Aug

22

An Attempt at Photography With No Talent

If there’s any complex that my generation and I share, it is that we believe we are experts at everything. Like, I mean everything.

“You ate at Hooters on Tuesday? Why aren’t you a judge on Master Chef operating that killer palate of yours?”

“That’s a nice tune you’ve been humming. You should totally score movie films! I bet Spielberg can use you for that War Horse: Vietnam sequel!”

“I really like the blouse you got at Ross; run a fashion blog, OR VOGUE!”

“Missed opportunity not being a firefighter, I feel like nobody but you would have realized not to put my Yankee Candle underneath those drapes I made out of Parisian silk and BP oil spill gasoline sludge.”

And I say this with no hint of sarcasm or early 2000’s Paris & Nicole “geez” inflection in my tone; we are warped in la cabeza.

The other day my dad told me I should think about working in a funeral home because I didn’t cry at my great aunt’s burial and because I’m a nice person, and for a second I thought, “maybe?” It seems that’s all it takes to be an expert in embalming and providing a grieving family with the lasting image of their loved one. Score.

It is ridiculous. It used to be the only status twenty-something’s attained for was rock god of the keytar. Now we have apps like Instagram that make every person with an iPhone or pimped out Razor taking filtered pictures of their morning bagel thinking that the New York Times are going to email them asking for help photographing the Oscars or the Greek debt crisis. I know this because this is how I think. I get more than 15 likes on an Instagram of my leather watch and all of a sudden I’m looking at Craigslist jobs for professional photographers. I’ve had my mom’s nice Canon camera that she bought to take pictures of my sister’s drill team dances from the bleachers for a while now and have made countless attempts to understand all of the bells and whistles on it. I usually see a picture like this:

And think I can create something along those lines, but it usually turns out like this:

(I like to think of this as a metaphor for Kony)

 And yet for some reason my warped mind that knows that I live in a world where the Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo Child have reality show deals thinks with tilted head and shrugged shoulders, “maybe?”

Now, if you would like to see twenty-somethings who are actually killing it in the photography game, please check out their awesome works here, here, here, here, and here.

And if you made a pretty decent Spotify playlist, trust me when I say that you are going to be soundtracking the next season of The Mentalist so hard come fall. This is just how it works in our warped day and age.

Aug

09

Advice to a Pre-Grad Me

First of all, mourn the loss of college. Within the first 5 days of walking across stage and accepting your diploma, you are going to start feeling a sinking pit of despair in your gut. You are going to mistake this feeling for full on depression, polio, or gas, but it’s none; it’s a loss. The sooner you begin the stages of grieving the sooner you are going to start feeling better.

 

There will be days when the only physical social interaction you have will be with the barista at Starbucks or the high school girl taking your drive-thru order at Taco Bell. Try not to let this get to you and strike up a conversation about the Norah Jones album next to the cash register or just flash a smile and see if you can get extra mild sauce for your solo dining experience.

 

Do not let yourself have too much free time. For the love of God, please, please do not let yourself have too much free time. In these periods is when you will honestly feel that you are depressed/lonely/crazy. You will access your HBO On Demand service and the next thing you know it’s gone from Saturday morning to Wednesday at noon and you’re surrounded by jars of your own urine and 4 seasons of Entourage now show the taunting check mark of “watched”.

 

If you’re going to spend money you don’t have, only do so if going out with friends. Go to 24 Diner and get the milkshake and macaroni & cheese, try a new drink on Rainy Street, enjoy the company of friends and work on your conversational skills with strangers. Avoid going to Target and convincing yourself that you need the deluxe Blu-ray version of Downton Abbey, YOU DON’T; it’s going to be on Netflix within a week anyways.

 

Get a job.

 

It’s okay if you have to move back in with your parents. When you make the tough choice go to your bathroom and quietly sob while listening to Arcade Fire’s Funeral. Try and think of the positives: you have parents who are willing to take you back when, legally, you’re not their problem anymore; free food; this is your chance to save up money so that you can stand on your own two feet, or buy that plane ticket to Seattle; free food; you have your dogs unyielding love back in your life; free food.

