in which i come crawling back

Well, here we are. After only several months after moving out of my childhood home, I’ll be moving back in with my family. Most of this time spent living “on my own” was just an exercise in futility. But then again hindsight is 20/20.

It’s really all about the money, or lack thereof. Since my rent went up back in March, I’ve been hard pressed to set aside any money. That, and the fact that my utilities bill is skyrocketing despite being conservative on my energy consumption. I’m now at a point where I can’t even afford groceries! The other factor has to to with the room mate. Well, not her but her fucking family. I have to be honest, I have never seen a train wreck quite as spectacular as her extended family. It was interesting to watch them from afar but the second their drama spilled into our household I knew it was time to bail. I’m not paying all of this money that I barely have so I can have the living room turn into a white trash storage unit. I feel bad about feeling this way, being it’s her family and all, but I have limits.

Normally moving back in with one’s parents is a humiliating event. But I’ve been looking mostly on the bright side. For one, I will save hundreds of dollars a month not having to pay any rent or utilities. Plus I won’t have to do any food shopping (some of the time). And I can finally catch up on all of the ESPN and Adult Swim programming I’ve been missing. Plus I’ll be near my friends again, who I felt like I haven’t seen as much of as I’d like to since moving to UB.

Funny thing is that I never felt like I had officially “moved out”. Even though all of my stuff came with me, it really felt like I was away at college again. I did my laundry at my parents’ house, ate like crap,  played lots of video games, and stayed up waaaaaay past my bedtime. The only real difference is lack of alcohol intake and a job. It’ll be a pain in the ass being further away from AEA but I think we’ll manage to work something out. Besides, now I’ll have money to actually go out and do stuff.

So farewell shitty, pot-holed streets and flooding estuaries. Good bye, worthless A/C unit and crooked walls.  I’m off to receive my bail out and live like a loser again.

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dreaming of another world

Ah yes, it’s time once again for my favorite past time activity: waxing nostalgic.

I’ve talked about Daria before, but I must bring it up again now that MTV has finally released the entire series on DVD. So far I’m three discs in, the show is better than I remember. While it’s not filled with as many laugh out loud moments as I thought it would, Daria’s sarcastic remarks hold up fantastically. What I’ve found most surprising is how adult some of the subject matter is; The creators tackled sex, body image, drinking, and condescending adults without any heavy-handed messages. It’s a pretty accurate account of high school life, though you can tell that most of these episodes were written in hindsight. Daria and Jane are more or less the only voices of reason in the high school (i.e. they think for themselves instead of following the crowd) and in turn they are labeled outsiders. Daria and Jane are really just adults trapped in teenage bodies and they’re already keenly aware that high school is 100% bullshit, which is something you don’t realize until halfway through college. And as I’ve said before, Daria’s criticism of shallow airhead attention whores would not fly today, being that those people have become the foundation of MTV’s programming.

My mom finally convinced me to bring my bicycle back to my house the other day in an attempt to motivate me to exercise. Well, it worked.

Now, I’ve had this bike since I was 13. I was forced to buy it with my Bar Mitzvah money, even though there was nothing wrong with the bike I had at the time. I guess my parents figured I should have a “grown-up” bike instead of an N64, though I would beg to differ. I’ve owned two bikes in my lifetime, and on both occasions they were forced upon me in lieu of video games. But I digress. I had $600 in cash, which I used $300 to buy the bike (against my will). What happened to the other half of the money I will never know, because I sure as shit don’t remember spending it.

ANYWAY, the bike and I got along famously until I turned 17 and horny and realized that chicks don’t dig bikes. It sat in my garage until last year when my mom took it to the bike repair shop to fix literally everything. One main reason I stopped riding my bike was because of the awful sound it made when I applied the brakes. It was like nails down a chalkboard. But alas, it was tuned up to be as good as new and then sat in the garage for another year.

Fast forward to today, when I finally took some initiative to ride the Henry Hudson Trail, one of the Monmouth County Parks System’s crown jewels (and located within walking distance from my house). It’s a continuous paved 22-mile trail that starts in Freehold and ends in Atlantic Highlands, so there’s a lot to cover. I’ve only known the trail as a haven for schizophrenic transients and a magnet for complaints about precarious tree limbs, so you can understand that I was skeptical at first. But after a 10-mile bike ride, I can conclusively say that it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I never realized how much I missed riding my bike, and it was amusing to see all the bored teenagers loitering and searching in vain for something to do.

However, there was one unsettling moment. About 10 minutes into my ride, I was coming up behind a middle-aged man who was drenched with sweat and appeared to be talking to himself. As I got closer I saw the he had a hook for a hand. He yelled out to me as I rode by. This was expected.  When I turned around to head back home, I came up on him again, this time at a cross walk. But this time I noticed that BOTH of his hands had hooks on them, plus he was taking up most of the trail. When he looked straight at me, I knew I was fucked. So naturally I peddled like a freight train on the grass (crazy people think it’s lava) as he yelled out “Bro!” at the top of his lungs.

OK so I really wasn’t in any immediate danger, but you see a guy with hook hands and you start to wonder if you should carry a rape horn.

