Life's our oyster and we're gonna suck that bitch down with a champagne chaser.

  • Behavioral Therapist
  • MA Developmental Psychology, Columbia
  • BS Psychobiology/ French, UCLA

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    Mission Impossible
    A Dangerous Method

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    The Life & Times of Tim

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    Game of Thrones
    by George R.R. Martin

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    Newt Gingrich

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    Fox & Friends


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Wednesday, June 29, 2005  
Minor in the Humanities
It has occured to me that humans are inherently annoying. It has also come to my attention, much to my utter dismay, that I am indeed human. Now I don't mean to say that any of the esteemed readers of T.J.B. (it'll catch on) are annoying (all the time) but it is a fact that when humans aren't trained in the arts of existing properly...they are SOOOOOOO annoying!

Here at UCLA, I have been privileged to meet some of the nicest, most down to earth people I have ever met. On the other hand...I have also met the most annoying, uncivilized and maladroit people on this planet. I can't honestly expect to go through life without encountering these people day to day, but I can't help but complain. The following is an account of several (but not all) species of unpleasant meat bags I have encountered recently.

Asianus compulsive-eaterus
This creature enjoys feeding constantly before, during and after a lecture or discussion. The typical ravenous college student (of any race) does not apply. This asian female (I'm sorry but it's always an asian female) insists on having a picnic at her 3x5 desk everyday. A typical observed meal at an 8 AM lecture consists of a bagel, yogurt, ham sandwich, meatball soup, churro and a soda. As if it is not bad enough to have an 8 AM class, this creature must subject anyone within a 30 foot radius the stench of a meatball soup as well as the inhumane manner of feeding.....SLURPING AND MASHING WITH YOUR MOUTH OPEN IS NOT CIVILIZED...blasted humans.

Laptopia nervosa
This species has the incredible urge to record every lecture verbatim....which I guess is fine. But the defining feature of this creature is the hostile manner of typing. A simple act of typing up an outline of notes turns into the soundtrack to Saving Private Ryan, leading to startled (and sometimes humorous) reactions by fellow classmates attempting to dodge incoming gunfire.

Bizarro-squirmia mannerismus
When observing a species of this nature, it is not unusual to remark bizarre movements, mannerisms and actions. Typical examples include the supernatural contorting of one's neck and/or spine for the purpose of cracking; sleeping positions consisting of sleeping on one's elbow/hand/shoulder/thigh/chest; the practicing of freshly learned actions such as the Persian snap, twirling of a pen betwixt one's fingers and the tossing of one's pen into the air followed by an ineffective attempt at catching it and finally the inevitable Plastic Man-esque attempts to retrieve dropped items from the floor which are clearly too far away to pick up from one's seat. (I am guilty of the final act)

Stompius beastius
This steel-foot bearing creature insists on entering a lecture hall as if in preparation for their Soviet Army marching exam. This action draws the attention of all others which seems to either amuse said beast or leave them unphased. Several imprints of this creature's warpath have been reported although few have returned upon discovering the prints.

And finally,
Questionaskus incessantus
This creature, sometimes viewed as the most vile of all, always seems to be confused by something or needs extensive clarification atypical of the normal human. Questions are usually asked at inopportune times such as the VERY END OF CLASS. This attack creates a barrier between other students and the exit which is said to result from the fear of missing important bits of information which never arise. The most ruthless act of such a monster, besides the actual question asking, is the follow-up question which can even exceed the excruciating pain induced by the initial question. Defenses used against such fiends include the evil eye, the rolling eye, the deep sigh and the corner evil eye. Such attacks, however, are usually ineffective and are usually used to subdue the rage of other students.

As each species is encountered in our daily lives, great caution must be taken, but also humor must be an ally. Without our abililties to mock these ridiculous people, we would be left with an undying rage which would probably culminate in the murder of...pretty much everyone. This evil must not be taken on all at once. If each species is mocked one by one, eventually, and hopefully, all their power over us as decent human beings will dissipate.

Baby steps, kids. Baby steps.

1:36 PM


Monday, June 27, 2005  
The Jazzy Bahsoun Will Return after this Brief Message from our Sponsors...
A real post shall be brought forth soon enough, but for now enjoy this L.A Times article that tickled me.

Does God Have Back Problems Too?
  • The illogic behind 'intelligent design.
  • In 1829, Francis Henry Egerton, the eighth Earl of Bridgewater, bequeathed 8,000 pounds sterling to the Royal Society of London to pay for publication of works on "the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as Manifested in the Creation."

    The resulting "Bridgewater Treatises," published between 1833 and 1840, were classic statements of "natural theology," seeking to demonstrate God's existence by examining the natural world's "perfection."
    Current believers in creationism, masquerading in its barely disguised incarnation, "intelligent design," argue similarly, claiming that only a designer could generate such complex, perfect wonders.

