Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 3, 2014

Viral Video: Britney’s Wardrobe Malfunction

well...this is awkward

My Twitter feed has been blowing up throughout much of the last 24 hours or so with reference to Britney Spears’ recent “wardrobe malfunction” during a show as part of her residency in Las Vegas.

Naturally, as someone who was a wee-bit obsessed with Ms. Spears back in the early aughts, I had to investigate to see what all of the hype was about.

This is what I found:



If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering what the hell constitutes a “wardrobe malfunction” anymore.

When Janet Jackson had her infamous “wardrobe malfunction” during the Super Bowl there was some legit, PG-13 stuff going on there.

In this particular instance, we saw Britney’s back. She’s worn plenty of outfits far more revealing than that particular getup even with the “wardrobe malfunction” factored in.

Somewhere 17-year-old me is probably really disappointed about the rather tame nature of this incident.

Meanwhile, 30-year-old me remains largely apathetic about Britney Spears as a whole, although 30-year-old me does appreciate the blog fodder (yet again)…so there’s that.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 2, 2014

30(ish) Random Facts


My Faithful Readers, I have failed you.

I intended to do some sort of countdown to my 30th birthday, playing off the “Five Good Years” post I wrote back in 2008. I also intended to post something on my birthday regaling you all with stories of what I’ve learned in my 30 years on this earth. I even intended to really get this blog up and running again with regular postings.

Clearly, none of those things happened.

Despite my best intentions, I’ve done a pretty crappy job of making writing the priority it deserves to be in my life over the last year and change. I’m hoping to right the ship in 2014, but that will likely prove easier said than done.

In the meantime—in lieu of any real writing—I’ve compiled a list of 30(ish) random facts about me now that I’m 30.

Full disclosure, I started writing this list over Thanksgiving weekend. Naturally, some of the things are a bit dated. Some were written after a few beers. Some were written when I was angry or sad or whatever. It may read a bit disjointed, but I think that pretty accurately describes where I’ve been at for a while now, so here it be in all of its random, rambling glory:

I am pretty much the worst video gamer in the world. I really like the idea of being a gamer, but I generally get distracted or busy with something else and only end up playing video games maybe half-a-dozen times or so a year. When I do play – especially if it’s a sports game – I spend hours manually updating all of the rosters before I ever actually play the game at all. Tangentially-related, I just recently finished the first season of my franchise on Madden ’04. It’s taken me roughly a decade to complete one season and the playoffs, but I won the Super Bowl. So there’s that.

I like my cat more than I like 91+% of the people in my life.

I legitimately contemplate the merits of quitting my job at least once a week, every week. Not because I don’t like my job, but because of the time and energy I put into it and the fear that I’ll end up doing it for the next forty years, only to regret not trying something I loved in lieu of something that I liked and happened to be good at instead.

I like deer jerky more than I like beef jerky. I think bacon jerky tastes like death; wet, soggy, dirty-sock-water-flavored death. Yep.
Pictured: My girlfriend if I had moved to NYC.
In addition to Minnesota State University, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa; I also applied to New York University as a senior in high school. This was when I still had high hopes of being some sort of writer or – quite briefly – a comedic actor and I assumed that living in New York would pretty much ensure my success. Also, I really liked Friends and wanted that kind of life (read: making out with Jennifer Aniston in between cups of coffee and never, EVER going to work…also, rent control!) and everyone knows that kind of life is automatically bestowed upon anyone who packs up and moves to New York City.

I ultimately ended up at Minnesota State where I earned a relatively unused degree in journalism (note: it’s still in mint condition, I’ll sell it to you for half the original price) and some minors in creative writing and communications.

I once asked my parents for “a little sister” as a Christmas present. In hindsight, that was a pretty ludicrous request. I believe I got a calculator and some white tube socks instead. This was a solid response on their part.

I’m not crazy tall or anything, but I am tall. As a result, I’d say I bash my head on something (ie: low doorway, low-hanging lights, droopy tree branches, etc.) at least three times a week. I’m basically a walking PSA for concussion awareness.

I once paid for a single Laffy Taffy with a credit card at a gas station.

I am more broke now – as a “legitimate professional” – than I was at any point in college or while working as support staff for the better part of the last decade. I am absolutely mystified by this phenomenon. The internet implies that this is probably Barack Obama’s fault.

I have never made it through Ken Burns’ documentary “Baseball” without crying at least a little bit. Not once. I’ve seen the series a bunch of times now and it always seems to vary when I’ll breakdown, but it’s guaranteed to happen.

I once ate five McRibs in one sitting. I felt tingly for hours afterward. Oddly enough, it was the same way I felt tingly when I was gobbling Vicodin every four hours after my lung surgery back in college.

I am still secretly holding out hope that some network will swoop in and save Happy Endings from cancellation. I hold this hope despite the fact that the show has been off the air for the better part of a year and most of the cast and crew have moved on to new jobs.

