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The Digressions announcements, extra content and musings.

We need help

Jordan McArthur

igg

Ok, funny guy. Besides the obvious fact that we all need major amounts of therapy — that should be obvious by now — we need your help to make the third and final season of The Digressions. We've come a-calling one more time so that we can deliver to you The Digressions in its entirety — the way it was always envisioned. With CGI dinosaurs and starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. Well we checked with Jenny Love (she loves it when we call her that) and she's unavailable. And apparently Steven Spielberg has some sort of Hollywood-hiatus on digital dinosaurs for the next two years thanks to the new Jurassic Park movie.

Regardless, we do have many exciting things planned for Season 3. So we're asking you — our loyal friends and fans — to pitch in one more time and bring this puppy to a close. Thanks to the money we raised last year, we were able to raise the bar and exceed even our own expectations for quality and scope. Now we want to keep that bar high and send off Preston, Spencer, Michelle and Theo in style.

If you're not able to chip in a few bucks, you can still help Season 3 fly by spreading the word! Share our campaign on Facebook and Twitter and tell the world what we all know to be true — America deserves a proper Digressions ending! Visit our Indiegogo campaign here.

Help us make Season 3!

The Engagement Party

Jordan McArthur

Episode12

When was the last time you had to suck it up and say you were sorry? Like an honest-to-God big kid sorry where you knew you had done something completely wrong, took two weeks to gather the strength, and actually followed through with groveling for forgiveness? Saying "I'm sorry" is easy, but we're willing to bet that actual apologies are harder to come by than we would all like to admit. Well, nothing says "I'm sorry" like throwing a party, and Spencer, Preston, Theo, Michelle and Kenley have a lot of "I'm sorry"ing to do. You may remember Spencer's lust for making Preston pay for his reaction to Bella, Theo's insistence on entertaining his very odd feelings for Kenley, and Michelle's late-night lapse in judgement with Preston, which still has yet to be resolved.

But at the end of the day, Spencer has gone off and decided to hitch himself to another person for eternity and it must be dealt with as gracefully as possible. Nothing that a civilized engagement party and a few surprise guests can't achieve. Can you feel it in the air? It seems like the gang is really gonna get it together this time and smooth things out once and for all.

Oh wait. That was just the fart cloud from the guy next to you on the train. Nevermind! It's the Season 2 Finale: Episode 12 - The Engagement Party!

Episode12

A huge shout out to Team Biscuit Films on this one. We wouldn't have been able to make this episode without you guys.We sure hope you have enjoyed the exploits of these quirky friends this season. If so, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter because you haven't heard the last from The Digressions.

The Bella Maneuver

Jordan McArthur

Episode11

Penance isn't easy. If it were, it would be meaningless. If it were so simple to repent from your transgressions we'd all go around committing heinous acts without any thought of consequence. Admit it. You'd be the first one to take a shit at the entrance to the Fox News headquarters on 6th Avenue. Never mind. Not actually a heinous act that anyone would need to apologize for.

Something that may warrant some penance, however, would be...say...telling your best friend, to his face, that conversing with a corpse is more preferable than talking with his fiancee. And then attempting to choke him. Needless, to say Preston has a little more work to do if he wants to keep his friendship with Spencer.

Tonight we join Preston well into that journey. You may remember that he promised Spencer he would have coffee with Bella in order to get to know her better. Well, he's done it and he's ready to report back his findings. The only catch is, Michelle might not be ready to hear what he has to say. It's Episode 11 - The Bella Maneuver.

Episode11

Be sure to join us next week for the exciting finale of Season 2! We have doubled the length, doubled the cast, and now doubled any sort of reasonable expectations you had. It's a special one - and we can guarantee you that, when it's all said and done, the group will never be the same.

But before all that happens - be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. And why haven't you subscribed to our YouTube channel yet? Make your mother proud and do it!

The Subway Marriage

Jordan McArthur

Episode10

Life rarely just gives us the things that we want. Especially in the way in which we expect them to be delivered. No one knows this better than Theo, and no one has spent a greater amount of time developing a life philosophy to deal with this fact more than Kenley. And although it appears as if there could be no two people more unalike, they always seem to gravitate towards one another. A while ago, the gravitational pull became a little too much and they ended up colliding. It was decided then and there that the two should probably give each other a little distance and regroup sometime between three weeks and never.

