Explaining when I was 13 to a 13 year old.

13 Year Old: "What's a pager?" Me: "Oh. It was this device that I wore on my pants. My friends would call a number that would sound like an answering machine. And when they did, they'd enter in a number for me to call them at. It's like, someone saying…'hey, call me.' It was like…analog texting."

13 yo: "What does analog mean?"

Me: "I don't know. Not fancy."

13 yo: "What's an answering machine?"

Me: "There used to be machines. That literally picked up the phone and recorded things when you weren't home. Like a.."

13 yo: "Why wouldn't you just text them?"

Me: "Oh, we used to not actually like, have cell phones. So texting didn't exist. People would just go outside. And hang out with other people. You had to, you couldn't just text and shit."

13 yo: "So instead you wore something in your pants that couldn't make phone calls?"

Me: "Don't say it like that."

13 yo: "Why, you wore a robot in your pants. I'm just saying what you said."

Me: "It wasn't a robot."

13 yo: "It sounds like a retarded robot."

Me: "You're a retarded robot."

13 yo: "I don't get what that means."

Me: "That's because you're young and don't understand dry wit."

13 yo: "I don't get what that means either."

Me: "See?"

13 yo: "But I still don't get a pager. Why wouldn't you just call people?"

Me: "Because we would be out and wouldn't have phones. So, friends could page you. And you'd call them from like, a pay phone or whatever. And you could write things in "pager code". Like 07734 was hello. And 143 meant I love you…which, in retrospect, is a bit aggressive for a 13 year old. Don't tell anyone you love them yet, you don't. Christ, I sound depressing."

13 yo: "What's a pay phone?"

Me: "They used to have phones all over the place that you could call people on. You'd put money in it. Didn't your generation see The Matrix yet?"

13 yo: "What's The Matrix?"

Me: "Jesus."

13 yo: "Nobody calls anyone. Why don't you just write them on Facebook or tweet at them."

Me: "We didn't have Twitter or Facebook then. You had to meet people. Like, for real. And wait, why do you have a Facebook account? Or a Twitter account? You're too young for that shit. And wait, do you read my stuff? Don't take that stuff seriously."

13 yo: "Why wouldn't I have Facebook and Twitter. And yeah, I've read your stuff. You swear a lot. If you didn't have Facebook or Twitter how did you know if you liked a girl?"

Me: "Oh, we talked to her. She'd tell us about things. Like, interests. And then I'd tell her things. Like, interests."

13 yo: "That sounds exhausting."

Me: "How do you know the word exhausting?"

13 yo: "I'm 13. Are you serious?"

Me: "Just seems like a big word. You're very little. Like, physically. So I just figured you wouldn't know that word."

13 yo: "That makes no sense."

Me: "You make no sense."

13 yo: "Every one of your jokes just seems to be you saying what I just said back to me."

Me: "I know. Because it's hilarious. What are you looking at?"

13 yo: "Instagram."

Me: "Unreal that you know what that is."

13 yo: "My friend just posted a picture. She's hot. I liked it."

Me: "I'm worried for your generation. You guys are gonna just stop talking altogether. Like, little 'like' buttons just walking around. BOOP! I 'like' you."

13 yo: "You have a blog."

Me: "What does that have to do with anything?"

13 yo: "You're worse than me. Have you seen your blog?"

Me: "We're not talking about me."

13 yo: "I am."

Me: "I miss when you were dumb and just listened to anything I said."

13 yo: "I miss when you thought I didn't understand sarcasm."

(FIVE DAYS LATER)

13 yo: "Hey. I saw The Matrix. It sucked."

---

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 51: Songs To Say 143 To

Stream the whole thing at the link above.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

Attending a Music Festival

Attending a music festival is fantastic. It's like a hipster football game: you throw on your gear (Toms, American Apparel hoodie instead of your favorite player's jersey) and do as much as you possibly can to break the rules of the venue without getting thrown out. I am so jealous of anyone who is going to one for the first time: it's basically like getting dropped off at college when you were 18. If this is your first year going to one, this is me being a protective parent adjusting your coat before I send you to the bus stop… This is generally what I've come to know about going to a music festival.

Bring your alcohol in plastic bottles that are from eco-friendly companies and put them in an unassuming tote bag that also features a nice cheese or sandwich.

What ceases to amaze me is how not difficult it is to bring in copious amounts of alcohol to a music festival. Apparently, the crack squad at the door usually doesn't suspect much/care much about you if you appear to wash your hair 3-5 times a week, aren't wearing tie-dye and bring in an artisan food of some sort. My friends, two years running, have brought in large bottles of alcohol (of course in Nalgene bottles, because anything that's good for the environment is okay), and I stand to reason that they only reason they don't get a hard time is because they also brought in a cheese that no one has ever heard of. It works. Promise.

*Writers Note: I just attended Lollapalooza, and apparently this is not the case there. You don't even have to hide it in Chicago. The rules there seem to be akin to jail, where even though you "can't bring anything in", the guards seem to be pretty loosey goosey on this, as everyone has a shiv and/or drugs (which I know entirely from television and not actually attending jail). At Lollapalooza, you could honestly bring in four bombs and a case of vodka and they wouldn't care. Oddly, though, the minute you bring in aerosol suntan lotion THAT IS IT. OKAY, THAT IS IT.

Smoke Drugs. Just know what you're getting into.

Odds are, if you are going to a concert there is a chance you will do drugs. Odds are that drug is marijuana. If you are doing other drugs at concerts, you probably aren't reading this, because you are a drug addict and are too busy making a to-do list or acquiring drugs somewhere.

Weed is fantastic. It's hilarious, you laugh a lot, music sounds good. But here's the thing:

Music festivals are good for at least one or two awkward run-in's. And do you know what you don't want to be when you have an awkward run in? On drugs.

San Francisco is not a large city. The fact that everyone talks to everyone on the internet every five seconds does not help the matter. And the fact is, a music festival is a very large steel cage match in which all of your obstacles will be placed: your boss, your ex, your other ex, the person you gave the casual "fade-out" to who doesn't quite constitute "ex" status. They are all there. So if you smoke weed? Just remember that it's "drug law" that you will run into these people in the most uncomfortable situation possible. Namely the bathroom line where there is nowhere to go, and everyone is listening to (and judging the quality of) your conversation.

The beach ball thing has gotten out of control.

During any show, it is custom for people to inflate a beach ball and smack it in the air. People at music festivals are like small children and/or cats: we are amused by flying objects and giggle at the idea of smacking it. Lately though, the beach balls are getting smaller, and people are literally going after them like foul balls at a baseball game. You may as well bring a helmet, because "guy on E" is probably going to try to play whack-a-mole with your head. It's funny the first time, but unlike watching a cat go after a string…it gets real old real fast when your head is the string. Spoiler alert: people on drugs have poor accuracy when trying to hit a flying object.

Break the seal wisely.

Music festivals (well, concerts in general) are a tricky peeing playground. It is all rather backwards, but you have no choice: people pay money to go stand in a cattle-like herd of people and challenge themselves to drink more liquid than the human body is capable of retaining. Considering I have the bladder of a small field mouse (which I generally assume to be small, simply due to body mass), this is always a serious anxiety-inducing problem for me: when do I break the seal? Do I really wanna do the "guy who's gotta pee dance/uncomfortable face/abrupt fragment sentence conversation" thing for the rest of my afternoon/evening when I will inevitably have to pee every 14 seconds? Is there any other way? So just know that if you gotta pee a lot, you're either gonna be wildly uncomfortable or you are going to have to stand on the outskirts of every show, giving yourself the easy out. One positive take away here: "Guy who's gotta pee dance" is also what most white guys look like dancing anyway, so…odds are you might get away with that look.

Bring a sweatshirt and expect to have no idea what to do with it for most of the time you are there.

Considering I'm mostly writing this about Outside Lands in San Francisco, it's a foregone conclusion that you will need to bring a jacket or sweatshirt of some sort. As you know, San Francisco's weather is quite similar to a person with bipolar disorder. This means that, throughout the day, the over/under on you taking off and putting back on said outerwear is roughly at about 4,297 times. The thing is, you really have nowhere to put the damn thing if you're not wearing it. As a male, your choices are:

1) Look like a douche and wrap it around your waist. I haven't found a way to make this look cool since it was okay for me to wear sweatpants to school in the third grade.

2) Wrap it around your neck. But you're not on a boat. And you're not a douche, so you can't do that.

3) Hold it awkwardly, which is frustrating because you are now missing an alcoholic beverage hand.

4) Throw it on the ground. I have done this every time I thought I had only had a few beers. And it turns out Drunk Drew forgets that he put his wooby on the ground every time.

5) Wear it. Whenever you do this, it's like God is watching and brings the sun out…like changing lanes on the freeway only to find that the 89 year old Asian woman is going to pull right in front of you as you do (it's okay to be racist if you're Jewish, feel free to make a joke about my nose or something and we'll call it even).

On that note...

A music festival is like Halloween.

You could literally show up wearing a snorkel and Uggs and people wouldn't even flinch. I mean, if you ever wanted to wear some weird shit, now's the time.

I actually got to thinking about this looking around Lollapalooza...it's funny how everyone hates the girl whose Halloween costume is "slutty cop/cat/slut", and then it's always that judgmental girl who hated that slutty girl who ends up dressing all slutty to a music festival and now it's "artsy" or "hip". Look, i'm not complaining...I'm just sayin'.

(Wait, please don't stop dressing slutty, though.)

There are 320,000,000 bands that play every festival. 

Let me ruin the surprise for you and let you know that you aren't going to see every one of them. And if you have that one friend who is way too aggressive with their game plan, I'm sorry for you in advance. Please do not bring an excel spreadsheet and a calculator to Disneyland, type a festival goer, we'll get to Space Mountain on time.

You're going to have fun no matter what show you see. So just drink beer and relax. By this time next year, there will be 14,208 new bands that other people haven't heard of yet that you'll get to see and missing "buzz band x" will be a distant memory. Adjust your Ray Bans and smile.

Leaving is terrible. There is no way around this.

You have to think like it's the apocalypse at music festivals when you are leaving: it's essentially just a group of zombies wandering around and any form of transportation is what they are looking for with blood and overpriced beer dripping from their mouths. Music festivals are always in gigantic parks and a grand total of "everyone" wants to attend them. The thing is, there are not teleportation devices yet, so the only way to get home is to walk (turns out this is really far) or to try to take the bus. Guess who else is going to take the bus: everyone at the music festival. It's gonna be a while, so save some of that alcohol that you didn't sneak in to the concert. The good news is, the people watching at this moment is worth the price of admission, so soak it in. Try playing a game like "how many people just came out of that bush" or "how many more miles do you think girl with the face paint and feathered hair makes it before she throws up or cries."

And finally..

Dance. Everyone looks stupid, so just go with it. Don't pay $300 to stand there and look depressed, Johnny Raincloud.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 50: A Music Festival Is Just A Hipster Football Game

Stream the whole thing at the link above.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here. 

The Diary of an Angry Bird

Monday Horrible news arrived today: our eggs have been stolen. No huge surprise here, people have been stealing them for quite some time now. It's the culprit that boggles me: a malicious pack of angry green legless pigs who may or may not be retarded. Seems like a sick joke, really. We get it: we don't have wings and we're a bit vulnerable. But seriously? Malicious green legless pigs? I've seen some pretty weird shit in my time, but this is pretty high up on the "what the f*%k" list. To make matters worse, they are apparently building an elaborate obstacle course to get them back. How they're doing it without legs, I seriously have no idea. Honestly: it's like Stonehenge threw up on a wooden house frame out there. They've even got balloons like it's some sick and twisted 8 year old's birthday party.