 

Force yourself on people at work. Not sexually, but charismatically! Put on the robes of a clown and try to charm everyone you see. There will be moments where you can see people getting annoyed at the fact that you are cheerful at work, but if you are happy you will attract people who are happy as well and that will bring you that much closer to your life being Friends/Happy Endings/How I Met Your Mother/ Degrassi: Adult Lyfe Iz Hard!

 

When Jay Z’s management team asks you to get a 4X12 white candle from the West Elm 11 blocks away, DO NOT make the incredibly stupid mistake of thinking “linen” or “snow” is the same thing as white. THEY. ARE. NOT. White is specifically white in their eyes, and if you mistake this you will be greeted with a prompt, “you’re pathetic,” at the freight elevator.

 

When you look at Facebook and think to yourself that everyone but you has it together, shut it down. Log out and get on Tumblr where strangers with funny gifs will ease your anxiety. And try to take in solace that what you are reading on Facebook is 97% the peak of their day. So screw them when they get a job offer in San Diego or post pictures from that Kelly Clarkson concert that you had no interest in going to.

 

This is one of the hardest ones. When it seems like every single freaking person you know is getting engaged, be happy for him or her. Don’t let their decision define you as “permanently single and unable to have a serious relationship,” remember that you were raised in the Carrie Bradshaw generation where being single past 21 is incredibly socially accepted and that they are the exception to the rule, not you. And if all else fails convince others and yourself that your father didn’t settle down until he was 40 and that you are destined to follow in his footsteps.

 

Sneaking Whole Foods cheddar biscuits into a matinee showing of Rock of Ages can be a little exhilarating and count as your rebellious stage.

 

Go on dates and don’t let the nervousness of putting yourself out there be intimidating. Just because a third of your friend group found their mate at a campus ministry doesn’t mean you had to. Find single friends that want to be fun and adventurous and play the game of “out of all these customers at Panera Bread, whom would you screw?”

 

See The Dark Knight Rises twice and listen, watch, and truly take in Batman’s message: do not let fear define or cripple you. You’re in your twenties and having it all together by next week is not an option. Don’t let the anxiety of life get you so terrified that you want to stay hidden in the bottom drawer of your dresser for a week, or just go back to your urine-jar-filled room and pretend that you’re safe with Turtle, E, and the gang. The hardest step is the first, and SPOILERS if Batman can escape the 6-mile radius of an atom bomb in less than a minute, you can surely make it through brunch.

 

When you are offered a 2-week gig in Nashville as an assistant for a cooking show, take it – even though you’re going to have full-blown panic attacks that last the entire duration of your 15-hour drive there and a near death experience at an Arkansas McDonald’s. This gig is not going to change your future in the way that you hope for it to, but you will have some fun stories at the end of each day and will have challenged yourself in ways you never thought possible. You’re also going to get to crash on the bedroom floor of your best friends new house and be there for the next steps of her incredible journey. This will help you regain a sense of the collegiate normality you feared was lost after you took those steps across the stage, and in this time of your life normality is what you need most.

Oh, and while grabbing for a large mirror to move out of a shot you will instead grab the boob of a 53-year-old German woman who will simply wink at you letting you know that both you and everything is all right.

Jul

02

The Perfection of Trying

If you’ve noticed at all, the last post I wrote was dated as March 5th. There are many things that I could blame for the lack of writings: I’ve been working at internships! I’ve been volunteering at festivals! I’ve been having a social life! I’ve been watching Dance Moms on a constant loop! But I know what the true reason is: the first sentence.

I’m the type of person where I want everything to be perfect the first time around. I don’t care if it’s giving a speech in class, creating documents at work, changing a tire – please, when have I ever changed a tire? – or writing a meaningless blog post that fewer people will read than watch Hart of Dixie on CW. I need to feel that the product I put out was as mint conditionally perfect as all hell.

