Safety Blankets

The world is a terrible, cold, unfeeling place. The only thing that makes me feel better are the “safety blankets” that I’ve developed over the years; those things that make me feel comfortable and safe.

Right now, music, whiskey, reefer, and bad T.V are my safety blankets. If I have the right dosage of all 4 of those things, I’ll be alright, and that’s so important to me.

I haven’t been sleeping well. I’ll either go to sleep at 11pm and wake up at 12pm, or I’ll be up until 3 or 4am, and wake up at 3 or 4pm. I’ve been trying to fall asleep sober, but it just doesn’t work. How does anyone sleep sober? It’s fucking impossible. I’ve tried everything I can think of; tea before bed, turning off all my devices and reading before bed, listening to jazz, going to bed early (this one’s the worst fucking piece of advice I’ve gotten so far), I’ve taken melatonin, Zzzquil, Ambien, you name it, I’ve probably tried it.

Wouldn’t you know it, whiskey and weed put you to sleep like nothing else. As I’m writing this, I’ve got a glass of Evan Williams and an edible in my system, so I’m hopefully going to get some sleep tonight. I’ve cut back on my usage though, because it got out of hand for awhile, and every once in awhile I still overdo it, but for the most part I’ve gotten a grip. Reefer is like a sleep cheat-code: no matter what time it is, a few hits off a joint, or a couple bong hits and I’ll be able to drift off into that sweet, sweet restful abyss. I hope there isn’t ever a time when it stops working, I’d be really screwed.

I don’t only need my safety blanket to sleep, I need it to talk to people too. I don’t like it, but I’ve gotten so awkward and anxious around people, so it’s in both our best interests that I have a couple drinks in me. Neither of us is going to enjoy the interaction if I’m sober. I used to be good with people. I used to be the guy my friends would send to talk to people because they couldn’t. I don’t know what happened to me. Maybe it was working at Dunks and dealing with the worst of humanity all day. Maybe it’s because I was always awkward, but had enough self-confidence to muscle through the awkward. Who knows.

Music is the safety blanket that is least harmful to me. I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the music I listen to, it’s kept me going in the times I’ve been drowning and can’t see the good in anything. Music is one of the few things that actually makes me feel things, which is super uncomfortable because it makes me think I’m dead inside. If I’m ever having one of those days, I have a playlist that’s specifically meant to break me out of it with all of the songs that make me smile and laugh. Music is the biggest help, it’s one of the few things that makes me happy when I’m sober, and that is so important to me. If I can figure out which album I’m in the mood for, I can determine how I’m feeling and begin to process that emotion. Everyone has there coping mechanisms, I’ve spent the last few years developing ones that won’t kill me, so I guess that’s progress.

The Curse of the Cursor

That stupid blinking “|” is pissing me off right now. It’s almost taunting me, simulating a struggling heartbeat, threatening to die at any moment. I’m not sure where this is going, I’ve got a crazy case of writer’s block.  I don’t like being creatively blocked, so I’m going to fight through it with some potentially shitty writing. The more it blinks at me, the more it distracts me, which pisses me off even more. There’s nothing worse than having a million thoughts ricocheting around your brain, aching to get out, and not having the ability to piece them together coherently. It’s like when you open way too many apps on your computer, and it freezes. That’s where I am right now: the brief flash of thought before my brain shuts down and I turn on some brainless bullshit like “Jersey Shore” so I can relax my mind and yell at morons who probably make more than I do.

I don’t like being beaten by a fucking flashing pixel, it’s not real, but it’s causing a real reaction for some reason, which is worrisome. This should probably be one of those posts that no one ever sees, but who knows what’ll happen to it. I like to write when I’m upset and can’t process feelings clearly, so that I can see my thoughts written out, which usually makes me think about how stupid and illogical they are, then that either makes me feel worse to the point where more writing doesn’t help, or makes me feel at ease to the point where I can function again.