To keep the flock alive, we don't really have a choice but to do something about it. We have a meeting a bit later to discuss how to move on from here, but one thing is clear…we're getting those f*%king eggs back.

Sorry for the sailor's mouth, it's just, I dunno…

I'm really f*%king angry.

Tuesday

To no surprise, we're going with the Mama bird's son's plan. I swear to God, a baby chick could have come up with better shit than this. Ready?

He wants to build a slingshot to launch ourselves off of. No, seriously, that's what our crack squad came up with. I guess we don't have wings, so lemonade out of lemons and all. But I mean…a slingshot? Really, guys? Hopefully we'll have an arsenal of helmets, but it doesn't seem like the plan was really thought out that far ahead.

I'm at a loss for words. I guess all I do is make weird noises, anyway, so that's not saying much. I have no choice but to report for duty tomorrow when our army assembles. I'm curious to see who I am to go to battle with.

Wednesday

We reported for duty this morning, and if this is what we're going out there with, my mind is seriously blown. Let me go through the chain of command to illustrate my concerns.

The Reds: Most of my family falls under this line. Basically, we're a tough crowd with pretty aggressive eyebrows. We don't have a lot of experience, but we're angry and we're willing to throw ourselves into whatever it takes. Modern day bird vikings, really.

The Yellows: They came from another village, and I've only heard rumors, but the verdict is out on them. Not exactly one for camouflage. They've got some speed, and seem to have a kamikaze mentality, but I'm a bit concerned about the fact that they seem to kind of bitch out when it comes to stone blocks. Great, guys. No problem, that's pretty much everything we're going up against. It's also a bit disconcerting that they are shaped like triangles, but Mom told me never to make fun of how people with deformities look.

The Blues: Freaky sons of bitches. I was about to talk some shit, but when one launched and split into three (!!) I had to show a little respect. They have a bit of a Napoleon complex (one wears a bunch of MMA fighter shirts with corny statements like "size DOESN'T matter" on them…awkward) but I'm proud to have them on my side.

The Black Ninjas: Pretty introverted, but apparently they come from some f*%ked up village where they are trained to kill themselves for honor. The girls are all swooning because they even have exotic ginger eyebrows, which I'm pretty sure should make you a social leper. OooOoOoO I'm a ninja bird. Gimme a f*%king break. Show-offs.

The Whites: We all laughed a bit when these walked in. Basically the poster children for bird obesity problems, and we're guessing all of them have diabetes...but they have explosive eggs. Which is both disgusting and weird, but could be a huge asset. If fatty wants to help the cause, I'm not gonna argue. Just don't ask me to carry your cupcakes, Augustus.

I'm not sure how we really plan to do much damage with this rag-tag squad…but I guess to put it in context, we're going to battle against a clan of mentally retarded green legless pigs. Kind of seems like we could walk in there with squirt guns and a piñata and we'd still probably dominate.

Thursday

We had our first few battles today, and my fear is fading fast. Honestly: the "fortresses" the pigs are building look like something a kindergartner built in homeroom. And we're really starting to work as a team. These crazy ass birds are my brothers now, and I'd go into any oddly constructed battlefield that mentally retarded green legless pigs built with them any day of the week and twice on Sunday. One thing that's been getting under my feathers: our captain gives us this vague "rating" after every battle, and it feels like he's literally just doing it to piss us off. He said we were a "three" on the first one, and then when we were celebrating after our third victory he informed us that we were only operating at a "one." Way to keep morale up, dick. He keeps asking if we'd like to try again, but that seems a bit masochistic. I want my f*%king eggs back, man. Stop being all judgey-wudgey.

Friday

Shit's getting real. It took us what felt like hours to destroy one retard pig battlefield today. Seriously: we started at like, 9:15 in the morning and I swear it took until like 7:00 tonight to destroy them. Those retarded pigs are getting smarter. Don't ask me how they came up with this, but they're resourceful: they've been wearing these giant stone helmets and those little bastards don't crack easily. I guess when you're a retarded legless pig you gotta get a little crafty.

In other news, apparently they got an ice machine. They've been making finely shaped ice sculptures. Which sorta blows my mind: do they have one pig with like, one arm that is a master ice sculptor? No time to ask questions, though. The eggs are near. I can feel it.

Saturday

In the middle of battle today, some assclown flew in asking us if we needed any help. Calls himself "The Mighty Eagle." Hey, narcissism, how's it going? Pretty clear he's on steroids, but no one wants to call him out on it because he doesn't seem that emotionally stable.

Hey, guy…know when we needed some help? When our f*%king eggs were stolen. That's like someone asking you if everything's okay after you just got shot. No. Everything is not okay. I just got shot.

A few of the guys are really big on him. They think we should take him up on it, but I think that's some bullshit. Seems pretty douchey to know everything the pigs are doing and then withhold information.

Oh, and get this: he wants us to pay him. First of all: we're birds. Our currency were eggs, so way to be a dick and rub it in. Also. A dollar? That's all you're asking? Something seems a bit off if you have a way to end a war and it costs a buck. Go eagle it up in Rio, brah. And get some Rogaine.

Sunday

In a final epic battle, we took down those legless green retards. I've got a pretty bad headache, and the doctors are trying to sort through all of the concussions, but all in all we're feeling pretty good. I gotta admit, that slingshot turned out to be a pretty sweet idea. I'm willing to eat some crow on that one.

Big party tonight to celebrate. Can't wait. There's been talk that the colonels have a surprise for us. Something about using the slingshot to fire us into a birdbath with naked chicks. We could sure use it: we're exhausted and it'd be nice to finally just be happy. Being this angry is exhausting.

Monday

THOSE F*%KING RETARDED PIGS STOLE OUR EGGS AGAIN.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 49: Songs I Imagine Angry Birds Listen To On Headphones Before Gametime

Stream the whole thing at the link above.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

 

 

How To Sound Angry On The Internet

There are a lot of very nice people on the internet. They read things, relate to them, maybe even give you a gold star and go on their merry way. It's nice. It makes you wanna keep throwing your macaroni art on the fridge. Because, hey, if it makes someone feel good? That's certainly cheaper than therapy for both of you.

For every nice person, though, there's "that guy."

If you've ever read anything on the internet (which I know you're doing right now so we're one step ahead), you know exactly who I'm talking about. Angry Comment Guy.

He's certainly allowed to do it if I'm allowed to post anything I want, right? And hell, not everyone is going to like everything you write. Actually? A LOT of people won't. But that's why we have amazon.com, the iTunes store, and Google: you can go buy or search for the "anything but this" you desire. I'm okay with that. I guess the minute you post something on the internet and say, "now does anyone have any comments?" You might wanna realize that a few of them aren't going to be rainbows and butterflies. But it certainly leaves you scratching your head as to how people get so angry. 

The thing that I've noticed, though, is that there's a real art to being angry on the internet. If you analyze it and look closely, there are Rain Man-esque patterns that they follow. It's captivating to watch Angry Comment Guy fly out of control...like watching a drunk guy challenge an inanimate object to a fight.

I've had the recent luck of experiencing Angry Comment Guy in all his glory in the comments section, and wanted to share a few things I've noticed about how it works.

This is how to sound angry on the internet.

1) Misspell words. Nothing will convey to people how angered you are than the misspelling of words. This way, we'll all be able to imagine someone so instilled with rage that they, "culd nat even try to spell theyr werds currectly!" We will be able to imagine an actual argument that would occur in the real world. Loud noises! Sighing and grunting! Overreaction!

2) Read something you already knew you would dislike; react to it. It is in your best interest to find something that you will strongly dislike and read it in it's entirety. Think of it like this: are you a vegan? Go to a steak house and act outraged that there is no almond butter. Your anger will be predictable, yet deserved: we should have made the steak house vegan for you. Makes total sense.

3) Give an anonymous email in your response, so others cannot react to you. This will hammer home the fact that, while you are upset and want to react to someone's transparency? You in no way want to reciprocate, but still want to voice your opinion. If this seems like it's a little too easy...

4) Give a humorous fake email address in your response. This will say, "you are not clever, I AM clever" while also giving the audience a hearty chuckle at just how much more humorous you are. If someone tries to respond to you? What an idiot! die@ihateyou.com isn't a real email address! Silly happy internet goer. Some sample email addresses to get you started: fuck@you.com, ihate@you.com, youreastupid@face.com, angryangry@hippo.com.

5) Use big words. This will say to everyone that you have gone to college (undergrad at least!) and probably nailed the verbal on your SAT's. A "vapid" here and a "loquacious" there will go a long way in hammering this home. The internet isn't fun: it's serious and it is about huge words. Don't let people forget that. Bonus angry points: use a cuss word after the big word, but use a "so crass it's something only an intelligent person would use" cuss word, like c*nt.

6) Make vague allusions to the fact that you went to grad school. If there's one thing we know about bloggers: they didn't go to grad school. Heaven knows that you can't write something if you didn't read James Joyce.

7) Latch on to other angry people and comment on everything they say. Make sure you only say things like "agreed!" or "yeah!" This will surely let everyone know that you agree with other angry people, and that if you two were at a cocktail party? You would point and laugh while eating dull foods together whilst complaining about everyone at the party, even though you are attending the same party as them.

8 ) Comment at least 6-8 times on the same post that you dislike. One time says "I read this in passing, I dislike it and you." Anything over one time? That says you disliked it so much that you in NO ironic manner reread the thing you disliked. It also says, "i'm not sure if I'm making myself clear." This way, it will most definitely be clear.

9) Write an entire blog post in the comments section of the blog you strongly dislike. This way, people will have to come to that blog and read it themselves to read your strong, yet well thought out criticisms of said blog. Now you've got them where you want them.

10) Discuss how no one cares about this post. Because that's why you are taking the time to write about it: you don't care. If people can't see that, they probably didn't go to grad school. If that didn't make sense, please revisit #6.

If none of this is working for you: go to a site called "Rocket Shoes", in which the author states that he has a "black belt in feelings." If this guy isn't a Proust scholar...

Man, the internet is in trouble.

A Day in the Life of the Modern San Franciscan

My alarm clock goes off. Presumably on my iPhone 4, because it's very important to me that I own the latest technology. I hit snooze. I can't believe I have to get up by 9 a.m. to make it to my place of work before 10 a.m. where I am paid to be creative and knowledgeable about "the internet," just in general. I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I casually thumb through emails I've received since going to bed. I should have received something from Groupon, Livingsocial, Scoutmob and Gilt Groupe if I'm really late for work.

I take a shower. While doing so, I begin to wonder why I'm so bad at saving money. I then use my Bumble & Bumble shampoo and follow up with Kiehl's face wash. I get out of the shower.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I check-in to my apartment on Foursquare, which I've named something cute and clever because for some reason I think people actually care what I call my apartment on a mobile application named after a children's playground game. They don't. I just wanted the mayorship, let's be honest.

When I am getting ready, I decide between my Salvation Army/Buffalo Exchange purchased t-shirt that I'm so proud of (because it features the name of some business I've never heard of, yet it also has a great "worn a lot" consistency that I yearn for) and my J. Crew oxford. In no way do I find this ironic for some reason.

