*Hastily and tiredly written by Michael Ethan Negrin on February 8, 2016

I took Thursday and Friday off work last weekend to go to New York City to see a show.  Initially, my plan was to stay the weekend in New York with my brother, see my grandparents, and then go back home, but my brother ended up being out of town, so my plans changed.  I ended up doing a lot more than I had planned.  So, here is a review of the weekend I had.

**Note: All the numbers in parentheses have a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.

Driving to Jersey City

I left Washington, DC at around 11 AM on Thursday.  First, I had to walk with my bags to my car which was parked about 20 minutes away in some unzoned parking, which is the only place I can park my car because of DC’s stupid parking laws.  Anyway, I started driving, and it was going fine.  I listened to some music, a bunch of Blood Orange and Lightspeed Champion albums, M. Ward, Laura Stevenson.  I had to get to the Upper West Side of NYC to see the show I was going to, but I figured it would be just impossibly difficult/expensive to park my car there. (1) So, I had gotten a tip from someone to park my car in Jersey City and then take the train into New York, to avoid all the tolls and stuff. I parked my car on a neighborhood street, and after closely examining the signs and asking the only friendly looking person in the area if it would be okay to park there (2), and, clinging to a box of pineapple juice (3), I began a 20 minute walk to the “Journal Square” PATH station into New York City.

Along the way, what I experienced felt to me as something like “not being in the United States.” (4)  Most of the people I encountered looked to be Hispanic, black, and African – not that this is “un-American,” because America is very much made up of different cultures which in turn create their own, but it felt unsettlingly “foreign” to me.  I would describe Jersey City as very poor.  Most of the shops that lined the streets were barber/weave shops, Hispanic markets, and cheap clothing stores.  It was dirty and ugly.  Looking at the New York City skyline from there, I felt like the skyscrapers were sticking up like middle fingers to the people of Jersey City.  I got to the train station, bought a PATH card (which is almost identical to an NYC subway card, yet totally different) and got on the train to NYC.


New York City

I took the PATH train to the World Trade Center, then I went up to the Upper West Side.  I always get confused navigating the NYC subway, but I made it well enough.  The train rides totaled about an hour.  I got off the subway at 103 Street, and some crazy guy was yelling/muttering things like “son of a bitch” and “goddamn bastards” and stuff like that.

I carried my bags to this hostel I was going to stay in and I checked in.  I paid $30 for one night.  This building had a bunch of stairways, I had to walk through one hallway to get to one stairway then another hallway to get to this other stairway to my room on floor 5.  The room was a shared room and there was another guy’s stuff in there, but he was gone.  I never saw this guy, but I made a few trips to and from the room and his stuff was moved around though.  Anyway, I left my stuff there, and got on the subway to the Beacon Theater, to the show I was going to.

The show was the Rabbit Fur Coat 10th Anniversary Tour, which I think is the band of Jenny Lewis.  I knew some of her stuff but I wasn’t really into her.  I went because this guy M. Ward was playing and I like him a lot.  He played first, and his set was about 30 minutes long.  Played a couple songs I knew, pretty good – nothing special, a little disappointing considering it’s the reason I went up to New York.

After his set, the girl next to me started talking to me.  She was Jen, 31 year old from Long Island who had “lived around the world” and just became a mother.  She was there with her 18 year old sister Ashley.  Jen was drinking a lot and was very friendly, asked me who I came to see, and how she loved M. Ward when she lived in New Zealand, but didn’t even know he was playing at the show.  She offered me a drink but I told her I don’t drink, and she said that her sister doesn’t either.  Then her sister and I bonded over how we both have anxiety.  They were very nice, and I’m thankful I met them.

Anyway, during one of the intermissions at the show, I decided to check the weather.  I had decided earlier that I would drive up to Boston the next morning and stay with a friend, but I saw that it was going to snow in Boston starting around 3 AM.  I had a big dilemma, because I was unsure of what was a smart choice to make and what “seemed insane.”  It would have been impossible to drive during five hours into the heart of a snowstorm, but it was also a crazy idea to leave at 1 AM and drive five hours when I was already dead tired.  So it was at this point that I made the game-time decision to leave NYC that night, and drive to Boston before the snow hit.

After the show, I checked out of the hostel, took the trains back to Jersey City, got a taxi (5) because I was tired and scared of walking back through that place, and departed.

NEW YORK CITY – 7.5/10 – C+.

Driving to Boston

I was already tired as I started the drive to Boston, and I really didn’t think I was going to make it.  By “didn’t think I was going to make it,” I mean I thought I was either going to A) pass out at the wheel and die, B) lose control in the snow and die, or C) get so tired that I pull over and sleep/wake up in the middle of a snowstorm/be too afraid to drive/die from the cold.  I was so on edge that I didn’t listen to music at all the whole time, even though that usually calms me down or something.  I think I was afraid that music would be too familiar and would cause me to doze off.  So I did the whole thing in complete silence, aside from the voice on my phone GPS telling me where to go.  Thank God for that thing.  About an hour into the drive, it started snowing, and this continued on and off for basically four hours.

Highlights of the drive included:

– Driving over the George Washington Bridge (6)
– Being passed on the right by multiple semi trucks
– Long stretches of unlit highway with snow blowing into my windshield
– Almost dying a bunch of times

I really can’t believe that I made it.  I was very proud of myself for doing so – one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life.  When I got into Boston proper, I remember driving over the Tobin bridge (7), and then into the Dorchester neighborhood where I found a spot to park, asked a friendly Vietnamese neighbor who was up at the crack of dawn if the street was okay to park on, and carried my bags into my friend’s house.

DRIVING TO BOSTON – 5/10 – D – Would not recommend.  The only redeeming quality was how good I felt about myself afterwards.

Boston, Massachusetts

I went to sleep pretty soon after arrival and awoke a few hours later to find the city covered in about six inches of snow.  Woke up, did a little reading because I hadn’t had much time to rest/be alone in a while and then went to meet my friend for lunch downtown.  I embarked on the “T” train, which I hadn’t ridden since I was last in Boston about 11 years prior, and went to South Station where we had lunch.  The city was prepared for the snow, which continued to fall, with shovel men, construction vehicles, and snow plows going HAM on the streets of the Massachusetts capital.  Me, being totally unprepared for this storm and in a pair of pink sweatpants and Nike Air Force Ones, got a little wet and cold.

