What You Should Be Watching

If you like Girls:

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Broad City on Comedy Central

Broad City reminds me of a funnier and less awkward version of Girls. Like Lena Dunham’s brainchild, I hated the first episode I saw of Broad City. I wrote the show off until friends urged me to give it a second chance. I’m glad I gave it another chance because I fell in love. The two leading women play hilarious best friends who are struggling through life. Also keep an eye out for talented guest stars like Ami Pohler (who is also the executive producer) as an angry chef and Kelly Ripa as a hysterical drug fueled version if herself. In all Broad City is a wacky and funny modern comedy.

If you like 30 Rock:

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is one of the best sitcomes I’ve seen in a long time. Kimmy Schmidt was created by the always spectacular Tina Fey. The show was originally meant for NBC but the network had too many problems with the show’s (possibly) controversial jokes. Luckily Netflix bought the show and gave Fey creative freadom. If you watched 30 Rock you’ll recognize several of actors taking on new roles. In addition to creative jokes, this is a show that is astoundingly groundbreaking. There is an Asian man as a love interest, a gay black man, and a storline involving Native Americans. These are not characters we see on typical sitcoms. The best part is that you almost don’t notice the difference. The show is genuinely funny with well written characters so it doesn’t feel like they’re cramming a social message down your throat. Even though I’ve been vocal about my distate for Netflix in the past, this show made me laugh hard enough that I’ve decided to give them a second chance. This is a great show to binge watch on a lazy Sunday. 

10 Questions I Still Have For Texas

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I’ve lived in Texas for almost 3 years now and I still have some questions.

1. Why do BBQ restaurants never give you a plate? I don’t understand why BBQ has to equal meat on a tray.

2. You do realize the rest of the world ditched Styrofoam back in the early 90’s?

3. Why doesn’t anyone talk about San Antonio? Dallas hates Houston, Houston hates Dallas and people who live in Austin hate anyone who wants to move there. But no one ever mentions San Antonio. I guess they’re the Jan Brady of Texas.

4. Where is all the brown gravy? I don’t know what this white shit is but it’s not gravy.

5. How long do you have to live here before you are considered a Texan? I work with a woman who’s lived here for over 20 years and she still considers herself a New Yorker.

6. Can I get some ginger ale please? I know there is an obsession with Dr. Pepper but can at least one restaurant have ginger ale?

7. Can everyone agree to call the highways by either their name or their number? Most highways have both a number and a name. State Highway 635 is also known as the LBJ Freeway. The President George Bush Turnpike is also called State Highway 190. We need agree as a group to use either the name or number. Using both just confuses me when listening to rush our traffic reports.

8. Why can’t you buy a bottle of vodka on Sunday? Even Connecticut ended it’s blue-laws so that liquor stores can be open any day of the week. Come on Texas.

9. When a road is labeled FM 162, what the hell does the FM stand for?

10. Are there any fast food chains you don’t have here? Whataburger, Jack in the Box, In and Out, Chick-fil-a, Sonic, Steak’n Shake, Five Guys, Raising Cains, Churches, Chicken Express, Taco Bueno, Del Taco, Taco Bell, Taco Casa, Chipotle, Fuzzys Tacos, Velvet Taco, Taco Cabana, Wendys, Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, and Arbys. Did I forget any?

The Bareback Pill

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One little daily pill has caused a tremendous amount of discussion and controversy. Supporters praised it for opening the doors to sexual freedom and giving them the option to have worry free bareback sex if they so choose. However critics link it to irresponsible and risky sex practices and they often make a point of mentioning that diseases like herpes and syphilis are still a danger. In addition questions about the reliability plague early research data. Some of the more boisterous critics, like Rush Limbaugh, have even called users “sluts and prostitutes.”  While he is on the more extreme end, early users of the bareback pill have been looked at with judgement and labeled as cum hungry sluts by many around them.

