Moist: The Interview.

A couple of months ago, I mentioned my favorite graffiti sighting in Birmingham, Moist. I have an appreciation for well-written, non-obscene graffiti, and found it to be rather brilliant that someone would take the most hated and eye-catching word in the human language and use it for their tag. Consequently, I keep an eye out for Moist wherever I go.

Because of that post, Moist also found me. And, perplexingly enough, seemed to appreciate my style of writing. He emailed me and we began corresponding – the graffiti artist and the homeschool mom. He typically keeps a low profile, but agreed to let me interview him via email. And, being the over-observant, insatiably curious person that I am, I found his stories to be riveting.

I am a firm believer in the fact that you don’t have to completely agree with someone to enjoy their writing – in fact, stories are often most interesting when someone is vastly different than you – which is why I enjoy the radio show This American Life so much. So, with that context in mind, I encourage you to take off your “graffiti is illegal and you shouldn’t deface property” hat for a moment and enjoy the stories of Moist.

(This will be a two-part series, because I’m saving the best story for a standalone post.)

Moist - Birmingham Alabama Graffiti ArtistPhoto courtesy of Moist

When did you first discover that you were Moist?

Well I went for a walk one day about four years ago when I just started getting into graffiti, I walked really far.

I love just walking sometimes, like Forrest Gump.

It started raining super hard and I was in Highland Park, and instead of running for cover, I just stood there in the rain. I watched people pack up and scatter in fear of getting wet like it’s going to ruin their lives or something. What’s the big deal with getting wet? Its water, we need it to survive, but oh no when it falls from the sky and lands on us we all trip out and run for cover.

So I just sat on a concrete stair and scratched the word MOIST into the step with a rock I found all while getting drenched. From then on I wrote MOIST.

I also love that so many people legitimately hate that word. It’s more likely to stick in peoples heads and more likely to be brought up in conversation. I love it when people hate it. It’s weird.

 

Coming from a sometimes fashion blogger, what do you wear when you’re illegally painting? 

Dark blue and black clothes. And the occasional reflective vest with flashing LED lights that say “VANDALISM IN PROGRESS, ALERT THE AUTHORITIES!”

 

Do you vandalize on an empty stomach or do you eat a pre-game meal?

No one likes to be hungry. Yeah I make sure I have a satisfied stomach, sit in my floor, and do my leg and arm warm-ups. I wouldn’t want to pull a muscle whilst climbing razor wire fences or being chased by dogs.

 

Do you always feel moist, or is it more of an alter-ego?

Graffiti writing is a lifestyle. It’s an addiction like anything. I’ll just be hanging out somewhere and then realize I’ve written on a ton of stuff.

It happens with everything I look at, I picture how I could fit a straight letter onto it or a small marker tag. I think about the color contrast and which is the best color to make it stand out the most. I think about line of sight, where is the most efficient placement so that the most amount of people will see it. All those thoughts happen involuntarily.

Everyone has their things they like, people in Alabama love football, extreme fans will literally harm other human beings because of team rivalry and all that nonsense.

I’m rambling.

I’m into graffiti, it makes me feel. I need that. Just because I hate football doesn’t make me want to run out onto a football field with a knife trying to deflate the ball. But yeah, its always there, whenever I go anywhere, before I leave my house, I grab my keys, wallet, phone, and a pilot marker.

Moist - Birmingham Alabama Graffiti ArtistPhoto courtesy of Moist

Does your family know you’re moist?

I don’t have family in Birmingham, they don’t really know what I’m up to, and they wouldn’t really care either.

How do you choose your targets?

I like your questions. I get on Google maps and place a bunch of pins all over the city that spell out my name then I try to hit them all. If it’s a spot that gets a lot of attention, then it’s good, or if it looks really cool in a photo, like an old falling apart abandoned building that most people wouldn’t think twice about.

 

Font choice is crucial in my world and yours. How do you go about choosing a moist typeface?