I keep a baseball on my desk at home and at work. It’s like a stress ball, but without the squish-factor.

I owned a Furby as a kid. It died within roughly a week. We sent it in for a replacement, but it was never the same. I think they have souls and I never really connected with the replacement Furby in the same way that I did the original. This saddens me.

True Fact: A Furby will spend 83% of its lifetime thinking fondly of cold-blooded murder.

True Fact: A Furby will spend 83% of its lifetime thinking fondly of cold-blooded murder.

I always want to be a better version of me. I will never be the version of me that I want to be. This also saddens me.

I’ve noticed that ever since we moved into our new apartment and put the litter box in the bathroom – as required in our lease – Honey and I seem to be on the same potty schedule. There’s been a lot of uncomfortable mid-poo eye contact.

I am a horrendous public speaker. When I was young, I won awards and a scholarship based on my public speaking skills. I’m not sure what the hell happened to me. I blame rock-n-roll music and violent video games.

I think I disappointed a lot of athletic coaches growing up. They’d often say “you’re going to be a monster when you fill out” and I get that. I’ve got a big frame and with some legit muscle, I’d be a pretty big dude. The problem is, I’m now 30 and still have the body of an anorexic 13-year-old Swedish ice dancer. I think I’m as “filled out” as I’m ever gonna get. My apologies to every coach ever.

I’ve never been a fan of caramel corn. Also, I pronounce it car-mul not care-uh-mul. Now you know.

I obsess over the number of Twitter followers I have, this despite the fact that asinine ramblings like these are all I provide, thus severely limiting any potential for building a large audience.

I often think that if I’d been more focused or tried just a little bit harder at the whole baseball writing thing, I could be Aaron Gleeman right now. (Blogger’s Note: Gleeman writes plenty of great, thoughtful non-baseball stuff too. Read it or you’re a square…people are still worried about being squares, right?!)

I care way more about people thinking that I’m funny than I do about people thinking I’m smart.

I’ve got an odd OCD(ish) affliction when it comes to toilets. I’d tell you more, but I’m busy scrubbing bleach on our toilet with a toothbrush right now.

I want to win the lottery very, very badly…but I have literally no idea what I’d do with that kind of financial freedom. Pay off student loans, buy a nice house, maybe get a few new ties, upgrade Honey to a fancier clumping litter, and start turning up the heat in the winter like a total boss?! Beyond that, I really don’t know. Maybe try to get Happy Endings back on the air…is that a thing you can do with loads of cash?!

Seriously, just put this show back on the air!!

Seriously, just put this f’n show back on the air already and no one gets hurt!!

I wanted very, very badly to get two cats instead of just one when we adopted Honey. I wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) so that a single cat wouldn’t be lonely while Grace and I were at work or out enjoying our bubbling social lives and 2) so that I could name them Turk and JD.

I don’t like leftovers. There is no legitimate reason for it, but I think it stems from when I was a kid and my family was pretty strapped for cash. Leftovers were mandatory, not an “if you’re feeling lazy” kind of option. I think subconsciously, I prefer not to think of things that way so I opt for new food whenever possible to avoid any lingering “we wuz poor folks” kinda feelings. I’m making it a point to eat more old and decomposing food leftovers in 2014.

I am completely obsessed with animated GIFs. I assume it’s because I’m turning into more and more of an online presence than I am a real human as I age and I find they are a palatable way to emote.

I’ve never beaten a single level of any “Grand Theft Auto” game. In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever even tried. I generally just run around stealing cars, getting in gang fights, and avoiding the police. I assume this is because it’s as close as I’ll ever get to being a bad-ass in real life.

I use the same password for everything. It is “b00g3rbutt2002.”

I lie about my passwords to the internet.

I have over 500 Christmas cards. I buy them almost every year after the holidays when they’re on sale and I think to myself, “…next year I’m gonna be all over this. I’ll send out cards to everyone! I’ll get ‘em out over Thanksgiving weekend and it’ll be fantastic!!” Inevitably, I spend Thanksgiving weekend watching football, drinking beer, and giggling at cat videos online. I then realize that it’s December 22nd and I haven’t even thought about the cards since I purchased them and it’s too late to send ‘em. This has happened to me every year for the last half-decade.

I currently have 14 beers in my fridge and 14 Starbucks Doubleshots in my fridge. I’m oddly tempted to alternate them one after another until they’re all gone, just to see what would happen. Although I fear that experiments like that are how supervillains are created.

I’ve had a recurring dream for nearly two years now in which Honey is the size of a full-grown lion and she allows me to ride her around town in lieu of taking public transportation. In real life, there would be zero survivors if Honey were lion-sized. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Dead. Every last one of us. She can be quite cantankerous.

I’m probably going to outlive a lot of people who are way healthier than I am and I believe it’ll piss them off something fierce. If they choose to haunt me after their untimely passing while I’m gorging on cheeseburgers and churros, I’ll be miffed, but I’ll totally understand where they’re coming from.

