8 things we learned at An Evening with David Sedaris

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David Sedaris, humorist and essayist, came to the swanky Providence Performing Arts Center Monday night for a reading of new and past works and a book signing. Sedaris is the author of the bestselling personal essay collections Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and also frequently contributes to The New Yorker magazine and blog. With a stack of books and papers under his arm, Sedaris wandered onto the massive PPAC stage to read, teaching us a few things:

1. Tumors make good turtle food. Sedaris had a benign fatty tumor in his side called a lipoma. He had taken a liking to a particular snapping turtle, which had a growth on his head, near his house in Emerald Isle and came to the conclusion that he had to feed his tumor to the turtle. He went to a doctor who said he could take the tumor out, but could not give him any removed body parts due to Federal law. Sedaris had the tumor removed in the middle of the night by a fan who approached him at a book signing, who explained that while she was not a surgeon officially, she learned it for a year in med school. After his trip to her clinic after the show, Sedaris kept the tumor in his freezer for almost a year, as the turtles were hibernating. But, when springtime rolled around and he returned to Emerald Isle, Sedaris discovered that his favorite snapping turtle had died over the winter. Sedaris somewhat reluctantly fed the tumor to other turtles in the area, and they gobbled it up!

2. Sedaris is a local litter hero. As described in his 2014 essay in The New Yorker, “Stepping Out”, Sedaris loves his FitBit. When he first got it, he loved it so much that he started picking up trash on his long walks, upping his self-imposed litter-patrol shifts to about nine hours a day, around 60,000 steps, and about 20 – 25 miles. Sedaris shared that he once collected garbage for 30 miles in one day, taking him 11.5 hours. Sedaris has collected so much garbage around his village in West Sussex, England that the local council has named a garbage truck after him and he was invited to Buckingham Palace last May to meet Queen Elizabeth II. 

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Concert Knowledge: 7 things I learned at Bo Burnham’s MAKE HAPPY tour

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Bo Burnham came to Providence Friday night, for the third stop of his Fall 2015 MAKE HAPPY tour. Burnham is a comedian, musician, and writer. Starting out of YouTube at the age 16, Burnham was the youngest comedian to record a Comedy Central special at the age of 18. He’s recorded two hour-long specials since then – Words, Words, Words in 2010 and what. in 2013. Burnham also wrote and starred in the MTV series Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous, is hilarious on Vine, and wrote a bestselling poetry book, EGGHEAD.

Burnham performed Friday night at the gorgeous VETS auditorium, and he killed it. Here are the 7 things I learned at MAKE HAPPY 2015:

1. WolfCop is a must (?) see

Burnham’s opener, Adam Newman from Comedy Central, gave a hilarious raving review/reenactment of WolfCop, a Sharknado-esque 2014 movie on Netflix that’s fairly self-explanatory (read: werewolf and cop). However, as Newmann animatedly described, this werewolf movie is the only one where the protagonist transforms into a werewolf wiener-first. WolfCop (aka Lou Garou) transforms into a werewolf mid-pee, and the transformation is a progression of approximately “wiener to potato to explosion.” My friend and I started watching it after the show, and it’s definitely, as Newman argued, a must see. The Netflix description: “After being transformed into a werewolf, a boozy cop uses his new powers to tangle with devil worshipers, shape-shifters, and other minions of evil.” I mean…

2. Bo is tall, so very tall (and also very fluid)

Yes, Bo is ridiculously crazy tall in person, a friend you’d definitely want to take apple picking. At 6′ 5″, Bo was easy to see on stage, sporting his signature white T. The man is just a lot of limbs and is also a very animated performer and dancer. His long legs and arms form a whirlwind of Bo, a fluid octopus of comedy, dance, and sound, if you will.

3. Straight white men have a lot of problems

Bo sat down at his piano and prefaced a song with, “I have a lot of problems, and I like to share them with people,” beginning a satirical, self-aware song from the perspective of a straight white man. Bo belted out a drawn out and melodic, “Straiiiightttt whiteeeeeeee mannnnnn” chorus throughout the song, singing, “Can’t you just leave us alone, and also, no, to the things you asked for” to all the gays and the women’s rights activists.

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Useless Rankings: Providence has the second best downtown ever

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…And by ever, I mean in the United States in 2014 according to Livability.com. Yep, PVD beat out urban luminaries such as Indianapolis, Eugene, and Provo. (You couldn’t find 10 downtowns better than Provo?) Only Fort Worth, Texas beat out Providence. Livability didn’t just make this up; they had some impressive statistics on their side:

  • The public library was recently redone.
  • Half the office space in Rhode Island is in downtown Providence.
  • The city’s median age is 28.
  • The city’s workers only have to commute an average of 16 minutes to work.
  • We have WaterFire.

Also, the above picture is clearly a fabrication. It seems to imply that the trees will at some point sprout leaves and that it at some point will be warm enough to walk around in short sleeves. Lies.

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Shit we love: The Moffle

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Everything is moffle and nothing hurts.

Around two weeks ago, my friend and I decided to get off College Hill and explore downtown Providence. It was a night of much enlightenment. Firstly, we had agreed to never wait in line for a non-free frat party again, (since we were now sophomores and obviously of elevated comportment) and to simply try new things. Little did we know that the biggest revelation awaited us in a cutesy restaurant called Teriyaki and Korean House. And, it wasn’t even perfectly seasoned teriyaki.

Divine contrivances led us to the moffle. So a small disclaimer first—a moffle is not a fan of Steven Moffat, or some weird naughty type of kiss. It is a Belgian waffle with an exquisite mochi interior. It is both crunchy and chewy and all the right amount of sweet. My moffle came topped with a dollop of cream cheese and raspberry jam, paired with some refreshing green tea ice cream. It was out of this world. One bite of this delectable mushy waffle thing was enough to convince me that the moffle had become my new favorite dessert. I was going at it like a madman; words simply can not do justice to how incredibly yummy this treat was. In that moment, I swear I was infinite… not to mention ardently in love with what I considered my new edible boyfriend (if this is wrong I don’t want to be right). But, all relationships must come to an end so, with a heavy heart, my friend and I bid adieu to this moffle sanctuary and made our way back up the Hill. I still remember the unparalleled euphoria I felt that day, and it’s something that every Brown student should experience at least once in his/her life. However, in the words of California’s sweetheart, “I’ll be back.”

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Occupy Providence, Night One

[nggallery id=69]Yesterday at 5 pm, in solidarity with Occupy movements all over the world, thousands of protestors met at Burnside Park next to Kennedy Plaza and proceeded to march around the city of Providence. Among them were a few dozen students from Brown University. With the help of the Providence police department, traffic was blocked off on certain roads so protestors could pass through. The march passed by Providence Place Mall, the State capital building, then ended up back at Burnside Park. People of all different ages, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds came together to show our country’s and our world’s leaders that people are fed up with the current political and financial system. The official occupation of Burnside Park began last night and will continue indefinitely.

(We apologize in advance for the blurriness of some of the photos, shit got a little nuts at times).  Continue Reading