My British (TV) Invasion

January 30, 2013

BritishFlagTV
It started a few months ago with Doctor Who, then came Downton Abbey, and now Sherlock. I don’t think I’ve really even watched a new American show in months.

I remember making the decision to watch Doctor Who. I was flipping through Netflix trying to find a new series to watch after finishing Mad Men. I’d seen mentions of Doctor Who around the interwebz and figured if my nerdy friends like it, I might too. But after the first episode I found it to be annoying and the aliens to be reminiscent of The Power Rangers in the ’90s. I was disappointed, but I continued to watch a few more episodes. Then I was hooked. I spent most of my days with the Doctor and his various companions — Rose is still my least favorite. (The Daleks still make my ears bleed, every single time they talk. I hope the Doctor EX-TERM-IN-ATES them for real. They don’t even creep me out like other creatures do, they just annoy the shit out of me.)

Eventually I ran out of Doctor Who episodes on Netflix and had missed season 7 on BBC America (which my cable provider doesn’t offer in HD so, that sucks, a lot). I saw that all the episodes would be airing prior to the Christmas Special, so I set up the DVR and snagged them all. Moving from the HD, commercial-free Doctor Who to non-HD commercial-ridden Doctor Who annoyed me to no end. You mean this is how regular people watch this? That’s awful. Poor people. #Sadface.

After watching a few horrible movies, I decided to watch Downton Abbey (the buzz and all that). Of course, I got sucked into it. I’m so typical. But I just had to see if Mary was ever going to tell cousin Matthew that she really loved him (if you haven’t seen it, that last sentence won’t make much sense to you, but yes, it’s just as messed up as you can imagine. But it was 1920s England, apparently that shit was ok.) Netflix only had season 1, so I had to use up another free trial over at HuluPlus to watch season 2. I finished it in time to be all caught up before season 3 started.

Now that I’m on a weekly schedule with Downton Abbey (thankfully commercial-free), I needed something else to watch.

I’ve had Sherlock in my Instant Queue since I started Doctor Who and decided to give it a whirl. The thing that prevented me from watching it sooner was the limited amount of episodes. Yes, they’re 90 minute mini-movies, but there are only six. SIX!! That’s it. That’s all you get. (Thanks Moffat, you dick. It’s not like you’re working on another major show or anything. KIDDING!!). Last Friday I watched three episodes. Yesterday, I watched the remaining three episodes and now I have nothing. And of course, it ends on a serious cliff hanger! Arrrrggggghhh!!

According to Wikipedia, season 3 isn’t even in production yet, that’s apparently supposed to kick off in March. That means a few months of taping, post-production, blah blah, and hopefully it’s aired concurrently in the UK and US, unlike the whole Downton Abbey thing, by the end of the year. Chances are though, I might have to wait until early 2014. I figure I should be able to finish all 50-ish Sherlock stories by then (haha!) and I’ll be way ahead of the game. I haven’t decided if I’m going to start with the obvious next story, or if I’m going to start from the beginning.

I watched an episode of Ripper Street last week and really liked it, but the fact that BBC America isn’t in HD really limits how much I can enjoy it. Also, it hurts my eyes. I need to get in contact with my cable company and have them fix that. My HD options are seriously limited and it’s 20-freakin-13, c’mon now!

I don’t know what’s up with my latest obsession. I mean, I watched four seasons of Breaking Bad in the same time, and I love that show, but there’s something novel about British TV that appeals to me. Or else I’m just a closeted hipster turning my back on American TV like everyone else in America. Although it probably has something to do with the fact that popular American TV is made up of a lot of reality shows (Honey Boo Boo, Kardashians, whatever shit MTV is calling TV these days, etc) and that crap is getting annoying. I don’t even care about American Idol this year, for the first time in a decade, and most network TV shows suck. I can only DVR so many cable shows before my DVR fills up and I delete them to wait for the commercial-free versions on Netflix.

Or maybe British TV is just better than American TV and I’m just now realizing this.