It’s getting late, and I have things to do tomorrow, and I’ve been trying to get more sleep, so I’m going to keep this semi-short, just long enough for me to feel like I’ve beaten that stupid flashing pixel. It’s starting to seem like there’s something more to this, do I think that I’ll eventually run out of ideas? Maybe. Do I think that what I have to say isn’t worth saying, much less reading? All the time, but I still write. Do I have trouble piecing my thoughts together in a coherent format? You bet. This feels like something else.

I’m kind of scared to publish personal shit, it feels like oversharing. I know it makes me uncomfortable to read someone pour their hearts out online, so why should I do it? I’ve done it before, but it’s always been while super drunk, and it’s a lot easier to believe in yourself when you’re barely seeing straight. I think I’ll just save this in drafts for now, and wait until I have more confidence in both my writing skills, and myself. It might take awhile.

 

‘Tis the Season

Today was the first day of my golf season, and I really missed it. It was nice outside, so I figured that I’d run some errands. While on my way back home, I saw that there were a ton of people at the local driving range, so I decided to stop by and hit a few dozen balls.

Everyone who has ever golfed can understand how badly the first time out goes, but today was different. I usually get two buckets: one to practice my short game, and one for my long game. The first swing felt good, sounded good, but shifted off to the right at the last second, which really pissed me off. “It’s your first time out in 5 months, you’re gonna suck a little bit.” I thought to myself, but I just kept going until I found my groove and started crushing it.

I like to have some fun when I practice my short game; there’s a little stream maybe 75 yards downrange, so I practice shooting balls into that stream. It’s perfect for those shots that fall just short of the green, which is an annoyingly-common problem for me, since my long-to-middle game is hot garbage for the first 3 months of the season, before turning into lukewarm garbage by the end of the season. I sink maybe 15 balls into the stream, refilling my confidence in my short game.

As I pull out my driver, the one club I can never use properly, I started to remember all the little adjustments in my swing that I’d been working on all last summer. The first shot was perfect, 250 right down the middle, with that sexy-ass PING on contact. The second shot went 15 feet. Shit. Good thing it’s only March.  The high point of today was when I Robinhood-ed another person’s ball out of mid-air, which is ridiculous, and probably won’t ever happen to me again, so I’m glad I can write it down so I’ll remember the moment.

My Last Day

Today’s the day. It’s finally here. I’ve thought about this moment so many times that whatever happens, I know it won’t live up to the fantasy I’ve created. I’ve decided that instead of doing all the usual unnecessary shit that I do throughout my work day, I’m going to take stock and think about what I’ll miss about this place, and what I look forward to never doing again.

What I’ll Miss:

1. Free Coffee.

2. The few nice Customers.

3. Getting out at 7 on Sunday’s.

4. Fucking with rude people.

5. Locking the doors on people after we close.

6. Listening to music on the store speakers.

7. Trying new flavor combos in my coffee.

8. Hashbrowns.

9. Customers leaving nice reviews on Yelp.

10. Customers leaving ridiculous reviews on Yelp.

11. Giving stressed-out people free coffee, because we’ve all been there.

12. Listening to Raj yell at people for unreasonable things, like using the bathroom he just cleaned.

13. Listening to Raj act super nice when his boss is around.

14. Scaring new Dunks employees with customer horror stories.

15. Listening to full albums at work.

16. Introducing customers to music.

What I Won’t Miss Even A Little:

