Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: January 2011

  • Always use milk. The recipe and the instructions don’t matter in this case: “Hot Chocolate” is German for “warm, delicious chocolaty milk.” If you’re on a diet, you probably shouldn’t be drinking liquid chocolate, anyway: go hard or go home.
  • Don’t buy store brand. The stuff is cheap for a reason. It’s not going to taste good unless you add all the stuff that you’d have to add to your own recipe anyway.
  • Spring for the good stuff. If it says something like “indulgent” or “Godiva” on it, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
  • Add stuff. If it isn’t chocolaty enough, consider adding cocoa and sugar won’t be a problem. A basic homemade hot chocolate is cup of milk, half cup of cocoa and half cup of sugar. Adding chocolate syrup is good. A half dash of nutmeg and a full dash of cinnamon will probably taste phenomenal. Whipped cream isn’t just for teen dramedys. Marshmallows were meant for hot cocoa like plugs were meant for sockets.
  • The Italians know best. They make this thing called cioccolata calda. Translated literally, it means “hot chocolate,” but it’s different because it’s a whole lot thicker. Add about a tablespoon, probably less, of flour and mix the crap out of it. I’m talking use a blender while you’re heating it up. You could use a wisk on it but it’s going to take a while and it’s going to get kind of thick like a pudding. And it’s going to be very hot, since this is one of the few times you can let milk come to a boil.
  • Sharing is caring. Snow days are fun and all, but they’re more fun when you come back to a delicious cups of cocoa after a solid day of near-drownings in puddles or one-on-twenty snowball fights with the local orphanage.

Full Albums:

  • The Cure, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
  • Kings of Leon, Come Around Sundown
  • Sleigh Bells, Treats

Random Excellence:

  • Wale, “W.A.L.E.D.A.N.C.E.”
  • Thin Lizzy, “The Boys are Back in Town”
  • Seasick Steve & The Level Devils, “Sorry Mr. Jesus”
  • The Roots, “Rising Down”
  • The Hold Steady, “Southtown Girls”

Songs of the Week:

  • Lykke Li, “Breaking It Up”
  • M83, “Kim and Jessie” and “We Own the Sky”
  • Animal Collective, “My Girls”

Review:

I listened to three albums this week. Concordantly, I have no pertinent information for this section. I have some new tracks I gotta bust, though, so this isn’t about to become a three-week trend.

Comment:

I gotta work on this one too, maybe I’ll write an essay or something if an idea pops up during the week.

So they call these devil-worshipping, mindless, seemingly needless overnight events “floorsets.” Floorsets feel like they should be illegal but they’re not; people work in 24-hour restaurants, the MTA does the majority of its construction at night and on the weekends. Why can’t a serious, career-oriented industry like retail–the leftover of industries, the jobs so available that people with master’s degrees can flock to them to get harassed and insulted by teens¬†without a high school diploma–lay claim to every waking hour of your life? They gave you sweet benefits like a 30% discount on stuff neither you nor anyone in your family wears and one of the least impressive 401ks in the history of 401ks.

I guess my greatest issue with floorsets is that if they’re so important why are there like ten people fixing an entire store? In a time where every manager says, “Yes, we’re hiring” and we’re theoretically expanding, why wouldn’t we bum rush the show with like 30 people and get it done in three or four hours instead of eight? On top of that, why do the people scheduled for eight hours get to leave while everyone else has to stay? I finished my projects in around seven hours, but one of my coworkers’ projects was yet to be finished when I was done, so I started helping out.

Not to digress, but these floorsets are generally the most aggravating parts of an aggravating industry: heavy labor and misdirection compounded by the fact that it’s all being done when any normal person would be asleep or on some sort of self-induced and assuredly awesome drug binge. The best way to cap off your MLKJr Day? Trying to figure out what the fuck corporate was thinking when they mailed you these misguided, mismatched diagrams; not only do they not have the same amount of shelving units, but they also don’t have the same products on one diagram as we do on our shelves. So you waste like an hour matching up diagrams and creating something that kinda looks like your smattering of schematics while trying to move as little product as possible because it all weighs so much. Of course, the best part is thinking back to the last floorset and remembering that the products that are getting moved are getting moved back to where they used to be.

Say you’ve been working for nine hours, just lifting boxes and solving puzzles that aren’t even fun. The last thing you want to hear is that you can’t–and this will come as a shock, knowing that I’m a heterosexual male–tie a bow correctly. So you learn how corporate wants bows tied. You do that. But you keep finding other things that need to be moved, products in understock, products from the backroom and all you wanted was some help from that guy who left three hours ago. I presume his bow-tying skills must have been so sub-par that he could neither be taught nor tolerated.

