All posts in Opinion

Best Coast.

I feel like starting a concert review blog post thing is a really good idea. So I’m doing it. So suck it.

Best Coast.

Best Coast.

Just to give you guys perspective on where I was at physically and mentally, I got out of my cab and retreated to hit up the local Rite Aid. I bought some Zantac and Immodium AD and a bottle of Poland Springs (the best bottled water this side of Fiji). I popped one of each because my stomach was feeling not the best stuff ever.

I had planned on going to this show with a couple of friends but, like always, they had plans. ‘Tis the bullshittery that comes along with working in the food industry. So ya- I went to the show alone. Fuck you if you think that’s weird. Also – and just for context – before the summer, I looked up all the Tuesday and Wednesday shows I could/wanted to go to because those are the only days I can really get off during the week. Best Coast definitely fit that bill after only a couple minutes of YouTube searching.

I got to the show wicked late- billing said the whole shebang started at 8 and I got there, with my shitter clogged and my tummy acid assuaged, at around 9:45. I was happy I did because BC didn’t go on until closer to 10. The crowd was super mixed- old, young, couples, and me. Is there a fucking rule that if you go to a show with your girlfriend that you must dance in a prom position the whole night? The people that stood in front of me were great for people watching. In front of me I had a girl that looked like her name was Maggie- take that for what it’s worth, a couple where the man was 6 inches shorter than his woman, who wore mid waisted jeans and did a non-ironic Carlton the whole night, and girl under 5 ft. who lost all control and was dancing so furiously that the maintenance crew had to refloor the place after the show.

The show was at the Theater of Living Arts, my favorite venue so far in Philly. It’s small and old looking and the tickets are always cheap. Never seen a bad show there. To be honest the tickets were actually free due to an acquaintance of mine who is/was blowing a dude who works there. That’s not entirely true but it’s close enough where I feel confident writing it.

Since I was alone and my stomach was sour and I was fighting poop, I obviously got a 16 oz. Miller Lite. It tasted great like it always does and I nestled into a decently unimpeded view of the stage. After a rousing rendition of “I Need You Baby” half from the DJ and half from the crowd, the band took the stage and immediately got down to business.

Aside- I smoked my fair share of pot my freshman year. Never really took a shine to it even though I gave it the ol’ college try. That being said, the sweet smell of weed smoke in the air at a concert really cements the atmosphere. You smell the sticky icky and you know where you’re at.

Now due to my YouTube-ing and Googling, I knew that Bethany Cosentino was no eye sore. What I didn’t know was that she is fucking absolutely unbelievably marry-able. Oh gosh did I fall in love all at once. It was the, she had sexy tattoos and mentioned her undies riding up, kind of LOVE. For the rest of the band, Bobb Bruno, the other main staple of the group, nailed lead. They had a handsome hipster rhythm guitarist/bassist/whatever else he decided to play who I took a shining to, as well. However, there happened to be a guy who looked like a rapist on drums. That actually pissed me off because most vids I saw featured Ali Koehler, from Vivian Girls, on the beat makers. The sexual predator did good tho. Whatever.

Pt. 1 of Bethany Cosentino hotness.

Pt. 1 of Bethany Cosentino hotness.

The music was great. Really it was. Most of the songs beg the question if livin’ on the West Coast, would really be the Best Coast…. I surmise it may be. If I worked for Spin or Trolling Stone magazine, I might complain that the songs all sounded similar but I don’t get paid to write. I just do it for the chicks. And I actually liked the similarity in the sound because that’s why I went to the show. I wanted a girl singing Cali rock and that’s what I got. Also the songs were short and usually hookless. I really liked that since I’m not a longtime fan of the band. I hate the shows where every dickhead is singing along with a part I feel like I should know. Even though I was unfamiliar with the music, there were lines I was especially was in tune with- “if I sleep on the floor- will it make you love me more?” was especially nice. The songs were mostly upbeat but when it came time to get sexy, Cosentino didn’t disappoint. I mean, I’m in love. I’m clearly compromised in this part of the review. The crowd’s favorite was definitely:


I know that Bethany might not like the comparison (we’re friends and she goes by Beth…) but she was like a super West Cost, surfery version of Zooey Deschanel in the way that she commanded the mic and the vocals were just all her all night. No back ups no nothing. And she had the perfect kind of live voice for me. On a scale of 1 – Freddie Mercury, she wasn’t Fred but she didn’t miss a beat. She played her voice into her wheelhouse and delivered the same sound that you hear on the CD. I daresay she’s got the best ooh’s and ahh’s in the biz.