I spent this past weekend at my parent’s house. Friday night I walked into the family room and my dad was watching “Live from Daryl’s House.” Dad asked, “Ever seen this show? It’s great.” Of course I hadn’t since I don’t even have sweet channels (if I do, they’re not in HD. So in my mind, I don’t have them). Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to watch it because mom needed my help with something. So, I just went about my weekend and didn’t think about it again.

Then on Sunday my dad gave me a flash drive of new music (he usually does this in a “hey check these guys out” sort of way). To be honest, I didn’t even see who was on it, I just put it in my computer, transferred the files and that was it. Today I finally had a chance to look at what he gave me.

One of the artists was Allen Stone. I’d never heard of him before so I did what I always do and hit “play” on iTunes and started Binging (yeah, I’ve fully converted to Bing and never use Google anymore). One of the first links that popped up was “Live from Daryl’s House” featuring Allen Stone.

So I clicked and watched.

Amazing.

It wasn’t so much that Allen Stone is an amazing artist (because he totally is), but the show as a platform is pretty fucking sweet. I thought it was incredibly awesome that Daryl’s band learned Allen’s songs and he basically just showed up and played with an entire band that sounds like they’ve been playing with him for years. Obviously that’s not the case. So, in short, there’s an incredible group of musicians who are working on this show. The artists who stroll through “Daryl’s house” are pretty great too.

He’s had Cee Lo Green, Eric Hutchinson who drives himself to Daryl’s house, which is unusual based on the episodes that I’ve seen, (he’s also one of my favorites ever, so… I’m totally biased), Jason Mraz, who has a really interesting (in my opinion anyway) dinner conversation with the group, Fitz and the Tantrums, which is a great episode, mostly because I LOOOOOVE Fitz (but the music is stellar! Watch it!!), and Rob Thomas also has a great episode.

Apparently the show has been around for a while on the internet (and some random TV station my dad has), and once again, I am late to the party. Better to be late than not show up at all, right?

Last weekend it was brought to my attention just how evil the Animal Humane Society is. To make matters worse, I found out about its evilness two years after voluntarily bringing a kitten there.

About two years ago I adopted a cat, Phineas. He was so cute, and soooo sweet! He really seemed to fit in with my cat family perfectly (Oh dear god that sounds so “cat lady”-ish.)

Cats

But then my 6-year-old male cat, Max, decided he didn’t really like Phineas and he started peeing all over the place (men, I tell ya!)!! After months of trying to fix the problem I came to the sad realization that I can’t keep all the cats and still keep a clean house. (I’ve seen “Hoarders” I know how this shit ends, once you give up on cleanliness you’re one step closer to sleeping on garbage piled up in your kitchen. Nope. Not gonna happen.)

Phineas2

So I talked to my life-partner Brian and he called around and found a place willing to take him and it would cost me $40 to surrender the cat. I was informed that since Phineas was still a kitten he would be easily adopted (or so I thought). So, Brian takes Phineas to the Humane Society in St. Paul since I couldn’t possibly have done it.

Now, this is where shit gets stupid.

Before last weekend, this is what I thought went down. Brian took Phineas to the humane society in St. Paul, paid $40, signed some papers or whatever and that was that. I felt good about it especially since Phineas was so young and could be easily adopted and would go to a good home without a bully cat to harass him. Yay me!! I’m a good person!

Nope.

This is what really went down.

Brian brought Phineas to the Animal Humane Society, while they were trying to cut Phineas’ nails he bit or tried to bite one the workers. So, said worker approaches Brian and says, “Since he tried to bite me while trimming his nails, we have to put him down.”

Now, let’s digest this for a minute. This is a fucking kitten, not a Michael Vick rescue dog trained to kill! And yes, little kittens aren’t used to people trying to trim their nails, but should they be killed because of that? No. Hell, I’d bite the bitch too, Phineas obviously knew that person was bad. (Or so I’d like to think.)

So, Brian is allowed to be in the room when they kill Phineas. They weren’t even there 10 minutes before I essentially paid $40 to kill a great kitten. Yes, the $40 “surrender” fee still needed to be paid. How fucking sick is that? Dumb bitches probably just pocketed the money. (Oh, yes, I’m very bitter.)

