Songs You’ll Never Hear

Awhile back, I wrote a fairly in-depth article about art. I wrote about art as an outward expression of our deepest emotions, as well as the various other roles it plays. I explored the idea of “unshared” art — that is, art that the artist keeps to him/herself. I posed questions like What makes something I create valuable to me? and Does that value increase if my art affects others in the same way?

I also discussed the ways I “judge” my own art:

a. How does this help me?

b. How does this help others?

For my art to help others, I need to share it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to judge my art based on both criteria mentioned above. Sure, something I create might help me, but for it to have any affect on another person, I can’t keep it to myself.

I conclude in the article that perhaps it’s time for me to reconsider my hesitance to share things I’ve created, so that I can share that same value with other people.

Clearly, sitting here writing this post makes me hypocritical. If you continue reading below, you’ll see that I directly mention things I’ve created but neglect to actually show them. So, for what it’s worth, I’d like to share my ten favorite lyrics from songs I’ve written because that’s the best I can do right now.¹

 My favorite lyrics of songs you’ll (probably) never hear

10.

I like the way you move

And I can’t shake the feeling

That I could fit into every groove your body has to offer

I accept.

from a song called “Blacklisted”

9.

Objects in mirror are more regretful than they appear.

from a song called “Take One for the Team”

8.

Every word that escapes my lips is met with confusion and amazement,

That glazed look upon your face.

-from a song called “Above the Influence”

7.

Do you think I’m funny?

I don’t know if I’m crying or laughing

All I know is I’m hysterical.

-from a song called “Hysterical”

6.

And if you happen to get cold feet,

Don’t worry — you can keep your socks on.

from a song called “Friend of the Year”

5.

This town’s a museum and you’re every exhibit.

from a song called “The Artist”

4.

Hate leaves bruises, but love leaves scars.

from a song called “The Win-You-Back Song”

3.

The storm will eventually pass

Then I can comprehend her influence on the forecast.

from a song called “Click”

2.

Let’s bury this town in the ash of our homes.

from a song called “Cigarettes”

1.

I’m a paper airplane in the wind, and you’re the wind

Because you can blow me.

-from a song called “Blow Me (Away)”


Footnote:

¹The hesitance is still there because I care about what people think, but I’m running out of fucks.

My Personal Guide to Tinder, Part 2

A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

Maybe it’s time for me to swipe right on the concept of online dating.

-me, in My Personal Guide to Tinder, Part 1

The last time I checked in, I was just beginning my Tinder journey. After hearing a handful of success stories, I decided that I’d give the dating app another chance. Perhaps it could be the “solution to my perpetual loneliness” (direct quote from my last post). But what I neglected to realize is that “my perpetual loneliness” is a conscious decision I’ve made, and frankly it’s not much of a problem at all. So, instead of looking at Tinder as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, I’m going to look at it as an opportunity — an opportunity to open doors that would remain closed otherwise.

My personal Tinder guidelines (cont.)

As I continue to use the app, I find myself developing more and more habits. One interesting observation I’ll make about these “rules” is that an overwhelming majority of them involve swiping left, effectively narrowing down (limiting?) my options. Like I said, I am the main reason those doors are closed in the first place.

Remember: Swipe left for NOPE, swipe right for LIKE.

  1. If I can’t pronounce her name, swipe left.
  2. Swipe left for girls whose names have stupid spellings (ie. Tayler, Elisabeth).
  3. *addendum to existing rule(s)* If there are two girls in the first photo and I can’t tell which one she is — BUT both girls are smoking hotswipe right. Swipe right immediately because it doesn’t matter which girl she is. Plus, she has gorgeous friends.
  4. If she has any more than zero (0) photos containing a horse, swipe left.
  5. If there is a glaring spelling/grammatical error in her About Me section, swipe left.
  6. If a girl is too New Jersey¹, swipe left.
  7. If she has something like If you _________, keep it moving! in her profile, swipe left.
  8. If she mentions faith and/or religion in her About Me section, swipe left because ain’t nobody got time for that.
  9. If her name is Dina, swipe left.
  10. Swipe left if her weight isn’t discernible. (I know this makes me sound like a shallow asshole, but what’s the point of swiping right on somebody I don’t really want to talk to? That’d be sacrificing the integrity of Tinder. <<<<< That was a funny sentence.)
  11. CrossFit? Swipe left.
  12. If she has bad teeth, swipe left. (If she doesn’t have her mouth open in any of her photos, there is no way to prove she even has teeth. Obviously swipe left.)
  13. If we have mutual friends, assess the situation. (But then probably swipe right to see if she did/does the same.)
  14. If we have mutual interests, refer to all preceding rules because literally nothing matters less than this. (Exception: Weezer — see Rule #6 in previous post.)

Another Tinder anecdote for you

I broke one of my own rules recently (Rule #21, if we’re keeping track²). I noticed that the girl actually had two photos with a horse — something that would normally have me scoffing and swiping any which way but right…

IMG_1813

I’m going to end up with one of those girls who’s super in love with her horse, aren’t I?

However, this girl happened to be very attractive and quite skinny. Perhaps this is a weakness of mine.

To be continued…?