1. That On-The-Go ringtone that never shuts up.

2. Getting yelled at by entitled morons who think this is an upscale restaurant.

3. People throwing money at me like I’m a bad stripper.

4. Customers complaining because the prices aren’t the same as they were in 1976.

5. Coming home covered in greasy fat and coffee stains.

6. Customers assuming I speak perfect Spanish because I work at Dunks.

7. People placing $50+ orders, and not tipping after.

8. Customers taking money out of my tip jar to avoid breaking a bill.

9. People snapping their fingers while I make their food because they think it’ll speed things up.

10. Blatant heroin users coughing on their money and handing it to me.

11. Drunk people asking if I can add liquor to their drinks.

12. Customers making up flavors and expecting me to know what they are.

13. Parents who bring their crying kid in, and leave them at the counter.

14. Getting 4am calls from the District Manager, asking where the TV remote is.

15. Getting calls at 4:15am from said manager after she finds the remote.

16. Getting called in at 8:30am for a 12pm shift.

17. Having to work 3am-8pm because someone didn’t show up.

18. Coffee “connoisseurs” who can apparently tell the difference between 17 creams and 18 creams in their small iced coffee.

19. People who want their coffee “extra extra light”, then complain that their coffee is too light.

20. Having customers talk on their phone at the counter when they should be ordering.

21. Getting called racist because I ask someone to repeat themselves after they order in another language.

22. Getting cold brew thrown at me because “It’s not cold enough!”

23. Customers getting angry that we don’t have Pumpkin Spice in July.

24. Customers getting offended when I ask if they want their coffee iced or hot.

25. Old people telling me that “Hey Yeah” is The Devil’s Music™️.

26. People who try and order food 45 minutes after the ovens are off.

27. Customers who order small coffees in extra-large cups because they think they’re beating the system.

28. Getting yelled at because I didn’t finish the work that someone else was supposed to do.

29. Getting asked 6 times in a row if the decaf coffee they ordered is actually decaf.

30. Customers who don’t understand what “regular” means, and get mad when they order a regular and it’s not what they wanted.

31. Being told I got a raise, and making the same amount of money every week.

32. Having to do my boss’s paperwork because she wants to go home early.

33. Customers paying for big orders with change.

34. When I greet customers at the counter, and they look at me like I’m offending them.

35. Confused customers who try and get me to pump their gas because they don’t understand how 2 stores can share a building.

36. Customers who get mad that their coffee is on the counter, and not wherever they want to wait for it.

37. Parents who point at me and tell their kids “This is what happens when you don’t go to college!”

38. Overly-complicated sandwich orders that make no sense

39. Having to fix at least one piece of equipment every shift, none of which is ever replaced.

40. Always being out of something that multiple customers want

41. Getting yelled at because we’re out of something a customer wants.

42. Being treated like I’m less than a person because I work at Dunks.

43. Having to pee outside like an animal because the bathroom doesn’t work.

Goodbye, and good riddence

The 10 Greatest Rap Flexes Of The 2010’s

This post has been sitting in my drafts for way too long, so I figured it’s about time I finish it. Every time I hear a ridiculous rap flex, I write it down, because I’m weird like that. Here are my favorites, over-analyzed for your enjoyment.

10) I’m a lord motherfucker, better greet him if you see him- A$AP Rocky

Rocky has never been modest or humble, but let’s face it, he can get away with it. He’s consistently changed his sound, which is something I always love to see, while not compromising his artistic integrity and the attitude that made him successful. I’m actually playing this record as I’m writing this, because I think At.Long.Last.A$AP is his best work, and the song this line is from, LPFJ2, is one of the most confident songs I’ve ever heard. From the booming bass to the sirens, this song is meant to get your attention, and lets the listener know that Rocky isn’t just that weird dude from Harlem who loves UGK.

9) I guess the neighbors think I’m sellin’ dope. Motherfucker I am.- J. Cole

This whole song is a flex, but when I heard the story behind it, and saw the security camera footage, it took on a whole new meaning for me. When J.Cole was making this album, he was staying in a wealthy community not used to rappers, so when Cole and his collaborators came by in fancy cars, smoking weed and making noise in the late hours of the night, his neighbors assumed the worst and called the cops. After watching a SWAT team kick-door J.Cole’s house, I felt a little angry at these racist honkies who couldn’t be bothered to Google their neighbor before assuming he sold drugs. I love that J.Cole used this moment as a teaching experience, and as a sign of his success, rather than an excuse to hate white people. He’s not selling dope, he’s making dope music. There’s no need to worry, unless you’re afraid of great music, in which case you should turn on that Rebecca Black album and shut the fuck up.

