Category Archives: Random Rants

Everyday items like money to days of the week to common situations.

Josh

On June 29, 2017 my friend Josh passed away. I’ve dealt with death before. I’ve had grandparents die, friends from high school die, and pets die, but Josh’s passing hit me the most. He and his husband introduced me to my girlfriend and the four of us were supposed to grow old together. Instead Josh got sick and he was taken away from us. We were there when he went. We knew it was coming. We saw him go. I can’t describe the overwhelming rush of grief and devastation that washed over the room. It was crushing.

Josh had a lot of friends, so the lobby was full of people waiting and worrying about him. The people that couldn’t make it were calling and texting. I had to tell a lot of people that he was gone. I saw them break down and had to relive that terrible moment over and over again.

The next few hours were a blur, but time slogged on. Hours turned into days, days into weeks, weeks into months, and now somehow it’s been a whole year since he’s been gone. It still doesn’t make sense to me. I’ll never understand why. I’ve learned a few things. Death is never easy. There’s no such thing as closure. All you can do is cry and tell stories and remember, and that’s still not enough to fill the void in your heart. Josh was a great person. I hate talking about him in the past tense, but he’s still a big part of my life. I miss my friend. I miss Josh.

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Portable Charger

I have an iPhone. That means I have terrible battery life. A few YouTube videos, one Snapchat, and two Facebook updates are enough to drain half of my battery, even in Low Power Mode. Luckily there is a solution: a portable charger. A portable charger is essentially a backup battery and it’s a lifesaver. I dropped thirty bucks on one a few weeks ago. I was hiking Half Dome in Yosemite and wanted to make sure my phone had enough juice to take plenty of pictures so I had to get one. It allows me to charge my phone up to three times before I have to recharge the charger. That’s good news for me, because I’m one of those anal people who can’t leave the house without being 100%. I dread a drained battery. Now I don’t have to worry about it. My charger also has two USB ports on it, meaning I can charge my vape at the same time. Not too shabby. The future is now.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Best Day of My Life. So Far.

Every now and then I’ll have a really good day. It feels like I took a swig of Felix Felicis and everything is going my way, like I can do no wrong. I’ll know it’s a good day and I’ll even tell people that it’s the best day of my life. So far. It’s important to add the So far. You don’t want to sell yourself short. You always deserve to have another best day of your life. The goal is to have your best days build up in bestness so you have a best day and then a better best day, and hopefully a few more best days after that. You don’t want to have your absolute best day too early because you won’t have anything else to look forward to.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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An Old Man and his Hose

I took the bus to work yesterday and there was an old man by the bus stop washing the sidewalk with a hose and a bucket of soapy water. As I walked up, I saw the notification that my bus was one minute away so I posted up near where one of the bus doors would open. I was standing there looking at my phone when I heard someone say, “You need to move! Hey, you need to move!”

I turned around to see what was going on. It was the old man washing the sidewalk, staring directly at me with his hose in his hand. He said I needed to move again. I looked right at him and said, “I’m waiting for the bus and this is the bus stop.” He told me I needed to move again. I asked him if he was threatening me a hose. At this point the bus was pulling up and the seven other people waiting at the bus stop starting walking through his freshly washed sidewalk to get on the bus and that seemed to really set him off. He started yelling at me and the other people that he makes more money than us. He makes four hundred dollars a day! He makes more money than we will ever see in our lives!

A few other people joined me in my casual resistance of the sidewalk tyrant by laughing at his pathetic attempts to start a fight. He didn’t like that because then he glared at me and said, “Semper Fi! That’s right! I’m a Marine, bitch!” I told him that Memorial Day was yesterday (it really was), and I got on the bus while he was still yelling about how rich he was and how that makes him a better person. I rode off on the bus, leaving behind the old man and his hose but gaining a new story of how miserable some people are.

That old man ultimately did me a great favor. I had no idea how lucrative washing the sidewalk could be. I’m going to get me a water hose.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Everybody is Being a Jerk Today!