Footnotes:

¹You know exactly what I mean.

²PUN ALERT.

My Personal Guide to Tinder, Part 1

Obligatory introduction and customary rhetorical questioning

I recently re-downloaded the Tinder app after meeting my friend’s new girlfriend. He met her through Tinder — an app I deleted about a year ago after assuming it was just for random local hookups — and she happens to be a very nice girl. This threw me for a loop and forced me to reconsider this form of online dating as a potential solution to my perpetual loneliness.

Could Tinder really be a way of finding love? How could I be so wrong about something I refused to take seriously following my initial experimentation?

Tinder

Maybe it’s time for me to swipe right on the concept of online dating. (Photo/gotinder.com)

 

For those who aren’t familiar with the app, Tinder is a mobile application that allows users to see profiles of fellow nearby users, and then either swipe left (to pass) or swipe right (to “like”). This first step of the Tinder process is essentially the Hot or Not concept, a binary system of judgment — we either like a person or we don’t.

Profiles consist of several items, including photos, age, distance from the user, and an About Me section with a 500-character limit. Tinder also allows users to see what common interests they have, as well as mutual friends (since the info is pulled from Facebook).

Here's a quick look at the matchmaking app's user interface. (Photo/gotinder.com)

Here’s a quick look at the matchmaking app’s user interface. (Photo/gotinder.com)

There was another major reason I originally deleted the Tinder app. Simply put, I didn’t feel comfortable judging people solely based on looks. I mean, I do it in real life — we all do — but it’s different when I’m actively judging someone aesthetically. At a bar (or wherever everybody meets people), I’m swiping left or right in my head. It’s more of a passive behavior. On Tinder, I’m outwardly expressing my distaste of someone’s appearance, and for some reason the rejection feels more personal. And frankly, that makes me feel bad about myself.

I don’t like feeling bad about myself, so I deleted the app. Perhaps this is why I’m single.

My personal Tinder guidelines

As I’ve started using the app again, I’ve established certain rules to ensure that I take it more seriously this time around. While some of these habits I’ve developed are designed to broaden my Tinder horizons, others are without a doubt designed to weed out specific types of girls. (I know: “Beggars can’t be choosers,” but I’m not taking what I can get if all I get is a night I won’t remember and a rash that won’t go away.)

Remember: Swipe left for NOPE, swipe right for LIKE.

  1. Swipe right for anybody named Chelsea.
  2. If it takes me more than two photos to figure out which girl she is, swipe left.
  3. If she has no photos of just her, swipe left.
  4. If there is any mention of EDM, Chipotle, or “friends with 420” in her About Me section, swipe left.
  5. If she quotes Marilyn Monroe in her About Me section, swipe left.
  6. If she likes Weezer, investigate further.
  7. If she looks younger than 18 years old but claims to be 22, think about it really hard before swiping left. (Read: swipe right.)
  8. Swipe right for attractive non-Caucasian girls because I am an equal opportunity Tinderer, eradicating racism one swipe at a time.
  9. If she isn’t the most attractive girl in the photo, swipe left. I don’t want any problems.
  10. If she’s throwing up the middle finger in a photo, swipe left.
  11. If she’s throwing up in a photo, period, swipe left.
  12. If she’s taking a bottle of alcohol to the face in a photo, swipe left.
  13. If all of the girl’s photos feature said girl in her underwear or swimwear, admire for a few moments and then swipe left. She’s clearly too advanced for me sexually. I can only assume that she’d be looking to get right down to business while I’d be asking her if she’s seen Gone Girl yet.
  14. If she includes her Instagram account information in her profile, assume nothing is off-limits. Swipe accordingly.
  15. If she looks like Taylor Swift, swipe right.
  16. If she’s 5’10 like T-Swift, swipe left. I’m not the type of guy to shy away from a girl who’s taller than me, but most tall girls don’t want to date shorter guys. I understand that, so I’m not going to waste anybody’s time — including mine.
  17. If all of her photos feature the same pose, swipe left because she’s probably a statue or mannequin and there is literally no evidence to refute that.

Suggestions for Tinder users

As a general rule, you should try to have a clear photo of your face in your first photo, then a full body shot somewhere, then any other cool photos that make you look good. This way, other people will get a good idea of what they’re dealing with. A lot of Tinder users — both girls and guys (I’ve been told) — have a deceptively attractive photo as their first picture. Then the rest of the photos make you wonder where the person in the first one went. Lighting and angles can be misleading. Don’t be one of the people who abuse this fact.

And here’s a Tinder anecdote for you…

I came across a girl on Tinder whose first photo contained two females. I found only one of the girls attractive, so I clicked her profile to see exactly whose profile it was. The second photo confirmed that it was, indeed, the “hot” one — a picture of her holding a baby. Immediately, I wondered: Is that baby hers?

So, I scrolled down to read her About Me section. Lo and behold:

Yes, the baby is mine. Single mama 💪

My first thought was, Well, I’m good with kids. Swipe right.

To be continued…?