Before leaving, I peer out of the one window in my outlandishly priced studio apartment, whose price i'm okay with as it's "just how San Francisco prices are" to see how the weather is. It is sunny, but I also know this means that it's probably 52 degrees with a wind chill of "you're freezing, why the fuck didn't you wear a coat." I do not bring a coat, as though trying to prove to the weather that I'm above it's crafty trickery. I will regret this later.

Before I go, I pack my black rimmed Ray-Ban eyeglasses and put on my Ray-Ban sunglasses. I then pack my Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone and Kindle into my Chrome messenger bag. The Timbuk2 bag is too small and makes my collarbone hurt because I didn't splurge for the shoulder guard. These are things that I'm actually concerned about.

I walk to the Bart station, which is about 3 blocks from my house.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I check-in to BART on Foursquare, because everyone needs to know that I'm about to take public transportation. Which is kind of like the equivalent to doing something mundane, like taking a sip of a drink and telling everyone about it. Actually? I'll probably check into somewhere for this reason later. To be fair: I've heard if you check into BART 10 times you get the "Trainspotter" badge. I don't know why this is important to me. But it is. I need that badge.

I see someone doing something weird on BART. Probably a homeless guy or a drug addict or something, which are usually mutually exclusive. I'll probably tweet about that. I can't now: no service. But I'll remember to when I get off at my stop. I bet people would love to read a humorous anecdote like that, maybe it will make their bad morning a little funnier or something.

I forget to tweet that, but forget that I forgot that.

I think about how it must suck to be homeless, because I really love not being homeless.

Around the Powell stop, I begin to play Angry Birds. I can't beat one level, and it's driving me nuts. Ultimately, I'd settle for one star. That's how bad this one has gotten.

I think about grabbing a Peet's Coffee before I walk to work. I realize it's like 2 bucks, and I totally lost my mayorship to that guy and I'm way behind now, anyway, so forget it. Plus, for the same price I could get a pretentious cup of Four Barrel at the place next door to my office. That's way more logical than the unlimited, free coffee at my place of work.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I get to work. I have a bowl of organic cereal with organic milk. A few people ask me if I'm hungover. For some reason in my profession, being drunk almost all of the time is hilarious and oddly endearing. It's part of being "creative." To be fair, it's a fair question: odds are I'm hungover the majority of the time.

I go to my desk. I check a few websites that tell me about the things I need to know, in order of importance:

1) Has a celebrity died or cheated on their spouse?

2) Has a celebrity twitter account been "hacked" and were all the pictures of them naked "stolen"?

3) Is there a new viral video I should be talking about?

4) Is there a new band I should have heard about?

5) Check Twitter.

6) Check Facebook.

7) Wait, check Twitter again. Yep, I'm gonna re-tweet that joke that guy said.

8 ) Wait, now has a celebrity died or cheated on their spouse?

After I've checked the important stuff, I do some work.

I go to the kitchen to see if anyone is there to talk about any viral videos we've seen. Maybe we'll even discuss an old film we liked. Like The Mighty Ducks. I loved The Mighty Ducks. Did you love The Mighty Ducks? We talk about how Muni is terrible. Because it is. Muni is terrible.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I do some more work. I attend meetings. They seem really long. Someone says something funny, though, so it's okay.

On a conference call, someone we're talking to says a buzz-word like "synergy." We put it on mute and make fun of them.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I get lunch at some place that is overpriced. I check in to their establishment on Foursquare.

When I return to work, I will sign up for a social networking site that is new. It will involve:

1) Taking artsy pictures and sharing them with people.

2) Telling people about the music I'm listening to.

3) Telling people what I'm doing, right now, this instant, right now, this instant, no seriously, right now.

4) Telling people what I've eaten.

5) Doing all four of these things at once while then distrubuting this to Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare.

It's probably a site made by a guy who knows a guy that I know. I'll be jealous that he was smart enough to make this. I will presumably use said new social network about 14 times and then I will never use it again. But I'll be able to let people know that, yeah, I've used that. I found it hard to get into.

I'll Google something weird. I'll wonder why so many other people are Googling that. I'll know, because when I entered it into Google, it finished my sentence. People are funny. Wait, now I'm creeped out by how smart Google is.

I'll think about the movie Terminator and wonder if we're actually going to be overthrown by robots. Then I'll realize that's silly. Then I'll Google "world overthrown by robots: possible?"

I'll do a little more work. I will send emails. I will read a pdf or two.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

I will go home and be annoyed that Muni is so inefficient. I'll tweet that, but in a funny way that is both relatable and honest.

Why didn't I wear my f*#%ing coat?

On my walk home, I'll consider buying a bottle of wine for when I'll be writing ideas for work later. I'll just have one glass.

I'll look at Sutro Tower. I'll feel lucky to be paying too much money for a very small apartment, because San Francisco is worth it in these tiny little moments.

I get home and call a few friends. We talk about how we want to travel. We'll probably have a few locations in our back pockets that no one would see coming. We're so interesting.

I'll go out for a drink with a friend at a dive bar. It will probably ironically have very expensive beers. That will seem off, but I'll just go with it.

I will read up on the news just in case anyone ever asks if I know about the world. It will go like this:

1) A country is at war, and I don't know anything about that country. Wait, shit, that's just a city. I thought that was a country? Wow. That's a bummer on a lot of levels.

2) Something is on fire in San Francisco somewhere.

3) Baby pandas are adorable! Oh my god, why haven't I ever been to see the pandas?

4) Blah blah blah Kate and William blah blah blah.

5) A large financial corporation did something shady, and they are having a confusing trial about it.

I watch an independent film that I heard about, it's supposed to be really good.

I will have a second glass of wine . Shoulda seen that one coming.

I check Twitter.

I check Facebook.

My alarm clock goes off. Presumably on my iPhone 4. I hit snooze...

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 48: Music For A Day In The Life Of The Modern San Franciscan

Stream the whole thing at that link above.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

America, I love you and you're not bringing me down.

I have always loved road trips. I suppose it's because I equate them with that first time I was given a retarded amount of freedom in my life. Basically, you learn to drive a motor vehicle when you're a kid, and all of the sudden you think it's a good idea to go drive it until your foot hurts. It's not like a plane, where you go in a box, close the box, and then open the box to find out everything looks different: road trips are like watching America as a flip book. It's like you start the car, Bob Ross starts painting, and hours later you're in a forest with little happy trees and fluffy clouds and you're flabbergasted at how awesome it was to watch them appear. When you go on a road trip across America for one month straight with three other people you barely knew beforehand, you think of (and see and experience) a lot of really weird crap. In no particular order or sequence, this is what I found out about myself and the country.

1) Everyone in America thinks that Los Angeles and San Francisco are just two guys hanging out next door to each other geographically. Everyone. Dear America, Los Angeles is nowhere near San Francisco. And not to sound like Jan Brady, but stop talking about Marcia: we're our own goddamn person. No, I don't just bump into celebrities all the time. I don't see famous people everywhere I go. Hey, Ohio, do you see African tribal people when you go out to dinner? Oh, you don't because you live nowhere near Africa? Please look at a map. They are at the heel of the tube sock and we are almost at the top of the knee-high. Please.

2) To prove why I'm an asshole for that diatribe: I have no concept of the geographic makeup of any other city and it turns out I've been making gigantic sweeping generalizations my entire life. We're in Philadelphia? WHY ISN'T EVERYONE EATING CHEESESTEAK! We're staying in Austin tonight? LET'S GO TO A RODEO IN GALVASTON TOMORROW AT 9 A.M., I PRESUME THAT'S A SHORT DRIVE AND ALL YOU GUYS DO IS GO TO RODEOS! So, uh. Sorry about that, America.

3) You can drink for 30 straight days and you won't die.

4) If you drink for 30 straight days you will feel terrible and will begin to wish you would just die already.

5) Subway and Starbucks are in a heated battle for who can lay claim to the title "Company that owns 1 in every 3 buildings in all of America." How is there even this much deli meat?!? Are your distributors exhausted getting it to you every day? Do people really need anything other than "just a really strong fucking cup of coffee" in the middle of nowhere, USA, or are truck drivers honestly purchasing a venti non-fat cafe au lait? Here's a tip: stop opening stores. Just stop. I can't eat that many sandwiches or drink that many cups of coffee.

6) There are people in Texas that actually want the state of Texas to secede from the union, and they are purchasing actual billboards and maintaining actual websites to make it happen. Which is to say, it seems like they found out we actually hired a black guy as our president and they just freaked out and started smearing their ex girlfriend on national bathroom stall walls. Guys: she was just a bit over how you were acting like a crazy person. What you're doing isn't helping. She's dating nicer people now, don't be that guy. But on that note...

7) 99.8% of Texas gets a bad rep. It turns out that contrary to popular belief, it's mostly just full of fantastically kind people who say "yes ma'am" and "sir". Sweeping generalization after spending five days in a state? Oh, absolutely. But besides the crazy "WE WOHNT ARRRR OWNNN NA-SHUN" people who make billboards, I came away feeling like a real dick for ever saying I didn't like Texas. Forgive me, Texas. I kinda love you.

8 ) In the most unsurprising news ever, I want to move to Austin, Texas. I know. Next thing you know, I'll tell you that I hear Portland is nice and that I've been thinking about buying a record player. Okay, enough about Texas. Wait but I'm not done with the south.

9) A good portion of the south has no idea that the civil war is over, and/or that the north won. I say this because I went to a reenactment in the south, and let's just say they told us to "come back tomorrow to find out what happens." Spoiler alert, guys: it ends.

10) Louisiana proves the theory that you can fry anything and it tastes better, and that if you speak with a southern accent and smile everyone on the planet will like you. How the women stay that good looking blows my mind.

11) If you want to die laughing, ask an Australian to say the word Pseudoephedrine (pseduo-epha-dreeeeeen). Or anything that ends with an "a" (because they put an "r" on it). Or ask them what a swimsuit is (a swimmer! they call them "your swimmers"!). Or just ask them to say oh my god sorry Australians, you just say the darndest things! I'm sorry in advance, Beth. I'm not making fun, I'm sure I sound ridiculous to you, as you told me many times. But really, you call mosquito bites mozzy bites and that just makes me giggle.

12) Forget nice hotels, stay at a Hampton Inn. I am on a one man mission to put that place on the map. EVERY ONE OF THEM has a waffle maker. A legitimate belgian waffle maker. C'MON. Their bed is made of asleep. It felt like trying to date a hotel room. Like, I was that into it. Doodling it's name on notebooks in my dreams.

13) It is possible to not do laundry more than one time in 30 days. Which is going to save me about $4,239 in quarters this coming year, because I learned on this trip that yes, it is unhealthy to do your laundry every -2 minutes.

14) Everyone in America should begin to call sex "The Ultimate" and Coors Light "C Minus." Because that's what a guy on the road trip called both, and I just don't think there is a better way to say either. Try it. It feels good.

15) I really enjoy jumping off of beds and even at the age of 29 want to imitate superheroes. Please see below, but I totally get why wrecking a hotel is fun now. It hurts the next day, but it's really fun. Sorry, whoever cleaned that room.

16) People in America are really, really nice. I met maybe two people who were assholes on this trip. Two. And one of them was a cop, and he probably had a pretty good right to be, considering our car had marijuana on it's person (sorry Mom, but who's kidding, you probably saw that one coming and IT ACTUALLY WASN'T ME). But seriously: people are inherently just...good. And I know that sounds sappy, but I'm genuinely impressed with how wonderful people are if you let them be and feel like Scrooge. Which leads me to my big fear...

