Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Best of Twitter - December 2012

  • 6 y.o. asked “How is soap made?” Realized all my knowledge was from Fight Club. So now he has a chemical burn on the back of his hand.
  • “Hooray. Christmas Feet,” he muttered, upon seeing the bunion-gnarled, aging hippie in flip flops. #Austin #80DegreeDecember
  • Nothing makes me cross to the other side of the street faster than a neck tattoo.
  • The post office no longer accepts stamped lumps of coal with etched addresses, so when you don’t get a gift from me, that’s why.
  • Felt guilty about wasting another afternoon looking at meth before-and-after photos, but hey, it’s almost the holidays.
  • Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Always a Marley, never a Scrooge.
  • 6 y.o.: “Hey T.J., can we skip together into the next room?” “Yes. Yes we can.”
  • Krampusing - my new dance, based on krumping, that ruins Christmas for small children.
  • Just had to tell my mother, “Stop waving that knife around at me.” (dispute about ham) #Holidays
  • “Wait, I thought we were still talking about who's ugly.” - my mother, indignant and confused about the change in conversation topic
  • Hey, it's midnight somewhere, right? (immediately goes to bed)

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Best of Twitter - November 2012

  • Ugh. Use your inside-face.
  • Food poisoning is a great diet aid because it forces you to avoid entire categories of food. Example: I will never eat heated food again.
  • This morning’s early wake-up shrieking was brought to you by Birds. Birds, tiny remorseless dinosaurs that would eat you if they could.
  • Whenever someone rhetorically asks, "Who's the crazy one now?", the answer is always, "You. You're still the crazy one."
  • After years of wondering, finally broke down and looked up "sarsaparilla". It's just goddamn root beer? Stupid, gross cowboys.
  • #ArtisanTexasNestingSecessions
  • Starve a fever, eat a bunch of cheese popcorn for a cold, right?
  • I often have the rueful thought: “This is what comes from leaving the house."
  • Well, the cleaners lost all my buckles, so no turkey for me. Sometimes, I hate being Orthodox Pilgrimish.
  • Our Black Friday jokes caused the working poor to adopt sensible wealth retention strategies, so now let’s shame away their obesity.
  • My ambition will never catch up with my ego.
  • So if I make it to the end of the year without ever hearing/seeing/wearing Gangnam Style, I win, right? #Hero #Champion
  • “This lottery ticket purchase is NOT a tacit endorsement of trickle-down economics,” he announced to the other dead-eyed 7-Eleven patrons.
  • Russian nesting tongues. #LovecraftianGifts

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Best of Twitter - October 2012

  • Kid with iPhone in next car took my photo at stoplight. Print it out, tack it to a mirror, and aspire for the next 25 years, little turd.
  • Trust me iPhone auto-correct, I mean “goof”, not “good”. I almost always mean “goof”, not “good”.
  • Still trying to figure out what/how to become the “Skinny George Wendt of ”.
  • Overcast and 66 is about as “Autumn” as it gets in Austin. Let’s not be embarrassed to admit that we all feel a bit cozy today.
  • It’s the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, NOT the Niña, the Pinta, and Steve. #ColumbusDay
  • #NewProductIdea: An artificial, mother of pearl substitute called step-mother of pearl. Where do I collect my money?
  • My only preparation for various apocalypsi: Steadily adding to a cache of moist towelettes, every time I get BBQ.
  • ‘member the #ACLFest when it rained & you were all “What’s that smell?” and we were like “What? Nothing. Oh, dillo dirt?” #Dung #Feces #Poo
  • I know it's Austin, but its also mid-October. Cover your gross feet, at least until next spring. Please.
  • Confluence of Boss’s Day and Bring Your Daughter to Work Day means a lot of you serfs will have to submit to Primae Noctis. #SadTrombone
  • Is the freshman fifteen still a thing, or do they all just show up to college fat now?
  • Sad to realize that women no longer refer to me as “a real dreamboat” and really, really mean it. #Dreamboats #DreamboatingAlone
  • Everyone I encounter surely thinks, “Gosh, I hope TJ thinks I’m cool.” I won’t lie. Some of you are okay.
  • You should see how pretty some of my thoughts are.
  • All conservative pundits, in their unguarded moments, laugh exactly like the green pigs in Angry Birds.
  • Hey, what's Spanish for “Shhhh, use your inside-voice”? #Multicultural #Hero
  • Shhhh, use your inside-belt-sander.
  • Finally, my fantasy of a Coen brothers directed Star Wars movie can be admitted to the world as a tiny but real possibility.

