Flavor Of The Weak​


What’s hot and what’s not? That is the question.

And, what do you do on your days off? That’s an important question.

Last Monday night, I didn’t really do anything, per se. I kept busy, but none of my activities were actually noteworthy. I wouldn’t necessarily write about my Monday night or the entire week for that matter. I wouldn’t want to bore you with those mundane details.

No, I didn’t just sit in a chair and stare at the wall. That would be absurd.

I listened to “Low” by Cracker. Then, I had a plate of Wheat Thins, with salami and cheddar cheese. I was still hungry, so I followed that up with a Caesar salad. Then, I did the dishes. I watched Seinfeld, too. Turns out, Elaine can’t dance, and Jerry forgot to make his bed.

I was tired on Monday Night. “I’m Always Tired” on Mondays. My “Phase (of Brilliance)” had subsided. I needed to find some more inspiration, so I listened to a handful of tunes, both old and new. I came to the following conclusions:

I don’t watch the news anymore; I live in my own reality. It’s my version of the “American Dream.” I don’t have a white picket fence, though. Thankfully, I live in a gated community in East Oakland.

Yeah, I’m just a “Victim Of Reality.”

Still, I keep dreaming.

See, I have to write to cope with the bullshit. And, I usually write on Mondays. This week has been tough, though. I wanted to do a preview for the Pennywise show this Saturday in Sacramento, but now I’m “Running Out Of Time.”

And, I usually eat cereal for breakfast, but the past couple of days, I’ve been eating Eggo Waffles. It’s a dose of sweet goodness.

And, I usually watch Seinfeld, but lately, I’ve been indulging in SMILF on Showtime. For the uninformed, it stands for “Single Mom, I’d Like to Fuck.” It’s a dose of reality.

Meanwhile, a good number of my friends are investing in cryptocurrencies.

In addition, most of my friends like the Warriors. “Me too! I like the Dubs!”

And, some of my friends like The Menzingers. “I like the Menzos, as well!”

Plus, a handful of my friends live in the Bay Area. “I live in the Bay, too!”

Good news, folks:

It seems that my existential dread has passed. Now, I’m “Falling in Love Again.” After all, there are so many things out there with which to fall in love. But, do you really think you’re going to find love on the Internet?

Last Tuesday night, I had an abbreviated Thanksgiving dinner with my parents. I usually have dinner with my parents on Sunday evenings. I’m thankful for that.

I worked last Wednesday morning, but it was pretty slow. I dubbed it “The Calm Before The Storm.”

Last Wednesday night, I saw Joyce Manor at the UC Theatre in Berkeley. Culture Abuse were the opening act. Culture Abuse also happen to be a great band.

I wore my Menzingers t-shirt, and I also wore my heart on my sleeve. When they played “Eighteen,” I thought to myself, “[I] just [want to] find something to do and then do it.”

I ate dinner at Barclay’s Pub on Shattuck. I had a big salad alongside a Pliny The Elder. I always have a big salad. I had only heard of Pliny The Elder, but I had never tried it before.

At the bar, I sat next to a corporate banker in street clothes. Let’s call him Jim. Jim and I talked about Straight Ahead. Jim claimed that Straight Ahead is, hands-down, the best Pennywise record to date. I agreed. Likewise, I told him to revisit Land of The Free? He didn’t know of Joyce Manor, though. And, I’m not entirely sure if he is an advocate of blockchain technology.

Hey, Jim, “It’s Up To You.”

And, it’s About Time for me to get back to the story.

But, first, I’d like to acknowledge that everybody is an actor in some shape or form.

Every rock band carries some sort of shtick. Each act has a routine. Bands do this to identify with their (potential) audience. Bands need a calling card in order to survive in the music industry.

That’s the music industry in a nutshell. And, this is I in a nutshell.

By now, you should know that there’s “Something Wrong With Me.” Let me break it down for you:

See, Pennywise are a band that stress the importance of free will. The Bombpops brush on modern sociology. The Story So Far (TSSF) write break-up songs. And, Joyce Manor write love songs.

Don’t be fooled, either. Joyce Manor—they’re just the flavor of last week. And Pennywise, they’re the flavor of this week. And, TSSF will be the flavor of the week in mid-December.

And, “Flavor Of The Weak” is a tremendous song, one that was written and composed by American Hi-Fi circa 2001.

“I wish that I could make her see” that I’m just an actor. I’m not stoned, and I don’t play Nintendo. I’m just playing the part for which I get paid.

Sometimes I drive a Lincoln Navigator at work. The other day, in fact, I drove an elderly lady to the local retirement community. I told her, “I’ll take you in the hotel car. It’s a Lincoln Navigator. Literally, I’m your navigator.”

That’s right, folks. I’m kind of like Matthew McConaughey on those cheesy commercials. Oh, what I would do to fall backward into a pool (of money).

But, I digress.

Lately, I’m rushing to get things done. And, my circadian rhythm is out of whack, so to speak. Some days I work early, while others I work late. Oftentimes I work “back-to-back” shifts.

Guests look at me in astonishment (because I helped them the prior night). In the morning, they ask, “Did you get any sleep last night?”

See, when someone says, “You look tired,” it’s really just a nice way of saying, “You look like shit. You should get some rest.”

I typically claim that “I live at the hotel.”

So it goes.

On November 23rd, a large portion of hotel patrons donned their “Sunday Best.” Technically, they donned their “Thursday Best.” It was Thanksgiving Day, after all. Meanwhile, I looked like shit. I felt fine, though. That’s because I swore that I’d Never [Be] Hungover Again.

Tips were considerably lower on Thanksgiving Day, relative to years past. And, on a typical weekend, I’d be running around frantically. This is all too real, folks. I’m like George Costanza, but I don’t want to be like George Costanza.

Last weekend, however, was a change of pace. Work was slow; it was a “Constant Nothing.” And, it was “Wear[ing] me out.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin displayed unprecedented growth. Since the holiday weekend, more than 300,000 accounts have been generated on Coinbase.

On Black Friday, I bought two pairs of black cotton Dockers, alongside a pair of black work shoes. Then, at work, I lined up six white cars in a row (because I could).

