How Things Done Changed

I sent a text to this girl I met the other day on the street. She just got back from living overseas for the last five years.

Me: You haven’t seen How I met Your Mother? Yikes

Her: I’m sorry I don’t know that reference. I feel like I’ve been missed so much, I’m just trying to catch up.

Me:Ohh, well that’s acceptable then. Here let me help. Here comes the cliff notes on the USA since you’ve been gone:

Me: So everyone in Hollywood is a rapist.

Me: A former reality tv star is our leader

Me: John Oliver replaced John Steward and moved the show to HBO.

Me: We’re really mad at guns.

Me: ……again

Me: For some reason people still like the Kardashians

Me: There are more “Real House Wives” than major US Cities

Me: We still protest racial issues

Me: Other than in Miami, Soccer isn’t a thing.

Me: And Winona Ryder is famous again.

Her: Wow. So nothing has changed huh.

Me: Not a damn thing.

 

 

Book Review: Less Than Zero, Bret Easton Ellis

I wondered into Barns and Noble yesterday after work for no particular reason. Although I love indie bookstores, it was nice to walk into a store I knew there wasn’t a 50-50 shot at seeing a rat. I bumped into a guy checking out the Fiction section when I saw “Less Than Zero” by Brett Easton Ellis on the shelf.

Now, I’ve seen American Psycho like everyone else. Even had a date say I look like Patrick Bateman (she was crazy, I don’t). But something about this book spoke to me, so I grabbed it after reading the back cover.

I’m glad I did, because it’s an amazing book! I read it in a matter of hours, a feature in which only one other book has managed to accomplish for me. The quick and dirty notes: it’s about this wealthy 18 year old, Cliff, who is visiting home for Christmas. He reunites with old friends, parties, has wild encounters, and struggles with all of it.

Every section has this longing for meaning that is like a inch in your back you can’t quite scratch. You keep reading because you want it to resolve, but really never does. The story is mainly centered around the city of LA, which is easy to take shots there. But in reality, it goes much deeper.

If you look at it from a thousand point view, everyone of our needs is met. Even more so than before when you add in the influx of technology.

Need to go somewhere? Uber.

Wanna find a group to hang out with? Meetup.

Need a date? Tinder.

But when you really start to look at human nature, the history of who we are and how we’ve got to this point, you begin to see the flaw in this design. A flaw I think we are only beginning to scratch the surface on, and throws out a giant question.

What else is there?

My grandpa fought in Korea. He literally scraped his friend’s brain matter of his own face because he had to keep fighting. He might have been next if he didn’t. Yet so many years later, he did this so I could drink heavily, watch Netflix in my underwear, and listen to a girl on the train ramble on about Kylie Jenner’s favorite brand of matcha.

But what did we expect?

We weren’t ready for this unexpected consequence of numbness all the time. It’s like the people that are always like “give peace a chance”. That’s awesome in theory, but there is no human nature added in that equation. We like to feel shit. Not just the good stuff, like happiness, or joy. ALL OF IT! Truthfully, this is one of the main reasons I enjoy the company of women more than guys, because they naturally understand this.

So naturally we do what humans do and make mountains out of mole hills. We self sabotage. Create some chaos. For example, at one point Cliff, the main character, watches one of his good friend’s fuck another man because he’s owes coke money to a gangster. He contemplates leaving but stays by thinking “I need to see this.”

And truthfully, the more I think about it, I feel like it’s not just the particular character Cliff who would stay to watch.. Now, I’m not saying every single person would want to witness that level of shame from their friend. But I think the overall underlined concept is much more universal than we give credit too.

Anyways, I don’t know what else to write. I know this isn’t a very good review of the book. But I feel like the mere fact I can rant for 600 words about only a few pages, should give you a solid indication of how powerful this book is.

 

In conclusion,

10 out of 10

Will probably use it in an argument against a tree hugging hippy.

The Smiths – The Queen is Dead : A Review

I found this record when I was in High School and it’s amazing. Both as a whole and  each song individually.

-Every time I hear the Boy with the Torn in his side, I want to get up on my nine story roof during a thunder storm and scream the ending with Morrissey, while the wind and rain pour on my half opened shirt. Basically Seal in the Kiss from a Rose video, only actually a good song. It’s addicting.

-I know it’s over makes me want to run as fast as I can away from my high school girlfriend of three years who just broke up with me over a text message. I want to not just run, but FUCKING sprint until my heart gives out, because somehow at my 19 years of life, I think that is the only way I will feel better.

-Never Had No One Ever, makes me want to buy the largest bottle of Tito’s Vodka and drink it alone in my bathtub for hours. I want to yell at the wall mirror about all shitty dates I’ve had and all the girls I’ve alienated. I want to keep tipping the bottle back until I pass out in a pool in my own vomit. Losing my job, liver, and dignity all in one song.