This week the friends try to make some sense of the whole thing, and Theo reveals that under that bundle of nerves and neuroses - them waters run deep. Watch Episode 10 - The Subway Marriage.

Episode10

Only two more episodes to go this season! Be sure not to miss out on our exciting penultimate episode and super-sized finale coming soon. Get all your immediate Digressions updates by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter!

Bromecoming

Jordan McArthur

Episode9

The fraternal bond between men can be intense as it is sacred. This week Spencer, Preston and Theo join to celebrate their friendship in an age-old ceremony known as Bromecoming. There will be rituals. There will be a king. And there will be drinking. There's something different about this year's Bromecoming, however. It's hard to ignore the fact that it may be Spencer's last before he's lost forever to marriage. How will the group handle the end of Spencer's bachelordom? Is Spencer ready to make the leap? The world is changing and we all could use a little Episode 9 - Bromecoming.

Episode9

Hey, girl. Get up on our mailing list. It's the super sexiest way to keep abreast of Digressions doings.

Stickies

Jordan McArthur

Episode8

There comes that moment in the decision-making process where you are pretty sure you've gone over every possible scenario. You've thought through the possible consequences and decided that the risk is worth it. You've done the adult thing and put an end to any indecision, marching confidently in the direction of your future.

And then you have a few days to reconsider. And the weight of the fact that whatever you've decided will change the course of your life forever comes to bear on your tiny little head and the only thing you can do is stay in your bed and continually refresh your Facebook newsfeed until divine intervention makes the decision for you.

It doesn't have to be that way, you know? You always have your friends to lend a helping hand. Asking advice from your besties can take some of the pressure off yourself and open up new perspectives you may not have considered previously. Isn't that what friends are for, after all?

Well, Spencer has already made his life-altering decision. He's asked Bella to marry him. And despite some rather vocal objections from his friends, he's moving on, full steam ahead. And he feels pretty good about it. That is, until Kenley gets her hands on the situation. Watch how in a matter of minutes she's able to tear apart all the careful time and consideration Spencer has put into his life in one fell swoop. It's a rare and beautiful Kenley-Spencer pairing: Episode 8 - Stickies.

Episode8

Pretty much everything you do after graduating college sucks. So why not make the best of it and let The Digressions put some joy into your life? We're a literal joy-dispensing machine and you can never miss a beat on our Facebook page or Twitter feed. Likes and retweets are shown to up your joy meter a full 3%*!

*This is utter bullshit. Just fucking like our page and tell some damn friends about it. Thanks.

References

Jordan McArthur

Getting a new apartment in the city can be the worst. Good luck navigating your way through the shady, underground crime network of brokers and faceless building owners who have unwritten criteria for why you may or may not be qualified to live in their building. All this, even after you've signed a contract binding you to pay three times the rent and your first born upon approval. If that weren't enough, what happens when they want references? I mean, what, you want to talk to my boss about what percentage of my day I spend on Twitter? Aside from the material complications of moving - what about its mental implications? Where you live, especially in New York, can say a lot about who you are and how you identify yourself. And considering how hard it can be to even travel between neighborhoods (God forbid, boroughs) it can say a lot about with whom you identify. Many a friendship has gone the way of the W train when stretched the unfathomable distance between Brooklyn and Queens.

Roll all that into one, and moving can quite a stressful experience. Michelle says she needs a change, and a change of scenery seems like a good place to start. See what happens when she drops that bomb on Preston in Episode 7 - References.

Episode7

The Digressions is like a good secret. It only gets better when you tell someone else! We give you permission to tell our secret wherever you wish - even Facebook and Twitter. And be sure to  tune in each week. We've got quite a few tricks up our sleeve for the rest of the season. Next week alone will take us to never-before-seen Digressions territory. You won't miss a second if you sign up for our weekly email or subscribe on YouTube.