Sunday was a dud, but somehow I hit the century mark. By Tuesday, Bitcoin hit 10k. By Wednesday morning, Bitcoin hovered around 11k. Then the market had a setback.

Look, it’s all speculation at this point. It’s just supply and demand. It’s hype. It’s like a stock tip. Some say, “there’s potential in this technology,” while others are waiting for the “The Greatest Fall of All Time.” It’s like the “Moops versus the Moors.” When will the bubble burst?

At the end of the day, how much “Risk” can you stomach?

And, at the end of the day, I “wanna disconnect.” Truth be told, it’s just an okay Pennywise song from The Fuse, which is just an okay Pennywise album. But it helps to illustrate the following point.

I usually watch a movie at the end of the day to unwind. Over the past week, I watched two classic flicks. First, I watched The Lawnmower Man. Then, I watched Splash. Bear in mind, these are two very different films, but both managed to squeak their way into this story.

Jeff Fahey is the lawnmower man, Pierce Brosnan is the scientist, and that kid from Last Action Hero has a supporting role. It was made in 1992. It is more or less a modern take on Frankenstein. Still, I say that it is a glimpse of the future. Everything is online and nothing is secure.

Meanwhile, Splash is an American love story that stars Tom Hanks and Eugene Levy. Allen Bauer falls in love with “Madison,” a mermaid from Cape Cod. Then, Dr. Walter Kornbluth attempts to make a profit on the match made under the sea. Splash was a box office success in 1984. And, I must say, that I would have invested in the 1984 version of Daryl Hannah.

Three days ago, I bought .18 Bitcoin because it seemed to be making a splash.

Now, it seems that this Thanksgiving-themed chapter is a bit dated. Today is December 1. Turns out, I’m a day late and a Bitcoin short.

Likewise, it seems that all of the Joyce Manor records are too short. They always leave me wanting more.

So, let me finish by saying that blockchain technology “Still Can Be Great.”

And without further adieu, this is the “Last You Heard Of Me,”—that is—until the next episode.









Phases (of Brilliance)


“Put me on a toasted bagel,” as my Dad would say. I think my uncle says that, too. But, don’t quote me. It’s a family thing.

I’m on a roll lately. Not literally, though. Not like a sandwich roll.

I tend to ramble on. Have you been paying attention?

Bear in mind, I don’t need sympathy “likes.” I only need genuine support.

So, go ahead and “like” this post, but only if it appeals to you.

Know What I Mean, Jellybean?

I saw Iron Chic on Saturday night, but you already knew that.

They played “Elm Street.” I got footage of that one. Do you want to watch it? The setlist was fairly predictable. They played the hits, like “Cutesy Monster Man,” “Black Friday,” and “My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist),” amongst a handful of other infectious cuts. Truth be told, a lot of the songs just went “In One Ear,” and out the other.

The show was at Thee Parkside, but everyone says “The Parkside,” so it really just sounds like “Thuh Parkside” in dialogue.

The food is good at Thee Parkside. I had the Carne Asada tater tots. We ate at a picnic table. We sat on a park bench of sorts. Last time I was at Thee Parkside, I had the Reuben and a side salad.

Off With Their Heads (OWTH) were on the bill, too. It was a double-headlining gig. It was only $19.50 when all was said and done. No joke.

Actually, this is all a joke. It’s supposed to be funny. Iron Chic poke fun at these topics, don’t you know? OWTH comment on the absurdities of life, too. In the end, it’s just dark comedy.

They’re merely comedians. They’re just actors. They’re musicians, too. They’re multi-talented. It’s performance art at its best. They help us cope with the uncertainty, the mundane, the regularities, and the abnormalities of daily life.

These are the days of our lives, folks. Iron Chic and OWTH provide the soundtrack.

Iron Chic and OWTH delve into our existence, our purpose, our successes, our shortcomings, our strengths, our weaknesses, our afflictions, and thus, our addictions.

Still, “We’re not quite sure what being human means.”

Yup, this was a “True Miserable Experience.”

To you, it probably “Sounds Like A Pretty Brutal Murder.”

And, at the end of the day, Iron Chic are the modern-day version of Gin Blossoms. Try and digest that one.

And, for once, try to “Focus On Your Own Family.”

And, help me out here, because “Goddamnit, I’m falling apart.”

Believe me, you don’t want any of this. Unless, maybe, you do?

Everyone outside the venue, myself included, was suffering from existential dread. They were smoking cigarettes. They talked about what they do, and where they eat brunch on Sundays. And they talked about gentrification, and which high school they attended, and which publications for whom they write.

Yeah, it’s just one big joke. We’re all comedians. All my friends are fucking comedians. We think we’re on top of the world, but we’re actually going down with the ship.

And, “I feel like this every single night.”

I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

The line for the restroom was too long at Thee Parkside. I had to go back to The Yankee. The Connecticut Yankee – that is — which is a watering hole just kitty-corner (i.e. diagonal) from Thee Parkside.

But, maybe, that’s “TMI” (i.e. too much information).

Now, it’s Sunday, and “I think I’m having a heart attack,” kind of like George Costanza in “The Heart Attack.” It’s the eighth episode of the second season. What a week. Who can live like this? And, I have an appointment with the real world at 3pm PST.

And, I can’t stop listening to Iron Chic. And, I won’t stop listening to OWTH.

Again, this is supposed to be funny. It’s all one big joke. Let loose, would ya?

I watched Up In Smoke last weekend. And, if you weren’t aware, every Cheech and Chong film is the same. You can dive in at any moment. And, you’ll laugh until you cry.

The same thing happens when you listen to Iron Chic and OWTH.

And, I stopped smoking pot last night. It was about an hour after the show. I got home and I laughed myself to sleep.

I considered watching Falling Down with Michael Douglas, but I wasn’t in desolation. So, I opted to watch Black Sheep with Chris Farley and David Spade.

And, I’d like to mention that “I keep falling down because I never listen. I never listen.”

Are you the black sheep of your family, too?

It turns out that “I’m outta my mind and I’m outta your sight.”