Now, I found out about this on December 1, after a Christmas party. Brian feels awful for lying to me for 2 years, but he knew the truth would break my heart. And it did. I’m devastated. If I had known they were going to kill him, I would have hired the fucking cat whisperer to come to my house and make it work. I don’t care how much it would cost. But I NEVER, EVER would have been ok with them killing Phineas.

After learning what I did, I started doing some research. Apparently my story is disgustingly common. In 2008 City Pages did a story on the awfulness of the Animal Humane Society (where Phineas was taken). While they’re the largest “animal welfare” (used very loosely, obviously) organization in the state, they’re ruthless killing machines. “AHS euthanizes about 40 percent of the animals it takes in.”

This is how they determine if they’re going to kill a dog or not:

Animals that make it past the medical component are then subjected to a temperament review to make sure they are suitable for adoption. Dogs go through a controversial 30-minute behavior screening using a modified test developed by Sue Sternberg with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The test determines whether a dog has a potential for aggression, says Dixon. In one instance a rubber hand tries to take food away from the dog to see how it reacts—to learn if it will growl or nip.

If I’m in the middle of eating tacos, and some creepy rubber hand tries to take it away, I’d probably attack too. Who the fuck comes up with these “tests”?

Cats? Oh, this is just sickening:

With cats, the equation is much simpler, says an AHS technician. If a cat tries to bite, scratch, or attack you, it’s gone.

Had I known what I know now this situation would have NEVER happened. Now I have to live with the guilt of knowing that I tried to take the easy way out and find a better home for a perfect kitten and that decision resulted in his unnecessary death.

Phineas

So, the TL;DR version: Just found out that two years ago AHS killed my kitten for trying to bite a worker who was trying to cut his nails.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about politics. It’s also been a while since something has made me so angry that I needed to write about it. (Not that I haven’t been annoyed by something, I just haven’t felt like writing about it.) Last week, while I was minding my own business doing my homework from my programming course on Coursera.org, I took a break and glanced through Twitter to catch up on some news and whatnot. The first tweet I saw was:

My first thought was, “WTF?! Are you fucking kidding me?!” Of course a retweet followed. Then, in a move reserved only for extreme circumstances of gross government interference, I emailed my representative, Mr. Bob Barrett (I haven’t heard back yet, that was 3 days ago).

Now, I realize there’s nothing Bob can do about it right now, but I feel like he and everyone else who has any godforsaken power in this stupid state, should probably realize that this is the dumbest thing Minnesota could be focusing their energy on right now.

Aren’t there 3rd graders who can’t read? Or 11th graders who can’t find South Dakota on a map? Of course, they’re not as big of a priority as making sure an unemployed 29-again-year-old woman can’t learn something new. Give me a break!!

Do I hate python with all of my being right now? Yes. Do I think this could lead to more job opportunities? Potentially. Am I busting my ass every single freaking day to learn this stupid evil language? Why yes, yes I am. But that doesn’t mean the State of Stupid Minnesota needs to say, “No Candice, we didn’t receive payment from M.I.T. and the University of Toronto to teach you and without that payment we can’t be sure that M.I.T. would provide you with a quality education for free. So, you’re out of luck. Sorry sweetie.” (I feel like The State is really condescending like that.)

The thing with this law is, and everyone under the sun has written about it (links below), it’s old as shit! Also, it’s intention is to make sure Minnesota students/residents aren’t paying thousands of dollars for some horseshit degree (University of Phoenix comes to mind here.). I GET IT! The state is just protecting me from learning stuff for free from excellent institutions. Thanks, Minnesota. I’m so glad you know what’s best for me. I don’t know where I’d be with you, Da– I mean, State.

Two things here:

1) Coursera.org/Edx.org are FREE!! I don’t pay anything. I don’t even need to wear pants if I don’t want to. I can sit on my couch, drink coffee and watch a lecture from my teacher from M.I.T. The only thing it costs me is an internet connection, and since it’s 2012 and I don’t live in a fucking cave, I already had that!

