Monday, March 2, 2009

Don't catch the 'New Era' you will look like a tool....

Apparently I missed the memo in fashion. Or being cool. Someone please forgive me... Or, everyone else just missed the memo that our human heads are in fact round, and baseball caps are wonderfully shaped and styled to be ergonomically correct. It's amazing how that works.

You can create a stitch, and cut a material to fit a body that was designed before the design of the 'New Era'. Incredible. I thought maybe that I had missed something however, with the increasing number of folks who keep their rims as flat as possible.

Dude, your face just isn't shaped that way. Calm yourself.

Maybe that dates me. Growing up in a time when it was better to curve your hat, or you looked too nerdy. There were practices in the idea of 'breaking in' a hat. Many hats were sold with curve already in them. This, to me, makes sense. Heads are round. Rims are curved. Perfect harmony.

Call me old school, but I think a flattened rim looks hideous. I've been horribly internally tempted to run up to a kid on the train and just bend his rim. See what would happen.

Or, better yet. Rip that freaking holographic sticker off.

What could he do? (I would say he/she here, however, I haven't seen any women with this Socially Transmitted I will stick with my fairly large survey sample, and let it be many many boys in the Philadelphia area, between the ages of 11 and 27 is my best guess)

Seriously, I want to walk up to one of them with my bright red, worn in, rim bent Phillies hat, and rip that sticker off. Look at them for a long minute, and then fasten that sticker at the top of one of the bent sides of my rim.

The look in the face of a tool abiding boy after I've just seemingly ripped him of his manhood? Cool status? What am I seemingly ripping him of here? I have no idea.

In the vain of education I did some research.

Apparently, I am not the only one out there that thinks the sticker on the hat is stupid. There's been many a question posted on many a blog out in the vast world wide web.

A little google-ing, and already, I feel smarter.

According to the mass bloggers, question answerers, and authenticators at hand on this glorious, sound, and effective research tool known as the internet, there are several reasons for a young lad to leave the sticker on his baseball hat after purchase.

  1. He's an idiot. (Ok, fair enough... this is my reason, but I figured, if the bloggers are just as sound research-wise, and I am one of them... and this is my blog. What the hell.)
  2. Keeping the sticker proves that it is an 'Authentic'. This answer baffles me. It's an authentic hat? Well, if it goes on your head.... pretty damn authentic. No? Or can it be a fake hat? I'm so confused by the fake-ness of time and space, and matter and gravity.
  3. Looking further, the sticker is proving the 'Authenticity' of the New Era brand. First of all, before this whole idea of the hats with sticker, I don't think I've ever really known of the New Era brand itself. And being an avid baseball fan, I feel that the entire sample of folks that have this instilled in their soul.. needing to prove authenticity for a brand that means little to the actual sport of baseball as it were... is being scammed. Poor poor kids.
  4. Furthermore, the authenticity of these baseball caps mean nothing, if they're not the same ones the players are wearing. And they are not. Some of them have funky patterns on them, and do not look like they even are attempting to represent the team, of which the logo is still hidden somewhere on the article. Very strange. Indeed.
  5. I've never seen a baseball player with a sticker on their hat. No, wait. That's a lie. I believe I did see one on Ryan Howard's hat.... minutes after they won the World Series in 2009. And I believe that those hats might have been new. :)
  6. Ok, I've realized that the numbers mean nothing anymore having jumped from reasons that they wear them, and reasons that I think stickers on hats are stupid. Such the design of this rant I suppose, and I will continue in this non-structured structural manner as I see fit.
  7. I have seen quite a few people complain that removing the sticker creates a sticky circle where dust can now collect and make your brim look dirty. This is the funniest reason to me, and yet at least I understand it. This is something you all should flock to the manufacturer with complaints on. You passive aggressive fools. (hm... well, it does attract dust... hm... I'll just leave it.... you are so tough)
  8. As for me. I'll keep buying my hats from lids, bending the crap out of the brim, and avoid ripping stickers off of random passerbyers.

Go Phillies. Baseball season is so close. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Oh Third Eye Blind.... what have you done?

I grew up in the grunge era. Proud to be a child of the late 70s, that grew through and past the 80s, so that we could look back on it, and have themed parties surrounding the incredibly grotesque and yet amazing fashion. My coming of age was the 90s. It was a great time to be alive and the perfect time for me to come of age. (although, I don't think I would have minded the free love, or intense availability of hard narcotics either...)

It was a time. A time of quite a few things that may or may not have ever been cool. Such as.... baggy t-shirts. Open flannels over those baggie t-shirts. Plaid overalls. The kind that you only wear one side up, and there's an embroidered street sign on the front. It was a time of LA gear. Tapered Jeans. Layered socks... that somehow survived the 80s, and came with us to the 90s. Including teased hair. (if you were from NJ like I was... your hair grew teased. I have no answers for you on how. Ask my neighbor Tony's wife. She may know.)