I walked around to a few bookstores and looked for some David Foster Wallace (8) stuff and didn’t find anything, but I did find an old copy of Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo.

The next day my friend took me around and she basically indulged me in any stupid thing I wanted to do, which was pretty much photobombing people taking cell phone pictures of Boston in the snow, going to a seafood restaurant that I remember going to when I was young (9), and looking at some bridges (10).

This was a really nice visit for me, mostly because I got to spend time with an old friend.  I won’t go into details here, but I’ve explored a lot of cities, and this time I actually had someone to do it with and it was very enjoyable.

BOSTON – 9.3/10 – A.

Driving to New Jersey

I knew I was going to have to split up the drive back home for a few reasons, so on Saturday night, I left Boston at around 10 PM and headed for Mantoloking, New Jersey, in Brick Township, where I have a friend who would let me stay the night.  I hadn’t touched my car in the whole time I was in Boston, so when I went back to it, I had to clean it off.  Snow had frozen all over my car, so this was difficult.  I spent about 15 minutes scraping ice off all the windows before leaving.  After driving for about ten minutes, I realized that I didn’t scrape the ice of my headlights, and they weren’t illuminating the road at all, so I pulled over right away into a parking lot (where there were two cop cars waiting) and scraped it off so they worked.

There wasn’t any snow on this drive, but I was very tired, having spent a long day in Boston, and having been ready to sleep after watching an episode of The Wonder Years.  I certainly didn’t feel like driving.  For about 45 minutes in some stretch of Connecticut, I came closer to dozing off than I would have liked and I kept saying to myself “there is no way I can do this, there is no way I can make it.”  So I pulled over into a gas station on I-95 and bought a 5 Hour Energy and a Nos Energy Drink.  I drank the 5 Hour Energy which was disgusting, but surprisingly it kicked in and lasted about three hours.  I’d never taken one of those before.  I got a little tired when I was around New York City, about 90 minutes from Mantoloking, but I ate some potato chips that I had from the drive up and drank some of the Nos thing and it kept me awake just fine.  This drive may have been more difficult than going up to Boston, just because I wasn’t alert for the whole thing, and just had an overwhelming feeling of dread for part of it, knowing that I had to stomach four more hours of something that I could barely even handle at that moment.

I did listen to music this time though.  I listened to probably three straight hours of John Prine.


The Jersey Shore

My friend lives on some outset peninsula thing on the Jersey Shore, in an area that was ravaged by Hurricane Sandy a few years ago.  I think his house flooded, but it is fine now, I guess.  I got there around 4 AM, and he gave me some homemade macaroni and cheese that he wanted me to rate (11).  I stayed in a guest bedroom and woke up around 11 the next morning.

At that point me, him, and his girlfriend watched an episode of Law and Order: SVU, which I think his girlfriend likes or was “marathonning” or something.  It was an episode that struck my interest (12) because it involved going undercover in a prison, and I am a sucker for any prison show/movie/book (as noted earlier by my purchase of The Count of Monte Cristo).

Then they started playing Grand Theft Auto 5, and I watched them blow up some cop cars and helicopters, and I played for a little, and then I left.

JERSEY SHORE – 7.7/10 – B-.

Driving Back to the DMV

I left New Jersey on Super Bowl Sunday, and every year I watch the Super Bowl with my parents, who live in northern Virginia, not far from DC.  So, before I could head home, I had to head there to watch the Super Bowl.

This drive was refreshing, because it was during the G-D daytime, which felt like a godsend to me after all this driving in the middle of the night. Paid a bunch of tolls and at one point had to pull over to use an ATM because I was out of cash to pay tolls with.  I listened to Wolf Parade, Test Icicles, and The Streets, amongst other things.

This drive took about three and a half hours – pretty short considering all I had been doing this weekend.  I actually stopped by my house in DC for a few minutes and took a shower and grabbed my lease and my friend’s copy of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D.  I then drove to the local police station, where I presented the lease and my ID, and obtained a two week parking pass, which would let me park on the street after coming back from the Super Bowl, where it would be guaranteed that there wouldn’t be any unzoned parking spaces.  So I got that, left DC, drove to Fairfax, where I stopped off at Potbelly Sandwich Shop where my friend works, and left her copy of Ocarina of Time 3D there, which she had asked me to go.  At this point it was 6:15 PM, about 20 minutes before the start of the Super Bowl.


Super Bowl 50

The first Super Bowl where the NFL moved away from Roman Numerals to actual numbers, because “Super Bowl L” would look weird.  Denver Broncos vs. Carolina Panthers.  I wanted Denver, because I like Peyton Manning, and I think it’s stupid how there is this inexplicable hatred for him all of a sudden because he played poorly this year.  Cam Newton on the Panthers is much less likeable in my opinion, even though I like to root for “heels” and “villains.”

My parents had set up the usual smorgasbord of food that they usually do for the Super Bowl: pizza, wings, shrimp, chips/guacamole, and all that.  My dad had made a bunch of bets in Vegas the previous week, because he always goes there the week before the Super Bowl, something about every year there being a furniture market he has to attend which always coincides with the week before the Super Bowl.  The place he goes has this “prop sheet” that lets you bet on all different types of stuff.  In previous years, I’ve seen bets that asked you to pick if one team would score more points than Kobe Bryant was going to score against the Knicks, or something.  My dad bet on the following items:

– That there would be at least four made field goals in the game
– That the Broncos would score at least 10 points in the first half
– That Cam Newton would throw at least two touchdown passes
– That the Panthers would win and cover the spread

He got the first two right, but ended up losing about $50 overall.  Mostly he was just rooting for the MF’ing kickers to kick field goals.  Didn’t bother me that much, even though people watching games/rooting for things because of their bets or fantasy teams usually annoys me.

The game itself wasn’t that great, but there was a lot of good defense, which I like to see.  Cam Newton got sacked like six times, and it was kind of close near the end.  Plus some guy named Aqib Talib kept screwing up which was funny, and there were some good sack dances.  The Super Bowl has gotten annoying to me because of all the mass consumerism and halftime show (which sucked) and whatever, but it still always feels like a special game to watch.  The commercials weren’t funny, either.

SUPER BOWL 50 – 7/10.  C.

