Where’s the Entrance?

I was ringing in an order at work a few days ago when a customer came up to me and asked, “Where’s the entrance?” I had to do a double take and asked her to repeat her question. “Where’s the entrance?” My mind went to a million different places. Where’s the entrance? What the fuck do you mean? You’re already inside. Why do you need the entrance? And how the hell did you get in here? I didn’t say any of those things. I put a fake smile on my face and walked her to the entrance. Then I went around making fun of her. They say there are no stupid questions. But there are a hell of a lot of stupid people.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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She’s Got Things She’s Bad At That Are Less Obvious

I was walking down the street and I passed by a trio of British guys sitting in front of a cafe having lunch. I overheard a snippet of their conversation and it was delightful. One of the guys had starting seeing a girl recently and evidently she was a catch because his friends seemed impressed that he had landed someone so attractive. One of the friends said that she was perfect, to which the guy responded, “She’s not perfect. She’s got things she’s bad at that are less obvious.”

Let me repeat that: She’s got things she’s bad at that are less obvious. What a great statement. It’s such a nice way of criticizing someone. I’d almost take it as a compliment. It could be a bumper sticker. It’s definitely a phrase that I’m going to use from here on out.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Don’t know what pic to use, so here you go

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Hide-and-Seek

Hide-and-seek is a popular game for children of all ages. The rules are simple. Someone hides and someone seeks. It’s a timeless game. You played it. Your parents played it. Your grandparents played it. Even kids today have been known to stop playing Fortnite for a few minutes to play a few rounds of hide-and-seek.

Kids mostly play it on playgrounds and schoolyards. Angsty teens play it in graveyards at midnight. I’m thirty-something and I play it in my apartment. Seriously. Me and my girlfriend have started playing hide-and-seek in our apartment, but there’s a twist. We play with our dog. My girlfriend will distract the dog while I hide somewhere. Then she releases the pup and he runs around trying to find me and gets really excited when he does. Then I hold the dog while my girlfriend hides. He prefers running around the park or going crazy at the beach, but he enjoys hide-and-seek when he can’t go outside. He’s getting pretty good at it. The only problem is that he thinks we are going to hide whenever we leave the room to go to the bathroom or grab something from the fridge and gives us the stink eye.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Fair Weather Fans

I was born a San Francisco Giants fan. Win or lose, they are my team and nothing can change that. They famously won three World Series in five years and suddenly Giants games were constantly being sold out. Tickets became more and more expensive and overpriced. But then the Giants started to suck. They’ve been one of the worst teams in baseball since the second half of the 2016 season. I would be disappointed by this, but it’s a blessing in disguise. It weeds out all the fair weather fans and makes games affordable again.

Losing all the fair weather fans has been a boon to my wallet. I can get two tickets to club level for less than twenty dollars with fees. I can get two nosebleed tickets for less than ten bucks. Giants tickets are cheaper than A’s tickets right now. That’s pretty amazing. I went to my first Giants game of the season a few nights ago. The stadium was half empty. It was glorious. Every single person that was there was a real fan. The energy was more genuine despite there being fewer people. Quality over quantity. Good riddance to fake fans.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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SpikedSeltzer Lowered Their Alcohol Content

Lately I’ve been drinking a lot of spiked sparkling water as an alternative to beer. SpikedSeltzer was my brand of choice, not for their flavors but because they had a 6% alcohol content. Truly and White Claw have a 5% alcohol content by comparison. SpikedSeltzer was the obvious choice. But not anymore. They lowered their alcohol content down to 4.5%. That’s a significant drop, drastic enough for me to stop buying their product. I didn’t want to switch to other brands. They forced me into it. They won’t be getting my money anymore, and I spend a lot of money on booze. Someone deserves to be fired for that blunder. Hey SpikedSeltzer, bring back the 6%!

Critically Rated at 4/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Plastic Drinking Straw Ban

Attention fellow residents of San Francisco: the plastic drinking straw ban officially comes into effect in July. I can’t wait. I’ve been serving and bartending for over a decade and can attest to how wasteful they are. People are weird about straws when they go out. They want them served with every soda and cocktail they order. They expect them. They demand them. It doesn’t matter that they don’t use straws at home, as soon as they leave the house they want all the straws they can get.

I’m in public. I can’t tilt the glass and take a sip. That’s barbaric. I need a plastic tube that I can throw away after one use. Fuck you, turtle. I hope it gets stuck in your nose and you die a slow, painful, and entirely unnecessary death. “Barkeep, another straw! And keep them coming!”