I have watched the “PowerThirst” video on YouTube roughly 32,000 times since 2007. I don’t believe this is an exaggeration.

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that for nearly a year, I thought that “burning CDs” legitimately meant that people were burning CDs, like, putting a CD in a fire. I have no idea why I thought this, but I did. I was absolutely flabbergasted that people would pay $15-20 for a CD and then turn around and set the sucker on fire. It’s possible that I do not understand context clues. There may be a link between this and the “banging my head all the goddamn time” factoid from earlier in this post.

I once made parmesan-crusted chicken breasts and pasta for a romantic dinner Grace and I were having in college. The very next day, I burned the noodles for Mac and Cheese…twice. I am a cooking enigma.

I had my first legitimate celebrity crush on Leah Remini after she played “Stacey Carosi” on Saved by the Bell during the gang’s summer at the beach. I typed a lengthy letter professing my undying love on an old typewriter in hopes that it would win her over and we could would live happily ever after. I threw it away after I realized her address wasn’t in the phone book. Granted, I was looking for Stacey Carosi and not Leah Remini…not that either name figured to show up in the O’Brien County, Iowa yellow pages.

I believe my greatest fear is failure, more specifically, public failure. Or maybe squishy toilet seats…or wind chimes…or maybe hornets…or really all flying things; especially birds. Yeah, fuck birds.

I still have a second-generation iPod shuffle that was brand-spanking new in 2006. It holds all of my Taylor Swift and Glee cover songs with aplomb.

I have, on occasion, wondered what my life would be like if I hadn’t made the decision to move to Boston with Grace in 2006. The fine folks at Formal Sweatpants have been kind enough to answer that question for me with this comic strip:

Life without Grace

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 1, 2014

My 2013 Reading List

...not exactly a banner year for reading.

The calendar just rolled over to a new year and that means it is once again time for my annual tradition of recapping my reading list from the previous year.

This is the fifth year in a row that I’ve done this and I’m ashamed to say that this is far and away the least impressive year of reading that I’ve had since I started tracking my yearly reads.

Despite setting a lofty goal of 25 books for 2013, I only managed to finish nine books.

Blogger’s Note: I am, like, 40 pages from finishing a book right now, but a New Year’s Eve party kept me from completing it before the end of 2013.

I started nearly twice that many books, mostly of the management variety, and only got a few chapters into them before I got too busy, a running theme from the last year and change, and they’ve sat untouched and unappreciated on my nightstand since the initial reading.

Without any further ado, here are the – *sigh* – nine books I read in 2013:

Living the Gimmick by Ben Peller
Drawing Heat the Hard Way: How Wrestling Really Works by Larry Matysik
Sloppy Seconds: The Tucker Max Leftovers by Tucker Max
Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood by Drew Magary
I Could Pee On This: And Other Poems by Cats by Francesco Marciuliano
The Black Belt Librarian: Real World Safety and Security by Warren Graham
I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains by Chuck Klosterman
The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
Things I Want to Punch in the Face by Jennifer Worick

I’ve got high hopes for 2014 and getting things back on track as part of my larger goals for the year, but in the interest of not looking like a total failure come next January, I think I’ll set the bar lower this year and simply aim to average a book-a-month and finish the year with twelve total books read.

If you’re interested in following my reading progress all year long (and who isn’t?), you can add me as a friend or buddy or amigo or whatever the heck it is over at

Until next year, happy reading.

Previous Reading Lists
My 2012 Reading List
My 2011 Reading List
My 2010 Reading List
My 2009 Reading List

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | September 21, 2013

I’ve Got Baby Fever

Baby Fever
My Faithful Readers, I’ve come down with a bad case of baby fever.

Now I realize that I’ve been very adamant over the years that I’m not ready for kids in any sense of the word and that the mere thought of having a daughter flat-out scares the piss out of me, but I don’t care.

It’s baby time.

I don’t just want a kid, I need a kid and I needed it yesterday!

Don’t get me wrong, I realize I’m not mature enough for kids. I realize I don’t make enough money for kids. I realize that I am not at a place in life where I’m legitimately ready for kids in any way, shape, or form.

That having been said, I want kids. I want, like, a dozen kids and I want ‘em right now so that I can “Bat Dad” their faces off.

What’s that? You don’t know what “Bat Dadding” is? Have you been living under a rock or something?

“Bat Dadding” is changing the entire parenting game and changing it forever.

Seriously, I can’t believe you haven’t heard of it.

Well by golly, let me show you what it’s all about so you can get in on the action:


Tell me that doesn’t look awesome. Try it. Try to tell me that doesn’t look awesome.

You can’t do it can you?

No. No you cannot!

Not only is this the coolest thing to happen to parenting in years, but it’s something that I’m totally equipped and ready to rock. I’ve already got a Batman costume and cowl, now I just need some kids.

baby + kid

Pictured: False Advertising

Unfortunately, I’m finding out that it’s not super easy to acquire children on a whim.