Of course the pill I’m talking about is the infamous female birth control pill. This pill was designed to prevent pregnancy so women could have condomless sex without fear of the long term consequences. While the birth control pill doesn’t prevent every disease it does prevent child birth which is most (straight) people’s number one fear. If you look back at the history of the pill the early data was not 100% concrete and left some questioning it’s safety. The women of the 50’s and 60’s who did take birth control were seen as feminist trailblazers by some and sexual deviants by others.

If you haven’t noticed, almost every detail of the history of the female birth control pill is remarkably similar to that of PreP. Early PreP users are often looked at as cum hungry bottoms who want to ditch condoms for more pleasurable sex. But how are they different from those women back in the 60’s? It’s literally the same type of sex just with a different consequence. A good question to ask yourself is, do you consider women currently on the pill to be responsible females taking control of their sexuality or ravenous sluts who just want to be used as cum dumpsters?

One thing that helps with the overall acceptance of the pill is the decades of data behind it. It will take a long time for PreP to get to that level making that sure long term side effects and reliability remain at acceptable levels. Until then all I ask is that you keep an open mind. Is your opinion of PreP based in logic and reason or do hints of religious and patriarchal judgement creep in. We all like to think we’d be on the side of those early liberal feminists if we lived in the 60’s but that’s easy to say looking back in hindsight. When faced with the possibility of a large social shift right now which side of the isle do you end up on? Do you open your mind to the possibility of change or do you come from a place of fear by judging and persecuting others.

Personally I am not on PreP although I’ve considered it. The biggest reason I’m not is my general wariness of being on too many prescriptions. I’m already on two long term prescriptions so the idea of adding another isn’t appealing. Plus all medications have side effects that must be considered. PreP is new and long term data is still unavailable so I applaud those who are taking it because they are like the sexual beta testers of the world. With convictions much like those early feminist, they are taking on risk and social stigma in order to give the world more sexual options in the future.

For more information about the history of the birth control pill visit Planned Parenthood

Fixing Fashion Police

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Over the weekend Kathy Griffin announced that she will be leaving E! Fashion Police. Kathy gave it a great effort and she was the best possible replacement for the show if it wanted to continue as close to the original as possible. She eluded to the fact that it wasn’t a good fit and the show was more scripted and formulaic than she had expected. She also mentioned that it she had trouble criticizing people based purely on appearance. While at first you might scoff at this, it holds weight the more you examine it. Griffin is known for her sharp critiques of pop culture but if you really pay attention she only goes after people for their actions not their appearance. Her jokes are about a pampered pop star’s diva demands or a right-wing politician’s infamous past. She never makes fun of someone for being fat or having an ugly dress. Due to this we could tell she never felt completely comfortable. While she knows celebrities she’s never been a fashion lover. The reason why Joan Rivers was such a good host was because she was outrageously funny while also having a genuine love of fashion. Beyond the jokes I don’t think Kathy ever really cared about the clothes. I respect her for bowing out gracefully early before she got too entrenched in things.

With Griffin out, along with Kelly Osbourne, it’s time to overhaul the whole show and shake off some of the memories of the past. If I were in charge, here is what I’d do:

  • Demote Giuliana Rancic. She doesn’t have to be totally fired but she needs to be removed from the regular show. Maybe she could be a sort of field reporter and have a short segment from time to time. They need to start fresh and Rancic will always be a reminder of the Joan Ranger years. Getting her off the set will force the change the show needs.
  • Hire Stacy London. Fashion Police need a cast with a little bit more fashion cred. London has a strong upbeat personality and her years of fashion and TV experience fit well with the job. (I still love What Not to Wear reruns) While she doesn’t have to be the official host, London would be great as the leader and top chair similar to Whoopi Goldberg’s role on the View.
  • Keep Brad Goreski. As I said before, no one was more surprised than me by how much I liked Brad. He’s genuinely funny and has the fashion background to support his opinions.
  • Don’t hire Khloe Kardashian. While the show needs someone with a younger perspective KK is not the answer. E! is already 90% Kardashian as it is.
  • Hire a solid supporting player. London and Goreski will provide plenty of comedic relief so the show will need someone who is comfortable taking a backseat. They need a person who has a lot of fashion expertise even if they are a little unknown, a Randy Jackson type if you will. In American Idol’s early years Randy Jackson was a good supporting player to Paula and Simon’s constant antics. He never tried to steal a spotlight but instead was the “industry” insider that added a bit of credibility to the show.
  • Melissa Rivers needs to come back. Melissa already executive produces the show and she needs to come back out in front of the camera. Fans of the show already feel comfortable with her so she will help ease the transition without feeling like they are trying to replace Joan.
  • Make it a weekly show again. When Kathy Griffin took over FP it was only on after award shows. Making it a weekly show again will help the cast and views get used to a routine again. Having shows so sporadically prevents everyone from getting into a groove.
  • Choose fashion over funny. While we don’t want a ultra serious dissection of weekly outfits, try to create an atmosphere that puts fashion first and comedy second. Have panelists with quality opinions that may or may not make you laugh.

