Monday, June 2, 2008

Things I hate Things I love 6/2

Things I hate
1. The misuse of the word “ironic”- I’m not so sure why it makes me so frustrated, but it does. defines irony as an outcome of events contrary to what was, or might have been, expected. It seems like people rarely use this word properly, substituting it for things that are merely coincidental or just a bummer. If you are talking about someone and they happen to show up unexpectedly, that’s not ironic. It’s a coincidence. The fact that gas went up right after you bought your brand new SUV, that just sucks to be you, it in no way applies to the definition of irony. Please for the sake of my sanity, use a little more discretion when declaring things as ironic.
2. Hand tans- I work outside. Because of the tattoos on my arms and a no visible tattoo policy at my job, I have to wear long sleeves while working. This has resulted in tan lines along my wrists. It’s kind of like a farmers tan but it’s more like a “although almost a third of my generation has them, my tattoos are for some reason still considered taboo” tan.
3. The Simpsons- Now before you get all up in arms about this, hear me out. This was one of the funniest shows in the history of television. It had brilliant story lines, laugh out loud dialogue, and characters that are now a staple in American pop culture. From there, though, it has digressed into one of the least funny half hours in television. Even sandwiched between two other shows on Fox that I think are terribly un-funny, “American Dad” and “Family Guy”, The Simpsons still manages to consistently not shine at all. It’s not that the new episodes are only bad compared to the old ones either. The new episodes are just, enough said, bad. Okay, that’s not enough for me to hate it though. It really used to be so good that it can manage to deliver clunker after clunker of an episode and it’s still not enough to hate it. That is, until one thinks about the fact that The Simpsons has delivered twenty seasons worth of shows, of which only eight are funny. There were a few keepers by the ninth season, as well a few sporadically throughout the proceeding eleven. But this means that the Simpsons has been consistently awful for well longer than it was brilliant. The Simpsons has managed to tarnish what was its incredible name beyond repair, and thus I can no longer stand this show.
4. Bills- I’m tired of paying them, especially Nashville Gas. I wish their bill would just be like the others and be due mid-month instead of at the beginning the month. Nashville Gas, you ruin what could be a good system.
5. Cell Phones- Now I will be the first to voice my appreciation for the convenience that this technology offers. It is a wonderful advance to be able to have directions, contact information, as well as countless other capabilities, readily available in one’s pocket or purse. That said, it’s getting out of control. So I have decided to take upon myself setting up a few “rules of cell phone etiquette”.
a. If you are readily engaged in conversation with someone in person, do not pick up your cell phone, unless it is to say “Hey can I call you back in a bit”, or some other variation of this. Also, don’t be one of those people that check out at the market or order coffee while still trying to carry on a cell phone conversation. Speaking from first hand, it is so incredibly rude and you will piss off whoever is helping you. Either end, or take a brief break from your phone conversation before engaging other people.
b. If you are driving, do not pick up your cell phone, unless it is to say “Hey I’m driving can I call you back in a bit”. I don’t care how good of a driver you are, you are a worse driver with your phone in your hand. This is doubly increased if you are in reverse, or are in the vicinity of any other car or pedestrian. If you really need to talk while driving, get a hands free set.
c. Unless you are doing something involving both of your hands such as driving or, I don’t even know what else, maybe filleting a fish, take that rediculous blue tooth out of your ear. It looks stupid and I for one am tired of replying to somebody’s question only to realize they weren’t addressing me but rather the voice inside their ear. It doesn’t make you look cool; it makes you look like an asshole.
d. Take your cell phone conversations outside or to some other secluded location. A book store, a restaurant or a café is not a place to have a phone conversation. In summation of this rule, if you want to have a private conversation, take it someplace private.

Things I Love
1. Doppelgängers- In addition to being a genuinely fun word to say, pronounced: dop-uh l-gang-er and use, meaning a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person, it’s also fun to see friends’ and acquaintances’ doppelgängers.
2. Wind Powered Oil Tankers- Now I’m not sure if it’s realistically plausible. I’m not sure if, as large as they are, tankers could supply the deep base need for energy producing wind turbines. If it is a plausible idea though, I think it’s an amazing one. I’d love to see a gigantic oil tanker, powered by a clean, re-usable, energy source. Now, this is a prime example of irony.
3. Robots- If you are a “cool kid” (it’s worth noting that I by no mean consider myself one), you are very likely enthralled by either pirates or ninjas. It seems as of late the alligence to pirates has been surpassing that of ninjas, but ninjas still have a pretty serious constingency. I have decieded instead to align my self with robots. The reason being that robots can do anything a ninja or pirate can do, but they can do it more efficiently and effectivly. Robots can, as a result of lightning quick calculations, reduce a pirates abilities to plunder, pillage and bury treasure, into one simple, at least to a robot, step and complete it before the pirate could say his first “ahoy”. Likewise a ninjas skills in the area of stealth assasination would be put to an awful shame by a robot’s laser beams, shooting out of his eyes and killing, silently and accurately from a distance. I’ve laid my case out. A single robot could take on every pirate and ninja from history, all at once.

