Do you recognize this man?

I got an original Tony Millionaire drawing of a guy I don't recognize as a pledge reward for the McSweeney's Kickstarter. Here it is.

A few months ago I made a pledge to McSweeney’s Kickstarter campaign. As part of my pledge reward, I’d get an original Tony Millionaire drawing from The Believer. Cool, right? Only thing is, I got my drawing in the mail this week and have absolutely no idea who the guy in it is. Thought maybe it’d say on the back, or there’d be a label of some kind with his name, but nope. Just the drawing.

According to the Kickstarter page, most of the drawings are “portraits of musicians, writers, artists, or philosophers.” I tried to think of which musicians/writers/artists/philosophers looked like the man in the drawing and at first glance he reminded me of Woody Harrelson, in a “fourth cousin three times removed” kind of way. I’m 99.99% sure it’s not him, though.

The simplest solution would be to email/tweet the Believer folks with something like, “Sup? Got a drawing of this guy. Who is he?” But that would be so… easy. This could be much more entertaining.

First, I asked my more literary and artistically-inclined friends. One guy Chris went, “¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ” then elaborated, “Looks like it could be any white guy.”

My friend Jen said it might be Paul Newman. It’s a better guess that Woody Harrelson’s fourth cousin three times removed, but I’m still not sure.

Everyone else I asked either didn’t know, or just wanted to talk about the fact that I paid $100 for a drawing of a guy I couldn’t recognize. Haters gonna hate.

Then for fun, I uploaded the picture onto one of those “Which Celebrity Do I Look Like?” sites. I figure if there are sites that can tell you which famous person you look like, they should be able to scan the drawing of an actually-famous person’s face and tell who it is, right? Wrong. Turns out those sites don’t work on drawings, and I tried a bunch. Foiled again!

Since my friends weren’t much of a help and facial recognition only works on, well, real faces I guess, I figured I’d try another way. What if, instead of my small circle of friends, I had the whole city helping me figure out who this guy was? But how? Glad you asked!

A picture of a guy who isn't Woody Harrelson, I don't think.

I’ve got a giant urge to print a few hundred of these bad boys out and plaster them all around the city. I might do it, see what happens. But on the off chance you know who this mystery man is, please contact me immediately. Thanks, and remember, it’s not Woody Harrelson.


In Dyer Need of a Doughnut

doughnut mapI recently stumbled across this awesome Doughnut Map and aside from thinking I MUST HAVE IT, I also thought I bet Geoff Dyer already’s gotten his hands on one of these, that crazy-ass doughnut lover.

Dyer loves doughnuts so much that he wrote a piece centered around his obsession with them in the titular essay of his award-winning collection, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition. You can read it excerpt of it here.

When it comes to doughnuts, Dyer is very particular. His essay focuses on his love of the ones from Doughnut Plant. Too bad Dyer’s based out of London — the only Doughnut Plant locations are in New York, Korea, and Japan.

I got to speak to Dyer at a reading last spring, when he was promoting his new book, Zona. The reading was at the SVA Theatre, which is a block away from a Doughnut Plant. How convenient.

Following the reading was a book signing. If you’ve read this post about the J.K. Rowling reading I went to, you know I sometimes spaz when I meet people I respect and admire. But that didn’t happen when I met Geoff. Nope. I was all calm and collected and shit.

This is what happened when I got to the signing table:

Geoff Dyer: Hi.
Flippin’ Amasian: Hi. (hands geoff copy of otherwise known as the human condition) So… Have you gotten any doughnuts from the Doughnut Plant down the street yet?
GD: (about to sign book, but then looks up and drops pen. reaches into messenger bag beside table. pulls out paper bag emblazoned with doughnut plant logo. holds it high in the air. smiles triumphantly) Two!
FA: Holy shit, you actually have Doughnut Plant doughnuts on you. Two of them, even! That’s amazing.
GD: That’s why I stay at the Maritime, it’s so close!

dyer and doughnut

Dyer with doughnut. File under: Pure joy. (via)

“That’s why I stay at the Maritime…” I love that. When most other people visit foreign cities, they choose where to stay by considering things like best available accommodations, or easy access to public transportation. But not Geoff Dyer. Why does he choose to stay at the Maritime? Not because of its superior services or its cozy and comfortable rooms, but because of its proximity to Doughnut Plant. That’s why.