I crave perfection in my own life because I view others as being perfect. I’m a product of raising myself on the ridiculous nighttime soaps of The OC, Degrassi, and Desperate Housewives where, even though there were problems, everyone seemed perfect. I always thought I had a critical eye for television and could distinguish between fantasy and reality, but when the reality of my life is friends getting married at 21 and fellow post grads signing high five-figure deals at big shot companies, when does the finite line of my reality get snatched in the night and exchanged with a changeling of fantasy? For me, the reality is that I am currently 22-years-old, single, broke, and still interning. The bulk of my days I am grateful that this is my life, but there are the slim hours where I feel like everyone else has it together and maybe I should stop striving for the perfection I want and settle for the perfection that seems obtainable e.g. trophy wife and beef jerky outlet owner.

What I’m trying to get at is that the first sentence of each of these posts is a metaphor for the perfection I want to obtain. If I can lure these suckers in with a great blog post, I can trick them into thinking I have it together! I can fool them into believing my life is perfect; that I’m perfect! And maybe, just maybe, I can feel like I have some sense of perfection to latch onto.

While I realize the perfection I want to obtain may happen later in life or maybe never at all, I need to still try. I need to type out that first sentence, flaws and all, to know that I have mastered the perfection of trying.

Mar

05

5 Reasons I Love My Sister

Hold on, guys! I’m about to get semi-mushy on ya here.

She has been wanting a post about herself for ages, so I figured there is no better day than her birthday to give her one. Plus, this is the gift that imagination, writing skills, and finances will allow me this year!

A little preface for you before I dive into the numerical reasons of love I have for this girl. Her name is Laura, she’s turning 20 today, I believe her favorite TV show is still Gossip Girl or Kourtney and Kim Take New York, and she has a weird obsession for Pride and Prejudice and anything Marilyn Monroe. Now that you’re basically best friends with her because of my extensive research, here are just a few of the many reasons why I love this chica.

5. She’s stylish

Oh so stylish. Like seriously stylish. The girl knew who Marc Jacobs was before anyone else in the Friday Night Lights-esque town of Deer Park, Texas. Fashion has always been the one thing that gives her the greatest joy, and not in a vain, selfish, little-people-bow-at-my-excellence way. She understands fashion, gets fashion, and has great style herself. Just yesterday she wore a pair of high-waisted green shorts and got no less than 5 compliments in the restaurant we were eating at, and then about 1,200 compliments from random Austinites on the street.

4. She’s got a great personality

There’s this one scene in the fourth season of Mad Men where Lane Pryce is explaining to Pete Campbell why he gave Ken Cosgrove the position of head of accounts instead of Campbell himself. He says that Pete is great at making clients feel like all of their needs are being met, but that Cosgrove has the rare gift of making clients feel as if they have no needs at all. Not that Laura will get the reference at all (Mad Men is not on E! so there are doubts that she’s ever watched this), but this is me and my sister. She is obviously the Ken Cosgrove and I am the Pete. She really does have the rare gift of making those around her feel incredibly comfortable, wanted, and kinda cool. Me on the other hand, I’m like Nina from Black Swan. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication just to try to give off the appearance of being cool. Point for you, Laura!

3. She appreciates my taste in entertainment

I’m not sure that she would ever admit it, but I know that it’s there. She constantly asks me to give her a fourth of my iTunes library every 2 weeks, and every 2 weeks when she does ask, I act like I’m insanely busy and pull the “OMG! Discover your own music! Lana Del Rey is mine and nobody is allowed to know about her except for me! Ugh. Eeeeck!” Even in our twenties we still like to act like we’re 12. It’s hard for me to even admit it, but I really do like it when she asks me about new music or a new TV show I just bought on DVD or a new movie I saw at midnight (because I have no life!). As a human, all I want is to feel validated, that something I like is not completely lame or king of the dorks dorky. So, sis, even though I give you a rough time about you stealing my music or entertainment likes, I really do appreciate it. You make me feel like less of a nerd. Now if only you would finish Buffy The Vampire Slayer….

