To blog all the time! See you all in 2013.
I woke up Sunday morning feeling like my stomach was throwing up into itself, over and over again. Maybe I should have gone into the bathroom of our straight-out-of-Portlandia vacation rental and induced vomiting. But instead, I just lay in the cozy master bedroom of our temporary Northeast Portland cottage, staring at the wall of art books the owner had left, telling myself, “You’re fucking 30. You don’t throw up from drinking anymore.” I was in the final throes of a long weekend of eating, Portlanding, and blackout drinking, and instead of calling taking it easy, spending the day in bed, I officially started my day with a breakfast of fried-pastrami-and-eggs poutine washed down with a shot Bulleitt Rye and pickle back. Even though I didn’t officially hit 30 until this morning, that shot was the cherry on top of a serious rite of passage.
Last weekend, I invited a bunch of my closest friends to join me to celebrate my 30th in Portland, Oregon, a city that feels like home, even though I grew up 2 hours south. Most of them didn’t come. But then again, many did and they helped me turn my birthday party into the kind of indulgent, excessive celebration of my time on this planet that you don’t usually get as an adult. A big problem with writing autobiographical blog posts is it leads to self-mythologizing. I realize sometimes YR AN ADULT features posts that occasionally come off as arrogant and pompous and I take responsibility for that. But at the same time, if I successfully do something which I think is actually of value to other fellow new adults, then I want to recount it, for the benefit of you dear reader. That’s why I humbly present to you a few lessons on how to have the 30th birthday party you deserve, based on how I did it. Also, it’s my birthday today, so I can blog about what I fucking want.
If you don’t follow comedy or cultural news or listen to Terry Gross or read the AV Club, you might have not heard of Tig Notaro. I can’t blame you, there’s a ton of internet out there and only so much time in the day to waste on it. However, if that’s indeed the case, then I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Tig Notaro – one of the coolest, funniest people on the planet (If you already know who Notaro is, you can skip this part). Tig is a longtime stalwart of LA’s cool comedy scene, that’s centered around small, non-cheesy clubs and home to comedians that all the critics think are great but whose pilots usually don’t get picked up by Comedy Central. What’s make’s Tig unique is she has this wry, mischievous, deadpan delivery that helps her sell jokes that are usually just silly. She went on Conan and spent a third of her set moving a stool around the stage. AND IT KILLED. She’s great. I’m saying.
As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a café in near my friend Cory Poolman’s house in Philadelphia. I’ve been hung over for days, I haven’t showered in approximately that same amount of time and having left my toothbrush at the hotel in DC, my breath is zombie rotten. This current trip I’m on is similar to a lot of short, wild drinking trips I’ve taken in the last decade, where I spend a few short days in a city with at least one old friend, drinking, eating, not sleeping, carousing, wearing the same “one cool” outfit I brought in my daypack for days on end, chasing the dirty hipster bars, the classy cocktail joints, the button-down-broseph brewpubs for (mostly) ironic purposes, the grimey weeknight dance parties, the latenight drunkfood hotspots, laughing, exploring the various neighborhoods of whatever city it is and pretending that if I actually lived there, it would be like this all the time.
Sometimes, the trip has been coupled with a work trip (usually to New York), meaning in between the roistering and bopping, there were times when I had to pitch a client or supervise a shoot or perform some other imposition of maturity. Other times, it’s been driven by an impulsive urge to skip town for few days, maybe by the chance to reunite with a larger group of friends or just a cheap last-minute airfare. These quick getaway benders could also be tacked on to other trips, an extended ticket after a wedding or an elongated stopover between an intercontinental trip. The current trip that I’m on is driven by the fact that I got a free flight to Washington, DC. I’ll come back to this trip, because it’s been exhilarating enough to recount the details, but one persistent thought that has continually come up during the trip, beyond, ‘where are we going next’ and ‘whiskey or beer’ and ‘god I feel like dogshit this morning’, has been, ‘how much longer do I get to do this’? I began writing for this blog because I was interested in the juxtaposition between how I both wanted to grow up at the same time that I didn’t want to grow up at all. But when I think about how much fun I’ve had on these little excursions, how hopeful I’ve felt about life, I realize this is a tradition I don’t want to grow out of.