    But, in fact, the living world is shot through with imperfection. Unless one wants to attribute either incompetence or sheer malevolence to such a designer, this imperfection — the manifold design flaws of life — points incontrovertibly to a natural, rather than a divine, process, one in which living things were not created de novo, but evolved. Consider the human body. Ask yourself, if you were designing the optimum exit for a fetus, would you engineer a route that passes through the narrow confines of the pelvic bones? Add to this the tragic reality that childbirth is not only painful in our species but downright dangerous and sometimes lethal, owing to a baby's head being too large for the mother's birth canal.

    This design flaw is all the more dramatic because anyone glancing at a skeleton can see immediately that there is plenty of room for even the most stubbornly large-brained, misoriented fetus to be easily delivered anywhere in that vast, non-bony region below the ribs. (In fact, this is precisely the route obstetricians follow when performing a caesarean section.)

    Why would evolution neglect the simple, straightforward solution? Because human beings are four-legged mammals by history. Our ancestors carried their spines parallel to the ground; it was only with our evolved upright posture that the pelvic girdle had to be rotated (and thereby narrowed), making a tight fit out of what for other mammals is nearly always an easy passage.

    An engineer who designed such a system from scratch would be summarily fired, but evolution didn't have the luxury of intelligent design.

    Admittedly, it could be argued that the dangers and discomforts of childbirth were intelligently, albeit vengefully, planned, given Genesis' account of God's judgment upon Eve: As punishment for Eve's disobedience in Eden, "in pain you shall bring forth children." (Might this imply that if she'd only behaved, women's vaginas would have been where their bellybuttons currently reside?)

    On to men. It is simply deplorable that the prostate gland is so close to the urinary system that (the common) enlargement of the former impinges awkwardly on the latter.

    In addition, as human testicles descended — both in evolution and in embryology — the vas deferens (which carries sperm) became looped around the ureter (which carries urine from kidneys to bladder), resulting in an altogether illogical arrangement that would never have occurred if, like a minimally competent designer, natural selection could have anticipated the situation.

    There's much more that the supposed designer botched: ill-constructed knee joints that wear out, a lower back that's prone to pain, an inverted exit of the optic nerve via the retina, resulting in a blind spot.

    And what about the theological implications of all this? If God is the designer, and we are created in his image, does that mean he has back problems too?

    The point is that these and other incongruities testify to the contingent, unplanned, entirely natural nature of natural selection. We are profoundly imperfect, cobbled together rather then designed. And in these imperfections reside some of the best arguments for our equally profound natural-ness.

    1:22 PM


    Friday, June 17, 2005  
    The Return of the King
    As you, the loyal reader, may or not be aware, the end of finals has come. In the wake of the aftermath, pending any of those dreadful grades, it was time for some down time. Since pretty much everyone either had finals the next day or abandoned me for their so-called "homes," I was left to entertain myself with some games and DVDs. So as I indulged myself in a round of Crimson Skies (you knew I was a dorkus maximus), my cell phone rings. Perhaps someone with alternate ideas of entertainment? Perhaps a lady friend of some sort? Caller ID reads "Unknown Caller." Unknown caller? It's always either someone in my phonebook or the phone number shows up. I decided to throw caution to the wind and answer the phone.

    "HIII there."
    "Hi....This is Bonnie from Highlander."
    "....and Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Marvel Comics."
    I don't...understand!
    "Are you a fan of any of these?"
    "Yeah...sure...Lord of the Rings?"
    Did I win something?
    "Oh faaaabulous. That's one of my faaaavorites."
    "Oh ok."
    "Anything else?"
    No..nothing else...don't say anything else.
    "I do enjoy Marvel."
    "Oh me toooo."
    "Well, as you know, Swords Direct deals in the most authentic......."
    Wait, what??
    ".....the most authentic fictional swords in the business."
    Ok first of all, if they're fictional they're not authentic. And second, what business would that be?
    "Oh....good to know."
    "We accept no imitations at Swords Direct. I'm sure you know this from our catalogue."
    What fucking catalogue?!
    "Yes of course, of course."
    I so did not win anything.
    "Are you a sword collector?"
    "Not in"
    My friend Lancelot is though.
    "Well now's the time to start!"
    "Why is that?"
    "Because I'm calling to offer you a FAAAAAAAbulous discount."
    "Is that right?"
    Get out of this. Get out of this now.
    "Of course. Do you have a credit card of some sort?"
    "How about a debit card? Those are popular these days."
    Lie again!....Popular? Really?
    "Oh. And how old are you?"
    "I see. Well you see, I can't do business with you if you're under 18."
    But I had such a nice conversation with you, Bonnie.
    "Oh darn."
    "Is your mother around?"
    "She sure isn't."
    "Do you know when she'll be around?"
    "She's out of town so in about a week."
    "Well do you think if I call back she'd be willing to speak with me."
    Yeah...sure. When it starts raining fireballs and beetles, she'll have a chat with you.
    "I'm not sure."
    "Well is she a Lord of the Rings fan?"
    "Hahahahaha not in the least."
    "So she wouldn't be interested in swords?"
    "My wouldn't be interested in swords."
    "Do you have a birthday coming up?"
    "I do, I do."
    "Ooooh the big 18!"
    "That's right."
    "Well maybe she'll be willing to get you a sword for your birthday!"
    Oh god...she's pulling you back in....lie....lie like you've never lied before.
    "Well you see...."
    You can do it!
    "Well you see....we're Scientologists. And as Scientologists, my mother wouldn't be too keen to purchase swords because of their destructive connotations."
    "I see."
    "Well it was nice doing business with you, sir."
    "Nice chatting with you Bonnie."
    "Ok...buh-bye now."

