Wild Side


concert_crowd_smallMy husband Bryan and his friend Larry go to concerts together. They have pretty similar tastes in music, so they alternate paying for the tickets. Recently, my husband treated Larry to a Megadeth concert, so now it’s Larry’s turn to pay. (They’ve also seen Rush together and probably someone else I can’t remember.)

So, we’re in the car today, on our way home from the Farmer’s Market, when “Wild Side” by Mötley Crüe comes on the radio. Bryan says, “Oh yeah, Larry’s buying us tickets to this concert at the Amphitheatre.” (That would be the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, formerly known as the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre. You see why we just call it “the Amphitheatre”? And by “us” he meant Larry and himself.)

“What? Seriously? I want to see Mötley Crüe!”

Okay, maybe not really. I hate concerts. There are only ever a few, old songs I want to hear but inevitably bands play all their new, drug-free boring shit first and if you’re lucky, you get to hear “Pour Some Sugar on Me” at the end before you book for the exits to beat the crowd out of the parking lot. (That’s right – the last concert I went to was Def Leppard, opened by Joan Jett. Shut up, I’m old.)

Bryan knew I didn’t really want to go to the concert, so it was cool. Then he said he’ll probably owe Larry for this one since these Mötley Crüe tickets were more expensive than the Megadeth show. (Concert ticket prices are ridiculous. I thought Eddie Vedder was supposed to fix that. What, nobody remembers Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam duking it out with Ticketmaster? Is Ticketmaster even still around? Fuck, I’m so old.)

“There was another concert Larry wanted to get the tickets for, but they were just too expensive. Who was it…” Bryan says, thinking. He snaps his fingers. “Katy Perry! That’s it. But those are like $100 even for the cheap seats.”

He was totally serious, by the way. I wouldn’t think that Mötley Crüe’s and Katy Perry’s target audiences typically overlap by much, but there you go. In the Venn Diagram of “Shout at the Devil” and “California Girls” there is one person in the middle, overlapping part: My husband. And Larry, I guess.

The British Invasion…of Hollywood

UK & USA Flags - Dot Matrix

UK & USA Flags – Dot Matrix (Photo credit: gavjof)

Every so often, usually around election time, the conservative contingent in this country revamps their diatribe about foreigners coming to ‘Merica and stealing our jobs. I don’t typically participate in this discussion because it’s tiring and ridiculous and I’ve yet to meet an out-of-work American dying to pick lettuce for $7 an hour.

But this time it’s different.

I have discovered a whole new wave of American jobs being covertly filled by non-Americans, specifically, Brits. That’s right; the Brits are taking our jobs…in Hollywood. What makes this practice particularly insidious is that British people are light-colored and can fake an American accent and we don’t even know it’s happened until it’s too late.

Allow me to elaborate.

Remember the first time you saw Hugh Laurie outside of his title role on House M.D.? Maybe you were a little surprised to hear his British accent. I know I was, but I didn’t think much of it other than, “Wow, he does a really good American accent on that show. Huh.” That program began in 2004, and in the nearly ten years since, this British invasion has only escalated.

Example #1: A British ginger plays a Muslim terrorist pretending to be an American hero. (Got that?)

Those of you who watch Homeland on HBO, when you aren’t distracted by Claire Danes’ ugly cry-face, are probably impressed with Damian Lewis’s portrayal of the multifaceted character Nicholas Brody. You’re not the only one; Lewis has won several awards for his turn as the tortured American soldier with questionable allegiance.

But did you know that not only is Nicholas Brody a Muslim terrorist, he’s also…British? Not just British, but like, super British. The first time I saw him accept an award for his role in Homeland, I couldn’t figure out why his voice was being dubbed by the Queen of England. (That’s how British he sounds.)

See for yourself. (You can skip ahead to about the 1:20 mark for his speech.)

Example #2: After the Zombiepocalypse, the South is overrun with Brits.

There are at least two British actors on The Walking Dead pretending to be good ol’ American zombie hunters. Not only are they playing American, but they are portraying small-town southerners. (I have a theory on this that I will get to shortly.)