4. High Five- How did this fad ever fall out of favor. It’s awesome when some rip van winkle from the nineties says “high five”, with their palm open and extended above their shoulder. I say let’s bring the high five back. (note: it’s only cool if you say high five first.)
5. The ice cream man in Nashville- As summer in Tennessee become less a dreaded anticipation and more a sweltering reality, I’m seeing and hearing him more and more. I hear him, on a regular basis around mid-day rolling through the busier streets near downtown, playing, through ice cream truck chimes, the assumed songs. The more frequent ones seem to be songs such “pop goes the weasel”, and “hail to the bus driver” (I’m not sure what the real name to this song is. I just know those are the lyrics The Simpsons gave it). But if you wait until late in the day, and wald through the back roads in old neighborhoods, he tosses nursery rhymes by the way and plays Beethoven, specifically “Für Elise”. My hats off to you nameless ice cream truck driver who plays Beethoven through the back roads of Nashville.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Things I hate. Things I Love. 5/25

I’ve decided that I need to write more and although only read by a handful of people, this blog seems to be the appropriate medium. Also I figured I need to be a little more forthright with my opinions, because those that know me well will tell you, I’m pretty hesitant in expressing my views on just about everything. All that said, I’m going to try and make weekly installments of what I’ve decided to title “Things I Hate. Things I Love.”, the first of which is below.

Things I Hate
1. Hummers- Specifically the ones idling in the parking lot of my job at J. Alexander’s on West End in Nashville, those being the ones I’m most familiar with. It’s even more frustrating to see their bumpers littered with yellow ribbon stickers informing me that they support the troops. You want to support the troops, get a smaller car that doesn’t use enough gas to fuel a small country. If you’ll forgive me for getting political for just a bit, you hummer owners are the reason that the troops, that you support so faithfully, got sent over there in the first place. I would be just as impressed if you spent your money on a comparably priced Jaguar or Benz. So unless you’re doing covert operations in the deserts of the Middle East, you don’t need a Hummer.
2. Ug Boots- The worst trend in sorority fashion as of recent dates. These boots are terribly overpriced and are an awful eyesore. To add insult to injury the trend is to tuck one’s jeans into said boots. How in hell did these hideous things become so popular.
3. Polar bears- Recently my late night TV viewing was interrupted by what was long enough to be an infomercial, from the WWF. That’s the World Wildlife Fund, not the World Wrestling Federation, although if the message was delivered by the Macho Man Randy Savage, instead of Susan Sarandon, I may have had a more positive response to this eco-preaching. Apparently since the ice caps are melting the polar bear's numbers are dwindling. I say good riddance. It’s a stupid animal, if one follows the theory of evolution, how and why did this bear evolve in the first place in such an un-hospitable enviroment. Also, they can swim, so swim somewhere warmer you dumb bears.
4. Shaving- I have to shave everyday for work. I miss my beard.
5. Borders- This is an evil corporation. I recently quit my job working in the café at the Borders in Nashville. It was hands down the worst job I’ve ever had, no contest. Example: if I still worked there and Borders read this, I would get fired. The one I worked at was in turmoil by the time I left. Here’s the downward spiral it's in. It is terribly understaffed which results in the store being unable to make its sales quotas. The missing of quotas means that corporate gives the store less pay role, which forces it to cut staff. Less staff only means more missed quotas and thus the cycle continues. It was pointed out to me by my father that the first good sleep I’ve had in a while was the night after my last shift. This is an evil corporation.

