Thursday, February 28, 2008

things y'all should know, part 1

A solid one percent of the US population is in prison these days.

From today's New York Times:

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

This is, of course, quite natural! According to a Professor Paul Cassell, from the University of Utah, who gets quoted later on in the article,

"One out of every 100 adults is behind bars because one out of every 100 adults has committed a serious criminal offense."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two and a Half Years Later ...

... this still makes me laugh.

That and the CD I made to accompany it, "Music for Life Talks." The track list:
  1. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia
  2. "I Love You, Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
  3. "Only Time" - Enya
  4. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia
  5. "I Love You, Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
  6. "Only Time" - Enya
  7. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia
  8. "I Love You, Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
  9. "Only Time" - Enya
  10. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia
  11. "I Love You, Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
  12. "Only Time" - Enya
  13. "Torn" - Natalie Imbruglia
  14. "I Love You, Always Forever" - Donna Lewis
  15. "Only Time" - Enya
  16. "Tiny Dancer" - Elton John
Ahh, what a great mix ...

When Frank Gallaugher fell off a roof and almost died, I gave him this CD and a biography of Clarence Thomas, with the inscription, "This book got me through some tough times. Hopefully, it can do the same for you."

That was one of my prouder moments.

Missed Connections

Everyone knows about Missed Connections on craigslist, right? It's that place everyone likes to go and say, "Aw, these poor, pathetic people. How sad humanity can be."

Right! That place!

Well I was with a semi-friend, hanging out with him and about five of my semi-friend's friends, and Missed Connections came up.

"Oh, I saw myself on Missed Connections again."

"Yeah, I saw that, too. I'm on there at least twice this week?"

"Really? God, you're always on there."

"I haven't seen Michael on there in a while."

"Strange, Michael's alwas on it."

I just sat in silent awe. These people are finding themselves on Missed Connections? I've never found a missed connection about me. Do I just not check it regularly?

Well I started to. Nope, no missed connections about me. Yet these guys are apparently missing connections all over the greater Philadelphia area.

My goal: have someone miss my connection!

How do I achieve this? Wink at strangers? Stand around mysteriously and seductively in oft frequented places? I do now know. But I'm going to get one, damnit! I'll even race someone for a missed connection.

The Problem Solver

Looks like the #1 Solver of Problems (that's me!) has some competition. Check out this craigslist ad I found:


What is your WORST problem?
Business or Personal

Wouldn’t it be great to put it behind you?

Let me know what it is (or what they are) and,

I’ll tell you if I can solve them. It won’t cost you a penny to find out.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The Problem Solver

Worst problem:

2nd worst problem:

3rd Worst problem:

Other problems:

That is so something I would do! I am jealous that they thought of it first. Well they didn't really, but he sure capitalized on it first. I like the way this person thinks, and I want to go into business with them.

See How Much Better This Is?

With everyone just posting whenever they want?

Oh look, snow ...

A Productive Use of Business Cards

So Giggle Print can get you 250 free business cards, and all you have to pay is shipping and handling.

Of course I had to capitalize on this. I got 250 cards, all just like the following:
Brett A. Bumgarner


So I just write little notes in the middle and leave them places. For example, I saw a poor soul with a parking violation and I wrote, "Sorry about your parking violation. That kind of sucks. kind of." Then I stuck that in his ticket.

Or ...

"I once lived in someone's closet for a week. At least I tried to ...

These business cards were a good investment. And free! <333" style="font-style: italic;">Survivor. Is that more sexy or sad?"

Or ...

"You know what? I really liked Muriel's Wedding."

I slipped those cards in unsuspecting people's pockets at a coat rack at a bar. How me can one get? Pretty me, in my case.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

just wanted to say thanks

to all my awesome friends who never did this to me :)

And speaking of math, I recently calculated the terminal velocity of a 4 kilo kitten tossed from a plane. That is a fat kitten.

Monday, February 25, 2008







Remember that "Not Quite Freegan" thing I "tried" ?

Yeah. I didn't actually. I failed miserably and succumbed to beer, coffee, peanut butter, milk, lentils — all the foods signifying today's decadent society!

Maybe I'll just give myself some other taskforce project. Or get a taskforce project partner. That may make my next taskforce project an easier taskforce project.


So I just joined I don't think I get it.

Cathy in Space: On Ice

Starring Carolina Rhea!

Heh? Heh?

Someone please be Cathy for Halloween ...