Sheriff Rick Grimes? Brit. Sweet Maggie, the farmer’s daughter? BRIT! There may be more! I don’t even know.

Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan:

Sheriff Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln. (That’s not even his real name! President Abe is rolling in his grave!)

Example #3: Badass Biker Brits

I recently started binge-watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix. For those of you unacquainted with the show, at least for the ladies, one of the highlights of this program is the amount of time Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam spends in the buff.  (AMC is the new HBO y’all.)

Being that I’m developing a bit of a crush on Mr. Hunnam, I did a little googling to see what else he’s been in. I can’t explain why or how, but right before I clicked on his IMDB profile, I thought to myself, “How funny would it be if this quintessential American biker dude was played by a Brit?” And there it was: Charlie Hunnam, born in Newcastle, England. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Nope, it’s true. (Although to be fair, it doesn’t appear that the badassery is an act.)

Jax Teller, played by Charlie Hunnam:

In summation, I have basically two takeaways from this:

  1. White foreigners are taking our acting jobs. Right now, we’re looking at a primarily British attack. In the 1980’ss and 1990’s it was those pesky Canadians and their love of American sitcoms. (If you’re old enough to remember  “Dead or Canadian?” on the Mtv game show Remote Control then you know what I’m talking about. I’m looking at you Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, and every awkward male comedian who has ever done sketch comedy.)
  2. Brits typically play southerners. Not always, but frequently, and I think I’ve figured out why.  My friend Kristy is married to a Brit named Steve. I once tried to get Steve to put on an American accent for me, but he refused. (We Americans are always trying to sound cute by attempting a British accent, so I wanted to see what that sounded like in reverse.)  Anyway, Steve was too embarrassed to do it because he said he couldn’t do an American accent without sounding like a hick. Finally, I think he managed a “Y’all”. And that’s it! A Midwestern accent is difficult because it’s so nondescript, but the opposite of a cultured British accent is a Honey Boo Boo-esque redneck affectation. It’s easier for Brits. That’s why even though Jax Teller, motorcycle hottie, who lives in California on Sons of Anarchy, often calls the ladies, “Darlin’”.

So, next time you’re watching your favorite television show, look and listen a little more closely, y’all. Because the British are coming…to a theatre near you.

Coming Out of the Dark

Mike Patton - Faith no More

Mike Patton – Faith no More (Photo credit: /amf)

The first time a guy went down on me I was lying on the super-single waterbed in my teenage bedroom, across the hall from my parents’ bedroom, watching Gloria Estefan singing her hit single, “Coming Out of the Dark” on the Arsenio Hall show. It’s funny how these seminal moments (no pun intended) in our lives become frozen in memory like Polaroid snapshots. I remember how, even at the time, I noted the absurdity of the moment in conjunction with the song that was playing.

The man’s name was (for the purposes of this blog) Dave Garvey. And he was a man: he was 23 years old and I was sixteen. I’d met him through a friend or a friend of a friend. I don’t remember exactly how anymore. We didn’t have anything in common, but I was attracted to him because, besides the built-in allure of being older, he looked remarkably liked Mike Patton, the lead singer of Faith No More, my favorite band at the time.

I was sexually inexperienced, i.e., still a virgin. It’s not that I had anything against having sex; I was as horny as any other sixteen-year-old. I had kissed a lot of boys. I’d been felt up in the eighth grade. I had touched my first penis months earlier, but things hadn’t gone anywhere with that guy. I wasn’t guarding the treasure between my legs like it was the golden idol in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, but I did have a sense that I wanted the first time to be somewhat special. Translation: I at least wanted to be in a relationship when I did the deed. So, the big show hadn’t happened yet. I also hadn’t engaged in any, uh, oral action until Dave sneaked up on me during the Arsenio Hall show musical interlude.

