Buy that Jerk a Beer

We need terrible people. Don’t try to make them better.

I was at a fast food place yesterday (one that has a lot of meat and not a lot of anything else), and the guy taking my order started out well enough, asking the two other people that I was with what they wanted. The first ordered a sandwich combo, the second ordered the same thing, and when it was my turn he looked at me and said “make my job easy, order the same thing”. Now that may not sound automatically terrible, but he wasn’t kidding. He was asking me to forgo my choice so that his job (which I don’t think is too incredibly stressful) could be easier. And you know what, that sandwich looked good so I got it. Later, one of my friends was asking for potato cakes instead of curly fries (okay fine it was Arby’s) and the guy asked him if he wanted a small, medium or large. My friend said small and the guy tried to up sell him, telling him how it wasn’t that much more money and how he could probably afford to splurge a bit (does this guy even benefit from selling 90 cents more fries anyway?). My friend pointed out that it was a matter of fat, not money and the guy looks him up and down and says “yeah, thats a good call”.

Now my friend is a really nice guy so he just laughed it off, but the Arby’s guy was pretty rude in my opinion, especially for someone who’s job it is to serve us. (And I’ll have you know I did NOT ring the bell as I was leaving) Later, as we were eating, the guy got off his shift and sat down at a table near us with some of his friends, and they were all jerks too. From what they were talking about, it sounded like they spent a lot of time together and a few of them might even live together. As I listened more and more I began to feel thankful for this guys jerky friends for occupying a lot of his jerk time. While his and other’s jerkyness may spill out into the world sometimes, I appreciate when they hang out with other jerks and let it all out on each other instead of me.

We need jerks so that the other jerks can have someone to hang out with and understand them. In a perfect world no one would be rude to others, but we all know that is impossible. In fact, you have probably been rude to a stranger in the last week, maybe without even knowing it. I do not wish for jerks to disappear or even for rudeness to leave our society. I only wish that those jerks find other jerk friends to hang out with and stay the heck away from me.

Jerks of a feather stick together.


Lets Hear it for the Groom

Brides need to chill.

It has become pretty popular to assume that in a wedding, the bride is the only one with opinions that matter. The planning and type of wedding is usually decided by the bride almost exclusively and the idea that they deserve whatever they want is almost universally accepted. Moreover, people think the groom is just like “whatever gets me to the honeymoon fastest”. And while that is certainly something to think about (and both the bride and groom do), the wedding and all the things that surround it (wedding shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, etc.) should be an equal collaboration from both the bride and the groom.

I know, I know. Girls think about their wedding day all the time and it is the most magical day of their lives. And they totally deserve to lobby to get everything they want. But this does not mean that men never think about their wedding day or don’t have any opinions about their wedding; on the contrary! If the relationship has been societally standard, the man has probably initiated a lot of the progression of the relationship (not all and not in every relationship, but enough) like asking out the girl, asking them to move in together (if applicable), and most importantly, proposing. This being said, I think the man deserves to have his opinion voiced and respected as an equal of the brides. Ex. if the bride has always dreamed of a small, intimate wedding, but the groom wants a large, party-esqe wedding it should not be instantly dismissed. A reasonable solution should be reached. One that both people are happy with. (Hint, if a compromise can’t be met, that is gonna be hard for a lifetime of holy matrimony) And if the dude doesn’t have an opinion then sick! No problems there! I’m just saying it should be equal and the idea that the bride is always right – I’m lookin at you Bridezilla – needs to die. It certainly wouldn’t fly if the groom were always right, yeah?

Listen, I’m not saying that the bride doesn’t matter. I just mean that the groom matters just as much as the bride and people should act as such. This also applies to the amount of excitement people exhibit toward the groom about their marriage and not treating it like a punishment (i.e. “aw dude, the old ball and chain finally tying you down?” “she finally got to you huh?” “dang, is she not puttin out till after the wedding?”). Men are pumped to get married, just as much as the bride, even though they may not show it the same way as the bride. Lets let the groom have their day. Lets hear it for the boy.

Suck Less, or at Least Work Twice as Hard as You Suck.