2. She wants to help people

She really does. Even though she can be a major diva to me, I know that she really does want to do good in the world. She’s basically the white Oprah. She is one of the few people who while picking her major for college took into consideration what she could do to help others with her degree. I believe she has finally settled on fashion merchandising, and while it seems that there is nothing humanitarian-esque about that degree, she will figure it out.

1. She completes our family and is the best sister ever

(You need only see our family postcard from Vegas)

It really isn’t as hard to admit it as I like to pretend it is, but I really do love my sister – 12 year old Zack is gonna kill me. She is one of the greatest people I know. She’s fine, fresh, fierce and has it on lock. She’s my sister and I’m proud to say that. Love you, sissy. Happy Birthday and welcome to your 20′s! You’re gonna love ‘em!

Feb

27

My Top 10 Favorite Songs of All Time

Now that I live in Austin I spend a lot of my day stuck in its infamous traffic. It seriously starts at 3 in the afternoon and doesn’t let up until about 9 at night. Being that I spend a lot of time in my car, I have a lot of time to listen to music. I also have a lot of time to debate in my mind what my favorite songs are. There are a couple staples that have stayed with me for years and years and will never relinquish their spots on this list. Then there are others that are new to the game and could be interchangeable as the years go on and my music taste either matures or worsens.

So without further ado, here are my top 10 favorite songs of all time.

10. “Right Here, Right Now” – Fatboy Slim

Reading these first few entries on the list you may realize that I really like a good instrumental score. The basis for if I truly like a song is if I can picture it set against some sort of film or television show – it’s me, go figure – and scores seem to have that impact on me. However, if you were to ask me to name any other Fatboy Slim song, I probs couldn’t do the deed. “Right Here, Right Now” was and has been the peak interest I’ve had with the 90′s band. This song is so incredibly campy, creepy, sexy, and intense that it’s no wonder Veronica Mars used it when she finally uncovered who the campus rapist was. And if a song is used to unmask the evil of rape, well, then it’s fine by me.

9. “Intro/Islands” – The xx

I’m still in a love affair with The xx. As I mentioned above, the mark of a good song for me is if I can picture it set to a moving picture. Add to the fact that I can listen to it at night before bed on a continuous repeat and you’ve got yourself the number 9 position on this list. It’s hard for me to choose just one song off of their debut album, that’s why they get two. Both “Intro” and “Islands” are perfectly cinematic in that they make you feel incredibly sexy and give you an I-could-own-the-world-right-now-if-I-wanted-to attitude every time you give it a listen.

8. “In The Hall of The Mountain King” – Edvard Grieg

It’s the greatest piece of symphony work in the history of symphony work if you ask me. Only one word can really describe it and give it justice: EPIC.

7. “White Winter Hymnal” – Fleet Foxes

It’s hard to not hear the beginning of this song and not automatically feel safe and warm. While Fleet Foxes have admitted that the lyrics in the song don’t mean too much and that the song was initially made to experiment with different vocal techniques, the feeling that I get after listening to this song is much like a little boy on Christmas morning. I feel like I’m on the plush carpet in my grandparents wood cabin up in the high mountains of Alaska with a nice fire cracklin’ next to 7 welsh corgi puppies sleeping soundly. That is to say, I feel at peace with everything in the world.

6. “Hurt” – Johnny Cash

For the longest time I used this song as the fantasy theme song to my fantasy television show that I dreamed about creating. There is so much raw emotion in Cash’s version, that he makes Nine Inch Nails’ ode to regret and the low’s of life all his own. I still get goosebumps whenever I listen to the song, and if I’m watching the music video whilst listening, then bring on the waterworks. My father gave me an interest in Johnny Cash, Walk The Line gave me respect for Johnny Cash, Cash himself gave me love for the man in black.