I had a difficult coworker a few years ago. She was one of those people that are simply hard to deal with. She thought she was the shit and she wasn’t, so she didn’t really fit in. I remember her complaining once, telling me that “Everybody is being a jerk today!” I like to use that story as a teaching moment. If you think that everybody is being a jerk, you are the jerk. If you have a problem with everybody, you are the problem. She didn’t last much longer and she eventually quit and found another job. She does that every few months. I can only assume it’s because everybody is still being a jerk to her.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Electric Scooter Invasion

San Francisco was recently bombarded by three electric scooter rental companies. Literally thousands of scooters have been dumped all over the city. You either love them or hate them, and some people really do hate them. I’ve seen pictures in the news of scooters that have been tossed in trees, thrown into the bay, stuffed into garbage cans, left toppled over, have had cords cut, have had QR codes removed to render them useless, and shat on. Like people have actually pooped on them. Electric scooter rentals are a new thing so a lot of the users are riding them on sidewalks, endangering pedestrians and dogs out on walks. They leave them parked in random spots, blocking the way for disabled people. They have been decried as a public nuisance.

But the scooters are a great alternative form of transportation in the city. It’s cheaper than a Lyft or Uber for short distances. There’s not much polluting involved. And it’s a fun way of getting from Point A to Point B. My friend started riding them about a week ago, he made a good enough sales pitch for me to download Bird and LimeBike. The apps sat dormant for a few days until tonight. I had to transfer buses on the way home and the next bus was sixteen minutes away. So I got pissed and jumped on my skateboard towards home. I passed by a LimeBike scooter and I took that as a sign to try new things. I jumped off my board and opened the LimeBike app. It accessed my camera and asked me to scan the QR code. I did. Then it asked me to activate the scooter by paying with ApplePay. I pressed my thumb on the sensor and the scooter came to life. It was that easy. There was a safety light in the back and a little headlight in the front. It wasn’t bright enough to see where you’re going, but it’s enough to keep cars from slamming into you. There was a speedometer that told me I was going about fifteen miles per hour. It took less than a minute to get used to the scooter. I was able to drive it with my longboard hanging from my left arm, a bag of groceries on my right shoulder, and my backpack of work stuff without any problems. I was able to go about a mile in eight minutes and it only cost me $1.20. Maybe there was a promotion or coupon added automatically but it was totally worth it. I’ll ride an electric scooter again. I encourage you to ride one too.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Muni Sucks

Muni sucks. I’m writing this as I wait at the bus stop for the 47 line. The app and the website both assure me that my bus is two minutes away, one minute away, and arriving. It’s been twenty-five, now, twenty-six minutes, and I’m still waiting for a phantom bus. It’s fucking ridiculous. I pay money for my Muni pass every month for a service that doesn’t deliver like it says it will. They should reimburse me the cost of a fare for every failed arrival. Netflix would reimburse me. Public transportation should too. Muni sucks.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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My Safety Noodle

In 2015 my sister made a few totems out of pool noodles to use at Outside Lands. She took a couple of pool noodles, added some ribbons at the top to make them distinctive, and bought some glow sticks to attach at night. Those totems served our group well, uniting us between different sets throughout the weekend. When the festival ended, I took one of the totems home.

Outside Lands 2016 rolled around and the totem came out of retirement. He even got an upgrade when one of our friends wrapped a battery powered LED light strip around it. The totem became an essential part of our Outside Lands experience. I liked to carry it. It was my safety noodle. I always knew where I was in a sea of people.

The safety noodle returned for his third Outside Lands in 2017. That’s impressive. My sister, the creator, added an inflatable unicorn to the top because the third anniversary is the unicorn anniversary. The unicorn turned my safety noodle into a celebrity. Random festival goers would take pictures of it and use it as a beacon to find their own friends.