It was summertime. We were lying on my bed, fully clothed, making out. One minute we were kissing, and the next minute Dave had his head buried between my legs, maneuvering around my shorts and introducing me to cunnilingus. He went from kissing to oral faster than you can say, “jailbait”. I was stunned at this progression, to say the least. It wasn’t even dark in my room, so that doesn’t explain my confusion! Things that make you go, “Hmm…” indeed. And then there’s the issue of how Dave accomplished all of this without taking off a stitch of my clothes. I mean, I was wearing shorts, but still. I guess he just pushed them aside. Yes, I know – this is getting graphic. Just wait. There’s more.

Calla Lily Awakening

Calla Lily Awakening (Photo credit: Bill Gracey)

Before you worry that my teenage honor was being assaulted, I was fine. I was fucking surprised at the turn things had taken, but I wasn’t being tongue-raped against my will or anything. As I lay there soaking in my ridiculous “Coming Out of the Dark” experience with Dave eating me out, I noticed him slowly maneuvering his bottom half up toward me. Hold the phone! I was still trying to mentally process my thoughts about Dave which included:

1)      I was really only dating him because he looked like the lead singer of Faith No More. I liked looking at him, and occasionally kissing him, and drinking the alcohol that he was old enough to buy for my friends and me, but other than that, we didn’t have shit in common, his being a 23-year-old semi-homeless guitar player and my being a 16-year-old honor student/virgin.

2)      As soon as school was back in session, I would obviously break up with him. This was just a summer fling with no long-term potential, and pursuant to the “special” rule of giving up my cherry pot, that means I wasn’t going to have sexual intercourse with him.

3)      Even if #1 and #2 didn’t apply, we were in my bedroom ACROSS THE HALL FROM MY PARENTS’ BEDROOM. They were totally home. Gross, right? I didn’t even have a lock on my door. (I hope they’re not reading this. I still might get grounded.)

So, like I said, I happened to notice that Dave was maneuvering his ass toward me. He was still going down on me, and I have to admit, I was kind of blasé about it. (I have since revised my opinion on this particular sex act, for the record.) Even at that young age, I had seen enough pornos to figure out what was going on. That sneaky turd was trying to scoot himself into a 69 position! The nerve!

Here’s the thing: He may have been able to stealth-eat my pussy, but there was no way he was going to accidentally put his dick in my mouth. I don’t think so. Besides, he was still wearing his clothes too. (Although his shorts were sagging, and I caught a glimpse of hairy ass crack. Ugh. If he had ever had a chance at this working out in his favor, that sight killed it for him.)

I sprang up and said something to the effect of, “Okay, then!” I honestly have no idea exactly what I said, but I know I unceremoniously put the kibosh on our romantic interlude. The rest of the evening has faded from my memory. But it was that night that made me realize that I really wasn’t into Dave. I broke up with him soon after. Months later he got two different women knocked up within months of each other. I guess he was making up for all of the sex he didn’t have with me.

I wonder how Dave is doing now. And whatever happened to Faith No More?

Science Favors Perverts. Perfect.


English: Cleavage of a womanIt seems like every other day a new “scientific” study is coming out that contradicts everything we thought we knew about the world. Coffee is good for you – drink up! Soy milk will give you man boobs, uh oh! Now the latest: ogling big tits is good for your heart. Literally. Is this really where we’re going, Science? I’m not a doctor or anything, so I can’t be sure, but judging from the amount of pink shit I see marketed toward me in the grocery store and the number of 5K’s my friends are still running, it doesn’t look like anyone has cured cancer yet. With that in mind, will someone please tell me who is funding this bullshit? Is there federal grant money just lying around, waiting for someone to form a ridiculous hypothesis and recruit clueless college kids for poking, prodding and measuring? And if so, can we do something scandalous and awesome like the Stanford Prison Experiment from the 1970’s? (Although, that sort of research is probably pointless now, because if you want to determine the human animal’s propensity toward being an asshole, all you have to do is scroll through some YouTube comments on any given day. Case closed.)

