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The Beyoncé Halftime Show (Brought to you by Sasha Fierce)

There are many things I love in this world: my family, my friends, food, and air conditioning, to name a few.  And then there is the one thing I would throw that all away for, even if just for the opportunity to be in awe for five seconds: Beyoncé.  Ever since my sister first introduced me to the sweet, sweet sounds of Destiny’s Child, I haven’t been able to get over my addiction to Beyoncé.  With each passing year, this passion grows larger and fonder for the world’s most fabulous force of nature.  Normally, I would assert that this sort of hyperbole would be inappropriate, but we are talking about Beyoncé here!   There is no way you could ever possibly over exaggerate anything about her, ever.  I mean we’re talking about the woman who rented out an entire floor of a hospital for the birth of her first superbaby.  Granted, it was probably so they could redecorate with red carpet and crown molding and marble and art pieces from the Louvre, but that only furthers my point.

The Blue Ivy Carter hospital wing

The Blue Ivy Carter hospital wing

Way back when it was announced that Beyoncé would be performing at the halftime show of the Super Bowl, I was giddy.  Then, that giddiness turned ecstatic when I found out that there would be a Destiny’s Child reunion.  So between all of that buildup, the San Francisco 49ers playing in the Super Bowl, and the fact that I had been drinking mimosas at a crowded bar in SF since 11am, by the time the lights went down for the halftime show, I couldn’t stand it anymore.

Me, unable to stand it anymore

Me, unable to stand it anymore

And then the Queen rose.

The beginning of my mind-splosion

The beginning of my mind-splosion

I have never seen anything prettier rise out of anywhere (except for maybe chocolate coming out of a fountain).  Her fierceness could be felt through my bones, and I knew that I was about to enter 12 minutes of nirvana.

Naturally, she started with ‘Love on Top’ (of course she did!) because like love, she is also a sensation that can’t be destroyed.  Quite literally, she is made of fierce, and to quote Sir Isaac Newton, “Fierce is an element that can’t be destroyed”.

Does this look like something you can destroy?

Does this look like something you can destroy?

And then, the segue into ‘Crazy in Love’.  With each ferocious stomp of her (I’m sure) perfectly manicured limbs of destruction, my heart quite literally stopped.  Other things that happened with each stomp of her high heels: earthquakes, buttons popping open, haters being silenced, spontaneous orgasms, and the heavens being shaken.

"What's all that racket going on down there?" ---Zeus

“What’s all that racket going on down there?” —Zeus

Next there were some other songs that were not my favorite (NO JUDGEMENT), but there was some pretty sick technology-schmecnology going on.  Basically the consensus was that the best backup dancer Beyoncé could have was more Beyoncés.  And it was fabulous.

You get a Beyoncé!  You get a Beyoncé!  You get a Beyoncé!

You get a Beyoncé! You get a Beyoncé! You get a Beyoncé!

Then, the event that everyone said they were ready for, but no one was actually ready for: The Return of Destiny’s Child.  And there was much rejoicing.  As always, the performance was perfection on stage, even with Beyoncé making up for Michelle’s ungreatness.  For it isn’t truly a Beyoncé performance without her doing something charitable, like putting up with a walking train wreck like this:

Get it together, Michelle!!!

Get it together, Michelle!!!

As for the next song, I knew it was coming.  You knew it was coming.  But you weren’t ready for that jelly: ‘Single Ladies’.  It had it all: impeccable dance moves; fabulous hair; her dancing army of clones; ‘tude strong enough to strip the paint off the Golden Gate Bridge.  Just try to keep up, world.

The hair! The look! The army of dancers!

The hair! The look! The army of dancers!

Last but not least was the emotional destruction of your soul: ‘Halo’.  Probably my favorite of all the Beyoncé songs, and boy did she deliver.  I thought at some point God was going to come down and tell Beyoncé to come back up to heaven because we were not worthy.  Which we are not.  We are not worthy of the Beyoncé.