17) I've become an abnormally positive and optimistic person after this trip. It freaks the crap out of me, and it feels like the turning point in the movie that I didn't see coming. I'm not sure I even know what to do with it yet, it's like a puppy and I just stare at it and know that it's cute. But.

18) Don't worry. Deep down I'm still a snarky, sarcastic asshole that throws boulders from an incredibly sensitive glass house and then wonders why the windows are broken. That's never going to change.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 47: America, I love you and you're not bringing me down.

Stream the whole thing at that link.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3′s right here.

Songs That Sound Good When Only Four People Listen To Them. (A Road Trip Mix)

Driving across America with three people you barely know is fascinating. It starts more or less like when you begin to date someone. People are careful about what they say. They are cautious about when they even open the window. You make sure these people think you're exactly what you wanted them to think you were. And then, like magic...

You start making weird noises at each other, laughing uncontrollably at things that aren't funny, and you play the same 20 songs over and over again because it starts to sound like "you guys." And for some reason, that's cathartic and comforting.

I can't write much more while I'm on this trip. But I figured it'd be really interesting to catalog the songs that you listen to with four strangers that start to feel like family. Because they sound like "them" to me.

I'll write more again when I'm back to San Francisco in a few weeks. Until then, here's what four strangers in a car listen to.

About 4,389 times a day.

And as if I haven't blabbed it out enough, here's the first half of our trip. They even let me write and say the words.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 46: Songs That Sound Good When Only Four People Listen To Them.

Stream the whole thing at that link.

Or.

Download the entire thing in adorable little MP3's right here.

If life is Jeopardy, I just selected "Shut the f*%k up" For One Billion.

My favorite TV shows have always been iterations of The Real World or Road Rules. The draw was always simple: it always seemed too good to be true.

The Real World was basically pretty cool until you grew up and actually experienced the real world. It's great to imagine that when I was to turn 18, I'd live in a W Hotel suite and my roommates would all be fascinatingly attractive people who were either gay, black, or white but with an open mind. Turns out if they aired a real episode of The Real World, you'd see one guy in a Holiday Inn kinda bummed that no one told him to major in anything but "communications." They did get one part of The Real World right, though: everyone is, for the most part, usually drunk, in a fight with a significant other because it turns out they're attracted to the 98% of the world they didn't meet in High School, and feel like their life is a soap opera people want to watch.

Road Rules was always the clincher for me. For some reason, the idea of living in a car has been some odd idealist dream for me. Sure, it's odd that my dream was to be a hobo, but there's something about the idea of never growing up and putting your apartment in drive when you wake up that's oddly fascinating. Everyone wants their life to be a car that just moves on when they're bored: turns out the real world doesn't really accommodate that with that "bills" shit. But this is where Road Rules was amazing: you take the concept of The Real World and apply it to the Narnia "what if my life was just one big perpetual road trip" mentality. That and I was in love with Kit from the first season.

A few months ago, my boss asked me if I'd like to be a hobo for a month. For work. With three other outrageously interesting people. And if I'd like to write about it in the process and/or be the coffee bitch. And I think I thought it was a joke.

But. Turns out it wasn't.

So hey. Guess what. It's like high school Drew got to dictate his late 20's life and is getting an opportunity to be in a bizarro season of Road Rules. Starting Saturday, I'm getting the opportunity to lug an airstream trailer across America to talk to people and take pictures with them. It's still unclear to me if my boss is a unicorn and whether or not I was on mescaline (or still am) when he proposed such shenanigans, but I guess the mescaline trip starts on Saturday and ends in June sometime.

The cast is as follows.

An Australian I haven't met yet who's really nice on the phone. A director who's very hip that every woman on the planet is attracted to and a guy who everyone at work calls "the beast." Basically...I'm not sure this is real life yet.

But i'll let you know the details once I'm off.

I'm about to drive across America in a f%*king airstream trailer. I think this is the equivalent to checking the "I want to be a fireman" box when I grow up and someone saying, "how about an astronaut instead?"

And being an astronaut sounds pretty nifty.

Don't ever let me complain about anything ever again.

(spoiler alert: I will.)

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 45: If life is Jeopardy, I just selected "Shut the f*%k up" For One Billion.

Stream the whole thing at the link up top.

Or.

Download the whole thing in little mp3′s right here.

It's always funny to call someone a boob.

So the other day I was explaining to my friend Lesley the mating habits of the angler fish. You know, the one with the light over it's head. Finding Nemo. Teeth that look like an 8 year old's nightmare made them up.

Anyway. I was telling her that the male (who doesn't get the lightbulb thing over it's head, which seems like a major letdown for male angler fish) goes up to the female, bites it's side and once it does, the female secretes acid that melts the male angler fish's face to the side of it's body. From here on out, the female will use the man fish she just melted into her side as a means of getting herself pregnant whenever she feels like it.

I got this knowledge from a coffee table book that is based on a blog that I read on the internet called The Oatmeal. Don't worry, until now I didn't fact check this at all and just went by the rule that anything anyone says on the internet is true. (it's true. wikipedia says so.)

And it's in the middle of casual Sunday conversations like these that I realize i'm not normal.

This is what i've been thinking about this past week.

1. A guy at a bar a few weeks back told me that he's, "not afraid to to punch a guy with glasses." First of all: I'm pretty sure that's awesome and I thought people only said stuff like this in teen comedies. Second of all, he looked exactly like Kenny Powers and continuously ran up to my friend and I doing a horrible rendition of the sprinkler while telling us he was going to (can't make this up) "spray all over us." Yes, seriously. So, all in all? Pretty amazing experience.

2. If you are over the age of 50 and you're wearing a Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch polo, you should stop that. I'm looking at you, guy in the gym locker room.

3. If you ever want to laugh really hard, just imagine a room full of black people watching an episode of Seinfeld or Friends next to a room full of white people watching Tyler Perry's House of Payne, then having to meet afterwards to discuss their thoughts. How is this not a TV show? "Black People Watching White Things" or "White People Watching Black Things." Hilarious both ways. (The reason I bring this up is the fact that I just witnessed my white co-worker trying to explain watching an episode of Tyler Perry's House of Payne. It was "too good to be true" levels of funny.)

4. I would like to meet whoever it is who has the ability to buy every item I want on Gilt Groupe in a size medium or 11 shoe in approximately 8 seconds every morning at 9 am when the sale begins. How? HOW did you get to the site and order everything within 8 seconds? HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS? ARE YOU A WIZARD? DO YOU HAVE 14G TECHNOLOGY ON A WIRELESS NETWORK THAT DOESN'T EXIST YET?

5. If you are in a crowded public place, and you yell out "Beverly Hills"...I bet someone would yell back "what a thrill!" And I think that would be amazing. If they yell back, "it's cookie time"? Just as good.

6. I work down the street from a place named Bayside Market, and every time I walk in I imagine guitar riffs and cutscene music from Saved By The Bell. Because it's really funny in my head.

7. What is it with people and getting off the airplane? If people from another planet were to come here and witness the spectacle people make about getting off a plane, they'd probably just assume that the last person off the plane is ravenously murdered by a pack of wild tigers. There is no other logical explanation for why people act this psychotic. I get it, you need to go stand outside 3 minutes before I do. I mean, I'm fine with that.

8. You're not allowed to be called freecreditreport.com when you are not free. Because you cost money after a month. You're fibbing. And you're also really hard to unsubscribe from. Change your name to creditreportthatcostsmoneyandishardtounsubscribefrom.com. I mean, might be a little long. But I like playing the "I'm not a liar" game. It's a hoot.

9. I think it'd be really funny if they made a facebook for bro's called Brobook. And all it had were wall posts like this.

"Sup bro."

"I'm faded, bro."

"Sick, bro."

"I'm out, bro."

And that was it. I don't know why I think this would be so funny. I just do.

10. I drink an overpriced kombucha beverage every day named "Synergy", and it makes me furious they haven't made a run at advertising directly to advertisers. It's like a marketers wet dream.

- It's made with low-hanging fruit. (hey o!)

- Next steps after drinking it? Just livin', man. (hey o!)

- I mean c'mon it's called synergy.

11. I honestly believe the meeting when writers were pitching the plot of Teen Wolf to movie producers had to be the best meeting of all time.

Writer: "So he's this teen. And he's kinda not that cool. But then he realizes, he totally becomes a wolf sometimes. And when he does? He's amazing at basketball. He doesn't actually follow any rules or regulations, but he's a werewolf so the refs don't care. It's early, but we can totally see Michael J. Fox being into this.

Studio Exec: "I mean, how do we fast track this thing? I've been dying to make a modern teen werewolf movie where the lead has to deal with the real issues of being a werewolf. You know? Not dancing around it."

Sidenote: I still believe Teen Wolf is one of the best films of all time.

12. I know they say that if you have gastric bypass surgery that it works all the time because you literally can't eat more than a few peanuts because that's literally all your stomach would hold...but couldn't you just drink milkshakes? Why doesn't anyone talk about this? Am I the only one who thought of this work around? Am I hired, Mayo Clinic?

13. I am crazy for composting. I don't know what i'm doing half the time, and I don't know when these shenanigans started, but every time I throw stuff away it's like a party finding out what I can compost. Is this a white person thing? A San Francisco thing? You win, Captain Planet. You win.

14. I find it absolutely hilarious lately to use non-swear words and phrases when I get upset like "shut the front door" and "boob." Because there is nothing funnier than calling someone a boob. Nothing.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 44: It's Always Funny To Call Someone A Boob.

Stream the whole thing at the link up top.

Or.

Download the whole thing in little mp3's right here.

Learning How To Read Good

I once heard that you should never trust someone who doesn't have a collection of books in their apartment. As a music nerd, I understand the logic. It's like when you ask people what music they're into and they say, "I'm into all kinds of music, I'll listen to anything really." At this exact moment, you have become a suspect person to me. For some reason, I just don't trust people who don't like specific...things.

A little while back, I realized something. I don't read enough, and this is entirely ironic: I'm a f*%king writer. And in a way, this embarrassed me.

When people asked me my favorite book, I'd say, "I love A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers." I mean, sure, it was my favorite book. But it was almost like I was trying to select something just cool enough that wasn't a Dan Brown novel. It's like I didn't want people to think that a writer really didn't read all that much. Seemed like I was the guy at the concert wearing the t-shirt, yet I oddly knew none of the songs.

Being a writer who doesn't read that much is almost like being a fat kid, and when someone asks you what your favorite cupcake is, you say, "oh I'm just not that into eating." WELL THEN HOW THE HELL DID YOU GET THAT WAY?

So I decided something's gotta give.

Don't get me wrong. It's not that I dislike reading. I never have. It's simply more indicative of the little bubble of a world I've grown up in. There is endless entertainment that asks me to do nothing as it entertains me. Like little elves that live in magical devices everywhere I look: televisions, computers, at this point even my phone. I'm consistently asked to do nothing. Like Russell Crowe, they dare me to tell them that I need something more. And let's be real: I'm lazy. So yeah, magical devices, I'm entertained. But I'm also 29 and go to bars feeling as though I'm telling girls my favorite books are from the Goosebumps series and HIghlights magazine.

I call myself a writer. And I woke up one day realizing if I love writing this much, I bet there's like 4,983,289 other people who do as well. And it turns out there are.

So I've been reading. And all of the sudden....I get it. I get why people are concerned that kids are all going to be stupid if they don't do this "reading" thing more often. Because books? They're pretty great. It's like having a really good conversation with someone and every now and then asking them if you can go do something else, but that you'd REALLY like to continue this conversation later. And they're totally cool with it. Every time.