TBRU Detox

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I’ve made it a tradition to give you recommendations before the start of every TBRU. This year I decided it was probably a good idea to also help you with the reality that is the Monday after a bear run. 

1. Our value as people has nothing to do with the amount of messages we get on Growlr. 

2. Like every year before you’ll swear off TBRU next year.

3. Every year on Thursday I say “I want to go to the St. Patrick’s Day parade this year.” and every year on Sunday I say “Damn I forgot about the parade.”

4. Sometimes the event isn’t the problem as much as our own attitudes toward it.

5. Reminder for next year: Stop buying unique and niché alcohols for the hotel room. Although Bombay Sapphire is tasty, there’s no reason to for a whole bottle. Stick with plain vodka, rum, and whiskey.

6. Go out to the bars. Staying in the hospitality suite is cheaper but you need a change of scenery so you don’t end up feeling like a shut in.

7. Don’t eat chocolate chip granola bars in bed. When a stray chip melts on pure white sheets it looks like poop.

8. You’ll leave TBRU with many new Facebook friends. By June you will have forgotten and defriended half of them.

9. It feels nice to be sober and eat something other than Jack in the Box.

10. How is the staff of Italia Express so cultishly friendly? Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I’m just curious.

11. When tagging Facebook photos don’t forget to tag the drunk friends in the background. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

12. Don’t fall victim to the Saturday sads. After 2 or 3 days of hard partying the emotional and physical wear and tear start to set in. Extra rest and a non-bear excursion with friends can help.

13. Depending on your comfort level at work, here are possible answers to give your co-workers when they ask what you did over the weekend: 

  • “I got really drunk (and/or high) and fucked a bunch of hairy guys.”
  • “I was at a fundraiser for local LGBT charities.”
  • “Friends from out-of-town came to visit.” 
  • “I was visiting Davenport Florida.”
  • “Not much.”

14. Next year’s TBRU theme is Mardis Gras. 

15. A bear run husband is a guy you meet early in the weekend and end up spending most of your time with. Be warned because they always end up being crazy come Monday. Always. 

16. The TBRU free tee-shirt makes a good cleaning rag when cut up.

17. The run bag included a very nice high quality card advertising a Kickstarter campaign. Although I understand the reasoning, there’s still something weird about spending money just to ask for money.

18. Going to bear runs is a great way to stock up on free condoms.

19. They say bear runs are bad for relationships. I say bear runs are bad for relationship that already have problems.

20. If you got a premium a Growlr subscription just for the weekend don’t forget to cancel it to avoid automatic re-billing.

Personal Style

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Trends come and go and it’s easy to get caught in the tide of the newest craze. (Chubby guys and skin-tight skinny jeans are not a good combo) Having a strong personal style can help you avoid common pitfalls but it’s something that takes time and attention. The best way to achieve a strong personal style is to have specific rules that guide you like a fashion moral compass. I decided to share my own personal style rules so you can see what such a thing looks like. However let me make it absolutely clear that these are not rules everyone should follow. These are the choices that work best for me and your own list will probably look very different. The point is to think about your own style do’s and don’ts. What colors look bad with your skin tone? Are you a hat person? Do you hate your legs so much that you still wear pants in 100 degree heat?