Americans are addicted to making trash. Banning plastic straws is a good thing. Let’s ban the Kardashians next.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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No Hot Water

I knew today was going to suck when I first woke up and went to take a shower and there was no hot water. It was ice cold. Some people like cold showers. They find them refreshing. I’m not one of those people. I like my showers piping hot. I want to have visible steam leaving my body when I shut the water off. A few degrees short of scalding is ideal.

I had to get a little creative. I put a pot of water on the stove and brought it up to a near boil. Then I turned on the shower, dipped the shower scrunchie poof ball into the cold spray, added body wash, and quickly lathered up, shivering all the while. Then I turned off the tap and slowly poured the pot of hot water over my head and shoulders, letting gravity do the dirty work. It wasn’t the ideal situation but it got the job done. I was able to wake up a little bit more and stink a little bit less. Hopefully there will be hot water when I get home tonight or my landlord will feel my wrath.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Coca-Cola Orange Vanilla

Every now and then something new comes along and completely changes everything forever. Coca-Cola’s new Orange Vanilla flavor is not one of those things, but it is still worth talking about. I like Coke. I like Cherry Coke. I like Vanilla Coke. Now I like Orange Vanilla Coke. It tastes like how it sounds it would taste. It’s like someone melted a creamsicle into Coke. It’s delicious and refreshing. It’s not for everyone, but you’ll probably enjoy it if you like Coke and trying new things. Get a bottle or can of it and join the revolution.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Dry February

I decided to take a short break from drinking. It’s been a dry February. There’s not a real reason for me doing it. I just felt like it and February is the shortest month so it seemed like the perfect time. Four short weeks, a mere twenty-eight days… totally doable.

The first night was the worst. It always is. I planned ahead though. I was stocked up on nonalcoholic beer and some indica pods for my vape. My sleep was mostly restless with weird dreams but I made it through. I noticed I had more energy in the morning after the first three days. I still needed coffee to really get going. One of the biggest obstacles to overcome was the Super Bowl. Luckily the game was so mind numbingly terrible that I didn’t need alcohol.

It’s the twenty-first today so I only have a week to go. I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to ending my self imposed sobriety. It’s nice being clearheaded and all, but the sheer boredom is starting to get to me. I’ve done a lot of Netflixing, reading, and a bit of writing in my spare time, but those are all tasks that go better with a beer in my opinion. Ultimately I’ve realized I don’t need alcohol but I really like it and would like to continue having it as a part of my life. In moderation of course. Everything in moderation.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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CORE Hydration Caps

CORE Hydration is a fancy brand of functional or enhanced bottled water. It’s basically overpriced water with added electrolytes. The bottle is easily distinguished by its big blue cap. The cap is way bigger than it needs to be. You could easily use it as a makeshift bowl for a dog on a hike or at the beach. The big blue cap is totally unnecessary. If you crack it open there is a regular bottled water cap underneath. CORE more than doubles the amount of plastic that it needs to just stand out on the shelf. Bottled water is already a scam and terrible for the environment. CORE Hydration takes it to a new level. I’m beginning the boycott. Say no to CORE!

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Crosswalk Revolution

I was walking around downtown San Francisco and had to cross the street. I went to the crosswalk and waited for the light to change and for the little green guy telling me it’s ok to go. A couple of people came to wait behind me. The light still didn’t change. A few more people started waiting behind me. The light still didn’t change. I looked to the right. No cars were coming. I looked to the left. No cars were coming. A quick glance to the right, still no cars. So I started to cross the street. And the people behind me followed me. I lead a crosswalk revolution. We crossed the street in defiance of the light and the law. We could have been hit by a car or fined for jaywalking but the sky didn’t fall and nothing happened except for everyone getting to their destinations a little faster. Would I do it again? Absolutely. And I already have. I’m a badass like that.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Wrong Toilet Paper

I fucked up. I bought the wrong toilet paper. It could have been worse. At least I didn’t get one-ply. It’s two-ply but it’s not the proper grade. It’s the cheap kind that disintegrates with each wipe, creating dingleberries in its wake. I should have known that QQ Bear was an off brand, but I got duped by the cartoon bear on the packaging. It definitely isn’t Charmin quality. My butthole knows the difference. I will suffer through it until it’s gone and hopefully I won’t accidentally buy it again. You live, you learn.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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My Facial Hair

I would like to tell you about my facial hair. It won’t take long because I barely have any. I’m incapable of growing a beard or sideburns. My sideburns consist of six little hairs on both sides of my face. My beard consists of seven hairs scattered across my chin and one hair poking out of the top of my neck. The hairs don’t grow very fast either. I could let it grow for two months and they would still look like stubble. It’s actually faster for me to pluck my beard with tweezers than to shave it. I have a little bit of a soul patch under my bottom lip. It’s not much but it’s nicer looking than my beard. I can grow a mustache, but I don’t because it looks beyond sleazy. Not like ’70s porn star sleazy, like convicted child molester sleazy. I’ve been asked by multiple people to not participate in Movember. My facial hair offends them.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Reflections on Maui

What’s better than vacation? A Hawaiian vacation of course. I just came back from a week basking on the beautiful beaches of Maui. I went with my girlfriend and one of our best friends. I had been to Maui once before with my family when I was a senior in high school, but this time I was in control of the situation. We were going to do things our way. Naturally that means we did a bunch of touristy things.

