Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Internet study: Photos of feet

The selfie is a crime against humanity I have learned to live with. You want to take pictures of your face as if the whole world is excited to be your mirror? Fine. Do it. It's an immutable law of the universe by now.

Have you noticed pictures of people's feet becoming the new thing? Sometimes people will take a photo of the ground with their really trendy shoes in frame? Or someone's vacationing and they take a great shot of the scenery with their feet in it? I can't do it anymore. Your face was bad enough but at least the face has evolved to be pleasant enough to look at.

What is with these photos? Is it a declaration of relaxation to the world because I know for a fact that some of those angles are damn hard to get a foot in but there it is, a foot to be looked at by a stranger. A barefoot against an ocean backdrop; am I supposed to marvel at the beauty of God's design or look at the ocean? How can I decide when I'm distracted by a perfectly footish foot?

Sometimes people take pictures of the ground which, by itself is weird, but they always make sure to have their shoes barely peeking out at the edge. Why? To remind us they are there? To give us perspective on which way the camera is pointed as if we were too stupid to be trusted with the conjecture that since the ground is down, the photographer must be looking down with the camera lens pointed down. You know what? Fuck it, let me just put my feet in it so no one confuses the sidewalk with the sky.

I'm in a hotel room. Such great hotel art!

This photo pretends to be about the shag carpeting but really it's a cheap ploy to get you to compliment my socks. 

Totally on vacation. Notice my foot relaxing.

To really illustrate my point about the ridiculousness of these photos, I enlisted two people to take pictures of me taking pictures of my feet.

Below, a picture of a foot with a great view. You might find this on anyone's Facebook profile who is vacationing or who just wants you to be jealous that their view isn't marred by a Whataburger.

But below we can see that I am actually not at all relaxing. To get the perfect foot shot I had to suspend my body in a way that could only temporarily defy gravity before my nonexistent ab muscles gave out and I broke my ass on the carpet.

Below you can see a foot shot of Nina taking a picture of me taking a foot shot. 

Is my complaining about this social media phenomenon just a sign that I am growing older and will soon yell at kids to get off my lawn? Maybe. Is the fact that I'm writing about social media phenomenons a sign that I'm an out of touch youth writer for the New York Times? I wish.

Today I went into Target and couldn't buy a button up shirt in the men's section because they all appeared "too youthful." Then I passed by the kid section and all of their button up shirts had designs that an old curmudgeon could appreciate. No prints of dancing tacos, no prints of fish flying out of the water, just straight-up plaid with colors that matched. Men try to dress like boys and boys try to dress like men. 

There's no place for this bearded, bespectacled dickhead in a Target. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World cup recap for any 0-0 game

That one guy did that thing with his feet, connecting to the ball and it went far but the other team got it and did a foot thing, too. The other team got it and did some feet stuff and ran around for awhile.

It went back and forth like that for a couple of minutes until someone kicked it near that net post but the guy in front of it caught it with his hands. HANDS! HANDS, PEOPLE.

Whistles were blown and stuff, people cheered, and both teams kept doing more foot stuff.

The guy not on any team pulled out a yellow card and half the crowd made sounds similar to booing while the  half cheered in a language I couldn't understand.

I've always heard American commentators were amateurs but I found nothing wrong with them tirelessly retelling everyone's trying stories about being able to play soccer professionally while still holding jobs down at Target to pay for their fancy haircuts.

You need good legs to play soccer but you need a better haircut, so they say.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Dumb Ass's Guide to the World Cup 2014

This is America. We don't know anything about soccer. The only thing I know about soccer is that when the World Cup came to America in 1994, I could buy a Happy Meal at McDonald's and get some country's flag pin.

Even as a child, I pretended to like soccer and flag pins just to eat unlimited chicken nuggets and BBQ sauce (this was before the ten cent upcharge on "extra" sauce packets.)

So, you and your friends want to be super worldly and Euro. I get it. I present to you, the Dumb Ass's Guide to the World Cup 2014.

My favorite pastime. Just ask Nina. 

1. When saddling a bar stool, say, "Hey, barkeep! Why aren't any of these many televisions playing La Copa Mundial?!" Always say La Copa Mundial with the same fervor Americans insist on calling futebol soccer. That'll show everyone around you that you are a person who loves nuance. 

2. Similarly, pronounce Brazil with a hard 's.' 

Example: "Can you believe the corruption of the BraSilian government in BraSil? Spending billions of dollars on a silly game that I insist on watching despite my interest in the plight of poor people I'll never see." This absolves you of all participation. Admitting the World Cup is a waste of money automatically allows you to watch it guilt-free. 

3. Say you love America and immediately negate that by actually watching soccer. 

4. Every conversation has to start with, "I hate sports but I love soccer." This is required of every American soccer watcher. You also say, "I don't even own a TV," in the middle of every conversation no matter what the topic is. 

5. Proclaim your love of soccer's intense focus on athlete's legs. Why do American sports insist on only showing the upper body? Why can't we focus on clean shaven, sweaty, sweet, sweet, androgynous legs?

6. If you must root for America, pick another team that has a chance better than a tee-totaling asexual at an orgy in Hell. 

7. Always point out that athletes in America (that don't play soccer) aren't even any good at faking injury.

8. Don't ever mix vuvuzela and favela in a sentence. Avoid sentences like, "Favelas are so annoying. They scream out, 'look at me! I can make noises in my mouth!" and, "I really feel for the plight of the vuvuzelas. It's not right that I sit here and watch this game while the vuvuzelas are marginalized."

9. Bring a really highfalutin French novel to whatever bar you choose to watch the games in. You'll be reading a lot of it because we all know soccer is boring as fuck. 

You're welcome. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Radio thing


KOOP radio in Austin is a gem. I'm not just saying that because I was on it. I'm saying it because it is true community owned and run radio. They are not an affiliate of anyone. They are community supported, community owned, and community run. The people who work there care about what they're doing and they provide the real sound of Austin.

I was nervous going in. I practiced saying things without curse words or salty imagery all day at work. I already knew I couldn't read any of my stories on the air without being heavily edited. While I could have chopped off some limbs of a story in order to make it FCC friendly, I decided not to. That was the right decision.

So what else is cooking? 

A NEW EATING & READING - Someone called it "David Lynchy." 

NINA TALKS GARDENING - She can't stop, she won't stop. 

JUNK ANTHOLOGY REVIEWED HONESTLY - If you listened to my interview, this is the anthology that "Flesh House" is in. 

Buy Toilet Stories From Outer Space!

The physical copy with a very special doodle dedicated to you: 

The Amazon eBook version with no personal doodle : ( : 

Toilet Stories From Outer Space

The Google Books version with no personal doodle : ( :

Toilet Stories From Outer Space

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


I've been checking my website stats and I've noticed an influx of new readers coming from KOOP's Writing on the Air and Ten Minute Interviews. Welcome, new readers!

Because most of my stories cannot be read over FCC regulated airwaves and I can't read one over the air tomorrow night on KOOP 91.7FM, I wanted to direct you to some of my short stories that are available online.

Once again, welcome. I hope you enjoy what you find here. If you find yourself itching to buy my chapbook, Toilet Stories From Outer Space, there are options below. 

The first option is the best option. If you buy the physical copy, I guarantee that I will doodle something on the first page for you. Hell, request a doodle. It's only $5 and there's 7 stories in there. Click that Buy Now button.

Toilet Stories From Outer Space
7 stories

Or, you can get the ebook from Google or Amazon without a doodle.

Oh, and while I'm doing the whole shameless self-promotion thing: Twitter @AHILBERT3000 Facebook

Thanks for reading!