I’ve been scouring Craigslist all afternoon, but I can’t find a single worthwhile listing anywhere. The entire “baby + kid” listing under the “For Sale” section proved to be highly misleading.

I went by the daycare and, apparently, they only send the kids home with their “real” parents. Honestly, I thought it was like adopting a cat, you just walk in and pick one out. It was made abundantly clear by local law enforcement officials that this is not the case.

I’ve even gone door-to-door asking all of my neighbors if they’ve got any kids that I can have and all I’ve gotten is a bunch of doors slammed in my face and a pile of forms from the city that I need to fill out if I want to go within 100 yards of a park or playground.

Needless to say, none of that crap is getting me any closer to “Bat Dadding” like a total boss.

So if you’ve got any leads, be sure to hook me up so I can get in on this “Bat Dad” craze ASAP.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | August 31, 2013

I Miss Writing

I miss writing.

I miss a lot of things actually. I miss having time for my hobbies like fantasy baseball (note: I’m about to miss the playoffs for the first time, ever), hanging with Grace, playing with Honey, keeping in contact with my friends and family, playing slow-pitch softball on a regular basis, reading non-management books, and a whole slew of other activities.

Since last September my life has been moving at hyper-speed and I haven’t really caught up to it yet.

Roughly a year ago, I interviewed for a big boy job. A couple days later I was back in the Midwest for my best friend’s wedding and I proposed to Grace. Less than a week later my Grandma was in the hospital. Days after that, I found out I’d gotten the job. That night I had a less-than-stellar falling out with someone I’d considered a pretty good friend. The next day, my Grandma died and I flew home for the funeral. Days later I started my new job. There was a lot more going on in that time period, but you get the gist, it was a pretty intense couple of weeks.

The new job has been a test of my patience, self-confidence, professionalism, and – at times – my sanity.

I’ve been busier than ever before and the bulk of it is simply the day-to-day work of managing eight different people and two libraries. On top of that is all of the committee work and other “higher level” work that needs to be done on a regular basis.

All the while, Grace and I have been working to plan our wedding, I’ve managed a couple of different slow-pitch teams, hired a new staff member, dealt with some – ahem – interpersonal issues among my colleagues, dealt with the stark reality of the Boston Marathon Bombings and the shooting at MIT (fun fact: Grace and I are part of a small group tasked with writing emergency plans for the libraries), and we found out we were basically being forced out of our apartment in Cambridge and we had to spend a couple of months scrounging for an apartment we could afford and then begin the arduous process of packing and moving.

Needless to say, it’s been busy. It’s been very, very busy.

I feel like I haven’t had any sort of legitimate downtime in the last year and that’s absolutely maddening. I miss my hobbies. I miss feeling legitimately relaxed. I miss writing.

On top of all of that, I’m down to less than 100 days until I turn 30.

In my head I had some sort of “Final 100 Days” writing challenge where I’d post something every day as my twenties came to a close. In the end, I found myself too busy to even come up with a good theme, let alone actually get down to the business of writing up any posts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is by no means a cry for sympathy or an excuse for why I’m suddenly very shitty at fantasy baseball, dropping my shoulder at the plate in slow-pitch, stuck in a writing drought, or basically a ghost to everyone in my life with the exception of the occasional Facebook or Twitter post that takes two seconds in between meetings.

This is just me saying that, despite all of the amazing things that have happened to me in the last year—and all of the shitty things—I’m just feeling a little lost. The last year of my 20s has been a whirlwind of both good and bad experiences and unlike much of the last decade, there’s very little to show for it.

Most of my life since college has been chronicled here on this blog. There were some obvious gaps due to basic inactivity or writer’s block or whatever, but for the most part, you can get a very good sampling of the last ten years of my life right here in black and white.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a kid. I wrote stupid little stories and made my own “newspapers” on an old typewriter when I was a kid. When I got to college, I went to journalism school and I got a minor in creative writing.

I’m about to turn 30 and the only writing I do in a professional capacity is documentation, performance evaluations, and emails. I don’t regret where I’m at. I don’t regret what I’ve done. I have a great job. I have a wonderful life.

I just miss writing.

I wish I’d done more to chronicle this past year. I wish I could find the time or the energy or the ambition to put my fingers to the keys on a regular basis.

Someday I’m going to look back on this blog and be incredibly happy that I have such a rich history of where I was at throughout my 20s, but I know for a fact that I’m going to be disappointed in how little there is about this past year.

I’m closing in on 30. I have a good job. I have a great life. I have nothing that warrants complaining about.

…but I’ll be damned if I don’t miss writing.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | August 30, 2013

It’s Baaaaaaaaack…


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all-ages…the Pumpkin Spice Latte has been unleashed on the masses once again.

If you’re a long-time reader here at Blank Stares and Blank Pages, assuming there are any of you left after my pitiful output in the last calendar year, you know that I have a serious affinity for the pumpkin-y goodness that is the PSL.