Top 10 Weezer Lyrics

I’ve been listening to a lot of Weezer lately. I don’t know why I say “lately,” as if it’s not something I do basically all the time, but I do know that it’s something you should do, too. I’m not writing this post to argue over how much better the band’s first two albums are than all of its other stuff, and I’m certainly not looking to debate which of Weezer’s songs is the best. (Clearly it’s “El Scorcho.” Don’t know it? Keep reading…)

In anticipation of Weezer’s ninth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best (read: my favorite) Weezer lyrics.

***Astute Weezer fans may notice that all of these lyrics/songs are off of either Weezer (The Blue Album) or Pinkerton. There’s a reason for that (see above).***

10. Butterfly

If I’m a dog, then you’re a bitch.

Easily the weakest track on what might be my favorite album of all time, “Butterfly” features just as much emotion as the rest of Pinkerton. This simple and silly line proves that Rivers’ passion doesn’t take away from his wit in his songwriting.

9. Tragic Girl

You’re a tragic girl
You lead a tragic life
I’m just meant to be
Your latest tragedy

Released on the deluxe version of Pinkerton, this hidden gem was almost forgotten according to Weezerpedia (yes, that’s a real thing because why wouldn’t it be?).

8. Jamie

You’ve got the Beach Boys, and your firm’s got the Stones
But I know you won’t leave me alone

“Jamie” can be found on the deluxe version of The Blue Album, and it’s also a b-side to “Buddy Holly.” The first time I heard this track was on Weezer’s 2010 Memories Tour, during which the band played several b-sides, marking the first time Weezer had played “Jamie” live since 1996. The best part about this song is that it’s written for the band’s first lawyer.

7. You Won’t Get With Me Tonight

Chill out baby, stay with me for a while
But that don’t mean I’ll get with you tonight

Similar to a female’s perspective, just because a guy is nice and friendly toward a girl doesn’t mean there will be “hooking up.” Rivers knows and understands that.

6. Pink Triangle

If everyone’s a little queer
Oh, can’t she be a little straight?

Have you ever had a crush on a lesbian? Rivers Cuomo has, as evidenced by the lyrics of “Pink Triangle.” (Side note: I would like to see Taylor Swift write her own version of this song about Matt Bomer.)

5. El Scorcho

Why you wanna go and do me like that?
Come down on the street and dance with me

This is how I feel basically whenever I’m interacting with a girl I like. These lyrics outline a simple plea but are part of a longer, more in-depth examination of a struggle with romantic feelings. Oh, Rivers. WHO HURT YOU??

4. Only In Dreams

You say, ‘It’s a good thing
That you float in the air
That way there’s no way
I will crush your pretty toenails into a thousand pieces.’

“Only In Dreams” may very well be Weezer’s masterpiece. This Blue Album track, and these lines especially, perfectly display Rivers’ knack for writing lyrics that are oddly specific yet universally applicable.

3. Tired Of Sex

[Rivers screams]

Leading into the second verse of the song, this flawlessly-timed scream represents the level of emotion with which the entire Pinkerton album was written and performed. “Tired Of Sex” happens to be the first track on that album, which I can only assume was not a mistake.

2. El Scorcho

I’m a lot like you so please, hello, I’m here, I’m waiting
I think I’d be good for you and you’d be good for me

When you finally decide to talk to someone you like, what do you say? Do you confess your feelings? Do you wait for the other person to make a move? Or do you write songs about it and bury your head in the sand? Guess which one Rivers Cuomo does…

1. Undone (The Sweater Song)

I’m me
Me be
Goddamn
I am

It was truly difficult to decide what my favorite (in other words, the best) Weezer lyric would be on this list. I think these first lines of “The Sweater Song” got the edge because I’ve actually considered getting these words tattooed on my body. Simple yet deep.


So, if you haven’t heard any of these songs already, do yourself a favor and give each of them a listen. And when it’s time, be sure to do the same with Weezer’s newest album, EWBAITE, set to be released on October 7th.

 

25 Groundbreaking Movies

I’ve been on a kick lately, and I can’t seem to get this concept out of my head — this concept of the “low-hanging fruit.” Why go somewhere so many other people have gone when you can do just about anything else? Why try to mimic what everybody else is doing when you have the opportunity and ability to create something new?

Innovation is exciting. New products, new businesses, new ideas — they’re what makes the world go ’round. Stagnancy is horrifying, and we all know most ideas get stale rather quickly. So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most revolutionary films I’ve seen to honor those writers, directors, and actors who dared to try something that had never been done before. Here is my list of 25 groundbreaking movies that flipped the script on me (in no particular order), proving that taking a shot and creating something can go a long way. [WARNING: Some spoilers ahead…]

1. Toy Story

Memorable quote: “Reach for the sky!”

Why it’s noteworthy: Toy Story was Pixar’s first feature length film, so “reaching for the sky” is exactly what these animators and filmmakers were doing leading up to its 1995 release. This film pioneered the Pixar movement, paving the way for movies like Up and WALL-E, the two best Pixar films. (I will argue to the death about this assertion.)

2. The Wizard of Oz

Memorable quote: “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Released in 1939, The Wizard of Oz was not the first movie to be made in color (though, it is commonly mistaken as being such). However, this film is groundbreaking in the way it had basically everything: music, and color, and midgets — oh my!