Kneel before Bey

Kneel before Bey!

And so ended my nirvana, and like a crack addict coming off a 3-day binge, I curled up on the floor of the bar and cried that I had nothing to live for.  After that soul-shredding performance, what do any of us have to live for?!  Nothing.  Except for her live show at the HP Pavilion in San Jose on July 2nd.

I was stuck like this for the rest of the game

I was stuck like this for the rest of the game

May Beyoncé have mercy on your soul.  Beyoncé be with you.

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Consider Me Dead

I have been taking improv classes because, as you, my loyal readers know, I am a gimundo ham and I really like to perform. That said, improv has always been something that has intimidated me, so I figured it might be neat to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new. It’s super fun, but a lot of times I find myself in the shower the next day, thinking of a line that would have been much better. Now you’re picturing me in the shower. You’re welcome.

But I digress. A part of the class involves going to see improv shows at UCB with the intention of studying the craft. It just so happens that my class on Sunday afternoons lets out at a perfect time for me to go over and stand in line for ASSSSCAT, the free show at 9:30 every week. To get tickets, you wind up sitting in line for almost 2 hours, but it’s worth it because it is always so funny. You usually get to see writers and some performers from SNL and other UCB shows, as well as some TV actors. Amy Poehler was one of the four founding members of UCB, and legend has it that every once in a while she shows up to perform, but you never know the actual line up until you are there. I have always maintained that if I got to see Amy there, I would straight up die. Well, to paraphrase Reba, consider me dead.

This is a referenence to my third favorite Reba song, and this image is a still from the video.
"But Gen, should you really use references that you have to explain?"
Shut the fuck up.

After waiting in line for 2 hours last night, my friend and I went in and took our seats. We were just sitting there gabbing, and Adam Scott and Rashida Jones came in and sat down 2 seats away. Rashida Jones had on very hipster glasses. I tried to play it cool, but honestly I have never been so star struck. At least , I hadn’t been so star struck until Amy came out at the start of the show (and that’s saying something because I once walked behind Mad Men’s Roger Sterling for like 3 blocks, which is probably enough to give ANYBODY a half-chub). I screamed like a 13 year old at a Beiber concert. I honestly didn’t know that I had that kind of reaction in me. I lost my shit. It made my Law and Order meltdown seem pathetic.  But the show was amazing. Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan from SNL performed, along with Sue Galloway and John Lutz from 30 Rock, Adam Pally from Happy Endings, and a bunch of my favorite regulars from ASSSSCAT. I can’t overemphasize how excited I was/am.

Oh, buddy.

I am taking away a few lessons from this experience. 1) I should always try to go to stuff. Earlier in the day I felt so tired and hungover that the thought of going felt painful. Thank goodness I was meeting a friend there because if I hadn’t gone and then found out about the line-up, I would have been so mad. 2) Amy Poehler is just fantazmo. Super funny. I can’t even. 3) Maybe- just maybe-  13 year olds have something going on here with their unbridled excitement for things like the Jonas brothers when the Jonas brothers were still a thing- I can’t help but think that if I could capture the enthusiasm I felt last night and harness it for evil, I would be unstoppable. And kids get that excited all the time! Just saying, we should probably all beware. Amy Poehler taught me that.

BEWARE

A Day in the Life

Since I’ve been living in Los Angeles, I’m sure plenty of people believe that I am living a very glamorous life.  Well, I am: I live at home, I have a two hour commute, and my mother makes me dinner every day.  It’s pretty rad.  However, sometimes I like to imagine that my life is even more glamorous, so I will share with you a day in the life of my pretend glamorous life.  Then I will share with you a day in the life of my regular glamorous life, just to see how little I have to go to achieve this fantasy.  You know me: always giving minimum effort to achieve maximum result!

PRETEND GLAMOROUS LIFE

9:00 AM:   Wake up to to the sound of “Crazy In Love” playing in my hotel suite at the Downtown Ritz Carlton.