Tabula Rasa

Philadelphia has had a strange effect on me. I've completely forgotten all the horrors of Carrboro that spurred me to move here.* I've completely forgotten everything!

Believe me, those horrors still exist. I'm still extraordinarily angered, hurt and pained by some people and experiences in Carrboro, which I realized when I went back to there to pick up the rest of my furniture. I don't think I can go back there for a long time. It's like visiting Aushwitz. ... er ... that's too heavy, dark and surely inappropriate. More like visiting the set of Two and a Half Men. Either way, it's unpleasant.

But unless I venture onto Facebook or flickr and start looking at photos and/or profiles that bring back memories past from Carrboro, it's like, "Huh? Carrboro? What's that? Oh RIIIIGHT. That thing. I forgot about that and all that ... sucktastic crap that happened there."

That's the magic of Philadelphia. Only now I'm bored. Mind-numbingly bored.

*Well, the horrors of Carrboro may have been the main reason, but I'd say It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia probably played at least 30% of a role in me moving to Philadelphia, or at least picking Philadelphia.

Revenge, Sweet Revenge

You know what the dastardly way is in which I take out revenge on people I feel have wronged me? Be warned, it's quite devilish.

One way is by revoking their blog administrator status. Take that, fiend!

Another is by untagging them in pictures I have of them on Facebook, or by deleting their names from photo albums. If I'm feeling particularly nasty, I'll just delete entire photos with them in it!

Sometimes I'll even take people out of my phones. Oh I can be quite vicious when provoked.

Does anyone else do stuff like this? When it's your only way to actually take out your anger at someone you're fuming with, so you say, "Alright, Judith, I've had it with you. I am DELETING my funny caption on this photo of you wearing a silly bow. That'll show you."

Am I the only one who does this?

CouchSurfing AND Penguins?

Did you know you can CouchSurfing actually has couches in Antarctica? Nearly 30!

What are these people's jobs? Firefighters (Two? In Antarctica?), janitors, a pilot: the whole gamut! Why are we not taking advantage of this? Other than because I'm completely terrified of Antarctica. And especially Mount Terror in Antarctica.

Fuck Larry David.

Curb Your Enthusiasm sucks.

Okay it has some funny bits, but god, it really sucks. I could write for this show in my sleep. Check it:
Larry: I am speaking too casually!

Minority, "the help," or, ideally, both: I am offended! Irrationally so!

Larry: But what?! I didn't mean it like that!

Minority hep: I don't care! Boy am I angry, even though there's no need for me to be so angry! Curse you, Larry David!

Cheryl: Oh Larry ... ::sigh::

See? Who needs Larry David?

I kind of want to find someone who will let me subject them to 20 episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm in one sitting. Then release them into the world. And observe. I'm sure we'd see some pretty interesting effects. The same would happen with The Comeback, Lost or any number of shows. It's like when I watched all that My So-Called Life and everything seemed so painful and poignant for a week.

An Inventory of My Boredom

So I've moved to the Windy City with big dreams, just on a whim. No job, no friends, just me in the middle of beautiful Tinseltown, with so much I can do.

So what am I doing? Er ... well ... let's look at my Friday:
  • Batman Returns
  • The Rules of Attraction
  • Five episodes of Seinfeld
  • Five episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm
  • Three episodes of The Office
  • One two-hour episode of Northern Exposure
  • One episode of Friends
  • One episode of Saved by the Bell
  • One episode of Sex in the City (shut up)
  • One episode of Will & Grace (shut up more)
Okay I don't think I can do this again. I'm walking around acting like Larry David, and believe me, that's no way to make new friends. I even ate five meals. Five. I think I was only hungry for one of them. Only out of boredom did I eat five!

Oh god please I need to think of what to do with my time, all the while not spending much money. And "find a hobby" isn't really advice. Either give me a hobby or a way to find one!

The Pen is Mightier than the Sword

Or at least it's sharper. Then again, I haven't really stabbed anyone with a sword, so maybe it isn't really sharper.

Okay people, this blog is playful. It is not meant to be mean-spirited. It is playful.

I know my comedy can be edgy. I'm a Richard Pryor of sorts, an Andrew Dice Clay, a Sinead O'Connor. All great comedians, all really edgy. Pushing envelopes, riding precipices.

It seems that in addition to my speakeasy flyers being discovered (speaking of which, Big Daddy Kane is performing at Trampdance! this Friday and there's no cover before 11pm), some of my posts have, well, hurt people's feelings.