And, this is not meant to be a drill. I’m just telling you how it is.

I wear rock ‘n’ roll – inscribed t-shirts, and “Nothing will ever change.

Oy vey.

You need more Iron Chic in your life. You’d be a happier person. And you need to cut out that negativity. You must listen to OWTH.

Iron Chic most likely procured their name via The Iron Sheik, which just so happens to be a former WWF World Heavyweight Champion (circa 1983). He eventually relinquished the crown to some guy named Hulk Hogan. Who would’ve thought?

And, on Saturday evening, Ryan Young – the frontman of OWTH – praised Iron Chic’s greatness. Then, he imitated The Iron Sheik as he flung a red t-shirt over his head. Who would’ve thought?

And, towards the end of the OWTH set, I wondered, “Should I hail another Uber or ‘Start Walking?’” How would I get home?

And, “I Just Want You To Know” that I’m so sick and tired of talking to people. I’d rather write. And, I’d rather listen to others.

I met Steven outside of Thee Parkside. I have an Uncle Steve, as well, but that’s not an integral part of this story.

Turns out, Steven and I attended the same high school. But I’m 5 years older than he, and he doesn’t know of Gin Blossoms. Steven was there with Cheyenne – yes, like the capital of Wyoming. But she’s a Californian.

I crossed paths with another character named Alex. He likes RVIVR. But, I don’t know much about RVIVR.

I ran into another fellow named Tim. We connected because we both own three-letter given names. Turns out, he attended FEST 16, too. We talked about The Dopamines, in addition to Banner Pilot, Iron Chic, and OWTH.

Oh, and I encountered another Ian outside after the show. I can’t remember what his story was, though.

And, I hung out with my friends John and Jess intermittently. We talked about The Bronx and Mariachi El Bronx. It’s the same group of individuals, just different genres at play. The Bronx is hardcore punk, while Mariachi El Bronx is mariachi music. It’s not meant to be ironic, either.

On Saturday, I claimed, “Bad Religion preach. That’s their shtick.” They’re one of my favorite bands.

Meanwhile, John said, “The Lawrence Arms are incomparable.” I only know Oh! Calcutta!, so I can’t really expand on this topic of discussion.

Rest assured, I am seeing Joyce Manor on Wednesday at The UC Theatre in Berkeley. It’ll be pretty emotional. If you’ve never heard them before, you should check them out. I would listen to this song. After all, “This Song Is A Mess But So Am I.”

Then, I work on Thanksgiving Day. But, I’m aiming to “Get A Life” after the holidays.

I’m seeing Pennywise on Saturday, December 2 in Sacramento. I’ll have some drinks, eat some good food, and then I’ll see the original “It” band.

I’ll see my niece, too. Her name is Collette. Collette is 18 months old. Collette calls me “Uncle.” Collette is cooler than your niece.

Then, I’ll probably write about my experience and insert relevant punk rock tunes to help nurture my thoughts in a subtle fashion. That’s basically the foundation of “My Episodes.”

So it goes.

I met a girl in my Uber Pool on Saturday. She told me that her life was a drag. She was headed to the Castro. I was on my way to Potrero Hill. I told her that I go through “Phases of Brilliance.”

Our driver’s name was Sam, which just so happens to be another 3-letter first name. Sam had the heat cranked up. I cracked my window to get some fresh air. But, alas, it was “[His] house, [his] rules, [his] heated [Uber] swimming pool.”

And, if this has been a waste of your time, well then, I’m sorry. I’m just enjoying my life. I’m not your therapist.

So, “Seek Advice Elsewhere.”

I only really listen to In Desolation and Home. I don’t know From the Bottom or Hospitals that well. But, really, who wants to listen to a record called Hospitals? That sounds so depressing.

And, I typically listen to Not Like This and The Constant One. However, on Friday afternoon, I dug into the Shitty Rambo EP, just for “Shits [‘n’] Giggles.”

And maybe, just maybe, You Can’t Stay Here is a stepping-stone towards something more mature, as evidenced by “Invisible Ink.” And maybe, just maybe, in 20 years, we’ll be talking about You Can’t Stay Here.

And, maybe, just maybe, this phase will end. Indeed, it has ended. Reason being, I’m out of material.

Fuck This, I’m Out.”

New Miserable Experience


Oops, I did it again. I went to the rock show by myself. I committed “Social Suicide.” I did it on consecutive nights, too. It was a new miserable experience.

If I hadn’t blown the whole thing years ago

I might not be alone.”

But, I digress.

On Monday night, I saw Gin Blossoms at Great American Music Hall. They played New Miserable Experience (1992 A&M Records) in its entirety. On Tuesday evening, I caught Blues Traveler at The Fillmore. It was the first of two shows commemorating the band’s 30th anniversary.

I don’t want to give you the “Run-Around.” This is how it went down.

I was off on Monday. I could’ve worked on Tuesday, but I decided to “think of better ways to keep busy.”

On Tuesday evening, my Uber driver made a wrong turn onto Elm Street. As we headed north on Franklin Street, GPS instructed him to turn left onto Elm. From there, he would make a right onto Gough Street (i.e. in the northerly direction). This would lead us towards Turk Street. However, Gough Street is a one-way street that moves in the southerly direction.

I rest my case, your honor. “Every Town Has An Elm Street.”

And, every Iron Chic release sounds the same. And with each album, comes the same themes. Why are we here, and what are we doing? But, rest assured, every record is magnificent.

It’s like Taco Bell. Everything on the menu tastes the same. I had Taco Bell for lunch on Wednesday. That’s right, “[I] made a run for the border.” That was their slogan in the 90s.

See, Taco Bell is a godsend, especially when one is running low on fumes. Late Wednesday morning, I enjoyed a steak Quesarito and a chicken quesadilla, alongside a small Pepsi. It was marvelous.

Some things are constant; they never change. Miss Eaton always tips $10, coming in and out. Mr. Garret doesn’t say a word. He just waits patiently alongside his beat-up, green Toyota Camry. And, Mr. Cobb drives a Range Rover. Cobb is always chewing on an apple when he departs in the morning. I don’t know much else about Cobb, but he is always good for a “5.”

