Am I using the recession as an excuse to not look for a real job?

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As always - is he on the cuter side, or gayer side? - you decide!

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Dad on a stripper pole! Nothing is greater or scarier than this. Who are these people, and why do I not know them in real life?

I don't give the "stripper with a heart of gold" distinction to everyone, but this man certainly earns it.

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Thoughts of the Day

I just woke up. Had a sloppy night at Wonderland despite making a conscious effort not to go out and spend $$$. Its a recession, man, and no one knows it better than the service industry. We let one of our chefs go, we're down to one host (from about 5 when we opened), we got rid of two managers, and we're cutting corners everywhere. Its a sad state of affairs. I keep reading articles on queerty about how both the gay and lesbian nightlife scenes are the only thing besides cockroaches that will survive this recession, but I'm not entirely sure how true that is. Things are rough right now and its showing up everywhere.

Today I'm off to meet Patrick for some coffee and pastries at Sticky Fingers. I'm pretty excited to see him - haven't since we had a really awkward night in at his place and then left for winter break. It'll be interesting to see how things go. Read more!

Facebook Pub

This is an actual hangout in somewhere in Lebanon. Makes me proud that they are my peeps. What do you think - would you hang out here? I would(n't).

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Sheriff Joe Must Go

Check out this video of sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona - a proponent and enforcer of racist racial profiling (I can't believe that racist and racial profiling aren't redundant yet). After you're all fired up, sign the petition here.

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Thoughts of the Day

I am sitting in the South Campus Dining Hall, which sits right next to the English building, where I've spent tons of time the last four semesters. However, this is the first time I've ever been here - I had no idea this place existed, and its HUGE! I don't get it. Its almost time for me to graduate and I'm starting to wonder about all the opportunities and offerings that Maryland had to give me that I never knew about or didn't take. Its kind of sad, but I kind of just want to get out of here and never look back.

Maybe I'll feel differently about my alma mater later in life, but for right now, I'm okay with hating it. Its putting me in debt. Its made me no kinds of social life or friends. Its giving me a degree that may not be able to do anything for me, and its all because of bureaucracy and stupid shit like that.

I don't hate my school, but I kind of hate that I don't like it, or don't feel like I'll miss it more when I'm gone. Read more!

Frankmusik - Better Off As 2

In my new endeavor to bring you good songs and artists that also make good music videos, I bring you Frankmusik, who I've posted about before (you can also see his first video there). Here is his latest single. Love it!

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Hottie of the Week

In honor of "Slumdog Millionaire" sweeping at the Oscars, I'm using model Rajan this week as February 2009's last model. Enjoy, and, as is the case lately, you can find more pictures after the jump.





Photos courtesy of Read more!

Thoughts (Or Lack Thereof)

Last night I had a phenomenal dinner with my family after a pretty long day. After school I went for a jog through the oldest cemetery in DC, a place I've been using for my cardiovascular necessities as of late. Its a really interesting jog - graves with swastikas, creepy and bizarre eulogies, half-buried headstones due to the erosion of the soil. Patrick Henry and many other notables are buried there. Its pretty fantastic.

Mom's birthday was last week and I was lagging on a present, mostly because I was looking for an elliptical machine to get her being that her stairmaster finally gave out. She'd been splitting her exercising time between the aforementioned graveyard and the gym that is inside her building at work. I found one a couple of days ago on Craigslist in my price range and the guy dropped it off - I had Jijad there with me in case he was shady, and to help me judge whether the machine was shady itself.

We all met up for dinner later that night, and had a fantastic meal and several cocktails. It was the perfect ending to a long day. Actually, coming home and showing my mom her new piece of exercising equipment was the perfect ending to a long day. Happy birthday, mom! Don't let yourself go.

I can't believe she's almost 50! Read more!

Growing Palins

I should definitely think about writing reality shows. I have this excellent idea to give the former vice presidential candidate's family a reality show called, "Growing Palins" a la "Living Lohan." What do you think? Would you watch it? I know I would - part sitcom, part cooking show (where Sarah teaches us the secret to a nice thick moose stew), there would be something for everyone. Maybe even a Full House-type resolution to every episode, courtesy of Piper Palin. She has Stephanie Tanner written all over her.


If the whole fam doesn't want to jump onboard, I'm sure Bristol would be in it for a Real World-type living situation with other unfit mothers. It'd be like "Bad Girls Club" only with more stretch marks. The cast?

Jamie Lynn Spears




And of course, Bristol Palin


Hot! I can see the plot points now - who stole my Doritos?? Read more!

Julianish, Julianism, Julianist, Julianesque...

New layout: do you like it? Yay or nay? Read more!

Sam Sparro - 21st Century Life

Not only is he good looking and has good style, but I also enjoy his music. The music video for Sam Sparro's second single, "21st Century Life," is the unique place where East Village Boys and 80s era Sesame Street meet. Love it! Check out the video and the rest of his album, available on iTunes or whatever music pirating program you use.

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Craigslist: A Series

I think I would book this under creepy/mmm...yuck. Either way, its a good read. Can you believe some of these things are ACTUALLY real?


ADORABLE girl in prison seeks male---loves the beach
Date: 2009-01-08, 3:03PM PST

NOTICE: I am not Diana. I am a friend. DO NOT SEND ME PHOTOS for her! I will NOT foward them to her. Send me an email, and I'll mail you her mailing address. She is in prison, and has NO email access! You must snail-mail her!
Diana is 22. The photo was taken when she was 19. She has not changed. She is in prison at a woman's prison in Chowchilla--40 miles north of Fresno. She is from Lancaster. She got 3 years in prison for "carjacking" (i.e. her boyfriend told her to drive the truck after he carjacked a man who owed him money). Her boyfriend got life ("three stikes"). Diana got 3 years.

