Monthly Archives: August 2015

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a 2015 Netflix original series and a prequel to the 2001 cult classic film Wet Hot American Summer. Don’t watch the show unless you’ve seen the movie. The movie is required viewing. You won’t pick up on half the jokes and you won’t appreciate it as much if you haven’t seen the movie already. The movie is an absurd comedy about the last day at a summer camp. The humor is not for everybody but you will love it if you can open your mind a little.

The movie has a large ensemble cast featuring Janeane Garofalo, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, David Hyde Pierce, Bradley Cooper, Christopher Meloni, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, A.D. Miles, Zak Orth, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Marguerite Moreau, H. Jon Benjamin, and Judah Friedlander and they all came back for the prequel series. The film is about the last day of camp and the show is about the first day of camp. All the actors are playing three-month younger versions of their characters despite everyone being fifteen years older in real life. If you thought it was funny watching twenty-year olds pretending to be teenagers, wait until you see forty-year olds pretending to be teenagers.

There are eight episodes, each about a half hour long, and each one is about a certain time of day: Campers Arrive, Lunch, Activities, Auditions, Dinner, Electro/City, Staff Party, and Day Is Done. All the episodes were directed by David Wain, who also directed the movie and co-wrote both projects with Michael Showalter. The end result is a TV show that feels like a really long movie. It’s very easy to binge watch and you probably will end up binge watching it. It’s hilarious, filled with jokes and gags from beginning to end. The style of humor is very diverse. It’s slapstick, it’s witty, it’s brash, and it’s subtle. It warrants repeat viewings. I just finished the series and can’t wait to watch it again.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Welcome Home Shit

Sometimes the most routine parts of your day are the most satisfying like the first cup of coffee, taking your shoes off after a long shift, and having an hour to catch up on Netflix. But nothing compares to a nice welcome home shit. A welcome home shit is the first shit you take when you come home. You’ve been holding in that Chipotle since lunchtime and your stomach is not happy with you. You know you should have used the toilet before you left work, but you hate public bathrooms. The commute home took longer than it should and the first thing you do when you open your front door is run straight to the bathroom. You put the lid up and the seat down, spin around, drop your pants, and defecate gloriously for the next few minutes. Afterward you can’t help but admire your handiwork before you give it a goodbye flush. You feel great. You feel relieved. You feel five pounds lighter. Now don’t forget to wash your hands.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Déjà Vu

Déjà vu is the feeling that you already experienced what’s currently happening. It’s French for “already seen” but it’s not an actual French expression. It just sounds fancier in French I guess. Studies have shown that about two thirds of the population have experienced déjà vu before. That makes it a pretty common phenomenon. It’s a weird sensation. It feels like a mundane event in a dream becoming reality. You take a step back and realize that you’ve done all this before. You feel like you already had this conversation. You feel like the scene unfolding in front of you has happened before.

There are a lot of theories as to what causes déjà vu. Some people think it’s a form of precognition. Some people think it’s delayed signals in your brain. Some people think it’s proof of parallel universes or a glitch in the matrix. I prefer to think of it as one of those mini miracles of life that I never want to have explained. Everybody loves a good mystery. I prefer it to remain unsolved. It’s more fun that way.

 Déjà vu is the feeling that you already experienced what’s currently happening. It’s French for “already seen” but it’s not an actual French expression. It just sounds fancier in French I guess. Studies have shown that about two thirds of the population have experienced déjà vu before. That makes it a pretty common phenomenon. It’s a weird sensation. It feels like a mundane event in a dream becoming reality. You take a step back and realize that you’ve done all this before. You feel like you already had this conversation. You feel like the scene unfolding in front of you has happened before.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Sober as a Button

I have a friend who recently got fired from his job at a restaurant. He got the boot because he showed up to work extremely hungover and still slightly drunk. He looked like shit, felt like shit, and the managers asked him to go home. They called him an hour later and told him that he wasn’t welcome back. It’s kind of bullshit because practically everyone in the restaurant industry has worked drunk at one time or another, but that’s besides the point. Well, I’m not sure I have a point really. I was only trying to tell you all an anecdote. I’m going to get back to that now.

So anyway, later on that day a bunch of us were at the bar celebrating Saturday night and my friend joined us. He was telling us his side of the story, downplaying how intoxicated he really was. Someone asked him if he was still drunk when he showed up to work. “No,” he said, “I was sober as a button.”