My mom gave me some stuff for my birthday, just some candy mostly (which I thought was funny because that’s all I ever get people for their birthday) and I hugged my mom and dad and said goodbye to them.  Then I went over to one of my friends’ houses and said goodbye to her because she is moving to Prague to go live with her boyfriend.  I will probably never see her again.  It just made me think a lot, and it was a little sad.


I drove back to DC, found a spot on a street somewhere, forgot about everything and fell asleep.

And that’s what I did this weekend.




**EDIT: The rating seems a little high based on all the low grades I was giving but I rated this after the fact, having come down from an “insane weekend” and the grade was influenced by novelty value and how content I was with myself afterwards.



(1) Washington DC’s parking system, which basically makes it so that nobody who is from outside the district can park in the city for more than two hours without paying some ridiculous amount, has traumatized me and made me paranoid about parking my car in cities.  I perceived New York City, which is of massive size and stature, especially compared to Washington, DC’s, to have an equally fiercer, more expensive parking system than the Nation’s Capital does.  It turns out this isn’t totally true, and street parking is pretty much free.

(2) I want to point out that the only friendly looking person in this area was also the only white person I saw in Jersey City.  It’s not that I think anyone who isn’t white isn’t friendly, but everybody I encountered on this street honestly looked menacing or drunk.  For some reason I didn’t think my inquiries about whether I could take up a parking spot on their street for a night would be well met.

(3) This box of Trader Joe’s Pineapple Juice was my traveling companion and I felt a special bond with it – I hung onto it most places I went and never put it in my bag.  It lasted the whole weekend.

(4) I went to a soccer game once, the United States played Peru, and there were more Peruvians at the stadium than Americans, and an American kid in front of me mentioned that he didn’t feel like he was in America at the time.  When he said this, I thought about how it feels to be in America – not really sure what I concluded, but I think a lot of people still have the idea that America is white.

(5) Omar, my Lyft driver, was a good looking guy who didn’t understand me that well and was kind of foolish.  I told him three times that I was from Washington, DC and he still didn’t understand.  Kept asking me if I liked living in this part of Jersey City.  But he was nice.  When I told him that there are a lot of car window smashings in my neighborhood, he asked me, “black people?”  I said I didn’t know.

(6) Although the $15 toll, as well as the other tolls which amassed somewhere around $30 on the way there, killed me a little inside.  I guess they did keep me alert and awake, though.

(7) Research since this happened tells me that the Tobin Bridge is a bridge completely different from the one I went on, but I find it hard to believe that the bridge-fiend inside me would misremember the name of a bridge like that, and even go as far as to misattribute it to a different one.  The bridge I remember going over was a cable-style bridge, similar to Boston’s iconic Zakim Bridge, and it was lit up blue.  I believe it was on the Morrissey Throughway.

(8) I’ve been very into DFW recently, and it’s pretty obvious that his writing style has rubbed off on me, as evidenced by how heavily footnoted this piece of writing is.

(9) We went in to eat lunch and they told us we could sit at what turned out to be the very historic U-Shaped Oyster Bar, where seats were very highly coveted.  Eventually there was a line of probably 10 people waiting to sit at the bar, which I felt bad about because I didn’t really care – would have just been fine with a table.  I actually felt kind of weird at the U-Shaped Oyster Bar because bars make me uncomfortable in general, and my friend, whom I usually have strange, profound, in-depth conversations with – felt difficult to reach at this place, because of the setting.  Other people were listening, we were oddly positioned; I felt strange.  Plus, I felt compelled to order expensive stuff for some reason.  The Oyster Bartended, I guess I would call him, had a thick Boston accent and told some stories to the tourists sitting at the U-Shaped Oyster Bar watching him shuck oyster after oyster with complete grace.  It was just uncomfortable.  The oysters were really good, though.

(10) I wanted to walk over the Zakim Bridge, but I didn’t know if it was open to pedestrians.  It turns out it isn’t, but on the way there, we walked over the Charlestown Bridge, which research reveals to me is a plate-girder bridge.  I had mistaken it as a cantilever truss.

(11) It’s probably clear from this essay that I like to rate things, usually on a scale of 1-10, and I’ve hyped up my tendency of rating macaroni and cheese quite a bit.  This homemade casserole made with rotini pasta and bread crumbs, cheddar jack cheese, and avocado, got an 8.8/10 from me.

(12) The SVU was trying to find truth in a claim made my multiple female inmates that one guard was raping them, and in their background search of the guard, they accessed a list of websites that he had paid for with his “Vistal” credit card.  We paused the show at that moment, and among the list were websites that had names like “,” “,” and “New York Post.”


My Review of Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of the Year: 80-61

80. “Me U & Hennessy” ft. Lil Wayne

First of all, the ampersand in the title looks really weird, at least on the Pitchfork website, so I don’t know what’s up with that.  Also, teh way she says it in the song is “me, Hennessy, and you,” so there’s that also.  Everything about this seems really bad, like it’s in the realm of Drake, Nicky Minaj, autotune, etc.  A lot of people probably think this song is sexy.  Lil Wayne says he doesn’t drink in the song, is that true?

79. “Twist My Fingaz” by YG

I probably come of as “hating rap” from this list so far, but I like a lot of rap music.  The problem with the rap songs on this list is that they all suck.  This one is pretty good though, it reminds me of The Chronic or some other 90’s gangster rap, which is good.  Decent track, would not be embarrassed to be caught listening to this.

78. “Whip It (Remix)”  by ILoveMakonnen ft. Migos

This is really bad.  It’s not even a remix of the Devo song.

77. “Downtown” by Majical Cloudz

This is a song to “zone out” to and it’s kind of boring and I doubt I’d ever be listing it as the 77th best song to come out in any given year, but it sounds great after hearing ILoveMakonnen and Migos do that piece of shit Whip It song I just heard.

76. “Standard” by Empress Of

I don’t have much to say about this song, so let’s turn to Jes Skolnik of Pitchfork.  “Instead of preaching, Rodriguez’s empathy resonates on a seriously human scale.” according to Jes.  I don’t know.  The song ended and the next one on the album started playing, and I like that one better.

75. “High by the Beach” by Lana Del Ray

I think I have heard this song.  I don’t remember liking it.  But I also don’t remember disliking it. Nah I definitely disliked it.  I wonder why she wants to get high “by” the beach instead of just on the beach.  I feel like rich, bitchy white girls would like this song.