It was a time of puffy paint. Where it was socially acceptable to have different gems, beads, and studs protruding from your articles of otherwise flat clothing... and this was called bedazzled. It became popular to shave racing stripes into the sides of boys haircuts. Tattoos still meant you were badass. So then people got more. And it caught on to become too common to really be badass anymore... and pagers didn't mean you were a drug dealer. It meant you were popular. 'Reality TV' had one show.

It was a time where the economy was actually growing! We did have a little war, that continues (in my opinion.. though geography, dynasty, and temper tantrums have changed..) to this day. We cloned a sheep. Eep! DNA was introduced into the court of law. The internet was invented by Al Gore. Er... someone else. Nintendo became my brother's social demise. We were reminded of the sinking of the Titanic, through sex and drama. The World Series was canceled for the first time ever. (sad sad sad). And the show Friends quickly made everyone want to move to NYC, and try to support themselves on coffee shop wages. Or rather, everyone wanted to be Rachel and/or sleep with her.

There are many things during this time that fashionably one may regret. This decade had something going for itself above all else. Above anything listed previously that may have sent you down a spiraling stairway to memory lane and nostalgaville. The 90s had something going for it that puts this decade at the top for me.... and makes me feel lucky to have molded my adolescence around it.

It had music.

The 90s easily changed the face of music forever. The rock was rock. The rap was dangerous (Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., were killed in 1996, and 1997 respectively), punk was dirty, pop was sexy (thank you madonna..), Metal was still scary, female fronted bands started to take the charts by rapid storm based on their own songwriting, it was cool for a chick to shave her head (thank you sinead), a jam band emerged with the brilliant idea to record a studio album skimming down each song to a listening level so that you didn't have to get stoned to buy a CD, at the same time keeping their euphoric song lengths at live venues (thank you dave matthews), music videos were as expressive as the songs themselves and MTV actually showed them! and people actually watched them, and the idea of auditioned bands made a startling come back.

And Grunge took the stage.

The number of 'grunge/alternative' bands is really immeasurable. And has since altered completely. I believe only a small number of continuing musicians still call themselves alternative. Some that I feel were birthed in this era definitely should be noted. Nirvana being a staple beyond staples. Pearl Jam, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Sound Garden, NIN, Marilyn Manson, Hole, Candlebox, Faith No More, Dinosaur Jr., Green Day, The Foo Fighters (one year after the death of Kurt Cobain lead man of Nirvana (1994), Nirvana's drummer Dave Grohl started this band), Gin Blossoms, Garbage, The Counting Crows, Live, Weezer, Veruca Salt, Rage Against the Machine, Presidents of the United States of America, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soul Asylum, Third Eye Blind, the lists goes on.......

Many of these bands were formed from intense emotions of anger, sadness, lack of belonging, pain, and an inherent need to express that tone through a new sound. In many cases they collected a few friends together, and tried the best they could to muster up some musicianship in the instruments they chose. Many of the songs are written extremely unconventionally, and are performed as simple as possible. Yet brilliant all the same. The Presidents of the United States of America used a lead guitar with all but 3 strings removed. And a base with only two strings. (I believe.)

A band that climbed the charts with their debut self-titled album release in 1997, after a struggled start in the earlier 90s, was so lucky to be in their peak at the time of this turning age of music. Third Eye Blind had several hits that would easily get stuck in your head. Speaking of drugs, sex, the beach, and love... They had a lyrical brilliance that was hard to come by in a debut album of such a young band.

My personal favorite lines are from their initial hit Semi-charmed Life, 'I believe in the sand beneath my toes... the beach gives a feeling, and earthy feeling, I believe in the faith that grows, and the four right chords can make me cry, when I'm with you I feel like I could die and I would be alright... alright...'

Well, they will be releasing their fourth album this year. You may have heard some from the second, and nothing from the third for good reason. They are in a downward spiral to no things good. Maybe they've sobered up. Or like Edder Vedder did after becoming rich and happy... had writer's block. Without pain and drugs it seems that little is possible in the world of rock n' roll.

As far as the music industry goes, if you're signed by a major record label, they generally release a 'single' before the album comes out to create a buzz, and collect reviews from some of the major press. Guiding the consumer to a healthy choice in purchasing their goods.

If you are Third Eye Blind however, this year will be no good to you. Either your PR people have their head in the toilet, or you haven't been able to write a hit since well... you got rich and happy.

They've already decided and released the first single from this Ursa Major album.

It's called Non-Dairy Creamer.

