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Fireworks, Freedom and S’mores is All I Need

I whine about America a lot.  It’s hard to be patriotic when oil, pharmecuitical and insurance companies rule your country and malls are the size of Monaco.  I’ll spare you of my liberal notions for now and skip straight to the point.

We just celebrated our Independence Day, and despite my sometimes unpatriotic attitude, the 4th of July is my favoirite holiday.  Rain and fireworks are my favoritie things, and here in Florida, in the summer, it rains almost everyday, so I get my sweet thunder shower in the afternoon and then get to see a beautiful display of fireworks at night.

I also love this holiday because it gets people doing the things that I think we should be doing more of all of the time.  People get together with friends and family, we cook out (but not in a gluttonous kind of way like friggen Thanksgiving.  Don’t get me started on Thanksgiving), we go outside and we blow shit up.  It’s great.  I see people and kids laughing and playing outside, the way it should be all of the time.  I also like this holiday because it makes me think about our Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War and a time when we had true badasses leading and fighting for our country.  I am about to go on a mini tangent because I have a huge crush on the Founding Fathers and I can’t help myself.  Just bare with me.

Those motherfuckers were the smartest and bravest.  If you ask me, there has never been a time in history when so much brilliance has ever been in one room together.  And you know what? They were essentially terrorist.  They locked themseles in a steaming hot, boarded up room and commited treason in a country that had your head for such crimes.  Bravery.  I would totally go down on Thomas Jefferson.  Back to intelligence, relatively speaking, we are a young country, but have one of the oldest constitutions.  They made it hard to change the constitution which is a hard thing to do!  I won’t continue on my spiel about the Founding Father’s, but please read a book about them or something because they were damn sexy.

I went to Australia recently, and did a lot of compare and contrasting between that country and mine, and of course, found a lot of what they are doing to be better and more efficient.  In honor of America’s Independence Day however, I decided to spend the day appreciating the things that I do like about America, instead of complaining about its‘ faults.

I’m pretty sure I have been to every state, except for Alaska and Hawaii, so I have seen what America has to offer and it definitely has its‘ moments.