74. “(At Your Best) You Are Love” by Frank Ocean

This is a cover but I don’t think I’ve heard the original(s).  Very high voice.  Not my kind of song but I don’t dislike it.

73. “Foreclosures” by Rick Ross

Throwaway rap song.  Seems good to hear a rapper rap about twitter though.

72. “Ryderz” by Hudson Mohawke

Yeah, I didn’t have much hope for “Ryderz” by Hudson Mohawke and I forgot I was listening to it as I was doing laundry.

71. “The Night Josh Tillman Came to Our Apartment” by Father John Misty

This is tight.  Sounds like Christmas music kind of.  The lyrics sound like something I could make sense of if I listened a few times.  Would recommend this song.

70. “Dubby” by DJ Rashad/DJ Spinn ft. Danny Brown

First let me say that I’m very confused about who the artist of this song is.  Anyway, I guess this “beat” is sposto be like dubstep but not completely, so it is just “dubby” or as I like to call it, “dubbish” or “dubya.”  This song started off cool but got really bad and started shaking my walls.

69. “Fourth of July” by Sufjan Stevens

Alright, finally a song I know.  I listened to this album a lot this year, “Carrie and Lowell.”  It became one of my favorite albums ever.  This song though is very powerful and emotional, but not really enjoyable to listen to.  I’m not mad, I just liked most of the other songs on the album more, that’s all.

68. “Lionsong” by Björk

This song went on really long.  Wasn’t sure if another song on the album started playing.  It sounds insane.

67. “This Could Be Us” by Rae Sremmurd

Oh, this is where that “this could be us but u playin” meme comes from.  Got it.

66. “Dumb” by Jazmine Sullivan ft. Meek Mill

Very boring, I might even go as far as to say it was dumb

65. “Living My Life” by Deerhunter

Living my life.  Something people in 2015 love to do.  This song just kinda drifts along for a while doing the same thing over and over again.  Maybe it “parallels” life or something.  Whatever.

64. “Angels” by Chance the Rapper ft. Saba

This guy’s okay.  He’s got a cool voice or flow or whatever.  Is he the same guy who was in Community, or is that somebody else.  Big fan of the steel drum making an appearance in the song.

63. “Shadow” by Chromatics

Oh, I kind of like this band.

62. “Sandra’s Smile” by Blood Orange

I think this is the only song that Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) put out this year.  It’s kinda crazy, this guy’s music is usually really layered and cryptic but still really catchy.  It’s not really a secret though that this one is about the death of Sandra Bland, a woman who hung herself in a jail cell after she was pulled over for a traffic violation. Dev Hynes said that he gave the song its title because he googled pictures of her and thought she had a crazy smile.  Sick dance moves too

61. “G.L.O.S.S.” – We’re from the Future” by G.L.O.S.S.

Girls living outside society’s shit, lol.  This song is awesome.  I don’t even know if it’s girls singing, but they seem very PRO-FEMINIST.  roar.

Rating Each of Pitchfork’s Top 100 Songs of 2015


THE WEBSITE “PITCHFORK” CAME OUT WITH A LIST OF THE TOP 100 SONGS OF 2015.  I AM GONNA LISTEN TO THEM AND TELL YOU ALL WHAT I THINK.  I don’t really know anything about the music industry, but I do know that Pitchfork is “infamous” for having really pretentious sounding music reviews which I think are funny.  I probably know very few of these songs.

This is part one of the list, I reviewed 20 of the songs.  It will probably be late 2016 by the time I do all of them, but whatever, nobody even cares.

100. “Free” by Dâm-Funk

Fuck, this song is eight minutes long.  Not starting off well here, don’t think I want to invest eight minutes into this one song.  It has this one sound that reminds me of the song “Can’t Stop Won’t Stop” by some early 2000’s rap ground.  “Young Gunners” I think was their name.  This song “seems chill”… it’s just an electronic sounding thing that keeps slowly adding layers.  Whatever.  Two minutes in and no words so far.  Approaching six minutes now and it’s the same thing pretty much.  Cool guitar solo thingy at the end.  The name of the EP it’s on is “STFU”… funny.

99. “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Right off the bat I like the name of the song.  Starting off with some clapping.  Pretty funky.  Fun.  Cool.  Liked it more before the person started singing though.  Kinda faded into the background while I organized some videos.

98. “Dope Cloud” by Protomartyr

Yeah, the name of this song sounds like something you’d here in 2015. And I guess the song does too, or something.  Actually sounds like something by the band “Randy” that I used to hear in the Winter X Games snowboarding game on PlayStation 2.  So I don’t know.  Nothing too special about this song.  The drums are pretty short, and the guy singing probably stands straight up when he sings.  Sounds kinda “Brooklyn.”  Short song – under three minutes.  Pitchfork describes it as “built around propulsive drumming, a rickety and memorable guitar riff, and blown-out choruses, is both an ode to and a warning about escapism as a survival strategy.”  I like my description better.

97. “Young” by Frankie Cosmos

Frankie Cosmos sounds like the name of Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby wannabe in 2015.  I start listening to the song and it sounds like it’s sung by a woman, so that’s surprising, because I expected a male (due to the aforementioned Frank Sinatra/Bing Crosby situation).  I imagine this song being performed in a small venue with blue lights and the people in the crowd are smiling and “swaying.”  Nothing too special for me.  Weird song – very short and has a little intermission in there.

96. “Nelly” by Isaiah Rashad

Started off with some line about parallel parking, I like that.  Next part reminded me a little too much of that song “Hotline Bling,” not too keen about that.  This is a rap song I guess.  Seems like white girls would like this a lot.  The rapper is using the slur thing that a lot of rappers do now days.  Boring song IMO.

95. “The Lavishments of Light Looking” by Woke ft. George Clinton

George Clinton is the first name I know to appear on this list, but not going to expect or assume anything because of it.  Listen and Feel baby.  Woke is also apparently that guy Flying Lotus, who I only heard in Grand Theft Auto and didn’t really understand.  A guy who sounds like Big Boi starts rapping, but it’s kinda of pissing me off, because the music behind it is just pissing me off.  Yeah, lost interest in this.

94. “XTC” by DJ Koze.

