Man Takes A Pistol to Bristol

16 11 2010

Once upon a time (Monday night), as I was quietly munching on broccoli lasagna, a 66-year-old man in a town that is seriously called Black Earth, Wisconsin, was sitting on his couch watching “Dancing with the Stars” with his wife.    Suddenly, when Bristol Palin entered the screen to perform a Viennese Waltz to the Passion of the Christ theme song, the man got really, really, balls-crazy pissed about her poor dancing skills, and this happened:

“Cowan jumped up and swore as Bristol Palin appeared, saying something about ‘the (expletive) politics.’ Cowan was upset that a political figure’s daughter was on the show when he didn’t think she was a good dancer, the complaint states.

Cowan went upstairs for about 20 minutes and returned, demanding his pistols, which had been taken by his daughter about a month ago for safety reasons. He was carrying a single-shot shotgun, which he loaded and fired into the television.

Cowan continued to yell, demanding his pistols. He re-loaded the shotgun and pointed it toward his wife. She left the house and drove to Black Earth, where she called 911. She told police she was afraid for her safety.

Cowan kept sheriff’s deputies at bay outside his home until 11 a.m. Tuesday, when he surrendered without incident.”

I’m sorry, did you say WITHOUT INCIDENT?  The man (whom I will be referring to as “Lover” from here on out) put a bullet in his telly and held himself hostage for FIFTEEN HOURS over Bristol Palin’s dance routine.  Sounds like a pretty goddamn remarkable incident to me.

How angry do you have to be to actually get out of your chair, walk up the stairs, load your pistol, walk it back down the stairs, and fire a bullet into your TV?  Sometimes when I’m watching really bad reality shows, I can’t even drum up the motivation to get up and pee.  Lover was obviously really, veins-popping-out-of-his-forehead upset over this!

As a reporter by trade, I’ve really had to fight the urge not to track him down myself for an interview, or at least call the police department for comment.  I should definitely refrain from doing that, but just in case the opportunity presents itself (ahem), I’ve jotted down a few follow-up questions I’d like to ask him:

1. How was your weekend, Lover?

2. What did you think of Jennifer Grey’s Cha Cha routine?

3. Were you as attracted to Patrick Swayze in the 80’s as I was, or is this getting too personal?

4. What would have had to happen on Dancing with the Stars for you to actually shoot your wife in the face, as you threatened?  Would a really shitty tango by Dick Cheney’s daughter do the trick, or is there something about Bristol in particular that ruffles your feathers?

5. Boxers or briefs? Do you wax your back?

Sigh.  Honestly, I didn’t think there was a man in this country who could possibly be as passionate about “Dancing with the Stars” as I am, and now that I know he exists, I’ll never be the same.


Twitter Etiquette: Tweets vs. Twats

22 06 2010

I was very wary of Twitter when it first came out, because I perceived it to be a purified extraction of the worst aspect of Facebook:  the incessant, mundane, over-sharing wall update.

“Just flossed my teeth and brushed for four minutes with flouride! Take that, gum disease!”

“Everybody pray for my Grandma… she’s having a colonoscopy tomorrow morning. :-(”

Gross. Nobody cares.  So I avoided Twitter like the plague until I was 5 months into unemployment and started seeing it under “required skills” on job postings:  Must be well-versed in social media–we will look for active Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts!

I desperately needed a job, so I sucked it up and decided to conquer Twitter.  Now it’s an every day part of my existence, and I have discovered the many ways it can be useful outside of “I just wiped with 5 squares of toilet paper” kinds of tweets, which I will hereon refer to as “twats.”

I honestly think that Twitter would be a much nicer place if everyone understood the difference between tweets and twats. A tweet is a useful, funny, information-sharing post.  For instance, I am following political blogger/columnist Ezra Klein on Twitter, and his tweets are usually snoozefests.  But yesterday, right around the end of the day when I had ceased to be productive, he tweeted:

“Unlike the KFC Double Down, this guy’s got all the calories you’d expect:“.

I clicked on it, and it was a fabulous article about a cheeseburger with 2 grilled cheese sandwiches for buns that totally made my day and sparked an energetic office conversation about ridiculous foods.  That was a legitimate tweet because it actually improved people’s lives for a few minutes.

Similarly, Wall Street Journal tweeted this morning:

“Google is preparing to roll out a music download service tied to its search engine later this year”

Neat, we all know something new now.