8) The only rapper who sold more dope than me is Eazy E- Pusha T

Now, I’m not in the DEA, so I have no way to know if this claim is true, but the way Pusha T delivers this line, you really have no choice but to believe him. Pusha T’s entire discography is basically him bragging about his flourishing cocaine business, so I’d like to believe he knows a thing or two about it. I’m not super into the whole NWA catalog, but I’ve heard enough to know that Eazy E was a cold motherfucker who sold some dope. I’d have to see the total weight breakdown to know for sure, but I think that the top 3 cocaine concierges would have to be Pusha T, Eazy E, and Jay-Z. It’s funny how they all have a single letter at the end of their name, but that’s besides the point.

7) I just updated my old deal, I told Def Jam no less than 20 mil, and they cut that shit- Logic

How the fuck did Def Jam look at Logic’s last 2 albums and be like “Yup, this is something I’d pay 20 million dollars for.” I used to be a fan, and he still gets me excited sometimes, but Logic needs to slow down for awhile. This line was hard as fuck, and as a fan, I like seeing Logic succeed, but if he’s going to use the money Def Jam gave him to make more albums that sound like first drafts, I’m going to have to sit back and wait for something more polished to come from Logic.

6) All I wanted was 100 million and a bad bitch, now I want 200 and Minaj in my palace- Rick Ross

Have you seen Rick Ross’s house? It’s like something out of Scarface, which is probably why he bought it. It’s the largest single-family house in Georgia, and the biggest house I’ve ever seen on Google Earth. I don’t doubt that Rick Ross has a hundred million dollars; he owns a fast-food restaurant, a record label, a champagne brand, and probably a few other businesses, but I’m not sure how he’s gonna get Nicki Minaj in his palace. Maybe in 5 years when her career bottoms out. Rick Ross is the king of saying stupid shit that somehow sounds badass. Maybe it’s his voice, maybe it’s that rapper charisma, maybe he’s actually a badass. The world may never know.

5) I AM a God, so hurry up with my damn massage- Kanye West

What can I say about Kanye West that he hasn’t said himself? This man really listed God as a feature on his song “I am a God” If there really is a God, it’s not Kanye West, but the sheer audacity that he has is commendable.  Even better, he called the album this is on “Yeezus” That’s just the cherry on top of the batshit crazy saga that we call Kanye’s career.  The fact that people still put up with his shit is a testament to how amazing this man’s music used to be. I just hope that “Born Again Christian” Kanye looks back at this time of his life and realizes how crazy it was.

4) I believe there’s a God above me, I’m just the God of everything else- Pusha T

This is Pusha’s second appearance on this list, because it’s such a great line. The fact that Push can back up his claims with bars solidifies this claim for me, don’t forget: this is the guy who broke Drake’s confidence with the best diss song I’ve heard in years. The delivery of this line also makes this a killer, Push is almost sneering at us mere mortals as he looks down on his rap kingdom. Think about the level of confidence it takes to declare yourself a God, while acknowledging there’s still a higher power above you, shit’s incredible.

3) I did it all without a Jay feature- Mac Miller

From a 1.0 Pitchfork score to a Grammy-nominated jack-of-all-trades, Mac Miller deserves the top-3 spot. Not only did he have the first #1 independent album of the last 30 years, not only did he play piano, bass, drums, guitar, sing, rap, and produce, Mac Miller inspired many legendary artists to hone their craft. Usually a humble, quiet person, Here We Go (the song this line comes from) is a triumphant, braggadocios anthem celebrating his success during a dark time in his life. He did all of this by himself, without using more mainstream artists to gain popularity.  The fact that Jay makes an appearance in this list makes this line even better; he doesn’t even need his cosign to be great.

