Category Archives: Random Rants

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

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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Riding a Bike With No Hands

When you’re a kid riding a bike with no hands is a big deal. It was the first trick you mastered after taking off the training wheels. Riding with no hands meant you were in total control. And it made you look cool. You were a badass and you knew it.

But as you grow up, riding a bike with no hands starts to become lame. An seven-year-old riding a bike with no hands is impressive. A twenty-seven-year-old riding a bike with no hands is the definition of douchey. The general rule of thumb is that you should keep your hands on the handlebars unless you’re crossing the finish line of the Tour de France in first place. As a society I feel we should leave riding bikes with no hands to the kids.

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Life Notes

I used to make daily life notes when I was growing up. From fifth grade until my sophomore year of college I would jot down what I did each day into a note pad. It was kind of like a diary or a journal, but I only gave a brief synopsis of what I did, who I hung out with, where I ate, what movies I saw, etc. I didn’t go into too much detail. It was a way of getting myself to try new things, to avoid falling into a pattern, and to remember what I’ve done.

I don’t know why I did it. I just did it. I’m glad that I did. I rediscovered my notebooks earlier tonight and spent the last hour reliving my senior year of high school. Like I know when I saw X2 for the first time (it was Friday May 5, 2003 at 11:15 AM). I know who I saw it with (Cody, Jimmy, and Michelle). I know that means I probably smoked weed before. I know that I ran into Marissa on the way home. I know that I hung out with Misha later and then Megan after that. I might have forgotten everything entirely, but when I see it written down in my chicken scratch the memories come flooding back. That’s the point of memories: to remember them.

I kind of wish that I kept taking life notes but Facebook does that for me now.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Sleep Mask

My girlfriend and I have different schedules. She gets up earlier than me, usually an hour or more before I do. That means that she either has to do her makeup in the bathroom or turn on the light to do it in her room which wakes me up. We had to reach a compromise. So I went to Walgreens and bought a sleep mask. It only cost ten bucks and it’s already proven itself to be a worthy investment.

A sleep mask is self explanatory: it’s a mask you wear when you sleep. It covers your eyes and blocks out the light, allowing the wearer to sleep better. I have to admit that I kind of like it. It only took a few nights to get used to, but I wake up feeling more rested. It really helps to block out any light, and by extension the outside world. Yeah, it looks ridiculous but I don’t care if it helps me sleep better. A sleep mask at night is as good as coffee in the morning.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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It (2017 Film)

In this era of Hollywood there is an abundance of sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots and most of them suck. But every now and then a seemingly unnecessary reboot comes out and steals the thunder from the original. Mad Max: Fury Road comes to mind. It is one of those films as well. Most people grew up with the beloved 1990 miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. It was scary, but lots of things are scary when you’re five years old. The miniseries was tame. They didn’t have the budget to do anything spectacular. It was made for TV so they had to censor things and leave stuff out. The movie has an R rating and they run with it.

Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise was iconic. Bill Skarsgård had some big shoes to fill. He filled them, and then had to get bigger shoes because his feet were too big to fit them. He Heath Ledgered it. Skarsgård’s portrayal is terrifying and mesmerizing. He’s unpredictable and makes you feel uneasy. The only way to keep your sanity is by reminding yourself that it’s only a movie.

The movie stars a bunch of kids. Movies that rely on child actors are hit or miss. It only takes one shitty actor to ruin the whole film. The entire cast is solid. Jaeden Lieberher does a great job as Bill Denbrough, the main character. If he sucked the movie would suck. All the kids in the Losers Club are good. Finn Wolfhard, aka the kid from Stranger Things, adds another classic child horror story to his resume. Jeremy Ray Taylor plays Ben, the fat new kid. He’s actually overweight, not the usual version of Hollywood’s stereotypical fat kid. He adds to the realism. Jackson Robert Scott plays Georgie, the film’s first depicted victim of Pennywise. He’s the youngest actor and has some of the creepiest lines. 

Director Andy Muschietti has created a blockbuster. It is already the highest grossing horror film of all time. It is also the highest grossing film to be released in September. That’s pretty impressive. It deserves all the hype it is getting. Right after I saw it, I went home and watched the opening scene from the miniseries and from the movie on YouTube to compare them. Watch it now, see for yourself. It’s night and day. It made me realize how cheesy the miniseries actually is. 

In conclusion, go see It.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

You’ll Float Too!

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Standing in the Middle of the Sidewalk 

Few things annoy me more than people standing in the middle of the sidewalk. There is no reason to stand there. If you want to check your phone, or glance at a map, or smoke a cigarette then go right ahead, but make sure you’re out of the way. You don’t need to obstruct the sidewalk. A sidewalk is like a road for pedestrians. You wouldn’t park your car in the middle of the street. That would be stupid. People will honk at you and crash into you. You would pull over into the shoulder and stay out of the way. So if we could all just do that on the sidewalk too that would be great. 

Critically Rated at 6/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Batman Chucks

I skate around the city as my primary form of transportation. It wears out my shoes pretty quickly. My last pair of shoes got holes in the soles and I was about to buy some new ones until I remembered that I had a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars that I’ve only worn once sitting in the back of my closet. They aren’t your standard Chuck Taylors. They are Batman Chucks. They are black with yellow Batman symbols all over them. I’ve only worn them once before because they are so loud. They scream at you. They demand attention. 

I didn’t want to waste my money on a new pair of shoes when I had a perfectly good pair already in my possession. So I put them on and I’ve been rocking them for over two weeks now. My girlfriend hates them, but most people love them. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from random strangers. She hates that even more. My life has changed for the better since I’ve started wearing my Batman Chucks. I’d recommend for everyone to try them at least once but I don’t want you to steal my style.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Some Fine Lookin’ Shoes

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“I Didn’t See You”

I had to work this morning, so I woke up bright and early then hopped on my longboard towards the subway. I was in the bike lane where I was supposed to be when suddenly a black SUV veered into my lane, coming within a foot of hitting me. Luckily i have cat-like reflexes and I jumped off my board in time. I walked over to his hood and blocked his path, raised my middle finger, and yelled at him for almost hitting me. I noticed his Lyft tag and saw his passenger waiting to get picked up on the curb. I looked at him and asked if he was sure he wanted to get in a car with a driver that clearly can’t drive. The Lyft driver rolled down his window and said “I didn’t see you.”

I didn’t see you. No fucking shit. That’s why he almost hit me. That’s not really a valid excuse. It’s San Francisco. There are bikers, skaters, joggers, and crackheads everywhere. If he drives in the city for a living, he needs to know that. So I took a picture of his license plate to report him to Lyft. He’s getting only getting one star and a negative review from me. 

Critically Rated at 5/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

Blurry pic of the culprit

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