Tag Archives: life

Three Months

It’s been three months since I lost you. Three long, challenging months. There are some days where I feel like I will be ok. There are some days where I feel like I can’t go on. But everyday I wake up, force myself out of bed, and take the pup for a walk. I walk, and I think about you, and I try to hold back the tears. Sometimes I succeed. I walk the places that we walked and remember the things we talked about, the things that we did, and think about how much I miss you.

I look at Turner running around getting his zoomies out, and I smile because I know nothing made you happier than Turner being a goofball. And then I feel overwhelming sadness that I can’t share that happiness with you anymore. I grab my pendant you made that I carry around my neck and I kiss it, and I wish I was kissing you. And I keep on walking because that’s all I can do.

I walk and I think about how crazy the start of quarantine was, how we were discovering the new normal together. You started working from home, and I got to see you in work mode. You were so good at your job. Professional, courteous, and badass. Then after work you would do something amazing like make jewelry, or a funny music video, or do some BLM activism. You got pretty good at battling Trump trolls. And you somehow still found time to spend with me and make me feel special.

I remember one night early in quarantine, you were already asleep and I was watching the news, watching the world crumble all around us, and I felt so isolated. I crawled into bed and started to cuddle with you. You thought I was being frisky. I just needed to hold you. I needed you to make me feel safe. You got me through that night. I wish I could have stayed in that moment forever.

I never imagined life without you. It’s pretty miserable. The highlight of my day is letting Turner run around off leash at the beach or park. He looks so carefree and happy. He gives me hope that I’ll find happiness again. He gets me through each day. I’ve been rationing out some of the dog food that you bought for him. Today he gets the last bit of it. I’ll let him know it’s from his mama.

I had three months of quarantine with you. Now it’s three months of quarantine without you. I keep slipping further and further from the past and into the future. I feel like time is pulling me away from you. I feel so helpless. I feel so afraid that I’m not going to remember everything, that I’ll forget all the little things that made me love you so much. So I jot down every memory down when they pop up. I got enough to write a book. I will one day, but it’s hard to be motivated when I’m so depressed right now.

I try to keep myself busy. Well, that’s kind of a lie. I try to keep myself distracted. It’s hard when everything reminds me of you. I have the Cowboys vs Rams game on as I write this, and it hurts because the last NFL game I saw was the Super Bowl with you. It makes me feel guilty. It’s tough to do something alone that we used to do together.

Time to wrap this up before the roommates come home and see me crying like a bitch. I fucking miss you. I love you, baby. I’ll never stop loving you. I promise you that.

Critically Rated at 1/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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I’m Back

I’m back. This post marks the end of my self imposed hiatus from Critically Rated. I got 2020’ed pretty bad. I lost my girlfriend and close friend/roommate in an unfortunate ATV accident. Everything came to a sudden halt, and two and a half months later I’ve only just started getting used to my new reality. It’s tough waking up each day knowing the love of my life is gone.

I’m trying to make sense of it. I’m trying to make it mean something. But it’s pretty fucking hard. I used to believe in fate. I thought fate brought Mandy and me together. I thought the universe wanted us to be together. But if I believe that, that means I was supposed to lose her. I don’t consider myself a Christian, but I believed in God. I prayed every night before falling asleep. I don’t know if I believe in God anymore. I don’t know how I can. I prayed that he would protect the ones I love and he fucked me over hardcore.

So I don’t know what to believe anymore. I don’t know if I believe in anything. I don’t want life to be random. I want it to make sense. I want to know that things happen for a reason. I know that any sense of security is an illusion. I can’t take anything for granted because everything can change in an instant.

I’ll never get over it, but I’m getting through it. Can’t stop the clock. Tick. Tick. Tock. Minutes into hours into days into weeks into months. Each new day takes me further away. I know I have to move on, start a new life, but I don’t want to. I want to wake up to Mandy.

I’m only living because I know she would want me to. But every new experience makes me feel guilty because I can’t share it with her. I’ve taken up gardening as a hobby. It helps pass the time, it gives me a sense of responsibility, and it gives me a sense of control. I can’t control what happens to me, but I can control what happens in my burgeoning backyard garden. Except for the fucking weather. And the fucking bugs. And the fucking gophers.

I’m afraid my happiest days are behind me. I don’t know if I’ll ever be happy again. But I know that I will be ok because I want to be. I’ll be alright. I’ll be ok.

Critically Rated at 2/17

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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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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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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Home Videos

When I was a senior in high school I bought an iMac and a video camera and started filming my life for the next couple of years. I took my camera everywhere. I brought it when my friends and I would drive aimlessly around town staving off boredom. I brought it to school. I brought it on vacations. I brought it with me when I went to college. Literally everywhere. I would edit the footage and make home videos to give to friends and family. I’m glad  I did all that because I documented some of the best years of my life. 

My girlfriend saw some of my DVDs in my movie collection and begged me to show them to her. I popped one in and got to relive the last few months of high school when I was suffering from senioritis and filming Jackass-inspired stunts on campus instead of going to class. I got to relive my epic trip to Yosemite with twenty-something friends and remembered how grueling the hike to Half Dome was and how relaxing lounging riverside was. 

