY she is. She is also programmable, so Roxxxy can become Wild Wanda or Frigid Farrah. No, don’t think too hard about why you’d want to purchase a $7,000-$9,000 sex doll and program her to NOT have sex with you (unless you can program her to clean your house or go to to work for you so you can sleep in and blog all day, in which case, yep, I’ll take one, please, as long as I don’t have to touch her in any sort of carnal manner, ew.)

Apparently, according to this article, by 2050, all prostitution is going to be with robots. Because robots are cleanly. And can be hosed off between uses. (NO the article didn’t say “hosed off.” I did.) If we use sex robots, it will cut down on STDs and human trafficking. Well, I’m down with that. No one likes those things.


According to the article, “What’s more, the authors add that robots will be so good at their job that they could serve as a gateway to ‘mind-blowing sex that few people currently experience.’ This, in turn, will make more people open to sex with a robot.”

Heh, “open to sex with a robot.” I am…apparently five years old.

Um. I don’t…really? There are men that read this blog. I’ve seen them. Would you have sex with a sex robot, men that read my blog? FINE, pretend you’re not married, if that’s what’s stopping you. Does that photo above turn your crank? Comment anonym0usly, if you want. I don’t care. I’m honestly curious. Like, maybe not because you’re turned ON by sex robots. But, maybe out of curiosity, or something? Just once, to see what it’s like to have sex with a sex robot? I think it’s important that I know this information.

OK, so you KNOW that I researched the website of this sex robot company, right? Of course I did.

OK, so here it is. It’s not REALLY NSFW, but it’s a little ick, so proceed with caution, my little marshmallow peeps.

On the homepage, you see one of the sex robots. You can tell she’s a sex robot because she’s all arched up. Also, shiny. Because she’s made of plastic. SEXXXY plastic. If you left her in the car on a hot day, your sex robot would get melty.

Apparently, the article I quoted above had overly-inflated prices. The prices are MUCH more reasonable. For only $995-$7,000, YOU, TOO, can own a sex robot. Because they’re having a SALE. I love sales, I don’t know if I can resist now.

Now, I’d love to show you some sex robots, but there don’t seem to be a lot of photos. So apparently, you just have to trust True Companion to send you something super-sexy.

For $995, you can get a Roxxxy Pillow. This is just what it sounds like. It is a PILLOW you can FORNICATE WITH. Here’s what the site has to say about the pillow you can screw:

“RoxxxyPillow is a sex robot which is 50 pounds and is stored within a pillow. We basically took our RoxxxySilver, took away the arms and legs and created a pillow which the head and body of the sex robot are stored within. The price is right, she is light and very discreet!”

It has no ARMS or LEGS. It is a HEAD and a BODY. So, in other words, if you buy it, you are getting this:

Tell me someone other than me remembers the movie "Boxing Helena." If not, I'm going to be one sad panda.

No, you’re not really getting Sherilyn Fenn. You’re getting that horrifying object at the top of my blog up there with the lamprey-mouth. Made of plastic.

But, no, wait, apparently that photo above was from 2010. Listen, it’s 2012! Technology is SO MUCH MORE ADVANCED NOW! This is what your sex robot will look like now:

Um. This is not that much better. I think I had those earrings in the 80s, though.Those dead, dead eyes will haunt me to my grave. It would be like screwing one of those heads that hairdressers practice perms on.

So you’ve got your sex pillow – your “light and very discreet” sex pillow (ZOMG, you could totally take it on business trips – “what’s that, Frank?” “Oh, nothing, just a…um…pillow…I brought with me…because…I don’t like…hotel pillows…”) if you want something on the lower-end, price-wise. But what if you’re just rolling in the money and love having sex with plastic?

Your mid-range sex robot – the RoxxxySilver – TOTALLY has arms and legs. Whoo, what a relief, right? But not as portable. You can’t sling her in a pillowcase and carry her around to have random sex with. That’s a shame, you never know when your urge to have sex with a robot will strike.

Want to hear more about RoxxxySilver? Well, of course you do.

From the website:

“RoxxxySilver is the entry level price for our full size Roxxxy robot (with arms and legs). She is basically the same general features as RoxxxyGold but she can only talk “sex talk” when she is interacting and she cannot hear. The base price for RoxxxySilver is $2,995.00.”

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “What’s this ‘sex talk’ thing? Why is she deaf? WHAT IS HAPPENING?”

Yes, minions. The sex robots TALK TO YOU. And LISTEN TO YOU. And, if you buy the pricey one? THEY INTERACT WITH YOU LIKE THE CREEPY ROBOT PEOPLE IN THAT A.I. MOVIE.

I like that this robot can only talk “sex talk.” I can’t even imagine how UNsexy this must be. Can you even imagine some of the dialogue from a porn, but in a weird electronic robot voice? “Har-der, fas-ter, yes yes yes” but all metallic and shit? NO THANK YOU.

Here’s a video of it talking. I’d embed it, because it’s HILARIOUS, but that “gentleman” above started pulling off the robot’s panties 3/4 of the way through and it took a total dark turn and I don’t want that here. But if you want to see the robot talk and a really, really awkward scientist-type guy try to make it look sexxxy and it is SO NOT SEXXXY, please click. Seriously, the whole time I was watching this I was all, “what is happening WHAT IS HAPPENING.” And also laughing like a moron. And saying “ew ew ew SO NOT SEXXY.” You have got to see this thing move. And the whirring, clicking noises it makes. It is possibly the worst thing I’ve seen all week. And I watch a LOT of crap.

OK, so now you’re super-rich and you want ALL the bells and ALL the whistles? RoxxxyGold, baby.

“RoxxxyGold is our premiere full size sex robot (with arms and legs). She looks exactly like RoxxxySilver. The major difference between RoxxxyGold and RoxxxySilver is that RoxxxyGold can hear you when you speak and she does not just carry on ‘sex talk’.”

Well, then RoxxxyGold is more likely to murder you in your sleep and pod-people you and take over your life, just so you know.

What else can Roxxxy do? Well, without being too graphic…um…here, I’ll let the website tell you.

Roxxxy is designed using the body of a fine arts model. All three Roxxxy’s have three “inputs” and are anatomically consistent with real woman!  (Hee, “inputs.” That couldn’t be less sexxxy and more electronic if it tried.)

RoxxxyGold can listen, talk, carry on a conversation and feel your touch as well as move her private areas inside when she is being “utilized”, for an unforgettable erotic experience. (“Unforgettable” or “forever burned into your brain area, so much so that a celebrated therapist couldn’t extricate it?” Also, “feel your touch?” That is horrifying.)

RoxxxyGold has a personality which is matched as much as possible to your personality. So she likes what you like, dislikes what you dislike, etc. She also has moods during the day just like real people! She can be sleepy, conversational or she can “be in the mood”! (Why does this company assume I want to have sex with someone JUST LIKE ME? I’m not that great. I think I’d like to be with someone as UNLIKE me as possible. If we were always in the same mood that would get old fast. Also, sometimes Roxxxy is sleepy? Or conversational? What if I don’t feel like chatting? She sounds like the worst roommate ever.)