3. Psycho

Memorable quote: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

Why it’s noteworthy: With Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock revolutionized the horror genre. Usually, the suspense in a movie comes before a woman removes her clothes, but Hitchcock found a way to generate suspense after a female character was already naked. Talk about groundbreaking! Also, he kills off an important character like twenty minutes into the film, which was unheard of at the time.

4. Before Sunrise

Memorable quote: “Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”

Why it’s noteworthy: Everything Richard Linklater does makes me love him more. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver phenomenal performances as the lead characters, and the best part about the super-long shots and heavy dialogue is that it makes the movie feel real. Plus, the entire trilogy is fucking delightful, especially Before Sunset, the second installment, which I personally enjoyed the most.

5. Boyhood

Memorable quote: “You don’t want the bumpers. Life doesn’t give you bumpers.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Linklater did it again with Boyhood, a movie that was literally shot with the same cast over the course of twelve years. “Normal” people don’t do that. And that’s why being “normal” is overrated.

6. Hocus Pocus

Memorable quote: “It’s a full moon tonight. That’s when all the weirdos are out.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Aside from this being the only Halloween movie I at least make an attempt to watch every year (because of nostalgia and stuff), Hocus Pocus remains the only film in which I’m kind-of-sort-of-maybe attracted to Sarah Jessica Parker.

7. the original Star Wars trilogy

Memorable quote: “The Force is strong with this one.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Chances are, if somebody hasn’t actually seen any of the Star Wars films, s/he has heard of them. George Lucas’ baby is widely considered the first film franchise to extend beyond the boundaries of the movie industry. The reason everybody has heard of Star Wars is because of all of the licensed merchandise and games and whatnot that stemmed from the books/films. Also, Han Solo and incest.

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Memorable quote: “Hold still. I’ve never done this before, and there will be blood.”

Why it’s noteworthy: To my knowledge, this is the only film in which you are actually rooting for a character as she is literally raping another character.

9. Avatar

Memorable quote: “I see you.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Blue people sex(?).

10. American Pie

Memorable quote: “I don’t want any of you boys thinking that you’re gonna score. You don’t score until you *score*!”

Why it’s noteworthy: American Pie is one of the most important movies of the 80s and 90s because it’s the only one about a bunch of high school kids trying to have sex. Also, Jason Biggs bangs a pie.

11. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Memorable quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, that there is a naked woman!”

Why it’s noteworthy: The first Blair Witch is often recognized as an innovative film because of the way it employed “found footage” and earned its way to an unprecedented budget/box office ratio. I believe the second Blair Witch is just as important because it was the first time I saw a boob in theaters. (I have a really cool aunt who takes ten year olds to see R-rated horror movies.)

12. Reservoir Dogs

Memorable quote: “Shit… You shoot me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs is the only heist movie I can think of that doesn’t actually show the heist.

13. The Happening

Memorable quote: “It makes you kill yourself. Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more evil that can be invented.”

Why it’s noteworthy: I’ve seen this movie in its entirety and still have no idea what it’s about. I can’t say that about any other movies. Also, M. Night Shyamalan plot twist: it’s awful.

14. Just Go With It

Memorable quote: “Just go with it.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Every character just goes with it. This film has the most just-going-with-it I’ve ever seen in one movie.

15. 300

Memorable quote: “THIS IS SPARTA!”

Why it’s noteworthy: Without 300, it wouldn’t be cool to kick somebody into a giant hole while yelling something. So, there’s that.

16. 8 Mile

Memorable quote: “Yo, that ‘Leave it to Beaver’ line almost killed me.”

Why it’s noteworthy: It’s just nice to see a Caucasian from a poor area succeed and go on to make as much money as his African American counterpart for once.

17. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Why it’s noteworthy: I don’t know if this movie is “groundbreaking,” per se, but I’ve never seen Jesse Bradford on a bicycle while time is slowed down in any other films.

18. Marley & Me

Memorable quote: “Sometimes life has a better idea.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Marley & Me is the only film guaranteed to make me cry every time I watch it. The sad part is, I don’t even cry when Marley gets put down — I cry happy tears when they move to Pennsylvania and see snow for the first time and play outside as a family. Groundbreaking filmmaking right there.

19. The Usual Suspects

Memorable quote: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Aside from being one of my all-time favorite films, my first reaction to this movie was, “WHAAAAAATTTTTTT???”

20. Memento

Memorable quote: “I have this condition.”

Why it’s noteworthy: I give credit to the Nolan brothers for the nonlinear storytelling technique used in Memento. It’s a rather simple plot that’s made all the more intriguing by the main character’s “condition” and the reverse order of the scenes in the one storyline.

21. WALL-E

Memorable quote: “Eeeee… va?”

Why it’s noteworthy: As aforementioned, I believe WALL-E is the best Pixar film. Simply put, it’s an animated futuristic robot love story that ends up being more charming than a heavy majority of the Notebook-type movies out there. I went to see it with a group of 4th graders as a summer camp field trip, and the kids were much more excited than I was going into the film. However, on the bus ride back, the kids were disappointed and saying things like, “That movie sucked,” and I was defensively responding, “You shut your whore mouth about WALL-E!”