The Kevin Intervention

Jordan McArthur

Episode6

How many of us have had a relationship that lasted a bit too long? How many of us have had a relationship that lasted seriously way longer than it ever should have? What was your reason? People can give us comfort. And routine certainly does. Mix people with routine and you can have the makings of a long, drawn out relationship completely past its prime with no future. Michelle's had quite a bit of time to stew on the future of her relationship. Last season she worried that Kevin was too nice, that they didn't fight well, and that it's a little odd when he serenades her on the mandolin after sex. But there comes a point in every relationship when you must put up or shut up, and Kenley has decided that today is that day. Watch what happens when Michelle is forced to to face her problem. Quite literally. Kenley may not live through Episode 6 - The Kevin Intervention.

Episode6

No one likes when this happens to them - but everyone loves to watch a good train wreck! Be sure you don't miss any of our weekly train wrecks. You can get them delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our mailing list. Or like us on Facebook and follow our Twitter. It's like your own personal Digressions alert service!

Blasted

Jordan McArthur

Episode5

Ah - exercise! It can really be a bitch, can't it? But if we're able to take that first step, do that first pull-up, that first lunge - it all seems to tumble forward and we feel better because of it. It can clear your mind, help you to sleep better and even increase your life span! It's no wonder that we often pair our "resolution" to exercise with the optimism of the new year. If we can just get in shape - anything is possible. Perhaps that's what Spencer and Theo thought as they planned a little workout in the park. After all, it had been an awkward year. There was the Bella situation and the Kenley situation, and neither had been discussed between the two. Today the two friends opt for some recreation and revelation to try to patch up any lingering weirdness between them. But, with Theo, can there truly ever be a lack of weirdness? Find out in Episode 5 - Blasted.

Episode5

How was your holiday season? Did you ever find out if the jeweler could melt down those five golden rings and just make one big ring? Who wears five rings? Kind of an insensitive and gaudy present, if you ask us. Regardless, we're back from our two week hiatus and ready to bring you uninterrupted Digressions bliss straight through to our season finale in February. Tune each week for increasing amounts of hilarity. And take a hot second to check out our Facebook and Twitter. If you're living anywhere other than the South Pole right now, you could use a hot second.

Getting Around

jordanmca

Episode4

When I first moved to New York City, I would carry out the same daily ritual each morning. I would sit in my freezing rented bedroom (I hadn't figured out the intricacies of steam heat yet) huddled over my computer and plug in every single address I planned to visit that day, in the order I planned to visit them, into Google Maps. Then I would write down directions to each stop on a Post-it note, fold it once, put it in my pocket and bundle up to face the scary city. It was winter. Did you catch that part? It also dumped an average of 24 inches of snow every other day. It wasn't easy to feel at home in a place that seemed to be going out of its way to make me feel as uncomfortable as possible. But I continued to follow my little procedure and eventually I stopped needing to carry a Post-it note. Not long after that I stopped needing to look at Google Maps. It was liberating to feel like I had conquered the beast and could travel anywhere on a whim. A success story for someone who has never had a reliable sense of direction.

In this week's episode, Getting Around, Kenley hasn't quite gotten to that point. She's taken the "my phone will tell me" approach - which doesn't sit too well with older sister Michelle. Phones, after all, run out of batteries or - heaven forbid - get stolen. And then what? Hint: the answer is not "ask a station agent."

Watch Kenley's hilarious lack of knowledge regarding her own surroundings, as well as Michelle's older sibling instinct kick into gear, in Episode 4 - Getting Around.

Episode4

Hey, it's the holidays - and we just want to take a minute to thank you for all your support over the past year with Seasons 1 and 2 of The Digressions. Our generous fans who made Season 2 possible via our Kickstarter campaign really knocked our socks off, and we're grateful to have the chance to bring you more Digressions. We're only a third of the way through Season 2 and we have some major fun for you ahead in the coming weeks. But holidays are not so much about wasting countless hours on YouTube, so we'll be taking a two week hiatus from new episode releases and catch you in the new year. Look for Episode 5 to debut on January 7.

Happy Holidays to you and yours! May you survive any conversations with your extended family about "what you do for a living."

Yours truly,

Jordan McArthur and The Digressions Crew

fight-xmas

Sex Lemur

Jordan McArthur

Episode3

What would cause you to suck up your pride and admit to having made a mistake? It takes a lot of personal strength (and a bit of gourmet crow) to say you were wrong and apologize. Of course, when you're choking your best friend all because he's marrying a woman you don't approve of - you'd think it might be a little obvious it's time to take a step back and look at your life.