Birthday #42
  • It’s 10/11/12, and my birthday. Pretty sure I’m a messiah, though my teachings are mostly what to watch on Netflix Instant.
  • Turned 42 today. Started the day with a round of ear-hair maintenance. Ladies?
  • Turned 42 today. Celebrated by watching a online compilation video of ugly babies trying to eat lemons.
  • Turned 42 today. The white patent leather Evel Knievel watch I got 1976 remains the gold standard of birthday gifts.
  • Turned 42 today. Twenty pounds lighter than when I turned 41 :) . Hundred pounds heavier than when I turned 11 :( .
  • Turned 42 today. I don’t feel a day older than a really disappointing 30 year old.
  • Turned 42 today. Double 21. Going drink so much iced tea this afternoon. Genteel!
  • Turned 42 today. Elvis died at 42. Going to have to really pick up the pace of my prescription drug abuse.
  • Turned 42 today. Not eating as many meals out of mixing bowls these days.
  • Turned 42 today. When my parents turned 42, I was a college sophomore. Uh, I once owned a dog for about 10 years.
  • Turned 42 today. If not married in the next year, I get to throw myself a party and force friends and family to toast me.
  • Turned 42 today. Born in the sweet spot of Generation X, I was a prototypical disaffected slacker. Before it got all corporate.
  • Turned 42 today. The rest of life looks like a yawning abyss of loneliness and disapp...oooh, Mexican vanilla milkshake!
  • Turned 42 today. Does anyone else smell melted crayons right now?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Best of Twitter - September 2012

  • My last grandparent died in 1994. Do old men still smell like cigarettes and metal shavings?
  • The first rule of Soylent Green is you DO NOT talk about how Soylent Green is people.
  • How to tell this couple that their public, passive aggressive argument, conducted in sing-song voice, makes them look fat?
  • “Drunk and full of omelets” - Apt description of me on football Saturdays during my Notre Dame years.
  • I’m not sure I want to continue living in a world where people think its okay to be this boring.
  • Ran over a bunch of Cheetos spilled in the street with my bike, accompanied by feelings of surprising exhilaration and smugness.
  • Just overheard a conversation about Star Trek that was so dorky, it permanently reduced MY chances of getting some. #2ndHandNerdFumes
  • A 6 y.o. would love Grey Gardens. “She lives in a house where it rains inside & plays dress-up & has kitty cats & sees her mommy every day.”
  • Group at next table just finished off the devaluation of the word "amazing". It’s now officially just a nonsense grouping of syllables.
  • The word "literally" also took a beating. It now officially has same definition as "figuratively".
  • It's not truly moping if no one sees it.
  • Maybe string together a few instances of adequateness before insisting you’re special? - My advice for everyone other than me.
  • Guy ahead of me at grocery buying a gallon of milk and four pairs of toenail clippers. I hear you, brother. One of THOSE nights.
  • In Saudi Arabia, you can be stoned to death for excessive smugness about your Star Wars knowledge.
  • Trip to Walgreens became unexpectedly complex. Ended up having to download an app to get an almond discount.