So, let’s talk about this titty thing. (There’s something I don’t say every day.) Don’t get me wrong – I love boobs. Can’t get enough of them. (Lucky for me, I’ve got two of my very own!) I still don’t understand the point of this study. We all know men like looking at a nice rack…is this just some transparent attempt to justify this behavior? Is this being done in the hopes that the next time a dude gets busted staring at a lady’s breasts, he can save himself a smack and a black eye by reaching into his wallet and pulling out his “prescription”? “Uh, see ma’am, if you look here, it says I need to: take (2) mammary glands, visually, twice per day or as needed.” Good luck with that. If you think we have a big problem with forged narcotics prescriptions in this country, just wait until medicinal mammaries becomes a thing.

By the way, if you review the research carefully, you’ll see that in order for the bosom ogling to have the intended cardiac benefits, the breasts in question must be size D or above. Okay, seriously, can you imagine what this research lab looked like when Dr. Obvious was conducting her (that’s right – a female doctor spearheaded this research) experiments? What did the “control” look like? Did the men stare at another dude for the “control” or was it some poor, unfortunate, flat-chested woman who probably has even more of an inferiority complex now that it’s a medical fact that not only are her barely-there mosquito bites unappealing, but they are literally KILLING PEOPLE. (Or at least, not saving their lives by providing measurable, quantifiable, publishable cardiac benefits akin to 30 minute of aerobic exercise.) Seriously, flat-chested women, you might as well just kill yourselves right now. You are useless. (I’m not saying that – it’s Science.) I don’t know; maybe additional research can be done to determine whether or not you can still help the cause. There was no mention of whether or not gazing at smaller boobs would confer a placebo effect. (Maybe push-up bras could become medical devices?)

I suppose that if you can’t find “treatment” of adequate size out and about in your everyday life, you could always go to an approved “clinic”. These clinics are currently known as strip clubs. “Destiny” and “Cinnamon” can give you your daily quota of heart healthy titties, and although you don’t typically leave the pharmacy covered in glitter and smelling like Victoria’s Secret body spray, you gotta do what you gotta do to take care of your body, am I right? I’m sure Mons Venus and Scores will appreciate the uptick in business although accepting Flexible Spending Account benefit cards may prove to be a hassle for them.

There is good news in all of this. (I know you men out there are thinking, “What are you talking about? This has all been good news.”) But really, using breasts to improve heart health is another small step toward establishing a more natural, homeopathic approach to medicine. (Unless you’re going to one of those clinics I mentioned above. There is nothing natural going on in there.) Fewer drugs, more jugs! Also, heart disease is the leading killer of men. This way, if my husband ever does have a heart attack and needs to take action to improve his cardiovascular health, we can forget about scary angioplasties and risky bypass surgeries. I’ll just get breast augmentation! I’ll take these average B-sized, good-for-nothing funbags and inflate them to Double-D life preservers! There’s no risk in that, right? I’ll practically be providing a public service anyway. Win-win. Science. Awesome.

Open Letter: J.J. Abrams, My Abusive Boyfriend


Producer and director J.J. Abrams participatin...

Dear J.J.,

I think it’s time I finally tell you how I feel. You are ruining my life and destroying my dreams.

Okay, maybe I should back up a little bit.

Let’s start with Lost. Remember that little show, Lost? That’s when I fell in love with you, and when you fucked me over for the first, but not the last time. See, I got on board with Lost a little behind schedule. It was in the early 2000’s that I discovered your mysterious creation, and I was instantly hooked. That was back when people still got their Netflix DVDs in the mail, and I watched the first two seasons back to back like it was my fucking job. I couldn’t wait to see how those survivors navigated the incredible wonders of the island you created. Adam and Eve! The hatch! That crazy fucking hatch! And the numbers! What the hell were those numbers all about? I was riveted and trembling with anticipation.

I should have known it would all fall apart when you veered left of center with that Nikki and Paulo shit. What the fuck was that, J.J.? Were you hung over that week and decided to throw together a plotline that would dangle endlessly and then just disappear into the ether? I let that one slide, thinking it was a one-off mistake. Oh, how wrong I was. As time progressed and the clock ticked off 108 minutes at a time, I was eager for a perfect ending that would seamlessly weave together the myriad plot threads I had been lovingly following with nail-biting intensity season after motherfucking season. But it would never be.