Diana's parents are both deceased, and her sister died in a car crash. She has nobody in the world when she gets out. She is seeking a HUSBAND, somebody who can visit her while she is still in prison, and to take care of her once she is out of prison. SHE LOVES THE BEACH! She wants to live somewhere where she can go to the beach often; once per week or at least twice per month. Diana is 5'4", 120 pounds. She is bi-sexual, and willing to pick up girls for her husband and share the girl with him if he wishes. She does not smoke. She kicked drugs in prison, and wants to STAY OFF DRUGS forever. She wants at least two kids. Men who are NOT willing to have children, DO NOT RESPOND!

You need to have your own apartment or home. You need to make at least 25K per year. She's not asking for much! YOU CANNOT TAKE DRUGS! Any man who does, she's going to leave immediately.

MARRIAGE ONLY! She is NOT interested in "sex" only. You must be willing to visit her at least once a month until she is released in 15 months. If you wish to write her...send an email with "DIANA" in the subject line.

DO NOT SEND PHOTOS! I will NOT foward them!
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Did this Superfan take his obsession too far?


I mean, I love New York as much as the next person, but I'm not about to get her skanky, blue eye-shadow wearing face on my arm. Maybe I'll just get the Vh1 logo tatted on instead?

By the way, it should be mentioned that the Megan tattoo-sporter is a twink from Florida, who also has two Chihuahuas, one named Megan and the other named Lily. Yuck! Read more!

State of the Union


What did you all think about Obama's speech? I tried watching it, but I kept getting distracted - I felt like it sounded like he was still campaigning for the job. I can only imagine his speechwriters and how confused they must be that they actually are writing for the president now. Instead of giving a STATE of the union, he pretty much handed out promises as easily as a pedophile gives out candy. Its as though we're still looking to the future instead of dealing with the problems that are happening today, in all of our lives. What about the stimulus package, yo? What are you going to do with that? And specifically?

Maybe I just wasn't paying attention too closely. Maybe Michelle Obama's underdress-edness was distracting me. Or maybe it was Nancy Pelosi's irritating clap-standup-sitdown routine that had Joe Biden looking like he would snap his dentures in half if he gritted just a little harder. In any case, I was not that impressed. Were you? Read more!

The Presets - If I Know You

At first, it was just an awesome song. Now, it has become an awesome video. I must admit that when I first tried to visualize what the video would look like, I saw a drag queen in a seedy bar in the 1970s with Tina Turner hair, but whatever - this may be just as good.

Watch it!

The Presets - If I Know You from Modular France on Vimeo.
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I Love Money 2: Episode 4 Update



Two more bite the dust! In a twist of fate, The Entertainer, who happened to be paymaster, got rid of former ally T-Weed, for failing to get Buddha into the box. Once all said and done, Craig, the host of the show, decided to switch it up and mix up the teams once again, leaving one person off a team (much like the first episode) as there were fifteen players at this point. Because Saaphyri pretty much runs things on this show, Buddha was left off a team, and he went home, as well.

Shystie! It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the episodes play out, now that Saaphyri, the Entertainer and their alliance clearly have the upper-hand on things.

Fourteen remain.

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Is this on the cuter side, or the gayer side? - you decide! Loving the tats and the Superman sweatshirt - wonder where I can get one?

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Young Black Latinas - How Do You Identify?

I found this on Its a compilation of interviews with young "Blatinas" who were asked how they identify, and interesting questions on race. I think this is entirely appropriate, being that its Black History Month. Awesome!

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Interesting Graphic

I found this on someone's site. Pretty interesting, right? For those of you who do not know, this is a spoof of the Bay Area Rapid Transit [BART] logo, with an injection of political commentary. I can't help but wonder if it popped up after the murder of Oscar Grant. For the full story, check out's synopsis of went down that day.

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Stripper Update

So what's the deal? I've been working out (with weights) for about a month now and I have yet to see real results. I mean, Nati and Jijad came into my work one day and said that it looked like I was bulkier. It was flattering, especially since no one has said anything besides them. Maybe they knew I wanted them to say something like that.

I flexed for Sebastian at work and he just kind of smiled. Sebastian is probably the "buffest guy at the office" so I wanted his opinion. I take his lack of opinion as a "you look the same to me."

Is your body supposed to feel tighter when you exercise, or just your clothes? Because I swear - my t-shirts are gripping my biceps a triceps right now. Ha.

I just downloaded a bunch of music. This includes:

1) TV on the Radio - "Heroes" (David Bowie cover)
2) Scissor Sisters - "Do the Strand" (I'm so happy they have new music out)
3) Franz Ferdinand - "Call Me" (Blondie cover)
4) Passion Pit - "Sleepyhead" (free on iTunes this week)
5) Bret Michaels - "Bittersweet" (sue me!)
6) Late of the Pier's album "Fantasy Black Channel"

So excited to work out now.... Read more!

Drag Queen Wins Miss George Mason University

So cute! Check it out:

Mr. and Ms. Mason 2009 from Connect Mason on Vimeo.
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Love Letterz: A Series

My newest series, called "Love Letters!" I just discovered two things that made this series possible:

1) I learned how to take pictures of my computer screen.
2) I learned that none of my Myspace inbox messages have been erased - for over two years!

So check it out. Here is the first in the series.

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Stripper Update!

Back at school, yo. I just had an exam in my Spanish class, and if I did the math correctly, I should be getting at least a B in it. I'm crossing my fingers for a curve! You know things are bad when you find yourself doing that.

The weekend was pretty much devoured by my work schedule. I made a coconut cake last night for mom's birthday and watched the Oscars, which was about as entertaining as waiting for frosting to thicken. I also caught a mouse inside of this spoon jar on the counter, and we threw it into the gutter outside after four hours of trying to decide whether we should kill it or not. I don't have the heart to take a creature's life - I suppose I wish I did, because that mother will probably be back with one hundred babies.

Rock of Love Bus was cancelled last night. Boo! I guess Vh1 wasn't confident enough that the assortment of strippers and skanks would hold to the likes of Brad Pitt and Anne Hathaway. I would have chosen the former, but whatever. Read more!