It all kind of makes sense now. Reading, essentially, is like being a music nerd. You comb through endless amounts of songs waiting for the one that you personally completely get along with. It says everything that you're thinking, and you just wanna tell everyone what it said. A book is just a really long song. And when you find the good ones, you find all the other songs that band has. And you listen to them until your ears fall off.

Turns out that's just a book.

I like reading again.It doesn't hurt that the first book I got into was by an outrageously hot girl who wrote an essay about The Oregon Trail. Hey, whatever works.

But now I have books in my apartment, and I want to tell you about them.

I feel like I'm finally allowed to call myself a writer. Because I'm actually figuring out what the hell it is that I do. And the good news is that apparently there are things called libraries and amazon.com, and they never run out of books.

I guess I'm like a fat kid who finally likes cupcakes. And it turns out cupcakes are really, really good.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 43: Learning How To Read Good

Stream the whole thing at the link up top.

Or.

Download them all in tiny little mp3's right here.

Shiga! (Say It Out Loud.)

My friend randomly said "Shiga!" a while back over g-chat. We kept talking for a minute, and then I stopped to clarify whatever had just happened. Drew: "Wait, what is 'shiga'?"

Mer: "You know, like 'shiga shigaaaa'."

Drew: "Like, Ferris Bueller 'shig, shiga shigaaaaaa?'"

Mer: "Yeah, say it out loud."

(We don't talk for about a minute.)

Drew: "That feels incredible."

Mer: "Right?"

From that point on, we just started randomly texting or writing at random times: "Shiga!" And every single time, it makes my day. And also makes me realize that I'm one of the weirdest people in the world. But I'm just really grateful that there are so many other weird one's out there.

Here's the random crap I've been thinking of.

Shiga.

1. I don't trust people that still have hotmail accounts. If I receive an email from you from a hotmail account, i'll just assume:

- You have no concern for how people perceive you. Just in general.

- You don't have a job, and aren't trying that hard to get one.

- You may or may not be a child molester or an online predator who wanted to find some young people, so you turned to "hotmail" to make a credible online personality.

- You watch movies on VHS, and it's not ironic. You just honestly still have a VCR. (you love previews, what can you say!)

2. Everytime I walk through BART's fare gates, I am terrified one is going to close as fast as it can on me and crush me. Try and tell me this thing doesn't look like a terrifying human death trap WAITING to shatter your hips.

I just imagine an evil robot waiting for his moment. Wondering if i'll lazily hang back jusssst long enough for him to destroy me.

Also: I'm 29 years old.

3. It is not okay to ride a razor scooter in public, especially if you are over the age of "not a child." It isn't. This is a trend in San Francisco lately. And I don't get it. It's an entirely inefficient device. You know who rides scooters? Children who don't wear business suits. You look absolutely ridiculous. Please, just get a bike or walk. Stop straddling the middle. Commit to something. We're trying to help.

4. Oriental isn't allowed to be a "flavor" of potato chip. There are many flavors of the orient. Please specify. We don't have "Jewish" flavor, or "Russian" flavor. Do I kinda get where you're going? Sure. I just feel like I don't know which flavor of the orient I'm getting. It's confusing. I feel like you got stoned and decided that you'd just name the product later.

Kettle Chip Manager: "Hey, Bob, what are we going with for that flavor of potato chip?"

Bob: "Oh, ummm....Ori...Oriental. Let's go with Oriental. (fuck.)"

5. I'm pretty sure I have no idea what "chagrin" means, yet totally act like I do in casual conversation. I will often tell you that much to MY chagrin, I can't believe that (blank) is happening in my life. I'm saying this because the other day, I was writing a co-worker an email and put "much to my chagrin" in there. And immediately thought: what's your chagrin, Drew? I'm blown away that sometimes you can know exactly what a turn-of-phrase means, yet have no idea what the word you just said actually means.

6. I can sort of understand when women say there are too high of standards for how they look when we actually have things called a size ZERO. That's impossible. "What are you? Oh you have no waist at all? So you're dead. Great, let me grab you a pair of pants for that." I just feel like maybe we need a different system. Because zero seems like a pair of pants for babies.

7. When you make your coffee in the morning, and put the lid on just enough so that it's not fully on, and then you sit down and coffee flies all over your hand and pants...that's the worst. The worst.

8. I'm blown away by whoever has the job of "creating spam mail and or blog comments" for a living. What do you tell your friends?

Spamming Professional: "Yeah, I've been looking for a job doing some freelance work. In the meantime, I just randomly write people in the voice of a Kenyan who has $20,000,000 dollars I'd like to share, a person who has the best penis pills or sometimes I just don't even make complete sentences. It's work until I get a real job, you know?"

While we're on the subject..

9. I think it's even more fascinating that people make money modeling for stock photography. I often have to look up stock photos for my job. And the searching is actually half the fun. Because you type in, literally, what a two year old would if you showed them a picture. It's almost like playing charades with a website...I just randomly start shouting things at it until I'm right and find the picture I actually need. BURGLAR! BURGLAR WITH CROWBAR! BURGLAR BREAKING WINDOW! ANGRY BURGLAR! CAUGHT BURGLAR! (ding ding ding!)

And every now and then, when you're searching for "caught burglar"...you find THIS picture:

So let me get this straight.

Someone did an entire photo shoot as a metaphorical burglar of someone's heart? I mean, I get it. But really.

Someone commissioned (financially!) an entire photo shoot for this?

Dumbfounding. I would love to be a fly on the wall when this girl calls her mother to tell her what she's been up to lately.

Actually, on that note, again...

10. The word burglar is really funny. Say it out loud. Burg-a-ler. Ha.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 42: Shiga. Say It Out Loud.

Stream the whole thing at the link above.

Or.

Download the whole thing in tiny little mp3's right here.

The Internet Is Just A Giant Karaoke Bar

Writer's block is a funny thing. You want everything you write to be some golden take on "what the world is" when it turns out for the most part you're the drunk guy at karaoke when everyone else was too afraid to sing. And I think a part of writing is learning to embrace that: if you want to sing Tik Tok by Ke$ha and lose all of your dignity while you're drunk, by all means do it. Since I don't have anything important to write at the moment, here's me grabbing the mic at the karaoke bar. Because that's what the internet is: a giant karaoke bar and sadly, if you showed up, you're allowed to sing. I hope you enjoy it.

These are the random things I think about.

1. "Yeah, no, yeah" is the funniest thing that you can say that everyone will understand while it makes absolutely no sense. Example.

Friend: "Do you know what I mean?"

You: "Yeah, no, yeah I totally get it."

So...you know what I mean? Or you don't? Because you essentially just said, "Yeah, I understand what you mean NO I DON'T yeah I understand what you mean."

But...yeah, no, yeah...I get it.

2. The "Give a Penny, Take a Penny" system is the greatest thing the world ever invented, and is in my opinion the last great democracy standing. It's like if democracy worked. I can hate you as a person, but if you need a penny...sure, I got you.

3. When I watch commercials for E Harmony, these are the key takeaways:

- When you fall in love, you immediately share eskimo kisses on public transit.

- Interracial couples are available online in droves. But mostly just black guys and white chicks.

- Sometimes when you're in love and bored, you just roll around with footballs while giggling.

- They haven't been to San Francisco yet, because white guys only date asian girls.

- When people ask you where you met in E Harmony land, it's not awkward to respond: "On the internet."

4. The person at UPS and FedEx who designed the very small pen used to sign the very small device that signifies you received packages had very small hands. Otherwise there is no logical explanation. Has ANYONE ever given an accurate signature on that thing? It's like Derek Zoolander was given carte blanche at corporate and this is the device he came up with. Please make a human sized signing device. I am not receiving packages from miniature people.

5. Humans often quit at a lot of things, but they will never stop until they get the very last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. I will throw away things that are half full. I will let the milk expire. But I'll be goddamned if I don't finish the Crest.

6. People trying to get on the bus before I can get off: Stop it. Everyone dislikes you and we're all judging you. Do you randomly walk up when someone is pouring milk at work in their cereal and yank it out of their hand to pour it in your cereal? No, you don't. That would be awkward and weird. Same thing here. The bus is the milk, let me finish. This isn't China (YES THAT'S A RACIST JOKE BUT WATCH THIS VIDEO).

7. There is nothing more confusing than walking up or down a non-moving escalator. When it rains in San Francisco, this constantly happens, because apparently electronics underground nowhere near water break when water falls somewhere not even remotely close to it. But just watch people try to walk on an escalator. It's like a bunch of retarded children trying to learn how to walk. High comedy.

8. People who play World of Warcraft in a public cafe over WiFi: Why? You have chosen to play a game where you don't associate with people in social situations in a place where you go to be around other people. I'm so lost. That seems like doing mushrooms and going to a public speaking class. I guess they don't serve coffee in "not the real world." But still.

9. If San Francisco is any indicator, rollerblading is slowly becoming cool again and not "gay." Don't act like you're not excited. Everyone who says they hated rollerblades is lying. Guess what: wheels on your shoes is exciting. And yes, I already understand it's ironic that I made this observation in San Francisco.

10. If we can make cars that carry tourists around that then become boats, why doesn't every car come with this option? Because i'm pretty sure everyone would check that box at the dealership.

Car Dealer: "Okay, so you want the sunroof...the iPod dock...anything else?"

You: "Yeah, can I also make my car become a boat from time to time?"

Car Dealer: "Sure. Why not."

You: "HOW IS THAT NOT STANDARD??"

11. Bagel Bites: When you give me the option to cook your product in a convential oven for 45 minutes, you're missing the point. I just bought Bagel Bites. You are not an artisan food. I did not buy you because I have ample time to make meals. If I did, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have purchased you. Stop being silly.

12. I don't like when people put their feet up on the kitchen table in commercials. Because people don't do that. Especially after drinking 5 Hour Energy. This seems like the last possible moment that I'd just "take it easy" or "unwind". You're being impolite and unrealistic.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 41: The Internet Is Just A Karaoke Bar And Everyone Is Drunk With A Mic

To stream the whole thing, click the link above.

Or.

Download the whole thing here in tiny little MP3's.

On Becoming A Real Person

For the longest time, I believed that every shrimp was essentially a mermaid. Which is to say, I figured they all swam around in the sea exactly how they appeared when they came to me with my dinner: weird little limbless wonders who must have had incredible (tasty) muscles they'd use to swim around just like Ariel. About five years ago, I found a video on YouTube of a shrimp running on a treadmill. I don't have a good answer for how I found it (do you have a good answer for how you found a video of a cat playing patty cake? no, you don't, so stop judging me). Upon finding the video, I did the only logical thing I could think of: I called my mother at the age of 24 to ask her if shrimp have legs. Mom: "Seriously? Are you seriously asking me this question?"

Drew: "Does anyone randomly call their mother for sport to ask her things like this? No, I'm asking you because you're the only person I know who won't make me feel too dumb."

Mom: "Oh, honey. Even I think you're dumb this time. Yes, Drew. Shrimp have legs."

Drew: "Please don't talk about this phone call with anyone. I love you."

(Hangs up.)

A lot of things happen along the way when you're growing up. I think about not knowing that shrimp had legs. And I ponder about the time I figured out that water, in fact, costs money and that you don't get to use it in your apartment for free (because it's water, why SHOULD you have to pay for this?). I think about a lot I guess.

And lately, I think about it more than ever because I'm turning 29 in a few days.