  1. I wish that I could live to see the day when everyone in the world is the same shade of light brown.  I think it will be beautiful.  Mixed people are the prettiest people anyway.  Though I won’t live to see this day, and even with all of this racial tension that is unfortunately flaring up right now in the states, I think that America will do it first.  We will be the first in the world to completely homogenize and all become the same shade of light brown.
  2. The Grand Canyon.  If you are an American who goes their whole life without seeing the Grand Canyon, you’re an asshole.  Everyone should see it as an adult, it’s incredibly humbling.
  3. We have New Orleans.  One of the greatest cities in the world.
  4. I call him the “go to hottie.”  Meaning, the person who first comes to everyone’s mind when needing to name someone incredibly hot right off the top of their head.  Brad Pitt.  He’s an American.
  5. We know how to drink.  Some other countries I have been to, when you order a drink, you are getting maybe 3/4 ounce of liquor; that’s a standard pour.  What the fuck am I supposed to do with that?  It would take me eight drinks to even feel friendly enough to make eye contact with anyone.  Here in America, when I go to a dive bar, I’m getting at least two ounces of liquor per drink.  So that’s my number 5b.) We have legit dive bars.  Sure, you might get an STD just by sitting down on a dive’s bar stool, but at least I’m getting a good drink.
  6. Marvel and DC comics.  You’re welcome, world.
  7. As embarrassing as we can sometimes be, at least we know how to keep things interesting.  While on Venice Beach (which without a doubt, holds the most out of their god damn mind people in the whole world), I was walking around with the Trojan and one of the other band members, and because they have traveled to many many different countries due to touring, I asked them what country has the weirdest people, and without hesitation, they both declared, “America.”  I giggled, and the Trojan said, “that’s not a good thing,” to which I agree… but for some reason, it gives me an odd sense of pride.
  8. Jack White and Eminem.
  9. Jazz and blues.  Boom.
  10. S’mores.  And that scene about s’mores in The Sandlot.  “Smalls, this is s’mores stuff okay, pay attention!”
  11.  Pennsylvania, home of the handsome.  I don’t know what it is, but there are so many hot boys in Pennsylvania.  You’re welcome, single girls.
  12.   Asheville, NC.  There is a brewery and a book store on every corner.  I’m in.
  13.   Work ethic.  I know that “lazy Americans” is a stereotype, and it’s definitely not untrue.  There are plenty of lazy assholes here, however, from what I have seen, I think that most Americans expect to work hard to make money, and do work hard.  I have often seen immigrants from more Eastern cultures who come here, and they are the ones expecting to not have to work hard, they think that America has twenty dollar bills falling from the sky or something.  I partly blame television, but also I think a lot of that belief, that all Americans are just rolling around in money, is that in many of these countries, the dollar goes far.  So when an Albanian man comes over here and works a normal, let’s say, $12/hour job, and starts sending money back home, that money can buy luxury in Albania, but the people over there don’t realize that that money can only buy bargain white bread here.  Point being, there are absolutely lazy Americans, but I would say that the majority of us, the middle class, work our asses off.
  14. Diversity!  We have it all!  Every culture in the whole damn world can be found somewhere in America and there is something to love about that.
  15. Steven Spielberg.  Every emotion ever felt has somehow been depicted in a Steven Spielberg film.  You can learn everything you need to know about human connection by watching a marathon of Spielberg movies.
  16. The Redwood Forest.  (Which we’re killing, but I’ll save that point for a time when I’m not concerned with trying to be positive).
  17. The Pacific Coast Highway.  One of the most beautiful drives in the world.
  18. Butch Cassidy, Doc Holliday, The Apache Kid, Jesse James and Bonnie & Clyde.  Coolest outlaws ever.
  19. Bourbon.
  20. Bagels.
  21.   Beef Jerky
  22. Memphis.  There is a hole in the wall right in downtown Memphis called… Blues Hall?  I think?  One of my favorite nights on any tour was spent there with my best tour buddy at my side.  We just sat and watched these fat old black men and one Asian woman play the blues and it was beautiful and true blues because it looked like they were in deep despair and had sold their souls to the Devil.  Then we went to the Mississippi River and illegally checked out the old steam boats at midnight.
  23. Washington D.C.  Read a book about the secrets of DC and the entire underground world.  It will blow your mind.  Also, D.C. is a great representation of the economic divide.  That is definitely not something I’m proud of, but it is interesting to see that right in our nation’s capital, where some of the richest and most powerful people in the world are walking around daily, if you walk a couple of blocks down, you will see utter poverty.  There are people sleeping in rows in the middle of the damn sidewalk because there is a small hole in the ground that lets out the steam which keeps the homeless people warm.  The men and women in the suits just walk right over them.  Literally.  Sorry to get depressing, I know I’m suppose to be pretending to be patriotic in this one, so I will end that thought with… Washington D.C. is a very cool city with a lot of history.
  24.   Progression.

I’m already making a list in my mind of everything that I can’t stand about America,  but for the moment, just because fireworks and thunder storms make me happy, and I just saw an epic storm and an epic firework show, I wanted to be momentarily positive and optimistic and share some things to be grateful for.


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Songs from my Basement

This isn’t my typical subject matter when it comes to this blog, but it is a subject that I probably speak about in real life (because I don’t credit the digital world as being real life) more than anything else, and that’s music.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Music can define the soul of a generation.”  I can’t say if it has defined my generation, but it has definitely defined my soul.

When I was 15 I thought I was punk rock and cool, and spent a lot of time listening, or pretending to listen to music that really didn’t speak to me.  I want my money back for the MXPX and New Found Glory albums I purchased.  So embarrassing.  I abandoned those bands when they became uncool, and turned to the next new trend in music which was “hardcore.”  This genre went on to have 1.4 zillion sub-genres that I can’t keep up with and don’t even know what they mean.  The same unforgiving cycle happened with those bands, they became uncool to like, and I quickly abandoned them for a more mature music taste.