The District: Episode 2

Oh my God this show is so good... watch it. In case you missed the first episode, which you can see here, this is Newsweek's sick and horribly clever "television program" that covers our newly elected president's first 100 days in office: a-la "Hills/The City." So good. I'm expecting Lauren and Heidi to walk in at ANY moment now.

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Craigslist: A Series

This one I would definitely categorize in the "word" file of angry, degenerate, meaningless babble. Right there with ya, brother!


Prenancy Doesn't Make You Divine...
Date: 2009-01-11, 12:40AM PST

Yeah, we get it - You're pregnant. BIG FUCKING DEAL. It's not like you went to school for three years and had to take some excruciating multi-day certification. It's not like you saved a Golden Retriever puppy from getting run over by a bus load of Norwegian tourists. It's not like you cured macular degeneration. YOU SPREAD YOUR LEGS AND TOOK A MAN-MUSTARD INJECTION... Wow. Way to go. I am amazed you made it through such a mentally and physically demanding challenge that probably lasted all of 45 seconds (either natural or lab-grown.)

And now we are suppose to fawn all over you. We are suppose to act like it's so incredibly difficult to get pregnant, and that you are now this pristine chalice of life -Something that deserves to be worshiped and adored.

Feel sick in the mornings? Do your feet hurt cause they are swelling? Gotta buy new clothes because you are 12 weeks along and have already put on 19 pounds? NOT MY PROBLEM. Do your job like you are suppose to and shut the hell up already.

…Oh btw - Quit using your pregnancy as an excuse to stuff your gullet each and every chance you get. When you proudly stand up at the staff party and announce that "The baby wants" an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's Super Fudge Chunk, a liter of Dr. Pepper, some curly fries THEN TELL THE BABY TO SHUT THE FUCK UP.

Now what exactly do I have to look forward to for the next two or three years..? A constant stream of verbal diarrhea such as "little Bobby went to the toilet and pooped all by himself - But he forgot to wipe and then sat on the floor to pull his pants up! It was so precious, but there was poop everywhere!" or “I'm sorry I'm 40 minutes late, you see I have a four-year-old in potty training and we had an accident." or "I don't feel comfortable doing the speed limit, my baby is only two months old - You can go around." FUCK YOU.

Two years after that and now I'm stuck behind you at the concession stand - And guess what? You feel it's important to empower your child. It doesn't matter that there are nine people behind you, you want little Bobby to make his own choice when it comes to artificially flavored processed movie snacks. By God, Bobby is special. He must be because that’s what all the Nike commercials say. There is only one Bobby and he is different from every other person on this earth. He is special by God, and he will be raised knowing he is special. And now, little Bobby has been standing there with his little index finger in his little mouth, staring at all the choices for the last FULL minute. But you aren't the type of parent to acknowledge the fact that many people are waiting for little Bobby to make up his little mind. You don't say something like "Hurry and choose something or I will choose for you" or even better “Other people are waiting, make up your mind” - Not you. Instead, you turn to the sea of humanity that has formed a marginally cohesive line behind you and look at them with an 'I'm sure you all understand' look. FUCK YOU. You are the same people that just can't put their cell phone conversation on hold for 20 seconds while you order your venti no-whip-half-caff almond latte and spinach croissant - Instead you make eye contact with the waiter and raise that index finger. The index finger which happens to be the international signal for 'I am a socially retarded fuckhead.'

One time I saw an interview with Hootie (of the Blowfish), with his wife. It was a lovely 'What does Hootie and his wife do when he's at home and not packing fans into concerts at 20 or 30% of capacity' piece on some lame ass afternoon news biopic show. Anyway Hootie’s wife starts talking about kids and how they are such a miracle and (now she is actually tearing up) and she just can't understand how anyone wouldn't want to have children and HOW SHE JUST FEELS SORRY FOR THOSE PEOPLE. Oh yes honey, feel sorry for us. Obviously we are emotionally fractured because we don't share the same fervent desire to add our particular goo to this world's collective semen cesspool...

I don't hate children. I hate the parents that think they are entitled because they have children...
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I Love Money 2 Update: Episode 3


For the third time on a reality show, Leilene's ass was sent packing last week on "I Love Money 2." It was kind of sad, because the one to send her home was Saaphyri - the same person who beat her in the first season of Charm School. I admit I am going to enjoy the bizarre sisterhood that Leilene, Saaphyri and Buckwild formed (as exemplified by this "aww" moment):


In any case, Saaphyri thought that the game was a little too rough for someone as good-natured and as emotional as Leilene, so she was chosen to leave over Milf (who, coincidentally, is also a stronger player and vowed to ally herself with Saaphyri 100% [we'll just have to see about that]).

Anyway, had this been another TV show, I would have definitely poured out some champagne onto the rug for Leilene. You, my dear, are a stripper with a heart of gold!

16 contestants remain...

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Thoughts of the Day

Yesterday was the most boring scholastic day of my life, namely because I left my computer at home. What a disaster! I was passing out in Spenser (which usually puts me to sleep, but at least I can keep myself industrious by scanning for photos of the latest and greatest hottie). I needed two cups of coffee - black coffee, mind you - to get me through the friggin' day. I had to take a nap.

On the plus side, I got a haircut yesterday, and had dinner with my mom, my sis and Jijad (my sis' boyfriend) to celebrate my mother's birthday. We had a bottle of wine, I had two cocktails, and we didn't get out of there until fairly late. By the time I got home I was so tired I crashed in bed ... only to flip on my computer (come ON, I missed it!). I ended up doing some homework and I realized I was backed up by two weeks on stuff that I had not done for my Spanish class, so I jumped on that. Yuck. I didn't end up going to bed until twelve-thirty - late, for how tired I was.

Anyway, boring! Hope you enjoy the hottie this week, and I'll post some more shit for you to check out throughout the day. Read more!