Unfortunately the third year of Outside Lands took a toll on it. The LED lights got a little faulty. He also got a little bent from the extra weight from the unicorn. Pool noodles are not designed to deal with that kind of stress. I’m not sure if he will be able to survive Outside Lands 2018. He will make an appearance. I owe him that. But I don’t see him making it through another crazy weekend of debauchery. I want him to go out on his own terms and (other than the inside of my closet) Outside Lands is all he knows.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Stereo in a Hearse

I was walking downtown yesterday and passed by a funeral home. There was a hearse pulling up to it. I didn’t wonder if there was a body inside. I wondered if the driver had any music to listen to. I don’t know how most funeral homes work, but I assume the driver isn’t always carrying deceased cargo. It’s not always a solemn occasion. Sometimes he’s just driving. And driving is always better with some tunes. I truly hope that there is a stereo in a hearse. I’m not being morbid. I’d want my last ride to be accompanied by music instead of silence.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Curling

We are in the midst of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and curling is once again taking the world by storm. Curling is like shuffleboard on ice. It’s one of the few sports that seems accessible to everyone. I’m thirty-two years old and know that I can never win a medal with a snowboard, skis, or ice skates, but I have a chance to compete with a broom in my hand.

Instead of getting drunk and going bowling, I want to get a group together to drink and go curling. It seems like a leisurely activity with plenty of time to chat and socialize without being overly physical. Plus you can set your beer down on the ice between turns and keep it cold. You can’t do that while bowling.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Guns

I’m not a politician. I don’t pretend to be. But it’s quite clear that this country has a problem with guns. The Valentine’s Day school shooting in Florida is the latest massacre that left innocent people dead at the hands of a madman. It won’t be the last. I guarantee you that there will be another major mass shooting before the month is over. How many more Columbines and Sandy Hooks do we have to endure before we wake the fuck up and do something?

Americans love guns. They are a huge part of our history. They are huge part of our entertainment. The top five movies of all time are Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World, and Marvel’s The Avengers. Pretty diverse movies ranging from fantastic space operas, historical love epics, to dinosaurs and superhero collaborations. They all feature guns. We are encouraged to own guns. It’s ingrained in us thanks to mass media and the power of the NRA and a corrupt government that always turns a blind eye.

I’ve shot guns before. I went to a shooting range in Alaska and shot a few handguns and an AR-15. It was fun. I get why people like it. But guns kill people. That’s what they were designed to do, especially the AR-15. Anyone remember lawn darts? That was a game where people threw foot long darts with metal tips at a target. It was a fun childhood game, innocent to the core. Over a ten year period 6,700 people in the USA were injured by lawn darts. 75% of these injuries were to children, three of whom died. Things that kill children are bad, so the government wisely stepped in and banned the sale of lawn darts. Lawn darts killed three kids in ten years and that was enough to make them illegal. Seventeen people died yesterday in Parkland, Florida. Something is clearly wrong here.

Critically Rated at 1/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Self Narrator

I know a lady who narrates whatever she is doing out loud. If she walks into a room to check her phone she will actually say, “I’m walking in here to check my phone.” If she’s brushing her hair she’s explaining why she has to brush it, how many tangles she has, and how her hair gets frizzy with the slightest bit of moisture. Most of the time she’s talking to herself but every now and then she will look at someone else for validation. She’s a self narrator. I have no other way to describe it. Narrating your own life isn’t a habit I would recommend falling into. It annoys other people and makes you look crazy. Morgan Freeman is the only person that can successfully get away with it.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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D.B. Cooper

D.B. Cooper is the alias of an unidentified man who successfully hijacked a plane on November 24, 1971. ”Twas the night before Thanksgiving and D.B. Cooper had a meticulous plan. He bought a plane ticket with cash and shortly after takeoff he told a flight attendant that he had a bomb in his briefcase. He demanded four parachutes and two hundred thousand dollars in cash. His demands were met, he released some hostages, and arranged for the plane to go to Mexico. At some point during the flight he jumped out of the plane with the money and two parachutes, never to be seen again. It was and still remains the only unsolved case of air piracy in commercial aviation history.

Whether or not he survived is unknown. But this was a man with a plan and he’s become a legend. The FBI investigated the case for more than forty-five years before giving up. He inspired a slew of copycats, none of which were successful. It’s a fascinating story and Hollywood has been slacking on telling his tale. Someone needs to make a movie about him. Maybe Kevin Spacey can play him. His schedule is pretty open these days.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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My Christmas Lights

I have a strand of Christmas lights in my room. I leave my Christmas lights up all year. I’m not lazy. I leave them up on purpose. I use them as mood lighting when I’m watching a movie or Netflix. I have them displayed around my TV. It makes for a more immersive viewing experience. The soft glow of the lights perfectly compliments the soft glow of the TV. It kind of looks like a shrine to mass media. They also give me enough light to see around the room without destroying my night vision. Plus they look decorative around the holidays and make me seem festive. I’m not though. I’m a grinch.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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My Umbrella Story

It was raining when I went to work yesterday, so I bought an umbrella on the way. It was green and black and I had to get it because it reminded me of The Matrix. I was pretty proud of it. I showed it off to a couple of coworkers and they all agreed that it was a fine looking umbrella.