Trust me. The only actual animus in these posts have been for those who narked on me for running a speakeasy and forced us to go get a liquor permit, which is just a big ol' hassle. And even then it's just so silly it's not even animus, it's ridicule. Playful, good-natured ridicule.

It's all given people great opportunity to lecture me about privacy issues in the information age. I hope my future employers at consulting firms don't decide to not hire me because I ironically enjoy Cathy comics ... but it looks like they may.

But come on, folks. This should really all be taken like a Friars Club Roast, except with occasional humor.

So I'm Not a Total Snob

The original isn't always better!

I recently got into NBC's The Office. "Oh, it'll just pale in comparison to the BBC's version. I don't want to even waste my time on that drivel."

But no! It's good! It's a very different show, and it's a good one! I mean check out this bit of dialogue:

Angela: I heard a joke today.
Dwight: Haha, that's funny.
Angela: Yes. It was.

Come on, that's awesome.

Also I like Pam as much as Dawn! Jim as much as Tim! Even Dwight's a good! He doesn't have to be a poor-man's Gareth, he's his own man.

And and and they have many more episodes than the BBC one so they have more back characters developed, and we all know how much I love ensembles!

I <3 Phyllis.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

If Anybody is Struggling for an Idea for What to Get Me for My Birthday, March 29th ...

... here's an idea.

why the church is REALLY homophobic.

homosexuality is an abomination but so is eating shrimp and wearing cloth made from two different materials. after reading this, i really want to watch the documentary the bible told me so which focuses on 5 people and their families after they "came out." review and critical analysis found here (a must read):

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

ceviche recipe (per request)

this is for mexican-style ceviche.//

2 fillets of tilapia - for me, this constitutes about a little more than half a pound
sea bass and red snapper can also be used but i haven't tried those yet
4-5 limes
salt for taste
a quarter to half a red onion (white could also be used but i prefer the red)
one jalapeno pepper (the long kind)
gloves for cutting the jalapeno
cilantro - the amt can vary depending on how much one likes cilantro, i put excessive amounts

cut the tilapia into quarter inch cubes or smaller, you want them to be tiny so the lime juice can
fully cook the fish
marinate the tilapia over night (i always wait for 24 hours to be on the safe side) in an uncovered
bowl, most recipes suggest a covered glass bowl but i don't see any distinct diff in taste or quality

once the tilapia is "cooked", salt the fish until the lime juice isn't so citrus-y
(note: lemon juice is used often on cooked fish for flavoring purposes to eliminate the "fishy" taste, the same principle applies here but this time you are using salt to make this dish easier to eat, i don't use a lot of salt bc i enjoy acidic foods)
dice the remaining vegetables
be sure to wear gloves when cutting the jalapenos, the oil from the pepper stays on your fingers
forever and i've made the mistake several times of not using gloves; then a hour or two, wiping my eyes for whatever reason -- do not let this happen to you!
arrange dish on tostada and eat like a slice of pizza (my preferred method although the lime juice
tends to run down my forearms) or have some chips to eat dish as if it were a dip

since my last entry, i have made more! i do really enjoy this dish!

Saturday, February 16, 2008


i made ceviche on my own last tuesday. two fillets of tilapia only lasted me 3 days and i want more! here is my top 5 foods of all time:

1) linguine or fettucini noodles with spicy tomato sauce (a specific sort of spaghetti)
2) tilapia mexican-style ceviche on tostada
3) pancit bihon
4) two eggs over-easy with salt and pepper and ketchup
5) the rosepetal popsicle from locopops that is probably no longer made

Not Quite Freegan

M goal is to spend no money on food between now and March 16th. Midnight! So technically March 17th. St. Patrick's Day!

I fear that unless I make this a "Oh no Brett, not again ... " project, I won't actually go through with it. But I will now, oh I will now. I'm doing things! I'm getting things done! I road a bike to FedEx yesterday and then swam for about an hour. And I can't ride a bike or swim! This Brett gets things done.

I just spent $40 on groceries at Whole Foods. Ya know, trying get to some staples that Lorenzo pointed out I might need. Granola, potatoes, canned tomatoes, onions, yogurt, mushrooms, fresh Thai basil (but it's yummy ... ), pasta, rice, more pasta, blueberries and balsamic vinegar.

Now it's skating time! Skating on staples! Then the ol' Mooch & Dive.