Then you find out the other guys who came in this morning¬† (your night?) stacked all the storage bins on top of each other, just four solid stacks all standing upright, on one handtruck. For some reason, they were surprised when it all fell over in the middle of the street. So you tell them it would have made more sense to use short stacks laid horizontally on top of each other instead, but in your panic you just stack it back the same way because it snowed earlier then started–and is still–raining. Your gloves are done because some of these bins are at least three inches deep in slush and you still have to go about a quarter of a mile to get to the storage unit, holding the bins so they don’t fall the whole way. Anything to get out of this weather and these hallucinations. There’s even more than one handtruck and you stand shin-deep in water in order to make sure each one gets over curbs.

Back in the store, someone from corporate is there and thinks you look terrible like all wet like that. What happened? You have no words and the rumblings of a cough deep in your chest. Wrench your socks over the men’s bathroom toilet–totally worth it, good going. You tie another gay bow and, since none of the seven or eight managers will respond when you ask, “Do you need help with anything?” leave. Try to find breakfast at three different fast food joints because, wait what time is it? Stop lying, new hippo friend.

Warm up a little on the subway and then freeze to death on the walk back to the apartment as the wind picks up and permeates your lovely soaking pants and shoes. Walk into your building about 14 hours after you left it, just a little after noon. Discover a diminutive mail lady filling the boxes, ponder how to get your mail and start reaching in for the kill. Your hand gets smacked away as if you had been a third grader reaching for the class bunny during petting time and receive an awesome scolding to the tune of, “No. You have to wait until I’m done.” Because it is your burning desire, your sole reason for being, to read someone else’s Valpak. Without hesitation, walk away, consider burning your work clothes and sleep until midnight.

Wonder how the hell you’re supposed to get to work 10 hours after you woke up, try to go back to sleep, end up sleeping for an hour and a half, return to the promised land. That night, sleep for another 15 hours and nurse your magnificent cough and college degree.

Full Albums:

  • Does it Offend You, Yeah?, You Have No Idea What You’ve Gotten Yourself Into
  • Girl Talk, All Day
  • Ladyhawke, Ladyhawke
  • Led Zeppelin, IV
  • The-Dream, Love King (Deluxe Edition)

Random Excellence:

  • Young Jeezy, “Corporate Thuggin'”
  • UGK, “Real Women”
  • Thin Lizzy, “Jailbreak”
  • Soundgarden, “Fopp”
  • Snoop Dogg, “That Tree (The Soundmen Remix)”
  • Porcupine Tree, “What Happens Now”
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “We Call Upon The Author”
  • LCD Soundsystem, “Someone Great”
  • Justin Timberlake, “What goes around…/…comes around”

Songs of the Week:

  • Wu-Tang Clan Vs. Beatles, “Daytona 500”
  • Spoon, “I Turn My Camera On”
  • The Police, “Bring on the Night”
  • M83, “Kim and Jessie” and “We own the Sky”

Reviews:

It’s still all good. And if you don’t know…know you know.

Comment:

I’m still recovering from a 12-hour overnight a week ago at work, so while I was dying inside, I didn’t have the heart to pick out full albums or something. I also listened to like six podcasts, which is like three hours of talking…so big music opportunity missed there.

I’ll try to explain why this overnight was so grueling and terrible at a later date–hopefully with more humor and insight than hatred and depression–but in the meantime, we should celebrate because on Friday I got a paid internship. I didn’t even apply for it. It boggles my mind: over two and a half years of blind applications and no call backs and one of the jobs I get I didn’t even have to send in an application. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Full Albums:

  • The Black Keys, Brothers
  • Booker T. & The MG’s, Green Onions1
  • Broken Bells, Broken Bells2
  • Eagles of Death Metal, Peace Love Death Metal3
  • Fall Out Boy, From Under the Cork Tree
  • Ghostface Killah, Apollo Kids4
  • Jay-Z, Hard Knock Life, Vol. 2
  • M83, Saturdays=Youth
  • Metric, Fantasies5
  • Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More6
  • Pearl Jam, Vs.
  • The Roots, The Tipping Point
  • The-Dream, Love Hate and Love Vs. Money
  • A Tribe Called Quest, Beats Rhymes & Life
  • The xx, xx

Random Excellence:

  • Massive Attack, “Angel”
  • Wu Tang Clan Vs. The Beatles, “Daytona 500”
  • Ludacris, “Hip Hop Quotables”
  • The Cure, “Torture”
  • The Clash, “Career Opportunities”7

Songs of the Week:

  • M83, “Kim and Jessie” and “We Own the Sky”
  • Broken Bells, “The Ghost Inside”
  • Booker T. & The MG’s, “Green Onions” and “Twist and Shout”

Reviews:

1. Sometimes I felt like the organ was a little too high in the mix, then I remembered that Booker T. was playing it. I call dibs on them for my back-up band when I get signed…if they’re alive still…

2. They have a saying around these parts: Danger Mouse can bring out the best in you. But sometimes, there’s not so much there that I would want to stay. Also, if they’re talking about a follow up album, my prediction is it’ll happen, get so-so reviews and be disbanded a la Gnarls Barkley.

3. This band kind of puzzles me despite my growing love for them. This was probably their best album despite the fact that their songs get better with each album. Which is to say, this is their best album but some of the songs on their newer albums are way better; however, it’s only some of the songs. The strength of the few good songs on the new albums outweigh the strength of the original album. Perhaps they’ll surprise me on their next album and have their most cohesive and thoroughly awesome album yet.

4. NEEDS MORE GZA. Maybe some more songs, too; not quite an LP, definitely not an EP.

5. Really good stuff, but I hate that my place of employment decided that, too and decided to play them to no end. So I was familiar with a lot of the songs on first listen, but I also kinda hated a lot of these songs on first listen.

6. I’m worried they’re going to be a one-hit wonder: “Little Lion Man” stands above the rest of the album pretty definitively and deals with some of the major themes better than the rest of the album can. It’s not a terrible album, but I’ll admit it does kind of sound the same to me right now.

7. Who let The Clash get so goddamned right? Whoever you are, thank you.

Comment:

I have to do an overnight tonight (Monday) so if I respond snappily or decide not to hang out with you in the next, oh, seven days or so, I apologize in advance on behalf of both myself and my inexorable, unexplainable inability to attain new employment. At least I have an interview on Friday! See you later!

(Caution: After Tuesday, the last three sentences will probably appear as the following: “I’m not sorry. You know what’s sorry? The store I work for. Maybe I can get out of that place by Friday. Whatever, bye.”)

I think, far and away, the most annoying meme on the Internet right now is captioning pretty much anything with the phrase, “Presented without comment.”

No. That’s bullshit. You’re presenting this item with the comment, “Presented without comment.” If you want to present it without comment, just fucking present it and don’t fucking write anything. Either that or think of something clever instead–because that caption is not clever, it’s just repetition and it’s the least creative form of repetition. It adds absolutely nothing to your status or the item’s hilarity or majesty.

Maybe it shows you read stuff on the Internet, but don’t really understand what you’re reading. I don’t know.

But I know I don’t like it.

So I kind of got a little overambitious last year. To resolve that, I think I’m going to carry over some resolutions that didn’t get addressed and some things that need to keep happening because I still haven’t fixed this, “I still work in retail despite a Mensa membership, Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and English and a ridiculous resume,” thing.

I hereby resolve to:

  • Learn how to play at least one Robert Johnson song.
  • Compliment women.
  • Drink less coffee and get more sleep.
  • Get back in shape.

New edition: I hereby resolve to:

  • Play guitar, even when not drunk. Additionally, learn new scales and practice old scales.
  • Start writing applications during the week, not just putting them off until the weekend. Because this job search needs to end. Now. Not Saturday. Now.
  • Find a coffee shop. When people ask me about New York they ask two things: 1. “Do you see a lot of shows?” No, don’t give a shit. That’s why then invented movies and CDs. 2. “What’s your favorite cafe?” Don’t have one, I’m too busy loving Zabar’s coffee. For a while I was a Fairway guy until I discovered Zabar’s. Even my dad likes it and that guy drinks like five cups a day–he kind of knows coffee. But now I will try to find a good coffee place besides my apartment–or Starbucks.

Preface:

Oh man, I bet you guys thought I was dead, right? Turns out I’m not dead, just dead inside. Accordingly, I promise no accuracy in any of the following, perhaps with the exception of “Reviews” and “Comment.”