This year, they are being super-duper sneaky and releasing it early, but only in select locations. When I got wind of this news I started scouring the Starbucks in my general vicinity and came up empty-handed time and time again.

Earlier this week, however, I noticed that the Starbucks in Harvard Square totally had the PSL early! Unfortunately, I was rushing to catch a bus that was leaving in two minutes. When given the option of paying $6 for a latte or catching a bus to avoid waiting an extra 45 minutes for the next one, I’m gonna choose the bus dang near every single time.

(Blogger’s Note: I realize I never gave any update on this to my blog peeps, but we’ve moved from Cambridge and live in Watertown now. I’ve got a real commute, thus explaining the sudden rise in importance that buses have in my life.)

Today, however, I got up early and left the house with plenty of time to spare. My bus got into Harvard with a solid 10 minutes until the next train to MIT was set to arrive so I waddled out from underground and got myself the first PSL of the season. And you know what? It was freakin’ glorious! I’m already jonesin’ for my next hit.

Cue the happy dance…

JD's Happy Dance

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | June 18, 2013

Buy Me Things


Watermelon Oreos are a thing that exists.

This is not a drill. This is real, people.

I need everyone to stand up and leave their home/office/jury panel/coffee shop immediately and go in search of these (likely awful) cookies.


Now, I know that I’ve said before that there are entirely too many types of Oreos in existence. I still stand by that statement, especially in light of the Birthday Cake Oreo experiment from last spring, but I can’t help my craving for these things. Curiosity has gotten the better of me and I refuse to fight it.

When I saw them appear on the internet a little after 5pm yesterday, I was like a man possessed. I immediately stopped what I was doing. I closed down my computer. I grabbed my things, left work, and proceeded directly to the grocery store – only to be thwarted by their lack of availability.

That’s where y’all come in.

I don’t just want Watermelon Oreos, I NEED Watermelon Oreos and I needed ‘em yesterday!

Go forth and find Oreos, My Faithful Readers. My taste buds are counting on you!

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | June 11, 2013

Viral Video: The Worst Person in the World

He's here to make the donuts, not put up with your bullshit!

It’s over, y’all.

We can just shut it all down now; the search for the worst person in the world has reached its inevitable conclusion.

This crazy chick filming her breakdown at a Dunkin’ Donuts has won the award and there’s pretty much zero chance anyone is going to take it from her anytime soon.

The entire incident – as far as the video shows – was fueled when the lady didn’t get a receipt after paying for an order at Dunkin’ Donuts.

I can attest that they do, in fact, have signs posted saying that if you don’t receive a receipt, your order is on the house. That much I can verify. Anything beyond the fact that this policy exists, however, is entirely debatable.

This feels like more than enough exposition, let’s head right into the craziness (note: this video contains some NSFW language):


Call me crazy, but I bet you want to punch her in the face a little bit right now, huh?

How these Dunkin’ peeps put up with this garbage for hourly salaries is beyond me.

The dude at the counter and “Needee” must be the patron saints of “not knocking lunatics the hell out.”

I also feel so bad for plaid shirt guy, just getting sucked into this whole mess. Dude just wants a cup of mediocre coffee and a glazed donut. He doesn’t want to hear some crazy lady’s bullshit rants, he doesn’t want to give his opinion of the staff at Dunkin’ Donuts, and he sure as hell doesn’t want to be in this damned viral video.

Part of me hopes that the video cuts off where it does because the police finally showed up and arrested her ass or that the rest of the Dunkin’ part-time, day shift came in and attacked her like a pack of wolves.

I don’t normally endorse bullying, but if people want to find out who this lady is and harass the hell out of her until her 15 minutes are up, I think it’d be just peachy.

…just the f’n worst.

PS: Does anyone else REALLY want a Coolata now?!

(Blogger’s Note: In case you want to relive any of that craziness, the folks at The Consumerist have a nice rundown of some of her most memorable, and batshit crazy, quotes from her rant.)

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | June 8, 2013

A Moment with Grace

Apartment Hunting

We’ve been apartment hunting for about a month now.

In that time Grace has been spending pretty much every waking moment of free-time scouring the cesspool that is Craigslist in search of an apartment.

I’d be low-balling it if I said that she’s found 90% of the places we’ve had interest in; seriously, she’s been an apartment hunting machine. I’ve emailed a handful of people and charmed my way onto a waiting list. That’s it. This is basically a one-woman show.

At this point we’ve done a butt-load of apartment tours and found some great places and some…uh…not so great places.

I think the stress of it all is finally starting to get to us.

This evening, out of nowhere, Grace decided to expound on the situation, completely out of nowhere:

Grace:: “I assume this is what online dating is like.”
Graves: “…what?!”
Grace: “You know, you see an amazing profile and you get your hopes up. And then BOOM, just like that, you get your hopes and dreams crushed.”
Graves: “Uh…huh?!”
Grace: “…Or you go for a tour (aka: the first date) and the ad was a lie and the person is 20 pounds heavier than they said, but, it’s like a shitty apartment instead of a fat person.”
Graves: “Huh…”

I’m marrying this woman.