Me and my friend/absent collaborator Andrew Brown often meet up on weekdays to get lunch. Usually, we go to a pleasant Chinese café on Church St, where the lunch special is a whopping $5.75. The lunches are often impromptu, based of text messages sent at 11 amto see if we’d each like to break out of the monotony of our given workdays and take an hour to gripe about all things everywhere always. Today, however, with San Francisco’s Indian summer in full effect and the temperature hovering in the low seventies minus wind-chill, we decided that in this sweltering heat wave, a meal that a a little colder/less heavy was in order. So, we met up at the sushi place in the Metreon, with the charming patio overlooking Yerba Buena Park. It was such delightful setting that somehow we chocked up a bill of 70$ in 45 minutes without even thinking about it. Like idiots.
The meal was fine, but it wasn’t anything special. At no point was I either tempted to take a picture of an immaculately plated, superbly original dish nor did I shove a piece of sushi in Andrew’s face, like, YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS IT’S SO FUCKING GOOD OH MY GOD. So, in a moment of after-the-fact self-reflection, I thought I’d take a moment to consider a few possible reasons why I spent what is an empirically unreasonable amount on an unremarkable lunch.
Eli Markstrom is an old high school friend turned SF-drinking-buddy. Moreover, Eli is a master Tetris player, who has competed with some of the world’s best players in international tournaments. That’s right. Tetris. For the Nintendo. A 30-year-old game for a (nearly) 30-year-old gaming system has international tournaments. And to a micro-culture of literally dozens, it’s apparently a big deal. Over the weekend, I happened across an FB post of Eli’s, where he linked to the livestream of a World Championship of Tetris competition in Portland, Oregon that he was competing in. And I’ll say, as I watched the quarterfinals, it was pretty intense. Sadly, Eli, got knocked out in the semis. I wanted to ask Eli about Tetris, the competition, and having a hobby that is a little bit weird. So I did.
At the moment when a twenty-something man realizes that he will not live the rest of his life with his full head of hair, he will generally go into an immediate state of mourning for his hair before it is even gone. At least, that’s what happened to me, when, at 24, I noticed that my hairline was receding, slowly depleting the dense mass of my glorious jewfro. Young men have lots of time-tested responses to going bald. Some shave their heads clean as if they were some sort of professional athlete. Others adopt a trademark piece of headgear, say a ballcap or a fedora, which they don at all occasions. Many allow themselves to be bullied by self-esteem-assaulting commercials for dubious “medical” treatments for their condition. Some join weird online communities about coping with hair loss. And plenty just feel shitty all the time about their follicle-challenged crowns.
If you find yourself a present or future bald guy, you can take any of these approaches, if you’re so inclined. But you can also just keep on living your life and being who you are, without worrying about your loss of hair. Which is the recommended approach. To that end, we present this list of awesome bald guys who OWNED their baldness, whose lives would have been no less awesome had they had kept their hair for the duration, to provide inspiration on how you should be living your life.
Bill Murray In the late 70s, as Murray was beginning his ascent into the upper echelons of America’s collective heart, his hairline was already receding. Go back and watch Stripes or Ghostbusters or Groundhog Day – Murray always gets the girl, not because he has a perfect head of hair, but because he’s charming, funny and awesome. Even in middle age, when he played the aging Casanova character in Broken Flowers, it was believable – what he lacked in looks he made up for in sweet Fred Perry jumpsuits.KEEP READING!
“You’re circling failure in a rapidly decaying orbit. That’s the reality as we talk now. But you can change that. It’s in your power to change that. Yes, you’ll have to work hard, you’ll have to do things you haven’t done before and still your chances are very slim. But still, you can change it.”