You'd think.

Preston and Spencer weren't quite ready to face each other again after that fateful dinner party, but thanks to some ingenuity on behalf of their friends Michelle and Theo, here they are. Face to face. Will face to face turn into mano a mano? Or will the two way-back-besties be able to come to an agreement? Nothing's as easy as it seems. And that's certainly true in Episode 3 - Sex Lemur.

Episode 3 - Sex Lemur

Episode3This week Preston and Spencer talk about their embarrassing early-college versions of themselves. Remember yours? You should also remember that he/she is still documented on your Facebook profile. Scroll back through your pictures long enough - you'll find it. While you're there, take a minute to like our Facebook page. Then hop on over to Twitter and give us a follow. We promise we'll never judge your freshman shenanigans.

An Intrigue of Sorts

Jordan McArthur

Episode2

Have you ever begun to think of your job as a career? Scary, huh? It's funny how those two things often don't line up together. After all, The New York Times says we're more interested in "happiness" and "meaning" than more traditional measures of success like "money" and "job security," so it must be true. But what do you do when seemingly good things in your life start to make you feel trapped? How do you strike a balance between moving forward to gain a little security and still keeping your hopes, dreams and freedom alive?

Answer: distract yourself by watching the newest episode of your favorite web series.

Today, Theo and Michelle grapple with some security vs. freedom decisions and do what any self-respecting young adult would do...avoid it all together by meddling in other people's lives.

You're sure to find some truth in Episode 2 - An Intrigue of Sorts.

Episode 2 - An Intrigue of Sorts

Episode2

Speaking of distractions and avoiding responsibility - why not take a moment to follow our Facebook and Twitter? The next time you're faced with a complicated life decision, you'll know exactly what to do. Pull us up on either one and scroll back through the countless treasures contained within. It should eat up a good forty minutes. Just enough to forget your troubles and slide into a sublime social media coma. Ah. Millennial bliss.

Fool Me Thrice

adahly

Episode-1

Hi everybody,

Andrew here.

It’s taking everything in my power not to drop a tepid Poltergeist reference on you but I’ve never been big on cliches, so I will restrain myself and say:

We’re back.

Ok, that sounds bored.

We’re back?!

Nope, now I sound surprised and confused.

We’re back!

Better.

We’re BACK!

Sorry, spit on you a little there, didn’t I?

Anyway, we’reback” and we’re ready to drop a whole new season on you. When we last left the gang, Preston had his hands around Spencer’s throat because Spencer had decided to propose to his girlfriend, Bella, who the rest of the group agreed was at best pretty rough and at worst...reeeaaallly rough. Theo and Kenley had agreed to not talk to each other for a period of time somewhere in between three weeks and forever, and Michelle was grappling with a too-nice boyfriend whom all of her friends were (creepily) in love with.

Oh, by the way, if you’re new to our little operation here and none of that makes any sense, why not do yourself a favor and go binge-watch Season 1 right now? You can knock it out in about an hour, in between staring at your phone too much and grappling with healthcare.gov.

Things got a little complicated there for the gang at the end of Season 1, and Season 2 picks up with them trying to make sense of an - if not shattered - damaged friend group. It’s tough growing up, don’t you think? No? It’s just me? Ah. Well, I certainly find the work/relationship/friendship balance to be tougher and tougher to maintain as I get older. I remember the simple days of my youth when it was just friendship/friendship/friendship. Not that work and relationships aren’t great. Of course they are. They’re just...complicated.

And that, in addition to many other things (witty banter, sexual tension, penis jokes) is what Season 2 (and life!) is all about.

Thanks to some incredibly generous Kickstarter donors, we’ve been able to up our game in nearly every possible way. We’ve improved on the quality of both our sound and picture and have therefore been a bit more ambitious with what we present to you in each episode. You’ll still get everything you already love about The Digressions, with a little more on top. I think you’ll love it.

So, prepare yourselves, because…

We’re BAA-AAACK!