-Big Mouth Strikes Again makes me want to make a comic flip book of the feeling that comes over you after saying said something you should’ve and flip it for the entire song. Also I want the book to show snaps of me from when I learned words to today, reminding me off all the shitty times I’ve hurt people with my words.

-Cemetry Gates reminds me of the feeling of every walk home after a great first date. It makes me want to swing around every streetlight pole and heel click over a mud puddle. There will be a homeless man on a corner that I’ll give him my no limit Citi card because, well fuck it, I feel great! What’s money, when you got a feeling like this?

As a whole, this CD makes me want to re-live every man to woman type relationship I’ve ever had in one moment. Essentially a drug that releases three thousand times more dopamine than Heroin. And I want to be so exited to take it, that I stop behind a dumpster and have my body implode on it’s self, near a pile of maggots, spewing fluid from every orifice because it can’t handle all the raw emotion these four guys made.

In short, this album is fucking amazing!

15,552,340 out of 10

Book Review: Bright Lights, Big City – Jay McInerney

I ran through this book in an entire sitting where I couldn’t sleep because I’m a dip shit who won’t buy A/C. Fuck You, I live in a city where winter last 9  months out of the year. I figured the odds were in my favor.

I started with page 1 and almost gave up aster the first paragraph. It’s all in 2nd person.  It’s not that I’m against 2nd person but it sometimes feel too much like someone yelling at me. It’s like writing in all commands all the time. I mean who the fuck am I, some one first year Army Recruit? I can think for myself.

No. I’m a reader. I’m not going to do all the things that the Michael does. Then again, he talks to a punk rock girl with a shaved head at a club when it’s 6:00am. That sounds like me.

You clever fuck you, Jay.

So I kept going. Screw it, it’s 6am , 90 degrees and only going to get hotter.

A hundred pages in I WAS HOOKED!

This man is compensating. The boose, the women, the parties, the coke. We all know it. It’s like a six sense that comes out as you turn the page. I don’t acknowledge it. You don’t acknowledge it. But it’s there and it bothers us.

When he realizes a he loves the girl that he always forgets to buy shit for and she tells him to fuck off, I realized I was this man. My friend Jen will call me tomorrow. She gorgeous, has depth, but unless I’m in a super self loathing mood, I probably won’t give a shit.

The majority of the book is centered around this idea of him and his exe wife Amanda. He remembers all these vivid emotional gems throughout the story. But towards the end he realizes he never really knew Amanda at all. It’s a simple story you can hear in line at Starbucks, but Jay paces it quite masterfully. I found myself realizing it just as Micheal did. Well done.

I won’t give away the ending, but it’s where you lost me Jay. I’ve had my fair share of break ups. Sometimes they end before they begin, but very seldom does anyone just “win” in a big way like that. Sure is the main character living in his own world, you bet your ass he his. Does this lead to everything changing, and him not recognizing it? Damn right. But all that kinda sounds like his fault, not hers.

Things seem to work out a little too perfect for Michael. Plus he gets a little needy to Tad’s sister. Why call her at the end, when it’s in the early am during the week and say a bunch of shit that doesn’t matter because you’re hopped up on Coke? We learned in a previous chapter y’all hit it off. A little bit over kill for me.

Overall, I loved this fucking book.

9 out of 10

I Wrote a Piece for McSweeny’s

I wrote a piece for McSweeny’s. It was about an argument I had about this guy’s laptop bag.

Or according to him it was an “Attache”.

Not a laptop bag, even though the leather bound container was only stuffed with one electronic item.

I guess when you pay over $150.00 dollars for a bag, you need to call it something else to remind yourself you didn’t just do that. As a guy who once made a $400.00 drunken ray-light eye protection purchase, I can respect that.

But at the same time, I don’t have the fucking urge to correct someone when they give me a complement. I can’t choose that someone digs my scuffed up Aldo boots I bought at Ross’s but not my new shirt that totally acknowledges the fact I step foot in the gym.

You don’t hear me stop someone mid-sentence:

“Wow, I really like your–”

“Astute observational humor. I know me too!”

I don’t do that.

Anyways, I was in the middle of typing this monster out on wps–the poor man’s Word Processor– when I read a section of the requirements of submission. Embedded is a hyperlink titled “It wouldn’t hurt to read this” explaining how to write a humorous piece.

Something about this bothered me.

It was like Lean Manufacturing meets Creative writing. It was literally bottling up the formula for humor. I’m surprised no one tried to sell it for ten easy payments of $19.99.

I expect this from someone teaching an 18 year old how to get laid, but not McSweeny’s. I understand upping the bar of your submissions, sure. Editors get a lot of shit. I know this, because I send out a lot of it myself. But you’ll never get any feeling out of a process. Worst of all, a reader knows when a writer is going through the motions.