-Garry Marshall’s “Chairman of CBS character” to Louis CK’s “Louis CK” character in the first episode of Louie‘s three episode “Late Show” arc. I thought the three-part arc was pretty great. Nicole thought it was whatever. Either way, hearing Garry Marshall say this to Louie, was goosebump-ey. You can watch the whole scene here.
YR AN ADULT started as kind of a joke title, thinking we would come up with something better down the line or raise the money to eventually buy the domain “adultmagazine.com” (ha!). But the name has kind of stuck, for better of for worse. It’s oddly catchy (in our minds) and the obnoxious spelling somehow feels right for a site about barely-adults who grew up on the internet. But we’ve never been sure how to print it in posts. In the logo, it’s lowercase, which looks fine in the hand-print font, but not that great when written in posts. If you look back at past posts, you’ll see that we’ve tried all kinds of different ways of printing it: italics, bold, all caps, just the first word capitalized – but nothing has stuck. So, I thought in our first poll, I’d let the readers of the site give us their take. So, if you could please take a whole 2 seconds to think about it and let me know what you think, that’d be great. Here’s to solving other people’s problems! (click thru below to the poll)KEEP READING!
Ben Folds Five – “You Can Do It Anyway” This video has all kinds of things that I like:
“Someday when cultural historians look back at this era of cinema and television, they’ll wonder why we so obsessively documented the lives of upper-middle-class city-dwelling Americans between the ages of 22 and 28.”
- AV Club Critic Noel Murray, in his review of the new Greta Gerwig/Noah Baumbach film, from the Toronto Film Festival.
I recently got a short-term gig at a reality show production company. It’s been a fun little trip, because, while I’d worked in TV before, I’d never done pure reality production and wanted to see what it was like. Truth is, it’s probably not for me, but for the short term, it’s been super interesting. And despite having my first full-time, need-to-go-into-the-office-every-day gig in 9 months, I still spent most of my free time thinking about my generation and how growing up is weird. So, putting both of them together, I came up with a few ideas for reality shows about new adults/non-adults that I might like to watch, but no network might like to make. These aren’t shows about weird families who run a dark, dirty business, or formulaic looks at terrible wives or ex-wives or cretinous rural children. This is the real shit, the shit that you and me are living in, which is why they probably won’t be on TV anytime soon.
My Super Sweet 30th Birthday Party
The holy grail of reality development is finding an easy-to-recreate format, that will drive a narrative and keep viewers watching for the whole show. This show, apes the format from another reality show (another common practice in reality development), My Super Sweet Sixteen, but instead of showing obnoxious, rich teens’ birthdays, would depict young adults as they reached a different milestone.
The first act would introduce us to a character, upset about hitting an arbitrary aging milestone, depressed about where they are in their lives and just feeling generally old. Then, we follow them or one of their friends, as they plan to get all their soon-to-be-30-year-old’s friends together from around the country for a blowout party weekend in some exotic party locale. It could be anywhere from New Orleans to Vegas to Dubai to Aspen to a cabin in the middle of nowhere, as long as there’s booze, women and scenic landscapes for interstitial shots.
There’s a transition act, where the friends all meet up to travel to wherever they’re going to party, drinking in airport bars, eating at roadside diners, reminiscing about their twenties. And the payoff would be the party, which would ideally include drunken shenanigans, interactions with random strangers, gratuitous hook ups, food fights, fist fights, dancing injuries, D-list celebrity cameos and all kinds of puking. It would be the best kind of exploitative TV.
Kitty Pryde got slightly internet famous for a couple songs that were more interesting than they were actually good. That’s not to say they were bad. They we’re just interesting. Like, “Oh yeah, teens who grew up on the internet during the ’00s got a whole lot of weird influences and can make shit really easily.” Unlike another white female, child of the 00′s/the internet rapper who got famous on pure surprise value, though, Kitty actually seems self-aware. Today, FADER has her guide to living with her parents, which makes her seem like a sensible 19-year-old. If we all could have been so lucky.