Hottie of the Week

Ah, I love photos of trashy boys.


Don't you love that I know how to use cuts now?



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Stripper Update

So, its been a pretty slow week for posts. Sorry about that. I'm sure you got used to me posting five posts a minute (which was true on some days), but alas, I've decided that by making you all starve a bit, maybe you'll comment/pay attention a little more!

Just kidding. Kind of. Actually, I'm not kidding at all. Comment!

If you still read this shit. I know it looked abandoned for a few days, but believe me - I'm still here, in my Nike-wearing, stripper-acting, Vh1-loving fake ass way, so don't forget about me. I haven't forgotten about you.

What's even worst is that I'm considering leaving my computer at home more often so that I can pay better attention in my classes. Its hard to listen to talk about Spenser when you're sitting in the back of the class looking for the next hottie of the week. Hard work, I tell ya.

I am thinking about trying a dry run tomorrow. However, I'm really, really scared. I'll let you know how it goes. When I'm home, of course. Read more!

Rock of Love Bus: Episode 6


Oh, Jennifer - you were gone before we even got the chance to get to know you - but something tells me that we're not missing much. Either you were really lame or you'll get fifteen more minutes on one of the Charm School/I Love Money spin-offs. Bon voyage, bitch!

My top 4 are still in play.

PS: Did any one else find it odd that Bret pretended that sensitivity was the reason he sent her off? And what the fuck is Brittanya's deal? That bitch needs to cough up some lingo before Bret realizes he likes girls who don't talk.

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Cougar Barbie

Hot. I want one!

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Recipe of the Month: Jello Shots

Jello shots not only are delicious, but they are nutritious, too! Well, not really - but they sure make you feel like you went for a thirty minute run or took all your vitamins. The morning after is a different story (piecing together the night and doing damage control, not to mention mind-splitting headaches are some of the side effects), but carpe diem!


Making gelatin shots is like making regular Jell-O, except with alcohol added instead of just cold water. It is poured into shot glasses or tiny cups instead of bowls. They can be prepared one or two days in advance.

To make approximately 40 1oz. shots or 20 2oz. shots:

- 16 ounces (2 cups) boiling water
- 6 oz. package of gelatin
- 6 ounces cold water (3/4 cup)
- 12 ounces chilled alcohol(1 1/2 cup)

(Remember, the amount of liquid should be roughly the same as required on the box. So if you have a just one 3 oz box then 1 cup boiling water, 3 oz (0.375 cups) of cold water and 3/4 cups of chilled alcohol.)

- chill alcohol at least one hour prior (not in the freezer, see Warnings)
- you can use any kind of alcohol, but the amount added to the mixture depends on the strength of the alcohol; see Tips for guidelines


1. Bring water to a rolling boil, then remove from heat.
2. Stir together boiling water and powdered gelatin in a mixing bowl. Stir constantly until gelatin is completely dissolved.
3. Stir in cold water and alcohol.
4. Pour mixture into shot glasses, individual shot-size (1oz-2oz) plastic cups, or cups manufactured specifically for this purpose. (EZ-Squeeze Jello Shot Cups recommended)
5. Although shot glasses look prettier and allow you to see the vibrant colors of the Jello, paper cups allow for easier Jello shot consumption as they can be turned inside out. Ice cube trays also work well.
6. Place shots on a tray in refrigerator (not the freezer). Chill until firm (approximately 2-4 hours). Refrigerate until served. Read more!

They Got the "Harder" Part Right

Here are two duos of hard bodies dancing to Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger." The girls win the creativity points not just for the awesome helmets but because they actually came up with the concept, while the boys simply put on some shades and pretty much replicate the dance. Who wins - girls or boys?

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A Whole New World
Along the U.S.-Mexican border, where hearts and minds and money and culture merge, the Century of the Americas is born

Some places the border is a muddy river, too thin to plow, too thick to drink. Other places it's just a line in the sand. Over the years mapmakers redrew it, wars moved it, nature yanked it all around as the course of the Rio Grande shifted. But what would it take to make it disappear altogether? If today is like any other day, this is what is going to come across the line from Mexico: a million barrels of crude oil, 432 tons of bell peppers, 238,000 light bulbs, 166 Volkswagen Beetles, 16,250 toasters, $51 million worth of auto parts, everything from the little plastic knob on the air conditioner to your cell-phone charger. It all comes in trucks and boxcars and little panel vans, and that's just the stuff that Customs can keep track of. There is also the vast shadow market, not just the cocaine and heroin and freshly laundered money, but cut-price Claritin and steroids and banned bug killers and boots made from the flippers of endangered sea turtles.

More under the cut...

And then there are the people, more than 800,000 crisscrossing legally every day, some walking, more driving, not to mention the 4,600 or so who hop the fence and get caught a few minutes or hours later. The ones who make it are on their way to jobs as meat-packers in Iowa and carpetmakers in Georgia and gardeners in Pennsylvania. They want to come here so badly, they will risk the scorpions and the rattlesnakes, the surveillance cameras and underground sensors; they will fold into hidden compartments in the dashboard of a car or in the belly of a tanker truck. They know they can get a job no one else wants, save some money, send some home, maybe find a way to bring their families—because someday, this border may not look anything like what it does now: a barbed-wire paradox, half pried open, half bolted closed.

So how much has to cross a border before it might as well not be there at all? There is no Customs station for customs—for ideas and tastes, stories and songs, values, instincts, attitudes, and none of that stops in El Paso or San Diego anymore. The Old World fades away—salsa is more popular than ketchup; Salma Hayek is bigger than Madonna—and the border is everywhere. One day soon it may seem a little backward not to speak some Spanish, even the hybrid Spanglish of the Southwest: "Como se llama your dog?" Signs appear in the store windows in Garden City, Kans., that say, se habla español, and you can buy extremely fresh mangoes at bodegas all over that town. Dalton, Ga. (pop. 27,900), has three Spanish-language newspapers. Says longtime resident Edwin Mitchell, 77: "We're a border community—1,000 miles away from the border." Already, we are living in a whole new world.

