Category Archives: Rants and Musings

Dwight Howard’s Houston Pitch Sounds Amazing

A rare basketball post from me, but I felt like weighing in on the Dwight Howard mess just because I find it hilarious.  Let me go on the record saying I hope he leaves because I am of the camp that he is a paper tiger.  D12 has become someone known for everything but basketball in the last couple years and the fact is, the idea of having to sell the Lakers when they have the most to offer you is absurd.

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If you want to play in Houston-fucking-Texas, please do.  Don’t think James Harden would even blink if the Lakers were able to offer him a max deal.  He’d be on the Buss private jet before the ink was dry.  Dwight is someone who wants the spotlight, but not one too bright.  The Lake Show is about winning.  Period.  It’s a meritocracy.  We forgive you everything if you win.  Kobe is the biggest dick on the planet but he understands the value of the purple and gold.  Sure, he wanted out a while back citing ownership needing to step up.  But they got him Pau, he shut up and gave Tinseltown two more rings.  He put his money where his mouth was and now, he’s going to retire a Laker and a top five player in the history of the game.

Shaq and Kobe had an ugly end, but guess what?  Now we love Shaq.  Because he brought us three titles, didn’t go out of his way to alienate the fans and mostly left his beef with Kobe (no pun intended) which was fine, because we knew they were both assholes anyway.  Legendary assholes who gave us five titles (three together).

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LA wants you to drop a ton of ecstasy, get on stage and knock out the DJ and play a set no one will ever forget and you can’t remember you did and then they want to make statues out of you.  Dwight wants to hang out in a room with average looking girls that want to sleep with him and watch him play awful acoustic covers of Dave Matthews.

And he can do that in Houston.

For those of you curious, Dwight is having all his glitzy suitors (from Texas and Atlanta) coming out to Los Angeles to take him on the Universal Studios Tour.  It’s weird that he doesn’t want to fly out there to get courted.  This just seems like a bunch of “asking for respect” instead of earning it by winning titles like Lakers expect you to.

Anyway, today Houston met with Dwight Howard and here is what ESPN’s Dave McMenamin and Ramona Shelburne (both condemned to chasing this turd all summer) said about the “pitch”:

The Houston Rockets, meanwhile, also met with Howard early Monday in Los Angeles.

The Rockets contingent who met with Howard included players James HardenChandler Parsons, coach Kevin McHale, general manager Daryl Morey, owner Les Alexander and Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. Yao Ming talked with Howard via Skype from China, and according to the Houston Chronicle, Dikembe Mutombo recorded a video message for Howard.

Yao told KRIV-TV in Houston that when he was contacted by Rockets CEO Tad Brown and Morey to help with the team’s pitch to Howard, he told them he “would love to help.”

Yao, who spoke to KRIV-TV in a telephone interview from Beijing, said he spoke to Howard via Skype and told him the Rockets “have a young team, a talented team that has ability to reach championship level with you.”

Yao said he will be in Houston on July 11 and hopes to meet with Howard.

After a late-night hotel dinner, Morey tweeted that it was “great” meeting with Howard and “obvious” how he and Harden could be “the next great big/wing combo.”

“Dwight is focused on winning championships,” Morey told KRIV-TV. “So are we.”

Does this remind you of that episode of Entourage where Vince was going to different agencies and just showing his face on monitors with Nike and McDonalds logos?  Seriously, picture this day.

Dwight comes in a day after hanging out in Anaheim at a video game convention and he already knows exactly what Houston can offer him.  So, we’re not talking deals here, we’re talking “why us”.

Houston brings in the usual suspects, James Harden to say what a text could do (something like I can’t wait to throw it near the rim and you dunk it when your shoulder/back isn’t hurt, you aren’t making YouTube videos, bricking free throws, blaming your coach and demanding a trade) and Hakeem and Clyde.

After they talk about how they loved being Rockets (even though any of them would have gone to the Lakers if needed at any point), the Rockets really pulled out the stops with the audio-visual part of the show.  I mean, seriously, picture this.

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Some IT guy is plugging in his Macbook asking everyone if they have a dongle to use, he’s switching the HDMI inputs around, they probably dim the lights and spend five seconds getting the volume right.

WHAT’S GONNA BE ON THIS VIDEO?!?!

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It’s Dikembe Mutumbo, who is most famous for being a Nugget and played with Houston looking more like the guy in that Geico commercial than the young man from the Congo who said not in my house.  Mutumbo at least knew whatever building he was in was in his house.  He didn’t need a parade of people to tell him “it’s your team”.  Dikembe made it his house.

What Dikembe told Dwight via video about coming to Houston is a mystery, but please someone leak that video.  Please.

I promise it wasn’t a story about their upbringings.  Dikembe got out of the Congo.  Dwight spent the summer eating at Sprinkles on Little Santa Monica.

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Up next was a Skype session with Yao Ming, who is responsible for the Houston Rockets looking like the Chinese National Basketball Team.  Remember when Yao was a thing and suddenly the Rockets went Asian inspired font, China flag inspired colors?  Yao must have told Dwight if he plays in Houston, they will all wear Superman capes and miss every free throw in his honor.  Then, the Chinese Government shut down the Skype session, put a gun to Yao’s head and forced him to play 95 hours of consecutive basketball on zero knee cartilage as he waits for sweet death’s embrace.

Yao told him Houston could reach championship level with him, something Yao knows a lot about having never won an NBA title.  If Dwight wants to know about championships, he should shut the fuck up, listen to Kobe, listen to Pau listening to Kobe and then look up because we keep them in the rafters at Staples.

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My favorite part of the article (and pitch)?  This:

According to the Chronicle, Houston planned to emphasize the “marketing potential” the Rockets continue to hold in China, being Yao’s former team. 

Dwight Howard, who everyone eventually wants to shut up and play golf in every city he goes, is looking to keep rehabbing his image and win championships and he’s going to do this in HOUSTON with James Harden (who couldn’t fucking win with Kevin Durant and fucking Russell Westbrook) and he’s going to look great to American fans as Houston pimps him to China.

Like (as I already reminded you) the time Houston did a full China rebrand.  Go ahead Dwight.  Please.

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Suddenly, all my job recruitments seem lazy.  Why have none of my employers told me that I’d be huge in China?

Oh yeah, because I am American and I’d rather be huge here and win championships.  Like the Lakers do.

Laker fans, do not sweat Howard leaving.  Embrace it.  What we have is a culture of winning in multiple decades.  D12 is the bad pain in the ass.  The kind that can’t do it without Kobe.  The Lakers might have some more down years getting their cap together as the league continues to find new ways to fuck them (literally the kama sutra is on the table when Stern holds CBA meetings), but we should enjoy watching Kobe retire as we plan to rebuild through draft, trade or the 2014 free agent class.  Let’s all chill.  We can’t win them all, but we seem to win plenty.

And no matter what, the Lakers will likely win before Dwight does in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas or Golden State.  It’s his funeral.  And he will be main man at that funeral.  Just ask Yao.

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Juice Cleanses, Motivational Quotes and the Death of Instagram

Somebody has to say it and it might as well be me because I have the platform.  Instagram was not created for you to post motivational quotes you screengrabbed from around the web.  I don’t think you realize what you are doing “people who do this.”