5. “Rolling In The Deep” – Adele

Much like celebrity deaths, there are certain songs that when you hear for the first time you can remember every aspect of what was going on during those few minutes. During the first time that my ears were honored to hear this 3 minutes and 48 seconds I was sitting in my apartment at my desk completely in shock and awe at the power that I was hearing. While a lot of people are sick of the song because of its constant radio play, I could hear this song everyday (and I did for a good year) and never tire of it. This is the one moment of my life that I will allow for cockiness and arrogance because upon hearing this song, I rushed to tell my good friend, Lion-Haired Girl, about it and swore that if she did not sweep the next years Grammy’s for the song then I knew nothing about nothing. Thank you Grammy committee for proving my prophecy correct.

4. “No Cars Go/ Neighborhoods #3 (Power Out) – Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is my all time favorite band… for all time. When I talk about music sounding cinematic, this band is the standard to which I hold. It’s so incredibly hard for me to pick just one song of theirs to stick on this list, that is why they also get two. I’ve had the privilege of seeing the band perform 3 separate times, and all 3 times they completely blew me out of the water by inventing a completely new show. “No Cars Go” is my fantasy song that if I had any musical talent at all, I would perform in front of thousands of people and they would be oh so impressed. “Power Out” is my ringtone, running song, shower song, driving song, everything song. This is the song that I make people listen to first if they’ve never heard of the band. It’s powerful, playful, and like almost everything the band does – fun.

3. “Crazy In Love” – Beyoncé

This be my jam! Like Adele, Beyoncé’s tour de force of a first single will always and forever be the greatest female pop song. This is the song you crank at the beginning of a party to get everyone in the mood to keep going all night long. From the first note of those blaring horns to the final uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, oh no no, Bey and Jay keep the insane anthem to hot love thumping. My awkward junior high school moment memory comes courtesy of this song. Thanks to the radio playing it in my 7th grade art class, I came to realize, only by the time the song was over, that I was the only one belting out lyrics… in front of the whole class. That is what this song does for you, though. It takes you to the soul-funk world that Miss Knowles created and only lets up once the dust has settled after all those booty bounces.

2. “Walk Through The Fire” – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The moment where you realize that you can no longer live in youth adolescence, but rather have to nut up and just deal with the problems that the world can throw at you has never been more clear than in this Joss Whedon penned song from “Once More With Feeling.” I love this song so much that I painted lyrics from it onto a canvas and pinned it up on my bathroom wall sophomore year of college. “I will walk through the fire cause where else can I turn. I will walk through the fire and let it burn” is what greeted me each morning. Many could have taken this as a sign of depression, but to me it was just a reminder that life isn’t all sunshine. The villains sometimes win, the good guys don’t always get their way, and that is okay. That is the way life is. The song has basically been my free therapist for the past few years. Now that I am in the transition of moving from adolescent boy into a, hopefully, strong man, I can’t think of a better song to guide me.

1. “Evil” – Interpol

For some strange reason, this labyrinth of a song about a two timing bro-dude was my introduction into what music could do. Up until my listening of this song, I had never really paid much attention to music. I listened to what was on the radio, whatever country CD my family played in the car (Gretchen Wilson for the win), and the NOW! compilation cassettes I owned. This song is the reason I have my “picture it set to film” rule. This song is how I learned I could be inspired by something. This song is the reason Interpol can do no wrong. This song is creepy, it’s confusing, it’s funny, it’s completely terrifying when you watch the music video (I have a thing about dolls and puppets), and yet, it captivated my young mind as to what music could do for a person. It’s still the most played song on my iTunes, and whenever it shuffles on I can’t help but press the repeat button and feel like that young lad once again.

Well there you have it, folks. You stuck with this list until the very end. I hope that you got more out of this list than just “geez, his music taste kinda sucks.” Now I’d like to hear from you. What are your favorite songs? What music moments make you stop every single time they’re played? Let me know in the comments below.

