Wednesday, May 12, 2010

things fall apart

and land where they're supposed to.

i'm starting to realize that being non-confrontational doesn't have to involve letting people walk on/take advantage of you.

communication is big. communication is essential.

i've spent too long without it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

how to burn the candle at both ends

let me preface this entry by saying that i am impossibly sick because of the things i am about to recommend. there. i said it.

do you want to fix one aspect of your life while completely demolishing the others? do you want to go from happy and broke to flush and miserable? do you want to know what that little frayed part of the cuff of your jeans that keeps dragging on the ground feels like right before you cut it off with your mom's sewing scissors? then read on, dear followers!

this is adulthood, right?

1.) make your classes harder than they need to be:
in order to do this, you have to NEGLECT TO BUY THE TEXTBOOKS. i repeat: no matter how many times your teacher insists that the textbooks are absolutely imperative to your success in the class, DO NOT BUY THEM. just say you don't have the money (in my case, i didn't). or say you have it, but refuse to bring it to class. say your dog ate it; this would be cliche if i hadn't witnessed it a couple years back.
did you buy your textbooks? no? GOOD! now it's time to procrastinate. did you take notes last lecture? of course you did! they're your only reference point, after all (i said harder... not impossible.) So take these notes, and keep them in your backpack ALL WEEK. then, an hour before class, while you're slurping down pho with your buddies, ask them if there's going to be a quiz tonight (because, honestly, you never read the syllabus.) WHEN they say yes, look a little panicked, then throw your hands up in "c'est la vie"-flavored resignation.
arrive to class early enough to skim your notes. then wing the test. did you get a seventy? YOU LUCKY FUCK!

2.) Get a second job. Bills don't pay themselves!
If you're tapped-out 46 seconds after getting your paycheck, it may be time for a second job. Everyone needs a little "walking-around money," right? At least enough to make sure you don't have to bike/foot/bus commute half the work week out of NECESSITY. Grab a night job! Do what i do: deliver pizza! it's the easiest job you can possibly imagine! Sit around, watch sports, make new friends, eat discounted "italian" food, get up once in a while to drive to some schmuck's house and drop off their order, only to be tipped for doing so. Sound good? IT FUCKING IS!
WARNING: This second job will make you unavailable to friends, family and loved ones. You work mornings. You study. Your schedule was sporadic to begin with, and NOW you work nights as well. People will resent you... But damn... you bank statement looks great. Have fun with this.

3.) write music, start a band:
DISCLAIMER: i am NOT complaining about this. i fucking LOVE being in a band again.
Do you have a little free time in the afternoons? of course! that's when you're supposed to rest and study. what's that? you don't wanna? okay, then get out your guitar there, springsteen, it's time to start a band! if you love music and play an instrument, YOU CAN, TOO! All you need to do is -
a.) listen to your favorite band. a LOT. listen to the things no one else seems to hear. the phrasing. the vocal inflection. the fact that they only played half the chorus after the first verse. the key change at the bridge. the augmented fourth. the diminished seventh. the FEEDBACK, for christ's sake.
b.) try to write things that sound nothing like your favorite band.
c.) write them anyway.
d.) find friends who don't care who you rip off.
e.) write REALLY bitter lyrics the first time out, after claiming you've got no knack for it.

tired yet? i sure am. time for some homework! char that wick readers... char on. i mean flame on... i mean... fantastic four was lame.

Monday, March 1, 2010

what to write when there's nothing to write

first off: adding club soda to de-sparkled, sparkling pomegranate juice does not re-carbonate it.

okay... it DOES, but... you get the idea.

i used to blog because i was angry/frustrated/upset/sad/drunk. lately, i'm the opposites of those things.

aside from drunk.

despite all my awesome ideas and adopted suggestions for bands*, i ended up in another indie punk band, and i LOVE it. writing music and actually PLAYING it for and with people is really exciting. it's been years. the past 18 months or so i always looked at my guitar (scarlett) with a bit of a sneer. see, scarlett wasn't cooperating; i wanted to be able to pick her up once a week and be the most amazing guitarist ever. apparently, she's not into that idea. she wants my TIME and DEDICATION. she told me if i played for more than 45 minutes a week, i might actually get better and (gasp) write a new song or two.

she was right!