In the city, I really enjoy simple readable letters. If you can read it while cruising 150mph and only seeing it for a tenth of a second, it’s cool with me.

What is the craziest spot you’ve ever painted?

I would have to say the McWane building seen from I-20/59.

Moist - Birmingham Alabama Graffiti ArtistPhoto courtesy of Moist

I had pictured hitting that spot years ago, way before it was even closed. Every time I passed that part of the highway, I would think about how insane it would be to hit that building.

Me and this dude ARUHI climbed up some old rusted pipes on the side of this monstrous warehouse really late at night after the dew was settling. Everything was soaking wet from the dew, we shimmied across the steep inclined sheet metal roof to get to this spot. After I got up there I knew I couldn’t turn back just because it was soaking wet. I was already on the roof, I had to do it. Aruhi stopped at one point where he was going to paint but I had to keep going across the ridge to get to mine.

I very carefully worked my way around to the front wall. If i were to slip at all, I would have definitely slid off the edge of the building and broke a ton of bones or even died. No question about that one. I’d be a goner for sure. There were small screws holding down the sheet metal, so I stood on them to help get a grip. That’s basically it. Do or die.

What time of day night do you most often create moisture?

The 36th hour of every day.

I get out whenever really. Any time of the day.

What would you say if you got caught?

Absolutely nothing. My lawyer would kill me otherwise.

Moist - Birmingham Alabama Graffiti ArtistPhoto Courtesy of Moist

What’s the closest you’ve ever gotten to getting caught?

Well I won’t tell the closest because I don’t want anyone knowing how we made it out, but one time Blaes and I were hitting a spot on this old abandoned building in north Birmingham. It was right off the side of the street, super visible. Midway through the fill a cop spotted us and was all on the loud speaker telling us to freeze and all that generic “don’t go anywhere so we can catch you” stuff, we bolted across the street and ran through some rough looking neighborhood. We spotted this what we thought was abandoned house and kicked the door open, I know that sounds like something from a movie but it wasn’t locked, there was just a bunch of garbage in the way.

We ran inside, closed the door and listened for the cops, they definitely knew we were somewhere in that area so we had to get out. I didn’t want to use a light from my phone or anything that would be visible in any way, so we crept along through all the garbage to try and get to the backdoor. There was so much trash in there it was ridiculous, it smelled awful too. We get to the back of the house and surprisingly enough there wasn’t even a back door, the entire back wall wasn’t there, it just opened to the backyard.

We walked to the back of the house and there were two crackhead looking dudes just chilling in lawn chairs with their feet propped up on one of those big spools they use for industrial wire. I don’t know how they didn’t hear us kick that door open. We walked out the back and they stood up and started a huge fuss.

I know what he was trying to say. Basically “What are you doing in our house? You shouldn’t be here,” but what he actually said was, “WHA YAWL DURIN EN ER HAWSE!? YEH SHUDDINT BEH EN HEEAH.” I said we weren’t looking for trouble, we’re so sorry blah blah we’re leaving. We try to get past them, then the quiet crackhead lunged at me, he thought I had money or something he could use. “WHUTCHA GOT EN DEM POKETS BOY?”

He grabbed my jacket and as soon as he touched me, Blaes punched that dude in the face so hard. It didn’t knock him out or anything but he let go of my jacket. Then we climbed through some more garbage and hopped over a short backyard style fence and ran down the alley as the yells from the angry crackheads faded behind us. We ended up finding this overgrown backyard that was completely blocked from street view and hid in there for about three hours. Needless to say we walked the long safe route back to the truck.

Moist - Birmingham Alabama Graffiti ArtistPhoto courtesy of Moist

The second part of this interview can be found here.

Have a Happy Vasectomy.

Disclaimer: My husband and I created this post to be a public service for the world. However, you know the topic of this post, so if you feel it might offend you, feel free to move along. Otherwise, read at your own risk.