I saw stories evaporate and threads snap as you deux ex machina’ed the fuck out of everything I had been hanging on to for years. Good versus evil? Motherfucking trite much? Jacob and the magic river of glowing ectoplasm? I was waiting for Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd to show up and spew some shit about not crossing the streams. Then, guess what? We’re all in heaven and everybody’s happy! Yay. Not this girl. Fuck you, J.J.!

So, why am I bitching about this now, you may wonder. Well, I’ll get to that.

A few weeks ago, I garnered some insight into why you may be such a crazy bastard. Or if not why, I can at least testify to the fact that you seem to have been this way since you were a wee lad. Exhibit A: TED Talks. Now, I’ve always thought those kids who hold onto their toys without opening them from the cellophane packaging (see: 40 Year Old Virgin) were more than a little off, but this takes the cake. In an attempt to explain your creative inspiration, you show a “mystery box” package you purchased from a magic shop as a child. This mystery box is unopened and one cannot tell what goodies are inside. It takes a special kind of crazy to purchase a surprise like this as a kid and not open it. CRAZY! The fun is in the opening! I cannot reiterate this enough. This doesn’t explain why you are a great creator of entertainment; it only explains why you are a bastard who doesn’t reveal the mysteries in your television and movies. I want to reach through my laptop screen and tear open your mystery box. (That sounds like the makings of a heavy metal/boy band mash-up song, but you get the picture.)

The reason why all of my frustration with you, J.J., is coming to a head at this particular time, is because I recently started watching your show Fringe on Netflix. Apparently it’s been long enough since you fucked me over with Lost, and I felt ready for another beating. Why, oh why did I do this? It’s like I saw your name and only remembered the amazing sex and not the bad case of The Clap you left me with. And it burns.

Fringe started out incredible, of course. The far-out science is interesting and compelling. The actors, especially John Noble, are wonderful. I started ‘shipping the Peter and Olivia characters almost immediately because I’m a typical fangirl and I cannot help myself. Then, the other shoe fell and you broke my heart again. Just when I thought my couple was coupling, you had to cross universes and have mistaken identities abound and complicate things with unintended accelerated pregnancies and now the world might end. (No spoilers, please! I’m only on Season 3, and I’m still holding out hope everything will work out. I know, I know. I’ve got it so bad.)

I knew I was completely fucked last week when the episode focused around a series of very familiar numbers. Really, J.J.? Are you fucking kidding me? If it turns out that they are all in heaven at the end, I will find you, and I will shove your box into a very mysterious (and uncomfortable) place.

I wish I knew how to quit you.

Begrudgingly yours,

Tina Steele

This is My Dog on Prozac


Fletch_blogDespite appearances in the picture to the left, I did not make a Miniature Pinscher skin-suit out of my dog Fletcher. It was simply bath time, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to illustrate what a giant pussy he is, figuratively speaking. Seeing him cowering in our massive pit of a bathtub, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the infamous scene in “Silence of the Lambs,” you know the one: “Put the fucking lotion in the basket!” Ah, good times. But anyway, that is my dog Fletcher, and although he is pretty well-behaved and stoic when it comes to bath time, he, even when I’m not quoting lines from demented serial killers, does scare easily.

Tonight is July 2nd, and the homies in my barrio are already Clint Eastwood-ing it up and pretending their firecrackers are .44 Magnums and every time they go snap-crackle-pop I can imagine them saying, “Go ahead, make my Independence Day” or some such shit. The point is, I don’t understand why 1) Everyone has to start their July 4th celebrations so fucking early and 2) The allure of firecrackers and noise-making shit to begin with. I haven’t really been into fireworks of any kind since I grew tits and found out boys were interested in them, but the male gender seems to never outgrow the need for things that go boom. At least the the colored, sky-bursting light show variety of fireworks make some sense – they are pretty and give you something look at while you drink beer and snuggle with your boo. I still don’t get the 2 second bang and it’s done kind. (Again, it can’t be a coincidence that these attract the males. Two second bang anyone? Sounds like my twenties.)