Oh, and and AND, on top of the Frigid Farrah and Wild Wanda nonsense, there are three other personalities – a young girl (EW EW), an old woman (what?) and a dominatrix. And – ready? “You can add to the 5 preloaded girlfriend profiles and your Roxxxy’s personality. You can also change the existing 5 personalities to better suit your preferences!”

You are aware what this means, right?

This is totally about making one’s own Buffybot. No joke. Well, except it’s creepy. It’s totally creepy. Well, I mean, I guess the Buffybot was creepy, too, since she was created to be Spike’s sex robot, but at least she was HOT.

Don’t worry – if you are only turned on my certain hair or eye colors, that’s totally customizable, as well. My favorite choice for hair color that was offered was “patchy.” There was a photo but it was very small. All I could think of when I saw the word “patchy” was when in the movie The Craft they put that spell on the bitchy swimmer and her hair fell out in clumps and the special effects were so horrible? So, that’s sexxxy.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. But I like to have sex with MEN-TYPE PEOPLE! Well. Don’t you even WORRY.

There’s also Rocky. The MALE sex-robot.

Rocky is described as everyone’s dream date! – just imagine putting together a great body along with a sparkling personality where your man is focused on making you happy! This is Rocky!

When you are using Rocky’s private “area”, it is like sleeping with a beautiful hunk that is really big down there and he moves it around to please you instead of just pleasing himself! Plus, the vibrations from his manhood coupled with his erotic personality is described as unbeatable. He also waits for you to finish before he calls it a night!

Hmm. Private “area.” Those seem like oddly-placed quotes. Also, I think all the men I’ve been with have been broken. Their manhoods did not vibrate. I am really disappointed right now.

I’d love to show you a picture of Rocky, mainly because I want to see Rocky, but there are NO PHOTOS. I am having trouble believing Rocky exists. I think Rocky is a Canadian girlfriend.

And YES, I will totally answer my own question from above. I’d have to see Rocky the Sex Robot before I make that call, but preemptively, I’m going to say that no. No, I would not, even out of curiosity, have sex with a sex robot. Because I think it would make me laugh so hard I’d injure myself, and how the hell do you explain THAT when the EMTs show up? “Oh, this? This is my…um…sex robot…oh, please don’t make me laugh again, please, I think I’ve pulled something.”

Now, the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website has a lot of important things we need to know, such as:

For a date, what kind of place would Roxxxy like to go and which personality would you suggest be turned on for this kind of romantic setting? 

She is comfortable staying home and watching a movie or ordering dinner to be delivered.

(In other words, please, PLEASE, for the love of PETE, do NOT bring your sex robot to Burger King. You’ll scare the children. The only person who could carry that out and still seem adorable was Ryan Gosling in the sex doll movie.)

See? Still adorable. Gosling is made of magic and rainbows.

Does she have an off switch? 

Yes, she has an off switch.

(You know, in case you don’t feel like that robotic voice chattering away to you all the time, constantly BOTHERING you, even when you’re trying to SLEEP, and when you’re not home, the FedEx guy would show up and hear it and be all, “I know someone’s in there! I can hear you!” and Frigid Farrah would be all, “Don’t touch me there, Chuck” and FedEx would NEVER deliver your packages AGAIN and possibly would also call the cops. Do you really want that on your head? Do you?)

Is it true she can talk about soccer?

She can talk to you about soccer, about your stocks in the stock market, etc.

(ZOMG she can talk about SPORTS. And STOCKS. Well, this is an interesting development and makes her totally more sexxxy…no, no wait, no, it doesn’t. Still creepy. Still totally creepy.)

And…in case you were wondering…

We have a cleaning kit which takes care of any messes that may occur.

Oh, good. Good, good, good. So if I drop a whole English muffin pizza on Rocky’s private “area”, I have a way to clean that up. I mean, that’s hypothetical, of course. That didn’t happen to anyone in this household tonight, if you replace “Rocky’s private ‘area'” with “Amy’s khakis.”

And – AND – because I’m always looking out for you, and it’s a shitty economy right now – True Companion is hiring. I can’t guarantee the job opportunity isn’t “you have to have sex with a sex robot without laughing or crying hysterically while people watch,” though. The posting’s kind of vague. What? Stop complaining. Like my mom says when I complain about my job, “It’s a JOB. Do you WANT to be living out of a dumpster?” No, Mom. No, I don’t. I don’t know if I’d ever be living out of a dumpster? I don’t think people actually live out of dumpsters. I think that’s something moms say to scare their children.

(Title’s from one of my favorite songs of all time – The Dresden Dolls’ “Coin-Operated Boy.” Here. Watch. You’ll love. Promise.)

All the lonely people, where do they all belong?

Earlier this week, I was directed toward this article in The Atlantic about how Facebook is the downfall of society as we know it.

Now, it’s a long article. TEN PAGES. I know you’re totally all busy people and don’t have time to be reading ten pages from The Atlantic. So what did I do, because I’m the most helpful human being in the history of all the world? Printed this sucker out and red-penciled it for you while I read it. I know. You’re probably all totally impressed right now. Don’t be too impressed. I did it at work. And when my coworkers came by, I pretended I was proofreading something work-related. I know. It was evil. But also the smartest. And the most multi-tasky.

In a nutshell: the author hates Facebook and spends ten pages telling you how it makes us all lonely and eschew REAL-LIFE social interaction for fake internet relationships.

Oh, you want me to go into MORE detail? Or, you don’t WANT me to, but you’ve come to expect such from one such as me? Sure. Sure, I can do that.

The author, Stephen Marche, has a theory. The theory is, as our social networking grows quicker and our social networks broader, our real-life interaction – which, to him, is the only way to keep the evil, evil loneliness at bay – disappears. Therefore, we’re a nation of lonely, sad people, just sitting in front of our screens, hanging our hopes on other sad, lonely people who aren’t real friends at all.

So alone. Sooooo aloooone.

He backs this up with nebulous facts and figures that, to the critical eye, seem to have little to do with the situation at hand. For example: “A 2010 AARP study found that 35 percent of adults older than 45 were chronically lonely, as opposed to 20 percent of a similar group only a decade earlier.” Well, that’s sad. And I feel sorry for these lonely people. However, according to this website I found with a quick Google search, only 32% of people over the age of 45 are even using social media, as opposed to 67% under the age of 45. If you look a little further down on their infographic, it even breaks down Facebook users by age – and only 19% of total Facebook users are over the age of 45. So this, to me, doesn’t seem like the best use of facts and figures. Shouldn’t a study have been used testing the loneliness levels of those UNDER the age of 45, since they’re the ones more likely to be using the product that’s being vilified?

He also brings up other statistics about loneliness: we’re more likely to be in non-traditional families and live alone (which he follows with a “heh, heh, but of course THAT, ALONE, doesn’t mean you’re lonely, heh heh”) and that people who are religious tend to be less lonely (followed by a sentence about how probably also religion might NOT help with the loneliness – um, way to waffle, Marche.)