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I’m not some anti-conforming hipster trying to tell you what content to post or to ignore trends in life-casting.  There are plenty of Instagram habits in existence that are pretty annoying for everyone, but on some level I understand them. I don’t know that I get what the fuck is going on with “duck face” pictures, but I get that you are girl and you are probably excited about your lipstick and you have burnt out your “sorority squatting” photos and “planking” was so 2010 and really, the only planking you do is at the gym after you read a workout motivational instagram (we’ll get there.)

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But duck face girl, at least you “took a photo” and “made us laugh.”  Hell, you even provided girls who DON’T duck face the opportunity to “duck face” when they get together, get drunk and want to instagram and then feel bad that they are acting like girls who “duck face” from a genuine place, a real desire to “duck face.”

Lifecasting in general is a good thing.  I always like seeing where people are, I can even put up with what they are eating so I know if I should spend my hard earned bouillon on a meal at “humble brag restaurant.”  I like seeing what a concert I saved money not going to looked like.  Sure, I can’t fucking take Coachella-casting only because if you are from LA, it becomes all you see.  It’s like Coachella is the matrix and we all just woke up in it and can’t GTFO.

Getting near the point of wanting to kill myself is the “juice cleanse humblebrag” that you all no doubt are afraid of.  I drink juice.  I have a smoothie with flaxseed in it every morning (so I don’t get scurvy according to my wife) and occasionally if it’s available, I’ll drink a shot of ginger and wheatgrass.  Fuck it, let’s see what happens. What I can’t reconcile is why drinking juice makes you do this:

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I get it.  You spent a lot of money on juice and are sacrificing “food” for a few days to finally clear out that plate of nachos and margarita you haven’t been able to process since you were applying for grad school (you are now 27), but why the fuck do I need to know about it?

If you are an influencer, have a popular blog and posting this stuff gets you free juice cleanses, then good for you.  You get a pass.  If not, I suggest this rule:  Instragram pictures of your bowel movements afterwards.  What you are doing right now is showing us Bruce Willis arming himself to fuck up terrorists in Nakitomi Plaza and then you never show him fucking people up.  How weird would that movie be?  That’s how weird your lifecast is.

Do I want to see pictures of your shit?  (Shitstagram courtesy of @fightfromabove)  NO.  I do not want to see pictures of your shit.  But I also don’t want to see pictures of the juice fueling your quest to shit.

I am guilty of posting drinking photos perhaps too much, but it’s not preaching and it’s my way of feeling like I am toasting all my friends at the same time.  I like feeling connected.  Again, I’m not hard on foodcasters.  Every now and then to keep it real I’ll post a rum punch I made in someone’s pasta pot.  Just for kicks.

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Later that night I went to a neon party and hung with a friend wearing a unicorn mask.  I lifecasted the shit out of that.  It was douchey at times, but guess what? Not this douchey:

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Instagram Philosophers, whether it’s your quote, an anonymous quote or a famous quote…  THINK about what you are saying.  Worrying will never change the outcome?  Really?  Never?  I’m worried it might rain.  I will use the worry to pack an umbrella.  It might not change the rain, but the outcome changes.  I’m not soaking wet.  And who the fuck are you to put this on a blackboard.  The internet is forever.  TATTOO THIS ON A HUMAN IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT.

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This post happens 100 times a day.  Who are you saying this to?  INSTAGRAM IS NOT YOUR FUCKING REFRIGERATOR.  Let me guess, you post this and are happy when you get 10 “SO TRUE” comments and 32 likes.  But yeah, you don’t give a fuck about opinions.  Rebel. If you want to make this point, take a picture of yourself eating anything from Carl’s Jr. while sitting on the toilet on a bad hair day.  Then I will know you don’t give a fuck about opinions.  In doing so, everyone will probably like you way more and you will get what you really wanted anyway.

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Thanks for this.  You could have been fighting instead of distracting me from fighting.  You.  Or for anything that is worth having.

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My friend girls will tell you I am a fervent supporter of self-confidence for women.  I’m pretty sure broadcasting this kind of thing isn’t getting you there.  Who are you saying this about?  Yourself?  Are you supporting “unknown author?”  Yeah, I agree.  She was so once in a lifetime we don’t even know who the fuck she is.  Stop.  Find someone to date and value yourself.  We’re all insecure.  I get it.  Me too.  Please just take a picture of a dog or a cat or anything else.

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Work out pictures.  Here’s you you make them.  Take a spray tanned, stripper that eats dexatrim like it’s popcorn and then take the copy off the back of a 1992 “No Fear” shirt.  It’s defeating the purpose.  You are saying how motivated you are, but you are using all of us feeling guilty about not working out as your spring board to do more burpies.

Just post a Nike commercial because then we all can feel pumped up.  Or post a picture of you working out so we can say good job.  I mean, thanks for the half-naked person in my feed and all, but I live in Portland.  I’d walk six blocks to a strip club (in any direction, this city is weird).

For the record, we enjoy your marathon training and cross-fit pictures.  Just don’t superimpose quotes over them.

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I can’t start the next chapter of my life if you keep posting shit about it.  Also, this is commentary on that last chapter.  Get out of purgatory and just post a picture of the next chapter.  It’s called storytelling.  Please stop making me feel like you were abused.  He’s Just Not That Into You.  I’m Just Not That Into Your Instagramming.

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Let me translate.  I can’t afford the handbag I want that I do not need.  Post something about being happy.  This post was not making the best of everything.  It was telling people you are having a hard time letting go of not getting the handbag.  Please refer to advice from the previous quote about starting the next chapter in your life.  The one where you use any of your current handbags.

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This kills me.  You know what would have killed Churchill?  Him seeing his quote in some bastard-child of Comic Sans pixellated and used out of context.  The proper context?  A political speech or your refrigerator.

I’m just trying to help.  Your followers follow you because they WANT to see your lifecast.  So lifecast.  Instagram is genius because we can be everywhere at once.  We can spend times with old friends and if we get over the FOMO, it’s actually super nice to feel like you our out with all your friends.

But please.  No more juice pictures unless you are in it duck facing.  I promise to limit my “holding bourbon glasses and acting like I’m interesting pictures.”

No I don’t.  For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.  If it was good enough for Bill, it’s good enough for Zack.

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Hologram Tupac Thinks Coachella Line Up is “Whack”

Last year, Hologram Tupac proved he wasn’t dead and rocked Coachella in a “had to be there” or “had to have anything connected to the internet” moment.

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Being a holographic celebrity on the cutting edge of technology, you’d think Hologram Tupac would be a fervent supporter of the two-weekend cash grab concert that supports the mass pilgrimage droves of people who normally don’t go to concerts and don’t feel comfortable eating MDMA in Pan Pacific Park and prefer a more collaborative experiences.  Only that’s not the case.

Hologram Tupac told me he is against Coachella and felt like a “ponzi” after performing last year.  We sat down at his Iowa chateau located behind the center field wall of the corn field from Field of Dreams to talk Coachella, copyright infringement and being a hologram.