  • Getting excited. Sure hope Hoffa Claus leaves me the scab bat I want (Scab Buster 5000) tomorrow morning. #LaborDay
  • About to kick off a traditional Labor Day Eve by torching an effigy of a Pinkertons agent, burn ban be damned.
  • Hoffa is Risen! #LaborDay
  • It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and stevedores. #LaborDay cc:@blainecapatch

  • Crap, I have to use my saved #BadSummerDepressionMetaphors this weekend. Off to a start.
  • Trying to bat the shuttlecock of moroseness back over the net of coping. #BadSummerDepressionMetaphors
  • Chasing the ice cream truck of happiness to buy a serotonin bomb pop. #BadSummerDepressionMetaphors
  • Snapping towels on the ass of disappointment at the swimming hole of despair. #BadSummerDepressionMetaphors
  • Dropping the pop fly ball of hope in the outfield of...okay, that’s enough. #BadSummerDepressionMetaphors

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Best of Twitter - August 2012

  • Congratulations to Missy Elliott for Olympic gold and for dispelling stereotypes. #RapperBuoyancy #GetUrSwimOn
  • “It’s Chick-Fil-A, not Chick-PHIL-A.” (“Also, we don’t serve Steves.”)
  • Actually, Life Cereal Mikey was strung out Pop Rocks, then drank A LOT of Cokes. Also he did a bunch of blow. Also type 2 diabetes.
  • I’d like to have children someday, but how to ensure they aren’t the singing and dancing kind seen on TV?
  • “I’m not bitter, I’m wry.” - The motto on my coat of arms (Shroat of Arms). Not that any of you jerks would care.
  • I’m going into my cryostasis tube now. Wake me when all religions have become quaint, harmless novelties like the Amish, I guess.
  • I need to keep in mind that the rest of you can’t hear the whammy bar that punctuates every thing I write or say.
  • #NewCareerIdea: I rename your blender speeds. A few freebies: Defenestrate, Coerce, Objectify, Blog, Razzle-Dazzle. $3000 per verb
  • Sure, I could create an elaborate pyramid scheme OR you could save us all the stress, mail me a $100 or so and move on with your life.
  • Because of my careless disregard for the Shift key, I’ve been wasting a bunch of time on Google=.
  • When a player scores a touchdown in a preseason game and points skyward, I figure he’s just praising John the Baptist. #SportsTweet
  • Can’t believe Eli started high school! #FirstDayOfSchool #Blessed #PhantomUterus #DeadDogJokes http://t.co/WdM8DUu2
  • Guess what, Pretty-Girl-At-Coffee-Shop-Twirling-Her-Hair? You’re the creep, not me.
  • My attitude toward the prospect of dating: “Ah, I don’t want to have to learn a new weirdo.”

  • Synchronized Natural Twenty Rolling
  • Wrestler Ear Cartilage Beauty Pageant
  • Greco-Roman Ennui (above-the-waist discontentment)
  • Modern Harry-Potterverse Continuity Dweebathon (demonstration sport)
  • Freestyle Passive Aggression

Various Soylenti:
  • Soylent Green is people! Delicious, well-marbled people.
  • Ahhh, look, Soylent Green thinks he’s people!
  • Soylent Sheen is Emilio Estevez!
  • Soylent Dean is Wormer!
  • Soylent Jeans look ridiculous on guys!
  • Soylent Mean is Clubber Lang!
  • Soylent Beans are surprisingly bad for you!
  • Soylent Lean isn’t as moist and succulent as Soylent Fatty!
  • Soylent Steen is a friend of mine from high school!
  • Soylent Teen is still legal in parts of the Deep South!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

House Music (#22 of __)

Helcomb County Municipal Lake Dredge Appraisal
So many layers of subtle weirdness. My favorite of the new, recurring Onion Digital series.