He says the best way to measure loneliness is to use the UCLA Loneliness Scale. Well, you know I researched that puppy. Here it is, in case you wanted to know how lonely you are.

Ten pages. The article was TEN PAGES LONG. And what it boils down to is this:

  • The author is transparently biased against social media.
  • The author thinks that – and I quote – “Facebook is primarily a platform for lonely skulking.”
  • The author thinks that looking at other people’s triumphs on social media will make you more depressed about your own life.
  • The author thinks that America’s national pastime is loneliness; that, through our pioneer spirit, we have fostered loneliness, and that will be our downfall.
  • The author thinks that, because of social media, we are no longer able to either interact with others meaningfully, or be alone with ourselves, and this is dangerous.
  • The author thinks that we are the loneliest we have ever been, and has facts and figures he says back up this assertion.
  • The author does not believe that friendships can exist anywhere but in real life – “The ‘real thing’ being actual people, in the flesh.”

Well. That’s a lot of assertions. Good thing this article was TEN DAMN PAGES LONG MARCHE.

The title of the article is “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely.” If you go into an article already knowing what your stance is, probably make it more of an assertion. “Facebook is Making Us Lonely.” Something like that. Right? I mean, I’d punch up the title by putting in some ALL CAPS or a song quote or something, but not everyone can be as awesome about titles as I am. I know. I’m sorry.

Now that we know what Marche thinks, let’s talk about what I think. What, you thought I was going to let this go? Nope. That’d be unlike me.

Let’s take his assertions one by one.

Social media is the devil.

Well, social media is what you make of it. It’s an excellent tool for a lot of things. Let’s take Facebook. It’s great for staying in touch with far-flung loved ones (for example: how would I have seen a photo of Baby Girl Awesomesauce less than 12 hours after she was born, were it not for Facebook? Email, I suppose. But it’s a lot easier for a dad who’s just dealt with a whole day of his wife’s labor to post a photo on Facebook for everyone to see than it is for him to fiddle around emailing it to his contact list but make sure you don’t email EVERYONE, I mean, you don’t want to email, say, PayPal, or that guy you had a fight with that time, or whatever. Oh, and by the way, Baby Girl Awesomesauce a., is BEAUTIFUL, b., has the most wonderful feet, c. will hereafter be known by her new blog alias, which is Ceevee) and it’s excellent for keeping up with what’s going on locally if you’re involved with something like theater, because there’s always something going on, and I could never keep up with it all if it weren’t for Facebook event invites and such. It’s also got a lot of crap on it. “Please repost if you believe in not killing puppies with makeshift potato guns” and such. I know. But if you’re intelligent, you can either skim over that, or you can hide those people from your feed. There are always going to be asshats. That’s just the way of the world.

Social media is also a must if you’re in any facet of the entertainment industry, all the way from Oprah to the lowliest little blogger named Amy. You make networks and connections and you sell your product and you put yourself out there. Not using social media to its full advantage is like trying to run with your ankles tied together. It’s ridiculous. (Also, it bears note that at the bottom of the article in The Atlantic, there’s a link to the author’s Twitter and Facebook pages. It’s like RAAAIIINNN on your WEDDINNNNGGG DAAAYYYY. Don’tcha think?)

Facebook is primarily a platform for “lonely skulking.”

"And the towel boy snickers as he walks by the lonesome skulker." Virtual internet cookies to whoever gets that bastardized reference withOUT a Google search.

Um. Well, first, wow. I can see someone saying this about Twitter more than Facebook, to be honest. You can be a lot more anonymous on Twitter than you can on Facebook. I mean, I guess what the author means is, you’re there reading everyone’s status updates and not interacting and being all troll-like or something? And sure, there are people who do that. But why are you friends with those people? That’s your fault. Don’t friend weirdos. RULE NUMBER ONE DON’T FRIEND WEIRDOS.

Also, this wasn’t marketed as an op-ed piece, yet the author’s opinion on Facebook came through loud and clear. Listen. I am not head-over-heels with Facebook. It has its problems. I know that. I don’t check it as obsessively as I check Twitter. But as a tool? It’s kind of invaluable. I mean, I got to catch up recently with a friend from high school I haven’t spoken to in almost twenty years. One of the GOOD ones from high school. One of the few. Where else would you get to do that? Would you stalk him and send him a letter, for the love of Pete? Facebook can be annoying, sure. But, as with anything else, it’s a good tool, if used properly.

Heh, “lonely skulking.” Does it help you create a mental image of this author if I tell you his regular gig is as a writer for Esquire? Thought it might.

Looking at other’s triumphs on Facebook will make you more depressed about your own life.

Dammit! My friends are so HAPPY. I HATE THEM.

Well, again, that’s on you. If you are so insecure about your own life that you’re all green-eyed monster whenever one of your friends has a triumph, that’s really your issue, not theirs, and not Facebook’s. Do I sometimes see something one of my friends has done and have a fleeting flash of envy? Of course I do, don’t be insane. I’m not a robot. But I’m secure enough in my own life, and the amazing things therein, to say, hey, listen, I’VE GOT IT PRETTY DAMN GOOD OVER HERE. Also, I love my friends. LOVE THEM. And if they’re triumphing? I’m celebrating that for them. I have some of the best friends in the world. I want all good things for them. It would break my heart if all they posted were negative things. So when two of my friends got engaged last week? I cheered out loud. When I read that Ceevee was born and saw her perfect little footprints? I cried a little, thinking of how I’ve known her mom for twenty years and am so, so happy that she’s now a mom and that Ceevee is perfection and she’s married to a great guy and I couldn’t be happier for her. There are no sour grapes in that. There’s pure, unadulterated happiness. I want all of my friends to have the most amazing things in their lives. Don’t you all want that? And if you don’t – well, maybe shine the light on the beam in your own eye, you know? If you can’t rejoice in the triumphs of the people you love – well, I don’t want to be judgey, but there might be a hole in your life you might want to look into filling somehow, and Facebook’s not going to do that for you.

America’s national pastime, brought upon by our pioneering spirit, is loneliness 


Now, this is just kind of stupid, to be frank. Who can judge such a thing? I can just see this guy coming up with this while “lonely skulking” at his computer, all Mr. Burns-y rubbing his hands together, thinking he’d reinvented the wheel with this theory. (In additional “I thought of a cool thing, Momma!” news, he says the great American poem is Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” the great American novel is Melville’s Moby-Dick, and the great American essay is Emerson’s “Self-Reliance.” Who appointed you poobah of choosing such things for me, Marche? I’m an American and I’d choose otherwise. I bet a lot of other Americans would, too. And you didn’t even throw in an “arguably” or something. You put it as these ARE the great American works. Wow, I’m glad I know now! I can just stop reading, then!) I don’t even have a rebuttal for this point; it’s just that foolish. Also, being alone does not always mean you are lonely. This is a point which Marche brings up, actually, a number of times throughout the article. However, he then goes on to say that cowboys, pilgrims, and astronauts, all American icons, all struck out on their own, and are deified in our culture; being alone, they must have been lonely, and therefore, we worship loneliness. You’re double-talking, Marche.