I feel like to get published by McSweeny’s, I would bitch about Trump like everyone else. It would follow the exact formula outlined about how humor pieces should be written. Some fat dude on would tweet that “I won the internet”, like that is a measurable merit badge I can impress some rando girl four Vodka Sprites deep about, yet somehow I pull it off.

The next day, I would wake up in a strange bed, hangover, and a pounding sense of shame. I’d try to get a pick me up by staring at my published article, only to find it lower on the main page. Above my words of glory, someone would post a different piece, yet the same outcome.

The world keeps spinning.

McSweeny’s keeps publishing.

And I wasted one of my precious 10 minutes of fame, on a girl who thought if she joined the cross country team at DePaul, she would “so be skiing all day”. Sounds like we’re both in for a rude awaking.

…So long story short, I submitted, fingers crossed.

So I Told This Joke Once…

We should’ve just stayed outside the Irish Pub after last call. It would have made everything easier. I wouldn’t be standing in front of these two girls and their six guy friends, trying to calm down this race war. The tension was like a reverse Native Son situation. Last time I share a joke about a skirt on McKinney ave.

I should’ve seen it coming though. I’m part of the most disposable group of humans. A born Lex Luther everyone loves to hate. According to Rastafarians, I’m the definition of evil. If I was a cop they would riot against me. Apparently I should just accept the societal definition that I’m a raping racist who’s tries to buy his way out of everything. It’s fucked up when you don’t even feel like you fit in where everyone says you should.

But look, I get it. It’s wasn’t the best way to start a conversation, and I should’ve done a better job of reading the room. Lesson learned. It doesn’t matter the original joke I wanted to share was about a privileged BMW princess. This girl just heard what she wanted to hear. She took out all the words of the sentence and just heard “Trash” and flexed her southern muscle.

A couple years back, I would have tried to plead. I’d tell her how my girl is Black, or how I was one of five blonde hair, blue eyed, people living in Miami. But that shit is stupid. The reality is that I’m not arguing with facts. I’m fighting with old memories of high school of thinking you’re not enough. I’m fighting with jealousy of not getting into college you wanted. I’m fighting with the anger of not getting bothered by police officers on a more frequent places. I’m fighting with the constant media stream that reinforces every type of negative stereotype.

Never mind that I grew up in a trailer park and have cigarette scars from my dad. Never mind I grew up in a small town where I had regular run in with the law because my hair was cut in a blue mohawk. Never mind I got picked on for wearing pants that didn’t fit me because they were my brothers. Never mind the media tells me I need to move completely out of the way for everyone else now that I worked hard to barely make the middle class. All that shit is irrelevant.

Trust me, I’m aware. I understand it better than most. The whole world is fucked up. It’s a random chaotic sting of events and most people only care about the shit that directly effects them. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about you, or any of those things that happened to you in your childhood. I just wanted the opportunity to share my humor and try to brighten your day. It’s not just your point of view out there. We’re all scared. We’re all insecure. Everyone is a lot more alike than different. We all feel the same emotions, but justify them differently because the situation is unique to us. It’s kind of funny when you think about it.

All I’m trying to say is, next time hear the whole fucking joke before you crucify me.

The Networking Event

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A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go to a Networking Event with her.

A Networking Event.

I don’t mind meet and greets, nor do I mind conventions. But a Networking Event? These words alone make my testicles shrivel up. Leave it to the Millennial Generation to design some bullshit ritual like this. We’re so busy that we have to designate a time and place for us to ask the simple question “What do you do for a living?” We can’t just be polite at the train stop or airport bar. No.

We have to go to some hotel lounge to brag about what we do for 10 hours of the day and hand out business cards, so they don’t collect dust on the shelf. It’s like a High School reunion for successful people, except you didn’t go to school with any of them. What the hell? One night every ten years isn’t good enough for these people? They chase success like a junkie because the feeling of owning an E class Benz is better than a C class. Fucking Millennials.

This thing sounds awful. I have to pay 15 bucks to get a name tag that has my name and my company on it. I also get a complementary free drink in which I have to wait in a Black Friday sized line for a small Dixie cup of Mohawk Vodka and Cranberry Juice. During the line, Dan Scott from a Pharmaceutical company, will try to impress my friend Erin by telling her he just won the March Salesman contest, while he sneaks mental shots of her cleavage. I guess I can’t blame him, she is quiet endowed in that category.

I heard back in the 70’s the Grateful Dead got invited to a party at the Playboy Mansion, they didn’t want to go to. Jerry, Phil, and the rest played bartender and spiked the cups with Acid. All the Bunnies were tripping their skimpy skirts off. Even though I hate psychedelics, it still sounds like my kind of party. I want to see how these people act when something they didn’t plan for happens. That’s when you really find out if someone worth being in your network.

Anyways, I’m going to go because she said the place had good burgers, so there’s that.