She drank beer, which got me wet because I was drinking beer too. 6 pints during the performance – to her one. I was thirsty. They interacted with the crowd nicely saying they watched Snakes on a Plane and Soul Plane that day..they deemed Soul Plane the superior but really, they’re both A+ stuff. Also she bragged that one song was on a JC Penny commercial, which made me laugh for some reason. I was smitten, alright?

I couldn’t decided how to grade shows but this is how I’m gonna do it for now.
1.) Wouldn’t go again
2.) Might go again
3.) Would go again

This is a Would Absolutely Go Again!

Someone tell that singer that I would go down on her, up on her, and side to side on her.

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Pt. 2 of Bethany Cosentino cornea scorching.

13 Resolutions for 2013

I’ve been asked several times in the past couple weeks what my New Year’s resolutions were.  Truth be told, I didn’t have any.  My response was I’d have to get back to you because I don’t have any yet.  Well as of today, you’re in luck because I finally decided to put together a list of resolutions for 2013.  I tried to make it a mix between totally feasible to slightly more difficult to achieve because I like variety.

1. Less beer, more scotch

Ideally I’d like to cut back drinking in general to a couple times a month, but realistically, I’ll probably continue to drink weekly.  Scotch was my grandfather’s drink of choice back in his drinking days and it’s about time I come to appreciate it.  Also, beer just weighs me down and I drink it too fast.  I’m thinking Macallan will be my Scotch of choice.

2. More scratch tickets (~5% of weekly income)

Gotta diversify my income somehow.  Plus, someone’s gotta pay the bills for TBSE.

3. Weekly blog posts

Writing blog posts requires some thought and creativity so it helps me stay sharp.

4. Partake in Meaty Mondays (double serving to meat to counteract the Meatless Monday movement)

More of a dig at my vegetarian friends, but I gotta eat a lot of protein if I wanna get swole.

5. Get swole

Why wouldn’t I want to get swole?

6. Complete an entire game of Risk

The Ukraine is not weak!

 

7. Handwrite letters to people

I’ve got stamps and envelopes… just no paper.  Maybe I’ll write letters on weird things like napkins, paper towels, whatever I can scrounge up and send them out.  Fun fact: you can mail a Kraft Single with a stamp and address on it.

8. Eat breakfast every morning

Some would say it’s the most important meal of the day.  It’s time I gave it a shot.

9. Pet a jungle cat

I stole this resolution from someone else, but it would probably be awesome so it’s making my list as well.

10. Take a spontaneous flight at the airport

Something I’ve always thought about doing but haven’t actually done.  Considering I live 15 minutes from the airport, there’s no reason not to.

11. Attend music festival

Having been to JazzFest in 2011 and Firefly in 2012, I’d like to keep it going as an annual thing.

12. Play on a blob

Not sure how I’ve lived to be 25 and haven’t played on a blob yet.

13. Lose 20 lbs

Between eating breakfast and getting swole, I think 20 lbs is doable.  Plus I needed a generic resolution to throw on the list.

 

Summers in Chicago.

As irritating as it is when the only comment people have about Chicago is, “Oh I hear the summer is amazing!”, it is stone cold true. It took me four years to fully grasp the beauty behind the summer season, but now that I have a firm grip on it I may never let go. Summer in Chicago is walking out the door to a beautiful 70 degree morning or a sweltering 100 degree heat wave. It is sweaty CTA cars and crowded train platforms. You better believe that everyone is out of the office at 5:30 pm, not a minute later, and those trains will be filled to the brim. Except they won’t be, because no one in Chicago knows how to pack a car.

It’s a season of god bless the sundress. Every corner is filled with pretty young things in polka dots, floral prints and sunglasses the size of their face. It is boys in Nantucket red and topsiders and more often than not (much to my distaste) tank tops. It is toddlers taking their first steps in little pink dresses and parks filled with the sounds of happy, giggling children.