Social media does not allow us to interact with one another meaningfully; nor does it allow us to ever be truly alone, which we all need.

Let’s just ignore the fact that the whole essay is all “YOU SHOULD NEVER BE ALONE YOUR SOUL WILL WITHER AND DIE” and therefore ignore the second half of this assertion, ok? It’s how he sums up the article. The end honestly reads like a junior-high kid who just learned how to write a five-paragraph essay but didn’t realize you’re not supposed to introduce new information in the last paragraph. Is the fact that, with the addition of social media in our lives, we’re never truly alone, an interesting one? Yes. Does it belong in this essay? No. It’s stuff for another essay altogether. This is akin to a beginning chef adding JUST ONE MORE ingredient to a dish, and being surprised when it flops. You need to know when to stop.

As to whether social media allows us to interact with one another meaningfully – well, I’ll go into that in more detail in a moment. But I’ll bring up an example. Jim – you all know Jim, right? Jim’s one of my favorite humans – is doing a walk to benefit ABOARD’s Autism Connection of Pennsylvania. Through mainly social media, in just one week, he beat his goal of $1,000 in donations to go to the charity. (He’s still collecting! He’s not done! Click the link and help him DOUBLE his total, how about? It barely hurts at all, promise.) Is that not a meaningful interaction? People who’ve never actually met Jim, or his family, donating money because he’s an amazing human being and he’s walking for a good cause? I could bring up hundreds of other examples. Thousands, probably. People whose lives have been saved because the support of their social network. People who’ve married people they’ve met online. People who’ve started businesses, donated organs, money, time, hell, things as inconsequential as made each other laugh. Who are you, Marche, to say these are not meaningful social interactions? 

We are the loneliest we’ve ever been. 

You can tell how lonely this guy is by the sad, sad mirror. And pouty duck-lips.

Well, I cast some light on one of the statistics that Marche used to come up with this assertion above.  And over at Slate, the actual author of one of the studies quoted says that the study Marche used isn’t considered a good source – he thinks that the results somehow came out skewed. This seems to be an example of someone skewing the results to fit the picture they want to paint. Listen, when I was in high school, I was on the yearbook committee, and we did this shit ALL THE TIME. We did these senior polls, and if we didn’t like how they turned out, we’d manipulate the numbers until they looked better. It happens. On a small level, in a podunk high school, and on a bigger level, like in The Atlantic. Or on Fox News. Ahem. Sorry, Dad. Moving on.

Friendships can’t exist anywhere except in real life. 

This is what bothered me the most about the article. This is what made me stabby. This is what made me sit down and write this post.

OK, so I took the UCLA Loneliness Scale test I mentioned above. I scored barely above the average, which means I’m only slightly more lonely than your average Joe or Jane.

Had I taken that same test a year ago, before I discovered social media (mainly Twitter – I was on Facebook, but just barely, a year ago, and Facebook’s never been my drug of choice)? I would have scored much, much higher. Dangerously into the red on the old loneliness scale.

Now, I know I’m not your average American. I know I’m not good at the social interaction and I actually PREFER the social interaction I get with a keyboard and a screen. I’m not saying I eschew the face-to-face interaction. I’m just not overly good at it. I never have been. You’re a lot less likely to say something ridiculously embarrassing or to spill spaghetti sauce on your blouse if you’re interacting with a computer. Also, I kind of have social anxiety where my whole chest closes up when I have to be social? So my circle of friends was small.

Introduce social media into that – well, maybe it doesn’t work for some people. It’s worked wonders for me. I’ve met people from all over that I just adore. People that I would never have met otherwise. I started blogging. I built a community that I never had a chance to build in real life, due to issues in childhood and trust issues and anxiety issues and issues issues issues ad infinitum.

So Marche tells us that the people you meet online aren’t REAL friends. Huh. Well. I do have to wonder what his definition of friend is. His seems to be “someone you see in real life regularly.” And that’s it. End sentence. And maybe that was a definition of friendship pre-internet. But doesn’t that seem limited now?

To me, a friend is someone you can share your day with. Your secrets. Someone you can rejoice with and commiserate with. Someone you worry about and love as fiercely as family; someone you’d do anything for; someone you look forward to interacting with, someone you laugh with, someone you can have long, rambling talks with. Someone who accepts you just exactly how you are, yet isn’t afraid to call you out on your bullshit. Someone who knows you’ll always be there, someone you know will always be there.

Does this seem fair? Does this seem like a fair definition of a friend to you?

I have these people in real life. Of course I do.

However, I have these people on the internet, as well. People that I’ve met through social media. People that I’ve met – virtually, perhaps, not in real life, but virtually – that mean as much to me as the people I’ve spent real-life time with.

“What? You’re FRIENDS with people you met via SOCIAL MEDIA? INCONCEIVABLE!” I can hear you now, Marche. And you know what Inigo Montoya would say to that, right?

I’m not saying EVERYONE I’ve met via social media is my immediate BFF. Don’t be absurd. It’s much like real life; some people you click with, some you don’t, and some you downright loathe. However, you’re meeting people who have similar interests, so you find a lot more people you click with.

People that immediately discount relationships that either began on or continue on the internet as “not real” make me insane. They also make me aware that they either tried social networking and were utter failures at it, or refuse to try it at all. It’s rude to discount internet friendships and relationships as not real. They’re just as real as the friends in your life that you can touch and see. “But you don’t KNOW them!” Well, do we really know anyone? Do we, really? I mean, you could be best friends with someone and hang out at their house all the time and still find out that they’re a drug addict or they beat their wife when you’re not around or something. We’ve all heard interviews with people who knew serial killers or mass murderers – knew them IN REAL LIFE – and it’s always the same thing. “They seemed so NICE!” Friendship is a big old scary leap of faith. Every single damn time. No matter if the person is sitting there right in front of you, or if that person is across the world from you.

There’s no difference, none at all, between an in-the-flesh friendship and an internet friendship. (And, not to throw a wrench in your works, Marche, but as the year progresses, here, I have plans to MEET some of the internet people. IN REAL LIFE. Therefore making them IRL friends, right? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio. You know the drill.) The people I’ve met online that I consider my closet friends – they’re right up there with my closest friends that I have dinner with and I hang out with in person. They’re ALL my real-life friends. Because they’re all my friends. Because – I’m going to tell you a secret, ready? They’re all people. They share my joys and my sorrows and they’re there for me. And vice-versa. And I love them to distraction. And I want to smack Marche in the face for implying that my friendship with these people is somehow sad or wrong or pathetic. The only thing pathetic here is being judgmental about my life, and the lives of so many of us, Marche. We’ve found our people. Who cares how we got here?

So, IS Facebook making us lonely?

No. It’s not. If you’re lonely, go out and do something about it. Get therapy, talk to someone, I don’t care how you decide to deal with it – just do something about it.

But screw you for blaming social networking for the ills of society, Marche. For some of us, it’s been the best thing that’s ever happened to us. It’s making us LESS lonely. It’s making us feel part of something bigger and better than ourselves. And if you don’t see that – well, I just feel sorry for you, honestly. I wish you had a good friend to talk to about your feelings. Me? I’m good.