Feb

23

What I Want From My Twenties

I’ve mentioned it once and I will most likely mention it again just because it seems to be the only thought that my mind is able to latch onto: I’m at the point in my life where I have to worry about “having it all.”

What exactly is “it all,” though? The textbook definition – that I have always viewed as the correct answer – is the career, the spouse, the kids, the house. The checklist is so unnecessarily and relentlessly forced upon twenty-somethings that we begin to believe that this grocery list is what will define our future as valuable and worthy. While I definitely think that I want all of the list someday, right now I want to be in my twenties and not worry about what my place in the world will be in the next 20+ years.

In the movie The Help, there is a scene where Aibileen opens up to Skeeter about her son’s death. She mentions that she grieves not only for the loss of a son, but because her son was in the prime of his life upon his passing: his twenties. She says that that time is the best part of someone’s life. That they are just beginning in the world. What ‘ol Abbie speaks is the truth, but sometimes we lose sight of that when our vision is so skewed to the neon sign blinking “FUTURE” on the left.

So this is a post where I’m not going to worry about what 30′s and 40′s-ville holds for me, but rather what I want to put on the grocery list of my twenties.

I want to party it up

I want to grow in my relationship with Christ

I want cool, artsy, hipstery photos of myself to be taken everyday

I want to talk about Jesus everyday

I want to backpack to Alaska

I want to move to New York City

I want to be athletic and outdoorsy

I want the community I gained in college to continue

I want to have brunch as often as possible

I want to spend money frivolously

I want to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills

I want the hole-in-the-wall apartment in the city that I will cry about every night

I want the body that I’ve always wanted

I want the committed relationship that I’ve always wanted

I want to struggle

I want things to come easy

I want a mentor

I want to go to as many concerts and shows as I possibly can

I want to meet Adele

I want to go to Comic-Con

I want to talk about TV everyday

I want to own a welsh corgi

I want to meet a penguin or beluga whale

I want to learn mandolin

I want to be “discovered” for something

I want to go on random adventures

I want to enter to be a contestant on The Real World

I want the “what the hell did I just do?” moments

I want to say “you owe me big time for that!”

I want to laugh so much that it hurts

I want my friends to be famous

I want to get into a fistfight

I want to grow my hair long and then chop it all off

I want to feel pride in myself for something I’ve done or achieved

I want a goal to work towards

I want to be sad

I want to be happy

I want love

I want comments on this blog

Cheers, y’all.

Feb

21

Making The Transition From Student to Post Grad

The past couple of months have been a time of transition. Not only a time of relocation transition (I moved 30 minutes up the road), but also a time of mental transition. For the past 13 + years of my life all I have ever known is wake up, go to school, come home, study as much as one can, rinse and repeat. Now that I am in the abyss of what is known as the post grad world, this routine has suddenly rendered itself obsolete. What’s a boy to do? I don’t know. You tell me.

I remember the feelings I felt the first few months of college my freshmen year crystal clearly. The campus was intimidating, the classes were intimidating, the people were intimidating, even my less-than-2-months-I-can’t-deal-with-this roommate who I woke up one morning to find plastering his face with makeup was intimidating. I remember all the bad and feelings of inadequacy like it was yesterday. Waking up each morning, following my programmed routine and yet feeling like something was missing. Something was off. But what was it?

Once I met “The Family” – as my group of friends liked to call ourselves – all of those feelings of depression, anxiety, inadequacy, and being lost were thrown out of the 7th story window of my new dorm room and hastily replaced with rainbows, butterfly’s, and Build-A-Bear stuffed penguins. I guess human connection is what makes a person thrive.

Well, the dreaded feelings that were purged nearly 4 years ago have returned now that I’ve graduated college and entered into my freshmen year of “real life.” I have a new routine: wake up, go to my internship if it’s the appropriate day when I’m supposed to go, and then come home. It’s an incredibly simple schedule to master, but it’s missing the hidden factor that my old routine had crammed into the middle of rinse and repeat: friends.