after playing guitar for 10 years, i'm happier with my playing than ever, though i'm not as good as i was two years ago. that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, but i'm subbing in better musical ideas for technical skill. as in:
tasteful phrasing > sweep arpeggios
original progressions > sweep arpeggios
solid harmony > sweep arpeggios

playing supertennis made me really sore and tired. for those who don't know:
1.) find an empty set of courts.
2.) one player stands to the right of the net, inside the service line on one court, the other person stands in the same position, facing, two courts away.
3.) one person yells "SERVICE" and hits the ball as hard as they can.
4.) i'm not exactly sure what happens here, but it usually involves a lot of running around and crashing into chain link fences.

i'm making up for this shitty, uncarbonated, recarbonated drink with straight brandy. ugh.

an extremely close friend of mine is in a state of emotional turmoil, due to the stabbing of his heart by someone he loved very much. this is upsetting to me. it's one of those situations where you really WANT to give good advice, but you're incapable of doing so because your OWN track record is SO TERRIBLE, that the friend would politely listen to your advice and respond with appropriate "yeah"s and "definitely"s, only to later remember whom they received said advice FROM and do the exact opposite of what was suggested.

as they probably should.

pretzel logic by steely dan is one of my ten favorite albums of all time.

in an attempt to further my marketability as a future firefighter, i have submitted my application to join the united states coast guard. i'm not sure if you heard about this, but we're in some kind of economic downturn. municipal fire departments don't have enough money to hire people regularly, and this is just flooding the pool of firefighter candidates. i think the estimate for the amount of applications SFFD received during their last hiring period was 10,000. the estimated amount of available jobs was something like "as low as 40 and as high as 200." not great odds, either way. USCG would give me:
1.) a livable wage
2.) veterans preference when applying for firefighter jobs
3.) money for paramedic school
4.) a life experience i've wanted for going on three years

i just hope they don't turn me away for medical history or other nonsense. REBUTTALS!

USCG: so it says on your application that you've used marijuana?
ME: yeah, i got kinda used to it when i was doing chemotherapy. the cancer went into remission, but my need for weed did not.
USCG: you had cancer?
ME: yeah. fought and won one, man.
USCG: and you have a titanium rod in your leg?
ME: just call me steve austin.
USCG: like stone cold? i loved wrestling.
ME: *eye lasers*

did the six million dollar man have eye lasers? before my time. oh well.

Elliot Sith - Screamo band that dresses up in star wars costumes and only plays elliot smith covers. thanks @joshkinkade

GOLOBULOUS - G.I. Joe (specifically G.I. Joe the [animated] Movie) themed doom metal band.

Deathboard Confessional - straight-up dashboard confessional covers with growling, death metal vocals.

Probotector - NES covers.**


Sunday, February 7, 2010

super sunday

unmotivated doesn't even begin to cover it.

it has nothing to do with the mild hangover.

some days, i really have a lot of trouble getting going in the morning SOLELY because i'm too busy "dancing" (id est, air guitar-ing) around my room to albums i haven't heard in what seems like forever.

i LOVE music. i love "discovering" music. but i love RE-discovering music the most.

some things to queue up if you have the time or interest:

A Wilhelm Scream - Ruiner
Spoon - Gimme Fiction
Spank Rock - YoYoYoYoYo
Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend
Jawbreaker - Dear You

happy super sunday! if you're eating something that can't be dipped in something else, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

recipe for success

i take illness as an excuse to experiment with cocktails.

don't make that face at me.

seriously, i just don't like the way most medicine makes me feel. robitussin makes my heartbeat syncopated. benedryl makes the inside of my head (and mouth) feel like the mojave desert. nyquil robs me of any sense whatsoever. tylenol is for sissies.

i try stick to traditional (non-combustible) medicines. can't sleep? two shots of jim beam will fix that. anxiety? try half a bottle of red zinfandel.

when i'm just run-over-by-a-truck sick, i drink brandy. usually in the form of a hot toddy, but today is different: today i am adventurous and not 70.

toward the end of his first book, chuck klosterman, one of my FAVORITE AUTHORS EVER, mentions a drink HE calls the "witty chuck." it's brandy and ginger ale. simple. supposedly, after a few of them, it makes you flat-out hilarious. right now, i don't want to be funny; i want to NOT feel like ass. so i added another one of my favorite cure-alls to his recipe: honey. honey is awesome for sore throats, allergies, and the dreaded "sweet tooth." observe:

flu season stinger:
in a pint glass,
1.) pour brandy LIBERALLY. i cannot stress "LIBERALLY" enough. i'm talking like... 3-4 oz., people. or half-glass it if you're really sick.
2.) add honey. a tbsp should do.
3.) stir brandy and honey until mixture becomes cloudy and no honey is settled on the bottom of the glass.
4.) add ice
5.) top with ginger ale
6.) garnish with lemon wedge (i skip this because i generally hate lemons. unless they're in pie. the meringue-y kind.)

