Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pickle Back

A pickle back is a shot of dill pickle brine that you use as a chaser. It has nothing to do with that pickle-loving Nickelback cover band. Generally you gulp down the pickle back after you take a shot of liquor. Apparently it goes really well with Jameson, and it definitely does not mix with Fireball. My sister is a big fan and advocate for pickle backs. She insists that everyone tries it at least once. She always had an unhealthy obsession for pickles though. I wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t like pickles. Go for it if you do. It gives you the ability to conquer the most vile shots imaginable. You’ll be blacked out in no time.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cereal is a Soup

A lot of my stories start out like this but I was at the bar the other day, only this time I was having a serious discussion about the classification of cereal with my friend. I said that cereal is a soup. He disagreed. I rattled off a few of my points: it’s mostly liquid, it’s served in a bowl, and you generally eat it with a spoon. He said it can’t be a soup because it’s cold. Being the Simpsons fan that I am, I told him that gazpacho is a tomato soup served ice cold. I looked up cereal on Wikipedia and it defines cereal as a food made from processed grains, served either hot or cold, and generally eaten as the first meal of the day. I propose that cereal is a breakfast soup. I think that’s a logical conclusion.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Snacks

The Best Motivational Song of all Time

Music has the power to uplift and inspire. Some songs motivate you more than others. “Eye of the Tiger” seems to get everyone riled up for instance. But the best motivational song of all time is “You’ll Have Time” by William Shatner of his album Has Been. Yes, Captain Kirk is responsible for the best motivational song. To be fair, he had some help from Ben Folds, but that doesn’t take anything away from this achievement.

“You’ll Have Time” is about accepting your mortality. Not just accepting it, embracing it. He tells you to live life like you’re going to die, because you’re going to. You don’t know how, you don’t know when, but it’s going to happen. He sings about how you might die. He sings about a bunch of people who have already died. He reminds you that they all thought they were going to live forever, but none of them did. They all died. And you will too.

Somehow he makes it a happy song. It’s morbid but humorous. It’s worth a listen, and it’s worth remembering. Live life like you’re gonna die, because you’re going to. Thanks for the advice, Bill.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Entertainment

That Was Our Song

 Once upon a time, a few years back, I was walking down the sidewalk with my girlfriend at the time when a bum starting following us and singing “My Girl” by The Temptations. It’s a great song, but that was a lousy version so I didn’t give him any cash. Nonetheless “My Girl” became our song. Each time we heard it, it was like the universe was playing it for us and us alone. I loved that song because it reminded me of her. Then we broke up. I could no longer stand that song. Every time I heard it I would think of her. I hated that song because it reminded me of her. It took quite a while to be able to listen to it again. I can tolerate it in small doses now but it will never be the same way again. That was our song. It still is. That’s why I don’t want to hear it.  

 Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

  

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Filed under Entertainment, Random Rants

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is a 2013 sci-fi action film based on the French Graphic novel Le Transperceneige. It takes place in a future where mankind has created a new ice age, the whole world has frozen over, and the only survivors are stuck on the Snowpiercer, which is a super train that never stops running. The train is kind of a metaphor for society. The poor passengers are stuck in the slum-like tail section and the elites have a life of luxury in the front cars. Chris Evans stars as Curtis Everett, one of the poor tail-bound passengers who leads a revolt against the elites. The poor work their way up the train with the main goal of reaching Wilford, the creator and controller/captain guy. That’s the basic plot. I don’t want to go into too many details, because I think you should watch it. I’ve seen your Facebook profile, I know your taste. Snowpiercer is right up your alley.

Snowpiercer is not your typical dystopian action flick, mostly because it’s not a Hollywood film. It’s a South Korean film directed by Bong Joon-ho. Don’t worry though, most of the dialogue is spoken in English. It just has a different style of editing that’s different from the quick cuts and over-the-top action sequences that you’ll find in Michael Bay films. It didn’t get a big reception in the US, mostly because of Harvey Weinstein being a dickhole as usual, but the critics seem to like it. I like it and I’m very critical. I watched it on Netflix, you can too.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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When Tragedy Strikes

I woke up this morning to news of a balcony collapse in Berkeley, California. A bunch of Irish students were celebrating a twenty-first birthday when the 4th floor balcony collapsed and pancaked into the balcony below. Six died, seven more were hospitalized, and two are in critical condition. One minute they were partying and celebrating life, and then everything changed in an instant. It’s not fair. You try to make sense out of it. You can’t.