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that about sums it up

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only assholes don’t listen to lcd soundsystem

A much belated part 2 of my amateurish critique of the music industry is as follows:

1. Air horns in rap songs

There is no quicker way to denigrate a rap song than to add unnecessary bells and whistles. Usually it’s called “overproduction”. But there is a disturbing trend I’ve noticed in a lot of popular rap songs: the inclusion of a blaring air horn in the background. Air horns are never not annoying, so it seems pretty odd that you’d want to include one in a song that you want to get played on the radio. Whenever you hear one, isn’t your first thought “who is the asshole with the air horn”? It opens up a world of criticism, particularly those hip-hop detractors who think rap artists are stupid and obnoxious. Obnoxious, maybe. But the stupid you can blame on producers. I’m looking at you, Drake.

While I’m at it, rap station DJs need to shut the fuck up. I don’t care who you are and I already know what station I’m listening to. Stop interrupting and play some damn De La Soul.

2. Ke$ha

This whore has had a bulls eye on her head for months now, but I can’t get over the fact that she’s still relevant. She literally has no redeeming qualities in both the musical and looks departments. All the money grubbing, fad-grabbing pop music before her seems tolerable compared to her “singing”, if you can even call it that. To call her an artist would be a gross hyperbole. I know this because I’m using lots of big words in order to sound smart. She is what happens when record executives listen to good electronica, then water down the lyrics and the quality of the arrangements in order to make it more appealing to young, shallow people who have yet to acquire a taste in music. This is a practice that’s been ongoing for decades but is nevertheless completely retarded. Please fade into obscurity, you epitome of everything that is wrong with our youth culture.

3. Weezer’s undying crusade to make everyone forget that they used to be awesome

It’s not unusual for Pitchfork to stop reviewing or reporting about bands once they’ve become unbearable (i.e. Kings of Leon), but one mainstay has been Weezer. Despite the fact that they haven’t given any of the Weezer albums since 2001 a higher score than 5.4 (out of 10), there’s still that air of nostalgia and hope that one day, Rivers Cuomo will snap out of his power pop psychosis and record something compelling again. But alas, the older he gets, the more ridiculous he becomes. On paper, he is a smart guy. He’s Harvard educated and he clearly knows what sound is popular with the kiddies and exploits is for vast monetary gain. But in reality he merely sinks to new lows in order to stay relevant. I doubt the rest of the band is complaining, considering they would have nothing if it weren’t for Weezer. But like my online indie rock overlords, I can’t help but harbor some love for the days when he was an insecure weirdo who made honest-to-goodness rock music… because maybe this is just some wacky mid life crisis.

4. Mash up artists who aren’t Greg Gillis

Just stop it already! You’re all missing the point.

5. “Bulletproof” by La Roux

GET. OUT. OF. MY. HEAD

Well that’s all I can come up with for now. In conclusion, I will leave you with the most pivotal song from your childhood.

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bastards of young

Ah, May. It’s that time of  the year when it’s becoming more practical to wear shorts and when the remains of my innocence are lost forever. LOL!!!1!

Since my return to Facebook, I’ve quickly discovered how much I had missed in the 6 months hiatus. Particularly how what few remaining friends I had in Kutztown have graduated. I remember when some of these people were barely Sophomores, and now they’re adults! Hell, one of my ex-girlfriends even got her Masters degree. Yet I can only envision her as the 18-year-old freshman who had yet to understand the awesome power of indie rock. Kids those days… pfft.

What I’m trying to say is that those people remained my one link to the days when I didn’t have to care about anything, and when college felt like it was going to last forever. And now that they’ve moved on, it’s become a bit harder to reminisce. I can’t go back to Kutztown party like the good old days, especially now that my old apartment complex has become a virtual ghost town (the management at The Cliffs forgot that new apartments across the street > shitty old apartments that haven’t been upgraded since the 1970’s). But then again college parties feel more overrated the older you get. Just a few weeks ago, my old room mate and I schooled a pair of frat boy stereotypes in beer pong. Here’s a hint guys: backwards hats and polos do not make you a better player. That’s the problem with people under 21… they’re all talk.

But like high school, I wouldn’t want to go back to college. Particularly in the year and a half after Krista, I felt this sense of dread every day. Like when you know the world is going to end and you don’t feel safe or happy, so you make out with lots of girls and break lots of hearts and you fail Geology class and for some reason you can’t stay healthy (probably due to the weird mold growing in the corner of your room in the apartment that hasn’t been upgraded since the 1970’s) and you drink shitty beer not to be ironic but because you actually like shitty beer and you have chronic panic attacks AND YET SOMEHOW IT WAS THE BEST YEAR AND A HALF OF YOUR LIFE.

That shit was exhausting/confusing!

But now here we are, two years later and I’ve become a relatively productive member of society. I work, I buy stuff, I pay my taxes, I play Batman on my XBOX. On paper, it’s barely an improvement over the average college kid’s life. But my mentality is completely different. It was comforting to know that I could go back to the old days… and now they’re gone. I’m not sad, but it feels weird. It’s like the dawning of some crazy era where it’s no long socially acceptable to slide down a flight of stairs on a mattress.

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rock and roll part 3

I put my iPod on random earlier today, and the personification of my high school days came on:

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color me impressed

Indie as fuck.

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