Listen, you suck at pretty much everything you do, and for your whole life, you will suck at most of what you do. You probably have tried a lot of things and sucked at them so you stayed sucky, which is cool! There might even be something that you actually pursued for a while, like playing basketball or learning to draw or playing guitar, but you probably still suck at those things. It’s okay to suck at things; or at least I hope it is because I suck at A LOT of things. But what separates the people who do things well from the people who suck is the tenacity to succeed multiple times.

I tried skateboarding for a while, and I even keep a little bit of it in my life in the form of longboarding (which is NOT the same as skateboarding no matter what that one guy from college says), but I sort of gave up. I watched so many YouTube videos of how to push off right and the basics of ollying and whatnot, and I even succeeded with a few basic tricks a few times, but I still gave up. I tasted some success and still quit. It isn’t enough to succeed a few times, for your moral or your muscle memory. I’m not a psychologist or professional teacher of any skill, but I believe that you need to do something right twice as many times and twice as often as you mess up for you to have broken the bad habit of failure. So with the olly example, if you screwed it up and didn’t land it just how you should have 28 times then you need to do it right at least 56 times, probably more.

I have taken lessons in various things (an instrument, a sport, others) and one of the things that I don’t understand is when people are working on a skill and trying it over and over and once they succeed once they say “alright, I did it, now I don’t have to work on that anymore” (in more or less words). The clincher comes later when that skill is put to the test and they play the measure wrong or make uneven cuts in the meat or put the wrong spin on the ball. They may be confused and blame the lighting or the knife or the racket when they really ought to blame their laziness and ignorance. Doing something correctly once is not good enough; not even close. Practice over and over and over and over. Then maybe you’ll suck a little less. You can’t be good enough, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. In fact, it means that you absolutely have to try.

iHeart Radio Needs to Shove It

iHeart Radio is a tired amalgamation of the worst parts of radio and music recommending apps. I think we can all agree that Pandora used to rule the land, back when 15 year olds used it to listen to music and older people still listened to the radio, or worse, simply silence… then! boom! Spotify. The world was changed forever as a vast bank of music was limitlessly accessible to anyone with $10 and a smartphone. The ability to search and listen to any song without restriction seemed too good to be true. I remember taking a long look in the mirror and said to myself “Doremus, if you respect yourself at all and value the ability to find endless new music and swoon over your favorites you will get Spotify premium”, and I never looked back. Best $10 I spend every month. Spotify is the best and I will fight you about that. In case it weren’t evident, I kind of like to fight so hmu bruh.

The copy cats began to survey and seek a chink in Spotify’s melodic armor and make a better version. iTunes Music reinvented itself to remain relevant in a world of searchable, playable, and downloadable music and basically ended up with Spotify with a white color scheme instead of black. Some people live and die by the Apple sword and will stick with iTunes Music which is fine I guess. My question is this: Who looked at modern radio (some would say an industry in poor shape and desperately seeking to remain relevant) and decided to simply amalgamate a bunch of mediocre radio stations into an app. One of iHeart Radio’s favorite claim is “America’s most loved free music app” , which may be true because music shouldn’t be free. (I know some of you right now are screaming at your screen telling me how Spotify screws over artists and pays them next to nothing for people listening to their music; but people will steal music anyway and this way it is legal, helps them a little bit, and allows me to explore thousands of bands I would never have found before and go see them when they tour near me. Live music pays much better than a couple thousand listens on Spotify or the radio.)

Long story short, radio is dying. It is grossly overinflated with repetitive commercials. A small list of sold out songs plague the actually successful radio stations because the only time people listed to the radio is in the car so they only need like 30-45 min of music to repeat and fill that commute time. Honestly, most people just plug in that aux cord anyway. At a job I’ve been doing over the last week we have been listening to a few different radio stations, all in the same genre but different stations. I now know like 8 or 9 songs in that genre that I didn’t know before, but I’m sure they aren’t the most important songs in that genre or the ones people will remember in 2 years, they are just what was cool this week and who’s record label pressed their song into several hundred radio stations.