I believe that the hardest transition from student to post grad is the loss of connection, unity, and family that college life contains. In college, you are surrounded by thousands and thousands of people your own age. You can pick and choose whom you want to befriend and whom you don’t want to befriend because you have the option to. Once moving to a new city and starting a new life, it’s easy to feel distant and sad because you are no longer in constant communication with your favorite people in the world. Now the type of connection you yearn to receive is either a simple chat at the water cooler, or living vicariously through the band of survivors on The Walking Dead. At least for me this is what I yearn for.

I still have the connections and love of my “old” friends, but in order to receive that, one of us has to make the 3o minute + time for traffic trek. And with the traffic in the city the way it is, it’s usually a $10 + drive round trip. Something I financially cannot do every single day. While I know that the limitation of my visiting with friends will be a good thing in the long run, this is the hardest transition for me. Finding a real job will come sooner or later, but the type of connection that I made with my friends in college will likely take a long time to – not replace, but – substitute.

So here is my question to all of you post grads out there on the internet scoping the Craigslist ads for job listings, what has been the hardest transition for you when it comes to moving out into the real world?

Feb

07

Why I Shouldn’t Be Ashamed For Watching The Real Housewives

Ok, I should be.

As a male in society there are certain habits and behaviors that I’m supposed to partake in and be happy with: mowing the yard, watching football, drinking muscle milk, listening to Nickelback and Daughtry, and playing video games with little to no dialogue because men bond better through activities than conversation. Well, screw that.

While (after years of resentment) I find myself liking to mow the yard, I cannot truly attest to liking any of the latter. Muscle milk tastes like chalk, popular rock music sounds like the souls of a million welsh corgi puppies being dragged to Hades, video games frustrate me because I’m stubborn and want to win without a challenge, and football on TV is about as entertaining as watching The Tree of Life on mute, that is to say not. I really am a product of the aught age where the gender gap is beginning to narrow and androgyny is the new black. I enjoy building things with my hands and getting dirty, but I also enjoy shopping and long conversations about anything. While most men have come to embrace their feminine side (the Christian world is filled with them! Honestly, you would be insanely surprised), there is one thing that I only feel comfortable telling a select few female friends about: I am completely obsessed with the Housewives franchise.


(all of you, I’m sure
)

There it is. The taboo statement has come out of the proverbial “only my thumbprint can access it” closet. I honestly do not know what it is about this franchise that keeps me tuning in, but I feel like it has to do with what Battlestar Galactica preached throughout the whole series: all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.

Week after week, city after city, the housewives play that statement like chess, instigating their signature quip of “drama.” TNT thinks they know drama, psh, just watch New York City’s outing, then you’ll know drama. Words and insults are thrown like Chinese daggers, the ever-changing relationships and alliances could give the men of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy a run for their money, and the glamorous 1% world that, as Americans, we’re supposed to aspire to be like seems more like the playground harassment of elementary days past. So, as a man, why is this so utterly entertaining to me? Women fighting is the greatest thing in the world. By no means am I condoning physical violence. Verbal assault is where it’s at! When men fight, we throw a punch and it’s done. When women fight, it is catty, strategic, manipulating and oh so entertaining. Basically all the plot lines on Alias were derived from a meeting of dance moms.

When I watch the series I like to think of it as a collecting of data. I’m learning how to decipher women and understand them better. If I ask you to bring wine to my charity fundraiser, I need to clarify that I want you to bring the wine to be donated, not to drink yourself. If you decide that you want to be a pop star instead of a hospital nurse, I need to be supportive instead of attacking your credit as a singer. When you start your own shoe line of overpriced high heels, it would be the most evil thing in the world of me to make a pun on words about the brand name. And the most important advice I’ve learned, never throw someone out of your party for being rude, it’ll come back to haunt you 3 episodes and one trip to St. Bart’s later.