 

Have a Happy Vasectomy

1. Pay no attention to the hobbling, saddle-sore gentleman leaving the office as you arrive. Do not look down and notice that he has thoroughly wet himself.

2. On a related note, the Urologist’s office will smell strongly of urine. I presume that’s why it starts with a U and an R.

3. The morning of, your wife may be quite preoccupied at the conundrum of what one wears to her husband’s vasectomy – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event, after all. You, however, should wear very loose, stretchy clothing. And take along extra underwear.

4. Speaking of underwear, although boxers might still make a fine second layer, tighty-whities are a necessary post-surgical evil, as excessive range of motion must be avoided. If the idea of tighty-whities makes you feel ten years old, buy a pack of dark, solid colors. Tighty-mauvies and tighty-navies aren’t quite so imposing on your coolness factor.

5. You will be awake, lucid, and possibly anxious during your procedure. Prepare to have a focal point in the attempt to separate your mind from what is going on. Find your Happy Place. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your wife for help – she’s had to visit the OB-GYN at least once a year for half her life.

6. There will be nurses prepping you for your procedure. Female nurses – and more than one. They will laugh frequently and heartily at their own rapid conversation. They are not laughing at you. Certainly not laughing at you. Definitely not. Surely not. Ok, probably not. They do this thirty times a day.

7. Thoroughly reading and following the pre-op preparation instructions will serve you well – otherwise, that giggling group of nurses will have to do touch-up work – and nobody wants that.

8. Speaking of paperwork, it will THRILL your wife that you have to bring an authorization form with her signature in order for you to seek medical care of this nature. She might even march around the house singing about suffrage at the top of her lungs.

(Cast off the shackles of yesterday…)
(Shoulder to shoulder into the fray…)
(Our daughter’s daughters will adore us…)
(And they’ll sing in grateful chorus…)
(Well done, Sister Suffragette!!)

9. A vasectomy is ten thousand times more fun when live-tweeted in harmony with your wife. Your mind will be distracted by the attempts to share carefully yet entertainingly, and many followers will appreciate your candor and willingness to divulge such hard-to-come-by information.

10. Other followers will need to be prompted to unfollow or mute you for 48 hours.

(Facebook, however, is not the place for vasectomy humor. For obvious reasons.)

11. You may get up to three different sets of post-op instructions – one from the paperwork, one from the doctor, and one from the nurse.

(“Pick up your pain medicine on the way home and take as needed.”)

(“You probably won’t even need prescription pain medicine – just take Advil. That’s all I did.”)

(“Take your medicine, boy!! He may be the doctor, but I’m the nurse. I KNOW what you need. Don’t you be listenin’ to him!”)

Go with the most conservative approach. After all, you’re a man. You’re not used to pain down there.

12. Have at least four bags of frozen peas prepared at home for immediate implementation, and seal each well in a Ziploc freezer bag – because peas thaw. They smell like peas. They contain a certain percentage of juice… just use the bags.

13. Pre-plan how specific you want to be with your children regarding your surgery. Six-year-olds can ask some impressively nutty questions that may hit well below the belt if you’re not properly prepared to combat effectively. And speaking of combat, don’t forget to protect yourself from your toddler’s standard headbutt greeting.

14. Take note that the severing of your vas deferens may drastically change your taste in television. You may find yourself watching the Velocity Network all weekend, dreaming of a manlier era full of muscle cars and important junk in need of repair.

15. Pre-op instructions restrict several things, including athletic activity and horseback riding for two weeks following the procedure. That is a large range. Jogging two weeks later is okay. Horseback riding? For the love of all that is tender, please refrain from horseback riding until…just never do that again.

16. Clarify with your wife beforehand if you feel that you will need to sense her sympathy during your recovery, because she will require some time to practice faking. Especially if she’s had C-Sections with multiple complications.

(It’s a tiny snip. You’ll live.)