9:01 AM:    Walk out of my room to find Beyonce playing a stripped-down version of “Crazy In Love” on the white baby grand piano in the penthouse suite adjacent to mine.

9:02 AM:    Fist bump Beyonce.

Something like this...

9:05 AM:    Fist bump Blue Ivy on the way downstairs because we’re cool too.

9:30 AM:    Have a champagne breakfast with Helen Mirren.  She reads the NY Times out loud in her English accent while I pour her tea.  It’s very fancy.  We’re both wearing crowns because we can.

10:00 AM:  Get picked up by my personal chauffer, Morgan Freeman, as we drive around downtown pursued by paparazzi.  Thank god I had those built-in missiles installed.

11:00 AM:   Meet up with Julie Andrews for a rigorous hike.  We climb every mountain, ford every stream, while following every rainbow till we reached “Your Dream”, a super-secret mountain villa for super famous people only.  I flash my veneers and we go in for some truffle fries, caviar, and peanut butter M&Ms.

12:00 PM:   Catch a helicopter down to Hollywood for some really successful movie premier.  I don’t really know what one, because I go to sooooo many, but it was fun.

12:30 PM:   Go to the park with Jon Hamm where we feed breadcrumbs to Lindsay Lohan.  Then we laugh about how handsome we are and talk about doing this again.

1:00 PM:     Get lunch with Paula Deen, Ina Garten and Mario Batali.  Then we realize the elevator won’t hold all of us, so we kick Batali off cause we don’t do gingers.  We have such a great time without him that we send him pictures of us at lunch with the text, “Suck it, Ginger!”

2:00 PM:     Receive a frantic call from Yo-Yo Ma saying he has become too arrogant to perform and needs me to come down to deflate his ego.

2:15 PM:      Traverse secret tube system used by famous people to travel to brothels and strip clubs without being seen.  Wave to Tom Hanks as he heads to “Hoe’s R Us”.

2:23 PM:      Arrive at Walt Disney Concert Hall.  Shred the cello until I reduce Yo-Yo Ma to tears in awe of how he will never come close to being half as good as me.  He considers himself successfully humbled enough to perform that evening.

3:00 PM:      Meet up with Taylor Lautner to go visit his family at the Alpaca Farm.

I couldn't resist...

3:30 PM:      Play a match with Roger Federer over in Malibu.  We get some beers afterwards and throw some darts.  Rafael Nadal’s face is the bullseye, naturally.  We have a great time.

5:00 PM:      Smoke some weed with Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, and Tom Cruise.  Things get weird when Tom thinks Snoop is Katie Holmes and tries to make out with him.  Miley and I politely extricate ourselves from this awkward social situation.

7:00 PM:      Go to dinner and a concert with Celine Dion and Cher.  We heckle the shit out of Barbra Streisand, with Celine piping up that her nose looked like it belonged on Mt. Rushmore.  We got thrown out of the concert, but we don’t care cause we’re divas.

8:04 PM:     Secret handshake with Celine and Cher as we part ways.

Our secret handshake may or may not involve one or both of those hand gestures/facial features...

9:00 PM:     Attend plastic surgery consultation with Kim Kardashian so they can verify that my measurements are correct so that she can get the right amount of bounce on her next round of cheek implants.

9:23 PM:      Punch Kim Kardashian in the face.

10:00 PM:   Go clubbing with Brad and Angelina

11:00 PM:    Perform a perfectly choreographed re-enactement of “Jai Ho” with Brad and Angelina.  All the brown people cheer.

12:00 AM:   Go to afterparty at Gwenyth Paltrow’s house.  You must have an Oscar statue in hand to enter, but I didn’t know which of my 27 to choose from, so I blew that joint.

1:00 AM:     Go to after-afterparty at Richard Simmon’s house.  Why? I don’t know, I just do.