On Wednesday morning, I encountered all three characters. I knew it would be rough, but I also knew that showing up is half the battle.

See, I used to be an underwriter’s assistant. Then, I was a cater waiter. I made sandwiches along the way, too. Now, I park cars, and I write in my “Spare Time.”

Until I fall away

I don’t know what to do anymore.”

I used to be a piss-poor parallel parker. And, when I first started, I didn’t know how to operate a manual transmission (i.e. “stick shift”).

And, on Wednesday, a black BMW X5 tried to stick it to me by self-parking in the valet lot.

I thought to myself,

In the end, did it get to you?

In the end, did it wear on your heart?

Turns out, you would self-park in the valet lot, but would you enter the freeway on the exit ramp?

So, “Tell me why you did it.”

And, yes, I keep on referencing A Wilhelm Scream (AWS). This is your daily reminder that AWS are a fantastic band.

Ultimately, AWS comment on vanity – that is, our obsession with vanity. We’re a celebrity culture these days, kind of like the Roman Empire. We only care about money and status. With money comes greed, with greed comes power, and with power comes corruption.

Technically speaking, AWS are “technical punk” à la Strung Out or Propagandhi.

And, technically speaking, my mother is a “technical copywriter.” And, you wonder where I get this?

I could’ve seen Propagandhi at Slim’s on Monday, but I opted for Gin Blossoms instead.

And, excuse me, but I forgot to eat dinner on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, I had a hankering for late-night halal. And, on Tuesday night, I had a giant soft pretzel (with cheese sauce and dijon mustard).

Sorry, Mom. Sometimes my adrenaline suppresses my appetite. Also, I’m seeing a band called Off With Their Heads on Saturday night. It’ll be revolutionary. I love you.

And, sometimes when I go to The Fillmore, I’ll go to Harry’s (on Fillmore Street) beforehand. It’s such a classic S.F. establishment. It’s old San Francisco at its best. It feels like you’ve been transported to the Old West, like when the 49ers were relevant.

Let me tell you, The Fillmore is a wonderful place to see live music. I love the collection of framed concert posters on the walls. The theater carries so much history. It also carries complimentary red delicious apples.

Rest assured, Great American Music Hall is just that. It’s great. And, it’s American. And, we don’t need to make it great again. It’s already in the name. Don’t you know?

Gin Blossoms are a cross between “Jangle Pop” and “Americana.” I only know a handful of their songs. In the 90s, they were likened to Third Eye Blind, Goo Goo Dolls, and Everclear.

And, maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I’d like to compare The Menzingers to Everclear. You can agree with me or you can disagree. That’s the beauty of it.

Life is a terminal illness in remission.”

Yeah. Yeah. Oh, Yeah!

On Wednesday afternoon, we were prepared for a large incoming group. There were four of us at the podium. The event was booked as a “Celebration of Life,” but that’s really just a nice way of saying a “wake.”


Meanwhile, Taco Bell is Mexican food with an American flair. And, “Americanism” is really just fascism in the American style.

Sorry, folks. I just used the “F” word. Please forgive me.

At 2pm, the cars started trickling in, but nothing too overwhelming. No backups, no bottlenecks. Turns out, when you’re prepared, things go smoothly. When you’re not prepared, shit hits the fan.

And, I’m not really a fan of Gin Blossoms or Blues Traveler, but I had a good time at each show. And, I could tell you more about Monday night, but I’ll wait to do so.

I’ll just figure everything is cool

Until I hear it from you.”

They performed that banger during the encore. I should mention that “Til I Hear It From You” doesn’t appear on New Miserable Experience.” It was a bonus track via Congratulations…I’m Sorry (1996 A&M Records). It was made famous a year earlier on the Empire Records motion picture soundtrack.

Do you remember when official movie soundtracks were a thing? They were actually commodities! And do you remember when rock was mainstream?

Blues Traveler was a 90s mainstream rock act, à la The Wallflowers and Counting Crows. Rock was mainstream in the 90s because there was less of it, don’t you know?

There wasn’t much hype surrounding these two shows. Resultantly, the price of admission was below cost. What can I say? I’m a good consumer.

When I’m not parking cars, I buy and sell hype on the Internet (in the form of concert tickets). On Monday and Tuesday, I bought and sold nostalgia.

The art of consumption makes one feel good. It’s a drug, at best. But it’s how the capitalist system stays in business, so to speak.

And waiting for gratuity is such an awkward moment. Are they going to tip? Do I have to get her door, or is he getting the door for her? Do I play the role of “The Gentleman? Are they really appreciative, or do they see this as a chore?

In the U.K., they don’t tip. That’s the custom.

In the 90s, it was custom for major record labels to include a “Parental Advisory: Explicit Content” sticker on the CD jacket. But, we sure as shit aren’t in the 90s anymore. Anything goes today. However, this post is NSFW.

So, let the reader be warned.

And, “Let the buyer beware.”

But, life shouldn’t be based on what one buys. It should be based on the experiences that one accumulates.

We both know life is temporary

It’s the pain you feel, the zeal when steel meets flesh

And history writes the rest

That’s oh so dangerous.”

It’s like going to prom. It’s a rite of passage. Life is a journey. It’s a series of passages. I watched Pretty in Pink the other night. It’s a classic film. Yet, bear in mind, that most of John Hughes’ screenplays are similar in nature, kind of like Iron Chic and Taco Bell.

And, how about the title track by The Psychedelic Furs? She’s timeless. “Is she not?”

And, I need more time to get things done. That’s the bottom line.

But, now the holidays are upon us. It’ll be “A Long December.”

I’ll probably be stuck at work, explaining to guests the fundamental difference between self-park and valet. And, they’ll look at me, wide-eyed and perplexed, as if the question resembles that of a trigonometric equation.

These are no longer new miserable experiences. These are, indeed, “True Miserable Experience[s].”

At the end of the day, I’m just a pretentious fuck. I work in the AM, and I live at night.




I Was Born


I celebrated with pizza and beer like any other red-blooded American would do. Turns out, I’m pretty normal.