The next “cycle” that peers seemed to be gravitating toward was the whole singer/songwriter movement.  Is everyone still orgasming over Bon Iver?  Don’t get me wrong, there are few things better than a raspy voice over an acoustic guitar, but I am VERY picky within this genre, and I think that most of it is boring and over produced.  If you’ve heard one Ray LaMontagne song you’ve heard them all.  I suggest John Moreland’s, “In the Throes” album, Will Quinlan and the Diviner’s “Navasota,” and  Sarah Jaffe for some good americana, singer/songwriter music.  I could name a bunch more, but I’m digressing.

I wasn’t finding new bands to love and this was not okay.  Music is an integral part of my being, my ultimate muse, my guide to life, my rock, and I was falling apart because I didn’t have new inspiration.  I discovered The Dear Hunter’s “Act III” album just in the nick of time, and it reminded me of what it feels like to feel music.  Casey Crescenzo is probably one of the most underrated songwriter’s out there right now, but I digress again.  See what happens to me when I start talking music?!  It just spirals out of conversational control.

The point is, when new music wasn’t coming along, I went back to my roots and rediscovered some old music.  So without further adieu, here are some bands, albums and individual songs that I abandoned for years, but just rediscovered and believe that they sound as good now as they did fifteen years ago when I first heard them in my mom’s car.

These are in no particular order.

1.  The Deftones- I would put “White Pony” in the top ten (possibly top five, but I’d have to really think about that before I can fully stand by such a momentous claim) of best rock albums of the last two decades.

2.  Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary (full album)- Same claim as above.  This is not an opinion.  It’s fact.  So if you disagree with me than you’re simply wrong.  It’s amazes me that this album was released in 1994.  It sounds 100% relevant to today’s rock music scene.

3.  The Smashing Pumpkins- Siamese Dream (full album)- This album is art.  Listen to “Mayonaise” on PROPER speakers and let it take you on a ride.  You’ll come out of the 5:49 song slightly different from how you went into it.  How did I ever forget about this album?

4.  Jimmy Eat World- Bleed America (full album)

5.  Silverchair- “Emotion Sickness”- This is a song that I’m more obsessed with now than I was in 2004 when I got the album just because I had a crush on a boy who liked the band.

6.  Sparta- Porcelain (full album)

7.  Modest Mouse- The Lonesome Crowded West (full album)- Just shut the fuck up if you don’t like this album.

8.  Alkaline Trio- They’ve never stopped being cool in my book, and they’ll always have a spot in my heart because of that particular show that I discuss in Adventures of Touring.  They do something that the other bands of that time and genre couldn’t/can’t pull off.  They write great lyrics, they’re tight (musically speaking), not every song has the same exact chord progression and their sound has depth.

9.  Norma Jean- “Memphis Will be Laid to Waste”- Fuck yeah!  So hardcore and awesome.

10.  Thrice- A friend sent me this video not too long ago, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=949X-FHj62k (careful females… you’re about to get wet) and this is the video that got me to dig up my Thrice albums that I hadn’t listened to in probably a decade.  A true rediscovery.  Now I love these albums as much as I did when I was 16 wearing converse and studded belts.

11.  Nine Inch Nails- “Something I Can Never Have”- I have never been a huge fan of this band, but I liked this particular song when I was younger and again, after years of abandoning it, I listened recently and I still think it’s gorgeous.

12.  Brand New- I never gave them a true chance back in 2003 when all of the “emo” kids were wearing Brand New pins and t-shirts, but I shouldn’t have judged the cover because now I think that they are great.

13.  Vaux- “At Your Will”- Songs that sound like they’re going to build up to something epic can be either hit or miss.  This one is a big hit.  It forces you to feel.

14.  Yeah Yeah Yeahs- “Maps”- There was a sliver in time when everyone was in love with this song.  It still holds up.

15.  Finch- What it is to Burn (full album)

16.  Chevelle- Wonder What’s Next (full album)- When this album came out, I didn’t want to admit to anyone that I liked it because it was too “mainstream” to be cool.  It stayed in a box, hidden away with a bunch of other CD’s that I was embarrassed by because I was a teenager and for some reason gave a shit when a peer said, “you like Chevelle?” with a superior tone.  Fuck that.  This album is so good.  Sorry, Chevelle.  You deserved better from me.  I’d like to add that their new album is fantastic as well.  Probably their best since this one.