Episode 1 - Fool Me Thrice

Episode1

Hey - did you know that the absolute best way to be notified of our episodes every week is to join our mailing list? Make The Digressions a part of your weekly routine by signing up today! You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter for between-release musings as well. We'll keep you entertained.

3 Things I Should Know About As An Adult That I Don't

jordanmca

baby business

Having a terminal degree, working a full time job and being nigh-thirty, one would assume from the outside that I am a fully functioning adult. You know...that I've acquired the knowledge that is necessary to live competently and independently in this world. The reality is that it's an honest-to-God miracle that I pay my rent every month, have any sort of paying job and keep enough food in my refrigerator to feed myself. (If I weren't married, I wouldn't be able to claim that last one.)

baby business

Here is my small, incomplete list of embarrassingly scary adult things that I should know about...but don't.

1. Taxes

"Hello, Mr. Government. You would like to take all of my money? That seems fair - just please don't put me in jail. Bye!" - Me in a panicked voice every year

I have a Howie Mandel-like relationship with the government. Don't touch me, bro.

I live in a small one bedroom apartment in Queens where I try very hard to ignore the giant, rusty hole in my bathtub. I take the subway to work every day and stare at the floor the whole way so that I don't get shanked by a crazy person. I work at a nonprofit organization. Like, an organization whose sole purpose it is to not make any money. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT FROM ME? All I know is that when I look at the amount on my pay statement and see the amount deposited in my bank account, there is a lot less money. What happened to it? I don't know! Some congressman used it to paint a mural of himself healing the sick on his office wall or something. I don't care! Just don't talk to me, Government! We don't need your kind around here!

I used to do my taxes myself. And by "do my taxes myself" I mean I would spend 8-10 hours on TaxAct one day in late March sweating profusely and wringing my hands while I clicked and unclicked certain options and watched the amount I owed go up or down because of some sort of mystery equation. After vomiting several times and figuring out the right number of boxes to leave blank that equaled zero dollars owed, I usually opted to immediately change it all back to the maximum amount owed because, like, if I overpay I can't get in trouble, right?!

Pretty sure an audit would outrage me more.

Last year I started paying a magical money troll to figure it all out for me. The good news: I got a tax return! The bad news: it cost my tax return to have someone else file my taxes! Heh...no big deal, right? My peace of mind is about a soul's worth.

2. The Stock Market

Wait. I got this. In eighth grade we played a stock market game, so I totally know how it works. First you wear a pin striped suit and slick back your hair with an entire bottle of LA Looks. Then you take some money and buy some stocks. Then you watch CNN Money and see if the stocks go up or down. When they suddenly go up, you scream, "Sell! Sell!" and then you get sent one of those giant Publisher's Clearing House checks that reads "One Million Dollars."

Pretty sure that qualifies me for the Pro Elite account on etrade.com.

Is this a thing that actual people do? Should I be doing this? Will this make me rich? It seems like one of those things that can only go well for you if you're already rich. But...like...how do you get rich in the first place? Oh, right - don't go into debt pursuing a degree in art. That's like investing in unicorns.

"I resent that statement." -Unicorn Business Man

3. My Personal Health

I won't even burden anyone with talk about not understanding health insurance in this post because, currently, no one in America understands what's going on in that arena. I'm just talking about everyday, basic personal health.

Sure, I floss and I kind of jog up the stairs when I'm trying to get on the train before it pulls out of the station. But I think, like many in my generation, I'm scarred from the days when my health insurance details were dicey. For a while there, my insurance plan was to pray that my feeble yoga practice in graduate school was clearing up any sort of physical issue that I may be having at the time (when in reality, because of my lack of flexibility, I was probably only exacerbating any ailment) and looking maybe 4 times instead of 2 times when I crossed the street. Because of this, I actually got in the habit of not going to the doctor.

Now that I'm older I've adopted an alternative lifestyle choice known as "sedentary," and I should probably have that shortness of breath and acute pain in my left arm checked out. But I also have the knowledge now that just because someone has a job, doesn't mean they have to be good a that job. So do I go around town now making doctor's appointments every day shopping for one I trust? And isn't it a thing now to grow all your own food because grocery store food is poisonous? At what age do you have to start letting the doctor stick a finger in your butt?

