5 most underrated things in my life right now

1. Mongooses

Fuck cats.

Fuck penguins.

Only kinda-sorta fuck adorable baby polar bears.

Dogs are still cool, obviously.

But mongooses are sooo under-the-radar. I'm not sure how they differ in the species genus from meerkats besides meerkats having their own reality show so their 15 minutes are up. Going with that analogy, if meerkats are to Keeping Up with the Kardashians, then mongooses are to the desperate washed up stars on Dr. Drew looking for a comeback. Time for mongooses to get a dose of Pixar/Dreamworks animated TLC!

Also, I hope the lady who cuts my hair is reading this. Because when she asks what I want to do with my hair at our next appointment, I'm going to point to these two photos and ask for the "banded mongoose." Just wait. Even Bieber will want one.

2. Chapbooks

I made one in high school called Bwanza Devil and it was filled with awfully written stories of a transgendered 1950s housewife who murders her domineering husband because she thought he was a praying mantis (Julianne Moore, I have your next movie role!), a Garden State-like romance between two autistic drug dealers (that I required people to read with 3D glasses on for some reason?) and too many characters with names like Dice and Zombie (I was really into Tarantino and Chuck Pahlaniuk at the time). When I finally finished designing it on my grandparent's PC, not even MS Word knew it had that much clip art of lightning bolts (I was also really into lightning bolts).

That was my first and last chapbook, thankfully.

But I'm planning on writing something for the paper's upcoming "books issue", so I've been reading a lot of local zines and chapbooks scattered around Honolulu and constantly in admiration of the patience and time and repetition of both 'patience' and 'time' they require. I mean, I get that "chapbooks" aren't really underrated, but now that I've written all this, I think what I really meant to title this entry as was "perseverance" because that's something you really need to have in spades to do anything you love.

3. These Prince songs

Prince performed on George Lopez last week and it took me back to when I found my parents copy of Purple Rain and listened to it for the first time. Let's just say it was a Catcher in the Rye moment. So. Many. Good. Songs. Anyway, you know when you're at a concert and you have that big-stage fantasy the artist is gonna single you out in the crowd, point a microphone in your face and ask you what song they should sing next? (Wait, you do?! That's great! So you're crazy sick in the head too!!) I think he's performing live at the Forum tonight and I would die 4 U to go, but sign 'o the times are hard for those of us who don't live in L.A., so I'll just have to imagine answering with either of these three songs.

"I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" because male falsetto in general is crying like a dove for a revival. Rufus & Chaka Khan's "Sweet Thing" which Prince wrote which means he's making music even when you're not looking. And though I realize "I Wanna Be Your Lover" was a total hit, Prince has so many hits I'm gonna loosen the term "underrated" to include this '70s bruiser.

Also, there's a Prince vs. Michael Jackson showdown between two DJs at Nextdoor tonight, so if any of you wanna lock googly-groovy eyes with me under a disco ball then BE THERE, BABY.

4. Scone bagels

These are so underrated they don't even exist yet. I know, I couldn't believe it either. No, stay here, I already did a Google image search, okay? So you'll just have to envision it. Close your eyes and imagine the shape of a bagel. But with the texture of a scone. Put it in a toaster oven for 22 seconds and let that baby burn. Then spread it thick with a slab of strawberry jam and goddamn, I feel like I'm writing some erotic fiction here!

5. Sex

Speaking of erotica and drooling all over my keyboard, maybe I should get laid soon? I don't know. It's really hard to get yours when things like #4 don't exist and you've lost all faith in humanity.


3 videos of people and animals hugging that'll make you cry

In a yard / A garden / On a rocky path / Precious, my rottweiler-lab, wants to be alone / Corner of my house, she goes / I follow close behind / Something like that

Basically the really emo-poem-of-a-dream I had this morning is already slipping away, but the brunt of it is (spoiler alert!) Precious dies.*

SOBviously as soon as I woke up, I jumped off my couch, layed down next to Precious and just hugged the rainbows out of her. I might have gently bit her ear too because sometimes I go there with my dog?

Anyway, it brought to mind these 3 videos of people and their pets and if not a single one puts a tingle in your heart, why are you here, we're not friends.

Japanese woman reunites with her dog post-tsunami

Heartbreaking moment: Near the end when they're carrying the dog on the stretcher! The stretcher!

Christian the lion sees his owners in the wild

Happiest part: When Christian's jaw drops and he breaks into his golden feline sprint!

Nate Berkus offers to take the dog of Hurricane Katrina victim to a shelter

Having a surging heart attack: Humans hugging humans over dogs!