Sometime in the next few years, Mexico will pass Canada as America's top trading partner. Hispanics have overtaken African Americans as the country's largest minority, the swing vote to woo, the sleeping giant to waken. If Presidents George W. Bush and Vicente Fox manage to solve the problems of two countries that need each other but don't completely trust each other, the American Century could give way to the Century of the Americas, and the border might as well have disappeared altogether.

America's 4,000-mile border with Canada is basically defended by a couple of fire trucks, and most Americans think that's about all we need. The southern border is half as long, has the equivalent of an army division patrolling it, and many Americans say it should be buttoned down even tighter. At the beginning of a new century, there may be no country on earth with as much potential as Mexico to destabilize the U.S.—and to preserve its standard of living. No wonder people can't decide how much the border should be a barrier, how much a bridge.

From the moment you set foot in the boomtowns of the Rio Grande Valley, you sense you are watching the gold rush, headlong and free spirited and corrupt and ingenious. Stand on a corner some morning in Laredo, and watch the first of 8,000 trucks a day hauling the global economy north and south, 18-wheelers full of bulldozer claws and baby cribs, all passing through a town that once didn't bother to pave the streets. Now it can't pour concrete fast enough. The banks are open 7 to 7, seven days a week; the pager shops are everywhere. Every road is being widened, the road shoulders littered with pieces of blown-out tires.

Locals say you are not really a borderlander until your windshield has been broken at least once, from all the rocks flying out from under the big rigs. Much of the border is still desperately poor—McAllen, Texas, at the heart of the fourth fastest growing metro area in the U.S., is America's poorest city, the Commerce Department announced last month, with average per-capita income of $13,339 a year. But people on both sides are helping one another do the deals, cut the corners, take a region that was forever left behind and turn it into the New Frontier. The nafta prospectors saw in the opening of the border a chance to make a killing, take factories that would otherwise head to Malaysia and plunk them down right across the border, where the average Mexican worker earns slightly more in a day than an American makes in an hour, and where the highways run all the way to Canada.

That means that both countries are growing more dependent on this relationship every day. Mexicans all across the interior follow the North Star, chasing the jobs. There are now four or five cities the size of Cleveland sitting right next door, and 25 years from now as much as 40% of the entire Mexican population may be living on the border. The region is Mexico's economic engine, a huge commercial classroom where the unskilled workers who were making gauze eye patches in 1980 now make atms and modems and the most popular Sony color TV sold in the U.S.

As for the U.S., we import not just the gizmos and gadgets but also a way of life, thanks to a shadow labor force that lets us eat out once a week because restaurants can hire dishwashers for sub-minimum wage. We depend on the maids and gardeners and carpenters and home-health-care workers whose children will probably become teachers and technicians and surgeons and Senators. If they all put down their tools tomorrow, we wouldn't be arguing about whether we are in a recession.

It's often said that the border is its own country, "amexica," neither Mexican nor American. "The border is not where the U.S. stops and Mexico begins," says Laredo mayor Betty Flores. "It's where the U.S. blends into Mexico." Both sides regard their sovereign governments as distant and dysfunctional. They are proud of their ability to take care of themselves, solve their problems faster and cheaper than any faraway bureaucrat. The Brownsville fire trucks answer sirens on the other side; in Tijuana, health clinics send shuttle buses every morning to meet people coming over for everything from dentistry to dialysis. The school district in Mission, Texas, among the state's poorest, sends its old furniture over the border to help Mexican schools that are lucky to have roofs, much less desks and chairs. El Paso is redesigning the kilns of Juarez brickmakers to cut the soot from burning old tires; the twin cities have signed more treaties than their national governments can keep track of, much less ratify. "The only way the cities in this region can make it," says Juarez mayor Gustavo Elizondo, "is to forget that a line and a river exist here."

And yet for all the frontier pioneer spirit, local leaders do draw a line: Why should the whole country benefit from the blessings of free trade, if the border region pays the price? It costs border counties $108 million a year in law enforcement and medical expenses associated with illegal crossings, money most of these poor counties can't afford, to enforce immigration policies over which they have no control. Yes, there is a shortage of truck drivers, but there is also a shortage of judges to hear all the drug and smuggling cases. Arizona ambulance companies face bankruptcy because of all the unreimbursed costs of rescuing illegals from the desert. Schools everywhere down here are poor, overcrowded and growing. Truck traffic is good for your business but bad for your health; many border cities routinely fail to meet federal air quality standards. Border agents get sick from standing on the bridges and inhaling diesel exhaust all day.

Good health care has always been scarce here, but the border boom makes it worse: a third of all tuberculosis cases in the U.S. are concentrated in the four border states. Among the hospitals in El Paso, 50% of the patients are on some kind of public assistance, mainly Medicaid. Just about the only patients paying full freight, up front, are rich Mexicans who cross over to see a specialist. "Border towns have a double burden of disease," says Russell Bennett, chief of the U.S.-Mexico Border Health Commission: "those of emerging nations, like diarrhea, as well as [First World] diseases like stress and diabetes."

The poor on both sides are united by a struggle just to survive what most Americans can barely imagine. In the rural El Paso outpost of Revolución, mothers cross into Juarez to buy methyl parathion, a pesticide so lethal it is banned in the U.S.; they sprinkle it around their shanties, and it kills the roaches and tarantulas for a year. But their children play in that dust and dirt, and when they get sick, their parents take them to Juarez doctors, who are cheaper and stay open into the night. If the children die, they are buried across the border; it costs about $150, instead of the $2,000 for an American grave.