“It’s tough when you are a hologram, man,” Hologram Tupac lamented.  “Most people assume that was me on stage at Coachella, it wasn’t.  That was a recording of a performance I was programmed to do back in a digital soundstage in LA.  My Hologram Lawyer didn’t even know about it.”

He went on to say that Snoop was behind it knowing full well he was going into witness protection (read: changing name to Snoop Lion and vanishing from his reality show status.)

Basically, that show never happened.  Twice.

“There’s nothing gangster about 1000s of dollars worth of wristbands and a couple pills of ecstacy,” Hologram Tupac went on to say.  “For the money you spend on that hippie outfit you will never wear again, the drugs, the lodgings, the gas and then the over priced tickets, plus the time you spend Instagraming and Facebook the entire experience from ‘clicking purchase’ to ‘getting your tickets in a box’ to ‘buying booze’ to ‘dancing like an asshole’, you could have spent all that money buying some actual gangster experiences.  I cut my first Hologram Record for 1000 bucks.”

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I wondered if Hologram Tupac was a little bitter for not being invited back, being passed up for, perhaps, more notable holographic acts.  “Nah, man.  Thing is, people don’t realize half the acts are actually holograms.  This goes back five years.  Half the people there are so busy taking Instagrams dressed as Indians they can barely see the stage.  One year, I feel like it was 2011, Feist did the whole show from a dressing room at Anthropologie.  Kinda hardcore if you ask me.  She’s singing an Apple ad song trying on dresses with pouches in the front while all these hopped up kids are in the desert thinking Hologram Feist is real.  It’s a Ponzi.  That’s why I am out.  I’m done.  I’m only playing small venues and keeping prices low.”

Tell us how you REALLY feel, Hologram Tupac?

“Man, I just know the experience by heart now.  You are there, you’re on ecstasy.  You and your friend can’t believe you are in the desert listening to a DJ you Google’d.   You don’t know all these artists are holograms.  Then you run into Lena Dunham and shit your pants.  I mean, if you run into Lena Dunham, at least tell her season two was shit.  Me and Hologram Biggie got into season one, I mean, shit.  Who knew Brian Williams made a hot daughter?  But season two?  Put some clothes on, girl.”

It’s super hard to argue with Hologram Tupac.  I asked him any advice for non-Coachella goers who are burnt out on six months of a third of their friends giving constant status updates like they are the first people to receive packages in the mail.

“Yeah, man.  Turn off your smart phone.  Don’t go on Facebook.  Take a you-break, you know?  Maybe Burke-Williams.  Get pampered.  There’s nothing you can do to get away from it besides unplug.  Plus, you already know what happens.  Just abstain, man.”

What about Stagecoach?  Same thing?

“Nah, Stagecoach is okay with me.  The girls try to dress like cowgirls as opposed to hippies.  I know girls think hippie dressing is attractive to men.  We’d rather get with cowgirls.  Plus all that music at Stagecoach is designed to make women accept that men cheat and move on.  It’s a crazy ponzi.  That’s gangster.  To understand a country song, you need to get kicked in the heart and what better place than in the desert dressed as stripper cowgirls, right?”

Hologram Tupac has a point.

In all seriousness, to everyone heading out to Indio, be safe, hydrate and keep the Instagramming to a minimum.  Watch with your eyes.

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No Post Today Due to Fake Tsunami

Traveling back from Maui today. Big news this week. I’ll recap more but keeping it real, no need to globalize a loss. You never win with five turnovers and over 100 yards of penalties.

We were two loss at this point last year. Let’s focus on the Ducks and getting our Rose Bowl hopes back in line.

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Here’s a picture of the famous Hawaiian Butt Plant spotted near Jaws.

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Arrogant Game Recap: Colorado Buffs

Gave strong consideration to simply posting “Colorado blows” and then hitting post and saving my juice for Arizona, my home away from home.  Instead, I am going to stream of consciousness.

First of all, Chip Kelly tried to have me killed.  I have been sick for over a week and the only type of sick that’s ever kept me in battle for over a week was cancer.  It was weapons grade Duck Flu and don’t think I won’t see it coming next time.  I was in Urgent Care at 9 am on gameday demanding high fructose antibiotic serum injected into my forehead regardless of symptoms.  Luckily, the doctor on call went to USC (no joke) and gave me a cocktail of meds that would render me able to get to the game, but I would lose all appearances as a human.  Fair trade.

Look, you haven’t lived until you see football in this state.  I ran into people from high school who were giving me odd looks, later I realized this was because the sheer amount of meds I was on had me buzzing like an alarm clock.  They probably thought I might raid their medicine cabinets.  I was in a bad way, but it was important to attend this game in person.  I’ll save that for another day (ominous Bearfighter foreshadow, non-health related, fear not).

Sadly, my battle to stay conscious on meds was the most interesting battle of the game.  That is not to say it was not a hilarious, old-fashioned arrogant romp, the exact kind of thing we needed going into the meat of our schedule.  As a meat eater, this is my favorite.  Give me November football regardless of outcome.  I want the old 96’er every weekend, I’ll finish it.

It was obvious Colorado was going to lose the minute they came out of the tunnel.  They were doing some sort of jog.  It was a team jog.  It was like a menopausal run club jogging around a high school track in the Midwest.  I’m not using hyperbole.  They came out of the tunnel like they were nervous the game would go too long and they’d miss the first act of Book of Mormon.  I turned to my friends and said “fear the cloud god” and then realized that was the meds talking.  Then I told them “these guys are going to get destroyed”.

I was right on both counts.  USC had scored three times in the first 6 minutes of the game and the cloud god really shouldn’t be fucked with.

This game was honestly kind of boring.  We were never on offense because the minute we had it we scored.  Everyone rooting for this type of performance every week, realize you have to watch a lot of bad offense from the other team.  It’s like having to eat a truck load of broccoli just to get a bite of steak.  The steak was cooked perfectly though, so I had fun.  Also, meds are crazy.

Kyle Negrete running at 2pt conversion in, having it called back for being too awesome and then clanking the extended PA was super arrogant.  Ever more arrogant was the fact I never considered the possibility that any points we left on the board would come back to haunt us unless points on the board can somehow die and become ghosts.  That was the only way because Colorado is like the first person you hook up with after a serious breakup.  Who cares what it’s like, it’s a win, it wasn’t difficult and you really won’t need to think about it again for at least a year.

Geno Smith shit the bed and Matt Barkley shit on the competition.  He’s back in prime position for his NYC trip and if we win out, he’s going to get the hardware.  Lots of ifs, but nothing much has changed.  Looking at the BCS and our schedule and the schedule of the top ten, all USC has to do is win out and it’s almost inconceivable they wouldn’t get a shot at Alabama.  That said, we play for Rose Bowls, so a win next week is the next step.

But on the subject of Barkley.  19 of 20, the one incompletion was a drop?  298 yards and 6 TDs?  He also played for half a game.  Sometimes I wish Kiffin would just let us score 100 points to make a point.  The point that we can do it when we want to, but we just don’t.  Not with the cloud god watching.  We pLAy for the cloud god.