    As I hung up the phone, I sat in awe at my lying prowess. Was it a gift? Or was it something else. Something more. More powerful. Or maybe it was something that could corrupt. A power so overwhelming, that it corrupted everyone in possession of it.

    Whoah, getting too Lord of the Rings-y, there.

    What I'm trying to get at, is that this sort of guile and defiance is something of a gift to us youths. Older, wiser people may simply say to Bonnie to shove off and hang up. But not us. We are, we are...the youth of the nation. We rebel and we take on this society. No matter how small the cause, the youths are there to mess with it somehow, for better or for worse. It was fun messing with ol' Bonnie right there. She wasted a few minutes of my time so I thought it was proper to shut her down properly. (The Scientology thing was a stroke of genius...come on) So the next time you are confronted with a telemarketer, a wily professor or the Republican party, (I couldn't let you go without a partisan zinger) deal with them good and proper. Challenge your imagination and wits to reject the telemarketer, challenge your own intelligence by shutting down that professor's exams....

    As for the Repubes....flamethrowers should do the job.

    5:35 AM


    Wednesday, June 08, 2005  
    Necessary Evils and Diabolic Essentials
    Every year, before summer break, right before final exams, thoughts of the apocalypse come to mind. I know what you're thinking: "Why so chipper this sunny day, kind sir?" Even though there's plenty to be happy about...friends, family, trees and all that jazz...thoughts of the end of days still come to mind. No, I'm not being suicidal (I'm to much of a pussy for that type of thing) or homicidal (See last set of parentheses), I just think that when the end of the world comes (and it is going to be in our lifetime under this wacked out government...zing) what shall we cherish. Those endless nights spent studying for a chemistry final, or that first trip to the beach with your parents when you were younger. Some say all the effort and work put into studying such mindless things are necessary evils. They're right. Without any of our work early on, we won't have something worth hanging onto later on. But then again, why are they necessary evils. As a matter of fact, why should they even be evils? If no one likes studying physics and chemistry and math and Lithuanian literature, why do they do it anyway? I mean the majority of these Asian girls at UCLA do it all the time. (I still love you Bei) Constantly studying, constantly working. And for what? To make their parents proud, to ensure a future for themselves, to become something greater....but at what cost? At what point do these necessary evils become just too sinister to withstand.

    Evil. What comes to mind when you hear this? Hitler? Jeffrey Dahmer? Emperor Palpatine (geek reference of the day)? Condoleeza Rice (double zing)? Organic chemistry, applied physics, statistics? Looking at this list, it is obvious that there are different definitions of devilry ("Teacher, teacher! That's alliteration!") in today's world... which is a shame. In fantasy stories, there are always three types of characters: the good, the bad and the innocents. But in the real world, each of these three character types have subcategories, and subcategories of subcategories. There is no clean cut line between good and evil. It all comes down to each person finding out what they need to do to better themselves. Then, the social norm is used as a foil to decide how crazy your idea of self is. Myself..I'm working to possibly go to medical school to hopefully become a psychiatrist. If not, I'll go to grad school for a PsyD or a PhD. Someone else might think it's way too much work to get to where I wanna go. They're going to get a Communications degree and intern at a television studio. Someone else thinks television is the single most corruptive force in the world. They're going to a convent to become a nun. A coyote hiding in the hills behind the convent might look a the nun and say, "Gee golly that black and white freak looks tasty." The perv hanging out in the shack behind the coyote thinks, "Man, I'd like to have sex with that coyote...Here I go!"

    Each of these people have a definition that they came up with in order to fulfill their own needs. One person's solution may not work for the other, another's may go unnoticed, and yet another's may lead them into years and years of therapy. When it comes to evil, it's pretty much everywhere in one form or another. How harmful it is to someone or others all depends on the severity and context of the evil. Studying science vs. murder. Med school vs. coyote fucking. It's up to each person to find out what they need to do to fulfill their own needs... within reason. Sorry guys, leave the coyotes alone...and the nuns...they're crazy all on their own.

    So when that comet strikes the Pacific and that tidal wave comes barrelling towards us, will all your work and perseverence be worth it? Would your sacrifices have been worth the cost? When apporached with the prospect of your final revelation, what will you look back on and regret and what will you look back on and smile?

    More importantly, when the comet comes, where'd you put that laser you built in grad school.

    2:07 PM


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