2) Obama say whattado- Kendrick Lamar

Kendrick Lamar is such an important part of rap. He’s the first Pulitzer Prize winner who raps, he’s the first rapper to show up on the Presidential Playlist, and he’s definitely the first rapper with an album cover taken at the White House.  He’s this generation’s Tupac, hopefully without the violent end. To Pimp a Butterfly is such an important album, so Kendrick shouting out the first black president in a song about black empowerment is perfect. I can totally see Kendrick and Barack hanging out in some luxurious event with a bunch of Rhodes Scholars, talking about philosophy and politics, and celebrating all their medals and awards together.

1) No such thing as an ugly billionare, I’m cute- Jay-Z

This is the best one. The rap flex 30 years in the making. Jay-Z is rap’s first billionaire, and as the most confident person ever, Jay deserves the top spot. Now, no disrespect to Jay, but he looks like Mr. Potatohead came to life and started selling crack. Nas had some less-than-nice things to say about his appearance, but Jay’s also married to Beyonce, and Nas is still paying child support to the “Milkshake” lady, so who really has the last laugh?  Jay has enough money and success to be able to spout ridiculous shit and get away with it, so the fact that he still comes with amazing lines like this makes me happy.

 

 

 

The Best Two Weeks of Your Life

So I put in my notice a week ago, and I’ve got to say, this is the most fun I’ve ever had at work.

It’s not that I’m slacking off, I still do my job because I don’t want to be an asshole and leave things for everyone else because I’ve checked out. I’m still working hard, but I’m also kicking back and relaxing a lot more.

I’ve worked at Dunks for longer than Jimmy Carter was president, so part of me is worried about moving on. Did I make a mistake? Is this new job going to suck more than my previous one? Should I stay afterall? Will I really be happier at the new job? These are probably thoughts everyone has when they’re about to start a new job, so I’m trying not to think about them too much.

I’m hoping for the best, but it’s still a job; there will still be terrible days where I want to quit, there will still be days where I regret leaving Dunks, there will still be days where I wish I didn’t get out so late, but it’s still a change, and people tell me change is good. I guess we’ll see.

Music Is The New Religion

I’ve always noticed a connection between music and religion; they both try and explain the world around us, they both inspire us to be better, they both try to take us out of our heads. Kanye West literally featured God on Yeezus, solidifying my theory that he might actually need to go therapy and stop jerking his ego off so much.

Music is undoubtably art, but is religion? To me, art is anything that can make you feel something, and religion was called “the opiate of the masses.” Does that make religion art?

Those pastors at superchurches in Texas whip their crowds into a frenzy, and help them feel better about themselves, albeit for a fee. Are they not artists? Now, some of them might be con-artists, but I think the majority are just skilled public speakers who want to make a difference.

Let’s get back to music for a second. I’ve been on Twitter long enough to see some wild things, but the craziest of them all has to be “music Twitter”: where people debate who’s the best, who’s the worst, who makes them feel what emotions where, etc. This is where I started to realize the power these artists have, some of these people say that so-and-so’s music kept them alive, or helped them quit drugs, or acted as a safety blanket after a traumatic event. Isn’t that what religion does?

There are even some people who worship artists. I saw one person talk about Frank Ocean like he was a God amongst men, and attacked anyone who said any different. Is that any different than arguing about Bible interpretations or the Old vs. New Testament?

Almost everyone listens to music, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t, and truthfully, I don’t think I’d trust someone who isn’t moved by anything in any genre. Even Charles Manson liked music. It helps people see the world from different perspectives, which is something the world desperately needs right now. It teaches lessons to people who won’t listen to anyone else. It entertains us and turns the volume down when we have a bad day.

Music has helped me immensely, when I have a really awful day, I don’t want to watch TV, I don’t want to overeat, I just want to sit back and listen to my records and tune the rest of the world out.