So, a record setting day for Matt and Robert Woods.  Nothing is quite as arrogant as the fact that for all the hoopla about the offenses in the Pac-12, the wide open play and the existence of the Ducks, the USC touchdowns thrown record IS the Pac-12’s record.

The videos that were canned for Matt and Robert were great.  The highlights for me were seeing Carson jump into frame when Matt Leinart was congratulating Barkley.  I mean who doesn’t get a kick out of seeing those two together, laughing at how Matt just gets millions and does nothing and how Carson wore pads and made Leinart look tiny.  In the end, Leinart still says scoreboard to Carson.

I enjoyed Keyshawn telling Robert his receptions record meant he was just a little, tiny bit better than him.  Good Trojan moment reflecting our arrogance.  Key would not give that up unless it was deserved, but you saw his personality.  He was giving Robert his due and truthfully, Robert has done as much as anyone but Matty Trojan to bring this team back to where it is (and it’s further than you think).

The third part I loved was Matt’s face when his video ended.  When I wrote the post asking him to stay, it was for moments like this.  I said it then, I’ll say it again so the cloud god hears…  We want Matt to hold our records and represent us no matter what bowl we go to or what happens with the Heisman.  He’s everything we want to be and him smiling like an asshole (in a good way) taking in a big moment made me really happy in the big picture sense.  Our guy is being written in the book.  Robert too.  These are the guys we want written in ink.  It’s great to see it happen.

It’s also great to see how awful Colorado is.  With Washington State probably becoming a goodish team over the next few, we’re going to need a perennial doormat and Colorado seems totally stoked to do so.  They even bring a white doormat to put out on the fifty yard line to remind them of who they are.  It’s tradition they jog passed it before every game before checking the snow report and ignoring the fact they are being ransacked like buffaloes by rifles shot from a passing train in the 1800s.

I didn’t even predict a final score for them.  I was impressed they kicked two FGs.  I am so glad that while we will rotate with the Oregon and Washington schools every year, we’ll always have you Ralphie.  We’ll always have you.  And your wonky older brother Utah, who kind of sucks too.

So here’s where the rubber meets the road.  Too many people thinking about the polls.  Think about wins.  Nothing can keep us out of the Rose Bowl if we win out and a large part of me would be stoked about a Rose Bowl win.  It’s been a few years and we got so used to Rose Bowl wins as consolation prizes for not winning it all, I was blown away seeing Oregon flip their shit for winning their first one in 100 years.  Or since like, radio.  Or sliced bread.

Oregon flipped out for something we have done I think like four times in a ten year period and would have done more if we didn’t play in two National Titles and an Orange Bowl.  I would be thrilled to have a great Pasadena day in January.

That said, for those of you needing to watch the polls, just look to K-State.  They are the only team that winning out will prevent us from going contingent on us winning out our very tough schedule.  I mean, Oregon State is going to lose.  K-State may not.  Every week, a win.  We’re rolling now.

I’m spent and not 100%.  I’ll be watching the Zona game from the Four Seasons in Maui, the Bearfighter needs a break and when I return, we’ll keep it super real and talk Oregon (in more ways than one).  Let’s get the win and then I promise an interesting week on this blog.

Last note, in my medicine haze I was wandering down the Row to my car and saw a kid in what appeared to be a bootleg Arrogant Nation shirt.  I was initially like “who fucks with the Bearfighter” and then after consulting the cloud god I realized what a total compliment this was.  I made a turn towards Adams and then hear my name shouted out.  I turn, it’s that crew pumping fists and yelling “I love your shit” or something like that.  Totally worthwhile.  Everytime I get someone at the Coli high five me, toss me a beer, the legend grows and my heart is happy.  You arrogant bastards make every word worth it.

Hell with a pen wherever that paper is.

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You Are No Sweet Genius

This may be off topic, even for a blog that technically is about USC football, the Bachelor and things I do when I have too much bourbon and hang out with the Mad Men.  That said, what kind of fucked up week gives you a Saturday on a Wednesday?  Come on, America.  France gets like 2 months paid vacation.  We don’t even get a 5 day weekend to celebrate YOUR fucking birthday?  Don’t be that asshole, America.  Not with the Olympics coming up.  You need us now, tonight.  You fucking need us more, than ever.

All that aside, I write to you to call us out as a nation right now.  I need to shed light on the realness right now because you are all either celebrating too much about Obamacare or threatening to move to another country with socialized health care because you don’t understand what Obamacare is.

I am writing you because we have let pastries get out of control.

Social media is the ultimate recognizer of trends.  If this was 1994, only half of you would have known what “Call Me Maybe” was.  Only a third of you would know the joy that was dancing like an asshole to “Levels” and then “Levels (In Reverse)”.  Hell, most of you would think dubstep was a new way of getting high that involved farting into a plastic bag (ironically, even when I am enjoying the drop in Cinema, it still sounds a little like that anyway).

Social media is the reason that despite not being a pastry person, I know what all of you are eating.  I know because you guys tweet and shoot photos of everything you eat.  I can dig that.  It’s a good way to see what’s out there.  Until a trend in pastry gets out of control and it brings out everything you hate in everyone, movies, society and humankind.

I think I first noticed it when everything was chocolate covered bacon.  It was like, chocolate covered bacon ice cream.  Chocolate covered bacon foam on a bacon frittata.  Bacon cupcakes.  Bacon fuck you.  I can’t deal with this just coming off the food truck thing.  Food trucks are like restaurants.  They are sometimes good, sometimes not.  Just because it drives and tweets doesn’t mean you suddenly lived in Brooklyn for eight years and were a successful DJ in Sweden.

The next trend was red velvet cupcakes, cakes, pancakes, you name it.  This shit got so popular, people were literally freaking the fuck out in the streets rubbing cream cheese frosting on their faces and crying.  You’d be in your office and hear people oohing and aahing and you’d walk over to see what you hoped would be something awesome.  Nope.  Someone went to Sprinkles and time and space started going in reverse.

Nevermind that red velvet cake has been around forever, was a treat in the south dyed red with beet juice and is basically just a chocolate buttermilk cake dyed red.  Nope.  It’s the new hot thing and if you aren’t on board, kill yourself.  Hell, I learned to bake them just to make a point to co-workers that if I could do it, it’s not special.  Ironically, this type of thing taught me how to cook and now I am ever MORE attractive.  BRB, gonna look in the mirror for a while.

[twenty minutes later]

Damn, that was good.

After red velvet (and the totally ass-backwards blue velvet, remember?), there was salted caramel everything.  Again, this has been around forever (just ask Alton Brown) just like putting salt on a grapefruit.  That didn’t stop the world from fascinating itself with exotic sea salts on every kind of caramel you could think of.  Salted caramel gelato, salted caramel cupcakes, salted caramel covered chocolate dipped bacon red velvet cupcakes.  Whoa, aneurysm.

We survived all of this only to get to the most ridiculous trend of them all.  I thought it was going to be the cake mix in a jar thing, but turns out that is actually practical enough that people aren’t obsessing.  They just appreciate the convenience of “just add eggs”.  No, the new trend is obvious, in fact, it’s not that new (which means it’s about to get uncomfortably big).

It’s turning everything into a fucking popsicle.