This pleases me.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | June 7, 2013


a f*cking dome

It’s Commencement day once again here at the library and as is the case every year, we’re hosting a super fancy luncheon for the biggest of the big wigs on campus.

As such, the library is closed for the day.

Naturally, this impacts our users in a big way, but they all handle it differently. Some people get really pissed off. Some people are very understanding. Some get to learn something new about campus…and curse like a sailor.

The latter is what I experienced about ten minutes ago when a dude started knocking and tugging on the locked door, the one with the “Library Closed” sign on it. Normally this is one of my biggest pet peeves, but it is Commencement, so I let it slide.

Anyway, here’s how it went down…

Cap’n Charisma: “Sorry, we’re closed…”
Cool Dude: “Oh really…well, I need to use the library.”
Cap’n Charisma: “What is it you need?”
Cool Dude: “Just the library. I need to study.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Okay, well you can do that at any of the other libraries on campus.”

I quickly scrambled to grab our map of the other MIT Libraries to get him pointed in the right direction. When I went to hand it to him and show him the other locations; he had a look on his face that can only be defined as “stunned.”

Cool Dude: “There…there are other libraries?”
Cap’n Charisma: “Oh yeah. Four of ’em to be exact.”

His reaction was probably a bit much for having learned about the existence of additional libraries. You’d think that he’d just learned he was adopted or that Darth Vader was his real father. Either way, his eyes got huge and he just seemed completely in shock by this seemingly innocuous bit of knowledge.

Cool Dude: “…for real?! I’ve been here three years and didn’t know there were any other libraries. I thought it was just Barker.”
Cap’n Charisma: “Nope, we’re one of many.”
Cool Dude: “…yeah, but this one’s the best.”
Cap’n Charisma: “That’s nice of you to say, but it seems a bit presumptuous if you haven’t seen any of the others.”
Cool Dude: “They can’t beat Barker, I mean, it’s got a fucking dome!”

…and then he grabbed the map and moseyed off to try out one of the other dome-less libraries.

I’ve had patrons curse at me before, but this experience was far and away my favorite of the bunch.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 21, 2013

Zach Sobiech: Dying the Right Way

Zach Sobiech

When I woke up this morning I didn’t intend to flood my blog with videos guaranteed to make people cry, but that seems to be where my day is headed.

On the heels of the tiny miracle that came out of the tremendous devastation in Moore, Oklahoma, I had another inspiring story shared with me earlier today and I feel compelled to pass it along to all of you.

It is the story of Zach Sobiech, a Minnesota teenager who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, when he was just 14-years-old.

In the years following his diagnosis, Zach underwent numerous surgeries and countless rounds of chemotherapy to battle the disease.

Ultimately, despite some improvements over the years, he was engaged in a fight he couldn’t win. Late last year, Zach was told that the cancer’s progression was unstoppable and he only had months to live.

Making the most of his finals days, Zach recorded a goodbye song entitled “Clouds” for his family and friends.

Luckily, because the internet isn’t always a cesspool of depravity and can sometimes be a very wonderful, very heartwarming place, the video went viral and garnered more than three million (and climbing) views on YouTube.

Zach also had his story chronicled as part of SoulPancake’s uplifting “My Last Days” documentary series.

That’s what I’m sharing with you today.

It is a long video, but it’s most certainly worth the investment of 20 minutes of your life. I will, however, warn you that if you’re not a fan of people seeing you cry, you’re going to want to watch this one with the door closed.

Without any further ado, here is Zach Sobiech’s inspiring story:


Zach passed away early Monday, May 20th.

He was at home with his family. He went down swinging and on his own terms. He spent his final months out in the world living his life, not slowly dying in a hospital bed.

He died the right way. He died his way.

I don’t want to get all weepy and sentimental. I don’t want to pretend that this is the only sad or inspiring story on the internet. I don’t want to act like this is going to be the impetus that leads me to change the way I live my life forever.

…but, at the very least, for the next couple of days it’s going to make me hold my hugs a little bit longer, flash a little more patience when I think I’ve run out of it, and not think twice about paying for a round of beers with my friends.

Sometimes all we can really ask for is a reason to be a little bit better than we are, even if it only lasts a little while. The hope is that you’ll always find another reason right around the corner.

Right now, Zach Sobiech is my reason. Here’s hoping he can be yours too.

“It’s really simple actually; it’s just…try to make people happy.” – Zach Sobiech

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 21, 2013

Silver Lining: Oklahoma Tornado Edition

Moore, Oklahoma

At this point, everyone knows about the tornado that ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, on Monday.

The storm left a trail of absolute devastation in its wake, reportedly covering an area 22 miles in length and nearly two miles wide.

The storm destroyed homes, business, schools, and the local hospital leaving nothing but wreckage where an Oklahoma City suburb once stood.