Never mind. I think I found a legit alternative.

I'm not prepared to face any of these things. I feel like I need a college degree in all three of them just to begin to understand the basic precepts of any one of them. It's too late for that. I used up my shot at an education with learning to play pretend.

Hey - now there's a thought - perhaps the reality is that no one actually understands these things and I'm better equipped than anyone to be an adult. By being really good at pretending to be one. I'll have one order of stock, please.


Season 2 of The Digressions airs November 26, 2013. Get details of our Season 2 Launch & Screening Party here. (You're invited!) Watch the Season 2 trailer here.

A Trailer And A Party

Jordan McArthur

player_full-trailer

It's time for a new season of The Digressions and we want you to come celebrate with us. We know - independent projects can be tiring. In any given week, you've hiked New York City to attend your friend's Off Off Off Broadway, avant garde, one man re-telling of The Trojan Women, donated the bare minimum to 3 different Kickstarter campaigns and started your own personal wellness blog - but this one includes super cheap drinks ($3 & $4!) and you can try before you buy by watching our trailer below.

Really, we'd just love for you to make your way down to the East Village and have a good laugh at the first three episodes of the second season of The Digressions and hang out with you for a bit. We've missed you.

Here's the info:

ProfThomsMap

Monday, November 18

9:00 PM

Professor Thom's 219 2nd Ave (between 13th & 14th) New York, NY 10003

RSVP Here

When last we left the gang, things were not so great between the friends - and this season will certainly test them farther. The only question at this point is, will all this testing bring them together or send them running in opposite directions? There's no telling, except for one thing: all of it will cause Theo night terrors. Take a look at what's in store for The Digressions Season 2.

Season 2 Trailer

If you haven't already, you should take a moment to sign up for our email list over there on the side bar. By doing so, you'll receive first notification of new episode releases and Digressions-related news. And liking our Facebook page and following our Twitter never hurt either. We're sure to post enough sarcastic content to make any millennial cynic twirl their irony-mustache in delight! We're like Gossip Girl if Gossip Girl only wrote things about her own indie comedic web series.

Stay tuned! Episode 1 will find its way to the web November 26!

The 5 Ways Your Life Is Just Like The Digressions

Jordan McArthur

kenley-cleanse

Exiting your twenties can be a frightening experience. Your problems and feelings can feel so singular. But it doesn't have to be that way. We're actually all in this together. In fact, just on the other side of that line is a whole world of slightly-less-in-shape adults waving and saying, "We feel your pain." Here are just a few ways that The Digressions are just like you. Take heart.

1. You get creepily excited when you actually have big news to share.

spencer-laugh

2. Sometimes you have to take a break in the middle of a stressful conversation to cleanse karmically.

kenley-cleanse

3. Other people's issues weird you out.

michell-rightwell

4. You can't seem to get on board with everyone else's music tastes.

preston-mumford

5. You don't understand how it is in any way possible to take an attractive selfie.

theo-ohgod


You can watch all of Season 1 of The Digressions here. Click here to view the teaser trailer for Season 2 - debuting November 2013!

We're (almost) back.

Jordan McArthur

digressions_s2_teaser_video-player2

Today we're going to show you a little metaphorical ankle. But it's oh so metaphorically sexy. About eight months ago, Season 1 of The Digressions premiered. We met Preston, Michelle, Theo, Kenley and Spencer. They talked about their favorite bands, their relationships and the minutiae of their lives. It was pleasant, really. But Spencer had to go and ruin it all. He got engaged. And worse than that, he got engaged to someone that no one approves of.

This season on The Digressions the group will have to struggle to stay together as they struggle to hold on to simpler times. And, no, we don't mean the Simpler Times they sell at Trader Joe's. Unless we're talking about Preston.

Take a look at the Season 2 teaser trailer. It's sure to get you hungry for the sweet, sweet taste of The Digressions.

The Digressions Season 2 Teaser Trailer

Stay tuned for a full trailer later this month and the exciting premiere in November! All the details will be here and on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.

The suspense is palpable. And slightly arousing.