To reiterate: I'm not spending any money on food between now and St. Patrick's Day. ... Hopefully.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

For the Love of Dog

In exchange to sleep on someone's couch when I still didn't have an apartment in Philly, I agreed to help someone (Lorenzo Buffa) out with a stop motion animation project for his art class. Behold!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

since when was i ever an activist?

i'm sorry i'm not posting something cute. yay! duke energy is going to kill us all! (also i plagiarized the hell out of this, but don't tell them that.) this is all for naught...


I recently found out that Duke Energy is trying to build a new coal power plant in Charlotte, NC.
Power plants are a major source of air pollution, with coal-fired power plants spewing 59% of total U.S. sulfur dioxide pollution and 18% of total nitrogen oxides every year. Burning fossil fuels such as coal releases carbon dioxide (CO2) pollution, making energy use the single largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. and the world. Coal-fired power plants and the pollution they release every day are a major threat to human health and our environment.
I would urge you to search for other ways to increase your energy output as a company -- renewable methods!
And if there is any doubt, just watch "An Inconvenient Truth" if you haven't already.

Don't add to the worlds problems -- work to solve them! I urge you. Please contact me at [info removed to protect the innocent] or at [my phone number - call me!]. My roommate and I share our Duke Energy bill, although it is in his name [StrayDog].



Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your e-mail and your interest in the Cliffside project. Duke
Energy provides safe, reliable and affordable electricity to 2.3 million
customers in the Carolinas. By 2026, in North Carolina alone, the population is
expected to increase by more than 30 percent to nearly 10 million people. The
Cliffside Modernization Project will help meet our growing region’s need for
electric power.

Duke Energy uses a variety of fuels to produce electricity – coal, nuclear,
natural gas and renewables, including hydroelectric power. Coal continues to
serve our region and our nation well, as our most plentiful and secure fuel for
power generation. The new 800-megawatt unit at Cliffside will use that valuable
natural resource in a way that is significantly cleaner and much more efficient
than in the past.

The project also involves retiring four older, less-efficient units at
Cliffside. The new unit is expected to generate more than twice the electricity
of the existing plant – but only one-seventh of the sulfur dioxide, one-third
of the nitrogen oxide and one-half of the mercury. In recognition of those
environmental improvements, the Cliffside project has qualified for a
substantial federal tax incentive of $62.5 million.

In addition, we have pledged to invest 1 percent of our revenues in the
Carolinas each year in energy efficiency programs (assuming appropriate
regulatory approval) – and to retire up to 800 megawatts of older,
less-efficient generation for every megawatt those programs save based on
overall system reliability. At the same time, we are actively seeking to add
more renewable energy to our portfolio.

To meet our region’s growing demand, the reality is that we need to conserve
energy and find ways to use it more efficiently. We need to modernize
Cliffside. We need to retire older, less-efficient generation. We need more
renewable energy. By using all of these resources, Duke Energy can continue to
provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity as our region prospers and

Best regards,

Web Support Team


Dear Web Support Team:

I think Duke Energy should be doing more to combat the alarming effect that coal-burning has on our surroundings. Is your organization aware of the NC Public Radio show "The State of Things" -- they had a story regarding your company that aired last week on Tuesday ( They have brought up some issues that I should think your company would be very interested in responding to.

Please inform Jim Rogers that I, Sarah [LAST NAME], would like to formally protest the building of the new Cliffside coal power plant. I would appreciate a confirmation that this message has reached Mr. Rogers.

Thank you for your consideration in this important matter.

[my address!]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Should I Have a Public Access TV Show

Remember that episode of Seinfeld where they wait forever for a table at a Chinese restaurant? Or that episode of Friends where everyone finds out about Monica and Chandler having sex? Or even the episode of The Simpsons where Lisa decides to become a vegetarian?

I'd want my public access show to be a bunch of regular people re-enacting these episodes. Verbatim. No one is trying to be bad on purpose. Everything just happens to be amateur-ish because it's being produced by amateurs.

That would be my show.

Psst ...

... the new Trampdance! password is "pantyhose."

Am I running this joke into the ground? The joke that my old apartment is actually a speakeasy? No. I don't think so. I think the sheer ludicrousness of the suggestion warrants much, much more mockery than is being doled out.

So, just so everyone knows, the Trampdance! password is no longer "jellyfish," but is now "pantyhose."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Upcoming Trampdance! Calender

Monday, Feb. 11: Lady's Night
Tuesday, Feb. 12: PBR and Whiskey shots for $3
Wednesday, Feb 13: Open Mic Night
Thursday, Feb 14: Valentine's Day Speed Dating
Friday, Feb 15: DJ MC Jaxwell
Saturday, Feb 16: Dance Marathon feat. BFF
Sunday, Feb 17: Karaoke

108 Sue Ann Court, Apt. B
Carrboro, NC 27510


Remember Graham St. Salon?