We all smirked, laughed, and did a double-take. I told him that I was pretty sure he just made up that expression. He was adamant that it was an actual expression. We Googled it. It’s not. Well, some people have said it in the past, but the majority of the internet doesn’t accept it as a real idiom. You can be cute as a button or sober as a judge, but you can’t be sober as a button. Then my friend reminded me that buttons don’t drink. Fuck, he’s right about that. We ended up agreeing that it wasn’t a valid expression but you could still be technically sober as a button.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Cribbage

Cribbage is a card game, one of the best card games in fact. All you need is a deck of cards, a cribbage board, cribbage pegs, and somebody to play with. It’s traditionally a two-person game, but you can play with more if necessary. There are a lot of rules and I tried writing them out but it was too instructional and not entertaining enough to keep anybody’s attention. I’m just going to talk about how cool the game is.

Cribbage is cool because there are multiple ways to score. You’re looking for runs, pairs, flushes, straights, and cards that add up to fifteen. You count the points in your hand, and you also play off the other person’s hand and can get more points that way. The dealer has an advantage because he gets an extra four cards in his crib so he can potentially get even more points. You can have a shitty hand but still make a lot of points by outplaying your opponent. Getting points from playing off your opponent’s hand is known as pegging. You’re trying to outpeg the other guy. I’m really good at pegging. I’ve dubbed myself the Pegasaurus. You can even play Muggins, where you steal points from your opponent if he forgets to count them.

You keep track of the score by moving your pegs around the cribbage board and the first player to get to a hundred and twenty-one points wins the game. Cribbage is usually played tournament style. You play to win two out of three games or five out of seven. If you lose by thirty points you got skunked. If you lose by sixty points you got double-skunked. It’s called skunked because you stink.

Cribbage is intimidating to learn. There are a lot of rules and there’s a lot of math. I wouldn’t recommend trying to learn while under the influence. After a while you start to see patterns and which cards work well together and you’ll be able to count your points at a glance. Cribbage is kind of an old person’s game too. Not many youngins know how to play it anymore, but I guarantee that your grandparents know how to play. They probably know all the cribbage lingo and sayings like, “Fifteen two, and the rest won’t do” and “Fifteen two, fifteen four, and the rest won’t score.” That’s right, cribbage has its own phrases. How intrigued are you now? I bet very. You should learn. I’ll teach you.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Throwing Up Red Wine

I’m not a big fan of wine. I prefer beer or whiskey. Every now and then I will enjoy a glass of wine, particularly when I’m feeling fancy. If I do get wine, it’s usually a chardonnay or sparkling wine. I can’t red wine. No cabernet, no merlot, no blends. My anti-red wine diet began my sophomore year of college. My roommates and I had a toga party. It wasn’t much of a toga party; it was me and my roommates in makeshift bed sheet togas, a bunch of guests in regular street clothes, two bottles of good wine, and four boxes of Franzia. If you don’t know what Franzia is, consider yourself lucky. It’s a brand of boxed wine that comes in three or five liter packages. It’s wine that you buy in bulk. It’s not terrible tasting but you’re not going to impress anyone if you show up to a dinner party with it. Anyway, my roommates and I drank the two bottles of good wine, then we poured the Franzia into the empty bottles, and we served that to our guests so they thought we were giving them the good stuff.

I ended up drinking a lot of the Franzia out of necessity. It was a toga party damnit and we banned all other types of alcohol for some stupid reason. So glass after glass of Franzia went down the hatch until I reached my limit and kept on going. I would love to say that I handled my booze, but I ended up puking and I puked hard. Throwing up red wine is not fun. It looks like blood and intestines. You think you’re dying. I puked all over my bathroom and passed out in my bed while the party raged on around me. To this day I can’t drink red wine.

I know it’s not fair to swear off quality wine because of a decades old incident with a shitty wine, but my body won’t let me near that poison. I can’t touch gin for the same reason. Throwing up red wine is something that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Nobody deserves that kind of suffering.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Water Bottle Cap

I have a couple of canteens that I use for camping, hiking, and when I hang out at the beach or park. It’s essential to stay hydrated and keeping water handy is a great idea whilst doing outdoor activities. I went to a friend’s birthday party in Golden Gate Park a few weeks ago and brought along my trusty canteens and a shit ton of beer. A few hours later the party was wrapping up and it was time to clean up and go. We gathered all our belongings, got all the trash, rolled our blankets, and glanced over our spot for anything left behind. The only thing that was missing was the cap to one of my canteens. A canteen is practically useless without its cap. I searched for the cap for a couple of minutes before I called it a loss and left with everyone else. I was tempted to throw away my canteen but I held on to it for some reason. Maybe it was hope. I’m glad that I didn’t toss it because it turned up a few days later. One of my friends accidently pocketed it that night and she found it when she put on her jacket again. She handed it back to me with a sheepish smile and a half-hearted apology. I was actually pretty impressed. I don’t know how she remembered that I was missing a water bottle cap. I guess she’s a good friend.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Dropping Your Spoon into Your Soup