2) Coursera.org/Edx.org do not offer degrees. I will not earn any sort of college credit from any university offering courses on those sites. A few courses offer a certificate of completion, but that’s basically just helpful to say, “Yes Mr. Future employer, I was taught python by two professors at the University of Toronto. See, it says so right here.” That doesn’t mean shit, really.

Now, on Coursera’s Terms of Service page it has a special message for Minnesota students:

Notice for Minnesota Users

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A.61 to 136A.71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.

Bottom line is this: Minnesota is stupid when it comes to “education.” Apparently gathering up money, AKA: “authorization”, from quality institutions matters more than the fact that Minnesota residents can learn anything they want for free!

Seeing as though I live close to Wisconsin (< 10 miles away), I can always cross the dreaded river and set up shop in a coffee shop and do my work (I don't even think there's a Starbucks or Caribou in Wisconsin, definitely not in St. Croix. I don't even think they have wi-fi yet. True story.) but then these classes are costing me money and that totally negates that whole "free" thing. Or I just use a proxy and and learn from Japan.

Or:

I continue to learn from my couch. This is The U.S. of A. I can learn whatever the hell I want, wherever the hell I want.

SUCK IT, MINNESOTA!!

Story links:

Huffington Post
The Business Journals
TechCrunch
Slate
Reason
The Chronicle of Higher Education

I’m stuck in a loop!

October 16, 2012

I know that seems like a nice metaphor for my life, but it’s not. Ok. Just get that out of your head right now, mister/miss! (I have my mom sweats on today, so… sorry about that.)

So, yesterday I spent all day working with Python code. My first assignment went well, it was almost easy. Then I hit the second (writing a code to figure out the lowest, static, monthly payment that would pay off a credit card in a year, it’s #2 of 3 assignments that are due today, YAY!!.) and I thought I was doing well until I got caught in an infinite loop. Not just once, but like… aaaaaaall day.

I didn’t actually start my assignment until about noon because I had a few lectures to watch first. At noon I stood up, went into the kitchen, grabbed a banana, a coke and pretzels. Then plopped my ass in the la-z-boy and didn’t move, but once, until after 5pm. That whole time, I was literally stuck in an infinite loop for 95% of the time. I’d get it stop, by trial and error mostly, because I”m really bad at loops. I don’t know why, but on paper, they make total sense, but in my code, I’m totally lost. I need a damn loop road map. I had a few things to do in the evening, then sat back down trying to figure out this damn code (I’m also bad a nesting & using indentation properly) while trying to watch Monday Night Football.

Ohhh, and then I was stuck, for a long while, trying to figure out if a while loop was better than a for loop, but in a reality I probably have to use both, but if I have to use both, why couldn’t I use two while loops or two for loops? And why do while/for loops keep changing the answers of my damn test?!?!?!? UGH!!!

Theeeeen, I accidentally wrote over my code with a different code that I hijacked to see how it was working, so I lost everything and just about had a nervous breakdown. (Half-joking.)

So, thankfully the deadline was pushed back, due technical problems, to today at whatever time 22:00 is on the east coast, then convert that to central, or something. Whatever. I hate maths.

Today I’m going to have some kid teach me about loops. I found him on YouTube, he sounds slightly British, so that’s gonna get annoying, but he kinda makes sense.

You guys, I’m in desperate need of a python bitch.

Y’know, someone to explain to me, in real people language, how shit works. Not in computer speak, because I clearly do not understand the native language yet. So… if you want to be my python bitch, you can follow me on twitter @Candice_Jo, and send me a tweet.

As far as qualifications go, you’re gonna have to probably be bald or not like your hair so much, cuz I’ll probably make you rip it out (seriously, you’re gonna be all, “OMG!! How is she even breathing on her own?! This chick is amazingly awesome but a total idiot.”), you’re probably going to want to quit your job because I’m going to need you to be available 24-7 for the next 7 weeks. Now, I won’t need you that much, but I just need you to be available just in case something comes up and I get stuck. Oh and one more thing, you need to constantly tell me, “Candice, you’re totally not a moron. You’ll get it, just keep going.” At which point, I’ll probably want to punch you in the face. On the bright side, you can be responsible for me learning something totally new and dumb (seriously, what the hell was I thinking?! SMH…).

