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I love/hate the postings to Gawker Stalker. These totally superfluous, anti-experiential oglings have developed kind of a life – and editorial style – of their own. In Gawker's infancy, I think the "stalker" posts were pretty much just that – quickly noted sightings, the text equivalent of cafι rubbernecking, and an act one step of intimacy removed from fumbling with one's camera phone to catch Lili Taylor bagging her dog's excrement in front of Do Hwa.

But now, Gawker Stalker sightings read like the "stalker" has some kind of obligation to fulfill a specific agenda with the dual goals of A) launching a totally unprovoked and unnecessary attack on the subject of the sighting, and B) making the ogler seem somehow too cool for even the coolest celebrities, even though they're engaged in an act that is inherently uncool. (i.e. running to their laptops like a giggly TigerBeat Magazine lifetime subscriber just as soon as they catch sight of someone remotely famous.) Gawker Stalker's proprietary version of the traditional journalistic "Five Ws" plays out like this:

  1. Who did you see?
  2. Where did this sighting occur? (This is noted as either a smug name-drop or a nasty dig based not on the author's opinion of the spot, but on his/her subjective and fluctuating understanding of how that particular spot is perceived by others.)
  3. What can you speculate about the subject's appearance/behavior that could possibly develop into an unfounded and unflattering rumor for which you can ultimately take credit (on your blog, at your next "Apprentice" viewing get-together, etc.)?
  4. When did you "almost think about considering to" approach this celebrity with A Very Sassy And Perfectly Worded Put-Down about his or her career/personal life (printed in your post, in hindsight), but then decide better?
  5. Why are you better than this celebrity, and above all of the "losers" who were "totally staring in slack-jawed awe" at the celebrity? And more importantly, Why would or wouldn't you give this celebrity the pleasure of coitus, regardless of his or her implicitly stated desire of you?

Gawker Stalker posts often try very consciously to exude an air of easy and removed Capote-esque sneer yet, in this almost crippling self-consciousness, still manage to reveal (often unwittingly) the author's complete social awkwardness.

Even as the scene is set with our author as the hero, drawing all attention in the room to himself (I'm making him a him because I'm growing physically tired of all this "he or she" business. If you'd like, every time you read the word "him", you can picture a plain-looking girl.), you can still somehow imagine him (she's wearing an H&M blazer around her wide shoulders and has Fructis conditioner in her hair!) pink and sweaty behind a laptop screen in Starbucks, or interrupting a conversation about last week's Breaking Bonaduce to SMS his dinner date with a message such as, "omg, look! willow from buffy @ 3 o'clock. STARGASM! LOL."

As I read them, I mentally add the following epilogue to all Gawker Stalker posts: "…and then I ordered my Venti latte and noticed they had used whole milk instead of soy. I'm lactose-intolerant, but I decided to just drink it anyway because the line was really long and I didn't want to be 'that guy.' (GIRL!)"


All of this is, of course, backstory to talk about the celebrities I saw in Los Angeles. I usually see sort of halfway famous people while I'm visiting LA, because everyone who lives there is or was sort of halfway famous, but this trip was loaded with some marquee sightings. (The best sighting was, in my opinion, Mark Mothersbaugh's pugs. This might be because they were the only ones with which I actually interacted. And it might be because those dogs were fat and crazy looking and snorty and, therefore, the best kind of dog in the world.)

Instead of just rattling my fabulous sightings off one by one, I thought I'd present them, as a kind of content value-add, in the editorial manner of Gawker Stalker:

Saturday, 10/1. Over a plate of tempeh Chilquiles at Swingers Diner (they're not on the menu, but you can order them if you're in the know!) who should I see but Bill "Ghostbustin' Ass" Murray, not five feet from moi. Murray was wearing a pink polo shirt – gay? – and accompanied by a short, tan ponytailed dude with tapered jeans whom I suspect was either a sycophantic journalist or Antonio Banderas' developmentally-disabled younger brother. It's nice to see the Ghostbuster doing charity work with ethnic minorities and the retarded, all at once. Bill was looking mighty trim – AIDS? – but his hair was "styled" like he'd been sleeping on it since the Caddyshack wrap party. Hey, Bill – loved in you Groundhog Day but that was just a movie. In the real world, when you go three weeks without a shampoo or a comb it's not called "de ja vu" – it's called, "Category Five Bedhead." After sniffing around the restaurant (for rough trade?), Steve Zissou and his Mex-tarded lover made an exit for more discreet surroundings. But, just before his departure, Murray turned his AIDS-ravaged face to scan the room full of starstruck losers, before momentarily locking eyes with me in a look that said, "yes, you're the coolest one here." In your dreams, Mary! I'd sooner appear in Larger Than Life 2. WHATEVS!

Monday, 10/3. Jessica Alba spotted in the green room at the Jimmy Kimmel Show – I know he's gross, but a friend dragged me, I swear!! Alba ordered a glass of Merlot, no doubt hoping to drown her depression over the sorry box office profits of Fantastic Bore. Four words of warning for the Invisible Girl (whose cold sore was anything but invisible, regarding her Malibu Barbie tan: it's called "skin cancer." Get your pretty head out of the blue, and into a clinic! And no, you cannot fuck me. I'm saving myself for Bjork.

Monday, 10/3. Saw Topher Grace at the Jason Mraz concert – yes, Mraz is so lame but a friend had passes to the after-party at Spark so whatevs, all-night free mojitos are still all-night free mojitos. Hey T-Rock, it's called "That 70s Show," and not "That I Want to Totally Make Out with Todd Levin and beg him to give me 'The Shocker' Show" so stop staring toward me!

Tuesday, 10/4. Umm…Scott Caan? WHO ARE YOU? ARE YOU EVEN FAMOUS ENOUGH FOR ME TO LOOK AT? So don't even think about kissing me with your beestung lips.

WE FIRST MET ON 10.10.2005

it's just a line; don't worry too much
read the archives, please. does that make me gay? meet the author, more or less. this is the email link you were perhaps looking for