Big Brother is listening. And he knows you like that one Third Eye Blind song.

Well, that’s it. They’ve had a crack team working tirelessly, day in, day out, 24/7 to decode it. And now it’s finally happened. They have successfully mapped a complete human musical genome. That being mine.

They have collected just the right amount of data from hours upon hours of thumbs ups and thumbs downs and dozens upon dozens of Vista Print advertisements congratulating me for being specially selected to receive 200 free business cards. What kind of business do I have? Someplace where I listen to Pandora all fucking day and they don’t print me my own fucking business cards, that’s where.

LIke any good scientist, they started with the fundamentals. A Bon Iver song on the Bon Iver station. Okay. Then, they mixed it up a little and threw in a one-hit wonder from a few years back. Thumbs-up? Great. Let’s keep going then.

How about what used to be referred to in the record biz as a “B-side”? Still good?

What about an even more obscure song that topped out at #18 on the Billboard charts in the early 2000s, that you never liked, but it’s just so familiar, and you haven’t heard it in so long, that nostalgia alone moves you to act? Thumbs up again, huh? Excellent.

And before you know it, they are reading me as clearly as lgvrdlmnqvtthequickababmfxlqbrownfox. They know to play a track because it features pop rock qualities, a subtle use of vocal harmony, repetitive melodic phrasing, extensive vamping, major key tonality, melodic songwriting, electric guitar riffs, a good dose of acoustic guitar pickin’, a dynamic male vocalist, acoustic rhythm guitars, romantic lyrics and many other similarities identified in the Music Genome Project.

Why sugar-coat it? Why not just come out and say that you are playing this track because it features abandonment issues, an undercurrent of self-loathing, and because I seem like kind of a whore? Fuck you, genomenologists, or whatever they call you. Geophysicists? Geometrators?

Ohhh, geneologists. Right.

But a girl IS LIKE A SUNBURN. I would like to say. I don’t know what it means, but she’s just like a fucking sunburn, okay?

And, yes, I DO like that band Everclear. Specifically, the song “Santa Monica,” which reminds me of the time we saw Jamie Walters, aka, Mr. “How Do You Talk to an Angel,” at the food court in the Santa Monica mall. (How about you start by not throwing her down the stairs, eh, Ray?) And then we went to a party in Pomona and I puked corn chips out the window on the highway.

Now the question is, what are they going to do with this knowledge?

We need only look to the past for the answer. Decoding my musical chromosomes may be cutting edge science, but there is an historical precedent for how this plays out. Sometime in the future, I expect to pay 5 easy installments of $9.95 to own all of these hits in a single fucking collection.

LISTEN TO THE SONGS:

RELATED POST:
UGH! Why did I put all that Huey Lewis on my iPod?

Surprise! Your dentist is a douchebag.

You know that moment when a guy has his hands all up in your grill and you suddenly get like a Sixth Sense feeling that he has definitely yelled WOOOOOO! with his shirt off somewhere in Mexico and/or Miami Beach? And then you just know that he has, within the last three days, told someone that they are “money and don’t even know it”? And you are suddenly struck by an eerie vision that if you flipped down the visor on the driver’s side of his Dodge Viper, you would find one of those pocket CD sleeve things full of Jock Jams?

Yup, your dentist is a douche.

Once you have the revelation, it seems so OBVIOUS. How could you have missed the tuft of chest hair peeking out from the deep-V of his scrubs?

And what about the tune he was whistling when he walked in? Yes. You hear it now. It was not a real song at all, but the “doot-doot-doot-dee-doot” jingle at the end of a T-Mobile commercial.

And, then there is the way he tells you every little thing he is going to do and asks your consent like you are starring in a sex ed skit for your dorm:

I’m going to lower the chair now. Is that okay?
Is it okay if I raise you back up?
How are you doing?
Does that feel okay?

But, I have news for you. It turns out that d-bags make pretty good dentists. They make sure to get you nice and numb, and then they’re in and out before you even know it. Just like spring break in South Padre.

RELATED POST: How to tell if your acupuncturist wants to poke you for reals

How to be nostalgic for the 90s

Twice a year, I reenact a ritual from my childhood wherein I go to a mall, try on a bunch of clothes that I can’t afford at a mid-scale retailer and then purchase knockoffs of said items from a less reputable store. Which is how I found myself at Forever 21 yesterday.

The evil geniuses at F21 have figured out a few things:

  • I will buy one $5.00 tank top. However, at $4.80, I will buy three.
  • Preteen girls want to look like extras in a 2 Live Crew video.
  • Kids today are bi-curious about the 90s.