Local officials are forever pestering the feds for help: If you don't build another bridge and put more Customs people on the ones we have, how can we solve our pollution problem, with 15-year-old cars idling in lines that stretch for miles? How can you order us to educate any child who appears on our school doorstep but not give us the money to do it? Where are we going to find enough water? The congressional Hispanic caucus wants $1 billion in spending on roads and bridges and Customs officers; El Paso state senator Eliot Shapleigh and other Texas lawmakers have called for a Marshall Plan for the border; El Paso Congressman Sylvestre Reyes wants Bush to appoint a border czar who could cut through the red tape and make things happen.

For the first time in years, maybe ever, both the U.S. and Mexico have leaders who understand this region, know that in some ways their hemisphere's economic future may depend on whether they can fix what is broken here. Bush met with Fox three times in his first 100 days, blowing away the old once-a-year tradition. Fox dreams of a day when the border is open, and his countrymen no longer flee to survive. As Fox told Ernesto Ruffo, his top aide on the region, "Put holes in the border."

But that's not going to happen until Mexico goes straight, cleans up its justice and banking systems. Even some American borderlanders who cheer integration in public go off the record to talk about what's wrong, admit that they rarely visit the other side or whisper quietly that they haven't felt the same about the place since a friend's car was hijacked a few years ago, and they never saw him again. You can sense the same mysterious half silence no matter where you go; Mexicans call it Article No. 20, as in, which of the $20 is for me? Police and Customs people pay for their government jobs so they can get in on the mordida, the payoff system. Midwives in Brownsville, Texas, sold thousands of birth certificates to be used as proof of U.S. citizenship. The Arellano Felíx brothers, the Tijuana drug kingpins known for torturing, carving up and roasting their rivals, are paying $4 million a month in bribes in Baja California alone, just as the cost of doing business. The $4 million reward for their capture is one of the highest the U.S. has ever offered, and something of a bad joke under the circumstances. There hasn't been a single nibble in four years. What good is the money if you're dead?

And as lucrative as the drug-smuggling business is, the people-smuggling cartels are prospering as well. The more the U.S. cracks down on illegal immigration, the more expensive crossing becomes. The border patrol has a mission impossible: no matter how many surveillance cameras and motion detectors it installs, still the immigrants come. It's harder to cross and easier to die trying. In some ways it's the lucky ones, say the border agents, who get caught. "Everything out here will either bite you, burn you or arrest you," says the Rev. Robin Hoover, of the First Christian Church in Tucson, Ariz. The Mexican government is considering handing out survival kits, complete with snake-bite antidotes and rehydration tablets, for people intending to set out across the desert—a plan U.S. officials think amounts to an official blessing for breaking American law.

Up and down the border, everyone skirts the fence in his own way. A professor in south Texas says he pays someone $50 a month to smuggle his mom over in a boat for Sunday dinners. He doesn't worry, though, because a federal agent down the street does the same for his housekeeper. "Trying to stop this migration is like trying to stop a wave with a Dixie cup," says Raul Berrios, whose wife Karen runs the popular Renaissance Cafe in Bisbee, Ariz. "It's going to be impossible." There is a whisper network in Bisbee, of codes and messages telling weary crossers where they can stay, safely hidden from the border patrol.

Sometimes nature lends a hand. Highway 4 through Brownsville ends with a stop sign that needs to be taken seriously. The asphalt turns into beach and leads straight into the sea. But turn right, and you can drive down the beach like the old days at Daytona, on fine, hard-packed sand, hugging the Gulf of Mexico. It's a place to appreciate a pristine view: no condos, no concession stands, no concessions at all to anything except the fact that the border begins where the Rio Grande pours into the sea, and so it has to be guarded carefully.

For the first time in 500 years, the river is so low that it just dries up altogether about 50 ft. from its destination and turns into a salt flat. Two alien weeds, hydrilla and hyacinth—border officials don't know how they got there—are growing so fast they have blocked the flow of the river. Fighting them would require approval from both sides, which is practically impossible to get. And so here, all that is left of the border are four metal stakes in the sand, tied with orange ribbons whipping in the gulf breeze.The border patrol has had to make a little sand berm to keep the smugglers from just driving across. The Mexicans, in their window-darkened Pontiacs, drive right up to the very sticks themselves, and the border patrolmen in their Suburbans get out their binoculars, look across the beach and wait to be relieved at midnight.

Just at the moment when, all up and down the river, cities are arguing about where and whether to build more bridges, haggling over diplomatic papers and environmental clearances and political payoffs, all in order to build another truck bridge over a creek—here, nature just went ahead and did it, all on its own.

—Reported by Hilary Hylton/Laredo, Tim Padgett/El Paso, Julie Rawe/New York, Elaine Rivera/Nogales and Cathy Booth Thomas/McAllen
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Thoughts of the Day

I'm really bothered by the developing story on the plane that went down in Buffalo, New York. On, there was a video of a man talking about his sister being on the plane - all 49 passengers onboard are confirmed to be dead. I couldn't imagine such a tragedy - it's such a stark contrast to what happened last month in the Hudson River in New York City. When you get on an airplane, there is always the fear in the back of your head that you push out as much as possible, but what do you do when the fear becomes a reality? Even worst - what happens when its someone you love on a plane that goes down?

Losing a family member in a plane crash has got to be one of my worst fears. My mother travels a lot, and my sister and I fly to the west coast on a regular basis now that we live in Washington. Its impossible to avoid airplanes altogether for us, and so this desire to shut out the "what ifs" is imperative to making annual travel feel okay. I guess we just cannot take for granted how lucky we are when it comes to those we cherish and can call/e-mail/visit whenever we feel like it.

I couldn't imagine losing my sister. My whole world would fall apart. Read more!

That David Beckham sure blows a big load!

Mmm...definitely yuck!

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Kittens - Inspired by Kittens!

Check out this cute video of this little girl dubbing the pictures in a book simply titled "Kittens."

If I were six, this is who would be my friend. Guaranteed laughs, but you have to listen to it.