(Also. SHE GREW HUMANS FOR YOU.)

And finally,

17. When you’re fully recovered, please throw out your own peas. They are not salvageable, even when simmered nicely with a little ham and onion. Your wife doesn’t want to touch them, and nobody wants them left in the freezer for so long that everyone forgets their tainted past.

75 Ways to Get Guilted on Facebook.

75 Ways to get Guilted on Facebook

This list started months ago as a text vomit stream between my friend Ashley and me. And we decided that the world should be allowed into our heads.

How can Facebook give you a Guilt Trip? Let us count the ways.

1. By buying organic. It’s too expensive and you’re selfishly robbing money for your own family from starving people in other countries that need it more.

2. By not buying organic. You are feeding your family processed, pesticide ridden foods that will ultimately cause untimely sickness and death.

3. By being liberal. Don’t you know they’re ripping the country apart?

4. By being conservative. Don’t you know they’re ripping the country apart?

5. By being politically apathetic. Don’t you know you’re allowing the country to crumble into ruin?

6. By being immodest or letting your daughters do the same. How could you do that to innocent men?

7. By feeling obligated to the idea of modesty – geez. It’s not your responsibility.

8. By not waking up at 5 AM to do a 3 hour spin class. You’re sooo lazy.

9. By waking up at 5 for a 3 hour spin class. You’re obviously exercise obsessed.

10. By not having pets for the sake of your children. They add so much quality to a child’s life!

11. By having pets concurrently with children. Don’t you know that cats eat the faces off of sleeping babies?

12. By not spending hundreds of dollars on your kid’s Halloween Costumes.

13. Or Christmas Loot.

14. Or Valentines Loot.

15. Or Easter Baskets.

16. Or Fourth of July…Baskets? Give them the childhood they deserve!

17. By spending hundreds of dollars on any of the above. You’re raising spoiled brats and wasting your money!

18. By playing on your phone too much. You’re slowly sinking into the quicksand of having no actual human interaction, and you’re obviously missing your kid’s entire childhood!

19. By making others feel guilty about playing on their phone too much. It’s the world we live in – loosen up for crying out loud.

20. By not eating Greek Yogurt. It is the key to health, happiness, and regularity.

21. By eating Greek Yogurt. Don’t you know about its terrible environmental byproducts? And specialized yogurt mold?? It’ll probably bubble and hiss at you when you open it!

22. By not talking about how wonderful your spouse is at least three times a week on Facebook. Do you even care about your marriage anymore?

23. By talking about how wonderful your spouse is three times a week on Facebook. Don’t you know you’re making people nauseous?

24. By putting your kid’s pictures on Facebook – there are predators out there, and once on the internet, always on the internet!

25. By not putting your kid’s pictures on Facebook – don’t you know that people need to see those precious faces? You have a duty!

26. By not caring about the decline of Miley Cyrus’ morals, and how it may very well impact your children’s future.

27. By caring about Miley Cyrus – don’t you know there’s a civil war in Syria?

28. By caring about Miley Cyrus – what about Robin Thicke?! Who’s holding him accountable??

29. By caring about Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus – don’t you know there’s a civil war in Syria?

30. By not liking a picture of Jesus that instructs you to like if you…love your kids?

Weird FacebookI wish I were making this one up.

31. By not doing a daily original craft with your children to show off to the world.

32. By doing a daily original craft with your children to show off to the world – don’t you know there are mothers barely surviving out there?

33. By not enjoying every second of your children’s lives – it just goes by so fast!

34. By attempting to enjoy every second of your children’s lives – don’t you know about chronos and kairos time??

35. By suggesting to others that they should enjoy every second of their children’s lives – have a heart, that’s ludicrous!

36. By spending too much time on Pinterest. It’s not like you’re going to do that stuff!

37. By not spending enough time on Pinterest – don’t you know there are teacher gifts to make, hair to chalk-color in rainbow-order, and animal-shaped food plates to sculpt to make your kid’s lives complete?