2:00 AM:     Go to after-after-afterparty back at the Ritz Carlton.  Beyonce is riding a lion, and Jay-Z is riding an emu.  The theme for the party was Dr. Doolittle, so I guess it was fortunate I was already on my unicorn by the time I got there.

3:00 AM:      Close out the party and the night with a dramatic rendition of “Survivor” my Destiny’s Chilled, a Destiny’s Child cover group with Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and Solange Knowles.  Beyonce falls asleep in a large-backed chair petting a white cat while the lamp shades her facial features.  Destiny’s Chilled looks terrified, but they do a great job.

REGULAR GLAMOROUS LIFE:

10:00 AM:    Wake up.

10:15 AM:     Wait around for my brother to come downstairs so he can make me scrambled eggs because I’m too lazy to do it myself.

11:00 AM:     Read the paper for a reaaaaaaally long time.

11:30 AM:      Wander around the house.

11:45  AM:      Look busy.

12:30 PM:       Go to the library  and peruse their encyclopedias, magazine, and large print sections.  Leave shortly after finding that the latest Mary Higgins Clark novel isn’t available yet.

1:30 PM:         Work out, but not to the point of sweating.  Wander around the gym a bit, using it as a time to get updated on Sports Center, as well as the latest gossip magazines.

2:00 PM:        Feeding time.  Anything in the fridge is fair game, even entire cheesecakes.

3:00 PM:         Wander around the house.

4:00 PM:         Get caught up on the 10-17 TV shows I couldn’t keep up with during the week.

5:00 PM:        Complain about being hungry, but be mysteriously absent when dinner is being prepared.

6:00 PM:        Feeding time again.  There is also an unwritten rule that if you do not finish before me, whatever is left on your plate is fair game.

7:00 PM:       Attempt to “conversate” with family unit.

8:00 PM:       Mock the stupidity of people competing on “The Amazing Race”

9:00 PM:       Decide between Game of Thrones, Mad Men, and The Good Wife based upon whichever has the most amount of nudity, witty reparte, and Jon Hamm.

10:00 PM:     Bed time.

So you see, I’m not really that far off from my pretend glamorous life.  Because at the end of the day, my life is pretty glamorous as long as Jon Hamm is a part of it.

A Family Affair

On New Year’s Eve, I went to a Pink Martini concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles.  It was an absolute blast, and never having heard any of Pink Martini’s music nor been to the concert hall before, it was definitely a night to remember.  The hall is absolutely beautiful, and its exterior amazement is matched only by its interior grace.  The concert itself was a raucous occasion full of surprise guests and even an accompanying marching band.  It was certainly a memorable experience, and a wonderful date night with my sister.  Yes, my sister.

Going on a date with your opposite-sex sibling is a rite of passage that every man must face at some point.  It just makes it all that much harder when your sister is a six foot tall blonde, leggy beauty and you look just like her except without the long flowing golden locks and the boobs.  Not fun.  It’s also all the more awkward when you’re both single in a new city and do a lot of things together, like have a fancy evening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my sister and love hanging out with her, it’s just very uncomfortable when you’re sitting in a restaurant in your fancy clothing and you realize every other couple in the room is boning each other.

Seeing as I have absolutely no shame though, I look forward to going on future dates with my sister.  Yes, I said it.  It will be great fun going to bars and clubs with her, watching as heads turn and records scratch.  Her, in a sea of gentleman suitors, and me sitting alone at the bar.  Or maybe instead we’ll have a picnic at the Hollywood Bowl.  Or maybe we’ll go on a shopping spree in Santa Monica.  Whichever we choose , it’ll be highly romantic, and everyone will be thinking, “Wow, she really lucked out in the genes department.”   Because if nothing else, I’m a good brother, and a good brother knows how to be a good wingman.  A good brother also knows to consume more alcohol than said sister so that she has to drive home.  And I am a VERY good brother.

Ben