I have plenty.

The Continuing Adventures of Our Favorite Fancy World-Traveling Bon Vivant (yes, he still has those jaunty hats)

Now you all remember the story of Ken, the fancy world-traveling bon vivant, I hope. It was quite a hit, celebrated globally. If you don’t, or if you’re new here, you’re going to want to click that link, and catch up. It’s important you have the background information. Also, it’s kind of kickass. I mean, I don’t want to toot my own horn, or anything, but the person who wrote that was kind of irrationally proud of how it all came together, all-told. AND, I mean, you could do worse than a little bon vivantery in your day. Who doesn’t want more bon vivantery? Boring people and weirdos. Are you a boring person? Or a weirdo? I’d think not. Oh, wait, maybe you are. I’m sorry if you’re a boring person or a weirdo. You should still click that link, maybe it would cheer you up, or non-weirdo-ize you, I don’t know.

Anyway, in Ken’s last adventure, Ken saved the day. As Ken does. We also learned about Ken’s bon-vivanting ways, and his friends Fabio and Kate Winslet, and his wife Mrs. Ken, and his dogs, Ella and Louis. And his world-traveling ways. And his arch-nemesis, L. Ron Hubbard. But L. Ron Hubbard died when he fell off the top of the London Eye while attempting to steal all the tea in London. That’s what happens when you cross a world-traveling bon vivant. Oh, shit, I guess I totally just recapped that link. You STILL should click it, there are a lot of other good things in there. Photos and wackiness. It’s worth it. I promise.

But, were you all wondering, are there other Ken stories? The only story of the bon vivant can’t be the one about ALL THAT LONDON TEA. Right? Are there more? MORE STORIES?

Oh, yes. Yes, there are.

But which to tell? There are JUST SO MANY.

What’s that? You’d like to hear the story behind this tweet RIGHT HERE?

Ok. I can do that. All for you, all for you.

Without further ado:

The Mystery of the Missing Concertos (AKA Get Bach to Where You Once Belonged)

When we left Ken, our world traveling bon vivant, he had just saved London and all the tea, and won back the friendship with his BFF, Kate Winslet. All was well in Ken-land. Ken-nebunkport. Ken-ya. It was quite a big adventure.

In the meantime, he didn’t rest on his laurels. Oh, no no. He traveled to an archaeological dig in the desert and found an undiscovered cache of treasures that led to many new historical discoveries; he climbed Mount Everest, saved a Sherpa, and earned the love and approval of all of Nepal; and he drank tea. OH DID HE DRINK TEA. All the tea. Of all the nations.  And of course, Mrs. Ken and Ella and Louis came with him and played a large role in his adventures. His adventures wouldn’t be the same without Mrs. Ken and Ella and Louis. Whose would, really?

Doesn't your life feel more cheerful right now? Mine certainly does.

One day, Ken was reclining in a mountain chalet in Switzerland and reading his many, many newspapers from many exotic foreign lands, as keeping up with news from many locales is important when you are a bon vivant.

This is where bon vivants go to kick back and relax and drink much tea.

Ken noticed there would be a special performance of the Brandenburg concertos at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig, where Bach had worked for a time in the 1700s. Ken had always wanted to visit the Thomaskirche. This seemed like an opportune time, and he did so love Bach’s music.

“Mrs. Ken!” he said. Only of course he did not call her Mrs. Ken. Don’t be absurd. That’s what WE’RE calling her, interwebs. Because we’re POLITE. “Would you like to go to the Thomaskirche with me to hear some Bach as no doubt the composer intended it to be heard?”

“Oh, Ken,” she replied. “That would be the best adventure, but I have been called away to Antarctica to help save an endangered penguin species. Can you take Ella and Louis with you to Germany? It’s much too cold for dogs in Antarctica. Plus they might frighten the penguins when they tried to play with them.”

Ken agreed. Anything for penguins. PENGUINS ARE VERY IMPORTANT. Bon vivants know that, too, you know. I mean, everyone does, but especially bon vivants.

Ella and Louis were very excited to go back to Germany. Well, Louis was very excited. Ella was much classier and reserved about the whole thing. Because Ella is a LADY.

Ken thought, you know who also loves Bach and would love to see the concert?

His BFF Kate Winslet.

So he called Kate Winslet.

“Ken!” she enthused. “Yes, I would LOVE to go to Germany with you! Let me just get my things together and I’ll meet you there soon. Oh, won’t we have a brilliant time? Can we nip over to the Zoological Garden while we’re in town?”

Ken laughed. “Of course we can, Kate Winslet. I wouldn’t possibly expect you to not visit a Zoological Garden if one were available to you. Plus, our favorite crazy-eyed New York blogger would never forgive us if we went to a city with a zoo and didn’t visit that zoo and take many animal photos, and at least one of us making animal-faces.”

So Ken and Mrs. Ken said their goodbyes, and Ken headed off for Germany, while Mrs. Ken headed off for penguin adventures. And now, listen, this story is not about Mrs. Ken? But let me just tell you, she had many adventures in Antarctica. Penguin-saving and dastardly nemeses and celebrity cameos and a TREASURE frozen in the ICE. I know, it’s all very exciting. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that Mrs. Ken’s not also a bon vivant. She totally is. Also? PENGUINS. Whoo.

Ken arrived in Leipzig with Ella and Louis,  and decided to check out the church beforehand. He’d heard how beautiful it was. He also wanted to check out the organs. That is not a euphemism OR a metaphor. ACTUAL ORGANS. That play MUSIC. The church has TWO ORGANS. One that’s over 100 years old and one that’s more recent that’s made especially for playing Bach music. Minds out of gutters, you, with your assuming that organs meant something else. He called Kate Winslet and asked her to meet him there so they could investigate.

When Ken got to the church – and had a joyous reunion with his BFF Kate Winslet, who had brought a variety of the finest British teas for him, courtesy of the Queen, who loved Ken for saving all the tea from that evil L. Ron Hubbard – no one was there. The concert wasn’t for a couple of days. But the side door was open. Now, Ken’s pretty law-abiding. However, he really wanted to see those organs. And with no one there, he could bring Ella and Louis in. Yes, yes. It was a LITTLE naughty. But not TOTALLY naughty. He and Kate Winslet giggled a little, as you do when you’re doing something a little naughty, and snuck into the church.

Many oohs and aahs resulted. Ken checked out the organs. Both were quite grand. Ella and Louis were very well-behaved. Ella sat very prettily while Louis sniffed all the pews and was very excited about all the new scents and such.

“Ken, play the organ,” Kate Winslet whispered.

“Oh, no, I couldn’t,” he whispered back. “I’d be afraid they’d catch us.”

“Pish-posh,” Kate Winslet said. “There’s no one around. And you know you’re DYING to play the fancy organ. This one’s from over 100 years ago! How many people get this opportunity? Go go go.”

Ken peeked around and decided that yes, it was probably worth it to be able to play the Sauer organ. A little known fact about Ken, the bon vivant, is that he is also a musical virtuoso. Yeah, you were thinking he was just some yahoo, weren’t you? Shame on you.