Full Albums:

  • The Afghan Whigs, 1965
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Beat the Devil’s Tattoo
  • The Cure, Boys Don’t Cry and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me1
  • Daft Punk, Tron: Legacy (Original Soundtrack)
  • Fall Out Boy, Folie A Deux
  • Fleetwood Mac, Rumours
  • GZA, Liquid Swords and Pro Tools2
  • The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday
  • Interpol, Interpol
  • Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • Kings of Leon, Aha Shake Heartbreak and Come Around Sundown
  • LCD Soundsystem, This is Happening!
  • Lily Allen, It’s not me, it’s you
  • Living Things, Year of the Lion
  • Mayer Hawthorne, A Strange Arrangement
  • Method Man, Tical
  • Pearl Jam, VS.
  • Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
  • Rage Against the Machine, Rage Against the Machine
  • Robyn, Body Talk
  • Santogold, Santogold
  • Saves the Day, Stay what you are
  • Spoon, Gimme Fiction and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga3
  • Van Halen, Diver Down

Songs of Vacation:

  • Big K.R.I.T, “Hometown Hero (Remix Feat. Yelawolf)”
  • Benzi, “Gotta Make this Move”
  • Cee Lo Green, “Wildflower”
  • Common, “The Light”
  • The Cure, “Hey You!”
  • The Heavy, “How You Like Me Now?”
  • Interpol, “Obstacle 1”
  • Katy Perry, “Teenage Dream”
  • Kings of Leon, “Birthday”
  • The Police, “Bring on the Night”
  • Robyn, “Indestructible”
  • Warren Zevon, “Werewolves of London”

Reviews:

1. The disparity between these two albums is incredible. I’ve only listened to the former once but I love the latter. “Sprawling” comes to mind and it really could go for some tightening up but the problem is I think I like it as is. It’s almost too long but for some reason I like it at that length. I think I’m supposed to listen more closely to the words on the former and decide I love it just as much, but we’ll see.

2. Why he’s named The Genius: “Speakin’ of this art form, this slang is dangerous./MC’s are like sperm cells: a gang of us/fightin’ to reach the egg/Bitin’ or lose a leg/Odds are like one in ten million–a thin thread./One from a thousand speaks in his own voice,/the other 999 imitate without choice;/never even knowing it until the going gets rough;/see the amplified sample I’ve grown with.” That boy like Einstein to science.

3. I worry they’re so arty that I don’t get it. I’ve seen some reviews that encouraged me to put them on my Christmas wishlist, but a lot of the reviews seemed to praise them because they write obscure, nearly-nonsensical poetry with a noise-rock foundation supporting it all. I should love this because that’s kind of what the Kings of Leon are doing, too: poetic songs with a very specific audience that frequently don’t tell much more than a tiny vignette, if anything. These aren’t Taylor Swift songs where it’s a song from her diary, it’s a song that’s meant to be open-ended and open to interpretation. I have a slight problem with that right now because I keep looking for a bigger theme, a uniting idea. What I really should be doing is just what I do with Kings of Leon: let the idea go and sink into the song. But they’re a very different band. So I will keep listening and attempt to crack this, despite my worries of excessive artyness.

Comment:

I just don’t know if I could live in Houston. Austin might work, but Holy Fuck no one seems to have public transportation as good as New York. I also just feel like I’ll never meet women in Texas. It felt like the second I got back, I reverted to my high school psyche: “I have to meet at least one girl tonight.” “I hope _____ will be there and I can talk to her.” “Oh shit, _______”s here, I’m not going to talk to her.” “Wow, she’s hot, don’t look at her.” “Where’d my friends go?” “How are we going to get home?” “There are so many dudes here. If I ever see a woman, I wonder if I’ll remember not to talk about circumcisionsA, boobs or video games?”

I hate all of that: in New York, I usually just try to keep my foot out of my mouth and do my best to not talk about my own life–because my career right now is kind of depressing. I never want to talk about it because I’m trying to fix it even though it feels like I can’t. I didn’t come here to talk about me and my shitty job. I came here to meet you, attractive woman; I came here to hang out with you, awesome friend. I couldn’t give a shit about my job right now, let’s talk about stuff you like and do stuff you like–except drugs, I’m not doing drugs.

Plus, the second I’m in my seat on the plane back to New York, I’m sitting next to a babe. I’m just on my way back and I’m sitting next to an attractive woman. I see that as nothing less than an omen. That and the fact that she would not stop making the googly eyes at me at the baggage claim. Not to read into it too much, but I don’t want to move back to Texas until, like, retirement–if that ever happens.

A: The following sentence is 100% true: The Dick Clique talked about circumcisions in front of a couple of girls over Christmas break like the girls weren’t there. I mean, it’s not really a bad thing, it’s healthy, but I obviously saw none of them naked. The girls, not the circumcisions.