While my enjoyment of this show definitely discredits my manhood, I don’t really care. We live in a world where Glenn Close is being praised for her performance as a man in Albert Nodds, and there was a time where dudes had frosted tips. I thank the lord I was never one of them. And hey, I know plenty of men who watched Gilmore Girls for actual pleasure. Ok…it was one guy.

The Real Housewives of Orange County premieres tonight at 8pm on Bravo.

Feb

03

Scoring My Life: Part 2

Every now and then the music gods that be grace the ears of we mere mortals with a song that is so perfectly perfect it can be used in any form or aspect of a television show or movie.

Art vs. Science’s “A.I.M. Fire” is that song for me right now.

Please tell me you can hear the magic of this song? Please!

The song is so much fun and has so much going on in it, that it can be paired with any scene – much like a fine Pinot gris…helloooo Ramona! The chanting of A.I.M. makes whatever you’re doing or watching seem like it is the most epic of epicness.

I’ve always been a big fan of when directors take a song that would seemingly not fit with the scene and then through the magic of film making, make you realize that no other song would have carried the same weight and tone. Tarantino has built a career on this. With the use of “Twisted Nerve,” the hospital scene in Kill Bill was taken to a whole new level of creepy and an iconic scene was born.

Anyways, seeing as how this is a scoring my life post, what life event would “A.I.M. Fire” connect with?

The go to obvious of this song would be to use it in a montage (I love montages) of my drunken nights out with friends. But, hey, I want to go for the unobvious. It could be used as subtle background music on a seemingly meaningless date, that when heightened ushers in a proposal! All of the restaurant starts clapping as a montage of our wedding begins to roll (again, I reaaaallly love montages). We could go for a conflict at work with a fellow colleague. And because of the silliness of the song, we go straight on Bride Wars and start pranking each other Jim Halpert style.

Scoring my life with this song is a little more difficult than I thought. I might just need to carry it around on a boombox with me until it finds the perfect time to appear.

So what do you think? “A.I.M. Fire” has become one of my favorite songs of the moment, ushering in play count after play count on my iTunes. But what do you think? Are you as big a fan of the song as I, or is it just another Foster The People wannabes that just doesn’t strike your fancy? Let me know in the comments below and also let me know what you are scoring your life to. Cheers.

Feb

02

My Friends Will Be Famous

I’m serious.

I know it’s cute and fun to fantasize about what life would be like in Hollywood and if everyone knew your name and your business and wanted your autograph while you were sitting in Schlotzsky’s eating a sandwich with your agent, but in all honesty, these fantasies seem more like reality for my circle of friends.

If anything, college gave me the greatest social network ever. The education and degree were just bonuses. Because in my circle of friends lies the largest amount of talent that only the state of Texas could hold. I’m friends with writers, bloggers, painters, photographers, graphic designers, fashion experts, and the largest percentage of the pie chart: musicians. 

Not just any garage band musicians that find a guitar at Goodwill and think that because they own it, they can play it… well. The musicians I know all have talent that rivals practically everyone signed at Interscope records (I’m looking at you Black Eyed Peas and American Idol contestants!)

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

That’s only the tip of the iceberg. I don’t know how I can say this without being pretentious, but we are the next Rat Pack/ Judd Apatow gang. Ok, there is no other way to say that without being pretentious. I’m just excited for the future of not only myself, but of the crazy band of misfits that are my friends family.

I could ramble on for hours and days about all the different talents that each person I’ve come to know and love has, but instead of doing that, I’ll just give you the links (hey, it’s the age of the internet) where you can discover all of the talent that I’ve been so blessed to be in contact with.

The Facebooks:

The Blogs:

The Websites/Businesses(!!)

I really am one of the luckiest people ever to be surrounded by so many talented and vastly different people. I know that because I know all of these people, my artistic side has blown through the roof and I have pushed myself to be better.

If you ever have the chance to meet these celebs of mine, be sure to get their autograph and picture because someday it will truly be worth gushing over.