I'm not kidding. I got a little excited when I heard the DJ say she was about to spin the new long awaited release from the band. And then I was quickly disappointed when I heard the tune that has pushed them over into the edge of non-musical, non-caring, maybe this will sell, musical oblivion. He compares his love (I think) to non-dairy creamer. (Not to say a clever analogy based on the mixture of milk products isn't sometimes clever). I do think they need a rewrite. Or a make-over. Or maybe just to be put out of their misery in some shape or form.

I cannot honestly believe that they are seriously airing this. Though, the most ridiculous part of this song might be where he starts shouting 'Young Gay Republicans!' Wow. I smell a Grammy here.

Or perhaps the re-use of the oh so similar line 'what's it gonna be?' sang in much the similar fashion to 'How's it gonna be?' and I think they may even edge on the same kinds of chords. I hang my head in musical shame for these guys.

In case you haven't heard the song yet. Don't bother. And even if I listed the lyrics here.... it would be a waste of text.

So I just end this post with a bitter sadness on my lyrical heart.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This subway car is not your private commute....

You may think that my last post represents an idea that I drive my commute to work. I actually do take mass transportation, and have moved to a neighborhood where conveniently, I can easily take the subway to work everyday. Which has its pros and cons.

Some people may be mistaken. Or, at least... it seems like they are. They think that subway cars are their own personal rooms. That just stepping inside the subway car to get to work, or whatever the destination of your choice is, allows them the freedom to be and do whatever they want.

Here's a news flash folks... Subway cars are in fact, public spaces.

If you wouldn't do what you're doing, or be how you are, in a crowded elevator, a public waiting room, or anywhere else where people are free to frequent, then you should not do it here either. Maybe the issue comes from something that is more rooted in that idea. That no matter where you are you, you would do these things, and you have no concern for the people that surround you, that are immediately affected by your environmental decisions. I cannot say that for sure, however, because that, I ultimately do not understand that mentality. I would hope the best for people's intentions, but have been proven wrong time and time again that intention is a big word for some people to swallow... I digress. This is not a lesson in vocabulary.

Here's a few things that really irritate me when people do them on the subway however..

  1. As much as I enjoy hearing the louder half of an inappropriate conversation, that makes no sense to me... Please cut it out. I'm not suggesting that people don't use their cell phones out in public. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying, you should consider the venue, the conversation, and your neighbors before jumping face first into an X-rated conversation about sexual positions, and the 'things he does', while blaring that into my ear. Last time I checked... I wasn't there when these things took place, and I'd like to avoid reliving them through you, at all costs. I'm sure everyone else in the subway car wants to know just how sexually active you are... as much as I do. I can't honestly speak for the general public, but I do get the sense....

    My favorite is when you're screaming into your phone about someone that is actually in your space. It seems that the same people that think stepping into a subway car gives them some kind of natural privacy from the world, also think that whatever they say into a phone isn't heard by those around them. Or maybe that's the passive aggressive plot thickening. I love it when someone sitting near me, begins to scream into their phone about how someone sitting in the seat in front of them smells... or looks, and it's blatantly obvious who they're speaking about and that they have no reserve for how other people react or feel around them. No, this isn't awkward or anything to those around us.

    I personally do not like talking on the phone in a public place like that unless I absolutely have to. The situations where I would deem this appropriate would be if I'm getting picked up. If I'm meeting someone somewhere, and we need to know what time. If any of the details of my next few hours, or days need a sense of urgency in their response. This is when I would think it's ok. Most of the time if there's something simple to convey a text message will do the job. Technology is progressing at an alarming rate, and the ability to send me typed words through wireless devices is becoming increasingly popular.

    I encourage technicaly evolution!
  2. Eating.... this one is particularly nauseauting to me. Think about it. This is an enclosed space. Little or no air circulation. Here's a situation that really happened.

    I get on the subway after a long day of work. I'm exhausted, and looking forward to a few minutes of quiet train travel before getting off at my stop, and heading home. It's a nice decompression. I used to read on the train when I took the regional rails out towards the suburbs, but I find reading harder on the subway. Mostly because I'm a big wuss, and get motion sick from the starting and stopping so often, while reading.

    So, now I just sit. And honestly, I don't mind it. It's peaceful. I have about 15-25 minutes to sit on the train before I reach my stop.

    On a particular day, I was riding the subway, and two stops in a lady gets on the subway, with one of those foam dinner platter things. The type of take out styrofoam that pretends it's divided to separate your foods. I'm sure you know which ones I'm talking about. She has one of those, and it's full of greasy, and very messy buffalo chicken wings. Under normal circumstances I would think this is not the scent I want to travel home with. However, I would deal with it, because I understand that people can carry food on the train to consume at their destination of choice.

    Of course, this is not the case today.

    This woman, sits right behind me, and opens up her wings. She then proceeds to start eating them. Slurping every morsel from the bone, and making me particularly disgusting sucking noises in my ear. I wanted to vomit. She then proceeds to finish, and places the tray of bones and liquid remnants on the subway car floor.