So, where does this tie in with my pathetic dog pictured above? Well, like I said, he’s less Canis domesticus and more Felis fraidycatius. My sweet boy has an anxiety disorder that would make Rain Man on a Southwest airlines flight look like Cool Hand Luke. Everything freaks him out. Thunderstorms and fireworks are the absolute worst. As I type this, he is shaking like a crack addict next to me, drooling on my keyboard. As revolting as that is, he used to be even worse. Fletcher used to get his invisible knickers in a twist at something as banal as the noise the TV makes when we turn it on and off. He’s evened out ever so slightly since we consulted with our veterinarian and got poor Fletcher on Prozac.

That’s right. My doggie is a card carrying member of the Prozac nation. Actually, we carry his card for him. Like millions of unfortunate Americans, Fletcher has been left behind by our hit-and-miss insurance system, so we signed him up for a CVS membership program so we could get his prescription at a discount. I’m not sure if they don’t realize he’s a dog, or think he’s some emotionally tortured genius dog, because his prescription bottle warns Fletcher Wiltzius that he should not drink alcohol or operate heavy machinery until he knows how his Prozac will affect him. I’m going to go ahead and say that he shouldn’t be doing those things anyway.

We didn’t take the decision to medicate our dog lightly. We tried other things first. Mostly yelling, which didn’t work, oddly enough. I watched Cesar Milan’s show where he gives a crazy dog the evil eye just once and that dog goes from urinating on people’s legs and biting them in the face to instantly mowing the lawn and helping the homeless. I didn’t glean any useful tips from him either. Since Fletcher’s anxiety mostly manifests itself with him barking nonstop, I bought one of those citronella collars that sprays every time the dog barks and buckled Fletch in. Within two minutes, the collar reservoir was empty, our house was stinky but mosquito-free, and Fletcher was still barking. So much for that.

We tried a few different drugs and settled on the Prozac. It’s still an imperfect solution. Fletch still freaks out when things get extra scary, like now with the asshole kids and their firecrackers. Or say, the entire hurricane/storm season from May through September. For times like these, he also has a prescription for Valium that he gets “as needed”. What people don’t understand is that having an anxiety-prone dog is, in itself, anxiety-inducing. I have my own prescription for Xanax. Nights like these are a “one for Fletcher, one for Mommy” situation. At least I don’t have to hide mine in a piece of sausage.

We have another dog named Lucy. She is pretty normal, or at least as normal as normal gets in this household. She has a bit of a weight problem, but living with all of these crazy fuckers will cause one to “stress eat”. Trust me, I know. She’s my angel. She gets a little anxious with the fireworks and thunderstorms too, but she just does a little submissive pee and hides in the closet like a normal dog. (I may be losing track of what is normal at this point.)

Both of my dogs came from a shelter, so who knows what kind of crazy shit they dealt with before I got them. (If I drove an SUV and were a little more bourgeoisie, I would say, “They’re rescues!” in that voice that lets you know that I think I saved the world by adopting them. But really, I picked up a couple of used dogs, I didn’t cure malaria.) Every time I look at my pre-owned bundles of joy, I think, “You little shits, no wonder you ended up with me. Who else would put up with you?” But we’re a perfect fit. They may be purebred pains in the ass, but I love them all the same.

I Pretend Joel Stein Mentions Me in TIME


JoelSigningI have already established in an earlier post that I am a devoted fan and follower of TIME columnist Joel Stein. Given that, imagine my delight when Joel recently offered the exciting opportunity to be his intern for a day! I mean, naturally, my interest was piqued. Of course, there was a catch. This opportunity was being offered through Charitybuzz, an auction site that offers experiences people can bid on, with the proceeds going to worthy causes. In this case, the charity was Miss a Meal, a Houston-based nonprofit that meets the needs of the hungry. Basically, I was looking at a chance to pay to work; this was taking volunteering to a whole new level.

Here is the description of the prize:

“A one-day internship with TIME journalist and humor columnist Joel Stein. Spend this Sunday, June 9, 2013, working for Joel! He will buy you a mid-priced lunch and eat it with you. (He will also buy his own lunch; you won’t have to share yours.) You can work from his house in Los Angeles with him or work via Skype from your own home. There are decent odds he will yell at you and even greater odds that you’ll witness his 4-year-old son or wife yell at him.