1. Brand Logos Are Tacky. A brand logo is advertising for that company and I refuse to be their walking billboard. Sports companies like Nike are well-known for plastering their logo over everything they sell. Even high-end brands like Louis Vuitton tend toward tacky with their logo obsessed purses. Because I am super selective the only logos you’ll ever see me wear are Ralph Lauren (and all sub-brands), the American Eagle eagle, and the Adidas triple stripe.

2. Patchwork Madras is a Summer Staple. This is a good example of not being too concerned with trends. I LOVE anything that is patchwork madras and I don’t care if it’s on trend or not for the season. No matter what fashion experts say, I’m going to rock madras every year as soon as the sun starts to shine. Over the years I’ve owned patchwork madras shoes, shorts, a wallet, a bag, and quilt for my bed.

3. No Henleys. I’m not against them in theory but they don’t look right on me. I think my neck proportion is off and therefore the buttons look out-of-place.

4. Ties are a problem. My neck is large and disproportionate to the rest of my body. Therefore wearing a tie is a problem. A shirt that fits my neck it’s often a circus tent and when the shirts fits my body there is no hope of buttoning my top collar button.

5. No Leather sandals. This one is tough to explain other than to say I just simply hate them. They make me gag.

6. Color! I hate wearing anything solid black. This goes mainly for tops and pants but truth be told I’m not a huge fan of black shoes either. I’ll even say no to a creative graphic on a black shirt. I choose navy and gray as my neutral bases. I also tend to gravitate away from white shirts however white pants, shorts, and shoes are acceptable. In all cases I’ll choose the color option every time.

7. Crew Neck= Yes. V-Neck= No. When it comes to tee-shirts, I try to always stick with crew necks. For some reason v-necks always look sloppy on me and I feel like I’m wearing hospital scrubs.

8. Kill Vacation Souvenir Clothing. This referrers to clothing that announces where you went on vacation in huge block letters. Picture all those sweatshirts that have Provincetown emblazoned across the chest. One of the best observations I ever heard was “You always know a guy has a partner when you see him wearing a P-town sweatshirt.” P-Town isn’t the only perpetrator. There is a special place in hell for all the Disney theme park clothing that is worn in everyday life. It’s all hideous but what’s worse is that you know the person spent a fortune on it because we all know Disney= overpriced.

9. Graphic Glory. While I don’t like brand logos on my shirts, every tee needs some sort of graphic. Whether it’s a funny saying or a picture of a sassy hippo, I only like tees with a design on them. I’ve tried to go outside of my box and buy a solid color shirt but they end up just gathering dust in my closet. When I do wear solids it’s often a ringer tee. I love me some ringer tees.

10. Just Say No to Black Jeans. Black denim makes me think of horrible things. You know that drunk angry guy who is beating his wife with a wife beater on? Guess what he’s also wearing black jeans. Rock stars are the only people who have a chance of pulling this look off but even they end up looking dirty.

15 Tips For Your First TBRU

Dallas-590x3051. Are you a hospitality suite person or a bar person? You quickly realize that people tend to gravitate to one or the other night after night. If you want to meet some locals the bars are a better bet.

2. Dallas locals have a rule: No Townies. They refuse to hookup with other locals from Dallas. Listen up out-of-towners, use this to your advantage. Locals are just as DTF as you are and your address is a major plus.

3. Liking someone’s Tumblr photos is not a basis for a legitimate friendship.

4. Super hotties get hit on all day every day. Your Woof! on Growlr is not unique and one of many.

5. It’s totally worth paying for Growlr premium for that week.

6. Don’t rent a car

7. A cab to/from DFW airport is about $40-50

8. You won’t get enough sleep

9. You’ll be sick on Monday

10. Take a mental pictures of the rooms at the Crowne Plaza because you’ll recognize them in porn for years to come.

11. Don’t smoke pot at the Crowne Plaza. They will find out and throw you out.

12. Skivvies has a huge selection of fun underwear but if you haven’t heard of the brand name it’s probably shitty quality.