For some reason, it feels like a big year. It's the year that you say when everyone makes that face. The one that says, "one more year." Because for most, turning 30 is the non-denominational Bar Mitzvah to becoming a real person or adult. We, as a society, take people who are thirty a bit more seriously. Because we're pretty sure they are finally in the process of being a real person in the world.

Don't get me wrong. Your twenties are when you learn to become an adult. Look at it this way. College was essentially when people didn't know what to do with you, so they put you in a four year institute that basically rivaled day care with drugs and alcohol: it's like they dropped us off at Chuck-E-Cheese to play in the ball pit so they didn't have to deal with us for a bit. Your twenties then are just essentially an extension of that: no one actually wants to deal with you, but everyone just wants to make sure you're at least trying to figure it out. Getting remedial jobs. Picking a career path, give or take. Paying your taxes. It's like a warm up.

But your twenties aren't exactly real life yet. Your employer finds it hilarious/expects you to be hungover most days. They always lament how they, "miss those days" of care free sex and rampant horrible behavior. If you have a job at all, people tell other people that, "Drew's doing great." You still wear halloween costumes with reckless abandon. You're not quite ready to let go yet. And that's the way it should be. Live out the glory days.

And then one day, you wake up and you're one year away from the other side. That's where I am. And you look back on everything and realize that, just like they told you, this would all be hilarious in retrospect. Those "NO ONE UNDERSTANDS" breakups. Those downer times where you felt like you didn't exactly know where you were going. It all makes sense.

Because...one day you wake up, and you know where you're going. You frame pictures and actually hang them. You learn the names of restaurants you'd like to take people to when they're in town, because you're a local now. You relate to your city because well...you're an adult in it, and feel like you're a part of the culture. You save money from time to time, because you might actually...no wait, you need to do that.

And the next year of my life, the "29-oh-that-means-you're-almost-30" birthday, it's looking pretty good. Because I realize this is the last year I have in my twenties, and I've still got a few (okay more than a few) benders to go before I turn the corner. And they won't stop when I get there, but maybe they'll just have a little more direction before and after I'm in them.

Maybe I won't wake up playing Drew's Clues every morning anymore. Which goes like this:

Drew wakes up on the bed. Pants are on, shirt halfway off. 3 of the 4 pillows are on the bed. There is won ton soup on the table. Drew doesn't remember ordering won ton soup. Half of a bottle of red wine is in the kitchen. There is water. Good job, Drunk Drew. That was nice of you. You poured water. We needed that. There is a stamp on his hand. Annnnnd go.

We all play this game often and know how it goes. It's like watching the movie Memento and deciphering a night out from a string of random thought starters you left for yourself. It's fun. But it's fun in the "I'm disappointed in myself" kind of way. So, not that fun.

Point being.

I like the sound of being a grown up. I think I'm getting closer. I still don't quite get how to tie a tie. I'm still attracted to books with pictures in them. I still like rap music, even if I relate to it in not one way. I bite both ends of a red vine and use it as a straw at the movie theater and I still think Capri Sun's are a hoot.

But I'm more awake than ever. I think I'm starting to figure out the "life" thing.

And I know that shrimps have legs.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 40: Even Grown-Ups Wanna Use Red Vines For Straws.

Stream the whole thing at the link up above.

Or.

Download the whole thing in Mp3's right here.

Me and You and Everyone We Know.

The joy of moving to a large city is that you find out everyone is batshit crazy, and in the best way possible. I regret any day I ever spent in this city NOT taking public transportation for this exact reason. And that's kinda why you love your city: there are very specific batshit crazy people that you presumably spend every single day of your life with and you've grown this very odd kinship with (one of those batshit crazy people being yourself). Everyone has a family of complete and total strangers that they associate with from the bus. Or the gym. Or the guy who honestly brought his fucking dog to Peet's Coffee in a very specific argyle sweater vest (to be clear: he owns a few of them, which is discouraging on so many levels). Point being... Life is basically a huge sequence of strangers making gigantic snap judgments about strangers while they are getting to wherever it is they are going. Then you hang out with your real friends and family in the off time.

Someone once told me I go through life like i'm studying for a test, trying to memorize every weird detail I can along the way and keeping it in a field notes journal in my head just in case. Fairly accurate. So I just waddle through life scribbling down notes in my head to write about later. Because, frankly...

People, in general, are just too interesting to keep quiet about. Crazy is fascinating.

And judging people is way too good of a time.

This is a general round-up of everyone I don't know but spend arguably every waking minute of my life with. My stranger "family".

The man who gets Peet's with me every morning who puts an argyle sweater vest on his dog.

I will never understand people that put sweaters on their dogs. Maybe it's like having kids or something, and you just don't understand until you have one. Because right now, I'm lost. This guy, I tell you...this guy has at least 4 different argyle sweaters for his dog. Do you realize how WILDLY specific that is? I mean, he wears the same pair of shoes every day. That means that he'd rather his dog look sexually attractive to other dogs than he to other people. To be fair, a part of me thinks that America is a gigantic asshole and makes it really hard for gay guys to have or adopt children (which is terrible), so they get dogs and pamper the crap out of them as an outlet. It's their equivalent of Jew-momming a kid: putting an argyle sweater vest on a chihuahua.

The guy on the N-Judah who carries his entire life in plastic grocery bags, even though he also carries a backpack. Which is weird.

The man is like clockwork. Every morning, crazy-black-guy-with-a-pookah-shell-necklace gets on the bus and finds a way to be the loudest human being alive. Clearly isn't drunk, but almost looks like he's a pinball trying his hardest to hit every pole to stay active before he loses and has to sit down. He carries what appears to be 2,389 objects in about 14 plastic bags. Believe it or not, he has a REALLY hard time carrying all of these bags. Believe it or not, he seems to be really upset that he has a REALLY hard time carrying all of these bags. Best part: he also has a backpack on. I'm no mathematician or scientist, but i've calculated in my head about how much space his 2,389 trinkets and doo-dads would take up in his backpack. And the answer is "not enough to fill the entire backpack, rendering his plastic bags unnecessary". He also sings what appears to be either a song with choose-your-own-adventure lyrics, or a song that is not actually ever playing in the headphones he wears. Either way, it's kind of amazing.

The girl at the gym who wants you to know that she was in a sorority, because these are the only t-shirts she appears to own.

I've come to the conclusion that sororities are just Columbia House for t-shirts. There is a girl who goes to my gym who I see about four times a week. In about 6 months of membership at this gym, I have not once seen her wear the same t-shirt, and EVERY one is for a different sorority event. It's unreal. It's like this girl's life in college was just a sequence of events in which she was going to a party for "pimps and ho's"/"devils and angels"/"kegs and eggs," every single day. Which begs the larger question: what is the over/under on how many times this girl has heard the song "In Da Club" by 50 Cent? Facts about that joke that make it okay:

-The girl appears to be my age, so I can say that joke because when I went to college that song was on permanent repeat at any bad party you went to. Therefore, the joke is outdated, yet applicable to my exact time in college and would have been REALLY funny at the time.

- The girl is attractive. You can make fun of attractive girls, because they are attractive and therefore presumably do not have "real life problems". I say this in that, an attractive girl could be horrifically mean to me and because she was attractive, i'd probably find some way to validate why she was mean. This argument is also entirely further discussed in the film Blue Valentine, which I suggest you watch if you love films that are "So Real"/"Violently Fucking Depressing".

The girl who is calling everyone she knows, every day at the bus stop and telling them that her and Brian are moving in and the place is small but so cute.

Stop. This is impossible. How have you been moving in with Brian for the last year straight? I hear you have this conversation EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE. Did you write down everyone you know on a calendar, one on every day, and each day you call only one pretending that it's still the day you're moving in with Brian? Also: good call on not getting cable. I've been delighted to hear about how you're cutting costs that way. Every day of my life.

The guy who works at Ironside and knows the name of every human being who has ever ordered anything there and is arguably the nicest person in the world.

Everyone likes you. I just thought you should know. I wish I could grow a mustache like yours. And i'm being totally serious about every detail I just stated.

The guy in the apartment down from me who listens to Genie In A Bottle, but only the spanish version, really loud.

Why? Just...on so many levels, why? I'm lost for so many reasons, like:

- It's 2011.

- You are not hispanic.

- It's not Britney, bitch.

- It's 2011.

How did this start? When did you decide this was a good idea? It's so loud.

Me.

Because I'm batshit crazy. In the best way possible.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 39: Songs That Sound Good When You're Overanalyzing Crazy People

Stream the whole thing at the link right above.

Or.

Download all the Mp3's here.

If I Don't Wake Up In a Hospital Again This Year, That Means I Win (and other thoughts)

It's that lovely time of year to make resolutions again. Instead of that, though, I'd kind of rather just go through a laundry list of what I learned this year. Because I think most of us know what our resolutions are. You know, I assume you want to lose weight. Or "not be a drunk". Or "meet the girl/boy of your dreams". You know, we all get it. We don't need to tell each other why we're going to be the best.

So here's what I learned from 2010. Because, well, that makes more sense to talk about.

1. Always write about the San Francisco Giants. Even if it has nothing to do with the San Francisco Giants. If you eat a sandwich and enjoy it? Boom. 1,000 words about the Giants. Does your foot hurt? 300 page book about the Giants. Done. This is apparently what people like to read.

2. Don't cry to other men at weddings, ever. Or if you do, at least have someone to sleep with afterwards so it will offset what you just did.

3. Don't wake up in hospitals. This one isn't funny. Because I woke up in a hospital unaware of how I got there and it wasn't funny at all. Think of the least funny thing in the world (like the color beige), multiply it by 2,038,827, and then pretend you have to hang out with Mel Gibson. That's how I feel about this one, as an all encompassing feeling. Sidenote: it's really tough to write out a number in the millions followed by a comma. It looks silly.

4. I am never going to like bananas. They ruin everything.

5. I like brussel sprouts. They're the girl I always thought was ugly in high school and then I saw her when I grew up and she works out now and actually has great taste in music and we totally finish each other's sentences.

6. I think satellite dishes are lying. Seriously, look at one. I feel like they officially look like a kid with tinfoil on it's head telling you the aliens are coming. There is no way we need a 322 lb. device hanging off of our house directed at the sky with a laser beam to watch ESPN. Guess what: I have used wireless internet. It goes fast. You're lying, satellite television. You don't need that device. Let it go.

7. You can drink milk one or two days after the expiration date. You don't die.

8. Nobody gets phone reception on BART. Anyone talking on the phone in a subway is lying.

9. I will never respect the person on MUNI who pulls the "request stop" cord for any stop that MUNI is required to make always. Never. Stop tugging the cord at Montgomery station. We're already stopping there. Stop it.

10. There is nothing fun about fun size candy bars. They are only mocking you. You're going to want more.

11. A person who has a pet iguana is not a person you ever want to know. Ever.

12. No one looks good in a Mazda Miata or a PT Cruiser. Ever.

13. Your neighbor won't respect you for giving a tyrannosaurus rex headlamp to their child. They are hispanic. You represent everything that is wrong with the neighborhood, ironic white guy. Give up now.

14. Vegans are too demanding. You're running out of things to eat and points to make. Just have some cheese. It's really good. Nobody got hurt. It's cheese. Seriously, watching you eat is tiring. I just worry you do not get enough food.

15. Your face does not know the difference between "really expensive face wash" and "not expensive soap." You're making your life too expensive, Drew. Stop it.

16. Everything sounds better in french. They are almost always assholes. But say anything to me in French and I'll be your Tina, Ike.