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Best of Twitter - July 2012

  • Celebrating my good fortune to be born in 20th century America as if it were a personal accomplishment. #4thofJuly
  • I would shop for clothes at Misanthropologie.
  • “Flannery O'Coen”, he sighed, wistfully.
  • Stay at home, hide from the sun, and eat a bunch of cherries? Okay imaginary girlfriend, you're the boss.
  • No matter how much trust you’ve built, it’s pretty much impossible to vacuum a dog.
  • If you’re wondering about that Kylie Minogue song in my Spotify history, I’d be happy to meet with you and explain it with my fists.
  • Hey, all my favorite bands. Do a cover of any Billy Squier song whenever I see you live, okay? Thanks. Sincerely, TJ
  • Ah. Now I see the problem. A lot of you seem to be forgetting that I’m a goddamn treasure.
  • Of all the things that dogs see us do that are incomprehensible to them, I bet using a lint roller is in the top 10.
  • Just made what I hope will be perceived as the universal hand gesture for lime wedge and not the universal gesture for nipple tweak.
  • Few things disappoint like salsa that’s just gone fizzy.
  • Obscene-Diatribe-Triggered-By-Slight-Delay-Due-To-Bicyclist-In-Your-Lane - You know the Germans have one word for this concept.
  • “I can eat 50 grapes.” - Less-Ambitious Hand Luke
  • Like to ruin the fun? Add a sanctimonious "guys, come on" to just about anything.
  • On my bike ride, saw a feral parakeet eating a dead mouse, so the rest of the day is likely to disappoint. #SundayMorningMagic
  • Have yet to be invited to a deviled egg party this summer, which is some bullshit.
  • Retiring the term "Mexican Breakfast". From now on, "Breakfast". The rest of you can use adjectives to describe how you’re doing it wrong.

Olympic Snark (all televised sports are better if you mute the volume and make up your own stories)
  • Brazil is the pretty girl in high school. Canada, the funny one.
  • Listening to Hans Zimmer's TDKR score with TV muted gives the Parade of Nations a real sense of urgency.
  • Prince Harry, the future Billie Carter of England.
  • In case that wasn't clear, Prince Harry is well on his way to becoming a bizarre amalgam of Billy Carter and Billie Jean King. #NailedIt
  • If you never pretended to light the Olympic cauldron as a kid, your childhood was a sham.
  • The year 1991 made a deal with the Devil, thus the continuing existence of Olympic beach volleyball.
  • Olympic gymnasts really make it look effortless. Wait, I meant joyless. #MuscularToddlersAndTiaras #Gunpoint
  • Those kayaks aren’t very slimming. - background-Olympic thoughts
  • Shaven Muscle-Hobbits - rebranding idea for men’s gymnastics
  • Pretty sure one of the British gymnastics coaches is Charles Widmore. #LostReference #In2012 #ThanksForStoppingBy
  • Empty Gesturing #RejectedOlympicEvents
  • A lot of world-class athletes hail from families of grotesques.

#Migraines (thrilled that this could return as a life hashtag)
  • Tiny John Henry competing against tiny steam powered hammer in my brain. #Migraine
  • Tiny British and tiny French tunnelers about to meet up and shake hands in my skull. #TinySkullChunnel #Migraine
  • "Guys, let's turn this migraine, into a HIGH-graine." - tiny optimist, shouted down at the planning meeting in my noggin #Migraine

Thursday, July 19, 2012

House Music (#21 of __)

Frank Ocean - channel ORANGE

Yeah, what-everyone-else-says. Wonder+Gaye+Prince. I was an early-adopter of Frank Ocean, going all the way back to January with him. "Lost" should be this year's "Crazy".


El-P - Fantastic Damage
El-P - I'll Sleep When You're Dead

I continue to dig El-P. His first two albums are also available as instrumental-only versions on Spotify.

This is all music that can make driving, or even home alone on a summer night, feel cinematic. And that’s really all I’m trying to do at this point, transform mundanity into personal cinema.

If I ever encounter music that makes me feel like I'm carrying a lightsaber, I'm likely to experience a pop cultural singularity and wink out of existence.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Burkina Faso Diet

From BBC's global fat calculator.

Strangely, I consume almost no sorghum or millet, but still manage to be as svelte as men from a country with one of the lowest GDP per capita figures in the world. Before dropping 20 pounds by giving up most sugar and grains, I was like one of those porkers from Mauritania.