3 Reasons Why Game Of Thrones Has Turned Me Into A Terrible Person

aubreysaverino

jamie lannister

Honestly, I’ve never been much of a fangirl. Sure, I dress up in costumes, pretend I’m someone else with pretend feelings for other pretend people. But that’s my job. Offstage or off(computer)screen, I don’t tend to obsess over fictional stories or characters. Of course there have been a few notable exceptions over the years -- most recently, the HBO show Game of Thrones. I admit, for reasons I cannot entirely explain, I am obsessed. How obsessed? Well, this past weekend, instead of watching the Tony’s like every other good little theater girl, I stood elbow to elbow in a crowded bar full of fanboys and girls and watched the Season Three Finale of Game of Thrones (then I came home and watched the Tony highlights on YouTube and pretended I’d seen the whole thing-- how great was NPH, btw?). I also catch myself saying things like, “You know, Jamie has really transformed. He used to be such a jerk but he’s been through so much and now I’m really starting to like him...” Never mind the fact that Jamie DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

But the real problem isn’t that I’m embarrassingly obsessed with the show-- we are, after all, allowed to like at least one thing shamelessly (see: Episode 4: The Facebookist). The real problem is that the show has made me realize (despite my previously high-minded thoughts to the contrary), that I am in fact a terrible, twisted person. And here are the three reasons why:

1. Apparently, I’m a pervert.

You know those ratings right before an HBO show that let you know if there is violence, foul language or adult situations in the episode you are about to watch -- AC, AL, V etc...? Every time my husband and I sit down to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, we wait in breathless anticipation for the “N” for Nudity rating. When we get it, we do a few fist pumps in the air and let out an extended “yessssss!”. When it isn’t there we are, admittedly, disappointed. After all, what's the point of watching an hour long HBO show if you can't also get your soft core porn fix at the same time?

Can we skip to the T&A, please?

2. Turn the other cheek? F*ck that. More like stab them in the face with a knife.

I spent twelve years at Catholic School, countless Sundays in church, and while I am no longer what I would call “practicing”, I do still believe in the whole “compassion/kindness/treat people as you want to be treated” idea. Or at least I thought I did. That was until poor little Arya, after witnessing family member after family member die in brutal and horrific ways, finally stabs a guy in the face -- and I yelped with glee.

What is wrong with me?? We know an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, right? Fighting violence with violence is no way to right the world, but in that moment I realized I’d been waiting for some Stark revenge violence for months. And it made me think -- what if, deep down, that's the way I (or worse, everyone) actually feel and we're all just covering up these dark desires with a thin veneer of polite social etiquette? Then we are seriously fucked.

Stab! Stab! STAB!!! ...too much?

3. Incest is hot.

(But only between the Lannisters). Seriously though, am I the only one rooting for Cersie and Jamie to get back together? I mean, it's clear he really loves her and when you think about it, it's really sweet that he's only been with one woman. Never mind the fact that it's his twin sister...

What kind of twisted thinking is that? Sure, most of us want what we can't have, and a little forbidden fruit is always alluring, but siblings?? George R.R. Martin -- what are you doing to me?? Before I met you I was perfectly happy thinking that I was a good person. But since you've come into my life I've started thinking maybe I'm just a sadistic, sex-crazed asshole. In other words, human. Maybe that’s why I like the show so much. Because Game of Thrones -- and other twisted books, films and stories like it-- remind me that we are all flawed, imperfect beings who, despite our best attempts, sometimes fuck up and fail miserably in our pursuit of what we think will make us happy, and maybe that reminder can instill in us a little extra compassion for our fellow fucked-up humans.

Or maybe I just like the sex scenes.

"I know I do." - George R. R. Martin

Baby's First Haircut

adahly

Flowbee

I got my first real haircut the other day. Well, that’s not fair. I got my first haircut that cost more than $14 the other day, is what I should say. It didn’t cost all that much more than $14. More than twice as much, but less than three times as much. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it cost $33. Cheaper than a Flowbee. This guy's name is Rick Hunts. Not making this shit up.

It was also my first haircut in a very long time that wasn’t administered by a surly Greek, Russian, or Uzbek man. It was a woman and I think she was Russian and she was beautiful. She didn’t feel the need to talk to me, which was great as far as I was concerned. Talking to barbers/stylists gives me the social anxiety sweats.