Another example of a good tweet is one that isn’t necessarily useful or informative, but is at least universally appealing.  Even if it’s not laugh out loud funny, it refreshes and entertains people for a minute. Actor Russell Brand tweeted this morning:

“I’m in Ireland!  I’m snogging the Liffey, I’m caressing the castle and I can’t tell you what I’m gonna do to the Blarney stone.”

Cool, Russell Brand’s in Ireland, and he announced it in cool and mildly funny way.  My life is not worse for having read that, it just moves on.

Now onto the twats.  A classic twat is either boring, wildly inappropriate, self-promoting, a public “love-tweet” to another person (ahem Ashton and Demi), or has a picture of oneself (probably taken by their own laptop) attached.

Twat examples:

Angie Jackson live-tweeted (or live-twatted) her abortion and miscarriage on Twitter.  Inappropriate.

Paula Adbul twatted:  “But everyone’s armpits are in my face & I can’t see! Lol! Just kidding! :))) xoxoP”  Dumb, pointless, self-promoting, too many emoticons.

Mark Shurtleff, Utah’s attorney general, twatted his approval for Gardner to receive death by firing squad last week: “I just gave the go ahead to Corrections Director to proceed with Gardner’s execution. May God grant him the mercy he denied his victims.”  ….Wildly inappropriate!

And a girl I barely know who went to U.Va. used to post twats like, “I love it when I wake up to a sweet e-mail from my boyfriend!”  While I’m sure she’s a great person, I am not “following” her anymore, because her twats gave me cavities. And probably hepatitis, or something.

The good news is that you can easily remove all the twatters from your “follow” list so they can’t take a poop on your life every day with their mundane updates.  But if everyone would just make an effort to understand the difference between tweets and twats and ONLY publish the former, Twitter could improve from 50% cool to 99% cool.  I’m just sayin’.

Oh, Heavens!

28 04 2010

Wow.  I was definitely ‘blindsided’ by this juicy piece of news.  I’m surprised People mag didn’t entirely self-destruct when they got the scoop.

Apparently, Sandra Bullock and Jesse James secretly adopted a baby three months ago. The baby, who was born in New Orleans in January, is named Louis Bardo Bullock, and will be called “Louie” after Louis Armstrong.  They were planning to keep the baby a secret until the Oscars, and then right as they were about to share the good news with the world, a different, less joyous story broke and killed all the magic.

Aw, isn’t that baby PRECIOUS?  I want to steal him and make him watch “How to Train Your Dragon 3D” with me.

Here’s the shitty part: Sandra announced to People magazine that, in addition to having a secret adopted baby, she was definitely filing for divorce. The HuffPost story reads:

“Yes, I have filed for divorce,” the 45-year-old Oscar-winning actress said in an interview with People. “I’m sad and I am scared.”Bullock and James, 41, began the adoption process four years ago, the report said, and brought 3 1/2-month-old Louis Bardo Bullock home in January but decided to keep the news to themselves until after the Academy Awards.

In the interview, Bullock said she is savoring her new maternal status.

“You wake up, you feed, you burp, you play, you do laundry,” she said. “I’m still in that stage where I’m just amazed with him and at life.”

“All I said when I met him was, ‘Oh, there you are.’ It was like he had always been a part of our lives.”

The baby, called Louie, is named after jazz great Louis Armstrong, who had particularly touched her with his signature song, “What a Wonderful World,” said Bullock. The child was born in New Orleans, a city where Bullock and James had both spent time after Katrina.

Bullock said she got the call that a baby might be available for adoption during what she described as “the media craziness of the awards season.

Deciding to shield Louis from that turmoil, she kept his existence a secret from all but a few trusted associates and loved ones. Her life (and his) became an ongoing process of secrecy and diversion.

Sigh.  Now, I knew Sandra was pissed when she found out her husband cheated with a bunch of tattoo models and strippers.  I knew she was really, really pissed, and I felt bad for her already.  But imagine finding out your husband cheated on you THREE MONTHS after you adopted a newborn baby together.  OMG.  I would run over him with one of the motorcycles he built, and then tattoo a big “F*CK YOU” across his forehead with his own tattoo needle while he was unconscious.  And then poke him in the eye with it.  I’m serious.  I would.

Here is Jesse’s response statement, courtesy of Dlisted:

“My whole life has been full of hard decisions.The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart.

Sandy is the love of my life, but considering the pain and devastation I have caused her, it would be selfish to not let her go. Right now it is time for me to beat this addiction that has taken two of the things I love the most in life.