Seriously though, fat people, amiright?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

House Music (#20 of __)

Woody Allen: A Documentary
Essential viewing for fans of comedy, fans of cinema, and fans of nebbishes.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Best of Twitter - June 2012

  • Probably not going to have kids, so feel free to call your son Plissken Shroat, though it's weird that you're giving your kid my last name.
  • Special trip to BookPeople just to buy The New Yorker science fiction issue. Yeah, I know, I can't believe I'm single either.
  • Couldn't tell 8 y.o. that the thing I liked most about her hamster was thinking of the lavish funeral she would be giving it in 6-9 months.
  • “Oh, I don't need a big intervention. Just a simple ceremony with loved ones.” - girl trying to seem low maintenance about an intervention
  • Failed to win the lottery, so I won't be able to take my delightful eccentricities public. We've all lost something here.
  • Really iPhone? Correcting "so" to "do"? How 'bout you let me tackle two-letter words on my own, going forward? I think I'm ready.
  • I'm not going to have a happy Father's Day...THAT I KNOW OF! #HighFive #ThisGuyKnowsWhatImTalkingAbout
  • Tattoo guy, severely undercutting his tough facade: "After this, we should go get some of those bomb-ass cupcakes."
  • Honestly, I think your tauntaun will probably be fine past the first marker. Just make sure he gets enough water.
  • When God closes a door, it's because he's not paying to cool the out-of-doors.
  • So this Supreme Court ruling means we can all continue with our consequence-free diets, right? #CornSyrup #Blorp
  • Still can't get coverage for my acute ennui. #SCOTUS #Obamacare #Canada #MedicalMJ #Complaints #YouFixIt

#RoTRally - The Republic of Texas Rally (which I don’t particularly care for)

  • Republic of Texas rally (a sweaty, fat, middle-aged, bourgeois Freaknik) is Austin's most despised weekend of the year. #RoTRally
  • #RoTRally: Come for the juvenile, too-loud mufflers, stay for the leathery, 38-year-old-grandma boob-flash.
  • #RoTRally Attendees: The ideal is Fonzie (1974 Henry Winkler). The reality is Barry Zuckerkorn (2012 Henry Winkler).
  • Does this conveyance make me look fat and delusional? - self-reflection completely absent from #RoTRally
  • #RoTRally: 1000s of motorcycles WITHOUT dogs riding in sidecars = 1000s of missed opportunities for true joy and delight
  • #RoTRally: For every leather-wearing biker tough guy I see, I hear Paul Lynde's voice saying "Because chiffon wrinkles so easily."
  • Big thanks to #RoTRally sponsor: Sonny Barger's Discount Laryngectomy and Electo-larynx Emporium.

#Migraines (also not a fan)
  • I can hear eyelids. #Migraines
  • A fun thing to do with a migraine is pretend it's the onset of super powers, and life thus far has been a protracted, tedious origin story.
  • What if it's early-onset Gollum? #Migraines

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

House Music (#19 of __)

Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls
I've been urged for months to try Alabama Shakes. Classic-sounding southern blues that has exceeded my expectations. This hits me in the same spot as Raphael Saadiq's most recent album. I'm more with  impressed with each listen.


File:Cancer 4 Cure.jpg
El-P - Cancer 4 Cure
I discover alt-hip-hop that I like about once a year. This year, it's El-P. Dense flow, unsettling and cinematic beats, subject matter worthy of Philip K. Dick.


File:Album cover for Brendan Benson's 2012 studio album What Kind of World..jpg
Brendan Benson - What Kind of World
I really like Jack White's new solo album. I like his Raconteurs co-front man's album even more. Alt-power-pop that reminds me of Todd Rundgren. White's and Benson's releases and tours should nicely overlap, so maybe we can get another Raconteurs album next year.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Best of Twitter - May 2012