I chose a good time to buy a new umbrella because yesterday was the rainiest day in San Francisco since 2014. It was still pouring when I left work and headed to my girlfriend’s house, so I proudly made use of my nifty umbrella. Rain was still in the forecast this morning so I brought my umbrella with me when I took the train home. I was playing solitaire on my phone when I suddenly realized that I was at my stop. I quickly got up and jumped off the train. The doors closed, and as the train pulled away I looked down at my umbrella-less hands, knowing that I made a huge mistake.

I lost my umbrella. Well, I didn’t lose it. I knew exactly where it was but I was never going to get it back. I basically paid sixteen bucks to rent an umbrella for twenty-four hours. All I have left is a few memories and the now useless cover for it. I can only hope that the person who stumbles upon it treats it nice and gives it a better home than I did.

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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2017

The last day of 2017 is the best day to reflect on 2017. There were a lots of ups and downs. Like I saw Tom Petty live in May. Then he died in October. California finally got out of our devastating drought. Then we got massive fires in NorCal and SoCal. The San Francisco Giants were supposed to be playoff contenders. Then we ended tied for the worst record of the season.

I had a lot of good things happen this year. I won’t get into them because I don’t want to brag. I had a lot of bad things happen. I will get into them because I want to bitch. First off, I lost a very close friend in June. His passing was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with in my life to date. I’m somewhat lucky to be surrounded by people feeling as lost as I am in the matter. We all miss and grieve him together. I lost a few others this year, like my Great Aunt Florence and my dog-in-law, Crash.

Pop culturally we watched in awe as powerful men were brought down with sexual harassment allegations. People that were long admired had their reputations and careers ruined when the public found out they were creepy rapist douchebags. I think that’s fucking awesome but I’m disappointed that the biggest creeper is still in the White House despite all the pussies he’s boasted about grabbing.

It’s hard to say if 2017 was a good year or a bad year, but it’s definitely a year that changed me. But I’m over it and want to see what 2018 has to offer. I’d say it can’t get any worse but I know it can and I don’t want to jinx anything. Hope you and yours have a prosperous 2018.

Critically Rated at 7/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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You Need a Valid ID to Drink

I’m a bartender at a corporate chain restaurant and we are required to check IDs when customers order alcoholic beverages. It’s not personal. It’s part of my job description. If you order a drink with me, I have to ask for your ID, and I can’t serve you if you don’t have a valid ID. It doesn’t matter if you’re twenty-one or eighty-one. You need a valid ID to drink. It’s the law, bro.

The other day I was at work and an elderly British couple came up and ordered a drink. I asked for their IDs. The husband had his ID, the wife did not. I told them I couldn’t serve her. The husband said I was being ridiculous, that she was sixty-three, she’s clearly of age. I said I was sorry, it wasn’t my policy, that I would serve her if I could, but she needs a valid ID to drink. At this point they became irate and started to raise their voices. They asked if I carded everyone else. I told them I did and my other customers confirmed it and backed me up. Their voices got louder and I started to enjoy watching them make asses of themselves. I showed them the piece of paper that my manager gave to every single employee that says we are required to check IDs when someone orders alcohol. I showed them the email he sent to every single employee about checking IDs. They still argued and got louder and louder while I fake-smiled more and more until they stormed off to find another bar to go to.

They found my manager on the way out and complained about me. He came up to me and thanked me for doing my job. My other customers tipped fat and offered me verbal consolations for enduring their rant with a smile. Everyone had my back. It’s not my fault that a grown ass adult didn’t have a valid ID. They should know better. They were a miserable couple anyway. I’m glad I inconvenienced them. I hope I ruined their vacation. A small victory still makes me a winner.

Critically Rated at 11/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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