Then again, what’s your definition of “normal?” And, furthermore, what does it mean to be “American” circa 2017?

Lately, I’ve been on A Wilhelm Scream kick. And, I could have used an extra article (e.g. “a” or “an”) in the prior phrase. It turns out, however, that that would have been grammatically incorrect, and a bit redundant.

And it turns out, that I have a lot of rage. I’m like George Costanza at Rageaholics Anonymous.

That’s right, “Get Mad, You Son of a Bitch.”

“It is what it is,” as my friend, Ryan, would say. Ryan is a seasoned talent buyer. I went to grad school with Ryan at NYU. Ryan lives in L.A. now. And, Ryan’s birthday is November 9th, one day after mine.

And, I lived in L.A. for nine months. And don’t get me wrong, “I like you, L.A.; I just don’t like what you represent.” Fortunately, I escaped, like that Kurt Russell film.

A Wilhelm Scream doesn’t have a song that portrays Kurt Russell, but they do have a song called “Walkin’ With Michael Douglas.”

It’s a song about being human. At times, we focus on our weaknesses, and we doubt our strengths. But, at the end of the day, “Is the distance between you and I, so far?

And how long is too long to keep on doing the same thing, even if it makes you miserable?

Tell me, why’d I wait so long

To break these chains around me?

Why’d I wait so long

To take the reins of my life?

I worked the AM shift on my birthday. I worked on Thursday night, too. Then, “[I] worked through the weekend at my bullshit job.” I parked some fancy cars, and I dealt with a handful of impatient guests.

And, patience is a (lost) virtue, my friends.

Now, “All my friends are anchor end,” because we all know that misery loves company.

But, I digress.

I dubbed last Saturday, “A Nightmare on Mount Diablo,” probably because I had watched Nightmare on Elm Street on All Hallows’ Eve. It was on in the background, as I pieced together “The Aftermath.” Plus, “Every Town Has An Elm Street,” at least according to Iron Chic.

For now, let’s get back to the story.

The parking lot at the hotel is too small, with which to begin. There are 170 total spots, with about 85 dedicated valet stalls. Meanwhile, the sales team booked overlapping events on a day when the hotel was already at capacity.

At the end of the day, “It’s all just money, money.”

By 8am, I had cars lined up, with absolutely nowhere to go. I couldn’t do my primary job, (i.e. parking cars), because I had to explain to each and every guest that the lot was, indeed, full.

I said, “There’s no more real estate, ma’am. My hands are tied.”

Then, an elderly lady handed me $40 in cash as she exited her white Mercedes S-Class Sedan. I changed my tone of voice and kindly said, “Of course, I’ll take care of it.”

And the other day, a departing guest didn’t have any cash. He said, “No one carries cash these days, am I right?” He asked if we had Apple Pay at the podium. I asked him if he used Venmo.

And, so it goes.

It goes on for eight hours a day, five days a week. Every passing soul is a character in some shape or form. People are coming and going, some better off than others. Some are appreciative, while some are downright rude. For the latter group, I say, “[They] Can Eat A Bag Of Dicks.”

I talk with people all day, and it’s exhausting.

And, I typically don’t go out on Saturday nights. I usually work at 7am on Sundays. But I had to go out last Saturday night. It made sense because I had an extra hour with which to gamble. Daylight savings time was coming to a close.

The weather changed rapidly on Saturday night. It was like clockwork. I wore a flannel and a jacket. I should’ve worn a beanie.

And, every day, “[I] watch the hands of the ticking clock for emotional rock.”

And, I’m “Killing It” thus far in regards to the applicable A Wilhelm Scream imagery.

Pardon Me, Thanks A Lot.” Now, back to the story.

Paul and I met at Luka’s. The wait was over an hour. We should’ve known. I ventured across the street to Era Art Bar, but no go. “It’s a private party, sir,” said the girl at the door.

“Yea, whatever,” I thought. Meanwhile, “[It’s] Me Vs. [You] in the Pretentiousness Contest.” It’s like a “Ladder Match.”

So, we walked down “[Those] Dead Streets,” nearly ten blocks to Pacific Coast Brewing Co (PCB). We just wanted to watch the Warriors game.

As we arrived, a Tom Petty song played in the background. While briefly waiting for a table, Paul and I concluded that artists are, in fact, underappreciated when they’re actually living and breathing.

Turns out, “They’ll only love you when you’re gone.”

And, as it turns out, it was PCB’s last night in operation. We had no idea. I had been here a couple times before but didn’t realize that they were going out of business.

The closing bash was already coming to an end. It was the aftermath. The kegs were tapped. They only had cans and bottled beer remaining.

So, we ate some nachos and shared a mediocre chicken sandwich. We washed it down with a couple of cream ales. Then we ran into an old friend named Patrick (Pat) on the back patio. Pat went to high school with us. Paul is a registered nurse (RN). Turns out, Pat is an RN, as well.

And, that was that. Soon after, we made our way to Café Van Kleef on Telegraph.

We met a girl from Toronto. She was with some other dude, but she was a cutie. And, let me tell you, I’m not talking about tangerines.

And, when you go to Café Van Kleef, the thing to do is order the Greyhound. But, I don’t like grapefruit.

So it goes (again).

And, two days before my 30th birthday, I started working at my current job. So every subsequent anniversary of life coincides with my work anniversary.

And, on Thursday, I thought about calling off, but then I realized that that’d be “Career Suicide.”

And last year on my birthday, I stayed in. I watched the political circus take shape. Some networks reported good news, while others reported bad news. By the end of the night, “The numbers [had] been crunched; yes, we [were] all fucked.”

This year on my birthday, I went out with Nick and Sarah. We met at Drake’s Dealership on Broadway. The rain was imminent, but we grabbed a few seats surrounding a fire pit. “Some Might Say” by Oasis served as the background noise.

I immediately messaged Andy on social media, claiming, “‘Some Might Say’ is a good Oasis song.” He didn’t reply. Andy prefers Definitely Maybe. I’m more of a sucker for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

Oasis was an English band in the 1990s. And, on Wednesday, I sipped on an English summer ale called, “The Sun Never Sets.”