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to work on my homework again…all…day…long.

F.M.L.

PS: In a totally unrelated note, I HATE AARON RODGERS!! I was in a close fantasy football match-up when all of a sudden A-Rodge is raining TD’s all over the place. I was down by over 50. Theeeeen, MNF. MotherTruckin’ Privers. Maaaaaaannn…. who drafts THAT guy?! Ugh! Ok, so, I had Privers and Decker playing last night. Decker had a great game, and so did Privers until he started throwing interceptions and fumbling like he just got new hands. I thought I was going to legitimately have a stroke (not really, but I could have won… AHHHHH!!!!). I’m now 3-3. I feel like my chances of total league domination are slipping away every week. *fakesobbing* So, for this week, I hate the hell out of A-Rodge. But mostly Privers, but mostly A-Rodge since I’m bound by the MN state constitution to hate the Packers (not really, but sometimes I wonder…).

A slight detour.

September 27, 2012

In my long journey to find long-term gainful employment I’ve struggled. I’ve mostly struggled with discovering something I’m really good at and especially, something that I enjoy. If only there was a job for being a sarcastic, taco, nap, TV, and video game-loving girl.

Throughout my life I’ve never had a job where I thought, “Wow… I love this! I can do this for the rest of my life.” While I understand most people don’t enjoy the luxury of doing something that doesn’t make them hate going to work, I’ve always wanted to have a job that I loved. I’m 30, almost 29 (haha!), and I have yet to find something that I really truly love to do.

I’ve worked in customer service, well… at a ski resort/water park, whatevs… I dealt with people. I’ve worked with adults with developmental disabilities and severe mental illness for many years, and while rewarding, I burned out quickly. For the passed three-ish years I’ve been calling myself a writer. I’m not a writer.

Well, I guess, I am. I can write. I’m writing right now. I write a lot, I don’t often post, but I’m always writing. Writing has given me one of my favorite jobs I’ve had so far and unfortunately, I know I’m not going back to that position (it doesn’t exist anymore). The thing with writing is unless I want to work in a virtual content mill pushing out SEO’d articles on real estate in Puerto Rico, it’s not very lucrative. Hell even that’s not lucrative, but if you’re willing to go days without sleep and write garbage, you can make some cash but a garbage truck driver probably has more fun.

So, while I’ve been unemployed I search through hundreds of kajillions of job ads every week. For a while I looked with tunnel vision. I only wanted to write, and I would only write for $XX per hour. As the weeks and weeks dragged on, I started expanding my search. I even started looking for receptionist positions at marketing/advertising firms. That bleed into any company that was hiring.

Then about a month ago (maybe more) I came across an article on Ivy League schools that were offering free classes online. I figured, what the hell? They’re free. And free stuff is usually not bad. So I looked into it. Coursera.org offers a ton of classes ranging from the history of the world to neuroethics (whatever that is…). I found a few classes that interested me so I signed up.

The next week I was going through more job ads and I noticed that there were a bunch of ads looking for a writer and programmer hybrid. Not a program writer, but a writer who knows programming languages. Many of the jobs focused on web development but some were looking for more advanced programming (well, advanced in my world, since I know nothing of programming languages and their uses).

That day a light bulb went off in my head “Why don’t I learn a programming language?” Literally everything is run by computers and the world needs programmers like they need nurses, oil and McDonald’s (those are the new 21st century necessities of life, right?). I figured, I’ve got some time on my hands to learn something new, I might as well do it now.

Now I’m currently learning Python through Coursera and the University of Toronto. I won’t earn actual credit for the class, but upon successful completion I’ll get a little certificate stating that I passed the course. The class basically teaches the fundamentals of the language. (So far I’ve only really learned how to treat Python like a calculator, but that’s cool, now I learned a more difficult way to find the area of a triangle.) I’m also taking a class on Edx.org that offers a similar course but it’s through MIT. That class is a little more in depth, but not much from what I read (it officially starts on Monday, I’ll know more then I’m sure). I figure between the two of them, which will overlap for a month or so, I should be able to get a good feel for it.