Sunday: 11 a.m.-ish until maybe 3 p.m. or so. You’ll work on this week’s TIME column which will be about YOU (featuring YOUR NAME) and this internship, as well as the auction Beyoncé and Tina Knowles are hosting to benefit Miss A Meal.”

This would be huge for me. I’ve already met Joel Stein, but this would be a chance to meet him again. Sober. I live in Florida and Joel lives in Los Angeles, and as you can see he’s made provisions for that in the fine print of the auction: winners who aren’t able to fulfill their “internship” can commute via Skype, but fuck that noise. If I were to win, I would absolutely cash in all of my husband’s frequent flyer miles and show up on the Steins’ doorstep. (At that point, luck is on my side because I doubted a restraining order could be processed within just a week.)

The other awesome thing about all of this? Did you read the part about the winner getting their name in TIME magazine? That kicks ass. This is where I let my inner dork flag fly high. I’ve been reading TIME since I was in high school. (That is, when I wasn’t already occupied with reading the dictionary or traveling with the debate team. I wish I were kidding.) Until I can convince Joel that tweeting my blog to his legion of followers is a smart career move (it probably isn’t), getting my name in his column is the next best way to get a wider audience to discover the delicious snark that is Tina Steele. Right?

The bidding started at $500. I certainly don’t have money to throw around on things like this. Let’s be honest here. I don’t have a job that pays me, so I don’t imagine my husband would look too kindly on my taking the next step and paying other people to let me work. I figured I would watch the auction for a little bit and see how things went. On the one hand, I couldn’t stand the thought of my favorite journalist being undervalued; on the other…I was kind of hoping his offering would languish until the zero hour so I could snatch it up at a bargain. Then I could tell my better half it was an investment in our future or some such nonsense. I would cross that bridge when I came to it.

Explanations to my husband and the availability of last-minute travel soon became a moot point as the bids to Joel’s internship started trickling in. The winner was somebody using the handle “Loaded Questions” who repeatedly outbid every other person who attempted a bid. Interesting. I have the game Loaded Questions. Was the owner of a board game company really trying to win this auction?

Fast forward to this week when my TIME magazine came in the mail, and I immediately flipped to the second to the last page to check Joel’s column. There it was: Interning with the Stars. I did a quick scan before actually reading it. I wanted to confirm my suspicion: Did the Loaded Questions guy really get to advertise his company in the column? Yes, he did. Something else immediately jumped out at me though: my name! It’s hard to miss your own name and “Tina” caught my eye pretty quickly. WTF? It only took a second to realize what I was reading. Of course. The article is about Beyoncé and her mother’s name is Tina, and she is referred to as Miss Tina in the column. So, the joke’s on you Loaded Questions* guy! I got my name in the magazine for free.

What surprised me most when I read this article is that Joel actually made his temporary intern do real work. He made phone calls, answered emails, and interviewed Miss Tina. When I was contemplating bidding on the auction, I really didn’t take that part of the deal seriously. I thought if I won, Joel and I would sit around, braid each other’s hair and maybe argue about who is funnier. “You are!” “No, you are!” All things considered, I still have all of my money, I didn’t have to do any work, and I got half of my name in TIME magazine.

I can live with that.

*Despite the fact that I kind of slammed the Loaded Questions guy, let me digress just a little bit to tell you that Loaded Questions is in fact, an awesome fucking game. (And clearly Eric Poses is a genius because not only did he win that auction and get his game advertised in a national magazine for a mere $2,550, he’s gotten me to mention his game a half dozen times here as well.) Anytime I get a group of friends together, this game comes out. Usually, people start out answering fairly honestly, but things eventually regress into inside jokes, sexual innuendos, and outright debauchery. My husband’s friend, Corey Bishop, holds our all-time record for the most memorable answer ever. The question was: “What is the furthest place you can think of?” His answer? “The tip of my cock.” That, my friends, is Loaded Questions.