17. I have become completely confused as to why we ever stopped making the two dollar bill. Seriously. It's a completely rational increment of money, and makes sense as a reasonable even-numbered option to the odd-numbered five dollar bill. Just sayin'.

18. If you wear a button-up shirt but don't button it, and it's windy out, and then you stretch your arms out, you look like Michael Jackson and it's funny. But then you realize he's dead. And it's a big bummer. But still kind of funny.

19. I cannot subscribe to anymore one-day deal websites, because I get more emails from them than any of my actual friends. And when I receive word from them each morning, I will inevitably buy 50% off of a backpack I already had. Which will be confusing.

20. If someone says, "what time is it?" and you see they're not wearing a watch and then you say, "time to get a new watch," that joke is finally kind of funny again.

21. Smoking pot isn't as fun as it was in college after you've turned 28. Now, you're just concerned about whether or not you've paid your bills and if you're making good life decisions. And then you'll immediately think you're not making good life decisions, because you got high. Apparently, this isn't 19 years old anymore, when waking up to the Fantasia 2000 DVD menu was hilarious because you knew the sequence of songs by heart, and that made you realize you had gotten high again.

22. Everyone you know is either reading or has read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Everyone. It's confusing. Is it that good? Or do people just like Swedish people and the promise of Dragons?

And finally...

23. I'm always going to be an outlandishly neurotic Jew. It's just time to embrace it this year.

Ladies?

Happy new year, everyone. About a month late.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 38: If I don't wake up in a hospital again this year, that means I win.

Stream the whole thing right here.

Or.

Download the whole thing in MP3's right here.

(And I found that photo on the internet. It said to me: New Years! + You're naked in a hospital bed! So, there you have it.)

Ice Cream Trucks and Parking Ticket Vacations

An ice cream truck, in retrospect, is not a good idea. The other day I was thinking back to my youth, and how excited I'd get when that old wind-up toy sounding noise would gently echo off in the distance of my suburban neighborhood. You know: the sound of the ice cream truck.

Let's think about this for a minute.

That sound would go off, and here was what would happen. My brother and I would scream with delight. We'd scrounge around for change anywhere we could find it, and then...well this is the part that blows my mind...

We'd run out into the middle of the street and chase a vehicle with absolutely no parental supervision until we reached said white van.

That's not even the best part. We'd LINE up to give an unknown man money. All because he was a stranger selling us candy. Wow.

To be clear: this violates everything your parents taught you when you were growing up, ever. And everyone just decides not to talk about this at all.

Basically, we were taught as children to stay away from strangers, strangers offering candy, unmarked vehicles, people who may or may not be offering things like candy IN unmarked vehicles...unless that man was the ice cream man.

I mean. Wow.

Drew: "Hey mom, can Andy and I go to the movies alone?"

Mom: "Nah, you could get kidnapped."

(Andy runs out door with no explanation)

Mom: "Where's Andy going?"

Drew: "Oh, just to get ice cream from that unmarked van."

Mom: "Cool."

You say a credit card is a bad idea. I say it's vacation.

I have never been good with money.

Growing up, we would go on a family vacation once a year where I was given a gigantic allotment of twenty dollars (!!) to buy whatever I wanted for the entire week! Do you realize that at the age of eight, that was like someone from the film Point Break handing you a brick of gold and telling you to run as fast as you can? This is how "rich" you felt: illegally rich.

Here is a collection of items I recall spending my $20 on year to year.

1. A package of 14 containers of bubble tape (because who wouldn't jump at the chance to purchase 14 packs of gum with a "once in a lifetime" money haul)

2. 20 Happy Meals from McDonald's, because they had Jurrassic Park collector's cups (8 total). If you do the math there, I probably only needed to buy 8 happy meals. I also should have probably realized they were PLASTIC FUCKING CUPS FROM MCDONALDS and there were other things I could have spent my money on.

3. A t-shirt with a cat on it (please god don't let that be foreshadowing)

Point being: I'm terrible with money.

Then I grew up, and found out this fiscal irresponsibility could be a gold mine.

I found out about credit cards.

Credit Card rewards programs have turned my fiscal irresponsibility into going to a carnival for the rest of my life.

Let me explain.

See, I used to hate getting parking tickets. Not only do I find the entire concept of parking and getting fined for it if I'm gone too long to be a really shitty game of hide and go seek, I also feel as though that's 75 dollars I'm throwing literally down the drain. Until I met my Virgin America card.

Now it feels like that parking ticket is just 75 more points on my way to Mexico.

Buying a pair of underpants just turned into 13 seconds on an airplane that is heading somewhere exotic (sidenote: people love to say that they are "flying somewhere exotic"...what is that?).

It's turned car insurance into Lollapalooza.

A dentist appointment into...well, probably somewhere, who really cares.

I'm at a point where I WANT to find things that are on a recurring billing cycle because this means once a month i'll be accumulating minutes towards  flights of my dreams!

I'm like a retarded kid who doesn't understand the concept of skeeball: I keep throwing the ball toward the hole, just so I can get the one or two tickets that will eventually get me the pencil eraser. And you know what? I'm totally okay with that. Because now the pencil eraser is Mexico. And I like Mexico.

Point being, if I'm gonna spend money, I'm glad someone found a way to make a game out of it. Because getting "points" for being a retard is much more rewarding than just parking on 2nd and Townsend for .355 seconds too long.

I'm off to look up exotic locations.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 37: A Credit Card Is Just A Carnival For Adults

Stream the whole thing right here.

As always, download the whole thing right here as well.

I Should Not Be Allowed To Live Alone

About a year ago, I made the grown-up decision to finally move out on my own and get my own place. By "made the decision" I mean "my best friend/roommate and his girlfriend moved in together."

By "get my own place" I mean "rent an unaffordable room that is, in fact, one room" and is therefore barely an apartment and is more like someone's childhood bedroom.

At any rate, after 28 years I decided it's time for this man(child) to be a big grown-up.

Which, it turns out, I'm not good at.

I'm that guy who forgets his keys two minutes after he puts them on the coffee table (we'll get back to that). My trips in the grocery store usually have the same checklist everytime: wine, cheese, apples, milk that I will not use and will presumably wait until the day after the expiration date to want to use, adult gummie vitamins. A few things about myself have presented themselves so aggressively that I'm now writing this just to remind myself that yes, Drew: this is who you are. Let's go through the list.

1. I do not get my mail. Ever. For no apparent reason.

Let me start with a rant: I fucking hate the mail. Like, real, actual mail. You know why? Because no one actually sends you letters anymore. But you know who sends me letters? Every catalog, ever. I'm fairly certain that a few guys at "the catalog headquarters",  which I (naturally) assume exists, got drunk one night, threw a dart at a "who's life should we ruin" board and hit Andrew "Bullseye" Hoolhorst. And they decided to send this one lucky guy EVERY catalog ever created, ever. I get catalogs for like, dog sweaters. It is either the rational explanation I just presented above, or I have the worst online shopping habits ever (answer: the latter).

We also all know that the only thing of any use that comes in the mail anymore is the 20% off coupon from Bed Bath and Beyond. And if you've gotten your mail ever, than you are probably sitting on about 3,976 extra ones as well and don't need another.

Because of this, I refuse to get the mail. It will just become a pile of catalogs on the breakfast table I bought and will never eat breakfast at, as I did not buy "breakfast chairs". However, this has become problematic.

I started to receive the "fuck you" notes from the postman about a month into my shenanigans. You know those notes you get when you have a package delivered that you missed? The postman just started writing passive aggressive notes on mine. Here's a direct excerpt from one: "No more mail, you will get." So, for starters...my mailman is Yoda.

Clearly, though, he brought this to the attention of my landlord. Who called to ask if I was okay. Which, while endearing and sweet of her, I thought...seemed odd.

When I said, "Why yes, I'm doing great, rental company person, why do you ask?" she responded, "because you haven't picked up your mail in what the postman says is months, and that usually means someone died."

There is a lot to go over there. But wait: are there people who honestly die and MONTHS later, it's the mail that tips people off? Because that's aggressively depressing and hilarious all at once and I can't pick which one.

If you are reading this, landlord, I am alive. I promise. I just don't need any more catalogs.

2. My stove hasn't worked since I moved in, and I haven't called the landlord about it.

The best part about this one is that I didn't realize this until I had lived there for over two months. That means that it took two months for me to even consider cooking. That means that for two months, I either bought take-out or I microwaved food I had purchased and let cool next to the milk in my fridge that I don't use. I'm pretty sure normal people, after approximately one second of something that effects your quality of life (i.e. sustenance) would have called someone to fix the "food making machine." I decided that this just seemed like a lot of work, so I'd just empty my savings into burritos instead.

Two other facts here that don't merit entire sections: I have the burrito store on speed dial above people I know, and i'm fiscally irresponsible, just in general, so this isn't helping.

3. I have the memory of a goldfish and don't remember where I put things.

You have to be an unreal "idiot savant" level of talented to be able to lose things in a studio apartment. That's essentially like putting a spoon in a bowl of soup and then telling people that you can't find your spoon. However, i'm SO good at losing and forgetting things that I have locked myself out of my apartment three times during my tenancy. The best was the most recent span. When it happened twice in one week. On back to back nights.

The first night it happened, I ran out of the apartment, turned the lock inside the door (out of habit when I leave the apartment) (don't ever do this and just use the deadbolt) and ran down to my car to get something I had (wait for it) forgotten. Locksmith comes, bails me out of my problem for a "wait seriously, where do I go to locksmith school if this is what you're being paid to be a sketchy locksmith?" amount of money. This one proves to be a more worthwhile experience on night two of locking myself out.

Running out to meet someone for a dinner (notice that I am not cooking again in this story), I realized that I was without my keys, and realized I had definitely locked the door again. Here's the moment of panic, and not because I just locked myself out again...

Because there's no way in hell I'm calling back the locksmith from last night. That's like calling a one night stand and asking them to hang out again less than a day later.

So I call a second locksmith. When he asks if I can prove that I live there, I tell him that I realize I left my wallet in the apartment (shocking). He proceeds to take a really long time, and tells me that this lock is unpickable and that he'll need to charge me extra to drill the door.

We all know this is a lie. And we all know that in order to call him out on this, at this point I would have had to had said, "BULLSHIT, locksmith, a different locksmith picked this last night." And we all know that I'm not doing that.

So I actually, due to embarassment, allow him to drill a hole in my door and let me in. I will pay more to JUST not talk about what a locksmith slut I am.

When I get inside, I give him my driver's liscense to prove that I am the rightful tenant, which ironically has my previous address on it. So guess what I gave him: a copy of US Weekly with my address on it. Because I was too embarrassed to tell him I was seeing other locksmith's, yet not ashamed that I, in fact, subscribe to US Weekly.

I wish it had been a catalog.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 36: It's Like A Catalog That Sells Things You Actually Want

Stream the whole thing right here.

Or.

Download the whole thing right here.

Jews Need A Silly Mascot, Too

Thanksgiving is a pretty great day. You know why? It's a total equal opportunity holiday. Everyone gets to have fun.

Do you like food? Great! You're invited. Do you have a family or simply know someone who does? Phenomenal! You're in. Do you have no rational explanation as to why you celebrate it for the most part? Just know that it's something about Native Americans/We probably stole land but we don't talk about that/Silly people we call Pilgrims/Ships whose name's you were quizzed on in school, in which instance you did not in any way remember all of the names? BAM. Go eat and drink until you've gained 10lbs and can't feel feelings.