GD: Are you a fan?
FA: Of… Doughnut Plant? Or doughnuts in general?
GD: (nods)

At the time, I hadn’t yet tried Doughnut Plant (and regrettably still haven’t), so I couldn’t (and still can’t) say I’m a fan. I thought of lying and saying I was anyway, but then I thought, What if he asks me what my favorite Doughnut Plant doughnut is? I’ll say Boston Cream. But what if Doughnut Plant doesn’t have Boston Cream? If I say Boston Cream and they don’t have it, Geoff will know I’m lying. He seems like the type to know the whole menu by heart. I won’t say Boston Cream.

FA: I like doughnuts, but I haven’t been to Doughnut Plant. Yet. I will, though. (eyes bag of doughnuts in geoff’s hand)
GD: You really should! (safely stows doughnuts away in messenger bag)

Then Geoff signed my book. The inscription reads: all best wishes & donutly boris.

Wait… donutly boris? That doesn’t sound right.

signed geoff dyer book

Donutly boris?

Whatever, I’ll just go with boris. All best wishes & donutly boris.

In addition to the hilarious (and not-at-all-exaggerated) doughnut piece, Otherwise Known as the Human Condition includes a few more personal essays and some really great, insightful reviews on books, movies, and photography. It’s pretty much a mix of everything. A perfect gift for anyone with an intellectual bent, varied interests, and a short attention span. Check it out here.

And while you’re at it, maybe grab a doughnut, or two. Or ten. Just grab a whole box.

Spooky Squirrels

Happy Halloween! Hope that picture didn’t scare you too badly.

My roommate from college sent me this hilariously terrifying image you see here. For the past few years, Former Roommate and I’ve had this ongoing competition to see who can be the creepiest. She’s in the lead, which I’m not too upset about.

Former Roommate knows almost everything about me, including my affinity for pictures of adorable babies and puppies. We often trade pictures of cute things we find online, but she deceived me last night by sending me a text that went like this, “OMG… so cute: [deceiving link here]. Wanna get dinner this week?”

I should really know by now not to open anything she sends me without a description attached to it, but Former Roommate distracted me by inviting me to dinner in the same text as the picture link. She knows I get distracted by food.

After saying yes to dinner, I clicked the link without giving it a second thought. Needless to say, when I expected to see a picture of a cute baby/puppy/baby-with-puppy, but was instead directed to one of a squirrel with the head of a Zombie-Cryptkeeper love child, I got a bit freaked out. Only momentarily, though. Terror was eventually replaced with confusion, which was then replaced with relief, which was ultimately replaced with glee.

Like a lot of people, there’s this woman in England who always decorates her house with crazy scary ornaments for Halloween. This year, she hung a screaming, decapitated head over her front lawn and drew the attention of passersby, as well as one curious squirrel. The curious squirrel proceeded to investigate the decapitated head, then try it on.

Hilarity ensued. The head was just the right size for the squirrel, making it an eerily realistic chimeric zombie-rodent. There are some other great pictures of the fear-inducing squirrel in this post from the Daily Mail, including the ones below:

“What is this? Let me try it on,” said Salvador the Squirrel, who terrified the villagers with his fearsome glare.

It’s things like this that make me glad the Internet exists. Sure, the Internet’s useful for some important things like “learning” or “staying informed” or “keeping in touch,” but for me, it’s first and foremost a Funny Picture Generator™. Without it, I wouldn’t have known of the zombie-squirrel’s existence, which would’ve been very sad, indeed.

If not for the Internet, where else would you find pictures of Paul Ryan as a Pokemon master, or a child’s drawing of leaving as his favorite part of Sunday Mass, or paparazzi shots of Jake Gyllenhaal getting all lovey-dovey with a sandwich? Thank you, Internet, for the countless hours of amusement you provide.

But I digress. I was talking about scary things and Halloween. Have a safe and spooky Halloween, everyone. Try not to get too freaked out if some  small, furry, rabid creature comes creepin’ up on you tonight. It’s no monster, just a poor, helpless squirrel that got its head stuck in a lawn ornament… probably.