I was kind of hungry earlier and didn’t feel like cooking. I ended up throwing a can of soup into a pot on the stove. It only took five minutes to heat up with an occasional stir now and then to keep it from overheating. When it was done, I ladled into a bowl and took it into my room so I could eat and watch shit on YouTube at the same time. Things were going great until I got distracted by on YouTube video and ended up dropping my spoon into my soup. I watched in horror and it sunk to the bottom of the bowl. I was kind of stoned so it was a very delayed reaction. After ten seconds or so of surveying the situation, I very delicately reached into the bowl and retrieved my spoon. I let it drip and drain for a bit, then I took it to the kitchen sink and rinsed it off. Then I went back to eating my soup. I took my time and made sure not to drop my spoon into my soup again. Once was enough. I thought I was good at eating soup. I guess I’m not the soup connoisseur I thought I was. Dropping your spoon into your soup makes you feel like an amateur. I felt like less of a person. I still do. I’m going to invent a spoon with a wrist strap to prevent this from every happening again. I’m sure there’s a market for it.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Porn Shop

I was hanging out with some friends last night and we ended up doing some spontaneous barhopping. We left one bar and headed towards another when we walked past a store without any windows but with an open door. My friend was intrigued and wanted to find out what kind of store it was, so we went in. It was a porn shop. My friends had never been in one before. Their eyes went wide and we began to walk around and look at the merchandise. They had all the things you would expect to find in a porn shop. They had a nice assortment of vibrators, dildos, and strap-ons. They had fuzzy handcuffs, whips, chains, and gag balls. They had artificial vaginas, buttholes, and mouths that you can stick your dick in. They had a massive DVD porn collection with every type of fetish video imaginable for sale.

It was actually a nice porn shop. It wasn’t seedy or anything. The clerks were pretty friendly and helpful. My friend had a long conversation with them about cock rings. They even had regular customers, including one old Chinese lady who they called by name. It was pretty great actually, the old Chinese lady told the clerks that she was only stopping in because she was doing laundry down the street. I’ve gone to the bar to kill time while doing laundry, I’ve never gone to a porn shop. That old Chinese lady has her priorities.

We ended up staying in the porn shop for half an hour, a pretty impressive feat because we were just walking by. We each ended up buying something because you can’t spend thirty minutes exploring a porn shop looking at everything without buying anything. I bought a few DVDs. They were on sale, three for ten bucks. I figure it’s good to have backup for when the internet is out. It’s funny, I can’t remember the last time I bought a DVD. One friend got a few DVDs as well. My other friend bought a cock ring based on the clerk’s advice. I hope he has fun with it. The best part of the porn shop experience was seeing the giant bottle of hand sanitizer on a table by the exit. You know we used it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Milestone Birthdays

Time has a peculiar way of slogging on. Minutes add up to hours, hours add up to days, days add up to weeks, weeks add up to months, months add up to years, and we keep track of how many years old we have, and we annually celebrate the day of the year in which we came into the world. We call those days birthdays, because they are the day of your birth. It makes sense. Sorta.

Some birthdays are more important than others. Here is the Critically Rated breakdown of milestone birthdays.

Your First. Your first birthday is a big one. You made it a whole year without dying. Good for you. You’re still a baby though so you can’t take much credit for surviving. You have a lot of other people to thank for making it through your first year.

Your Fifth. Your fifth birthday is kind of a big deal. You’re half a decade old. You count your age with a whole hand now.

Your Tenth. Your tenth birthday marks your transition into double digits. You’re ten years old now. Ten is the basis of our number system. You’re in the big leagues. You count your age with two whole hands. You’re cruising right along.

Your Thirteenth. Holy shit, you’re a teenager now. This is the age when you start talking back to parents and teachers, but it’s expected because you’re a teenaged dipshit now. It’s ok to start rebelling.

Your Sixteenth. You’re sixteen. Sweet. This is the age when most American teenagers begin driving. Just remember not to text when you’re behind the wheel.

Your Seventeenth. You can see R-rated movies by yourself. Too bad Hollywood sucks now.

Your Eighteenth. You’re legally an adult. Life begins now. You can drop out of school if you want. You can register to vote. You can join the military and die for your country. You still can’t drink.

Your Twentieth. Your twentieth year is kind of a weird one. You’re two decades old now. You’re not a teenager and you still can’t drink. You’re just twenty. Deal with it.

Your Twenty-First. Twenty-one means that you can finally drink legally. The world is now your oyster. You’re finally able to do Vegas the right way.