Every summer, thousands of Irish students come to the work in the US with J1 visas. I work in a San Francisco restaurant that employs a handful of them each year. I’ve met a lot of Irish people over the years. They are great people. They work hard and they play hard. They are close-knit group, and treat each other like family. Ireland is small so they tend to stick together, but they aren’t exclusive. Anybody who wants to party with an Irish J1 is more than welcome to (and they know how to party). That’s why it sucks so much when something like this happens. They don’t deserve it. Nobody does, but especially not them.

This is a tragedy. It’s a punch to the stomach. All you can do is try to gather up the pieces and move on, but you can never fully recover from something like this. My thoughts and condolences go out to the family and friends to all those affected by this unfortunate accident. It’s a reminder that life can change in an instant. Never take anything for granted because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Random Rants

Skittles Orchards

I went to the corner store to get a Red Bull. As I was standing in line to pay for it, I noticed a pack of Skittles in an unfamiliar package color. An unfamiliar package color can only mean one thing: a new flavor lineup of Skittles. I snatched up the dark green bag and discovered new Skittles Orchards. All the candies are flavored like fruits that grow on trees. There’s Cherry, Red Apple, Orange, Peach, and Lime. Orchards is a pretty apt name for them. Cherry is tart. Red Apple is crisp tasting. Orange is the same Orange that you know and love from Skittles Original. Peach is sweet. And Lime is sour. I’m glad they brought back Lime Skittles. I missed those fuckers. Skittles Orchards are a welcome addition to the Skittles family. I tasted the rainbow, I encourage you to do the same.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bad Driver’s License Photo

I had to go to the DMV a few weeks ago to renew my driver’s license. I had to take the eye exam, give them my thumbprint, and take a new picture. A few weeks passed and my new license arrived in the mail. I opened up the envelope and was instantly dismayed at how terrible my picture was. Or more specifically, at how terrible I looked in my picture. I look drunk, stoned, and hungover. I swear I was only one of the three. I didn’t like it at first. I considered going back to the DMV and seeing if they would retake the picture again Then I realized what a mistake that would be. If I ever get pulled over driving under the influence, the cop will take one look at my bad driver’s license photo, assume that I look fucked up all the time, and I’ll get off scot-free. If I use it wisely I’ll stay out of trouble… well, legal trouble at least. There are a lot of terrible things in life. A bad driver’s license photo is not one of them.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Your Neighborhood

I lived in the same house in San Francisco for over seven years. I knew everything about the neighborhood. I knew my neighbors, I knew the cashiers at the corner store. I knew the cashiers at the liquor store. I knew the bartenders at the dive bars. I knew which bus lines to take. I knew where to find parking. I had it made. Then I had to move into a new neighborhood in a different district. I had to start all over and I didn’t want to. The new neighborhood didn’t feel right. It wasn’t mine.

Luckily I got a chance to move back to my original neighborhood, about a block away from my first house. I’ve only been moved in for a couple of nights now, but it feels so good to be home. I’m back in my old stomping grounds and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be. My first day back I went to the liquor store for a celebratory beer. The cashier remembered me and greeted me with a warm welcome. He shook my hand, asked where I’ve been, where I am now, and why I had to move. People noticed that I was gone and they were glad that I came back. It’s a great feeling to be remembered. I missed my neighborhood and my neighborhood missed me. It made me realize that you’re not just a part of your neighborhood, your neighborhood is a part of you too. Make sure you appreciate it.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Street Sweeping Ticket

I woke up from a peaceful slumber this morning to the sounds of the street sweeper making its way down my block. I wondered if I had accidently parked on the wrong side of the street the night before. I ran down the hallway to the living room and peered out the window. Sure enough, I was parked directly in the path of the street sweeper. I could see him flanked by two meter maids in their dopey little three-wheeled vehicles. I debated whether or not to run outside and try to move my car before they got there, but I knew that I wouldn’t make it in time. I wasn’t even wearing any pants. I had to stand there in my boxers as they ticketed my car. I was powerless to do anything. All I could do was watch as sixty-six dollars went the drain. I hate street sweeping tickets. Mostly because I have no one to blame but myself. I should have read the damn sign. Too little, too late.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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