The point though...is that it's great. If you live in America, anyone can get down with this shit. And then there's the next day.

The day I'm reminded that Hanukkah is the redheaded stepchild of the holiday season.

Turn on the TV on Friday, November 26th. Any year. You know what you probably see? Commercials involving an awesome fat man named Santa Claus who lives in the NORTH FUCKING POLE, has MIDGETS WITH SILLY EARS THAT LIVE WITH HIM, and FLYING ANIMALS. You know why? Because Christians were geniuses: They took what could have been a boring religious ritual and turned it into f%*king Mardi Gras.

The whole "celebrate the birth of Christ" thing was, to put it in a completely offensive way, not that fun. Slow down, angry Christians, I'll get to my point (no I won't). What were kids really gonna get psyched about here, though? They go to birthday parties already. And they are fantastic, as I'm pretty sure your entire childhood is a series of events that led up to eating candy and going to birthday parties. But I mean, unless Jesus is renting out the Laser Tag center, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go to that birthday party at church. Feels like a bit of a "Hey kids, wanna get ice cream?" moment where you find out you also have to go to Home Depot first.

You know what kids would get excited for?

A huge fat man who lives in a mythical land in which he has flying deer and has an unlimited amount of WHATEVER YOU WANT, EVER. Can we go over Santa's laundry list of awesome?

  • He employs midgets. (kids love midgets, and eventually grow into adults who love midgets, which is a fact that cannot be disputed)
  • He has shape shifting abilities and can fit into chimneys, which it turns out is impossible. (re: he's a superhero, which it turns out kids are also moderate fans of)
  • He owns animals that can fly. Animals. That can fly.
  • The only food he appears to eat are rations of cookies and milk. Which, I'm pretty sure would make anyone else die. So, here's me a little intrigued as a child again.
  • If you ask for something, he has it. Always. He's like Amazon.com before there was Amazon.com. But shipping was free, even if you didn't have prime (nerd joke).

I could probably go on for hours. The point is: the very idea of Santa Claus, in this odd way, makes everyone want to celebrate what is a VERY religious day. Do you know why I say this? Because my family is Jewish, and we legitimately look forward to it way more than Hanukkah. I mean, how's THAT for some spin? Golf claps, Christianity.

I love being Jewish, don't get me wrong. But Hanukkah is kind of like owning a minivan when everyone drives by in their Christmas porsche. It's mascot is a highly religious symbol, which isn't really getting Timmy the 8 year old amped up. It gets the end of an aisle at Target for decorations. On the holiday psyche-yourself-up scale, it's a bottle of ambien. And that's too bad. Because the idea behind it is just as fantastic as the one behind Christmas. Both are entirely serious holidays, it just seems like Christians hired Don Draper and Jews hired someone's kindergarten class to make promotional materials.

And that's a bummer. Because I'm pretty sure Jews, if given the opportunity, would totally rally behind a mascot. I mean, did you see how excited we got about Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm?

So here's my proposal:

Harry the Hanukkah Groundhog.

  • He will be chubby. People enjoyed this aspect of Caddyshack, so I say we start here for general "look".
  • He will pop up and leave things like candy and presents for kids in their backyard. Oh, don't think that will work? Why don't you check out how that "rising of Christ"/Easter holiday mascot is doing. Turns out kids rally behind make believe animals that leave silly behind things for them.
  • He will make a silly snickering noise and will employ a small group of other woodland/underground creatures. They will be hilarious. They will sing much like Alvin and the Chipmunks, who we will find out in a Holiday special were actually related to them!
  • He will, for no apparent reason, wear a silly sweater vest. Because sweater vests are silly. And so is Harry the Hanukkah Groundhog.

Here's my point: I just think Hanukkah gets a bum rap. And I kinda blame my own people. We just didn't come to bat in terms of creatively marketing what is a pretty fantastic holiday. They made a fat man and a magical bunny, and we made a candlestick and pancakes made out of potatoes.

So here's to hoping that when I have children, they can know the fat man AND the fat groundhog. By that time, Harry will surely be a hit.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 35: An Ode To Harry The Hanukkah Groundhog

Disc 1

Disc 2

Stream the whole thing at those two links above.

As always, download the whole thing in cute little mp3's at the links below.

Disc 1

Disc 2

I'm Not A Drunk, I'm An Environmentalist

Turns out drinking too much is incredibly eco-friendly. I live in an apartment alone. If you've ever done this before, you can devise two things about what this probably means:

1. I buy wine and tell myself I'll have a glass or two while I do some work or watch some TV.

2. I drink entire bottles of wine "on accident" a lot.

Tell me you've never done this and I'll tell you that the evening news is never depressing. That was confusing (and accidentally, just a depressing statement?), but I was watching the news out of the corner of my eye and thought, "you know, the evening news is never not depressing." So, you can see where I was probably going there. Or you can't. Doesn't matter. The point is: wine is delicious, and living alone and being able to buy "unlimited" of it is about as safe as giving a baby a fork while they're sitting next to a light socket.

I woke up after "a glass or two" the other day, and was about to leave for work, when I found the cork of the bottle next to...a bag of chips that looked like the hulk tore it open in rage and what appeared to be a see's candy wrapper from what I presume to be "past the expiration date/oh my god how did drunk Drew find that, I had no idea I even owned candy, let alone candy of the artisan variety." The cork though. The cork said on it...

"One Bottle. One Tree."

Seeing as I found this to be an outlandish claim, I did the only logical thing that you would do when you got to work: I immediately searched google for "wine environmentalist deal." Google has gotta be scratching their heads on that one. Then again, Google has probably seen worse (re: any porn search, ever).

So get this. Trinity Winery is apparently claiming that for every bottle of wine you buy, they will plant a tree. Here's what I'm guessing the thinking was on this one.

Bobby Winemaker: "Hey guys. So I got to thinking...we sell our bottles of wine for ten dollars. Which is kind of like saying, 'we think you want to get drunk but also want to kind of feel like you're buying nice enough wine that you aren't a drunk.' And that made me sad. So logically, I thought we should start an environmentalist movement."

Sally Winemaker: "I don't get it. What does people getting drunk have to do with environmentalism?"

Bobby Winemaker: "Exactly Sally. Now let's go organize our expensive things we own, because we own a winery and presumably because of this only own very expensive trinkets and doodads, like antique tennis raquets that you can no longer play tennis with."

I mean, it's a complete disconnect, right? They didn't say, "we'll plant another tree that grows alcohol"...they vaguely said "a tree." So I'm the good guy. Ri..right?

The best part is that the website has a RUNNING COUNTER of the trees that are being saved. High comedy. It's like watching a counter that says, "That guy's drunk...that guy's drunk...HEY O one more!...that guy bought two!.." And even better, how much fun would this counter be to watch while you're drinking/drunk?? Win-Win isn't even a good enough statement for this. It's like winning the alcoholic environmentalist lottery. I'm getting drunk, and I can go camping and it'll still look really good when I do.

Look. I think it's great that people want to plant trees. I'm not going to argue against that. And that's kind of the beauty of it:

They look better than EVERY other producer of alcohol, because they are saying, "What, YOU DON'T LIKE THE ENVIRONMENT? DON'T BE A DICK, BUY OUR BOOZE."

Because, frankly, Trinity Oaks isn't competing with anyone other than the other bottles of wine that you can buy in the "I want to get drunk tastefully" section. This isn't a 1947 Marc Brédif Vouvray (I just looked up "expensive old wine that is good"...I WIN AGAIN GOOGLE).

And in the process, I don't feel like such an asshole for getting drunk. So thank you, Trinity Oaks. You are taking bad habits and all of the sudden making me look like I hang out with The Nature Conservancy environmentalist group.

I'm just waiting for when mexican restuarants tell me that for every burrito I buy, they'll save a dolphin. I'm looking at you, Papalote. I'm looking at you.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 34: I'm Not A Drunk, I'm An Environmentalist

Stream the whole thing right here or click on the "that is SO awesome that there is a counter" picture.

Or.

Download the whole mix right here.

I'm As Hungry As A Plastic Hippopotamus To Regret My Actions (And Write More Often.)

It's been a while since I wrote. A long time. I don't have any really serious "blogger" reasons for this that people tend to throw out. I love how serious us "bloggers" take ourselves. Hey, guess what? You need to know your email address and have the capability of making up a "secret password". That's how you earn the right to blog. That makes us the equivalent of a small child/rain man, guys. Not a journalist.

I did put on my thinking cap, though, and thought, "hey, maybe If I wrote less than 4,000 words per post, I'd write more often." So I'm gonna try that out. You know. Smaller, more concentrated rants. Considering I've been holding on to something I've wanted to write about that occurred in the beginning of July, maybe it's time to rethink "strategy."

See what I've done here? I've made fun of bloggers for taking themselves too seriously and then taken myself too seriously. How's that wizard shit for you? I just top gun high-fived myself.

On that note.

This July, I one-upped myself on the "how much of a scene can I put on" olympics at a wedding. My wedding talent, to date, is pretty unstoppable. In just about two years, I have:

- Lost two suit jackets.

- Been declared dead by a taxi driver.

- Been taken home by the police.

- Fallen asleep on a street corner in tanbark.

Pretty tough to beat, just in general, right? Well. Hey. I tried. So here's the tally of what I did at a wedding this July in Carmel, California.

1. I went to said wedding with my ex-girlfriend from the ninth grade because I didn't have a date. The same girlfriend whom I gave mono to, broke up with when she got it from me, and then proceeded to not really talk to her much until said wedding. Seemed like the right idea.

2. I cried talking about my feelings. To my best guy friend. No, I'm serious. I cried. At a wedding. Talking about my feelings. To a man.

(ladies?)

3. When someone asked me if I'd like to meet their attractive friend because I was a "sweet guy" I said "no." THAT'LL SHOW THOSE ATTRACTIVE GIRLS, DREW!

4. I stole a glass of wine from a a table full of grandmother-type people. Meaning, presumably, I stole alcohol at a wedding from someone's grandmother. I stole a fucking wounded soldier from someone's grandmother. I saw her looking for the glass later. Keep in mind this was an open bar. So there was absolutely no reason to kick an old lady in the alcohol shins.

5. At one point, I asked a girl to dance. Took her out to the dance floor. Stood there, and didn't dance. I don't know which one of us was more confused.

6. While dancing with my Jewish friend, I told her that my mom once said that, "Jews are a lot of fun. We're the closest thing to black people that white people get." She told me to immediately tell this to her mother, who was dancing right near us. So I leaned over, and like a horrific game of telephone, had this conversation with her.

Drew: "My mom says that Jews are like the black people!"

Jewish Mom: "..."

In the most awkward way possible, I threw out an accidentally blatantly racist statement to a 50 year old woman on a dance floor. Amazing.

And finally...

7. At the end of the night, even though I had a place to stay on the property where the wedding was being held, I took a bus back into town, which was 30 miles away from said bed that I was going to sleep in. I did not bring any money or identification on this endeavor. So in the morning, I called a cab and asked him to drive me to, "the preserve...it's at the top of a mountain in Carmel. I have no money."

I'm not allowed to drink anymore at weddings.

Here's a mixtape.

Rocket Shoes Mixtape 32: I'm As Hungry As A Plastic Hippopotamus To Regret My Actions

Stream the whole thing right here.

Or.

Download the whole thing right here.

(For the record, I'm making an air Star of David in this photo. I'm not throwing up the Roc.)

(Who am I kidding, I'm probably throwing up the Roc, right after telling someone's Mom that Jews are like black people.)