The Circles EP: 3 Stages of a Bender

I’ve written before about how much I love Mac Miller, but I don’t see enough love for the 3-song EP he released right before “Swimming” came out, and that’s a damn shame. DJBooth has an incredible article about it, but I’d like to share my own thoughts on the individual songs. I’ve had my issues with drinking and the like, and one night, after a couple of glasses of Irish whiskey, I came to the conclusion that this EP feels like a bender: one of those nights where you say “fuck it” and get lost in the sauce, and  additionally, dealing with the consequences of overindulging.

Programs

 

Off to see the wizard, lead the picture
Me and liquor, evil mixture, demons clitter
Clean the whiskers, seeking Mr. Fisherman
Back on my shit again, doin’ my own dance

This is the point in the night where you say to people “I’m fine, go away, let me have fun, I’m feeling myself.” Right before you throw up on yourself. This is the part of the night where you know you’ve gone too far, where your vision is blurry, your thoughts are scattered, you’re not thinking clearly, but you still think you’re on top of the world. This is the point where you know you’ve had enough, but that little voice in your head says “You’re fine, let’s see how far we can go.” I’ve been there too many times, and it’s never a good thing, but in that brief moment of time before you pass out, you feel happy, and that’s scary. ‘Programs” is also the only song on the EP that I could see being played at a party, it’s a trap-flavored banger that goes super hard, if you’re too fucked up to listen to the lyrics.

Buttons

 

There’s a world going crazy outside
But let’s pretend that it’s alright
We keep pretending that it’s alright

“I’m hungover and tired and I regret everything, so I’m going to ignore everyone and recover.” This is when reality comes knocking. You wake up in pain, both physically and mentally. You think about all the stupid shit you did last night, and you get worried, thinking to yourself “What the fuck did I do last night? How did I get home? Why is there a full Domino’s pizza and a stuffed tiger in my bed?” Whenever I overindulge, I just want to disappear and ignore everyone, because I’m embarrassed that I let things get out of hand. This is the kind of soft, gentle piano music that I usually put on when I’m hungover, it’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it won’t cause my head to explode in agony, and that’s just what the doctor ordered after a night of poisoning my liver.

Small Worlds

Yeah, nine times out of ten I get it wrong
That’s why I wrote this song, told myself to hold on
I can feel my fingers slippin’, in a motherfuckin’ instant I’ll be gone
Do you want it all if it’s all mediocre?

I’m glad that this is the song that made the album, it’s about the moment when you stop hating yourself and get back to business, which is an essential theme in “Swimming” There was a time in my life when I routinely drank myself stupid, like “Snooki from The Jersey Shore” stupid, and I always hated myself after, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve cut back a bit, but there are still times where I overdo it, but now I think to myself “I’ve got to pull myself together and get back to work. I’ve done some stupid shit, but I’ll learn from it and grow.” As my body recuperates, I start to look for more upbeat, cheerful music to inspire me to actually be productive, and those John Mayer guitar licks are exactly what I need to go from “slacker on the couch” to “productive member of society”

The 5 Best Fast-Food Places

Fast food is a way of life in America: that’s why we’re all fat and miserable with heart disease. There are some places that do it better than others, and that’s something to be commended. Having worked at a fast food place for a while, it takes a certain type of person to get everything right, without collapsing into an empty shell of a person. This is the A-Team of American fast food.

5. Wendy’s

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The Wendy’s Twitter alone gets them top 5 status. I’d never seen such sassy clap-backs from a brand before: Wendy’s is truly iconic. The food is lacking in some areas, but excels in others. For instance, I’ve never had a bad Baconator any of the hundreds of times I’ve been to Wendy’s. Another thing that separates Wendy’s from your Burger Kings and your McDonald’s is the environment that exists in the restaurants. You’ll never see a Worldstar video taken in a Wendy’s, they shut that shit down REAL quick. Good for you, Wendy’s.

4. Domino’s

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Yea, I said it. Domino’s is a fast food place. Any place where I can get an entire day’s worth of greasy fat and calories in less than 20 minutes is a fast food spot, and 96 Parmesan bread bites definitely fits that criteria. Domino’s is the old faithful, your first fast food love. You have (hazy) memories of ordering 2 larges for 7 dollars at 2 o’clock in the morning, and half an hour later, devouring both of them in less time than it took for them to get there. Very few people I’ve talked to have eaten Domino’s sober, but that’s not the point, the point is that when you need them, they’re there with 3 orders of cheesy bread and some lava cakes. God bless you, Domino’s.

3. Starbucks

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As an employee at Dunkin Donuts for the last 6 years, I feel qualified to pass judgement on this premium caffeinated beverage establishment. I’ve had all their fancy douche bag drinks that take 15 minutes and a consent form to make, I’m not rocking with Starbucks because of them. I go to Starbucks because the quality of workers they have. Never once have I seen a Starbucks employee make someone wait in line because they wanted to take a smoke break. Never once have I seen a Starbucks employee tell a customer they were out of something because it was too annoying to make. Never have I seen a Starbucks employee yell at a customer, although I have seen a customer yell at a barista, who took it in stride with a smile on her face. Whatever Starbucks is doing to keep quality workers in what usually is a shitty minimum-wage hellscape, they need to teach other companies. I want the customer experience of Starbucks, without paying 6 dollars for a Colombian roast.

2. Popeye’s

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“Popeye’s chicken is the shiznit” Right you are, early 90s Adam Sandler, right you are. I never really liked fried chicken, my parents didn’t make it at home because it wasn’t “healthy”, so I never really had it until I was baked at a Bullmoose music shop and saw one down the street. Upon arrival, I was captivated by choices, but what should I get? The thing that stuck out on the menu was the popcorn chicken, so that was what I ordered. After a reasonable amount of time, my golden nuggets of chicken came out, and when I took my first bite, I felt something grow inside me. It wasn’t food poisoning, (“It’s a Popeye’s, not a KFC”, I thought to myself at the time) but a taste of something fresh, something I wasn’t supposed to eat, but how could something this good be so bad for you? The answer came about 2 hours later when I googled how to make those beautiful crispy poultry bombs for myself. I don’t blame you Popeye’s, you’re just selling happiness, you’re perfect just the way you are.

1. 5 Guys

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This is it: the alpha, the omega, the reason for being. 5 Guys has perfected the fast food formula to the point where people consider it an actual restaurant. Wendy’s, BK, and McDonald’s could dip their fries in liquid heroin, and they still wouldn’t match up to the golden standard that 5 Guys has set. Every time I order fries at 5 Guys, the workers pack my bag full of fries like they’re going out of business. The burgers at 5 Guys feel like gourmet burgers, but without the exorbitant price. I have a friend who used to work at one, and he says it’s without a doubt the cleanest restaurant he’s worked in, and a fast food place being cleaner than a full service restaurant is incredible. This next dose of greasy fat and cholesterol is for you, 5 Guys, you’ve earned it.