And, I wore my Direct Hit! t-shirt, because I was the focal point of attention on this particular evening.

The three of us talked about Bitcoin, but couldn’t wrap our heads around the nature of “cryptocurrency.” Then, we delved into the long-term vision of Tesla. And, then we talked about the ESPN film series, 30 for 30.

I tend to pick and choose my way through the vast catalog, but every episode leaves me satisfied. At the end of the day, these short films are merely human-interest stories. And, they’re addicting AF.

We can’t change who we are. We can only try to better ourselves. And, rest assured, we can always go back to Café Van Kleef. Ultimately, we did on Wednesday night.

I should mention that it’s not really a daytime bar. One must frequent this establishment at night. The décor doesn’t really support afternoon festivities. They don’t have TVs, either. And, keep in mind, that they don’t serve Natural Ice or Natty Light. In fact, I’ve never been to a watering hole that serves those delicacies. Truth be told, Nick and I haven’t had the Natty varietals since our college days.

But, I digress (once more).

My birthday celebration was great; I’m just disappointed that we didn’t run into Rickey Henderson. The last time I was out with Nick and Sarah, we ran into Rickey Henderson at Lake Chalet. He tried to steal my drink.

And, that, my friends, is the last joke of this chapter. Some might say it’s “The Last Laugh.”

And, some might say that this is the darkest episode yet. On the other hand, “Some might say, we will find a brighter day.”

I Was Born” 32 years ago, and this is the life I lead.


The Aftermath


Who would’ve thought that the “Commander in Tweet” of the U.S.A. would have hired crooks to run his campaign?

And, who would’ve thought that the Cincinnati native, whom I met briefly at the Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV), would have been lukewarm about The Dopamines?

Hey, Mr. President:

“What do I think of your success?

Why don’t you ask me in 45 minutes when I’m drunk off my ass.”

Hey, random FESTer at GNV:

If I had it my way, I would see The Dopamines on any day of the week.

See, I go to FEST to see bands like The Dopamines and Banner Pilot because they don’t tour extensively. FEST is as much a vacation for artists as it is for attendees.

Furthermore, if I had it my way, I would hang out with my FEST friends all year round. We’d drink FEST punch, sit back, and watch the world burn.

On Monday, I flew from Gainesville to Charlotte. Everyone on the plane was noticeably hungover. Some folks suffered from FEST flu. Others experienced post-FEST depression.

I wondered, “How could I keep the party going?”

Easy. I posted up at Jose Cuervo’s Tequileria at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in the midst of my 3-hour layover. I ordered a mediocre “American Style” burrito, alongside an overpriced “House Margarita.”

Today, I feel like a pile of poop in the physical health realm. But, hey, that’s life.

And, “Hey” is a decent song by The Movielife. However, my favorite song is “Ship to Shore,” hands down. I also like “Hand Grenade.” On Sunday afternoon, I arrived slightly after they started their set. I got there approximately “10 Seconds Too Late.”

On Sunday evening, I watched Iron Chic play a few songs at Bo Diddley. Then, I made my way to High Dive. If you’re an existentialist, you listen to Iron Chic. And, when you go to High Dive, you drink FEST punch. That’s just how the world works.

I sat at High Dive with Eric, and we watched Game 5. Watching the World Series on Sunday night at FEST is slowly becoming a tradition.

And, the ongoing “world series” features the United States of America pitted against Russia and North Korea.

My friend, Alan, works part-time in South Korea. Alan didn’t make it to FEST 16. Alan is another member of Kill Lincoln. Alan is also left-handed, just like Eric, Tyler, and Nate.

As the lone righty, I delivered a toast at Boca Fiesta on Sunday afternoon. It was perhaps the most genuine thing I had said all weekend.

Truth be told, I spend the majority of my time poking fun at the mundane. But on Sunday afternoon, my emotions got the best of me.

I said, “Gentlemen, thank you for an awesome weekend. It’s been great to see one another, and I can’t wait until FEST 17.

And, ‘[This time] next year, [I’ll] have my foot in the door.’

But, until then, ‘Let’s die while we’re young, while we’re still young.’ ”

The notion was well received amongst the group.

Eric followed suit,

“They say in life, happiness requires one to maintain: (1) relationships, (2) good health, and (3) success in work. Typically, at any given time, an individual can only achieve two of the above. Achieving all three simultaneously is special.”

Indeed, this edition of FEST was special. It always is. It always will be. And, it’s always scheduled the same weekend as “The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” which takes place in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s a college football matchup featuring the Florida Gators and the Georgia Bulldogs. And, it doesn’t really pique my interest.

Meanwhile, FEST is a weekend of reckless abandon, which just so happens to be the ninth track from Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. It’s basically a “$1000 Bender.”

Any chance we can recruit Get Dead for Fest 17?

By Monday morning, the streets of Gainesville were dead.

The morning sun [was] missing, [and] my heart [beat] Pacific.”

My flight out of CLT was delayed nearly 40 minutes. As I waited to board, I thought to myself, “Can we please make American Airlines great again?” After all, there’s no entertainment options, no power outlets, and I can never find a way to sleep on airplanes.

Five (clock) hours later, we touched ground in San Francisco.

As they say, “That’s all she wrote.” Now, I’m back in “Good old 1955.”

This is called “The Aftermath.” It’s like sifting through FEST leftovers.

The party’s over…”


The Rock Show


There weren’t any other FEST folks on my connecting flight from Atlanta to Gainesville. There were only a handful of ordinary people.

On my flight from San Francisco to Austin, I watched the first three episodes of the hip, new FX music industry drama, aptly titled “Atlanta.”

And, on my flight from Austin to Atlanta, I saw The Undertaker. He’s a former WWE superstar. I thought to myself, “Is this a bad omen?”

And, on Friday the 13th of October, 2017, the North Bay fires forced Fat Mike and company to postpone the Concord edition of the “Punk In Drublic” festival. The air quality in the Bay Area that week was comparable to Beijing, maybe even worse.