An unabridged interview with Kathy Griffin

Kathy Griffin has a super devoted fan base, of which it's clear I wasn't inducted into since I had no idea her reality show was no longer when we spoke (edited version here). I mean, when I found out she was 50 years old and looked the way she did, I just assumed she (and her show) were gonna live through the Mayan calendar like cockroaches. The planet would have withered to sticks, but My Life on the D-List would rise from the televised ashes and be our lone sense of entertainment/order like V for Vendetta. So there went all my questions! Luckily, Kathy's really good at what she does. You just literally open any tabloid, point at something, and she'll have something to say about whatever you just pointed at. I really wanted to ask about her Pulp Fiction cameo and - loser alert! - Celebrity Mole: Hawaii, but somehow I forgot to. Wah, wah.

KATHY GRIFFIN: Hey, Matthew.

MATTHEW DEKNEEF: Hi, is this Kathy?

Yes, this is Kathy.

Is this really Kathy? Or is this drunk Maggie pretending to be Kathy?
Wanna hear something funny? My mom is here. She’s in the background and she’ll use this to acknowledge I’m doing interviews, so you’ll actually hear Maggie in the background. Hold on, let me put the phone up. [Silence] Can you hear her?

Um, no…
She’s…tippin’ it a little bit.

Tiger’s blood?
Well, we’ve all got tiger’s blood apparently. Charlie [Sheen]’s made it really trendy and I’m going to get a transfusion.

That or we can all just OD on “Friday”.
OD on what?

Rebecca Black? The really bad pop song that has 33,645,890 views on Youtube? I mean, I don’t know, whatever, I’m not counting.
Oh, yes, I know it. No, over here, it’s all Judge Judy all the time.

I’m just glad it’s really you and you’re comfortable. After the whole Chris Brown thing, I don’t want any surprises, you know?
Well, after this interview I certainly will throw something through a window, rage through the office and run down the street.

You’ve been tied to some…interesting men. Levi Johnston, for instance. Would you date Chris Brown? Or is beating up people like, a deal breaker?
Yeah, dating Chris Brown is not on the table. Domestic violence is a deal breaker. I know I’m really going out on a limb there, but no, I would not date him. I would probably, you know, like, not even look at him, I would just – well, okay, no, that’s not true. As a comedian, from a distance, I would love to watch his behavior like all the celebrities because they’re going to do something crazy. And there are windows to be broken.

It’s sort of funny people call your comedy mean or accuse you of being a bully when you’re not the one breaking windows.
[Laughs] That’s right! I mean, if you’re going to accuse a comedian of being a bully, you got to accuse the entire cast of SNL, all the late night show hosts, they’re all comedians, so, no, that’s – comedians, we have to do our job. You know, what can I tell you? Sometimes the truth hurts.

That’s what’s fun about your act. You’re finger is always on the pulse. To see if I’m on the same page, let’s say our favorite shows on TV right now on three.

One, two, three…
“Celebrity Apprentice”.

Wait, what’d you say?
[Laughs] Okay, well, if we’re going to play a game where we both talk simultaneously you just might not understand me?

[Laughs] You’re right, that was stupid.
[Laughs] Mine was “My Strange Addiction”.

Don’t know it.
Hello! The lady who eats her sofa?!

That sounds amazing. Well, I think we can find common ground in American Idol
Oh, absolutely, of course. Although, you know, I openly miss my Paula.

Steven Tyler seems promising.
I think Steven Tyler has elements of our Paula, but I’m sorry, to me there’s only one Paula. By the way, the show’s great this year, it’s all about the singers, but I want Paula Abdul back on my live TV no matter what it takes. I’d vote for her for President.

Think Paula would make a better Palin than Julianne Moore?
Well, I mean, of course, Julianne Moore is an amazing actress. Then I read Sarah Palin said she’s preparing to “grit her teeth” through her performance. First of all, you cannot get a better actress than Julianne Moore, so Sarah Palin better be ready to grind her teeth down to a nub because Julianne Moore is probably going to be great.

On politics, how do you feel about performing in Hawaii – Obama’s alleged state of birth?
[Laughs] I love “alleged” like you’re watching Fox News with Glenn Beck.

Some people really believe this. I mean, Rush Limbaugh had a heart attack the last time he was here.
Rush Limbaugh has a heart attack pretty easily. Like, two a day. I’m just hoping to God the housekeeper is getting him his Oxycontin because I find he can be calmer after his sixty Oxy a day. [Laughs] Yes, I am excited to be in the birthplace of the President. I’ve played Hawaii before, I love it, and of course, I rather infamously vacationed there for Christmas with a lady you may have heard of named Cher.

You didn’t see the pictures? Honey, do your research! There are pictures of me and Cher frolicking in the ocean! They’re so good. Only thing, they’re not photoshopped, that’s what sucks. But it’s candid, so it’s like, “This is me and Cher in the ocean, so I don’t even care about the photoshop.”