I ended up in this slightly upscale salon after getting the last in a long string of haircuts that were not at all what I wanted. I’ve made do but I’ve essentially spent my adult life with hair that I slightly regret. Please withhold your pity and spend it on people more deserving*. My last haircut was an exercise in comedy. I walked into a Greek barbershop in my neighborhood** looking to get my hair trimmed for a play I was in at the time. I surveyed the premises: two young-looking barbers cutting the hair of two young men whose haircuts I wouldn’t mind having. This was good.

Please help me avoid this.

There was an empty chair but no barber to man it, so I sat down and picked up a copy of the least embarrassing magazine I could find. Then, out walked the oldest, crustiest looking Greek barber on the face of the earth. He had a couple days growth of stubble, two or three gold chains, and moved at the speed of Feta cheese. He motioned to a chair for me to sit down.

I began to launch into my lengthy and overly-complicated spiel*** but he cut me off after two words with a knowing nod. I wanted what I essentially wanted from every haircut I had ever gotten which was to a) make it look like I hadn’t gotten a haircut b) not be too clean or preppy-looking and c) not look like a mullet. Clearly, he had gleaned all this from the “Well, I-” I was able to sputter out before he began slicing into my hair. With two snips of the scissors it became abundantly clear that I was not getting anything close to what I wanted. I immediately had the impulse to speak up but what was I going to say? “Could you tape that back on please?”. It was too late.

translate

He asked me who had last cut my hair. This is something that surly barbers apparently like to do: insult your hair by asking who the last idiot was who cut it so horribly. He then asked me if it was “some woman”. At this point, I would love to say that I stood up for my counterpart gender. I would love to say that I ripped off my smock**** and said, “What the fuck does that mean, asshole?” or perhaps something more eloquent. But, I am not a confrontationalist. Not in general, and certainly not in a situation in which it was now my sole goal to get out of there and never come back. So, I smiled weakly and accepted the misogyny, just another silent accomplice.

Andrew Dahl

The haircut I ended up getting from him was fine. There was nothing wrong with it besides the fact that it was not at all what I wanted. So, I vowed to make an upgrade the next time. Which led me to a salon on 30th ave. in Astoria at the recommendation of Eric. I walked in and immediately had no clue what to do. There were at least 4 or 5 sections of chairs (as opposed to the requisite waiting and cutting areas of a barber shop). I wandered up to the front desk, absolutely unclear as to where to sit. Thankfully, the man running the place (who looked like what I assume fashion designers look like) pointed me to a seat next to three very well-dressed women*****. I felt like a hobo in an art gallery. I texted Eric to let him know that this place gave me the working-class sweats and he texted back that I should take advantage of one of the complimentary glasses of wine they hand out. This was a game-changer. I didn’t have any work later in the evening so I absolutely could have taken advantage. But then I second-guessed myself. What if Eric was messing with me? Or even if he weren’t, what if they had recently discontinued that service? Or what if they didn’t give it out this early in the day?****** The thought of asking for a glass of wine at a salon and having the person say no or look at me like I was crazy made me want to stick an expensive curling iron into my eye, so I abstained.

But DAMMIT it would have been so classy. Have to go back in the evening...

Next was the shampoo. I was way too tall for the chair/sink set up so I had to maneuver myself into a sort of horizontal yoga pose and lock myself that way for the five minute process. The beautiful woman massaging my scalp asked if I used conditioner. “Should I?” I answered, defensively. “No,” she said, “I was just asking.”

Mercifully, it was pretty standard from there on out. My...stylist? haircutter? barberess? was very kind and gentle and quiet and I ended up with a nice haircut for not a whole lot more than I usually spent. Was the haircut...better? It’s hard to say. At the very least I got more or less what I asked for*******. And next time I’ll get the wine.

*Mumford and Sons fans

**Not the one I usually go to. I had just gotten a haircut from them, was dissatisfied with it, and didn’t have the courage to go back in and ask for it to be re-cut.

***I don’t know how to describe what I want in terms of haircuts. I don’t know what any of the terms mean and I’m afraid to ask.

****Is that what they’re called?

*****I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans with holes in them.

******It was 2 pm. Don’t judge.

*******Even though I still don’t really know what I want.