Well, girls, I can’t help you look like a streetwalker in Southeast Asia, but I can tell you a true story (true stor-ay!) about what happens when people stop being polite, and start getting real.

First of all:

  • We had Lady Gaga in the 90s; she was called Madonna.
  • We had Starbucks; it was called McDonalds.
  • We had Justin Bieber; he was called Justin Timberlake.
  • We had 90210; it was called 90210.

Modern historians make it sound as if we were all living in dank basement apartments, working in coffee shops, strung out on heroin, moshing at underground rock clubs, and wearing thrift-store clothes to show our utter disdain for the multinational corporate dictatorship that had us all enslaved by capitalism. But, unless you were a member of Sleater Kinney or in a band with Dave Grohl, chances are that this was not the case.

For example, we like to remember guys in the 90s looking like this:

But they really looked like this:

So, here are some tips to re-create that authentic 90s experience.

Get really, really depressed.

The 90s were like one long “special episode” where we all got super uptight about respecting each other’s ethnicity, gender-association, able-bodied-ness, and the environment and shit. All good concepts, in theory, but imagine a world where you are constantly on edge trying not to offend anyone, where if you accidentally throw away a can rather than recycling it, you feel like you are to blame for the destruction of the entire planet, and you’re pretty sure you have AIDS.

You’re going to need more socks.

For one thing, you simply cannot wear Doc Martens or clunky lumberjack-looking work boots without socks. But even in your platform Mary Janes, you should probably wear at least two pairs of stockings, preferably bright colors; the top pair being either fishnet or adorned with handmade cut-outs. For a preppy look, try wearing several pairs of socks at a time, color-coordinated with your t-shirt (which is either way too big or way too small—nothing was supposed to fit correctly in the 90s).

At least 2 scrunchies must be worn at all times.

A “scrunchy” is a rubber band wrapped in a piece of cloth. It is used to pull your heavily crimped, permed, gelled, moussed, shellacked hair into a ponytail (or half-ponytail, side-ponytail or French braid). Another one goes around your wrist. That is the minimum requirement, but don’t be afraid to express yourself. Wear another scrunchy on the other wrist. Try one around your ankle. Experiment. Get wild. You may mix it up by throwing in a bandana somewhere – Do-rag? Sure. Tie one around your thigh like a hillbilly stripper on her wedding night? Why not?

Get a Rachel.

You will need to do some research on this one. Find a salon in a strip mall where most of the stylists are at least 45 years old. It will probably be called something like “Trimz” or “Stylez.” Tell them you want a “Rachel.” This is a hairstyle based on a character from that show that your mom watches in reruns on TBS. The character was played by that lady with the nice boobs whose dad also turned out to be the father of Bo Brady.

You will know they did it correctly if you come out with anchorwoman helmet-hair that looks like a big mushroom on your neck. Complement your new look with heavy white face powder and dark brown lipstick. In case you worry that you now look like a zombie middle-aged soccer mom, don’t worry. That will be balanced-out by the fact that you are wearing oversized Osh Kosh B’Gosh overalls with one strap unhooked, and a baby tee that would fit a four-year-old.

Then, take some Ecstasy, slap on some glowsticks, and listen to this on repeat for the next eight or nine hours. Enjoy!

RELATED POSTS:

  • How to be nostalgic for the 90s—goth version (you will need to buy some clove cigarettes)
  • How to be nostalgic for the 90s—Puff Daddy remix (the same post, but with Sly & the Family Stone playing in the background)

This REI totally blows

What? No climbing wall? I mean, no climbing wall at ALL? I know that not every REI can have “a 47-foot monolith encompassing over 6,400 square feet of hand-sculpted rock surface” like the one at the flagship store in Denver. It just wouldn’t be cost efficient. But, I ask you, how am I supposed to know, for sure, without any shadow of a doubt, that the La Sportiva TC Pro Rock Shoe (retail $180.00; color: sage) is the right one for me? I ask you, how?

Are you suggesting that I should just take my chances? What will happen when I’m free soloing the Dawn Wall on El Cap? Yeah, I said it. Fuck you, Tommy Caldwell. I can cut off a fucking finger, too. Just give me an hour, a bottle of tequila, and a Benchmade 556SBK-1201 Mini-Griptilian Knife (retail $135.00; color: crimson).

I bet they don’t even have an outdoor bike path weaving through the grounds so that you can test out your new Scott Spark 35. Yeah, I didn’t think so. Fuck this place. Is there anywhere in town to get decent seitan wings? I bet no one in this store has ever even HEARD the 11.2.98 Phish show where they did Dark Side of the Moon. Losers.

And, scene. This has been my impression of a Colorado outdoors enthusiast visiting the downtown Austin REI location.