  • 350 lb. lady at coffee shop is wearing an Atlas Shrugged t-shirt. Where to begin? The mere existence of an XXXXL Ayn Rand tee? #KillYourself
  • "Please make me rich, God." - overwhelming subtext of the National Day of Prayer #FailedChurchAttendanceCampaigns
  • Punish your parents by hacking their social media. You know their passwords. It's some combination of grandchild names and birth dates.
  • "It's George Washington, not Gorge Washington." - comeback to fatties that say "It's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." #Zing
  • Always End on a Crazy Accusation - one of the chapters in my new presentation manual, "Fester in the Audience's Mind"
  • Interview Tip #58: Never state that your real career aspiration is to be a Willy Wonka-esque figure in the potato chip industry.
  • Maybe it's my mild OCD, but the symmetry of dying of natural causes on one's own birthday has tremendous appeal. #StickTheLanding
  • There's always a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. #TatooineOptimist
  • I often wish that an Alamo Drafthouse level of enforced civility was imposed on society at large. #SlipperySlope #SixDegreesOfMussolini
  • Taking my contact lens out for the evening is a daily, tacit admission of defeat.
  • I'm the Lou Gehrig of NOT vomiting in public. #LuckiestManOnTheFaceOfTheEarth
  • An elaborate dream reuniting me with all my dead dogs in a mansion was mostly spent shoveling snow.
  • "I remember a time before wacky, wedding photo booths. A time of rambling speeches captured on VHS." #WhenDrunkUnclesRuledTheEarth
  • Fishmonger is the all time best job title. Not enough things getting -monged these days.
  • Keep Austin Catchphrase-less
  • In a consequence free universe, I would subsist entirely on Mexican vanilla milkshakes.

  • “Cinco de Mayo, Derby, Free Comic Book Day...everyone have a thing today?” “Can my thing be Supermoon tonight?” - guy who loves #Supermoon
  • Back by popular indifference, non-#Supermoon Cincos de Mayo, from a more innocent time. - http://t.co/MNtROJ9C
  • Cinco de Mayo is a marketing scam perpetrated by Big Cinco. #Supermoon, on the other hand...well that’s a REAL thing. - Supermoonacy Theory
  • “Doesn’t anyone at this Derby party care there’s a Supermoon tonight?" - guy who can no longer contain his #Supermoon enthusiasm
  • Your Derby outfit isn’t as cute as my #Supermoon outfit. Look at yourself...you haven't incorporated ANY aluminum foil.
  • Yeah, that’s right. I’m live-tweeting #Supermoon this year. You should probably make some phone calls, let people know.
  • “Y’all got Supermoon in Europe?” - guy who thinks that American airspace might have something to do with #Supermoon
  • Have you heard the Good News? #Supermoon is Risen.
  • Disappointed by Obama's continued refusal to take a moral stand on #Supermoon. It's 30% brighter than a normal full moon! #WakeUp

Mother’s Day
  • Mother’s Day is a marketing scam perpetrated by Big Mother.
  • It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve’s mom.
  • As a Mother’s Day gift, I’ve agreed to answer 3 iPhone/computer questions from my mom, without anger, judgement, or comment. #Hero
  • Mom once convinced me I should “change my look” and gave me a home perm. Turned out great, since junior high kids are so complementary.
  • Mom, in front of my college girlfriend, years after the perm debacle: “Yeah, you went through a real ugly stage there for awhile.”
  • Mom, looking at school photo proofs: “Well, you look like a goof with your eyes half-closed. Not buying these.” (every year, 1978-1984)
  • Shout-out to the non-mother ladies. You’re failures in the eyes of God and also, what are you doing later?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Retronaut - Muhammad Ali vs. Oscar Bonavena, 1970

Retronaut is an Internet essential. The Guardian's review: "Rather than nostalgia or folly, the aim is enlightenment, wonder and the pleasure of weirdness."

The pleasure of weirdness is on display in these photos of attendees of the Muhammad Ali vs. Oscar Bonavena fight at Madison Square Garden in December 1970. Clothes that make you hear thick, bass guitar licks in your head.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Today in Huh?story - May 18

May 18, 322 - Constantine the Great announces free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople

The first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine was still high on his victory over the Visigoths (bunch of black-eye-shadow-wearing mopes) when he announced free food for everyone in Constantinople. This was a mighty white gesture for the emperor in his self-named city, and would set the tone for condescending, smug, rich Christians for the next 1700 years.
Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
Note: I’m not sure if this is still a valid offer. Pretty sure most of the coupons expired by June 30, 322. However, since the coupons were brass, you may be able to hammer-&-tong the date to read June 30, 2322. But you should probably call ahead before you drive all the way out there.