38. By not having a super creative pregnancy announcement. And Christmas Card. And birth announcement. And St. Patrick’s Day Card.

39. By shopping at Aldi – they sell horsemeat!

40. By eating at Taco Bell – they sell horsemeat tacos and you’ll probably find hoof fragments, too!

41. By eating at McDonalds – haven’t you heard of Pink Stuff? It’ll kill you and your children and your children’s children that won’t even be born because McDonalds.

42. By not eating at McDonalds. Don’t you know you’re sheltering your children and turning them into hopeless hipsters?

43. By not voting for your friend’s slightly-blurry kid in the Cutest Baby Contest – they could have won $100 if it weren’t for you!

44. By not sharing your friend’s slightly-blurry kid in the Cutest Baby Contest with all of your friends – they need your help to collect their rightful $100!

45. By not voting for your favorite disease to win a million dollars from a giant corporation.

46. By not voting for your favorite blogger to win each and every possible blog award out there.

47. Because of the fact that your kid didn’t serenade you with “You are my Sunshine” when you woke him or her up this morning – clearly you’re not nurturing enough.

48. Also? They are obviously behind on their verbal skills. And are they expressing emotion yet? Call the Pediatrician stat.

49. By posting sarcastically and then someone not reading it sarcastically and agreeing wholeheartedly with what you weren’t saying.

Facebook Guilt Trip Fail

50. By playing Candy Crush. What a colossal waste of money and intellect, dude!

51. By not playing Candy Crush and not being willing to help your friends in their important game. Um, selfish!

52. By being addicted to Candy Crush. You know the British have a rehab facility for that, right?

53. By not being a runner. And you call yourself healthy?

54. By not being a football fan. Why do you even have a Facebook Account in the fall?

55. By being a football fan and daring to mention it. You just got hidden by hordes of angry non-fans, and their Facebook status is now all about what a pain it is to hide all of you EVERY. STINKING. YEAR.

56. By not posting about your anniversary (along with a lovely soliloquy about your spouse.)

57. By not answering all of those “Happy Birthday” messages. And likes are for the lazy.

58. By sheltering your teenagers. They’re totally going to be on the Molly as soon as they go to college.

59. By letting your teenagers run wild. They’re probably on the Molly right now.

60. By not knowing what Molly is. Know your drugs or you won’t have a clue when your tweens are on them!

61. By overdisciplining your small children – let them be kids! Don’t make them robots!

62. By underdisciplining your small children – those kids at the restaurant once drove a family mad!

63. By vaccinating your children. Don’t you know how dangerous that is? They could DIE!

64. By not vaccinating your children. Don’t you know how dangerous that is? They could DIE!

65. By having too few kids. The world will never change if we don’t populate it with like-minded people!

66. By having too many kids – They’ll stretch you too thin and you won’t realize when the oldest is on the Molly, especially since you don’t know what Molly is!

67. By dressing your children in designer clothes. What a waste of money!

68. By not dressing your children in designer clothes – don’t you know how waif-like they look in Faded Glory?

69. By shopping at Wal-Mart. And here’s a 100-Point Case on why you shouldn’t. And don’t you know how they treat employees??

70. By shopping at Target. It’s OWNED by the FRENCH!

71. By boycotting Target. It’s not a French company and the French aren’t the devil anyway. Don’t you use Snopes?!?

72. By not getting around to scanning in all of your old photos so that you too can take part in Throwback Thursday. And Flashback Friday!

73. By drinking a Mountain Dew. It has sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and brominated vegetable oil! It will give you cancer and rot your entrails! And this one time, in Iowa, a guy opened his can of Mountain Dew and there was a human FINGER inside. Ew.

74. By not drinking Mountain Dew. Geez. Relax a little and live.

75. By realizing you wasted your precious time reading this post. Thanks to whoever shared it on that devil the Facebook.