17.  Neutral Milk Hotel- “Two Headed Boy”- Nothing you nor I ever create in our entire lifetimes, will even rival the brilliance of this song.  Sorry.  I may have just killed a dream or two.  Consider it my bold statement of the month.

18.  Recover- EP- I always liked this EP because it sounds like they recorded it with four tracks and in someone’s living room (which they probably did, come to think of it).  It does have a slightly immature sound, so I wouldn’t say that it’s timeless, but I think it holds its’ own within the genre.

19.  Underoath- They’re Only Chasing Safety (full album)- Again, it became very uncool to like Underoath, and I’m okay with that.  I wouldn’t say that I’m a fan, but I think that this one album is fun and it does something for me.

20.  Dinosaur Jr- “No Bones”- Listen to that little guitar lick that repeats throughout, and tell me that that’s not timeless.  This band is sexy.

21.  Fiona Apple- Tidal (full album)- You simply have poor taste in music if you don’t like this album.

22.  Iron and Wine- “Jezebel”- I’m WAY over the Iron and Wine craze, but this one song will never get old.

My homework to everyone is to go have an epic music session alone tonight, and get back to me on some bands/songs that you have rediscovered.



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How to Make a Guy Fall in Love With You

These were some of my secrets, in no particular order.

-Be forward.  Playing hard to get is overrated.  If you like him and the two of you vibe, straight up say, “I like you,” then grab his face and make-out with him.

-Keep your past a mystery.  Ambiguity = Intrigue!  Example: When/if he asks why you and your ex broke up, do NOT, for the love of God, tell that story.  Instead, say something along the lines of, “Oh, just life.  So many reasons that don’t even matter anymore.”  Example 2: He asks, “What brought you out here?” (I get that a lot living in Los Angeles), keep it a mystery!  I usually respond with, “I’d tell you that story… but it’s not a very interesting one.”  Not only is this true in my case, (ha!) but it keeps the boys wanting more.  Keep them wanting more in more areas than one!

-Never refer to him as, “dude.”

-Get your vagina under control!  Rinse that shit out regularly with water!  No excuse for foul smells!

-Call yourself out.  Example: I am generally pretty low maintenance, but I have my girly moments.  When these occur, I straight up say, “I’m sorry, I’m about to be such a girl right now, but I have nothing to wear.”  Without that disclaimer, I would lose cool points immediately in his book.  But because I own up to my occasional ridiculousness, I not only get away with it, but I gain cool points because now he knows that I am able to check myself.  Example 2: My feet are NOT cute.  I have disgusting, fat, square, dancer’s feet.  Instead of trying to curl them under while cuddling together on the couch, I just openly make fun of my “Flinstone feet.”  Now I’ve manipulated him into thinking that my “negative” is kind of endearing.

-Magic words, “not like you.”  When he compliments you… says you’re beautiful or sexy or have a pretty smile, or whatever, instead of blushing and saying thank you, gently bite your bottom lip, make cute eye contact, and say, “not like you.”  This one is TOP SECRET!  It works every time, I guarantee or your money back.

-Be able to get ready in fifteen minutes.  You don’t need to do this every time, but he needs to know that you are able to get ready on the fly when necessary.

-Don’t talk about your period.

-Do NOT ask him what his “number” is.  Let me say this again.  DO NOT ASK HIM WHAT HIS NUMBER IS!

-If he opens the car door for you, reach over and unlock the driver’s side for him.