The postponement was a total bummer, just like the NOFX song of the same name. The rescheduled date is today, October 29th, which is two days before Halloween.


She caught my eye on October 9th

It was 22 days before Halloween

How did I know she’d be my evil queen

When she’d walk by, walk by

Walk by, she walked on by.

And Gainesville, Florida, is merely a university town built for walking. It’s like San Luis Obispo or Davis; the only difference is that we’re in a swampland.

Lucky for us, we stay at the Hampton Inn and Suites. Did I mention that I’m a Hilton Honors member? We get complimentary continental breakfast, too. It’s so punk rock. And, we’re literally adjacent to Bo Diddley Plaza, where the main (outdoor) stage is set up. The bigger bands (if you can call them that) play there.

A Wilhelm Scream kicked things off on Friday afternoon at Bo Diddley. They played Career Suicide from front to back. Eric had seen them last week at St. Vitus in Brooklyn. They played the same set, but Eric says, “I’ll see A Wilhelm Scream on any day of the week.”

The Flatliners played next. Tyler is a huge Flats fan(boy). Tyler hails from Jersey. Tyler is also in a D.C. – based ska band called Kill Lincoln. Tyler is pursuing his Master’s in Public Policy at Harvard. Meanwhile, Eric and I mastered the business of music at New York University.

As I watched the Flats from a distance, I realized that “All my friends are nervous wrecks.” Us punks are so insecure. We drink tall can PBRs. And, we wear our hearts on our sleeves.

And today, I’ll wear long sleeves when I finally leave the room. Today is Sunday, the last day of FEST 16. It’s bittersweet. It’s cold today, too (by Florida standards). It’s only supposed to reach the mid-60s. Tonight will be chilly, as well. As Eric would say, “It’s hoody weather.” I’ll probably wear my brand new, gray-colored The Penske File t-shirt, jeans, and a black hoody.

All of the punks wear black t-shirts that carry obscure band names or subtle cultural references. This weekend, I bought three black t-shirts: (1) A Wilhelm Scream, (2) DIRECT HIT!, and (3) another one with a subtle throwback to the 80s horror classic, They Live.

The Penske File is a direct Seinfeld reference. And, DIRECT HIT! played a mystery set at Durty Nelly’s on Saturday. But it’s really no mystery at all. George Costanza “is not ‘Penske material.'”

Fortunately, we have all of the details at our fingertips. Literally. The information is on my cellular telephone. FEST 16 has its own mobile application, catering to the Android and iOS platforms.

And, every day is a new episode. And, each episode has a musical guest, kind of like The OC.

And Nate is from Huntington Beach, which is a beach community in Orange County. Nate is a comedian, too, but he’s not that funny in real life. He’s just a regular dude, like the rest of us.

And, Nate is also my Dad’s name.

And, if you haven’t noticed, we’re currently playing the name (association) game. It’s a marathon. FEST is a marathon, too. I’m exhausted. But, let’s keep it going.

After my time at Durty Nelly’s, I caught The Dirty Nil at Bo Diddley Plaza. At the merch tent, I saw the best t-shirt of FEST (thus far): “Who the Fuck are The Dirty Nil?”

These jokes are filthy, am I right?

And all along, I thought these Tinder cuties were “DTF”—you know, “Down to FEST.” Turns out, Tinder is just a way to achieve an ego boost. These girls just want to be “liked,” but they don’t actually want to meet up at “The Rock Show.”

That’s okay, though. I’ll live. In real life, I’m a chick magnet, like the MxPx song of the same name.

On Thursday night, Eric and I met some UF grad students, Jen and Marrisa. They major in “Human Performance,” which is, allegedly, a fancy term for Kinesiology.

The four of us played shuffleboard at Tall Paul’s and paid a $5 cover to get access to $1 wells. But the shuffleboard table lacked sand. There was no lubrication, no momentum, no chemistry. I got Marissa’s number at the end of the night, mainly because “Jen Doesn’t Like Me Anymore.

And, on Saturday afternoon at Flaco’s, I met two lovely ladies from the UK. I mistook their accent for that of an Australian. Whoops.

And, my current taco tally stands at 10 (2 pork, 3 chicken, and 5 gator). And the four of us generally eat at Flaco’s and Boca Fiesta (which literally means “mouth party.”)

And, I had one burrito (with chicken) at 1:40am on Saturday. I sat all by my lonesome at Flaco’s. And, for the uninformed, you’ve got to go to the back room for the tacos and burritos. They serve the Cuban sandwiches and the baked goods in the front.

And I’ve been eating like shit this week. So much grease, so much beer, so much whiskey, so much candy, so many cookies. Only two more days.

Get me on a plane, I’m dead.

I need more discipline in my life. And every FEST goer needs to be disciplined. He/she can’t see everything. He/she can’t do it all. He/she can’t go too hard, or he/she might end up passing out at 11pm on Saturday night, and subsequently miss the Dopamines, The Copyrights, and Timeshares.

So it goes.

Today is new day. Yesterday I was all Cut Up. My favorite song of theirs is “Low Lives.” They’re a band from San Francisco. At the end of the FEST, they sound like an authentic interpretation of Blink-182. And, at the end of the day, I’m pretty modest. Cut Up ended their set with “Josie,” a Blink-182 song via Dude Ranch.

Then, I walked swiftly to Tall Paul’s. Rebuilder was doing a cover set of Take Off Your Pants And Jacket. I arrived just in time for “First Date.” The crowd wasn’t really that trendy, either. Folks were feeling pretty nostalgic. Rebuilder ended with “Man Overboard,” because they flat out said that they didn’t like “Please Take Me Home.”

Altogether, I’ve met eight girls (so far) at “The Rock Show.” However, every encounter has ended in the same fashion.

So sorry, it’s over.” Just like this blog post.



Story of My Life


It’s time we get to know one another better. What do you say?

After all, my life is pretty cool. It’s like a movie.

Just three short weeks ago, I saw The Movielife. It was early October, yet The Early November were the opening act that night. I was never a big fan of The Early November; still, I know of the band.