Kate Winslet and Ella and Louis snuck upstairs with him to the organ, and he sat down and played a few bars of Chopin. The organ sounded stately and official. He was very pleased.

“Play some Bach,” Kate Winslet urged.

“This organ isn’t the best for Bach,” Ken said. “The other organ is better for Bach.” But he turned back to the keys and played the first few notes of the fifth Brandenburg Concerto, which had always been his favorite, if he had to choose.

Suddenly, Ken felt very woozy. The room started to swim. “Ken?” Kate Winslet said, but it sounded like it was coming from far away. He heard Ella and Louis barking. The organ started to fade in and out. But he could still hear the music, even though he wasn’t playing it anymore. What was going on? He closed his eyes to stop the spinning.

When he opened his eyes something was wrong. He wasn’t sure what it was at first. Then he realized – he wasn’t sitting at the organ anymore. He was on the floor. And the floor looked different. And something was wet against his face. He turned and realized it was Louis, who was assiduously licking his face clean, as Louis sometimes was wont to do. Ella was lying next to him, looking very worried in her intelligent dog-like way.

“Kate Winslet?” he said. “Where are you?”

“Over here. Ouch.” He lifted himself up from the floor, his head still spinning, and saw her a few yards away, also on the floor. Louis, of course, went over to clean her face off, too. It probably needed it. Louis always knew about such things.

“What happened?” she asked. “One minute you were playing the organ, the next minute – what?”

Ken looked around. The church looked different. Smaller. Darker. And the organ was gone. “I’m – not sure?”

Kate Winslet looked at him very sternly. “Ken. You have never been not sure of anything as long as I’ve known you. This is very bad news.”

Just then, Ken realized he could still hear the music he’d been playing when everything started to spin. The fifth Brandenburg Concerto. He looked around and saw a harpsichord, with a very stern-looking man wearing a wig playing it. A very stern-looking man who looked VERY FAMILIAR.

The music stopped abruptly. The man banged his hands on the keys. “Scheiße!” the man cursed.

Ken stood up gingerly and walked over to the harpsichord. Kate Winslet and the dogs watched with wide eyes. The man frowned at Ken.

“Guten Tag, Herr Bach,” Ken said.

Johann Sebastian Bach, who was MUCH scarier in person than he is in all of those busts you see on affected people’s pianos, glared at Ken, who was, obviously, NOT wearing a wig like people were supposed to.

“Ken?” Kate Winslet whispered. “Did you just call that man Mr. Bach? What the hell is going on?”

“I think…we’ve gone back in time somehow,” Ken said. “I’m guessing it’s because I played Bach in the church where he used to work? Stranger things have happened. I mean, remember the time we found the dinosaur in the abandoned Tube station, and trained it to fight the dragon that was terrorizing Dubai?”

Kate Winslet nodded sagely. “You’re right. You’ve very wise, as always, my world-traveling BFF. This is certainly something, isn’t it?”

Bach stalked over to Ken and Kate Winslet. “What are you two doing here?” he said, gruffly. Only, he said it in German, of course. And The Person Who is Writing This knows that you all don’t speak German. So she’s helpfully going to write it all in English. I know. She’s the best, isn’t she? And it’s not because her German skills are so awful that she can’t write it in German because Google translate always lies to her and then Ken laughs and laughs at the mangled German she comes up with. THAT IS NOT AT ALL WHY.

“We’re…um…visiting. From…another church. Sorry we’re dressed so oddly. That’s how we dress there, sir,” Ken said. He was very good at thinking on the fly. That’s what you get when you’re a bon vivant. Quick thinking. On the fly. All seat-of-your-pantsy.

“The church is closed. I’m trying to work,” Bach said. Ken noticed he had some crumpled papers in his hand with musical notes written on them.

“Sir, I couldn’t help but overhear. Are you working on the Brandenburg concertos?”

Bach glared at him in a most glowery way. “What? However could you know that? I haven’t even NAMED them yet. And no one has heard them. ARE YOU A SPY?”

Kate Winslet helpfully stepped in. “We’re acquainted with a mutual friend of yours, sir. You played some of the concertos for him recently, I believe?”

“Christian Ludwig?” Bach said, skeptically.

“Yes, of course, Mr. Ludwig,” Kate Winslet said, and gave him her most winning smile. Bach began to thaw. Kate Winslet is just about the  most disarming. It’s a fact.

Ella and Louis chose that moment to come over and check out the situation. Bach saw the happy red dogs and any reservations he had about these strangers dissolved. Listen, you can’t resist Ella and Louis. Just try. I dare you. You’ll lose. They’re purely joyous.

After they’d all spent some quality Ella and Louis time and drank some of the fine British tea together than Kate Winslet had brought for Ken and were therefore the best of friends, Ken broached the subject of the concertos once more.

“Johann, I noticed you were getting pretty frustrated with the concerto you were working on. What’s wrong?”

“Well, Ken, I had the concertos all written and ready to go. I left them on the harpsichord and ran off to take care of something. I was only gone for a few minutes. When I got back, they were gone. Now I have to recreate them from my mind, and they’re due to Christian soon. I can’t remember everything I’ve written, and I’m under the gun. And I’m worried whoever stole them will claim them as his or her own.”

This was worrisome. How would this impact the future if the Brandenburg concertos were not written the same way? Or if they were credited to another person? Ken didn’t like this at all. He’d been forced to watch that horrible Ashton Kutcher Butterfly Effect movie once while on a plane, and he knew this was SERIOUS BUSINESS YO.

“Do you have any ideas who could have stolen them, Johann?” Kate Winslet said, after sharing a worried look with Ken. She, too, had to watch the horrible movie. She knew about butterflies and effects and what a bad actor Douchebag Jesus Kutcher was.

“There was a man I didn’t recognize around the church for the past few days. I thought he was a cleaning person. I didn’t pay a lot of attention,” Bach said.

“What did he look like?” Ken asked.

“Very tall. Kind of gawky. His eyes were very intense and a little buggy. And he was talking to himself. He kept saying the oddest thing. ‘You got this, Goldblum. You can do this.’ What could that mean, do you think?”

Ken’s blood ran cold. He knew exactly what it meant. Kate Winslet looked at him, her eyes wide.

“You don’t think-” she said. Ken nodded slowly. Even Ella and Louis whimpered.

Evil. EEEEE-vil.

“It’s Jeff Goldblum,” Ken said. “Jeff Goldblum has stolen the Brandenburg concertos. The only man to ever best me. My nemesis. Dammit. Why did it have to be GOLDBLUM?”

“Who is this Jeff Goldblum?” Bach asked. At the repeated utterance of the ne’er-do-well’s name, Louis covered his muzzle with his paws. Ella simply looked worried, but in a stately way. As she does.