Eight minute dance track.  “Ecstasy.”  This might be “EDM,” not sure.  Really obvious pulsating bass drum right from the start.  Bm. Bm. Bm. Bm.  There’s a sample of someone talking about ecstasy.  It sounds kinda stupid but speaks some truth… like about a lie being sweet at the beginning and bitter at the end, and vice versa for truth… then equates those two things to the drug and meditation (respectively).  True shizzle…

93. “I Remember” by Bully

Cool pop punk song with some chick screaming, cool voice, pretty good.  Lyrics seem “real.”  This is tight… short song… cool.

92. “Break Away” by Cool Uncle ft. Jessie Ware

Yeah, this sounds “retro” or whatever.  Like Steely Dan or something.  The write-up for this song talks about how sometimes it is “obviously bullshit” when music made before your generation seems more sincere – sounds like bullshit to me.  Anyone notice how music reviews usually have a line that goes something like “From the [adjective] [noun] to the [adjective], [adjective] [noun], [name of song/album] will [adverb] make you [some combination of verbs].”

91. “How Does It Feel” by Kaimaiyah

Starting off with some autotune and some clapping sounds from Garage Band.  The girl starts rapping.  She has a cool voice I guess.  Part of the video shows her playing Banjo-Kazooie on N64.  It looks like she doesn’t know how to hold the controller, so she’s probably faking, but at least she isn’t insanely mashing buttons like people in movies and TV shows always do when they’re playing video games.

90. “Blasé” by Ty Dolla $ign ft. Future and Rae Sremmurd

Well, not getting a good feeling for this one based on the song and artist name, but we’ll see.  Yeah, he is singing like Soulja Boy does in that song “Pretty Boy Swag.”  Superficially it sounds like any shitty song about cars and “hoes” and stuff, I guess according to Pitchfork it’s much deeper than that, about this guy’s needs or whatever, but I didn’t pick that up during my listen.

89. “My Baby Don’t Understand Me” by Natalie Prass

Was not interested, sorry.  Forgot the song was playing as I read something about Super Mario Bros on the internet.  “Our love is a long goodbye” seems to be the line that’s stuck in my head afterwards.

88. “Demon” by Shamir

Got high hopes for this after finding out the album it’s on is called “Ratchet.”  Also the album cover looks like something A Tribe Called Quest would draw.  Someone’s playing keyboard which sounds kinda cool.  “Chill” song or whatever.  Cool.

87. “Bank Rolls” (Remix) by Tate Kobangs

I think he’s rapping about Baltimore.  This song came at me really fast, like a salvo of bullets.  The “beat” keeps changing up kinda.  It’s overstimulating.  There’s one line where Tate Kobang talks about how all the girls in one part of the city have AIDS.  “I swear to God I could never love a dumb ho,” he tells us.  True nuff.

86. “The Answer” by Savages

Got excited for this because it was an all girl band.  It turned out to be really grungy and I really wanted it to have more of a harmony, but it didn’t really happen.  Eh.

85. “To Die in L.A.” by Lower Dens

Very cool and happy synthpoppy dance track!!!  Awesome!!!

84. “Dimed Out” by Titus Andronicus

Sounds like some ska band – can’t make out any of the words, is that the point?  A lot of metal bands do that, where you can’t understand a single word in the song – is that intentional, like are you sposto look up the lyrics?  I can hear when he’s saying the name of the song.  “I hope you like it when it’s Dimed Out,” I think he is saying.  This song is okay, it’s kind of aggressive, in a positive way kind of.

83. “Seeds” by Moses Sumney

This guy has an insane voice that sounds like it’s been modified and layered on top of itself a bunch of times.  I like a lot of quiet acoustic stuff with poignant lyrics but I’m not feeling this one!

82. “Ch-Ching” by Chairlift

This song gave me a headache.

81. “The Battle is Over” by Jenny Hval

Still got a headache from the last song, so apologies to Jenny if that negatively affects my review of this song.  The girl is straggling a ball in the album cover.  She is Norwegian but singing in English, which I think is weird.  Some lyrics about feminism and socialism and consumerism.  This song sucks.  Consider some questions that the guy on Pitchfork poses in his review of this song:  What has capitalism done to us? How has it eroded our sense of self? Can we still take care of ourselves and one another in such a world, or are we just going through the motions, despite our best intentions? Oh man, I hope we find out in the sequel!

Me experiencing summer slam – final part


Okay, the next match is a “title-for-title” championship.  John Cena, the United States champion, is facing Seth Rollins, the World Heavyweight Champion.  The winner gets to be the champion of both.

John Cena is pretty much the WWE’s favorite person, and he can never be a bad guy because he is a role model for the kids.  Therefore, he pretty much always wins.  Seth Rollins is a dickhead, but he’s really funny.  It is hard for me to imagine a scenario where this match ends cleanly.  However, John Cena stopped wearing his “I am the United States champion” t-shirt last week and wore a “15 time world champion” t shirt, which is highly suggestive that he will not win the title, because then he would have to stop wearing that shirt, and the WWE wants to sell shirts.  I want Seth Rollins to win.

John Cena comes in and holds up his “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” towel and runs into the ring.  Seth Rollins comes in wearing a monochromatic white outfit, LOL.  Amazing.  Crowd is chanting for Seth Rollins which is surprising, “Cena sucks” chants are a lot louder than “Let’s go Cena.”  John Cena wearing two wristbands on each arm tonight.  Seth Rollins just runs and does a backflip onto John Cena, cool.  Seth Rollins has shinguards on I think.

Bunch of “big spots” back to back.  Seth Rollins stole John Cena’s finisher, nice.  That doesn’t happen enough in pro wrestling.

Uh oh, referee gets knocked down.  Here comes a dirty ending.  John Cena hits the Attitude Adjustment but the referee has fallen out of the ring due to being in too much pain, and he is not there to count the pinfall.  Jon Stewart runs in with a steel chair LOL.  He hits John Cena with it.  Rollins hits the pedigree on top of the chair and he pins John Cena.  Huge heel turn by Jon Stewart, LOL.  Incredible.


Next up is a divas team match.  Gonna do the dishes during this.  Also my grandmother called me back.  Happy birthday to her.  We talked about eggplant, because she makes good eggplant.  Don’t know who won.