Maybe it’s something I’ll take to. Hopefully it’s something I enjoy doing, so far it’s not bad. I know what this means:

>>>def bigger(x):

return x ** x

>>>bigger(12)

…which I didn’t know last week. So, at least I can say I learned something new.

(For the record, that means nothing of any importance. It’s just defining some arbitrary function for the sake of an example. :-))

On Saturday, we held our second annual Fantasy Football draft for the Robert A. Zimmerman League (Holy crap that’s a mouthful…). Anyway, we did it BIG this year, with a keg and TONS of delicious food. It was pretty great. My team, on the other hand, well… I’m pretty unsure about it. (Hint: I need some validation. So, tell me how awesome of a team I have.)

There were a few big changes this year. The biggest change was moving from a 12-person league to a 14-person league (I personally feel 14 is waaaay too many, but what do I know, I’m just The Girl.)

Two people from last year dropped out… well, one guy dropped out, the other was kicked out for not drafting his team (he couldn’t make the draft), nor managing his team for half the year (someone else did), nor changing his line up and he made it into the playoffs and finished 2nd in the league.

So, our commish says, “4 new people are joining the league. Since it’s a keeper league, two people will inherit the two existing teams in the league and the other 2 new people will draft 13 & 14 in the 1st 2 rounds.” (not exact quote, but close enough). So I’m talking to my life partner Brian (his brother is the commish with a guy name Jake…) and explain how inherently unfair and sucky that is. One team had LeSean McCoy…I feel like you have to EARN a player like that, you don’t just INHERIT LeSean “I wanna be Ray Rice” McCoy… SMH!! So, after Brian talks to his brother, it’s decided that all the players from the 2 teams go back into the pool. This was 3 days before the draft, folks. Cutting it real close….

So… Friday and most of the day Saturday I’m looking up players listening to podcasts and making my list. Now, my list isn’t a “I NEED to have these guys”-type list. It’s more of a “people said nice things about these guys”-sort of list. (Excuse the sloppy handwriting and rage-cross outs, it’s hard to write with my index finger in a splint and I get angry when someone drafts the guy I was going after that round.)

The draft was pretty much a crapshoot. With 14 people in our league it means you have to be strategic about when you draft people because they probably won’t be around the next time around. Furthermore, with this keeper bullshit, I was under the impression that you had to skip the round you originally drafted someone in. Last year, I picked Ray Rice in the first and Julio Jones in the 6th. But our lovely commissioners decided that if you keep two, you skip the FIRST TWO rounds (1 keeper = skipped 1st round). So… that kinda sucked. But oh well.

My only real concern was a quarterback and a good tight end. I knew running backs were going to suck and wide-receivers are a dime a dozen, kinda.

So, with the 8th pick (snake draft) in the 2012 draft… here’s my team:

Here’s the order in which I drafted my team:

#1 – Ray Rice (keeper) – RB
#2- Julio Jones (keeper) – WR
#3 – Philip Rivers – QB – Ugh!! Not sure how I feel about this one. I don’t know ANYTHING about the Bolts… and furthermore… I don’t even know if Rivers is a decent QB. Sure, he was ranked above Fitz and Bathroom Raper, but… yeah… going to have to do some research here.
#4 – Peyton Hillis – RB
#5 – Jason Witten – TE – He’s “out-ish” with a spleen injury… FML
#6 – Eric Decker – WR
#7 – Kendall Wright – WR
#8 – Rashad Jennings – RB – Pretty much just banking on MJD being a douche nozzle with this one. Although, it’s an especially great pick because someone kept MJD and didn’t even know he was holding out. (ha!) I also hear the Jags don’t plan on trading Maurice, so…now I just pray for injuries. (Mean, I know, but all’s fair in Fantasy Football.)
#9 – Darrius Heyward-Bey – WR – Not even really sure what I was thinking here. Hope he’s worth a 9th round pick. *shrug*
#10- Jermaine Gresham – TE
#11 – Jerome Simpson – WR I know he’s suspended, but pickins were slim.
#12 – Russell Wilson – QB The day after I picked him Seattle announced he was their starter. Dodged a bullet there!
#13 – Jason Hanson – K
#14 – Eagles D/ST
#15 – Danny Woodhead – WR – Probably going to keep him around for a bye week drop.
#16 – Pass. – I’ll pick someone up off of waivers. We were drunk and tired at this point.