22. Saving Private Ryan

Memorable quote: “I just know that every man I kill, the farther away from home I feel.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Saving Private Ryan‘s opening scene is more than enough reason to put it on this list.

23. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Memorable quote: “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Why it’s noteworthy: If this Kubrick flick was released today, it would be considered strange. Imagine how weird it was back in 1968.

24. The Tree of Life

Memorable quote: “Tell us a story from before we can remember.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Speaking of weird, The Tree of Life takes the cake for experimental filmmaking.

25. Beginners

Memorable quote: “The chair is not gay, obviously.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Beginners is the best movie ever made — hands down, no doubt about it, all arguments against it are irrelevant. The end.


Check out some other movie lists I’ve compiled:

25 Inspirational Movies

25 Depressing Movies

10 Movies That Don’t Have Enough John Goodman

#SingleBecause

One way or another, writing about relationships has become somewhat of a calling for me. From getting one of my posts “published” on Thought Catalog to actually getting paid to give relationship advice on Lifehack to receiving an extremely kind shout-out from a popular singles life coach, I guess you can say I’m qualified (maybe?). I mean, she did say this:

Even at 23 he gets women better than most.”

Nicer and truer words have never been posted on the interwebs. Now, when I sit down to write, I very rarely want to write about relationships. But I do know that if I write about the subject and spit the truth, people will actually read it because they know I’m being real. I don’t know what it is, but people enjoy reading about love and relationships, and they even care about what I have to say. Surely, becoming some sort of “relationship guru” was never something I intended, but sometimes you just have to go with it. (Like in that movie.)

I’ve been told I’m “quite the catch” (source unconfirmed), so why is it that I’m more single than an individually-wrapped slice of Kraft American cheese (terrible joke aside)? Let’s solve this mystery together, shall we? From what I can surmise after countless long, lonely nights of self analysis, here are some of the top reasons believe I am single:

10. I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day…

The problem with this is that the single girls are the ones I should be going after. But because I find the people who complain about being single on Valentine’s Day so unbearable, it’s safe to say that every V-Day ends the same for me…

9. Online dating doesn’t work for me.

How about we... don't get arrested?

How about we… don’t get arrested?

I’ll just get this one out of the way now. Various people have told me, “Oh, you should try online dating! I have a buddy who met his wife that way. They have like 3 kids now.” Sure, while others might have success in the online dating world, I just don’t think I’m built for it. Part of me believes I’d be able to meet an amazing girl online, but the other part of me believes that first part is drunk and should go home.

8. Also, I’m just really bad at online dating.

This has happened on multiple occasions.

This has happened on multiple occasions.

I don’t know what it is, but I can’t seem to take online dating seriously. The concept of meeting somebody and communicating only through what is basically email until both parties deem each other in-person material because they’ve convinced each other they’re not murderers is just silly to me.

7. I’m confident but, at the same time, a bit self-conscious.

I think very highly of myself; I hold myself to a standard that is sometimes impossible to meet. Because of this, I tend to get a bit down on myself sometimes…

I also tend to place too much emphasis on things that aren’t important, ie. appearance. And in this case, I’m talking about my own appearance — both physical and virtual. What do I mean by virtual? I mean that I spend too much time crafting this “online persona,” and although there may be parts of the genuine me shining through this screen of social media accounts I’ve constructed, the screen does exist. And its sole purpose is to make people think I’m cool–

…er…

…to show people I’m cool. Yeah.

6. I’m too picky.

I do place a lot of emphasis on certain qualities of other people as well. Perhaps too much emphasis sometimes.

I have this tendency to say “I want” this and “I want” that…

But the truth is simple: I don’t know what the hell I want. Nobody knows what they want until they have it.

5. I can’t seem to throw the scent off the gay trail.

No matter what I do…

It just follows me everywhere I go…

4. I’m a bit of a skeptic.

When it comes to relationships, when it comes to love, when it comes to basically anything in life — I treat it all the same. Call me a pessimist, call me a cynic. I like to call myself a realist. And it’s not that I’m a negative person — I just think depressing things are funny. Which brings me to my next point…

3. Most girls don’t understand me.

Jared Text

I also have a, uh… unique relationship with my brother.

I can basically get along with anyone for a limited period of time, but if I’m going to truly be myself, I guess I’m sort of an acquired taste. I think a lot of things are funny when others don’t seem to agree. I make jokes at — let’s call them — “inappropriate” times, usually to lighten the mood or at least get somebody to crack a smile during a tense moment. Since I joke around so much, it’s difficult for people to know when to take me seriously.

2. Maybe I want to be single?

Perhaps this is only true for me, but I don’t want to be in a relationship just for the sake of being in a relationship. I want it to mean something. I want it to be with somebody I actually care about. I know plenty of people who feel like they constantly need to be in some type of relationship because they are afraid of being alone. All that means is these people are afraid of being left alone with themselves. Their true fear is having the time to think introspectively and learning about their true selves. What if they don’t like the person they get to know?

1. Clearly, I think too much.

And that’s obvious.*

 

*Read like Chris D’Elia. If you don’t know who that is or don’t understand the joke, that’s fine. Please refer to point #3.