-Pretend to know about something he is interested in.  Without being creepy, find out about a subject he is into, that he doesn’t think you know he is into.  Example: (A shitty one, but an example still), you’re in his car and see a book in the backseat about mixology.  Don’t say anything about it, then go do some homework.  Just spend twenty minutes researching some generalities on mixology, then next time you see him and it gets “casually” brought up in conversation, modestly impress him with your knowledge on the subject matter.  Real life example:  I had a harmless crush on this foreign valet guy.  I thought he sounded Russian, but asked one of his co-worker’s where he was from, and was informed that he’s from Serbia.  So, I wikipediad (yes, I just turned that into a verb) some general info on the country, and bam!  Now he thinks I’m a cultured, wise and hopefully irresistible because I use to eye fuck him like it was my job.

-Show some skin, but not too much!  If you’re wearing a low cut top, do not wear a short skirt.  If you’re wearing a short skirt, pair it with a not so revealing top.  Remember, we’re going for love not lust here!

-Want him, but don’t need him.

-Tell him you’re not really into relationships.  Whether this is true or not, act like it is.  This will make you seem “dangerous.”  We always fall for the dangerous boy over the nice one.  Secret:  It works both ways!

-Make him feel special by lying.  I used to bring guys to this awesome “secret spot” that overlooked the water and had this beautiful view and was sort of secluded.  I would tell them I had never brought anyone else there before… I was totally full of shit.  Example 2: Tell him an anecdote that is relatively personal (keep it short and sweet though, don’t talk his head off) and then tell him that you’ve never told anyone else that before.  I know, I’m going to hell.

-Keep your room smelling nice, and always have a dark-colored comforter.  Get rid of your Martha Stewart pastel colored crap.

-Let shit go!  Be easy going!

-Do not pee in front of him or talk about poop.  As far as you’re concerned, girl’s don’t poop!  This rule (along with some of the others), bend with time of course.  But at the beginning, he will always think it’s weird if you pee in front of him and he doesn’t want to be reminded that your butt functions as anything more than a cute spectacle.

-In the sac, teeter on the line of seeming utterly vulnerable, yet sure/dominating at the same time.  I know, it’s tricky.  Show him that you’re comfortable with your sexuality and you know what you want, but at the same time you need to come across as somewhat fragile.

-Be spontaneous!  Go hop a fence and jump into a pool together, go on a mini road trip, sneak onto the roof of a tall building and make-out!

-Be someone he wants to fuck AND talk to.  Guys generally look at a girl and see one or the other.  You want to be both.  This is ultimately what will make him fall in love with you and what I would consider to be the most important on the list.

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Character Crushes…

We all have them, some more serious than others.  Mine may be bordering on pathetic, but I’m okay with that.  Fiction is so much more fun.  My crushes range from movie/television characters to characters from literature.  I am going to talk about my top ten movie/television character crushes, and save my literature crushes for another day.


Pacey Witter.  This one is not borderline, it is full on embarrassingly pathetic.  It’s not only bad enough that the love of my life is from fucking Dawson’s Creek, but also that I love him more the older I get.  Um… what does that mean?  He plays a high schooler and I love him more now than I did when I was in high school.  If I watch Dawson’s Creek, I get genuinely depressed that Pacey is not a real person.  GENUINELY DEPRESSED.  I just needed to emphasize how pathetic that is.  Please!  Feel free to judge me!  I clearly deserve it.  It pisses me off that Joey ended up with him because she was such a whiny little bitch and has saggy boobs though they’re somehow pointy at the same time.

Pacey is my number one, but the following are listed in no particular order.


Eugene from Band of Brothers.  If I believed in past lives, I would think that I was an Army Medic in my past life.  So Eugene and I are kindred spirits.  For any of you that have not watched the Band of Brothers mini series, I highly recommend it.


Doc Holliday from Tombstone.  Somehow he manages to make tuberculosis sexy.  I would feel safe even entering the gates of Hell if I were with him.


Prudie from The Jane Austen Book Club.  I always go for the slightly dysfunctional chicks, and I love girls the rock the short hair.  AND I always wanted to have an affair with a teacher.


Lawson from A Love Song for Bobby Long.  I am a sucker for a man who knows his literature, and Lawson with his unkempt beard, the I-just-got-laid-hair-do and the endless literary references makes me want to fuck his brains out and marry him, which are two things that unfortunately do not generally correspond in my life.