Because a bite size cake wasn’t enough.  You needed to shove a stick up it’s ass.  You said, “I don’t look like quite as much of an asshole as I thought eating this chocolate bacon red velvet cupcake, I know, let’s eat it on a stick”.

It doesn’t stop there.  Once these things came into fashion, we had to start putting sticks in everything.

What do we need a pancake pop for?  Can we just as a society commit to eating a fucking pancake on a plate with syrup?  Like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter intended?  The point of a pop in the first place is to eat something more conveniently.  Like a FROZEN, STICKY ICE CREAM BAR or A STICKY, HARD CANDY LOLLIPOP.  We have the technology to eat our cakes and pancakes on a plate and for those of you that wanted it bite-size, that’s why they made cupcakes.  It’s convenient enough without making you look like the kind of asshole who is amused by a fondant wrapped cake shaped like Hello Kitty that you can eat in 2 seconds impaled on a stick like it was sitting in front of King’s Landing.

And don’t tell me pies are convenient.  If you went to middle school, you know they solved this problem long ago.

That’s the American way.  We’ll make anything more convenient to put in our fat ass, but we ARE NOT DOING IT TO SHOW OFF WE ARE DOING IT BECAUSE WE CAN.  No one looks cool eating a cake pop.  Rule of thumb, unless you NEED a stick to eat it, find another way.  What’s next, meat and vegetables on sticks?!

Oh, but we aren’t freaking out and posting pictures to every social network about kebobs are we?  We’re not painting eyes and mouths on skewered lamb chunks, are we?  No, we aren’t.  That’d be awkward.  Kind of like putting a popsicle stick in something you could just as easily pick up and eat with the world’s original convenient eating tool:  your fucking hand.

Until I see someone win Sweet Genius with a cake pop, it’s not happening.  Ron Ben Israel (RBI as my brother in law calls him, which is amazing) is the only judge of confection I trust.  Why?  Well, he’s hilarious for one.  Two, he was an Israeli soldier and has probably killed people.  Then, he tops that by becoming a professional modern dancer for ten years only to retire and become the world’s leading cake maker.

He will tell you if you belong in his magical world of desserts and if you don’t, tough shit he’s been trained in Krav Maga to kill you, but you should just kill yourself because you failed RBI.  You are no sweet genius.  You do not share his obsession with confection.  Sorry, bro.  Go stick a popsicle stick where the sun doesn’t shine.

Here’s a suggestion from the bearfighter.  This Fourth of July, do what our forefathers intended.  Bake a cake and cover it with fruit to create a noble depiction of the stars and stripes.  Like Martha Washington never did.

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The Best Comedy of 2012 Was Not a Comedy and I Watched it on Lifetime When My Wife Was Out of Town: A Love Story

Guys.  I was dead wrong.  I’ve turned my nose up at Lifetime network since I was a kid.  I feel like a saw an after-school special type film about drugs once and then just fell into the stereotype that all their films offered nothing to society.  I went to the best film school in the world, became a Mad Man and worked with monster brands and started the greatest blog in the history of the universe and still, I was blind to the truth.

After a night in Silver Lake that featured 100+ proof bourbon at all turns, a Mexican restaurant decorated in freakishly patriotic 4th of July attire, soup that featured alphabet letter noodles somehow repurposed, hallucinogenic margaritas, a bouncer that made even a leather-hearted barhopper like me uncomfortable, glowing red Chinese lanterns, displaced Swedish thrill seekers, drinks in tiki mugs, jukebox terrorism (we were the terrorists) and a fearless walk through the night lizards up a steep hill to be rewarded with the lion’s share of Machete on television, nothing could shake my foundation more than my Sunday night experience.

My wife is in the Pacific Northwest and I woke up on 3 hours sleep to play in my corporate softball game (of course we won, yes I went 3-3 with 2 rbis) and then spent the rest of the day trying to figure out if I wanted to sleep or be awake.  The conditions were perfect for magic.

I ordered enough Chinese food for five people and picked it up in red and gold awful 2010 NBA All-Star Game basketball shorts Adidas gave me back in the day and a grey shirt with neon colors that I bought before my band played back in 2008.  I scared all the old people finishing up their 5pm dinners.  You needed a retina display to full appreciate the amount of color I was sporting.  Plus I smelled like baseball diamond and Angostura bitters.

I was entrenched on the couch really owning being a total piece of shit on a Sunday.  I didn’t think the movie gods could love me any more when National Treasure was starting because between Diane Kruger (yes please) and Nick Cage just being Nick Cage, this was the level of D- entertainment I wanted before kicking off a rigorous work week.

Only when attempting to change the channel I mistakenly typed in the wrong number (if you have a Time Warner Cable box, you know the feeling, it’s like as responsive as a broken drive thru window system).  I landed on Lifetime and was treated to this man:

Rapist glasses, a porn stache and thinning red hair?  He was being lured to a poker game with his three buddies from the steel plant and spoke with a lilting MacGruber-like tone accompanied with an occasional lisp and head wobble.  It was transfixing.  This guy was the most socially awkward character of all time.  I kept thinking “who is this alien these steel workers are hanging with and why does one of them look like an early 2000s boy band member”.  Regardless, this film followed the same strategy I’ve always used with women.  Just keep talking.  Like a bad movie, if they invest more than 20 minutes, they’ll probably watch the whole thing.

Luckily, my wife wanted to see the sequel.  Maybe not after this post.  Tried to explain it to her on the phone.  No one takes this kind of endorsement seriously.  You should.  This film is on point.  It’s a must.

So I hit the info button.  This film is called “Talhotblonde”.

It’s directed by Courtney Cox from Friends.  Legit.  Her first directorial attempt and guess what.  She hit a fucking home run backwards.  She wanted to knock it over the center field wall.  She instead fouled it backwards 450 feet onto the freeway and all the cars crashed and naked models got out of these cars and put out the fires with a wet t-shirt party.  You don’t understand how unintentionally funny this film is.

This beaten down red-headed steel worker poker enthusiast gets prodded into trying “online poker” with his friends and our pervy hero is like “I don’t do the internet much, I mean, we have a computer”.  He’s told to “enter this into your browser” and he literally goes home and Googles AllBetzOff.com and then gets a link to AllBetzOff and he creates his screenname “MarineSniper” which is key because this is a Lifetime movie and we need to know he’s wanting to be the man he was when he was a young marine guy.

He’s online and randomly some woman named “TalhotBlonde” starts chatting him and they Chris Hansen into love in like 3 minutes.  Now, you need to watch this clip so you understand what kind of movie this is.  Spoiler alert, this is from later when the film is laugh-a-minute amazing and he is cold buggin’.

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Can you deal with that?  When he types, he talks out loud with a lisp.  There’s a montage of him driving and freaking out that seriously rivals anything Jim Carrey has ever done.  I recognize this actor was in soap operas and had a role in No Country For Old Men, but if he doesn’t win an Emmy for Funniest Shit Ever, I am destroying my television set.

The story predictably gets out of hand.  MarineSniper (my new word for a guy that perves hard on a girl) starts working out, obsessively playing online poker (which he treats like he’s going to Narnia, made me miss the old internet dial-up days), exchanging letters with this girl and for real asking her to marry him.