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Thoughts of the Day

I guess its shitty to be nostalgic about certain things that can't be helped - even worst to regret the choices you've made even when, in the moment, you were absolutely certain that they had to be done. The Co-Op at school always reminds me of Rob - as soon as I enter the Student Union, I can smell it, despite it being on a different floor on the other side of the building. I can smell the granola and 409. I can smell Rob, sitting at that table next to the pillar with the socket so we could plug in our computers. Sometimes, he would have food already for me; other times, we would take turns going in and picking out what we wanted.

Those were good days - the early days of our relationship, when I would cut my nutrition class to spend time with him. It reminded me of high school - that adolescent urge to be with the one you love instead of actually thinking about the consequences. I find myself in that situation now, daily - when I think about what we had, and I think about why we broke up, its as though I broke up for myself, without thinking about the cons. And now I miss him. I miss him when I eat yogurt. I miss him when I hear that the Co-Op cashier is blasting Chromeo.

School is almost over. This time last year, Rob was getting ready to graduate. I was getting ready to take him to San Francisco. And although good memories sit with us forever, whether it be in the smell of a building or in the ghost of two coffees, we have to place what is hard to endure with what is sweet to remember, and find peace. Read more!

Hottie of the Week!

I've finally figured out how to do cuts - so, no more NSFW (Not Safe For Work) images on here - unless you dare. I'm working now on creating thumbnails of images that I want to use as a preview of the NSFW posts, but beggars can't be choosers! So here you go - without further adieu ...





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Having Trouble Thinking of a Valentine's Day Gift?

I'm not - I don't got no Valentine! Hee hee.

But if you are - check out this commercial! Hee-larious.

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I Love Money: Episode 2



So, the first two episodes of I Love Money 2 have been pretty amazing so far, but we've seen the departure of two that I've kind of liked in their short stints - Tamara and Onix. The episodes have been as back-stabbingly good as I remember first season - and none of the Charm School girls (Saaphyri, Leilene, Buckwild or Angelique) have remembered ANY of their lessons. In fact, the entire show is like a reflection of the previous shows that all the losers had been on - from the challenges to their schemes. In any case, I've made a cute little chart below I'll use to pixelate the characters out once they get voted out.

Watch it! It's actually pretty entertaining ... so far.

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God Hates Fags!

What would you say to the crazy bitch featured in this video?:

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Rock of Love Bus: Episode 5 Update


It's been a while since the update, but there was no episode last week, so you haven't missed much. This week, we saw Natasha go home because Bret said they had a friendly connection instead of a romantic one. Maybe its because Bret just isn't that into black chicks - after all, Natasha lasted until the 5th episode, which is farther than any other minority has made it thus-far (unless you count Daisy from last season.)

My top 5 has been reduced to a top 4, and my chances are seriously crippled, being that he's injected another 3 sperm-buckets into the competition. Yikes!

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Michelle Obama on Vogue

Next month's Vogue hits shelves later this week, and the First Lady will be working the front cover. What do you think so far - a good picture, a bad one? Queerty says she looks a little bored, but I think she looks great (and that color!). I must say - I have given in to the obsession with this woman just like the rest of America, and I can't wait to see what she'll be wearing next.

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Rikki Lake and Charm School 3


I'm not entirely sure how I feel about Rikki Lake hosting the latest season of Charm School, which will pick up roadkill from Rock of Love Bus and those (un)fortunate or (un)lucky enough to NOT be chosen on Real Chance of Love. On one hand, I'm kind of excited - she was the original Tracy Turnblatt, after all, and she is pretty funny from what I can remember of her talk show.

However, since she'll be dealing with two very radically differently breeds of skanks, I'm really wondering if she's capable of relating to and encouraging both to succeed. I mean, what is she going to say when Risky and Baybaybay go at it? I'm really not sure. Somehow, I feel like maybe Mariah Carey would be the one to pass the torch to on this one - I mean, her career is virtually over, right?

What do you think? Read more!

Craigslist: A Series

Sometimes, all I want to read is a little anger. So here - here's a little anger for ya:


Fine, Don't Fucking Hire Me, You Can't Handle My Shit
Date: 2008-12-02, 10:34PM CST

What the fuck people! I need a motherfuckin job, and I have a resume that says I am fucking fit to be your goddamn front desk/administrative assistant. I have applied to a ton of jobs on here, and not one of them responded, WHAT THE FUCK?!

Cover Letter? Here's my fucking cover letter!
Now, I'm really low on money, and I'll suck a dick if I have to...that's right!
Got a bear in your backyard that keeps eating your garbage? I'll fight that motherfucker and I'll win! Can any other prospective employee say that?! FUCK NO! What'd you say? You lost your keys? FUCK IT! I'll shoot the goddamn lock off your door with my laser eyes! That's how bad I need a motherfuckin job! Your brother is gay and you're not cool with that? I'll de-gay him with reverse buttsex. Don't believe me?! Then hire me and I'll fucking show you!

I need a motherfuckin job.

-I invented the moon.
-Atlantis was around til 1988, but sunk when I shot out of my mom's vagina like a silver bullet into a wolverine.
-I am also a wolverine.
-Had sex with the Spice Girls.
-The blowjob machine was originally my idea until that bastard Clint Eastwood stole it.
-I have prophetic visions of the apocolypse.
-Watched the movie "Juwanna Mann" at least 18 times.
-Created a new genre of dance in which people get so into it that radiation waves pulsate off of them, I like to call this the microrave.
-I reverse engineered a door, I now know how it works.
-When I was 8, a frisbee flew into my backyard and I blew it up with my mind.
-My brother is the Eiffel Tower
-Direct descendant of Beowulf
-Can make weapons out of anything, very useful in a hostile work environment
-Beat my pornography addiction when I was 19
-Proficient in Microsoft Office and Photoshop

GlomGlom Corporation of Evil Doing
POSITION: Front Desk/Administrative Assistant
DUTIES: Setting up sex scandals in which to blackmail wealthy politicians, forwarding email, burning down the houses of the poor, loan sharking, answering phones, greeting clients in a manner that would frighten most people

GreenHate Enterprises
POSITION: Once Again, I was a fucking Front Desk/Administrative Assistant
DUTIES: Organizing the dumping of bio-waste into the ocean, peeing in lakes, digging holes to fill with garbage, making garbage out of perfectly good and useful items, filling said wholes with said garbage, creating fake facts about Greenpeace and publishing them on the internet(I am internet savvy), good at filing...documents of hate.