What (I Think) I Want

I am a firm believer in the following statement:

Nobody knows what they want until they have it.

However, I’d like to think I at least have an idea of what it is I want in a romantic partner. Clearly, I’ve been tuning in to way too many romantic comedies lately, but I often spend my drives to and from work thinking about my ideal girl. So humor me, please…

I want a girl who knows things. I thrive on connecting seemingly unrelated ideas, so it’s important for me to find a girl who knows what the hell I’m talking about (most of the time, at least). I don’t only want — I need a girl who understands my pop culture and movie references, and I want somebody who stays informed about the world. Current events, trends, problems, basic historical knowledge. These things are all important to me. She doesn’t have to Google something every time we converse.

I want a girl who is passionate. About life, about a cause, about her family. About anything. Disinterest is boring.

I want a girl I can take to family gatherings. One I can take to parties and trust to mingle and make new friends. One I don’t have to worry about leaving alone with strangers for five minutes. She’s independent, or at the very least independent enough.

I want a girl who likes to read. Books, news articles, screenplays. Stuff that I write, maybe?

I want a girl who likes to talk. I like to talk, so I want somebody who at least enjoys expressing herself. We can talk about movies, music, whatever’s in the news, or even our deepest fears — as long as she opens up about something and isn’t hesitant to share her opinions.

I want a girl who lets me cheer her up (or at least lets me try). Sad? LET ME BE CHARMING. IT’S IN MY GOD DAMN DNA FOR SOME REASON, SO LET ME USE IT.

I want a girl who does the right thing. First and foremost, I want a girl who knows what the right thing is; and on top of that, she goes ahead and does it. Or at least thinks about doing it. Nobody’s perfect.

I want a girl who’s not embarrassed easily. I act a fool sometimes. When appropriate, she straightens me out and puts me in my place. But sometimes she’s completely okay with being just as foolish.

I want a girl who’s not afraid to laugh. I’m a riot. Act accordingly.

I want a girl who’s not afraid of being called “perfect.” I say a lot of stupid things without thinking. Inappropriate jokes for cheap laughs, insensitive comments because I forget who my audience is sometimes. But don’t ever — ever — think “perfect” came out of my mouth accidentally.

I want a girl who’s strong but not ashamed to feel weak. Vulnerability is what makes us human. I want a human.

I want a girl with an open mind. She understands and accepts that not everybody thinks the same way as her and not everybody shares her beliefs. We probably won’t agree on certain things, but she listens and acknowledges that sometimes there is no right or wrong. She’s also not afraid to try new things and venture out of her comfort zone.

I want a girl who can surprise me. I want a girl who’s creative. I want a girl who’s not afraid to put herself out there and feel vulnerable. I want an artist — whether she draws, paints, sculpts, designs, acts, sings, writes, dances, cooks, builds, styles, or plays an instrument — a girl who expresses herself in her own way.

I want a girl who’s good at what she does for a living but better at the things she does to feel alive. Our occupations don’t define us. I want her to love what she does weekdays nine to five (or whenever it is she works), but I also want her to care about other things. Hobbies, sports, traveling, whatever. I want to make my life worth something, and I’d rather leave my kids with knowledge and stories than a monetary inheritance. Though, I guess the money would be nice… (Read: I want a girl who makes a lot of money so I can write all day.)

I want a girl who doesn’t need me but wants me around. She’d be just fine on her own. She’d be successful, happy even. But for some reason unbeknownst to me, she wants to hang out with me. She might even love me.

Whoa, that got real for a second.

25 Depressing Movies

Not too long ago, I compiled a list of 25 Inspirational Movies because, like I say in the post, “we all need a little inspiration every now and again.” Similarly, I believe that we all need to be able to feel sad every so often. Now, while I realize that compiling a list of sad movies is not necessarily fun or funny (and while I want to acknowledge the fact that I’m not even sad while writing this), I just feel like people need to be able to confront their feelings. Instead of putting on masks that hide our emotions, sometimes we need to pour ourselves some wine, sit back, and realize how shitty life can be.

So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most depressing movies I’ve seen to hopefully ruin somebody’s day at some point. While some of these movies might have uplifting undertones, I only want to discuss the sad stuff because hey, that’s life. [WARNING: Spoilers ahead…]

1. Beginners

Memorable quote: “You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people.”

Why it’s sadLove is never simple. Also, your hair is nothing like Ewan McGregor’s.

2. The Sessions

Memorable quote: “I believe in a God with a sense of humor. I would find it absolutely intolerable not to be to able blame someone for all this.”

Why it’s sadEven a dude with polio is getting more action than you.

3. The Mist

Memorable quote: “You can’t convince some people there’s a fire even when their hair is burning. Denial is a powerful thing.”

Why it’s sad: You can always wait a few more minutes.

4. Million Dollar Baby

Memorable quote: “Mo cuishle means ‘My darling, my blood.'”

Why it’s sad: Even Clint Eastwood cries.

5. Marley & Me

Memorable quote: “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.”

Why it’s sad: You probably need to pay more attention to your pooch.

6. Click

Memorable quote: “He’s always chasing the pot of gold, but when he gets there, at the end of the day, it’s just corn flakes.”