She sends him a care package he reads in the forest (not kidding) with some racy photos and a pair of her underwear (yes he sniffs it, this is a first class B movie) and he figures out switching SIM cards on his phone to be able to call her and shit.  He buys a laptop and the family is low on money.  It gets real in the Whole Foods Parking Lot.

This movie cannot be ruined.  I could have read the script and there’d be no way to see how funny this film got.  All credit to Garret Dillahunt who I recognized but clearly have been sleeping on.  Fucker needs to be in a comedy right now.  This performance was the most hilarious creepster since Jim Carrey did Cable Guy.

There’s a scene where he basically pleases himself on his balcony while playing online poker that I am sure was supposed to be dramatic, but for me it was the missing scene from Animal House.

So, just to ruin this thing for you, he gets caught because his wife logs into his laptop in the worst hacking scene of all time, she tries everyone’s name as a password then truly cracks the code when she tries “semper fi”.  Nice call, marine.  He has to sleep in the garage and shit and then of course, right when it gets better, he trips out.

I’ll spare you the details, save his boy band friend is gonna start dating this girl and then Dillahunt gears up marinesniper style and literally shoots his friend in the face.  Then he takes the kids camping and gets arrested.

Ultimate shocker?  In interrogation he finds out TalHotBlonde isn’t the daughter.  IT’S THE PERVY MOTHER PERVING ON HIM JUST LIKE HE WAS PERVING ON HER!

EPIC!

I almost lit my couch on fire I was laughing so hard until I Googled the film and realized I am a shitty person in a big way.  Why?

IT’S BASED OFF A TRUE STORY.

Crap.  Condolences to the real people involved.  This went so hardcore so fast.  I felt kind of bad until I remembered how hilarious this film was and now that I am writing about it, is it possible Courtney Cox was an idiot savant film director?  I haven’t reviewed a film since The Hunger Games and I LIKED THIS FILM MORE.  Sure, not for the reasons the director intended.  Sure, I thought this was a comedy until the gun came out at the end.  Sure, every commercial aired was for this (seriously).

But let’s keep it real.  I watched it, I cracked up and I am now telling you to watch this shit.  Maybe it is the comedy of the year and if anyone out there thought “hey, I should have an affair in an online poker room”, you will probably think twice.

Also, I got my Halloween costume forever.

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Zack Fixes Your Life: Crying Boss

Here’s today’s letter from someone who is probably really attractive because, after all, no one unattractive reads this blog.  My readers are like fitness magazines if fitness magazines were mirrors.

Dear Bearfighter,

I moved back home to Vegas from Los Angeles about 8 months ago to transfer to a better job.  I’m gaining valuable professional experience, but my boss is emotionally erratic.  There are days when I feel like his therapist.  This past week alone I’ve been both yelled at by him and been his shoulder to cry on, literally.  Tears.  He’s a charismatic figure, and I feel obligated to him for all he’s taught me about our industry.  BUT, when I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure our industry is where my passions lie.  And, more and more frequently, I’ve been hearing the siren song of Los Angeles calling me back to its awesome weather and amazing concert venues.  (On a less superficial note, most of my close friends live there as well, and I miss them.)  Is it immature of me to leave a job after such a short amount of time to move back to LA?  I’m 31 and wondering – would a grown-up just suck it up and deal with Sir Pops-Valium-A-Lot?  Or do grown-ups follow their hearts?

Thanks,

L

The first question I have to ask is are you a professional baseball player.  I saw A League of Their Own and a very drunk Tom Hanks told me there’s no crying in baseball.  So if you are a baseball player, you definitely need to GTFO of this situation.

Assuming you are not a ballplayer, here is my advice.  Apologies in advance for my feelings on your hometown.  Las Vegas is the bathroom.  You need the bathroom, but you don’t want to live in the bathroom.  Even if it’s a really elaborate and fancy bathroom, like Vegas is.  I mean, every now and then, you REALLY need to go and you are glad there’s a toilet nearby (Vegas).  You get to the bathroom, you do some narcotics with total strangers who can get you into Marquee, you eat an expensive dinner you forgot you even ate until you are vomiting, look, I get it.  We all love the toilet.  That said, when you shop for a home, you don’t pick bathroom over bedroom.  You are going to spend more time in the bedroom than the bathroom, unless you have an eating disorder in which case you def. need to get advice from a doctor, and not the one who has a bus that gives IVs to people with hangovers (in Vegas, for serious).

You clearly want to come back to the bedroom, Los Angeles.  That’s what’s in you.  So let’s evaluate why you’d stay?

To work for a dude that cries?  I have seen women cry in the office to get out of trouble and I have often thought about how hard I’d get fired for crying in public unless I was walking a dog that got run over by an innocent criminal who was headed for freedom and then he gets arrested and it’s all my fault and the ghost of the dog haunts my mansion with ghost barks all night.  Short of that, I need to buck the eff up and tilt my chin up.

This is a dude and this dude is your boss.  Guys that cry at the office are usually on something.  We hide our feelings, not struggle to contain them.  What on earth is the holiday party like?  He’s all in a good mood, then vanishes, comes back all emo drunk and requests some early 90s music, then cries and then gets so pissed he flips the table with the chocolate fountain and it gives a waiter a 2nd degree burn on his face and then the dude cries… Again.

Unless this is the opportunity of a lifetime and/or you love being in the bathroom, roll back to LA.  Get with your friends out here, maybe steal a Prius so you can sneak up on your dreams in EV mode.  Life’s too short to take shit unless that shit is so valuable it’s worth smelling bad for.

If you must stay, I think you should cry in the office and when he gets angry, remind him of when he cried.  Or just video tape him crying and when he’s being a shit, tell him “one word – YouTube” which will suck because who wants a crying vid of themself on YouTube and also, it’s weird to think YouTube is one word.

Z-crest, out.  Happy Friday.

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To Those Graduating from USC (or perhaps other schools).

I realize this post may not apply to many of you, but that’s okay.  At one point it will or did.

This post is to USC’s senior class that stands to graduate shortly.  This class is special to me for many reasons, but that is not the point of this post.  The point of this post is to break a bottle of champagne (or bourbon, but who’d waste that?) on the hull of your departing ships.  You assholes are in for a wild ride.  You should probably watch Girls, Lost in Translation and several violent 90s action movies.  Anytime I have a bad day at work I think about how Bruce Willis killed a whole building filled with terrorists in Century City in the 80s.  Or how Arnold was forced to fight for his life in a game show that got ripped off 1000 times until you got stuck with the Hunger Games. But yeah, graduating seniors.

May the odds be every in your favor, and if they aren’t, give the odds the middle finger, kill a terrorist and take his machine gun.