Summer in Chicago is going out ten nights in a row only to throw your head back and using the excuse of, “IT’S SUMMER!” It’s never turning an invitation down to sit on a patio, a porch, or a front stoop. It’s crossing the must-visit places off of the list only to realize there are 100+ more and only 7 weeks until Labor Day. It’s the ever present offer of “I’ll bring the wine” and then your party ends up with a 2:1 bottle to drinker ratio. It’s melting ice cubes in everything. No liquid is safe from being diluted.

It’s catching cabs at 3:00 am on a Thursday because the conversation just couldn’t stop and you had to tell just one more story. It’s taking lunch at 10:00 am on Friday because you definitely need the breakfast special, and the catch up with your work girls, to get you through the remainder of the working hours. It’s taking a power nap and doing it again.

It’s a slew of constant visitors with Wednesday serving as the only reprieve. It’s a rotation of spare keys and “good to see you, see you soons”. It’s turning down out-of town vacations because let’s be real, we don’t want to go anywhere but here. Summer in Chicago is existing in a constant state of FOMO (fear of missing out) and wondering what is going on on every porch around you. It’s getting antsy if you haven’t gotten the “What are we doing tonight?”, text by 11:00 am. It’s needing to know what stop to get off at/ if I should make a reservation/ if I need to plan on spending the night at my best friend’s hours in advance, so please be respectful of how I’m planning my day. Thank you very much.

It’s about not being afraid and throwing any hint of hesitancy out the window. It’s unabashedly making a new friend in the bathroom line and shamelessly eye flirting with the cutie across the room. It’s writing your name on a coaster and dropping it in someone’s lap even if it lands you in text purgatory… indefinitely. It’s a not-so-subtle-open-mouth-gape at the girl dancing on the table at McFaddens and re-hashing the traumatizing experience for the rest of the summer.

It’s Cubs game after Cubs game after Cubs game.

It’s the season of the friend sleepover because no one wants to go home alone. It’s breakfast is always a good idea and brunch is even better. It’s sunburnt cheeks and exchanging hugs for no reason at all. It’s the strict Saturday schedule of: Farmer’s Market and beach, with baguette, cheese, and wine in tow. It’s Pride weekend and the f*[^%$# Sheffield Garden walk. It’s Lollapalooza and the Air and Water Show. It’s having ten places to be at the same time and somehow, through superhero strength, making an appearance at all of them.

It’s this. And if you don’t like this, you’re not invited to my BBQ.

Boy King: The Times I Force Myself to Clean

 I know there are those of you out there who get home from work, make a meal, do the dishes, and wipe down all the counters before you succumb to your cloud of a bed. But I can’t do that. I like to explode a few Hot Pockets in the microwave, sear some bacon before I dump the grease and pan into my sink (sorry environment), and then crawl into bed covered in cheap pizza sauce and regret. I also believe eating in bed is the greatest thing ever and if you are too worried about the crumb situation then we were never meant to be together. Yet there are even moments when I get the bug, the urge, the wild and crazy notion that maybe my tiny studio apartment has become a bit of a pig pen. These are those times:

When My Parents Visit
This specific cleaning marathon is always brought on by memories of fear and disgust worn by my mother and father as they entered my college dorm room. We all knew what was on the other side: twice worn clothes all over the floor, faint smells of old beer coming from the trash, and worst of all for them – the possibility that near my bed lingered the smell of bodies being pressed together all night in a sweaty and drunken malaise. It’s hard to imagine why I thought submitting them to that was ever a good idea, especially when in 2 weeks I was going to have to come up with a legitimate reason for needing more money besides the usual “Pleaseeee, Mom. More $$$” text.

Yet for four years in college I absolutely submitted my two clean-freak parents to twice yearly thoughts of “Wait, do you do anything besides eat and drink your way through all this tuition money?” If only they would have just looked under my bed they would have seen the dozen or so text books I was ready to cram a week before finals intermixed with some socks and Burger King wrappers. You just had to look harder, guys.