    Are you kidding me? There will be a garbage can just about immediately upon exiting the car when you reach your stop.

    None of that self interaction that she had, did I, or could I understand. I could not imagine being that hungry that I needed to create such an uncomfortable space for those around me in this public environment. Nor, do I get the idea that she is so f@%*ing lazy that she can't hold onto her tray of bones, enclosed in her styrofoam take out tray and bag, until she exits.

    My mind is often blown by people like this.
  3. Something that you may want to consider while on the subway.... There's a very good chance, that no one that's riding with you, knows you. And you do not know them. That's probably very common.

    Don't talk to me.

    Small talk is ok. It's funny to joke about the horrible state of SEPTA. (The Philadelphian mass transit system.) It's ok to bullshit every once in a while if we're stuck on the train. It's even ok to see someone you might like, and maybe ask them to coffee, or a beer. I'm not saying we all need to be cold to each other, and ride the subway like a bunch of frigid robots.

    There are however, in my opinion... things that are not ok to talk to neighbors about. Let's brainstorm some of the things that you might not want to talk to your fellow commuters about. Well, for one. That conversation on the cell phone from point number one (above). No. Don't tell me about that once you're now off the phone, or while you're on the phone. I don't want to hear it. In case that wasn't clear before.

    If you are dying from a terminal illness, or if you're surviving. Please don't tell me. I will look like the insensitive prick that doesn't care. Then I will feel even more guilty about the fact that I have little or no reaction to give to a person that I have no invested emotions in. I will then spiral into my own self loathing for having complete compassion fatigue and will have created a self inflicted (er... a you inflicted) complex that I will never be able to shake, and I will eventually die in a black and darkened corner crying myself only sad tears.

    Anything that you feel the need to reach out and share with people, tell your therapist. Or your cat. I can't handle that kind of guilt. And you can't seem to handle your own issues yourself, or maybe you have no support structure of family and friends. I don't know. I'm not a psychologist, and as much as I would like to help you from your inner termoil. I really don't. So that's a lie.

In short. (or in long as it seems to be the case...) Try to exhibit a bit of social tact. Self control, and hell maybe even respect for the environment that you enter.

Try to see outisde yourself, to a better place... where other people exist, and world can remain more clean without your garbage.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The usefulness of the car horn....

I realized today something that I have known for quite sometime... car horns are not very useful. Let's review some of the things that they are most useless for... Shall we?

  1. If you know anything about the human psyche and how people are moved to accomplish things, how to motivate, or even just what pisses people off... you would know, that hitting on your horn when you're stuck in traffic, frustrated, and/or trying to move people along, is not really the most efficient use of your time.

    In fact, if I'm sitting in front of you in traffic, and you beep at me, you will startle me. Even if you feel like I've done something wrong, which I'm sure I have not, since I am a model citizen when it comes to driving... You will then make me realize that you're an impatient tool, and I would rather come to a dead stop and create any obstacles I could possibly fathom to disable you from advancing along the roadway at any length.

    I could be in a dire rush to save the world from utter turmoil, and I would not mind one bit adding an extra ten minutes to my commute to sit in the dead center of an intersection tempting fate, death, and your insightful blaring banging.

    I think that thought actually makes me feel a little like zen.

    Your horn will not make me move any faster. It will create a slow motion barrier in the edges of my motivation, and seemingly seize my brakes. The interesting part about it, is that your horn somehow doesn't seem to move matter either. The last time I saw a horn save me from a traffic jam was on the 12th of never. (Note: the 12th of never is a dmays-ism, and should be treated as such, perhaps copyrightable by law.)
  2. Hitting on a horn to say hi to a friend that's walking or driving past only makes people that are actually paying attention, and walking or driving past shit their pants.

    We're trying to avoid chaos here folks.

    Please keep your 'hi' horns to yourselves.

    My father likes to hit the horn 'lightly' to say hi to his friends. Little does he know that they never respond because no one can hear you tap the steering wheel on the inside of your car. (There's no such thing as a light horn.)
  3. Boys. (no you are not men) You will never attract the attention of an attractive person while serenading them with your testosterone blast. Please refrain from proving the fact that you will die single and announcing it to the earth. She will never go out with you.

    I can't remember a time when I heard a romantic love story... where a couple met because a girl was walking down the street, and a dude was honking his horn, and she turned around charmed and gave him her number.

    If she's cute, and you're not an asshole, be a man, and stop to say hi. Maybe she'll give you the time of day. Maybe she won't. If she DID answer your horn 'call of the wild', she probably isn't worth it, and she will likely cheat on you with the next SUV/luxury vehicle that creates the same stir.

So in hindsight. Please just don't use your horns kids. Just make sure they work for inspection. :)