I attended the show with Paul and Lauren. I went to high school with Lauren. She lives in Boise now. I had a big salad for dinner. Then, I met two UC Berkeley seniors who didn’t know of the Caldecott Tunnel.

I’ll see The Movielife once again this weekend. At the Berkeley show, they played “10 Seconds Too Late,” among a handful of other classics.

When I go to the airport, I always arrive too early. I’m always anxious before flying. I never want to miss my flight. Who would? That would be horrible. And getting through TSA is a chore in itself. Getting into air travel mode is a “Constant Headache.” It’s like shifting into “soup mode” before placing your order with the Soup Nazi.

When I’m flying to my destination, I typically arrive two hours before my departure time. I’ll grab a coffee, maybe a muffin (because “a muffin can be very filling!”), and then I’ll write. When I’m coming home (like the New Found Glory album of the same name), I’ll usually sit at the bar. And I don’t mind going to a bar by myself, either.

In fact,

[I like] to spill all of [my] guts

On the top of a well-stocked bar

And then swallow them bit by bit…

This week, I’m on a new journey. I’ll write about it soon because that’s my thing. That’s what I do. I’m a writer.

I write at the airport. I write at the show. I write wherever I go.

I write about my experiences. I write about my actions.

I write at the bar. I write on the subway car.

My written pieces are simply a collection of my thoughts. Sometimes my thoughts are organized. Sometimes my thoughts are random. I write like I talk, and I talk how I write. But, I could really be a better listener.

Lately, I’ve been listening to Alkaline Trio. Yesterday, I listened to Joyce Manor. Today, I’m listening to the new Iron Chic record.

I’m on my way to FEST, so “Let’s. Get. Dangerous.

See, my life is normal. “My Best Friend (Is a Nihilist),” and most of my acquaintances are unique characters.

Actually, “[I] wanted to grow up to be an actor, but [I] never told anybody.”

It’s like I’m coming out of my shell. And, The Shell Corporation are a good band; however, they aren’t playing FEST this weekend.

But The Penske File are playing in Gainesville. It’s fitting because I like Seinfeld and punk rock. It’s like “must-see TV.”

Truth be told, my life is just like yours. On Monday nights, I usually go to The Star on Grand. I’ll watch the game, and I’ll order “my very own cheese pizza,” just like Kevin McAllister would do.

Gainesville doesn’t really specialize in pizza, though. I generally maintain a steady diet of PBR, Cuban sandwiches, gator tacos, FEST punch, and ginormous burritos.

And, folks, make sure to stop by Taco Bell and grab your free Doritos Locos taco, courtesy of Cameron Maybin. He stole a base last night during Game 2 of The Fall Classic. “Steal a base. Steal a taco.” It’s that easy.

And, while we’re at it, let’s talk about The World Series, because I love October baseball. This time around, the team from Hollywood has a starring role, while the squad from Houston is the supporting cast.

For all of the hockey fans out there, The L.A. Dodgers are squared off against the Astros of Houston in a best-of-seven series. Game 7 (if necessary) will take place in early November, kind of like that band that opened for The Movielife.

My friend, Andy, says “It’s the ‘Movie Guys’ versus the ‘Oil Guys.’” Who takes the home the trophy? Who wins the Academy Award? Who sets the strike price on gasoline futures?

Furthermore, who and what determines the face value of a concert ticket? And is a concert ticket a good (that is bought) or a license (that is transferable)?

Those were just some of the questions at hand over the past three days. Andy and I discussed the live music industry in the sense that it is its own mini stock exchange. See, Andy is a day trader, except he doesn’t sell stocks. He flips concert tickets. He buys low and sells high. He’s a renegade. He’s a life hacker. He’s a character. He lives in Austin, Texas.

And, I’ve never been to Austin during the offseason. I wouldn’t write home about it, either.

The truth is, is that I’m always pretty lazy when I’m in Austin. I tend to be a bit of a slacker, like the Richard Linklater film of the same name.

I tend to stay out late; I sleep in later than normal; I say “Y’all;” I drink Lone Star; and, I eat too many breakfast tacos.

Every day (in Austin) is the same routine. It’s like my own personal Groundhog Day.

On Monday night, we were planning to go to Salt Lick. But it was too far off the beaten path. So we settled for Green Mesquite, because I’ve already done Stubb’s, Iron Works, and Franklin. It was decent. BBQ is a mainstay in Texas. You really just can’t go wrong. And, did you know, you really just don’t have to use “really” or “just” in the prior phrase?

After a late dinner, we hit 6th street, but it was kind of dead. It reminded me of “These Dead Streets,” a song written and composed by A Wilhelm Scream.

I’ll see A Wilhelm Scream this weekend. They’re playing Career Suicide in its entirety. But I digress.

On Tuesday night, we went to The 04 Lounge in the South Congress district. I had a Frito pie for dinner. The bartender looked at my California ID, and assumed that I was a Dodgers fan. I told her that I was from Oakland. Well drinks were $2 and High Lifes (or High Lives?) were $1.

We watched Game 1. It was Kershaw versus Keuchel. Again, this was nothing to write home about.

See, “Everyday Is A Winding Road,” at least according to Sheryl Crow. As we digested this notion, Andy weighed the idea of flipping Sheryl Crow tickets.

Meanwhile, I should mention that we almost went to another watering hole called The Crow bar.

And, about a month ago at work, I saw a crow fly overhead. Ever since I’ve experienced a string of “Bad Luck.”

And, “Story of My Life” is such a typical Social Distortion song.

And, “I drive a Dodge Stratus!” Actually, I don’t. I drive a black VW Rabbit circa 2008.

And, that Silly Rabbit claims that “Trix are for kids!”

And, rest assured, FEST is for punks.

And on any other Wednesday night, I probably would have ventured out to see Joyce Manor. They were playing right down the street at Emo’s. And, I thought to myself, “What are the chances of an emotional rock band playing at Emo’s?” But we decided not to go. I’ll see them in Berkeley in late November.

I’ll be there because I always listen to Joyce Manor in the fall, probably because they have a song called “End of the Summer.”

Now, we’re nearing the end of this post. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.