This class is special to me.  The blog started their freshman year (I think).  They were vocal during the sanctions era.  Members of this class have brought me to tailgates and kept me young.  They’ve worn my t-shirts and campaigned for me when ESPN shows up.  They’ve brought me to campus to speak and I’ve helped get them hired as interns.  I’ve spoken at their Order of Omega retreat and they’ve made me look cool in front of my wife lining up to spill bourbon with me.  I’ve hung with them  in Vegas and possibly used illuminated pool floatie noodles to make dubstep-timed photocopies of them and total strangers for no good reason.  They’ve escorted me to the 9-0 even though the 9-0 should be the 10-0 or 11-0 at this point it’s so much cleaner than in my early 2000s days.  Someone I won’t name punched someone I won’t name (I think because of me, I wasn’t all there at the time) and the worst part of it wasn’t a man getting cold cocked by a woman at a bar, the worst part was falling to your knees and getting the sludge on the floor all over you.  You can’t just clean it off you.

The point is, this last year because of these seniors, not only have I experienced incredible personal benefits, I have really been brought into the community in the best possible way, by students.  Arrogant Nation was always for the current students.  My alumni readership understands that.  When we support Arrogant Nation, it’s a connection between past and present, it’s a hope that the current kids (despite the fact that now you need to be smart as hell to get into USC) uphold the old school arrogant ways our forealums set in motion. The minute we simply rely on our big endowment and high admission standards, the sooner we turn into Stanford, which even when I visited it in 8th grade drove me to become more outgoing so I’d always talk to girls and cool dudes so I never ended up like the kids I met there in the cafeteria who looked like they missed the memo that college is supposed to be the best time of your life, and if not, it at least should be the most buckwild.

This senior class has delivered.  They are arrogant, they are loyal and they are smart.  So now what? Sparta, bitches.

As you no doubt have realized, this is the scene in the 300 where they send your ass out into the cold and basically say, “Don’t fucking come back until you kill a huge ass wolf and find killing wolves hilarious”.

Shocking as it may be to those who haven’t heard me speak at SC, I didn’t leave college a bearfighter.  I had to learn these skills in the wild through getting my ass handed to me, questioning everything and then learning what things about me posed significant matchup problems for the opposition.  I’ve used this very blog to make things happen for me in my life.  The best way to learn is just to do.

That’s why Nike says “just do it”.  In fact “just do it” is said before most of the best most epic and worst most epic decisions in your life.  Those are the ones you are going to want to seek out and learn from.

Some of you have plans.  There’s MBA kid or LSAT kid or MCAT kid.  They can tend to freak you out Comm/Film/Liberal Arts/Music/Poli Sci majors.  Don’t worry.  Let me be the first to say, the path isn’t what makes you “make it”.  It’s how hard you run forward and how fast you swing the machete and how fearlessly you commit yourselves to that path. Some of you will have low starting salaries, some of you will have high starting salaries.  Believe me though, your hourly rates will probably be similar.

I remember a lawyer friend of mine blowing my mind.  They were making almost 2.5 times my annual salary, but while I was pre-screening HBO shows and working on top of a motorcycle shop in WeHo, they were dropping 90+ hour weeks, not coming to happy hours and falling off the face of the fucking planet. I am not knocking them, that particular lawyer now is well on their way to being a partner and their hours have downgraded from suicidal to weekend warrior.  The point is, he and I make about the same at this point.  We took vastly different roles.  He worked crazy hard and was rewarded.  I got fired twice, survived cancer for the second time, contemplated switching careers, sold some writing and then ended up a mad man strategizing digital and social ads.  We both probably ran around the same amount.  We both ended up pretty much the same.  That’s because at some point for both of us, we learned to work hard, take responsibility and own our failures as much as our successes.  That said, I’m glad I work in video games (no offense buddy!)

My point is that the kid who tries to intimidate you with their “plan” is super insecure and feels like your self-doubt might fuel them.  Fuck that noise, friends.  Just say “hope that works out for you”.  Your job is to be a bearfighter.  Honestly, the best things I did for myself in business all had to do with making relationships, putting others before myself and having the courage to bite off more than I could chew.

When everyone talks about a bad economy, it’s easy to use it as an excuse.  Sure, it may take you a while to find work.  It took me from May to October to get a job out of college, but now, I have a big network and plenty of places to look if I had to.  Also, regardless of how hard you plan a perfect career, you will lose a job, you will get a promotion, you will fail in the face of success and definitely succeed in the face of failure.  The only thing YOU can control is how hard you work and by the same token, how much shit you can take without turning into a whiner.

I always think back to the only cool Oregon Duck, Steve Prefontaine, who made running a rockstar occupation.  The dude was lazers and glow sticks and pool parties.  Rent the film “Without Limits” and watch it and think about it every damn time you face adversity.  Honestly, I’ve run 2 marathons because of this film because I wanted to know how far I could push it.  Here’s a few quotes from “Pre” that every Trojan should understand (well, quotes from the film at least)

“I’d like to work it out so that in the end, it comes down to a pure guts race. If it is, I’m the only one who can win it.” – Steve Prefontaine

And then this scene, which has been my mantra.  It’s all about bearfighting.

Mary Marckx: You don’t really believe you can do anything. Steve Prefontaine: Absolutely. Mary: Fly a plane? Pre: Well, sure. If I wanted, you read the manual and get the best teaching and… take off. Mary: Steve, not everything can be learned, ya know, I mean, some things take talent. Pre: Whoa. Let me tell you something. Talent is a myth, Mary. There’s a dozen guys on the team with more talent in their little finger. Mary: Then how come you can beat them? Pre: A little secret I learned a long time ago, in Coos Bay, in the woods. Mary: So what’s your little secret? The one you learned a long time ago. Pre: I can endure more pain than anyone you’ve ever met. That’s why I can beat anyone I’ve ever met. 

Being tested is the best feeling in the world.  Not at the time, but to get through it and see you can?  That’s what Fight Club was about (and a lot of other stuff).  It’s about the first time you put on football pads and get absolutely ROCKED and then you get up and see you are still alive.  Like you did something that day.  There’s a nobility about being able to take a punch and throw one back.  Nothing is more demoralizing to the enemy than for them to think they’ve put you down only to find out the opposite.  You are stronger now.

I don’t advocate revenge, but I do advocate proving everyone wrong.  People have stronger times and more vulnerable times.  You need endurance and patience and a little bit of perverse arrogance to be a success.  When you are wronged or kicked in the teeth, get back up and keep going and make a note about who got you.  You are like a tiger.  You will hunt them forever.

Realistically, the world doesn’t like people that need to put other people down to make it.  By the time you have the perfect chance to have your moment of glory with them, most likely the world will have dragged them down and you’ll be doing so much better that the whole thing seems petty.  Most of my enemies I can’t remember at this point, so in a way, they aren’t really enemies anymore.

The way to get ahead in the real world is to bring your friends and co-workers with you.  The number one key to success after how hard you work and how many punches you can take is simply being the kind of person other want to succeed.

Stay late and help with other projects, meet people on other teams or departments.  Go to happy hour when you are young because you will get married, have kids and as foreign as this sounds, you will want to spend all your time with your significant other.  That’s why your Dad isn’t at the 9-0 with you.  He’s at home with his best friend.  (That said I’ve drank at the 9-0 with some Dads and exceptions to the rule are awesome.  Embrace them).