The memories came flooding back.  I saw friends that I’m still in touch with, some that I’ve lost contact with, and a few that are no longer with us. It was good to see them again. It’s a good thing I was nerdy enough to film my life for a few years. So many good times with good people caught on tape, preserved for as long as I have a working DVD player.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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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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My Reincarnation Plan

Reincarnation seems like a good deal. When you die you get to come back to life as another person or as an animal. It’s kind of like being immortal without the guilt of cheating death. You still die, but at least you get to live again. I’m not sure if I believe in reincarnation because I haven’t died yet (as far as I know). But I’ve decided that I would come back as a gorilla in a nice zoo if I was ever given a chance at it. It would be a pretty sweet gig I think. I would get a customized habitat with enclosed living quarters and outdoor space complete with trees, plants, and grass. I would get delicious meals served daily. I wouldn’t have to pay rent or taxes. I’d get everything for free, including health care. I would have everything handed to me. I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I wouldn’t have any responsibilities. And let’s not forget the amazing breeding program they have going over there. I’m not into gorilla vag right now, but I’m not a gorilla yet. I’m sure my gorilla D would love it.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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That Particular View

I was just outside on my balcony smoking a joint and thinking stoney thoughts. It dawned on me as I gazed at all the lights that I was the only one in the city with that particular view. And I realized that every window is special, every vista point is unique. Nobody else sees the city the same way you do. Nobody else will ever see the world through your eyes. That particular view is only for you and you alone. What do you see?

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Scenic Route

If you’re not in a rush and you have time to appreciate life and smell the roses, then I recommend that you do so. Take the scenic route. The scenic route is not the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B. It takes longer but you see more shit. And that’s what life is about: seeing as much shit as you can while you can. Take the scenic route as much as you can. What’s the rush to get back home and back to the mundane? The less you experience, the more you miss out on. You want to have memories, not regrets. Take the scenic route. I can’t stress this enough. Go a different way. Catch a different bus. Don’t take drive when you can walk. Visit a city you never thought you would. Do something new. Live life. It’s all about the scenic route.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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An Old Journal

I used to keep a journal when I was growing up. Not a diary, a journal. I wrote down the memorable things that I did each day from off and on from the ages of ten to about twenty-four. I would write down the friends that I hung out with, the movies I saw, the games I went to, the restaurants I dined at, the places I visited, the girls I got and the ones who slipped away. I don’t know exactly why I would write things down, but I knew that I didn’t want to forget my experiences and it seemed like a good way to preserve my memories. And it worked because I just picked up an old journal and glanced through it. I relived parties and poker games in LA, the exact day I decided I would move to San Francisco, the forging of new friendships, and the time I jumped out of a plane. An old journal is a portal to the past. I kind of wish that I would have kept writing one. But CriticallyRated.com is a more than adequate substitute and I’d prefer you read this than my diary. I mean journal. Journal, not diary.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Game of Life (game) (obviously)

The Game of Life is a popular board game made by Milton Bradley. I think that it’s more fun and entertaining than Monopoly. Monopoly can ruin friendships and I’ve never experienced a major blowup while playing Life. The game play is simple. You start at the beginning, you spin a wheel to determine how many spaces you can move, and you get to decide your fate. The game gives you options. Do you want to go to college or just jump out into the work force? Do you want to get married or stay single? Do you want kids? Do you want to be a rock star or a scientist? You can buy insurance, you can buy stocks, they even have promissory notes. Doesn’t that sound like a fun way to spend a rainy Saturday? The best part about The Game of Life is spinning the wheel at the start of your turn. It always reminded me of the Big Wheel on The Price is Right. It clicks and it clacks and it spins around. It’s way more fun than rolling dice.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Bucket List

A bucket list is a list of things that you want to do before you kick the bucket. Everybody’s going to die, but not everybody is prepared for it. You’re probably planning on living to be a hundred years old, but you could get hit by a bus tomorrow. It’s a list of things that you’ve always wanted to do but never did, a reminder to experience life firsthand. Most bucket lists are similar: tell the people you love that you love them, make peace with your enemies, go backpacking through Europe, go to Chicago for a slice of real deep dish pizza, etc. A lot of things on your average bucket list are dangerous, life-threatening activities like skydiving, river rafting, and yelling racial slurs in a bad neighborhood. Something about defying death makes you feel so alive.  Some people think that a bucket list is about dying. It’s really about living.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Losing a Pet

Losing a pet is like losing a family member. Except your pet never judged you, talked back to you, or insulted you. They might have shat on your floor and pissed on your clothes, but they never did anything to hurt you. Unless they bit you. But I digress… losing a pet sucks. The love and bond you share with a dog or a cat is enough reason to wake up and get out of bed each day. Having something to love and care for is a reason to live. But dogs and cats don’t live that long in the scheme of things, and they die for one selfish reason or another. And it hurts, and you feel devastated, depressed, and alone. People who never lost a pet don’t know the agony. They ones who have offer you sympathy. I’d rather have my dog back.

Critically Rated at 1/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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The Miracle of Life

The miracle of life is not that you exist… It’s that you exist despite impossible odds. Think about it. Every single living organism came from another organism before it. In the case of complex life, you only exist because your parents existed and copulated and you popped out. You go back further and your parents only existed because your grandparents existed and they copulated and popped out your parents and somehow your parents met and out of all of his sperm and her eggs, you were the end result. And you go back further: your grandparents came from your great-grandparents, and on and on it goes. You can trace your fucking family tree all the way back to amoebas in theory.

It’s amazing to think that everything alive is only alive because their parents fucked and their parents before them fucked and all life is derived from the successful fucks that end up in births. So if you die a virgin, you might go to heaven but you didn’t contribute to anything down here.

Critically Rated at 17/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Saying Goodbye

If you’re living your life right, you’ve probably met a few people. You might have even formed friendships or had relationships with some of them. But life has a way of plodding along. Things change and people move away. You have to make the most out of the time that you have together, because the good times won’t last forever. Inevitably, you’ll end up saying goodbye to someone that you don’t want to leave. It sucks, it hurts, and it’s sad having to say goodbye. But that’s life and you can’t stop living. The only good thing about goodbyes is that you have another excuse to get drunk.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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