I have always taken great pride in proving people wrong. That time has come once again to show that I am not what everyone says I am. I know in my heart that I can be the best father possible to my four children, and the mate Sandy deserves, and realize that this is an incredible mountain to climb. But I believe that the steps I have taken in the last 30 days are the foundation for making this happen. The lifelong commitment I am making is what being a real husband and father is all about.

I ask that you please do not judge Sandy for the things I have done. She has done no wrong. She played no part in any of this. She has been an amazing wife, mother, and best friend, for the over 6 years we have been together.”

Aw, poor you.  You’ve had so many tough decisions to make, including letting your wife divorce you and raise the baby on her own.  What a freaking martyr you are.  And don’t worry… nobody’s judging Sandy. We’re judging you, you lying sack of fertilizer.

Cheers to Sandra and her beautiful baby.  I hope she finds a better man to share her life with, but even if she doesn’t, I hope she finds the personal strength and support from her friends to take care of that baby on her own and give him all the love and attention he deserves.

Rehab for Cheaters

5 04 2010

You know what’s stupid?  Cheating on your celebrity wife with numerous hookers and strippers, getting caught, and then checking yourself into a sex rehab in rural Arizona as a last-ditch attempt to save your “marriage” (public image).

David Duchovny did it.  Tiger Woods did it. And now Sandra Bullock’s future ex-husband Jesse James is doing it.

I love how celebrities feel like the rules of morality and fidelity don’t apply to them because they’re rich and famous, but then when they get caught, they blame it on some compulsive psychological disorder that’s beyond their control to deflect blame.  I couldn’t help it, Sandra– I saw that stripper with tattoo sleeves and my medically-diagnosed sex addiction reared its ugly head.  It was all I could do to get a condom on before the crippling psychosis took hold of my brain. Don’t worry, all I need is a few days of talking about my feelings in a posh rehabilitation facility and I will forget how easy it is to cheat on you, I swear.

Give me a break.  Going to sex rehab when you cheat on your wife is akin to pleading insanity in court after getting arrested for a DUI.  What do they even do in sex rehab?  Show you pictures of your grandmother and movies about baseball to get your mind off that barista with eight face piercings that was eyeing you the other day?

Imagine being able to check yourself into a luxurious rehab facility for all of your personal vices.  I’d be in rehab for addiction to food products that contain high fructose corn syrup, for my acute psychological tendency to park too close to fire hydrants, and for this rare disorder that causes me to compulsively lie to people about being too busy to hang out when in actuality I am on my couch watching “Teen Mom” marathons.

Celebs need to grow up and face the music.  Apologize to your wife and try to keep it in your pants. End of discussion.

Johnny Weird Figure Skates to ‘Poker Face’

12 03 2010

I have to catch a flight to New Orleans this morning, so I don’t have time for a full post.  But I will leave you with this highly entertaining YouTube video of Olympic figure skater Johnny “Weird” Weir performing a routine to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”  Don’t watch it unless you can watch it with sound.  Trust me, it doesn’t disappoint.

Just watch his facial expressions– if it weren’t for the ice rink and skates, you might think that he was performing at a strip club.  Just sayin’.


9 03 2010

What I find really creepy about Facebook is the way it blurs the public and private spheres of our lives.  The other day, I found myself flipping through a friend’s photo album of her newborn baby.  Problem is, she’s not actually my friend– I met her once or twice in college.  We’re not even friends on Facebook.  I found the pictures in a mutual friend’s profile.  So there I was, checking out intimate pictures of her in her hospital gown holding her brand spanking new-born baby, and it occurred to me that she probably wouldn’t even recognize me on the street.  How creepy is that?

The only redeeming factor of the above story is that I fully realized how creepy it was that I could see this girl’s private pictures on Facebook, so I immediately upped all my privacy settings, deleted any information in my profile that I would not want my boss to read, and thoroughly edited my own picture albums.

But some people really don’t seem to understand the boundary between public and private these days, or the many dangers of crossing that boundary on a social networking site like Facebook.  By that, I mean they WAY over-share the intimate details of their lives, probably not realizing that websites like exist solely for the purpose of ridiculing them.  For those of you unfamiliar with Lamebook, it’s a website that reposts the very best, worst and funniest of Facebook moments for our comedic enjoyment.

Thanks to Lamebook, I can now easily identify the four main types of Facebook users that really offend me with their rampant over-sharing.

Exhibit A: The Medical Over-sharer

Caitlin went from being “in a relationship” to “single.”