drink four of these to forget that you're sick, along with your dad's name, your work schedule, and most of your social security number.


i just realized how crooked my glasses are. shit.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

a tirade regarding the academy award nominees

disclaimer: this (of course) only relates to the movies i have SEEN. i only prejudge movies that are lauded with the line, "the family film of the year." i am positive i will hate that movie.

a word (or two) on avatar:
i am completely sick of everyone's strange fascination with EVERYTHING james cameron directs. avatar was a LACKLUSTER TRAIN WRECK of a film. horrible acting. predictable plot. pathetic love story... BUT... like a train wreck, you just couldn't look away. using nothing but beauty, avatar hypnotized people into thinking it has cinematic value, much like scarlett johansson. a lot of work went into avatar. there's no doubt about that.

a lot of work went into waterworld, also.

give it EVERY VISUAL EFFECTS AWARD. but putting it up against movies like a serious man and the hurt locker is just insulting.

cameron already pulled the wool over our eyes once before. remember the 1998 academy awards? titanic won. you know what it beat?

1.) as good as it gets
2.) good will hunting
3.) l.a. confidential
4.) the full monty

numbers 1-4 were BETTER MOVIES. i understand that garbage like avatar (which is even worse than titanic) is hollywood's lifeblood, but rewarding a movie with the film industry's most prestigious award just because it's making a shit ton of money is just silly.

ten "best picture" nominations and other communist plots:
in case you hadn't heard, there are a LOT of movies nominated for the top prize this year. they are: avatar, the blind side, district 9, an education, the hurt locker, inglorious basterds, precious, a serious man, up, and up in the air. of these, i have seen all but the blind side, an education and precious, so i won't talk about those. SO, discounting the ones i have no business talking about, here is my UPDATED list of nominees... you know... movies that were good and DESERVE such an award:

1.) a serious man
2.) the hurt locker
3.) up in the air
4.) star trek
5.) 500 days of summer

"whoa whoa... hold on a tic... 4 & 5 weren't even nominated!"

oh man... you're right... sorry, i totally thought for a second that the academy awards AREN'T TOTAL BULLSHIT. i'm going to reference for a moment. this is a website that collects all the reviews from every critic that submits one, and sees whether the review is positive or negative. movies are then graded by a percentage that depends on the number of positive reviews. SO, in the world of professional movie critics, let's see how numbers 4 & 5 fared:

star trek: 94%
500 days of summer: 87%

wait... so, people who WATCH AND REVIEW MOVIES FOR A LIVING thought that star trek was better than every nominee except the hurt locker and up, and JUST AS GOOD as an education? (500 days of summer was only better reviewed than the blind side [70%] and avatar [82%]) something fishy is going on here...

travesties abound, but what did i expect? the golden globes are usually a pretty good indicator of how the oscars are gonna go gown, even though they bear as much significance as a freakin' cable ACE award. but why do i care? i haven't watched the oscars since the great sideways snubbing of 2005. to quote my lovely girlfriend on the topic of up being nominated for best picture AND best animated picture (which should absolutely go to the fantastic mr. fox):

"well good thing I already think the oscars are rubbish... otherwise I would be upset."

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

shtate *hic* of the *hic* unionss

the state of the union address is long and boring, like a slightly less-entertaining version of Avatar with better acting. you can read all the bullet points tomorrow in whatever your chosen newspaper is, or get some REAL information from jon stewart.

that said, there is literally only ONE REASON to actually WATCH the state of the union address:

it makes for a bad-ass drinking game.

presidential catchphrase = 1/2 a beer (obama's favorite seems to be "MAKE NO MISTAKE...")
double-talk/contradiction = sip of any drink (this happens often. low penalty.)
democratic applause = sip of beer (LIGHT sip. otherwise, you will die.)
applause from BOTH sides of the aisle = (a shot. very low probability.)
standing ovation = chug beer for as long as the ovation lasts.
cut-away to previous presidents or first ladies = 1/2 a beer

have fun. don't drive.