Here’s the long and short: radio is lame and an app the collects radio stations is a collection of lame. Refuse to accept this collection of lame. Be better than iHeart Radio or you will just be a collection of lame too.


Down with #adulting

There is one thing I hate. Actually, I hate a lot of things, but one of the things that drive me up a wall the most is people grasping for attention for something that isn’t really that special. For example, making yourself breakfast isn’t worth celebrating. Actually doing (or worse, having someone else do) your taxes isn’t worth celebrating. Going for a run twice a week isn’t worth celebrating. Just do it (not in an inspiring Nike way, just in a get it done without making a big deal way). I’m tired of people posting about mundane, mildly productive activities and fishing for congratulations and compliments. To be fair, I am difficult to impress, but maybe the world is too easily impressed now a days. Down with #adulting and just start adulting.

You never see actual, successful adults posting about them taking care of the normal things humans do, and I am more impressed with a person simply being successful and taking care of themselves and not bragging about it. Also, I wonder how many other normal things people should do aren’t being done, or are being done poorly.  I don’t see them posting about driving to work successfully or cashing their checks on time, maybe they aren’t…

Also, sooooo many tweets or other public statements about #adulting are about semi-personal things (i.e. Paul Yates business taxes, look it up @PaulCoffeeFreak. That’s right Paul Yates, I’m calling you out specifically and I am disappointed and angry at you in particular). Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think that parts of your life should be shared, not only because they are private, but because they are boring! You are not ShayCarl or DailyGrace, and 97% of people who know you don’t care about every part of your life and how successful your homemade brunch was or how you took your car into the shop when the check engine light came on.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t be the only one that doesn’t care about your #adulting life and the minor successes highlighted in the jumbled mess that everyone’s life is. Sound cynical? Good.


Metaphor – Mt. Eddy

“Metaphor” by Mt. Eddy masterfully balances thunderous, industrial drums with tiptoeing guitar riffs intermixed with thought-provoking lyrics. It’s technically a love song, but it’s the kind of indy love song that makes my brother look at me weird when I play it in the car. I can’t explain why I like it, but it makes the sun shine a little brighter and makes me feel a little more unique. My “songs I like” playlist is a place of great personal honor and this track may make a permanent home there.

If you’re trying to explain to someone why alt music is actually a genre and not just bad music that can’t be produced by a major record label, play this song. Explain that alt and indy are not technically the same thing, but I think in many situations they compliment and help each other. Also, show them their Facebook page (link below), specifically the photos and explain that retro and minimalism can be cool but only if done in a certain way. If they still don’t understand then screw them. Put in your headphones, turn up the music until you can’t hear their disbelief anymore and do a stupid mini-headbang dance to this jam.

To listen to when: You get the sudden inspiration to clean your floor and need a song to convince you that there are more important things in life than the crap you’re dealing with right now; like quirky love and unabashed dancing in your socks.

Head Spell – Happy Diving

“Head Spell” by Happy Diving is dirty, swaying, and loose, yet somehow right in the grunge-fuzz zone that can hit the spot. Clearly influenced by a 90’s alt-rock feel (i.e. Weezer and Gin Blossoms), this track caught my attention because of the distorted vocals. I actually love distorted vocals. Nothing makes me feel quite like the grungy/punk I want to be like listening to a song with my mom and hearing her say “This is trash, how can you even understand what he is saying”. By the way, when did music become all about easy to understand and grasp lyrics. I would argue that the best songs require multiple listens and yield new insight days/weeks/years later.

Music should challenge you and make you feel something. The best music helps you understand what you are feeling even when you can’t describe it on your own. The dichotomy of breathy, wistful moments with an instant sentiment of reckless abandon captures a vague melancholia that my words can’t. That is what I look for in my music. If you hate this let me know. Music is fluid, much like my opinion.

To listen to when: you are driving home late at night and you are considering going to Taco Bell but you know you should just go home and go to sleep. WARNING: this song will most likely convince you to go to Taco Bell and then call up your girlfriend to drive around and maybe make out and smash some mailboxes. Sounds like a pretty good night to me.