Why it’s sad: Plot details aside, it is inconceivable that a guy like Adam Sandler would end up with a girl like Kate Beckinsale.

7. Titanic

Memorable quote: “I’ll never let go, Jack.”

Why it’s sad: Watch anything for three hours and you’ll probably want to die.

8. The Road

Memorable quote: “I told the boy when you dream about bad things happening, it means you’re still fighting and you’re still alive. It’s when you start to dream about good things that you should start to worry.”

Why it’s sad: Cannibalism.

9. The Butterfly Effect

Memorable quote: “You can’t change who people are without destroying who they were.”

Why it’s sad: Even if you save everybody else, you’ll still end up on Two and a Half Men.

10. Hardball

Memorable quote: “What I’ve learned from you is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up.”

Why it’s sad: Keanu Reeves is so white that it’s sad. Also, G-Baby. *single tear*

11. My Girl

Memorable quote: “He can’t see without his glasses!”

Why it’s sad: Bees, man. They’ll kill you.

12. Sophie’s Choice

Memorable quote: “Don’t make me choose!”

Why it’s sad: Red wine or white. Paper or plastic. Windows down or air-conditioning. Everybody makes tough decisions. Such is life.

13. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Why it’s sad: I don’t know if this movie is “depressing” per se, but it definitely makes me think about what Jesse Bradford is doing now.

14. The Passion of the Christ

Memorable quote: “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.”

Why it’s sad: Basically everything you learned in Catholic school and church is wrong because Mel Gibson also believes it.

15. Zero Dark Thirty

Memorable quote: “You can’t run a global network of interconnected cells from a cave.”

Why it’s sad: You’re rooting for this one dude the entire movie, and then they just kill him like it’s nothing.

16. Edward Scissorhands

Memorable quote: “I am not complete.”

Why it’s sad: He can’t even sleep on a water bed, for Christ’s sake.

17. P.S. I Love You

Memorable quote: “Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends.”

Why it’s sadThis film is depressing for obvious reasons, but mostly because I watched it alone.

18. Toy Story 3

Memorable quote: “Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be.”

Why it’s sad: Holy shit, the part when you think they’re all going to die. Also, growing up kind of blows.

19. King Kong

Memorable quote: “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.”

Why it’s sad: Even a giant ape is getting more action than you.

20. Donnie Darko

Memorable quote: “I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.”

Why it’s sad: It’s confusing and makes you think you’re dumb and makes you want to cry.

21. Pitch Perfect

Memorable quote: [the part when they all sing and dance at the end]

Why it’s sad: Adam from Workaholics can sing and I can’t.

22. Fast & Furious 7

Memorable quote: [film not yet released]

Why it’s sad: I’m just assuming this film will be extremely depressing if it has any Paul Walker scenes in it.

23. The Cabin in the Woods

Memorable quote: “I’m sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the world.”

Why it’s sadNothing is important.

24. End of Watch

Memorable quote: “Let’s go fight crime or something.”

Why it’s sad: “Or something” means “and get killed.”

25. The Wolf of Wall Street

Memorable quote: “Was all this legal? Absolutely not!”

Why it’s sad: People who abandon all of their morals are allowed to “succeed” in this world. And then they’re allowed to write books about it. And then those books are turned into blockbuster movies. If that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is.

Ways To Beat Me in “Never Have I Ever…” Because of 2013

With 2014 approaching, I found myself scrambling to identify the highlights of this past year. While I had some trouble at first, I realized that 2013 was a year of big changes for me. But amidst all of this progress and change, there is nothing to worry about — I’m still me. I’m just more well-traveled and a little bit more experienced in the falling-out-of-the-sky department. So here’s a summary of my year, through “Never Have I Ever”s that are no longer true*:

Never have I ever…

  1. been grandfatherless.
  2. had an Instagram account dedicated to my dog and newspaper headlines.
  3. run a 5k.
  4. been *this close* to packing up my things and driving out to California.
  5. quit JCPenney.
  6. (I’m too lazy to try to phrase this in “Never Have I Ever…”-talk, but Emma Roberts read my letter.)
  7. gone ziplining.
  8. been the target of an all-out bird shit holocaust.
  9. been paid to write about costumes and cupcakes.
  10. had poison ivy.
  11. watched an entire season of a television show in one day.
  12. attended an amateur wrestling event.
  13. been part of a chicken beheading.
  14. single-handedly tried to take down the terrorist group known as “BuzzFeed.”
  15. JUMPED OUT OF A FUCKING PLANE.
  16. rocked out with Rob Thomas.
  17. been paid to write literally anything.
  18. feared that I was a sellout.
  19. witnessed a caterpillar climb up a wall and get eaten by a spider.
  20. seen Dave Chappelle live.
  21. looked for a midget to love me via online dating.
  22. obtained a “big boy” job.
  23. gotten paid to tweet.
  24. been to Minnesota.
  25. stepped foot inside the single most incredible establishment in the United States (the Mall of America).
  26. eaten a “Juicy Lucy.”
  27. actually thought about being a parent.
  28. had this written about me: “Even at 23 he gets women better than most.”
  29. tried to learn how to play the piano.
  30. been brought to tears by a five-year-old kid dressed as Batman.
  31. hand-written a letter to a friend who wasn’t a “pen pal.”
  32. hated lists but just said “fuck it” and wrote them anyway (for free).
  33. modeled scarves.
  34. gotten herpes.
  35. physically wanted to harm an animal.
  36. owned socks with capes on them (trust me; they’re cool).
  37. truly enjoyed my job.