Penny from Almost Famous.  Duh.  Enough said.


Chris from Stand by Me.  One of the best character’s in cinema history.  Pensive in disguise… plus bad ass, plus hot… and just disregard the inappropriate age difference.  If this is not one of your favorite movies, that is not okay.


Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl.  Ummmm yes please.  Guilty pleasure.


Shosanna from Inglourious Basterds.  Hot, and a bad ass.


A.J. from Empire Records.  Oh man, when he is super gluing those coins to the floor, and when he is dancing with the crazy wrist cutting girl… TURN ON!  Somehow that weird checkered shirt with the oversized sweater is also a turn-on.  The things that cute, charming boys can get away with.


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Ten Ways to Survive the Holidays

1.  Avoid the mall.

2.  Bake pies.

3.  Kiss and cuddle with the windows open.

4.  Drink lots of Champagne.

5.  Repeat above.

6.  Do not stress over gift giving, it’s not what’s important.

7.  Avoid Christmas music.

8.  Watch the good Christmas movies.

9.  When forced to make small talk with people you only see once a year, just pretend to have lost your voice.

10.  Give.  Give as much as you can.

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Some of My Rules to Live By

  • Always carry a toolbox in your trunk.
  • Don’t sleep with someone you might not be talking to in a month.
  • Own a great stereo system.
  • Listen to full albums, not just songs.
  • Don’t boo.  Not even at the ref.
  • Meet your neighbors.
  • In disagreements, don’t dredge up the past.
  • Get over being a germaphobe.
  • Let your kids believe in magic.
  • Pretend to be brave, even when you’re not.
  • Spend your money on experiences, not things.
  • Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.
  • Eat mostly what comes from the ground.
  • Defend people you care about.  It’s the most powerful expression of love and respect.
  • Remember names when being introduced.
  • Go see live music and support your local music scene.
  • Never question someone’s tattoo.
  • Chew with your mouth shut.
  • Put 10% of every paycheck into your savings account.  Just do it.
  • Listen, instead of always waiting for your turn to speak.
  • Learn how to learn.
  • Keep secrets.
  • Take the stairs.  Elevators are for suckers.
  • Begin each day with a happy song.
  • Acknowledge the person you’re walking past on the street, even if it’s just with a head nod.
  • Don’t be a slave to your phone.  Learn cell phone etiquette.  The person in front of you should always be the first priority.
  • Give.
  • Never underestimate the sex appeal of jeans and a plain t-shirt.
  • Remember the people from your past, but forgive yourself, and each other for growing up.
  • Immerse yourself in art.
  • Never sign for certified mail.  Nine times out of ten it will get you in trouble.
  • Put your cart away at the grocery store.
  • Never use the word fagg_ _.  It’s the most offensive word in the English language and it was only funny in The Hangover.
  • Play in the rain.
  • Remember that you’re only as happy as you try to be.
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you.  Unless you’re in New Jersey where there’s a toll booth every fifteen feet and they’re $6 each.
  • Embrace your vices, it’s fun.  Just do it in a non self-destructive way.
  • Girls, don’t be afraid of getting your hair wet at the beach/pool.
  • Love wholly.  Having “your guard” up is lame.
  • Don’t judge what you don’t understand.
  • Never lie to your doctor.
  • Treat the garbage man the same way you would the Queen of England.
  • Don’t be afraid to do things alone.
  • Respect the person you’re kissing.  Put your hand on their chest and feel his/her heartbeat.
  • Listen to NPR.
  • A handshake beats an autograph.
  • Get out of your car and knock on the door instead of calling to tell someone that you’re there.
  • Don’t litter, you prick.
  • Refrain from annihilating the English language.
  • Remember that a healthy relationship is wanting the person you’re with, not needing them.
  • Return all things you’ve borrowed.
  • Always have at least one plant to take care of.
  • Brain sex is the best form of foreplay.
  • Stop buying stuff you don’t need.
  • Give people chances.
  • Give everyone the time of day.
  • Just be nice.
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