When I Have a Date
I can’t imagine a worse scenario than an amazing date cut short by the murder scene of rotting food in my sink. We go out. You tell me you’re the one girl who has always loved Indiana Jones and the NBA. We agree that Meryl Streep is a goddess and a testament to naturally aging women. You even don’t give me a raised eyebrow questioning my masculinity when I tell you I love helping my mom pick out shoes. “Stuart Weitzman has been killing it” I’ll say, and you’ll laugh as we get more drunk and kiss outside on the walk back.

Imagine all of this crashing down around me as I push open the door to my apartment to reveal the recent weeks worth of clothes next to my bed, my kitchen trash  quite visible through the slot of the garbage can, and a few stains on my unmade bed that make you think “That’s pizza sauce? Right?”

I can already hear your excuse about cramps or work in the morning as you hang from my bathroom window and make your escape into the alley below. Please come back. I’ll pour you a glass of the $10 red wine that’s half gone and has been left out for 3 days. Please, just come back.

When I Have Work to Do
It’s impossible for me to get anything productive done in an environment where I spent the last few days living in a world we can aptly sum up as “sweatpants”. Perhaps it is the procrastinator inside me who hates sitting down and finally hammering out that 10 page essay, those 50 emails or that elusive blog post. Or maybe it’s that I associate the mess with a general state of laziness and can’t buckle down until the world around me is reflection of the control I wish to express over my work. Whatever the case, the first thing I’ll do is prepare by chugging three cups of coffee. Then I’ll scrub the floors and clean the fridge while the dishwasher and laundry machine are both churning simultaneously. Once completed, I usually think, “Motherfucker! How is it 2 am?!” and realize I should have started everything about 12 hours ago.  But hey! At least I have a clean apartment.

When We Break Up
This is always one of the most productive times of my life. I think it’s a subconscious urge to move on. It’s as if I’m trying to scrub out all the details of the other person’s presence. But I swear to god, I will have an emotional breakdown at 7 am when I’m rummaging through my apartment looking for my keys only to find the movie tickets from that time we got drunk in the back row on brass monkeys.

Get out of my life. Out with your toothbrush and half used bottles of shampoo. Out with the ice cream that only you really like and the crunchy peanut butter that I couldn’t even eat if I wanted. Out with the underwear you accidentally left under my bed and the stains your clumsy hands left on my side table. When we break up, the trash goes out, the floors get scrubbed and my sheets get washed. Get your smell out of my bed.
I’m taking back my space.

Of course, no promises on the whole getting horribly drunk later and texting “I just want to make out one more time” thing.  That takes a little longer to wash away.

The Official Gal Drinks of Summer, Part II

I am rounding the one -year anniversary of my initial decree of the Official Gal Drinks of Summer. Since June 23rd, 2011 I have done my fair share of young-professional, sensible patio/porch sits so I thought it was only appropriate to bring a second set of TBSE gal-approved libations to your attention.

#1 The Paloma:
Tequila wasn’t a friend of mine during my undergrad years however we have forged a serious relationship during our happy hours together. What is so beautiful about the Paloma is the addition of the grapefruit juice, and at some establishments a splash of Squirt. If a drink has Squirt in the summary, I’m ordering it. This cocktail is refreshing, perfect, equal parts sweet and acidic, and downright pretty to look at. You also don’t look like an idiot when ordering this drink at a mexican restaurant, which can happen from time to time when ordering giant goblets of frozen margaritas with sugar on the rim.

#2 Sauvignon Blanc/ Pinot Grigio:
I can’t believe that my first round of Official Gal Drinks of Summer didn’t include ANY mention of the nectar of the gods. If you know me, you would agree that mermaid without wine is like the sky without the sun. It is my drink of choice for all occasions and I’m always the weirdo ordering it at dive bars. Simply put – white wine is the perfect beverage for warm summer days. It is an especially good beverage for long lunches on outdoor patios because with the addition of ice the drink lasts longer.

#3 Vodka Gimlet
This is no longer a beverage reserved for our grandparents. I know a gimlet traditionally contains gin, a beverage I have never been able to swallow thanks to a beach party in my youth, but vodka serves as a wonderful substitute. Vodka gimlets are easy and straight to the point: vodka and lots of fresh lime juice. I have dreams about the Vodka Gimlets at Bar Deville in Chicago’s Ukranian Village because they are just that delicious.