Your Twenty-Fifth. Your twenty-fifth birthday means that you’re a quarter of a century old. You can rent a car. Your insurance rates might change. You start to feel like an adult, albeit reluctantly.

Your Thirtieth. Your Dirty Thirty marks the end of your twenties. You don’t feel much older, but everyone younger than you thinks of you as a geezer now.

Your Fortieth. Turning forty generally involves a midlife crisis. You realize that your life is half over and you might regret some of your past choices.

Your Fiftieth. Holy shit, you’re fifty. When did that happen? You never thought you’d get to this age when you were 21. And now you’re fifty. Fuck.

Your Sixtieth. Wait, I thought being fifty sucked. Now I’m sixty?

Your Sixty-Fifth, Sixty-Sixth, Sixty-Seventh. Sixty-five was the standard retirement age for decades. It’s since transitioned into age sixty-six and age sixty-seven depending on the year of your birth. You don’t have to work anymore. Too bad you’re too old to enjoy your new found freedom. Time to move to Florida.

Your Seventieth. You’re officially old, but a young old.

Your Eightieth. Your eightieth birthday is impressive. But you might start freaking people out when you get behind the wheel.

Your Ninetieth. Ninety is old, but you have ten more years to go if you really want to show off your longevity.

Your Hundredth. One hundred is a huge milestone birthday. You’ve lived for a century. You’ve made it to triple digits. Even turtles are lucky to make it to a hundred years. People will ask the secret to your longevity. Make sure you say that whiskey and cigarettes act as a preservative and keep your true secret to yourself.

Every birthday after your hundredth year becomes another milestone. When you can kick the bucket at any moment, every new year becomes an achievement. I know that it’s weird for a thirty-year old to write a list of all the milestone birthdays without experiencing them all, but I didn’t want to wait seventy more years to write this article.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written Rated and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Living Across Town

I work in San Francisco’s number one tourist trap, Pier 39. It’s a cool spot. There are a lot of restaurants and shops, the weather is pretty decent, there are sea lions, and there are tons of things to see and do. The only problem with working there is that I live across town. Living across town is kind of a big deal. When I get out of work, I only have two options: I either go out or I go straight home. I live so far away that I don’t have time to go home and change if I want to go out. It takes me an hour or more to get home via a combination of public transportation and skateboarding, and another hour or so to come back out. It’s not worth it to go home and change, and that means I end up taking my work stuff in my backpack and lugging my skateboard around all night.

There are benefits to living across town. You have to sacrifice a few perks of downtown living, which isn’t hard to do. Living across town generally means that it’s quieter. Parking is more abundant. There is more nature, more parks, and more stuff to do outside. It’s easier to have dogs, cats, or kids. It’s just a bitch to take a cab, Lyft, or Uber home when you live across town. It’s more expensive and the driver is reluctant to take you there. You live on the other side of the city, you can’t blame them for hating you. Your best bet is to share a ride with other people who live across town. Not everyone lives out in the boonies though. Living across town isn’t for everyone.

Critically Rated at 12/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Let’s Just Be Friends

I was seeing a girl for a few weeks until we ended it last week. She was being cold and distant, so I called her out on it and asked what her deal was. Did she want to be with me or not? She said no. She didn’t want a relationship, that she just wanted to be friends. I said no. I have enough friends. I wanted something more. She didn’t. So we broke up. A few days later she texted me and asked if we were going to still talk and hang out. I told her no. I don’t know how to be her friend. We were never friends. We met, we hooked up, and we hung out a few times. I was never in the friendzone, and I especially don’t want to be there after we aren’t together anymore. I don’t think that’s selfish. I think that’s realistic. I don’t understand how or why she would want to be friends after such a volatile relationship. Being friends doesn’t spare my feelings from breaking up. It still hurts. It still sucks. Being her friend won’t make me feel better. Being my friend won’t make her feel better. I won’t ignore her, I can’t ignore her. But I definitely don’t want to be her friend. A friend should be someone that you want to hang out with but not put your penis in. That’s blunt but true.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Military Time

Military time is a way of keeping track of the hours using twenty-four hours instead using twelve hour intervals with a.m. or p.m. to differentiate between morning and evening. It’s known as the 24-hour clock around the world, but this is America and we call it military time, because violence. It’s convenient in that you don’t have to specify a.m. or p.m. but it’s inconvenient because you have to do math. If someone tells you that it’s 22:37, you have to subtract twelve hours to find the real time. 22 minus 12 is 10, so 22:37 is 10:37 p.m. I’m not a fan of military time. I’m not used to it and I don’t like change. There’s not much wrong with using a.m. or p.m. It doesn’t take much time to write it out and you don’t have to do math. I just want to know the time. I don’t want to have to think.

Critically Rated at 8/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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