“Jeff Goldblum – it’s a long story,” Ken said, with a deep sigh. “HE KNOWS WHAT HE DID. Let’s just say it involved deception. And chicanery. And impersonation of high-ranking officials. And tea-smuggling. Not to mention the wearing of many false mustaches. And, to top it all off, one of my most jaunty hats was stolen in the escapade. Worst of all, he hides in plain sight. No one believed me when I told my tale, because Jeff Goldblum is one of the world’s most beloved actors. It’s like the old saying: the devil’s greatest trick was convincing the world he didn’t exist. If Goldblum is involved with the theft of the concertos, this is serious business. WE MUST GET THOSE CONCERTOS BACK, BACH.”

(I can assure you that “back, Bach” didn’t sound at all humorous in German, even though in English, it’s totally giggle-inducing. The Person Who is Writing This would prove that by showing it to you IN German but Google Translate is not being helpful. It’s a possibility it’s been taken over by that dastardly Jeff Goldblum.)

“Ken, how will we lure Jeff Goldblum to us? And once he’s here, how will we get the concertos back?” Kate Winslet asked, in a worried tone.

Ken thought. And thought. And thought some more. Bach brought him a fresh cup of tea, in a very helpful manner. The tea helped clear his head. A plan began to form. A very good plan indeed. A BON VIVANTY plan.

“I’m going to need a signboard, some paint, a brush, and a town crier. Kate Winslet, we’ll need your acting skills. You’ll have to find a costume so you’ll blend in. Bach, we’ll need you to play background music.”

(This is the point where, if this was a show or a movie, there would be a montage. It’s not, though. And The Person Who is Writing This JUST learned how to use her webcam. There’s no way she could cobble together a montage. Pretend this is montage-y. It’ll be better.)

Ken advised the town crier as to what he’d need to announce. As he didn’t have any currency of the day, he paid him in the excellent tea that Kate Winslet had brought. The town crier was happy to accept it, as usually people paid him in livestock and tea was easier to transport, and also much tastier. Ken painted a sign for the front of the church. Kate Winslet found some period-appropriate clothing in the donation bin in the back of the church that just about fit her. Bach quickly composed some music that would fit the scheme, and when he was done, Ken taught him one other tune that he’d need, if the plan worked as he hoped it would. Ella daintily checked out what was happening. Louis galumphed around being cheerful and at one point put his paw in a paint pot and then made painty pawprints all over the church floor.

Ella was less than amused at these antics and refused to look her brother in the eye because he was embarrassing her.

“I think that’s it,” Ken said, surveying the scene. “The trap is set. Now, to wait for Goldblum.”

“What will we do while we wait?” Kate Winslet asked, trying to clean paint off Louis’s paw while he gleefully licked her face.

“Drink tea,” Ken said, very seriously. “We will need all the fortitude we can get. This is the final showdown, and Goldblum is a worthy foe.”


“Hear ye hear ye!” the town crier, well, cried, I guess, what else would a town crier do? Don’t be silly. “Auditions for the world’s first crime procedural being held RIGHT NOW at the Thomaskirche! Looking to cast the lead actor, a tall, devilishly handsome man. Extra points given if the actor has ever worked in science fiction before and can act both quirky AND studious! HEAR YE HEAR YE!”

A man carrying a heavy satchel bulging with papers, wearing a jaunty hat that didn’t quite look right on his head – almost as if it belonged to someone else – and a long, dark coat, stopped to listen to the town crier. He listened to the announcement twice. He looked at the satchel of papers, then began walking briskly toward the Thomaskirche. Once in a lifetime experience, this. Yes, he had another caper he was involved in – but the world’s FIRST CRIME PROCEDURAL? It was too good to be true. He had to at least audition.

When he arrived at the church, he saw a sign outside. “AUDITIONS TODAY,” the sign said. It had a painty pawprint in the corner, which the man found a little perplexing, but he thought that maybe it was just there to provide panache. If there was one thing this man liked, it was panache. Also verve.

He entered the church and was met by a woman wearing clothes that were totally appropriate for the time period, if not a little large for her frame. “Hello! I’m so glad you’ve come to audition. What a jaunty hat!” the woman said. “You look perfect for the role. Would you like me to take your satchel? And is there any chance you’ve got experience in science fiction?”

“DO I?” the man said. “I’ve been in a number of science fiction movi…plays. Plays, I mean, of course. No, thank you. I never set down my satchel. Thieves abound, you see. Hey, you look familiar. Do I know you? For some reason, I have the song ‘My Heart Will Go On’ in my head. Isn’t that weird?”

“Ha ha!” the woman laughed. “I of course do not know what you are speaking of because it is the early 1700s and that song does not exist yet! We are complete strangers, you and I! Please follow me, the director will see you now!”

The man followed the woman to a brightly-lit part of the church. A man at a harpsichord started playing mood-appropriate music. He saw a man wearing a similarly jaunty hat sitting in the shadows. When he started to greet the director, the woman stopped him. “The director doesn’t like to talk to the actors until after the audition. I’m sorry.” She handed him a script and said, “Whenever you’re ready, just introduce yourself and begin.”

The man did some vocal and physical warm-ups – LION FACE! LEMON FACE! And also The Geographical Fugue, which any good actor knows is very important. For example, The Person Who is Writing This is EXCELLENT at The Geographical Fugue, and could NOT be more excited that she just discovered from Wikipedia that it was originally in GERMAN and will now memorize it in German as well because that seems like a fun thing to do – and then began his audition.

“Hello! My name is Jeff Goldblum. I will be reading the part of Wolfgang in this scene from CSI: Leipzig. ‘YES! It was I who stole the concertos! And also your jaunty hat! And I’d do it again! I pretend to be everyone’s friend and a really nice man, but underneath it all my soul is BLACK AS PITCH and I am EVIL AS SIN! And I am no match for you, Ken, the World-Traveling Bon Vivant!’” Um, this doesn’t seem like a speech the lead in a procedural would give. Why is the lead in a procedural admitting a crime? HEY WAIT A MINUTE!” He glared in the director’s general direction. Hee. Director. Direction. Good one, Person Who is Writing This.

“Yes! We have CAUGHT YOU, Jeff Goldblum!” the director said, standing up and coming into the light. THE DIRECTOR WAS KEN ALL ALONG YOU GUYS CAN YOU EVEN IMAGINE HOW TRICKY THAT WAS? “And I have your confession recorded with my phone, which I brought with me when I came through, and somehow still works DON’T ASK ME HOW I DON’T KNOW EITHER, so when I get back to Germany of the present, I can show people your TRUE COLORS! Also, GIVE ME BACK MY BEST JAUNTY HAT!”

“Ha ha!” Jeff Goldblum sneered. “You’ll have to CATCH me first, Ken! As I am very wily and also wiry! I WILL get away with these concertos, and then will present them as my own work – and then the name Jeff Goldblum will be as well-known as Bach! Throughout all of time, people will say my name with reverence and respect, not ‘oh, Goldblum, remember that time he was in The Fly and that was so effing gross, seriously?’ Did you know there is a meme called ‘Jeff Goldblum is watching you poop?'”


Jeff Goldblum darted to the left and to the right. Ken attempted to stop him but slipped on a painty pawprint. This cost him precious seconds. Goldblum cackled evilly and rushed toward the door.