4.5 hours later… there you have it.

Ultimately one of my goals was to not have anyone on the same team. I met that goal, so that’s awesome. But I also wanted to have a “OMG MY TEAM IS SOOO AWESOME!!”-type of draft. But instead I walked away with… “meh…I guess that will do.” I’m sure when the season starts, and I can see what these guys can actually do, I might be a little more excited. I did see Eric Decker scoring TD’s like a champ during the Broncos pre-season game the other day. So, that’s definitely good and I know lil’ Ray Ray will be a beast, and I have high hopes for Julio Jones. He did pretty good for me last year (but I also had Greg Jennings, so I didn’t need to rely on Jones as much) and if all the analysts are right (and they’re usually not), he’s going to have an awesome year!

Happy (almost) Fantasy Football season, folks! And may the draft always go in your favor (or something. It never works out that way. Someone always gets screwed, hopefully it’s not you. /RealTalk)

**UPDATE AT BOTTOM**

I haven’t done a music post in a while (a very long while) and was inspired to do another one by my friend @BrainLemon (check out his music post).

The other day, I was looking for more “workout music” because I’ve been doing that sort of stuff for a while (check out my running blog). I just happened to come across a few new bands that I think might be of interest to some of you and one I’ve been meaning to show you guys for a while now.

First, Of Monsters and Men. I actually scolded my twitter followers for failing to tell me about them sooner. Their album “My head is an animal” is great! It’s a bit Mumford but not so bluegrassy and it’s kinda whisper-y like Bon Iver. But that’s not really accurate either, they’re sort of hard to explain, they’re an indie-pop-rock group, kinda (does that make it any more clear?). But here’s what I’ve learned so far: They’re from Iceland. Won a battle of the bands contest in 2010. Landed a record deal in early 2011. Released their first album “My head in an animal” later that year in Iceland. They released the album in the US in April of this year.

The first song I heard was “Little Talks”. I believe I first found it on Cities97.com’s Studio C (<– that's a great live performance. Meaning: it sounds just like the studio version, if not BETTER. You don't see that very often). It's catchy and poppy (totally my thing) but it's also kinda sad (not my thing, but I love the contrast).

After listening to the album twice now (remember, that’s the rule, you MUST listen at least twice before making any judgments. Unless that song is “Whistle” by Flo Rida, then you can judge it instantly) I think my favorite song is “From Finner.” The lyrics are a little confusing (is it a giant metaphor or just strange a LSD trip?) but the music is wonderful, especially Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir’s vocals (she looks like a reincarnation of Bjork but prettier, and yes, I C&P’d her name). They’re amazing.

(Favorite part of the video, aside from the performance: “hahaha… spilled your beer…” It made me chuckle.)

You can quote me on this: they’re going to be big.

The Lumineers. I’m torn on this group. I’m just not a HUGE folksy-roots fan. That said, I’ve had a few of their songs literally stuck in my head and I just can’t be upset when I listen to their music. Most of you have probably heard “Ho Hey” on the radio, and while it’s a great song, I think “Stubborn Love” is far better.

My only gripe about that song is the stupid lyric (at 1:15): “It’s better to feel pain… than nothing at all…. The opposite of love’s indifference…” it feels like they tried way too hard to add something profound there, and that’s annoying. But overall the song is wonderful.

little hurricane (not a failure to capitalize properly, that’s actually their name). This is a band that my dad suggested I check out after I made him listen to The Black Keys. They’re kinda White Stripes meets The Black Keys with some more poppy-rock mixed in (same format as WS: female drummer, male guitarist-vocalist). I love this group. Hope they get HUGE!

If you have any suggestions for music to check out feel free to leave a comment, or send me a tweet.

Got this band from my Twitter friend @DIVx0, She Keeps Bees. You guys MUST check them out. They’re like bluesy-soul-rock-awesomeness. I don’t know how to explain this duo, but, just listen (you can listen to all their self-recorded/released music on their website).

