Saturday, September 19, 2015


Southwest (WN) #3216
Dallas Love Field (DAL) > Baltimore/Washington International (BWI)
August 26, 2015

It's about 1 PM. I'm on board a Southwest bird, heading north to Boston with a pit stop in Baltimore. I'm excited, anticipating the Litmus conference I'll be attending. It's an email nerd conference that no one who doesn't design emails has any business going to.

Email nerds are arguably the saddest of the nerds, and I willingly count myself among them. It's an embarrassing sort of obsession, since approximately 0% of people in the email design world dreamed they'd end up there. We all accidentally stumble into the profession, so much so it's become a running job where I work. Anytime we interview new team members, the response is generally the same. "Oh, I got into email because I was the only person at [COMPANY NAME] who knew some basic HTML." That's right, folks. No one aspires to do what I do. They just shrug and go, "Fine, I'll do it." It's all very inspiring.

I fly regularly, so the journey to Boston, while further than I feel comfortable with, is nothing new to me. Despite my obsession with travel, I loathe being on a plane. Planes are essentially buses 30,000ft in the air. No one, ever, has said, "Yeah! I'd LOVE to sit on a public bus for a few hours cramped in with total strangers!" That's essentially what a plane is, but somehow it gets painted as being more glamorous.

People who fly frequently get to see the most interesting stuff. We all trade war stories, like landing in Chicago with the most horrifying turbulence. Or surviving an 8-hour overseas flight on a jump seat. Or sitting next to the new mom who changes her baby's diaper directly on the fold-out table attached to the seat in front of her. Each time I fly, I see something I think there's no way I'll forget or ever see again. And, right on cue, the next flight serves up something even more unbelievable.

Today is no different.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


"You have a power, but you don't use it against people. You can be whatever you want to be, and yet you choose to be an outcast. I think there's something noble in that."

November 21, 2006

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I know I'm getting older because I refuse to accept new music. It's not that I don't get it. You're never going to catch me saying, "These kids and their loud music!" It's just that new music doesn't resonate with me anymore. The realization came to me recently when Halsey's "New Americana" came on the radio.

"We are the new Americana, high on legal marijuana, raised on Biggie and Nirvana. We are the new Americana."

What in the actual fuck. She was born in 1994. Cobain literally died that year, and Biggie left us when she was in Pull-ups. I don't even consider myself to have been old enough to have appreciated those guys in a way to think I was "raised" on them. I was so offended I immediately learned all the words and now sing it when it comes on because jesus christ it's catchy and I am a self-hating monster.

But the moments when I'm willing to take on a new song are few and far between. More often than not, I find myself gravitating to 90's and early 00's Spotify playlists. From where I sit, no one will ever be as catchy as Mariah, as sensual as Usher, as much fun as Incubus, as emotionally draining as Tool, as obnoxious as Blind Melon. So, yeah, I'm getting old and defiantly stuck in my ways. All I can say is that my life is pretty plain.

I know where it's coming from, though. My mom wasn't much of a music listener, but my dad was. I remember thinking his record player was the most high-tech, complicated piece of machinery on the planet, though it was really only used to collect dust. He wasn't much for house jam sessions. Instead, where my dad shined was in his car -- driving around town in his white Cadillac with a heavily used cassette tape cranking out old favorites. Two of them in particular had the deepest effect on me: Jethro Tull and Al Green. Sure, he'd turn on the local country station sometimes, but when he really wanted to jam out, it was always Jethro and Al.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


You know what really ticks me off? How completely, utterly, and ridiculously inconsistent we are as a nation.

A couple months ago, a woman was pulled over for failing to signal as she changed lanes. During that incident, the responding officer asked her to put out her cigarette, which was in the ashtray of her own car. Disagreeing with his intent, she refused, and the situation escalated. Three days later, she was found dead in a jail cell.

Public opinion was split: some considered her incident a tragedy and evidence of the tense racial atmosphere in this country. Others called her a law breaker, and some really horrible people even said she probably deserved it. (Don't read the internet, kids.) I overheard time and time again people saying she should have been complicit with the officer. "You don't argue with a lawful order... if you do, you suffer the consequences" was how one person I know put it.


But let's be honest here. His request was dumb in the first place. Who gives a shit if she has a cigarette in her car? It's completely legal to do so, and the initial reason for pulling her over was the minor-est of minor infractions. It certainly doesn't warrant an arrest, and, really, we should be allowed to question those in positions of power when something doesn't add up.

Fast forward. About a week ago, a woman went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on religious grounds. She willingly defied a Supreme goddamn Court ruling to do so, and as a result, she did not pass go and went straight to jail. Upon her eventual release, she was greeted by hordes of supporters, including presidential hopefuls.

What the actual fuck.

Let me make sure I understand this correctly.

Refuse to put out a cigarette (which is 100% legal to have) and get arrested? Your fault; should have complied with THA LAW.

Refuse to acknowledge basic human rights (which is 100% illegal) and get arrested? IT'S A WAR ON THE RELIGIONZ, GOD ALMIGHTY JESUS!

The thing is -- we can't pick and choose when it's okay to care about our individual rights. If you don't see the problem here, you, flatly, are a fucking piece of work.

Monday, August 31, 2015


Me and a coworker from across aisles, in the middle of a room of 40 other quiet coworkers:

"Have you watched 'The Carrie Diaries' yet?"
"No, I'm too busy watching reruns of 'Nanny 911'."
"...Reruns of 'The Dating Show'?"
"No. NANNY 911."
"...'Nanny Dating'...? I can't hear you."

Monday, February 9, 2015


I have a miserable memory.

It's something that's plagued me for years, and it seems unreasonable for me to hide that from you. Like my penchant for sitting on the couch with my hands down my pants for no reason at all. You deserve to know.

I've heard others describe forgetfulness as laziness and a lack of respect. But what the hell do those people know? (Other than everything, apparently. With their elephantine memories.)

Sure, lots of tips and tricks exist out there in the world, boasting their magical brain-boosting powers. Hell, I can nearly recite the Lumosity commercials by heart. (Don't worry; the irony isn't lost on me.) But what's the point of those things anyway? Does remembering the name of that one dude you met at a frat party Freshman year of college really make you that much more special than the rest of us?

If you answered yes, you're probably the kind of asshole who remembers the dude at the frat party. To the rest of us, you're like a lame party trick -- it was cool the first time you showed off your skill, and then it just got awkward.

So, what does all this matter? A whole hell of a lot, it seems. Why? Because I married the party trick.