I know you hate talking about your two-time Emmy Award winning My Life on the D-List, but after six successful seasons you’re ending the series. What’re your plans? More reality? Daytime talk show? You can’t be totally done with television.
What I’m doing now – after six seasons and two Emmys of My Life on the D-List – is I made a deal with Bravo to do four stand-up specials in one year, that’s never been done by any comedian anywhere. So I’m just doing a huge amount of stand-up, which I love, one is currently running called “Kathy Griffin: 50 and Not Pregnant,” the other week I was on a TV show called Glee. After all that I do find it funny you’re asking me if I’m ever going to work again.

Truthfully, it’s because Oprah asked me to ask you.
[Laughs] Are you in Oprah’s kitchen right now?

I wish. But she did BBM me earlier. Kidding. Oprah doesn’t BBM. She told me with her telepathy.
[Laughs] How much of Hawaii does Oprah own at this point?

Pretty sure she owns all eight islands and the one forming under the ocean
that won’t surface for another 2,000 years. Pocket change.
Exactly. I think it’s fair to say we’re all owned and operated by Oprah.

If Winfrey let’s me, I’ll try to catch your show.
Hope you can make it, Matthew!


Blaming everything today on Mercury

Fuck, man, moods are weird. Especially when they swing on you for no apparent reason. Like right now, the way my tongue tastes inexplicably dry and paper-y, the way my eyes feel glazed like donuts, and for why? Nothing!

All I know is I was having a typical case of the Matthew and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (Thurs)Day-s right until I heard a stranger shout that "Quadruple shot in a trenta -- Mercury is in retrograde, honey!" at the poor barista just now. And while I don't follow astrology, there are times when even an under-caffeinated non-believer like myself could use a stellar scapegoat.

That said, I already feel better about the following things occurring in my orbit:

This bistro's internet signal I hijack every other morning is at full bars...

...yet downloading the new Pains album is taking 500 light years. What the WiFi?!!!?

The miscommunication I just had with my eye doctor's receptionist...

...will leave me wearing the same daily pair of blurry contacts for seven days straight. My vision, -5.00. Mercury, 20/20.

My inability to open any of the books I scored at the Japanese $1 store two weeks ago...

...has me streaming drops of Jupiter in my hair, hey, hey, hey, hey AND IT'S TOO EARLY TO HAVE THIS SONG STUCK IN MY HEAD.


That the constellation of D-List celebrities...

...on Dancing With The Stars...

...can have livelier careers than any cast member of Twin Peaks is seriously spookier than all of Twin Peaks. RIP James Marshall.

All the people who keep sincerely blaming every little thing on Mercury being in retrograde...

...retrograde yourselves far far away from me, you Zodiac psycho freaks!


4 most played bands, songs, and albums in my car in March

YUCK (2011)

Stuck on Yuck. Feel like this band has a lot of feelings, feelings, feelings! (#SURGE) Hard to explain, but when I'm listening to Yuck, tends to feel like I'm rooting for Yuck. Maybe because something about it sounds...genuine, to me. Some parts remind me of Smashing Pumpkins ("Get Away"= my March anthem), other parts Sonic Youth ("Operation," for sure), maybe Bright Eyes ("Suicide Policeman"). All I know is when I listen to this album I feel like wearing all my striped Stussy t-shirts from 8th grade again hoping to impress an Asian bassist.


I listened to this because, duh, Radiohead. Then I listened to it another ~8 times, more out of obligation than anything. I just wasn't losing my shit over this album, which is weird since a lot of it reminds me of
my favorite Radiohead song off Kid A. Maybe it's just hard to follow up In Rainbows. Fair enough. Regardless, Julian Assange got nothing on Thom Yorke's dance moves.


It's 7:30a, I'm driving to work, it's pouring rain, iPod is dead, at a broken traffic light, I turn the radio on, and "One in a Million" just starts melting my speakers. Turn it up with no regrets because I'm a total jar of Jello for an understated up-tempo R&B soother (Cassie's "Me & U", call me!) and a revisit of Aaliyah's discography was long overdue. Released in '96, but still sounds of this decade, am I right?

P.S. Anyone else truly miss Missy Elliott besides me?


I'm surprised I'm still able to blog considering James Blake pretty much popped the blogosphere ~3 months ago. Inescapable! Finally after much resistance, I gave it a second chance (which is what I'm still doing with The Weeknd; To Be Continued...) and finally *absorbed* it. Not to sound pretentious, but there is something that sounds existential about James Blake. Like he uses his voice to search for his songs as opposed to just sing them. Maybe...