Here comes Cesaro.  This guy is pretty good.  There has been “a thing” where people hold up signs that say “Cesaro Section,” I don’t get if it’s because it sounds like Caesarian Section or what, but a lot of people like him, but the WWE never lets him go far, I think.  He is facing Kevin Owens, a guy who is pretty new but has had “the most impressive WWE debut ever” according to the WWE.  He runs his mouth a lot, I like him.

They come out and start hitting each other in the face.  Caesaro goes flying over the rope to hit Kevin Owens, jesus.  Michael Cole, the announcer, starts talking about the people all over the world watching SummerSlam on the WWE Network.  Jerry Lawler says he got a tweet from someone named Jude and Manila, and Lawler really “loves their envelopes.”  Meanwhile, my fucking fire alarm keeps beeping.  It’s making my headache worse.  Both these guys are sposto be real “solid workers” and I guess they’re doing a good job, but my interest is waning.  Trying to prove me wrong, Kevin Owens yells, “I am on fire.”

I took a shower during this match because I’m definitely going to sleep as soon as this PPV ends, because tomorrow I have to wake up and do my job.  Also showers make my headaches feel better sometimes.  So I don’t know who won this match either.


Up next is the main event, Brock Lesnar vs the Undertaker.  This is a pretty big match, it is a rematch of Wrestlemania from two years ago.  There are 40 minutes left in the show, which would be a long match, but Undertaker always takes like 20 minutes to make his fucking entrance.

Brock Lesnar’s music hits and he comes out with Paul Heyman, hops around on the ramp and HIS FUCKING PYRO DOESN’T GO OFF.  What the fuck is this.  It’s mother fucking Summer Slam, THE BIGGEST EVENT OF THE SUMMER and they fuck up the pyro, or maybe it was even intentional.  He hops on the ring and the pyro comes out of the turnbuckles, at least they did that.

Now the Undertaker is coming out and walking through all the fog and shit.  There’s fire coming out of the ramp

Nice, undertaker gets in the ring and the BEAST Brock Lesnar starts pummeling him before he even gets to take off his hat and cloak.  Undertaker is wearing eyeliner tonight.

Finally they’re both “poised” in the ring and referee Charles Robinson rings the bell.  Brock Lesnar does that MMA thing where he does mounted punches.  Undertaker gets up and goes for that Old School move where he walks on the rope, but Brock Lesnar picks up Undertaker for an F5.  Undertaker gets out, goes for the chokeslam on Brock Lesnar, but Brock Lesnar gets out of the choke.  He does a belly-to-belly suplex and a German suplex on the Undertaker and then yells his catchphrase, “Suplex City, bitch.”  Lesnar has been hit above the eye though and is bleeding, and he is doing that thing where he is “woozy” and staggering around and stuff.  They are outside the ring and Undertaker just bumps Brock Lesnar with his BUTT, then Lesnar F5’s the Undertaker through the French announcer’s table and it collapses.  JBL tells us to “watch Undertaker’s ribs.”  Pretty big “spot.”

Undertaker slowly makes his way back into the ring, he grabs Brock Lesnar by the neck and gives him the CHOKE SLAM FROM HELL.  Lesnar staggers around like Glass Joe in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.  Undertaker grabs him and gives him a Tombstone Piledriver and goes for the cover, But Brock Lesnar kicks out because it’s only 10:30, and Summer Slam is 4 hours long, not 3 and a half hours long.

Brock Lesnar sits up a la the Undertaker, and he laughs.  Then Undertaker does the same thing.  They both look at each other and share a fleeting moment of comradery as they find humor in shared experience.  They go for a hug but end up punching each other.  Undertaker gives Brock Lesnar the Last Ride, but the BEAST Brock Lesnar kicks out.

Brock Lesnar cleans off his face and F5’s the Undertaker.  Undertaker kicks out.  The fans trade chants of “Undertaker” and “Suplex City.”  Another F5, another kick out.  Brock Lesnar has Undertaker in the Kimora lock and the bell just rings.  The ref is pissed, holy shit.  Way to go ref.  I guess Brock Lesnar won.  But then Undertaker hits a low blow when Brock Lesnar wasn’t looking, and I guess the ref wants the match to go on, so it is, even though the bell always signifies the end of a match no matter what.  LOL the Undertaker just chokes him out, and as his parting gesture, Brock Lesnar just holds up his middle finger and passes out.  Undertaker wins.  ROFL

Winner: Undertaker
Rating: B.  Plus points for Blonde Referee being a badass and Lesnar middle finger.  Minus points for disregarding the rules and the match ending 20 minutes before 11:00.

Oh shit it’s not over though.  The replay shows that Undertaker tapped out.  Undertaker walks out to his music, but Paul Heyman is going over to the bell and ringing it.  He is pissed.  He declares Brock Lesnar the winner.  The stadium plays Brock Lesnar’s music, lol.  That’s the end of the show.

Overall thoughts: I’m pissed because I wanted to waste 5 hours of my life watching this PPV, and it only took 4 hours 45 minutes.  Didn’t enjoy the show that much but enjoyed writing to all of you who will never read this.  My roommate came back and fixed the fire alarm too.

Overall rating: C+

Live Blogging my Summer Slam experience – part 2


Up next come out these three guys The New Days, these guys are hilarious, but everybody hates them.  They say how New York doesn’t know anything about hip hop, then they go into the ring and they each blow a pitch pipe, and they song that Alicia Keys song where she goes “New York” but they say “New Day.”  They actually sound pretty good.  Mad funny

Their opponents are Lucha Dragons.  They only have two guys though.  Oh, another team is coming out.  Los Matadores, they have a midget with them.  And the tag team champions are coming out, Prime Time Players.  They’re cool.  I don’t really care who wins.

I don’t know what’s going on in this fight, there are like 10 guys.  The one guy who blew his pitch pipe is yelling at somebody from the sidelines, I don’t know who, really hilarious though, he’s like their hype man or something.  “WE ARE SO GOOD” he yells.  A guy from the Prime Time Players, Titus O-Neil, stomps the ringside steps a bunch of times really hard, and his knee brace falls off.  He gets into the ring and manhandles everyone, because he is very big.  The midget tries to fly off the pole and hit the sideline yeller, but the yeller just catches him and slams him to the floor.  There are like six people just writhing on the ground outside the ring.