It’s time to put on the sundresses and let loose kiddies. If anyone wants to meet me for any any (or all) of the above on a Chicago patio this summer, you know where to find me.

Greatest Sex Move Ever

The Bloagie.

What is the bloagie you ask? Let me ask you a question, whats better than a hoagie? A blowjob, that’s correct. What happens when you combine a delicious Italian sub like this one, and a delightful felatial experience?

Well, lets just say, some amazing things happen. Let me break this down for you: you are probably wondering how a delicious hoagie and a blow job go together. You are also probably curious the logistics of how one is supposed to get a bloagie. It goes a little something like this: you get a blow job and you eat a hoagie during said beej which yields one incredible bloagie. Where did this come from? I have no clue but a very esteemed lawyer friend told me about this amazing move and I have been wanting to try it ever since.

Now, with the bloagie, I have heard a few issues which I think need addressing before you go off and ask your SO to go down on you while you go down on a $5 footlong (for all our sakes, step it up and get something better than Subway). The first main concern is jealousy: I’ve heard the lady folks say they want a sub too! Well, you are in luck because I think its completely fair that you can enjoy a sub too. Whats oil and vinegar but a nice lube? Its already on salami so having it on your salami, is that too far a stretch? The second, more concerning issue, is the concern that a bloagie is demeaning. Now, I think this is a fair complaint but this just goes to show that this individual didn’t understand the power of a beej. Every female should know that a good beej is going to have us eating out of the palm of your hands. If the world was ruled correctly, bj’s would get shit done! Now, what can you think of that would add to this power women have over men? …comboing a hoagie WITH the bj? I rest my case.

I guess the only thing we need to worry about is the total domination factor that may transpire once the bloagie becomes a mainstream movement. Until then, order your favorite cold cuts on some delicious Italian bread, loaded with toppings, lay back and enjoy the best seconds or minutes of your life.

 

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What Happens When You Leave The Book

Three weeks ago I broke up with facebook and got back together with my life.
My mother always told me that the worst kind of people are those that have someone waiting on the side for when a relationship ends, but in this case I tend to disagree. My relationship with facebook had jumped the shark and my life was hanging over my shoulder begging for some attention, so I listened to my other lover and cut the chord. With a few clicks I ‘deactivated’ my account and haven’t looked back since.
Why did I delete facebook?

The better questions would be, “Why do I spend x # of hours a day looking at people I don’t talk to (and don’t even like)? Why do I drool over girl’s from my past and their latest baby drama and/or nose job? Why do I spend time looking at a boy that coulda- shoulda- woulda been?” Are any of these individual’s realities better than mine that I should spend my precious time devouring their status updates and photo uploads? The simple answer… hell no.

For me, facebook became a nervous tick. Something to do in my idle time. Except that my idle time turned into the wee hours in my bed when I wake up in the morning, after my first cup of coffee, in the elevator on my way to lunch, 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, after work, 9:00 pm and then again before bed. Logging on to facebook became an extension of my every move and came to be part of every day’s definition.
And I know I am not alone.
I spent day after day writing on my friend’s walls and sending direct messages but never picking up a phone or meeting up for a drink. Instead, I would mechanically “like” post after picture. Instead, I would click through the latest album and fool myself thinking I was “in touch” with this person. Instead, I would take meaningless comments as declarations of real friendships.

The more my nervous tick or self-identified obsession with facebook (OKAY there I said it!!) grew, the more I felt alone. I can’t quite pinpoint what this loneliness was from, but I knew looking at x’s second and third child wasn’t helping. Neither was knowing every great (or horrid) thing about someone’s life before talking to them face to face, soul to soul. No longer were stories truly exceptional or exquisite as I had already seen it dumbed down for a brief status update. Facebook sure did it’s job, keeping me connected to the point that I felt alienated.
Kicking the habit was harder than I expected and it took a life changing conversation to give me the swift kick in the patootie, but I did it, and here is what I learned: Life is better without facebook and I may never go back.