*As always, I am open to any/all questions regarding every aspect of this list.

25 Inspirational Movies

We all need a little inspiration every now and again. Some people find intellectual and emotional stimulation in nature, while others find it in music or literature. Some of us even seek this creative motivation in other people. Many of us, however, turn to film to inspire us. The way a story can make us feel — whether it be true or fictional — is what gets the gears moving in our heads. It is with this stimulation that the most groundbreaking innovation is possible.

So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most inspirational movies I’ve seen to hopefully inspire somebody else. Of course, my list is different than others. And that’s fine because trust me — it’s fine. [WARNING: Some spoilers ahead…]

1. Big Fish

Memorable quote: “A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.”

Message: Everybody has daddy issues. What makes you think yours are any worse than somebody else’s? Also, sometimes your dad’s a fish.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

Memorable quote: “Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

Message: Don’t have hope in anything. Except our justice system because clearly it works.

3. Life of Pi

Memorable quote: “If it happened, it happened. Why should it have to mean anything?”

Message: Sometimes, you need to live a lie to be happy.

4. Pay It Forward

Memorable quote: “I think some people are too scared, or something. I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are – even if they’re bad – to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”

Message: If you ever try to change the world, you WILL get stabbed.

5. Forrest Gump

Memorable quote: “You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

Message: If you have sex with a mentally challenged person, you WILL get HIV and have a kid who sees ghosts. Also, sometimes that weird kid in your class grows up to do amazing things.

6. Slumdog Millionaire

Memorable quote: [the part when they all dance at the end]

Message: Every experience is meaningful in its own way. Also, dancing is fun.

7. Schindler’s List

Memorable quote: “Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.”

Message: Liam Neeson saved just as many people as he killed in those Taken movies. And you should always make lists so you don’t forget stuff. (I’ve never seen the whole movie.)

8. Field of Dreams

Memorable quote: “If you build it, he will come.”

Message: Commit to something and follow through with it.

9. 8 Mile

Memorable quote: “Do you ever wonder at what point you just got to say ‘fuck it,’ man? Like when you gotta stop living up here, and start living down here?”

Message: It’s just nice to see a Caucasian from a poor area succeed and go on to make as much money as his African American counterpart for once.

10. The Rookie

Memorable quote: “If you don’t have dreams, you don’t have anything.”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

11. Up

Memorable quote: “Adventure is out there!”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

12. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Memorable quote: “I need some poon! I need genital to genital connections!”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

13. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Message: I don’t know if this movie is “inspirational” per se, but it definitely makes me think about what I would do if I could slow down time.

14. Jurassic Park

Memorable quote: “Life, uh… finds a way.”

Message: Evolution is real but so is God. Nothing makes sense.

15. Good Will Hunting

Memorable quote: “You know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, ’cause I think, maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there.”

Message: Getting up and leaving solves everything.

16. The Graduate

Memorable quote: “It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.”

Message: If you go through the trouble of breaking up a wedding, she almost HAS to choose you.

17. Fast & Furious 6

Memorable quote: “Ah! I’m driving at a dangerously high speed!”

Message: Never doubt yourself because you can always get faster and more furious. R.I.P., Paul — you lived fast and furiously, and we know you wouldn’t have left this world any other way.

18. Captain America: The First Avenger

Memorable quote: “OMG that little dude just jumped on top of a grenade!”

Message: Even the biggest underdog can be a hero when he’s genetically enhanced into a physical specimen with super strength and peak human conditioning. Basically — if you can’t beat ’em, cheat.

19. It’s A Wonderful Life

Memorable quote: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

Message: If you want to do something, commit to it and be sure to follow through.

20. Finding Nemo

Memorable quote: “Just keep swimming.”

Message: Don’t give up. Also, a lot of fish look the same. So if you’re looking for a specific one, good luck. Better hope they have a fucked up fin or something.

21. Beauty and the Beast

Memorable quote: “As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?”

Message: When you’re attractive, people don’t ask questions about why you were a hideous beast. They just go with it… Oh, Just Go With It — now that’s a movie. (Memorable quote: “Just go with it.” Message: Just go with it.)

22. Love Actually

Memorable quote: “Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

Message: Love only exists when you have a British accent. Also, when you are in love with your best friend’s wife, that shit comes back to bite you in the ass when there’s a zombie apocalypse or something.

23. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Memorable quote: “What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger.”

Message: How well does anybody really know Kate Winslet?

24. Crash

Memorable quote: “I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”

Message: Everybody in LA is a little bit racist and don’t you forget that.

25. The Social Network

Memorable quote: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

Message: Screw over your best friend and he WILL become Spider-Man. Also, what the fuck am I doing? I could be inventing Facebook or some shit.