Things I Love
1. The Road- Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. It’s amazing. I mean who can’t enjoy a story involving blood cults in post apocalyptic South-Eastern United States, written in complete free verse?
2. Wilco- The best band ever? The argument could be made. It’s not a terribly strong one though. What I will say of this amazing band is that I can think of few other musical acts that have made such broad musical statement while still managing not only maintain, but increase a loyal fanbase. The reason Wilco can follow up a sonic barrage, such is A Ghost is Born, with an album like, their most recent, Sky Blue Sky, a kind of Jam band R&B hybrid, is that they execute each genre flawlessly and incredibly. Even their arguably worst album, A.M., still has more than a handful of gems on it. I also might state that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot may be the best album of the new millennium.
3. Scrabble- It’s my favorite board game. I play the maven on my computer all the time.
4. 30 Rock- The funniest TV show I’ve seen since Arrested Development. I know she did a hack job to SNL, but Tina Fey is one seriously funny woman, and Alec Baldwin is a comedic genius.
5. The Coen Brothers- I recently re-watched Raising Arizona. The writers and directors of this film, Ethan and Joel Coen, are a couple of my favorite filmmakers. They recently got their long overdue credit by taking home the Academy Award for best direction for their film No Country for Old Men (Another amazing work of the aforementioned Cormac McCarthy). Just like Wilco in music, these brothers have managed to make a serious variety of films knocking each one out of the park. Keep in mind that these recently praised directors of what was coined “not your father’s western”, are the same duo that brought us such classics as Fargo, O’ Brother Where Art Thou and Raising Arizona. One of their most notable strengths is making characters that are immediate cult and pop culture icons. From Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of "The Dude" in The Big Lebowski and Nicolas Cage as H.I. McDunnough in Raising Arizona to George Clooney in O’ Brother Where Art Thou and Frances McDormad in Fargo, The Coens have created some of the greatest characters of the last twenty five years of film. “Looks like we got a triple homicide here, ey.” is one of my favorite lines in all movie history.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Myspace has become da bomb

My dad just posted a comment on my myspce blog. It was a typical and characteristic statement made by my father, God bless him, in the sense that it made no sense to anyone that knows what a blog, the internet, or a computer is, or anyone outside of the 1930's. Something about a Chattanooga choo choo? I say this desiring no mal-intent to my dad or his name, I love and adore him dearly.
The realizations and reaffirmations, from this simple act of my father posting a comment on a blog entry I wrote months ago on myspace, abound and have really got me thinking. If I may:

My initial reaction to seeing that someone had posted on my blog was confusion. Who posted on my blog? no one posts on my blog. Upon opening the comments I noticed the post was written by someone named Allen. Now, I only know one Allen, and when I saw the comment about the "choo choo" it was confirmed that it was my 56 year old father. That's right my 56 year old dad now has his own myspace profile, doesn't have many friends, just Tom, but from what I understand Tom isn't particularly picky about the people he associates himself with.
This only led to more confusion, a deeper more confusing confusion if you will. I thought "maybe it's unfair to characterize my dad as out of touch and...", forgive me if you read this dad, "kind of lame. Maybe he's more on top of the happenings of my generation than I give him credit for. I mean he's on myspace. I wasn't even cool enough, or was too cool, or thought was creepy, to be on myspace until recently."
Then I had an epiphany. If my dad is on myspace then that can only mean one thing: myspace has become da bomb.
A little clarification., (another website I thought that most of our parents weren't savvy on until I witnessed a recent foxnews exposé on "phrases parents should know"), defines the bomb as:

A phrase, which much like Courtney Love, was only popular during the early nineties. At the time, it meant "exceptionally cool".The coolness of "the bomb" goes down another proverbial notch, when it is referred to as "DA bomb".

"Dude that party last night was da bomb!"
"Get the fuck outta my house! Who do you think you are saying "da bomb" in my place?"
"But, dude!"
"No fuckin' exceptions. Get out, you're not Courtney Love"

Thus, myspace has become da bomb. Maybe it's a little premature to make this statement, or maybe this is just another step in our culture evolving, or devolving depending on perspective, in how we communicate. The fact remains though, my dad is on myspace.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Sept. 5, 2007. Nashville, TN
Today is the start of something. In addition to this blog, it's the start to my new life in Nashville, TN. After months of fruitless e-mails and phone calls to ads posted throughout the world wide web, I gave in and packed my car for a nine hour car ride from my hometown in North Carolina to friends' apartment in Nashville. And to further put the uselessness of the google search for "nashville apartments" into perspective, I found a place to live the first morning I was here.
I'm excited, really truly excited. It's nice, seems like it's too rare that I feel so. I feel like I've been almost convincing myself that moving here was a good idea up until today. It feels like I've been trying to get away for so long, and today is the first day I feel like I'm trying to come to something. It feels nice. An even better feeling than that, is the realization that I actually have something to come to. More than just an apartment or space to sleep in, I feel like I coming to a decision in which I am completely supported, both by people here as well as people back home. (If I ever bother to write anything else in this blog, and you bother to keep up with it, soak it in, this is probably the last bit of optimism that you will read for a long time. It's pretty atypical to my general outlook.)
I fly back Friday, direct from Nashville to Raleigh Durham International Airport, leaving my car here. The next time I come back here I'll be riding on the wheels of a U-Haul truck, packed with my life and memories.