(I wish more bands did that ^^)

The war on everything

April 13, 2012

Did you folks know we’re at war? No, I’m not talking about Afghanistan or Iran or The War on Terror, I’m talking about a war on literally everything. And everyone is a target.

There’s a War on Religion.

There’s a War on Women.

There’s a War on Moms.

There’s an impending Race War.

There’s a War on Jobs.

There’s a War on Obesity.

There’s a War on Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

There’s even a War on Salt.

I understand that using catchy little phrases is easier than actually explaining what is really going on. I understand that we live in the Twitter News Cycle now, and every single person can only use 140 characters or less to explain very complex situations.

I also know that NO ONE LIKES WAR. So, what better way to get people to come over to your “side” than to whisper, “Yo, there’s a secret war being waged and guess who the target is? YOU!! That’s right, there’s a War on You! Join us and help us fight back. Also, please donate to [Random Politician]’s campaign.

I know what you’re thinking, “Well, shit. If there’s a war on ME then BRING IT ON!! I’m going to take these guys down… wait… huh? I’m just sitting at my computer drinking my 4th cup of coffee this morning and reading headlines on Twitter (because I’m much too busy to actually read the whole story)… where’s this war? I don’t see it.”

Like any good political operative will tell you, you’ll never see it. By the time the general population notices, it will be too late. The damage will be done and your inactivity will be to blame.

We have almost 8-ish months until the November election. That means there’s still time for more wars and more victims to be gathered more fighting back. It’s time to pick up your weapons and ensure that your side wins the most victims voters.

Politics is dirty. No. It’s beyond dirty. It’s a soul-destroying pit filled with hundreds of years worth of liquefied animal manure and people willingly swim around in it. Now you too must jump in and do your part. For America.

Losing stuff

March 29, 2012

I’ve spent my entire morning looking for something. The thing isn’t important, but it’s important to me. The search began earlier this week and after a fruitless excavation, I gave up. I started looking again this morning, even before I finished my first cup of coffee (that means it’s really important).

Last week I was looking for my car title. I know it exists but it wasn’t with the other important documents, as it should have been, so I literally tore my house apart trying to find it. I also started looking in boxes in storage. Nothing. I did, however, find a bunch of picture frames, one contained a picture of my deceased grandma. So, it wasn’t all bad.

Yesterday, since I was going to the DMV anyway, I got a duplicate title. That cost me $20.

Before that I lost a pair of jeans. Only worn once.

After looking for those for a few days I came to the conclusion that someone had stolen them from the laundromat since I couldn’t find then anywhere. Then I remembered on laundry day I was going through some clothes and I found a pair of Levi’s that I remembered didn’t fit and I threw them in the garbage (I didn’t try them on). “Weird,” I thought, “my new pair were Levi’s…SHIT! You idiot, you cut the other pair into shorts last summer!! My God you’re stupid!!” (Ok, I wasn’t that hard on myself, but I should have been.) When I realized what I did it was a few days after “garbage day” and it was too late. They were gone. At least I had closure but I was still down $15 (they were on super-sale).

Before that I lost a sweatshirt. One of my favorite hoodies. Turns out it wasn’t lost, it was just the trunk of my car for the past few months. I’m assuming it was put there some time in the fall and I “found” it a few weeks ago. WIN!

Back to today, I have given up my search. I sat down with my computer and in a fit of frustration I did a Bing search for “finding lost stuff.” Turns out there’s a “self-help” site that tells you how to systematically track down your lost crap.

I did all of those things and they didn’t work. With my luck habit of indiscriminately throwing stuff away, it’s in the garbage. So, I’ll have to grab the bag out of the can and start digging. (Just kidding, it’s not THAT important.)

Now, I’m going to do research and will hopefully find a way to place trackers on all of my stuff, all 20 billion objects. I want to be able to type in “right shoe, black wedges,” then a map of my house will show up and a Siri-like voice will say, “I found your shoe right here *red dot*, two feet away from your face, you moron.”

That would be awesome.