The New Days exploit some rule and win the match, becoming the new champions, and they run around celebrating and dancing and hopping on their backs, LOL.  Mad funny

Winner: The New Days
Match rating: B+. I didn’t know WTF was going on, but it was really funny thanks to the New Days.

Quote of the match: “You can’t even get a hamburger in WWE because Biggy sells nothing but tricep meat.” – Sideline Yeller


The next guy coming out has the most ridiculous name I’ve ever heard, Dolph Ziggler.  He’s facing this Bulgarian guy, Rusev, who is massive.  They are mad at each other because the Bulgarian guy (who used to be Russian) was dating this skinny blonde girl, but he was mean to her, so she started making out with Dolph Ziggler, and the Bulgarian found another skinny blonde girl.  The girls will likely affect the outcome of the match.  You are supposed to hate Rusev, but I think he is funny, I want him to win.

Not paying too much attention.  Rusev yells “Rusev.”  Rusev starts doing his submission move and the girls start fighting.  One of them, Lana, is pretty hot, but she is just wearing a lot of make up, she probably isn’t even that hot.  The other one is ugly, I like her.  They all fight outside the ring, and the referee “counts them out,” meaning they were outside the ring for 10 seconds, so nobody wins.  But they say fuck it and they keep fighting.  I think the fans want to see the girls have a “cat fight,” so that is what they are doing.  The stadium plays the music of Dolph Sizzler, so I guess he did better.

Winner: No winner
Rating: C, I didn’t pay attention via it was boring


Starting to get a headache.  Don’t feel like watching anymore, three hours to go though

The promo they are showing for the next match is really weird, I don’t get it.  Some Hollywood actor “Steven Amell” is going to team up with this guy “Neville” aka “The man that gravity forgot” (really wish they would call him “the man WHOM gravity forgot” but whatever)… against this British guy King Baret and… I don’t know who his partner is.  Neville comes out to some cool fireworks.  I don’t get why any of these guys are together, what is this.  Oh the partner of King Baret is Stardust, some “weirdo” in a Spandex suit with face paints.  Jerry Lawler mentions Andy Kaufman.

I think Stephen Amell is in the match because he is trying to promote his TV show.  He has been feuding with Stardust on Twitter or something.  Neville tags him in and he jumps off the rope, landing short of Stardust, who just pushes him over.  Stephen Amell counters by standing up and kicking down Stardust, who just lets himself get kicked down.  Star dust is mad weird, seems like everyone probably hates him for being so weird, so I want him to win.  Steven Amell looks like he’s taking this staged wrestling match really seriously, looks like he trained for it though, good for him.

Neville jumps off the turnbuckle and does some twisty move called the Red Arrow, and that is enough to hurt King Baret so bad that he could not get up for three seconds and therefore lost the match.

Winner: Neville and Steven Amell
Rating: D+, I didn’t care


They show a video package between matches and you hear Randy Orton say “Summerslam is like a melting pot of all walks of life.”

Okay, the next match is a Triple Threat match for the Intercontinental Title.  It will feature The Big Show, a 7 foot tall old guy, versus The Miz, a guy whose gimmick is a Hollywood actor, versus the champion Ryback, who is just… strong.  I really don’t care about this, it will probably be boring, hopefully something insane happens, like the midget from before comes in and knocks everybody out.

It starts out with Big Show giving a double suplex to both The Miz and Ryback at the same time (this is a tautology but I don’t know how to better explain it), then he just goes “I’m a giant.”  He then tries to do a front flip off the second rope but he just kinda somersaults and doesn’t hit the guy on the ground, LOL.  Then he starts ramming to everybody with his BUTT.  Big Show stealing the show here.  Ryback climbs through the ropes and the camera man is in his way so Ryback just yells “move.”  Hilarious match so far.

Big Show holds up a fist and yells; the commentator JBL says “Here comes the Kale Punch,” what is that, Big Show is a fat guy, why would he use the Kale Punch.  They both do their finishers, then The Miz comes in and does his finisher, and he tries to pin Ryback who kicks out, then he pins Big Show who kicks out, then he just goes back and forth a bunch of times trying to pin each of them LOL.  When they get up, Ryback hits a move on The Miz, Big Show misses a Kale Punch and subsequently falls out of the ring, and Ryback pins The Miz to retain his title.

Winner: Ryback
Rating: B, this match was really funny, I think it was short though.


Jon Stewart confronts Paul Heyman backstage.  Standing up for wrestling fans.  Paul Heyman doesn’t care.  Shut the hell up, Jon Stewart.

Oh god fuck this next guy… Ray Wyatt… for his entrance he comes out holding a lantern and the arena is dark and all the ppl shine their phone lights on him.  This guy is the worst… mad boring… has this nasty ass beard, and his “gimmick” is that he is some “crazy” cult leader or something.  His partner is Luke Harper who is pretty much the same guy but the WWE doesn’t let him talk.  It is a tag team match, they are facing Dean Ambrose who is a “lunatic” and his friend Ramon Reigns, a dumb guy who works out a lot.  Ramon Reigns wears body armor for his matches btw.

This match is mad boring… they ripped off Dean Ambrose’s shirt and Luke Harper keeps kicking them in the face. The match she be a lot “crazier” for all the crazy participants innit.  I think the crowd is chanting “Ramon is sleeping” because he has been lying on the floor outside the ring for like five minutes, from what it seems.  Right as they start chanting that he gets up and gets into the match, performing a pump-handle suplex on Luke Harper.

Ramon Reigns and Dean Ambrose do their finishing moves and they win the match cleanly.  A boring ending.

Winner: Ramon Reigns and Dean Ambrose
Rating: D, boring

Summer Slam is halfway over.  The first two hours have been really fucking boring.

Live blogging my experience watching WWE Summer Slam, part 1

Hello, I think I will torture myself.  You see, today is August 23, the day of WWE SummerSlam.  SummerSlam is one of the most important shows for the WWE every year, and according to them, it is “the biggest event of the summer.”  This year, for whatever reason, the show will be four hours long.  Normally the shows are three hours long, and if I can sit through a whole one, I usually come away with a headache.  There is also the SummerSlam pre-show, where “experts” and “analysts” make predictions for the matches (let it be known that everything that happens in the WWE is scripted, and the people on this show are in on it – so yes, the concept of a pregame show for a fake event is just as ridiculous as you think it is).  The pre-show is an hour long, so that makes five hours of SummerSlam for you to enjoy.