13. As much as we all love jocks, if your ass is out in public it needs to have a thong (or piece of material) down the center.

14. Beer and wine are literally sold everywhere from gas stations to CVS and Target.

15. There isn’t a Walmart or Target nearby if you need to stock up on snacks. TBRU is situated in an area of Dallas that doesn’t have much as far as shopping. The Kroger supermarkets on Maple or Cedar Springs are the closest.

Learning to Like Your Body

the-many-adventures-of-winnie-the-pooh-24The struggle to like your body is universal and one that everyone can identify with. Don’t just accept your body, actually like it and be proud of it.

1. Don’t let one bad photo ruin your day. Yesterday my boyfriend Russ took a picture of me while we were at brunch. When he posted the picture I cringed because I didn’t like that I looked skinny. As I ate it was all I could think about and I started to go into a downward self-esteem spiral. Then I had a moment of clarity during a bite of some delicious zucchini bread. “Why am I letting one picture ruin my day?” I liked what I saw in the mirror that morning so one unflattering picture shouldn’t over rule that. Learn from my mistake. Don’t beat yourself up about a bad photo because there are so many factors at play other than just your looks. Lighting, angles, and poses all have a huge impact on the end result. Focus on what you see in the mirror not on the screen. Or in my case, focus on the wonderfully loving boyfriend across from you who is taking your picture because he loves you and thinks you’re handsome.

2. Bad clothes can happen to good people. When done right, clothes are fun and give you an extra boost of confidence. When done wrong they can make you question your total value as a human. The next time you try something on switch your way of thinking from, “I look so bad in this” to “This shirt is uglier than I expected.” Don’t blame your body, blame the clothes.

3. Acknowledge your own biases. Clothing and photography can impact how we look and play tricks with our perceptions. Unfortunately our own minds can be just as deceptive. For example, if you ask many body builders they will often tell you that they still see the skinny teenager in the mirror despite years of intense weight lifting. These thoughts are very hard to correct but being aware of them is a good start. In addition we each have specific imperfections that we tend to focus all our attention on. Personally, whenever I pose for a picture I am overly aware of how small and squinty my eyes tend to look. Therefore I overcompensate which can lead to crazy eyes. In reality everyone else is probably totally unaware of any eye issues. What stands out to me is just a minor detail to the rest of the world.

4. Turn the negative into a positive. We all have things that we are insecure about. However I guarantee there is someone out there who loves that about you. This is best evident when you see a chubby guy attend a bear/chub event for the first time. The insecurity and self-consciousness they feel in the outside world quickly fades as they realize the belly they always tried to hide is now a tremendous asset that makes them a target of attraction and attention. In addition keep in mind the grass always looks green on the other side. Skinny guys want to be bigger, big guys think thin is in, and no one is ever happy with the skin tags around their neck. Regardless of your insecurity there is someone who will love you for it. Also there’s probably a Tumblr page devoted to it.

5. Fake till you make it. Feeling more confident is an uphill battle that is much easier said than done. In the beginning you’ve got to fake it and pretend for a while until you mind and heart catch up to each other. Did you just shave your head because you were embarrassed by your thinning hair and bald spot? Make it a point to tell people how happy you are to be free of hair products and that you’re loving the extra 20 minutes of sleep in the morning now that your bathroom routine is quicker. You’ll find that even though it was a lie at first your feelings will catch up overtime.

6. Change the changeable. If you are truly unhappy with the way you look then it’s time to do something about it. It’s not easy but change is always a good thing. The word change can mean different things to different people. For one person it can mean going to the gym to get the huge pecs and arms he’s always wanted. While another person can take it to mean changing how they feel about their body. Whether you change your physical appearance or your opinion of it, both are a long journey. Personally I prefer changing how I feel about my body because I can do that from the comfort of my couch but I applaud anyone who has the dedication to stick with an arduous gym routine.