Caitlin: is lost and just got hit from left field…

Martha: I know you have had a rough day but wanted to let you know about grandpa bill. He is in the hospital. Has a bladder infection, is majorly constipated and has shingles. Also passed out/coded while trying to have a bowel movement to get the constipation cleared up.  He is fine now but they are keeping him at least overnight. Meredith went home to stay with grandma. He should be ok in a couple days. Love you


Exhibit B: People who use their public Facebook wall to end a relationship.

Nick is no longer listed as “in a relationship.”

Anna-Marie: ohh when the f*ck did we break up. watever…

Nick: when i see u monday

Tiffany went from being “married” to “single.”

Sara: Huh?

Ivy: ?

Sean: Yea I just now noticed it… I havent gotten papers yet… oh well…

Amanda is in a relationship.

Sean: WOO HOO Congrats!

Mike: Just cause we had sex does not mean were dating.


Exhibit C: The personal details over-sharer.

Mikey became a fan of Itching Your Balls Through Your Pocket.


Exhibit D: The dumb, pregnant over-sharer.

Dalena: omg i know we def need 2 drink 2gether but im kinda prego right now lmao but def after have my baby girl

Sarah: haha shit dalena when did that happen

Dalena: Bout 5 months ago after bingo 1 night me and my boyfriend got a lil freaky in da car and forgot protection so yeah lmao

Sarah: grrrrrrl you always were a lil freak hahaha

LMAO, for those of you who don’t know, means “Laughing my ass off.”  Prego girl uses it twice in referring to her own state of pregnancy. I’m just speechless.

The Fascinating Social Experiment that is ‘The Bachelor’

2 03 2010

Jake Pavelka, This Season's "Bachelor"

People love to hate on ABC’s dating reality show “The Bachelor” because– well, it’s insultingly cheesy and contrived.  But anyone who has actually watched an entire season understands the extent to which, regardless of how cringe- and puke-worthy the show can be, it just sucks you in like an industrial-strength Hoover.

I personally think it’s genius how the producers of The Bachelor manage to manipulate the emotions of the characters and the viewers, so that by the time the season finale rolls around, the bachelor’s decision as to which woman he will propose to genuinely feels like life-and-death to everyone involved and everyone watching.

If you think about it, their strategy is clear: Find one single, good-looking man with rock-hard abs who is genuinely looking for love (and neglect the fact that his personality is completely lame, because it won’t matter, trust us.)  Then find 25 single, hot, increasingly desperate-to-find-love women who are attracted to him upon seeing a photo.  Throw the women into a big mansion and make them compete for his love through a series of fantasy dates– bungee jumping in New Zealand, flying in helicopters over tropical islands, having dinner in a castle nestled in a vineyard, etc.  Let the women stew in jealousy as each one comes home and raves about her date and her “connection” with Jake, which anyone on that show would feel like she had because she has to fight to get his attention and hasn’t even SEEN another man in several weeks.

By the end of a couple months, there will be 2 women left whose parents Jake has met and who have met Jake’s parents.  They’ve gone this crazy experience together of being on a TV show and traveling all over the place, and the emotions are so heightened from having to spend these romantic dates together and then not see each other for a few days that Jake honestly feels like he is in love with both women and they honestly feel like they are both in love with him.

Tenley, Gia and Vienna await their fates.

Neil Lane arrives on the scene and gives Jake his pick of massive diamond rings.  He considers the personality of each girl, tries to make a decision about which one he will dump and which one he will propose to that day.  It seems completely absurd to an outside viewer, but to those who have been following, it seems like a completely legitimate and tragic decision.

One arrives in a helicopter first.  The viewer knows she’ll be the dumpee, but she thinks she’s about to get proposed to.  She walks up to Jake.  He dumps her.  Both of them sob, because the break-up was really so sudden and now he’s going to propose to someone else, so it’s not like they can continue casually dating on and off. It’s over. Both Jake and the girl and all the viewers are sobbing at this point.

Then the other girl arrives.  It doesn’t matter how immature and abrasive and cross-eyed she is– the moment he asks her to marry him, millions of people become immediately convinced that they have the kind of unique love that will last a lifetime, and that this was a true fairy-tale romance.

A montage of their story commences as a cheesy ballad called “On the Wings of Love” plays in the background, and people are made to feel bad about themselves for not having fallen in love on the peak of a mountain in New Zealand or in a mud cave in St. Lucia.

Then the lucky couple breaks up two weeks later, and the cycle begins again.

Genius.  Pure genius.