That brings me to the next point.  Dating is about to change and it will factor into your real world life.  In a big way.  You are going to have friends that just start nesting and getting engaged really soon.  The first year or so will be a blur.  It will be like college.  You won’t have crazy work responsibility, you will have some grad school friends, you will meet up at bars and feel kind of poor.  It’s a great time.  I recommend you enjoy this period.  I lived in a magically Never-Neverland Narnia Middle Earth for a year after I graduated and it was amazing.

The thing is, the nesting will start and you need to not hate your friends who have life changes.  People are going to run different races and you need to respect that.  Some will act like assholes and tell you far, far too much about their plans unsolicited.  Don’t worry.  They will get married, you will have fewer chances to see each other and eventually, systematically removing them from your life is as simple as not returning that 2x yearly call to meet up at some awful Italian place that they like but no one else does. Do NOT be sentimental.  Friends will change.  The key for you is to move at the speed of your life and relationships.  Don’t waste energy being a hater, even on people hating on you.  Life will work it out and at some point you will probably feel bad for them about something, if you even think about them at all.  I don’t even remember what I ate yesterday let alone what or who I was mad about five years ago.  If we haven’t talked, you aren’t on my mind, and thus, we’re all good.  If you are, we’re probably drinking soon.  People from the first list need only invite you for a drink to be present of mind again.  It’s a cycle.  Life works it out.  I just don’t want you to miss an opportunity because you are being spiteful about someone you care about’s life moving in a direction that makes no sense.  It only needs to make sense to them.

Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

Choose your circle based on how their lives work with yours.  I have been in a 3 year period of amazing dinners, trips and bachelor parties leading into weddings.  Your great friends who are just happy for your wins will probably marry people that you like.  My friends’ wives are some of my best friends now and I think they’d say the same about my wife, mostly because I found her and how bad could anyone I spend all day and night with be.  She’s better than finding $100 in every pocket of every piece of clothing you own for six months straight.

So in case you need all of this summed up, here goes:

Work harder than anyone else.  Don’t take it personally when life kicks you in the balls (or female equivalent).  Enjoy the feeling of taking a punch.  Project what you want to happen to your friends and find out what they want.  Help them get what they want and they will do the same.  Don’t be sentimental about relationships.  The best people work hard to be around you and it isn’t hard work.  It’s a reward for hard work (and not being sentimental).  Always forgive but never forget.  Don’t sweat your ex (high school, college, confusing “Girls” style quarterlife dating partners, failed fiance/fiancee, ex-spouse).  They are probably good people and probably important to where you are now, even if it’s just to know what you hate.  If you can root for them to be happy, you probably are great at finding happiness for yourself.  Let life sort itself out.  Don’t borrow trouble.  You will find plenty.  Determine the things you can control and aggressively attack those things.  If you can’t control it, focus on learning to deal with it.  Marry the person you want to allocate the most of your time with.  That doesn’t sound romantic, but when you find it, you will realize it’s the most romantic thing ever.  Time is everything and short of a big ass engagement ring, it’s the most valuable asset you have.  Just watch that bad movie with Timberlake and Amanda Seyeysufired.

You may want to put this in life, Helvetica and turn it into a poster.  It’s the shitty version of the beginning of Trainspotting, which I hope you have seen even though it was before your time.

Pretty soon, you will wake up and for the first time in your life your name won’t be on a list of somewhere you are supposed to be.  No one will be expecting you.  Don’t be scared.  Enjoy the deep breath life is affording you.  When you have collected yourself, stumble, sprint and ramble hard into your life.  Endless possibilities.  In 2001 when I graduated high school, there was no formal social media to speak of and now, I get to direct an entire division of smart, cool people using it to sell video games.  And I went to film school.  My father was a history major and runs a television station.  Life is a trip.

You got not idea what’s coming and you don’t need to.  Just figure out how you want to run the race and worry about the course at each turn.

I ask only one thing of you as you move forward.  Fight hard and enjoy it.  Actually, two things.  Please make sure your younger friends, lil bros and sisters read this blog.  I have no idea how long I will keep doing it.  Like I said, I work hard to not be sentimental.  We may win the Natty next year and I may retire.  I have no idea other than that there is still gas in this tank.

Thanks for being a part of Arrogant Nation and growing it.  Now, at tail gates, we will be fellow alum.

In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, “Buy the ticket.  Take the Ride”.

And you’re off…

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Support Miner on Kickstart

You know the Bearfighter doesn’t back products or services or experiences very often that he hasn’t created himself.  That’s because I am committed to only bringing you the raw thunder you expect from me on our existential romp through time together.  I mean, who else can switch between 3rd and 1st person so effortlessly with such little regard for proper English or even, improper English.

Some of you know I was in a band called Fight From Above from my USC days through the beginning of my ad career.  I eventually left the band to pursue being a full time “mad man” and put more time into this writing project you are reading.  The kept on killing it, but sometime a year later, the band disbanded and everyone went on to do some really great things.  We had experienced a lot of joy from touring, playing the venues in LA I grew up going to, sharing the stage with some great acts (Young the Giant a few times was pretty cool, to name drop one of my favorites) and hearing ourselves on KROQ, which if you grew up in SoCal was a huge thrill.  Hell, we even made it on the Hills before it died.  Mad cred with our sorority friends.

I met Miner at USC in our fraternity.  One night we used a totally legal ID to buy booze on an excursion that totally had nothing to do with pledging our house.  He was the victim of a misplaced racist comment by a homeless man (not sure what race he thought we were) who in some strange kind of flashback chased us down the street unprovoked.  Only a Heineken keg was able to slow him down and at that point I was not far enough removed from high school baseball to lose accuracy.  Pure chaos, loved every second.

Miner was an oddity because unlike everyone else who could play guitar at USC (myself included), he kept it a secret.  I had to get him to drink a lot before he’d jam with the door open.  Eventually, we started a band that later became Fight From Above and the rest was history.  This random Hawaiian kid in Downtown LA making music.

To cut to the chase, he started a Kickstarter project to get his new album mixed and mastered and I’ve already backed him.  I am putting this out there because just like Keith (WHO WE DID GET TO THE SUPER BOWL!), he is a part of the Bearfighter’s intimate circle, someone who has terrorized the tailgating scene with me many times, someone who will be mentioned so much more in my future plans here.  Johnny Pineapple, the great Justin Miner.   CLICK HERE TO DONATE A FEW QUID TO THE KID.

My band really supported me when I left, the only truly mutual break-up I have ever even heard of.  In the time since I left, this blog became a seven-digit traffic earner, I’ve gotten to speak on its behalf, it’s been insane.  Just like I was meant to do this and freak out as a social advertising ninja, Miner was born to be a folk singer.  I want to make sure we support him like he (and my other two bandmates) supported me.

So, Trojans and people excited for Emily Maynard coverage, if you have a few bucks, help Miner make this album happen.  It will be the soundtrack to your summer, I have no doubt.  This man metabolizes bourbon with the best of them and bucks the trend of people in Silverlake not loving football.  This guy loves Trojan football as much as he loves music.  Back a fellow bearfighter.  Especially one with the ability to grow a fro like the one displayed in some of the pictures in this post.  Pure follicle fire.

Now.  I’m off to Las Vegas with the ad freaks.  If you are there, tweet at me or something like that.

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