We went snorkeling. We went whale watching. We shopped on Front Street in Lahaina. We drove the scenic Road to Hana. We jumped off Black Rock. We went to a luau. We ate Spam and I had shaved ice. We stayed in a shitty hotel one night, camped illegally on the beach another night, but stayed in posh resorts the rest of the time. We saw turtles and whales and wild chickens and I even saw a small shark.

The weather was perfect. It was usually eighty degrees or so during the day. It rained a few times but it was always welcome. The night sky was stunning. I saw more stars than I’ve seen in years.

Maui is relatively small but there is a lot to do. We only hit half of our checklist. We did Molokini but not Haleakalā. We rented a car but not bikes. We hiked in the jungle but didn’t go zip lining. I don’t mind not doing everything we wanted to. It gives me a reason to go back.

The worst thing about Maui is coming home. Real life is a drag. All I can think about is how much better life was a week ago with the sand beneath my toes. I’ll be back there again as soon as I can. Next time might be forever though.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is an interactive movie from the amazing series known as Black Mirror. It’s like those choose your own adventure books you remember from childhood, you get presented with choices as to what you want the main character to do. Different choices lead to different outcomes and you feel like you’re controlling the action.

The basic premise is about a video game programmer named Stefan (played by Fionn Whitehead) making a video game adaptation of a book called Bandersnatch. Situations come up and you the viewer choose what Stefan will do. Will he eat Frosties or Sugar Puffs for breakfast? You decide. Of course, this being Black Mirror the choices get more varied and bizarre. It becomes very meta and self aware. Stefan comes to realize that he is not in control. I can’t go into any more detail without giving anything away, so I’ll stop my synopsis on that note.

There are multiple endings so repeat viewings are necessary. This is more than an episode of Black Mirror. It is an event. It sticks with you when it’s over. It makes you question if free will is real or not. It makes you want to talk about it with others and compare your experiences and endings. There are a lot of references to other Black Mirror episodes but I think you can enjoy Bandersnatch even if you haven’t seen the show before. Black Mirror is one of the best shows on Netflix and Bandersnatch proves why. Check it out. You’ll thank me later.

Critically Rated at 17/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Perfect Job

I couldn’t fall asleep the other night. I was tossing and turning, my mind was wandering, and I inadvertently thought of the perfect job: caretaker for a rich person’s bomb shelter. Duties would include upkeep and maintenance, making sure it’s fully stocked with food, water, and supplies to last a few years. The richer the person, the more perks it would have like movies, books, music, video games, board games, basically anything needed to stave off boredom. That includes plenty of alcohol and hash oil.

The job would pay six figures because it’s a made up position and I think it should pay that much. It would allow for a comfortable lifestyle. Benefits are included of course. Medical, dental, 401(k), all that jazz. The best part is that if the apocalypse ever does happen, you simply take over the bomb shelter and lock the owner out before he can use it. You hunker down and enjoy the underground mansion and wait it out for a few years. Hopefully society will have collapsed and you won’t have to face any repercussions.

Critically Rated at 17/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Searching for Sugar Man

I was scrolling through Netflix looking for a good documentary to watch. I wanted something happy and uplifting and came across Searching for Sugar Man. I recognized the title because my friend had recommended it to me a few months ago, but I never got around to it. I decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did because it was fucking awesome.

It’s the real life story of Rodriguez, a forgotten Detroit musician who was active in the late ’60s and early ’70s. His sound was like a more urban Bob Dylan, there’s a gritty poetry to his lyrics. He released a few albums but they didn’t sell well in the US and he was dropped from his label.

His music somehow became popular in South Africa and he became a cultural icon there. However this was during apartheid so South Africa was isolated from the world. Nobody knew anything about him except for his name and his music. The documentary explores his impact on the South African music scene and follows two fans trying to track down information on who he was and how he died.

It’s a pretty riveting story. Writer and director Malik Bendjelloul does a good job of introducing Rodriguez’s music and the reasons why his songs are still relevant. The soundtrack is comprised entirely of Rodriguez songs. The film won the 2012 Oscar for Best Documentary so you know it is good. Spoiler Alert: there is a happy twist part way through that might just shock you if you aren’t familiar with the story. I highly recommend Searching for Sugar Man.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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