Glomgor Evil
GlomGlom Corporation of Evil Doings

Sloblor the Muck Monster
GreenHate Enterprises

So, now that you know the real me, are you gonna hire me or not? I would like to remind you that I can make weapons out of anything.


Steve Madonna

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The District - Episode 1

"The District," which debuts both on and on Youtube is a mockumentary style spoof of "The City" on MTV in which Barack Obama documents his first 100 days in office. Its pretty funny, if you are familiar with its MTV counterpart (I've seen bits and pieces, it isn't something I actively choose to watch [I swear]). I look forward to the next installment!

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Thoughts of the Day

I overslept today. When my eyes finally snapped open, it was 9:15. Fifteen minutes into my Spanish class. For a fleeting second, I imagined myself taking the day off - pampering myself, making food, maybe going out for lunch ... then I realized that I had a paper due in Spanish, and that I had a paper due in my class after that. Yuck.

I leapt out of bed and was in my classroom fifteen minutes late. This whole week I've been trying to go to every class (I mean, that should go without saying, being that its only the third week of school.) However, I missed one class and now I feel shit-like. Bah!

We did a peer review in one of my classes and my partner gave me really inane advice that I nodded to and accepted without rebuttle. However, when it came to giving him a critique, he countered everything I had to say, asked for specific examples to what I would talk about, and would give reasons for every little thing I thought could use work. Annoying. I don't want to stick my head up my own ass, but I feel like its a definite sign of maturity. Granted, this kid is probably two years younger than me, and is clearly socially limited, but .... nah. I just need to graduate and get the hell out of here. Read more!

Teen Facebook Scandal

Check this out - its pretty scandalous. Wish I thought of this one first! Just kidding.

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On the cuter side or the gayer side - you decide? This is actually someone I know (and may or may not have a crush on), so be nice!

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Pulp - "Common People"

She came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge,
she studied sculpture at Saint Martin's College,
that's where I,
caught her eye.
She told me that her Dad was loaded,
I said "In that case I'll have a rum and coca-cola."
She said "Fine."
and in thirty seconds time she said,

"I want to live like common people,
I want to do whatever common people do,
I want to sleep with common people,
I want to sleep with common people,
like you."

Well what else could I do -
I said "I'll see what I can do."
I took her to a supermarket,
I don't know why but I had to start it somewhere,
so it started there.
I said pretend you've got no money,
she just laughed and said,
"Oh you're so funny."
I said "yeah?
Well I can't see anyone else smiling in here.
Are you sure you want to live like common people,
you want to see whatever common people see,
you want to sleep with common people,
you want to sleep with common people,
like me."
But she didn't understand,
she just smiled and held my hand.
Rent a flat above a shop,
cut your hair and get a job.
Smoke some fags and play some pool,
pretend you never went to school.
But still you'll never get it right,
cos when you're laid in bed at night,
watching roaches climb the wall,
if you call your Dad he could stop it all.

You'll never live like common people,
you'll never do what common people do,
you'll never fail like common people,
you'll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there's nothing else to do.

Sing along with the common people,
sing along and it might just get you through,
laugh along with the common people,
laugh along even though they're laughing at you,
and the stupid things that you do.
Because you think that poor is cool. Read more!

Preggers M.I.A. - yay or nay?


M.I.A. tore it up last night on the Grammy's (yes, I am the millionth and one person to talk about the Grammy's, which I did not watch, by the way) - the same day that her baby was due. What do we think - rock star status or was this a Britney-Spears-style-parenting-decision?

Personally, I think she looks great. She should be like one of those fabulous Mormon women who get pregnant every year as though population density weren't an issue (I guess its not in Eagle Butte, Utah). Read more!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies


So good! Finally, someone has done what we've all been waiting for - updated "Pride and Prejudice" to include ... you got it, zombies! How did you know? Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the following synopsis of his new book:

“As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield as Elizabeth wages war against hordes of flesh-eating undead.”

Heroine Bennet and her four sisters become zombie slayers who would even give Buffy a run for her money, complete with Japanese ninja moves taught to them by Mr. Darcy.

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Put yours on your wishlist today!

Courtesy of Read more!

Thoughts of the Day

I've been a bad blogger, girl. And its not because I don't care, or I don't love you, or I am sick of doing it. You see, this semester is my last real semester, and I want to make it a good one. Last fall I finally made it onto the dean's list - a feat I have not accomplished at all in my collegiate career, and something that I am really proud of. This semester, I want to pull up my GPA even further. So far, my cummulative is a decent 3.26, but I am aiming for a 3.5 overall. Think I can do it? We'll see...

In any case, I did most of my blogging last semester in class, and this semester, I'm trying to get away from that. I'm trying to pay attention more, be more engaged, and its working, but my blog is suffering. I don't have the heart to blog about Rock of Love Bus today (but I probably will) because one of my favorites got sent home and I'm a little upset about it.

Things, by the way, have been pretty tame. I went out and blacked out both Friday and Saturday night, which is a feat I have yet to accomplish. On Friday I went out with a bunch of co-workers to Wonderland, then later, Looking Glass. On Saturday we all went out for Kevin's birthday to Level One, the restaurant below Cobalt. After the delicious dinner we went upstairs for some dancing and some stripper-watching.

It was pretty entertaining.

This week is going to be a full-one - its pretty bottom-heavy with work, but now I need to get serious about keeping up with my readings. About twelve weeks to go. Read more!

Hottie of the Week!

Yum! I'm particularly excited about this hottie, who I found on Enjoy!











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