In addition to the hundreds of injured, the ever-rising death toll is still in flux as rescue workers continue to pull bodies out of the rubble. More than 100 people have been pulled from the rubble alive since Monday.

Officials indicate that things look grim for those who are still trapped beneath fallen structures.

Here is CNN’s take on the current death toll:

“The storm killed at least 91 people. The official death toll stood at 51 Tuesday morning, but a coroner’s office official said some 40 bodies have yet to be processed by medical examiners — roughly half of them children. More bodies could be hidden under the vast debris field, authorities warned.”

Maybe I’m just more tuned into it since the Boston Marathon bombings hit so close to home; but it seems to me that from the Mother’s Day parade shooting in New Orleans to the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, to the still-unfolding Cleveland abduction saga, to this horrible tornado in Oklahoma and a million different events in between…the world just seems to be going crazy lately.

It’s nothing but bad news on top of bad news on top of bad news.

As such, I think it’s time to hunt down a silver lining and a little bit of levity.

Luckily, Barbara Garcia, a resident of Moore, Oklahoma (and total bad-ass), and Bouncy the dog are able to provide us with that silver lining.

Take it away Barbara:

I don’t know about you, but there seems to be an awful lot of sawdust in the air today or maybe my non-existent allergies are acting up. Whatever the case, I’m just a wee-bit misty-eyed after that.

Granted, if you’re not at least a little bit teary-eyed yourself from watching that, I think you can go ahead and close this blog now, because there is no way we can be friends.

This amazing moment is great in and of itself (aside from the douchey news crew that needed Barbara to ask them for help, jerks), but I want to give Barbara credit for two amazing quotes.

The first came on the heels of the reporter’s vapid, textbook post-tragedy question: “Are you able to comprehend what happened here?”

Barbara replied like a total boss: “I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED HERE!!”

Total baller move.

And then there’s Barbara’s closing quote, which, from a journalism standpoint, is pretty much the most money-quote you’re ever going to get in this kind of moment.

“Well I got God to answer one prayer to let me be okay, but he answered both of them,” Garcia said. “Because this was my . . . second prayer.”

Hug your pets. Hug your family. Hug everyone (that human resources will allow) today, y’all.

Life can get really real in the blink of an eye.


If you’re interested here are some of the agencies helping the victims:

  • The Salvation Army is asking for donations for Oklahoma Tornado Relief. You can also text “storm” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • The Red Cross said the best way to assist families is to make a donation to or or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • United Way of Central Oklahoma’s Disaster Relief Fund is open. Donations may be made online at or by mail to United Way of Central Oklahoma, P.O. Box 837, Oklahoma City, OK  73101 with a notation for the May Tornado Relief.
  • Contributions to the Moore & Shawnee Tornado Relief Fund can be made online to the Tulsa Community Fund at Donations can also be mailed to TCF offices at 7030 S. Yale, Suite 600, Tulsa, OK, 74136.
Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 16, 2013

End of an Era: The Office Closes Up Shop

Jim and Pam

I’m going to miss Jim and Pam.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss The Office as a whole, but I’m really going to miss Jim and Pam.

I spent a sizable portion of my 20s associating with a fictional television character. While I don’t assume that’s all that odd, I do think that it leaves a bit of a hole in a person when that character goes off to the big TV studio in the sky.

After nine seasons, the American version of The Office came to its inevitable conclusion this evening.

As is often the case when a long-running series ends, the show was given a proper goodbye with a retrospective and an extra-lengthy episode to tie up all of the loose ends.

Most sitcoms end on a happy note—simply to leave a good taste in the mouth of the viewing audience—and The Office was no exception.

We saw the nuptials of Dwight and Angela, the redemption of Andy, the return of Michael Scott, the seemingly inevitable union of Kelly and Ryan, the reunion of Erin with her birth parents, Nelly finally getting her baby, a beautiful display of true, unadulterated affection between all of the Dunder Mifflin co-workers, and we saw Pam make a big, selfless gesture for Jim in attempt to pay him back for years of grand gestures (and tiny looks) that won her heart time and time again.

As much as I might wax poetic about The Office, I’m not going to pretend the show wasn’t running on fumes for years. The end of Michael Scott’s reign of terror should have been the end of the show. In fact, even if it had ended then, it might have felt as though the show went on too long.

The thing is, everyone kept watching. No matter how unwatchable the show became, people couldn’t stop watching. The Office, for all of its faults, still resounded with people. It was still very, very real.

We’ve all had (or been) a horrible boss. We’ve all had (or been) an awkward co-worker. We’ve all had (or been involved in) an office romance. We’ve all had (or been) co-workers that became best friends without anyone even realizing it.

I said it at the beginning and I’ll say it again, I’ve long associated with the fictional character of Jim Halpert.

As far as we—the viewer—can tell, Jim is a swell guy who happens to be pretty good at this job, but is simply bored with it and going through the motions (also he is tall and has some wonky hair and over-exaggerated facial reactions).