Apparently that happens in Philly, too, only it's called the Weekly Review.

Here's a, er, taste of what PhillySalon has to offer.

That and the EXACT SAME PEOPLE. At least they look the same.

Dead Weight

Hey! I chose to name this "Adventures in Frienship!™" over "Adventures in Friend and the Occasional Other Friend!™" for a reason.

I'm going to throw out some select contributor invites and see if we can get some fresh, succulent, juicy USDA-approved meat in here.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Brimming with Sassback

Man I am so full of sass, and I have many targets at which to sass all over.

There are those involved in a lease debacle, yes, debacle, which has resulted in me being on two leases for the time being.

There is parking in Center City, which doesn't actually exist for less than $45 an hour.

There is my constant craving to buy things at IKEA and American Apparel. Both evil, evil places!

Sass sass sassy sassback. Aunt Sassy-back.

That word doesn't mean anything to me anymore.

Still, thank, thank god I'm in Philadelphia. This place is much more mentally salubrious for me. Carrboro had the stench of death all over it. It was like being quarantined amongst the reanimated corpses of your dead loved ones.

But yay Philly!! <333

The War at Home, aka Brett Gets Sassy

Remember those Trampdance! flyers that I made a while back? Ya know, those cute little flyers, that I thought were funny because I was making advertisements that didn't actually advertise anything, that I thought were funny because I was just using my friends images to promote the abstract concept of "Trampdance!"? The flyers that had an e-mail address, phone number and hours that meant nothing but to make it seem like an actual advertisement? The flyers that weren't actually posted about town but only in my online picture albums to display my ingenious artwork?

Our most popular Trampdance! flyer

Well it seems one, all, or some combination of our new readers† (if not, a different former neighbor, which would surprise me very much), readers so dedicated to this blog that they went so far back as my first entry about bed-sharing and found the corresponding article in the Independent Weekly, readers intrigued enough by this blog to meticulously search through my flickr albums, and readers dedicated enough to this blog to scour the Internet and miraculously find this YouTube video of us friends hanging out as evidence that I was, and I quote, "running an informal nightclub called Trampdance."†† This evidence was then handed over to the respective authorities (the landlords), along with frequent noise complaints, to illustrate that a secret hotspot of Carrboro's happening nightlife scene has been running right under the landlords' noses, out of 108 Sue Ann Court, Apartment B.

I've even been told the flyers are making my former neighbors feel threatened and need to be taken down ... huh. Though I guess this is coming from people who think that parking in an actual parking spot that happens to be eight feet outside their window constitutes something that is threatening. I guess some people are just threatened easier than others. It's not like I pelted them with bagels or anything.

Wow. Now I really wish I had been running an illicit speakeasy out of my tiny apartment. I would be quite impressed with myself. Now I've got an idea for my new apartment! Anyone see the hot new pics of my new place in Philly on Facebook? Totally could be turned into a speakeasy. Just some hidden liquor cabinet and a secret password and viola! Speakeasy city! Er, speakeasy apartment ... !

So what do you think? Are the flyers threatening? Should they be taken down off my blog, Facebook and flickr accounts? Are they promoting the secret nightclub at 108 Sue Ann Court, Apartment B well enough?, because we really need to get more patrons if we're going to get out of the red soon.

Feedback appreciated!

†Again, hi Emily McKendry-Smith, Anne K. Hunter and Kayo Suzuki!!

††These words were relayed by a third party and in no way indicate that they were verbatim what our new readers have said.

DISCLAIMER: No parts of this blog entry are meant to be a threat of any kind, physical, mental, emotional or otherwise, to any other party. Any interpretations otherwise will be regarded as daft, persecution complex-y, and totally, totally lame.

(Yeah, I don't know why the font size and styles change on their own all the time. I blame Blogger).

Friday, February 8, 2008

Adventures in Friendship!™?

More like Adventures in Philadelphia!™

I have moved! To guess where?

Yeah ... Phila .. delphia.

It's great!

So much has been going on, here in Philly and back in Carrboro even in my wake. Updates will come once I have more than twenty seconds.

Until then, my love ...

(Hi Anne, Kayo and Emily! Everyone welcome our new readers!!)