I think I’m going to watch all of it.  I’m not a big WWE fan, I watch the pay-per-views usually (via sharing a WWE Network account with three other people which I don’t pay for).  I imagine this will be akin to torturing myself, because usually there are only a couple exciting parts in these things.  Five hours of WWE is completely obnoxious to me and therefore I want to document the descent into madness that will likely ensue when I watch the whole thing.


Cooking some eggplant and trying to fix my fire alarm.  It has been beeping for two days and I’ve just got around to buying a battery for it.  Also, I am setting up a VGA connection on my old shitty laptop so that I can watch all five hours of SummerSlam on my TV.


The pre-show is starting.  The theme this year is “Brooklyn,” since the show will take place in Brooklyn.  They show some people in Yankees hats, and then the Barclays center.  This hot ass girl hosting the panel starts talking and she says they will be “breaking down all of the action that is the four hour extravaganza that is SummerSlam.”  The first guy she introduces is some guy with all these tattoos, I don’t know who he is, but he says: “It is finally time for the biggest party of the summer, and guess what, you’re invited,” and then he tells us to use a bunch of different social media platforms and hashtags and mentions something called the Social Media Lounge.  Then she introduces another host Byron Saxton, oh my God this guy is so fucking boring, he has been a commentator on Raw, the show they do every Monday, and he just says the most cliche, unnecessary filler, and practically fades into the background.  Then the girl introduces the last guy on the panel, former wrestler Booker T, and says he is “a man who requires no introduction,” and then goes on to introduce him further by mentioning that he is a host of Tough Enough.


They go to a commercial, I didn’t know they do that.  The girl keeps saying that the WWE is “invading Brooklyn.”  She then says Brooklyn is “the baddest borough in Brooklyn.”  They show a backstage segment between Jon Stewart from the Daily Show and John Cena who is like the poster boy of the WWE.  Jon Cena is going to be the “host” of Summer Slam, I don’t know what that means.  I guess he will “cut promos” between matches or whatever.

I take the eggplant out of the oven and it isn’t really cooked that much so I will put it back in.  Hoping it comes out okay so I have something to do (eat it) whilst watching Summer Slam pre-show.


I realized it is my grandmother’s birthday so I call her.  I miss some of what the people were talking about, but at one point, Booker T says the phrase “what have you done for me lately” when talking about some guy.  I take the eggplant out and it’s pretty much burnt, so it isn’t that good.  Actually it is good.  They show a marine raising a WWE flag.


They were talking about this one guy and he came out and got mad at them for picking against him, and then he took Byron Saxton’s Mountain Dew Kick Start drink.  I tried for 15 minutes to fix the stupid fire alarm, I can’t do it.  I took out the battery two days ago but it still beeps, and there is some part I have to take off before I can put the battery in, but I cannot do it.  So the thing goes off every 30 seconds.  Mad annoying.  Also the stream I set up on the tv is mad choppy, what’s up with that.  I switch to Internet Explorer and it works better.  It is cool to “hate on” Internet Explorer like it is to hate on Nickelback and Comic Sans MS font, but it is better right now, so screw you all.

They show Stephanie McMahon talking about the “divas,” I think she is there to be the feminist for the WWE, she talks about “divas revolution” and “empowering women” and says some stuff about some women graduated from the naval academy or something, WTF is she talking about.


My stream is freezing, WTF.  The show is about to start.  They always start these things off with fireworks, which is my favorite part of the show.

The show starts with Jon Stewart in the ring saying “what’s up” to everyone.  Crowd shitting on Jon Stewart by chanting “what” after everything he says… just sounds like he’s reading a script some writer from WWE has written.  He’s shouting out names of the wrestlers who will be playing and the crowd is reacting to each one, I think they do that so that the writers can see how the crowd feels about each guy and then they can write results based on what the fans think.  Why would they pick Jon Stewart to do this, Jon Stewart had a sophisticated audience who was into politics and stuff, that’s like the opposite of a wrestling crowd, no offense.

Jon Stewart brings out Mick Foley for some reason, perhaps because it is the biggest event of the summer.  Mick Foley mentions snapchat.  There is a guy with a Netherlands flag in the audience.

The “intro” is Brooklyn themed, and they show the words “history” and “culture.”  They show Coney Island and the subway trains.  New York City is great, cool.  They do the fireworks, they are okay.


The first guy to come out is Randy Orton.  He is facing Seamus, this insanely white Irish guy.  Seamus yells “FOR MY MOTHER” or something during his intro.  He breathes really heavily.  This guy looks fucking ridiculous, he has a bright red mohawk that’s probably 6 inches off his head, and his beard is in dreads with these ornaments on them, and he’s got one of those piercings through the septum of his nose.  I think these two are mad at each other because one of them interrupted the other one’s match.  Good sign in the crowd that says “WHY IS THIS HAPPENING ? ? ?”.

Seamus starts off the match by climbing onto the announce table and cutting a promo against the crowd, telling them that he does not look stupid, but in fact, they look stupid.  Randy Orton pulls his leg out and Seamus falls onto the table.

They fight a little and Seamus Rock Bottoms Randy Orton twice onto his knee, yells “are you not entertained” to the fans like in Gladiator, and then “slicks up” his mohawk.  Shockwave Flash crashes on my computer, and when I get it working again, the crowd is chanting “ole” like in soccer.

Seamus does some stupid ass flip onto the turnbuckle and Randy Orton turns it into a DDT, which the announcer declares “vintage.”  Then Randy Orton starts pounding the ground or whatever.  My stream cut out for a while and when it came back on Seamus had won, I think he hit Randy Orton with a “Bro Kick.”  I don’t get why that is his finishing move, because his gimmick is of an Irish guy, not of a bro.

Appropriately, they transition to these two bros who won some fantasy football competition and they got to meet some wrestlers… okay… “Jake & Josh”

Winner: Seamus
Rating: C, kinda boring

Throw back thursday to 4th or 5th grade when one kid in my class gave a report on Sunni and Shiite Muslims and kept pronouncing them “sunny” and “shitty.”  Then when it was turn to give my report I was laughing uncontrollably and couldn’t even do it, I had to sit down.  I wasn’t even laughing because of him though, I don’t know why I was laughing.