When you leave the book, you lose the chain. No one is following your every move and seeing your day to day life from an outside lens. People are genuinely excited to see you and share their days with you, instead of listening to it for the second time, as they got it the first time around from your profile. When you see someone, you get to exclaim “You look great!” and genuinely mean it. Stories seem more interesting. Friends seem closer. The world doesn’t feel like it is filled with 23-year olds with two children and baby daddy drama. Life just gets better when you leave the book.
 

 

 

Guest Post: Boy King on Best Friends

Hello world,

This is my first post on the website so I suppose I am going to introduce myself. Feel free to call me the Boy-king. Boy-king is, yes, a ridiculous name to some extent but it has stuck with me for a few years so let’s roll with that.
I would be a liar and an intellectual thief to say that Chelsea Fagan’s wonderful piece that came out last week titled “A Thank You to Real Friends” did not play a heavy hand in the inspiration of this post. So first things first, go a head and read it here.

Ok great. I’m glad we’re on the same level now. This is my first post and I want it to be about what I think is the best thing in this world: best friends. Do you have some? I hope you do. I mean, I imagine you do. Think real hard if you have to about who they might be.

Did you pause when I said “they” and assume that one could only have one best friend? See this is a faulty premise started by some lonely, wretched person who could only find one friend. Though I suppose you could have one best friend and not be a wretched person…so let’s get off the topic of how MANY friends one really can designate as best.

A best friend is a beautiful thing. A best friend’s first job in my opinion is to tell you to “fuck off.” No I mean it. When you’re lying to yourself about your job, your love life, your eating habits, your drug habits, anything – that’s when your best friend carefully or not so carefully comes in and says “Yeah I hear you, but let me tell you something: You’re full of shit.” Without them we might become drug addicts, corporate zombies or worse: couples that have sex once a month. They’re the ones who know that you deserve the world.

I had a best friend once tell me if I got back together with a girl, I had to let him slap me in the face 3 times as hard as he wanted. (Call it a Slap Contract.) I went back to her and risked the slaps because “DUH IM IN LOVE” but it turns out it didn’t last and yeah, I got slapped. Hard. You’re best friend can slap you in the face as hard as he wants because he knows  what is best for you, and if you forget that – then you get slapped in the alley behind a bar named Irish Oak, hanging out with a 350lb bouncer, when you’re both as drunk as can be.

You’re best friends are also supposed to be there to pick you up when you’re down. After you’ve inevitably ignored them telling you “You are full of shit. What is your life right now?”, they will still be there to pick you up from a crash, maybe slide in a quick “told you so” and then help you find your center again. Do you need to grease some ladies to regain your mojo? BOOM your best friend is doing his or her best to coerce every drunken hottie at those pathetic single bars into sleeping with you. I once told a pair of girls that I was a rich millionaire 18 year old from So-Cal and you know what my best friend did? He stared me straight in the face, thought “You mother fucker.” and then turned to them and said “Yeah we’re just on vacation, trying to get away from the busy life.” You know why my friend went a long with my scummy plan? Because he loves me and he knew I needed to make out with this girl right here, right now.

But maybe that’s not your cup of tea. Maybe you need support in a much healthier and let’s just say it, less douche-y way then lying to girls at bars. When you need best friends they are there to remind you that you’re a superstar with a superstar life. They’ll open a bottle of red wine and let you sit in their bed while you both watch the Bachelor and decide “god help us if we ever think going on a show like this is a good idea. (On a related note, the Amazing Race seems like the perfect thing you and you’re best friend SHOULD do.)

Best friends are there for you. Best friends know what it means when you send them a quick text that says “bulls eye” or “hoops” or maybe even a “Roll Tide” when neither of you have ever even been to Alabama. You should aim for a best friend of both sexes so that you can hear differing opinions, get varied love and be an all around balanced human being. But most of all you should remember that a best friend is undoubtedly the best thing in the world and without them, you’ll be stuck at a bar someplace without a wing man willing to lie for you, a buddy willing to share sad bottle or 3 of red wine, or worse yet: someone unwilling to slap you in the face because you don’t know what’s good for ya.

That’s their job, and your job as a best friend. Don’t forget it.

 

 
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