May 18, 1152 - Henry II of England marries Eleanor of Accutane

Eleanor of Accutane was originally married to Louis VII of France when she was fifteen, but he eventually agreed to an annulment on the grounds of consanguinity (a fancy word for cousin-fuckery) within the fourth degree, and also on the grounds of “ewww, zits”. However, King Henry II (aka Henry Curtmantle, aka Henry FitzEmpress, aka Henry Plantagenet), a collector of awesome last names, had no qualms about tapping his pimply third cousin. (The English were the hillbillies of the Middle Ages.) Eleanor would crank out five sons and three daughters for Henry. With the support of Eleanor, three of those sons would eventually revolt against their father, due to his inability to provide them with lands of their own or to find a cure for their chronic acne.

Zits are difficult to convey with stained glass.

May 18, 1896 - Plessy v. Ferguson ruling

The United States Supreme Court ruling in this case (7 to 1) legitimized existing segregation practices (the bogus doctrine of "separate but equal"), which would largely stay intact in the South until the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. The case itself was brought when Homer Plessy boarded a "whites only" railroad car in New Orleans. Plessy was considered an "octoroon", which meant that he was six-eighths Caucasian descent, one-eighth African descent and one-eighth meringue. They may seem pretty white by today’s standards, but Louisiana laws of the time required a ratio of no less than three parts meringue to one part Africa. In justifying the decision, the Court claimed there was no difference in quality between the whites-only and blacks-only railway cars, most of which were flatbed cars featuring four mostly-functioning wheels and separate pup tents for sleeping and dining. 
You must be this white to ride. 
In 2009, descendants of the players on both sides of the Supreme Court case created the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation for Education, Preservation and Outreach to teach the history of Civil Rights and promote disdain for travel by rail.

May 18, 1920 - Birth of Pope John Paul II (born Karol Józef Wojtyła)

The popiest pope in all of popestery. Really, all I want in a pope is a kind face. Take a look at the last four popes, and decide for yourself which guy you want to put a bland wafer into your mouth.

“Gang Sign” Pope Paul VI? NO
“Poindexter” Pope John Paul I? NO 
“Kindly Polack” Pope John Paul II? MAYBE
“Emperor Palpatine” Pope Benedict XVI? GOOD GOD, NO 

May 18, 1933 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority

The TVA’s system of dams were intended to provide flood control, electricity generation, and exponentially more bass-boat launch spots for residents of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky. The subsequent proliferation of bait shops pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression and helped us defeat the Nazis.

Kentucky, Damn
Note: My grandfather, for a time, managed a state recreation area on Kentucky Lake, as political kickback for being Governor Happy Chandler’s campaign manager in western Kentucky. During that time, my father and his five siblings lived a Lord of the Flies existence in which no laceration or burn was great enough to merit a trip into town for medical care. Amazingly, all these Shroats are still alive.

May 18, 1969 - Launch of Apollo 10

A dress rehearsal for the moon landing, Apollo 10’s crew got to see how close we could get men to the moon without actually touching it. As long as I can remember, I’ve had pity for the Apollo 10 crew. That pity also reminds me of this Deep Thought from Jack Handey:
One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said, “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.
Lunar Blue Balls. We were going to let them land on the moon, but it was getting pretty late. 

May 18, 1980 - Eruption of Mount St. Helens

After a massive build up of baking soda and vinegar (I have a Ph.D. in Volcanology, University of Gilligan’s Island, Urbana-Champaign campus), an earthquake triggered one of the largest landslides in recorded history, destroying the entire north slope of Mount St. Helens and resulting in the most awesome science fair demonstration EVER.

Some mountains are assholes.
The magnitude and violence of the eruption surprised everyone and seriously harshed the Pacific Northwest’s mellow. Mount St. Helens seemed like such a quiet mountain. Neighboring peaks reported that it was never any trouble, mostly keeping to itself.

Before and Oh-Shit-After
The National Geographic’s January 1981 issue covered the eruption in detail, and had a profound effect on 10-year-old me. I have a distinct memory of borrowing the issue from my grandfather and pouring over it for days. So normal looking mountains can suddenly explode and kill everyone for miles around? Is someone looking into this?
Great, one more anxiety to throw on the pile.