Suddenly, Ella and Louis ran out from between the pews! They came at Jeff Goldblum from two directions, snarling and snapping. Jeff Goldblum didn’t know they were just the nicest dogs ever and just playing a role because Kate Winslet had coached them because she is the best actress ever and also so humble that you’d totally want to hang out with her in real life! He thought they were going to eat his face!

“NO NO YOU FERAL CURS! NOT MY FACE! NOT MY PRECIOUS FAACCCEEE!” Jeff Goldblum screeched. Ella grabbed the satchel with her teeth, daintily, while Louis continued to growl. Jeff Goldblum fought for the satchel. Ella stood her ground. Louis rushed over to help her. Two red dogs pulled the satchel one way. One crazed nemesis pulled the satchel the other way.

“NOW JOHANN!” Ken cried.

Bach began playing the orchestral theme from Jurassic Park on the harpsichord. Jeff Goldblum began to sway and spin. Ella and Louis kept their grip on the satchel – BUT SO DID GOLDBLUM.

Ooh, you guys. What will happen. WHAT WILL HAPPEN. I don’t know about you, but both myself AND The Person Who is Writing This are TOTALLY on the edge of our seats.

Suddenly, Jeff Goldblum disappeared with a “pop” and a disappearing cry of “I’ll get you next time Keeeennnnn”. There was a swirl of dust. Ken, Kate Winslet and Bach began to cough.

“Ella? Louis?” Ken called.


Then: a joyful bark. And Ella and Louis trotted out of the cloud of dust. Ella with the satchel gently in her teeth; Louis with something in his. What…

“My hat!” Ken said happily. “Louis, old boy! You got my hat away from him! What a good boy you are!”

Louis dropped the hat on the floor, only a little worse for wear having been worn by a ne’er-do-well and also carried in a joyful red dog’s mouth, and rolled around with glee.

“Oh, no, Ken!” Bach said, from his place on the floor where he’d sat with Ella to look over the concertos. “The concertos are all here, except the fifth concerto! It’s damaged beyond repair! It must have been torn in the melee, or when Goldblum disappeared! What will we do?”

This was grim news. Grim news indeed. The fifth concerto was Ken’s favorite.

“Can you remember enough of it to recreate it?” Ken asked.

“I’m not sure. Some of it, I think. But I had musicians to help me when I was writing. I don’t have any musicians now. What will I do? It’s too late to get anyone in here to help me. I can’t both write and play. It will take too long. And I have to get these to Christian right away!”

Ken thought a moment. “You need – what. A violin, flute, harpsichord, viola, cello, and a violone, correct? Do you have the instruments here?”

“How could you know…yes, but –”

“No time, my friend, no time. I can help you with most of those. I studied most of them in school, and the ones I didn’t, I can wing. But the cello. Damn! I can’t play the cello.”

“Oh, that’s not a problem,” Kate Winslet said. “I’ve been studying cello since I was a wee girl. I’d be happy to help with the cello bits.”

And that is how Johann Sebastian Bach, Kate Winslet, and Ken, the World Traveling Bon Vivant, recreated, from Bach and Ken’s memory, the fifth Brandenburg concerto, while Bach and Ken played, alternately, the violin, flute, harpsichord, viola, and violone, and Kate Winslet merrily helped with the cello (and very well, too, as she does everything well that she tries because, let’s face it, the woman’s kickass.) When Bach couldn’t remember what came next, Ken helped. When Ken couldn’t remember what came next, Bach helped. And Ella and Louis ate the roast beef that Bach had brought for lunch, because he was so pleased the jolly red dogs had saved the day he was happy to give them his lunch.

When they were done, and everyone was pleased all around, and they had many cups of tea to celebrate, Kate Winslet gave Ken a worried look.

“Ken, how will we get home? Sending Jeff Goldblum home with music from his greatest film triumph worked. But how will WE get home? Do you have any ideas?”

Ken smiled. “I do, Kate Winslet. Of course I do. Strangely enough, it’s Jeff Goldblum who gave me the idea.”

Ken quickly taught Bach a song, while Kate Winslet tidied up and gathered up their things.

“Johann, thank you. It’s been a pleasure,” Ken said. “I’ll never forget meeting you. This truly has been one of my most impressive adventures.”

“Thank you, Ken,” Bach said. “If you ever come back my way, please stop in. I’d love to see you and Kate Winslet and Ella and Louis again. I mean, we’re thick as thieves now! You’re welcome here anytime.”

Ken and Kate Winslet gripped each other’s hands, and each of them put a hand on a happy red dog. “Thank you, Johann! And goodbye!” Kate Winslet said. Johann was sad to see her go. He, like most people that interact with Kate Winslet, was a little in love with her.

As the strains of Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” poured forth from the harpsichord, Ken closed his eyes and hoped that this worked. Although it was nice to bon vivant around all bon-vivantily in the 1700s, he missed Mrs. Ken, and wanted to know how the penguin adventure had turned out.

When Ken opened his eyes, he was in the loft with the organ. Kate Winslet, Ella, and Louis were by his side. In the music stand on the organ was the fifth Brandenburg concerto. And on his head? His jaunty, not-that-much-worse-for-wear hat, rightfully returned to his head.

“Ken! Did that really happen? Or were we dreaming?” Kate Winslet asked. Ken picked up the score. There, written in small letters, was the publication date – just as it should be, 1721 – and that they’d been written by Johann Sebastian Bach. And, what was that, written underneath the credits?

“With special thanks to Kate, Ken, Ella and Louis, without whose intrepid day-saving this concerto would not be possible.”

Ken showed the note to Kate Winslet, who laughed merrily. “Oh, Ken. You are the best BFF. Things are always an adventure with you! What should we do now?”

“Well, let’s do what we planned earlier, Kate Winslet.”

“What’s that?”

“Go to the Zoological Garden!”

So Ken, Kate Winslet, Ella, and Louis (because Ella and Louis were known far and wide as very special and happy red dogs and could often get into places like Zoological Gardens just on the sheer force of their joy alone) went to the Zoological Garden, and spent the rest of the day looking at all the animals, such as these happy playing tigers:

and, of course, the penguins:

and reminiscing about the time they saved the day from that evil Jeff Goldblum.

While Jeff Goldblum, back in Hollywood, waited. And watched. And bided his evil, evil time.

THE END. (For now.)

(The Person Who is Writing This would like to extend VERY SPECIAL THANKS to Ken, who gave permission for ALL THE PHOTOS of the most beautiful dogs in the world to be ganked from his Tumblr. So go check out his Tumblr, because on top of being a world traveling bon vivant and being able to play just about all the instruments and writing beautifully and answering bon-vivant related research questions on a moment’s notice without ever asking “why the hell would you need to know that?” and making people laugh like a moron on a regular basis, especially when they are having a horrendous day and really need that laugh, he takes amazing photos. Also, he doesn’t seem to mind that he is an character in a series of very exciting adventures on a somewhat overly-enthusiastic person’s blog. No, really. He doesn’t. The Person Who is Writing This ASKED HIM. And he gave his blessing. That is because he is the best. THANK YOU KEN.)

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