This character bio could describe a very large part of my life. Much of my twenties were spent at a job where, although I was good at it, I was pretty bored. I didn’t have a Dwight to prank, but I made my own fun and never took things too seriously.

What I never had in the workplace, was a Pam.

That’s because I was lucky enough to meet my Pam on the very first day of college. I didn’t have to fight off a Roy or endure an awkward move wherein we were in different branches and—unfortunately—at no point was Rashida Jones a factor in our lives.

Although we lack a lot of the drama of the real Jim and Pam, I can say that I did, much like Jim, have to grow up and get my shit together to make things work.

Over the years, in addition to the small looks, I’ve had to make some grand gestures, but they’ve all been worth it.

As fate would have it, just shy of two years ago, my Pam started working with me. She’s not a receptionist or a secretary (note: the PC term is administrative assistant, dicks)…but she’s my Pam.

Mlady and Graves: Grabbing Butts Since '02

She’s my Pam in the sense that she’s long made me want to be better than I am and to strive for more than I otherwise would.

She’s the reason I busted ass for years to earn extra hours or a raise or a minor promotion from one support staff job to another. She’s also the reason that when my boss left and his job became available, I got through my own personal bullshit and applied for his job.

She’s also the biggest reason I got that job. Not me, not the work I’ve done, but my desire to be better for her and to do bigger and better things for us.

Someday I want to own a house. Someday I want to have our babies. Someday I want to have a minivan. Someday I want to have a trampoline (that’s unrelated, I just really like trampolines). Someday I don’t want to have to worry about money.

These are the things that drove Jim to be a better version of Jim. These are the things that have driven me to be a better version of me.

It’s all about trying to find that one reason to make it all happen and, for me, Grace is that reason.

Grace is my Pam.

Nah, you know what…fuck that…Pam was Jim’s Grace.

Rest easy, Jimbo. I’ll take it from here.

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 15, 2013

Best. Episode. Ever.

So. Much. Hotness.

There are some moments in television that stand the test of time and resonate for years to come.

Last night, we all witnessed one of those nights on the season finale of New Girl.

As you may recall, I wasn’t exactly a huge fan of New Girl when it first debuted, but in time the show runners made some tweaks and turned it into one of my favorite shows on television.

Last night, however, they went ahead and trumped anything they’d done to date (or are likely to ever do again) when they had Taylor Swift as a guest star on the show.

Oh yeah, that’s right, My Faithful Readers…the ladies who currently occupy spots #2 and #3 on my celebrity cheat list and who have been feuding with one another over my affections for the better part of two years clearly reached a short-term peace accord for the common good of the viewing public.

For that, I believe both of these lovely ladies deserved to be commended…and perhaps taken out for a lovely seafood dinner and a fancy (yet reasonably priced) bottle of wine with an upstanding, bearded gentleman from the Midwest.

I’ll leave that idea out there for Zooey and Taylor’s publicists to ponder (note: click the Gmail icon to the right to contact me directly).

In the meantime, let’s celebrate in my favorite new fashion, with a happy dance from both Zooey and Taylor. Take it away ladies:

Zooey's Happy Dance

Taylor's Happy Dance

Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | May 13, 2013

Taco Bell Wins at Breakfast


It was a little more than a year ago when I mentioned my excitement about Taco Bell joining the fast food breakfast game.

It seems almost crazy now, but at the time I was very interested in getting my mitts on their sausage and egg wrap.

Well, now the sausage and egg wrap can go ahead and get the hell outta town, because it’s old news.

That’s right folks, I’ve moved on. The sausage and egg wrap looks like garbage to me now. Garbage, I say!!

Why the sudden change of heart? Well it’s because the glorious Waffle Taco is the new hotness.

What’s that, My Faithful Reader? You don’t know what a Waffle Taco is? You’d like me to enlighten you as to what I’m rambling about?!

It’ll be my pleasure.

I present to you, My Faithful Readers, the 8th Wonder of the World…Taco Bell’s Waffle Taco:

Waffle Taco (ONLY 89 CENTS!!)


Tell my you’re not totally stoked about this right now. Try it. Try to tell me.

You can’t do it can you?

Don’t lie to me. Don’t lie to the internet.

More importantly, don’t lie to yourself.

The Waffle Taco is described over-so-eloquently over at as follows:

The menu item consists of a folded waffle filled with a sausage folded over some scrambled eggs. There’s a packet of syrup on the side to sweeten the deal.

That’s simplicity at its finest, y’all.

Right now this sweet, sweet concoction is only available at various test markets in California but, if logic is even remotely in play with the fine folks at Taco Bell headquarters, we’ll all be noshing on this thing before Labor Day.

If you’ll indulge me, I’d like to show my feelings on this development in the best way possible, an Alison Brie happy dance.


Blogger’s Note: Props to the lovely Mrs. Lindsay Tiwald for posting this important taco-y/breakfast-y news on my Facebook wall like a total boss.

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