Mumford and Sons’ new album, Babel, does not represent a stylistic departure for the band, and I am so relieved.
Their core sound remains largely the same, and I couldn’t be happier. After all, Babel is only their second album, following their 2009 debut with Sigh No More. The day for experimentation will come when we get bored with the core Mumford and Sons sound, and that day is not today.
Babel is a strong album from start to finish. It has the mark of a truly great album: I have a new favorite song every few days as a new track grows me.
Discussing individual tracks would be almost pointless, but worth noting is the cover of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer,” a beautiful rendition and a pitch perfect match for the band’s sound.
The band stays right in its wheelhouse, showing off the explosive folk rock, thoughtful songwriting, and melodic genius that made their debut album so successful.
Babel represents Mumford and Sons wise choice to not fix what isn’t broken.
The marketing blitz has begun for the latest Call of Duty title, Black Ops II, and Activision is spending the big bucks. This is no surprise; Modern Warfare 3 made $400 million in its first 24 hours when it launched last November, breaking the $360 million record set when Black Ops launched the year before. It is a surprise, however, that people are still tripping over themselves to buy new versions of this game year after year.
Some observers have compared the yearly success of the Call of Duty franchise to that of EA’s Madden NFL series, which also releases a new title every year. This comparison does seem to be a good one. In both cases, millions of gamers are paying full price ($60) for a product that is barely discernible from its predecessors. In both cases, EA and Activision are demonstrating that they think their customers are suckers, and their customers are confirming their suckerdom by turning out in droves.
An argument could be made that although the core Call of Duty multiplayer experience gets only minor tweaks with each iteration, every new release features a new singleplayer campaign, thus justifying the full purchase price. This hold up if people bought Call of Duty for the campaign, but they just don’t.
Since it’s all about the multiplayer (and it undeniably is), gamers’ yearly $60 payments are getting them new maps, minor tweaks to gameplay, and a smattering of new guns and killstreak rewards. This amount of content is far more appropriate for DLC, which rightly costs much less than a full game, usually $10-$20.
But instead of selling this content as DLC, Activision puts out a whole new game every year, rendering the previous version obsolete because the players all migrate to the new one.
This seems to leave Call of Duty devotees with the choice between putting up with dramatically longer matchmaking times and getting ripped off, but I suggest a third option: stop buying Call of Duty until Activision stops treating you like a sucker.
Instead of seeing Call of Duty’s yearly success and comparing it to Madden, compare it to its main competition, Battlefield 3. Its DLC costs only $15 (or less with Premium) and includes everything Black Ops II will: new maps, new modes, new guns, etc.
Please, stop rewarding Activision for treating you like you’re stupid. You’re not.
Well, it’s about time. I’m at work right now (it’s 5am) and I’ve been restlessly roaming the web and thinking about the future, and I decided that I will only go to law school for free. I thought about the huge debt I’d take on by attending a T12 school and weighed it against how sure I am that I want to work as a lawyer for a good chunk of my career, and let’s just say it didn’t stack up well. I love to write and argue and analyze, but that doesn’t seem to be what most lawyers do. From what I’ve gathered, most of them spend their days bitching and moaning and schmoozing and regretting their law degree, which they are still paying off.
Law school’s not entirely out, however. I can almost certainly attend IULaw for free, and depending on a huge number of factors, I still might do that, probably in conjunction with another complementary graduate degree. I’d have to come up with a good reason why, but it would be really nice to go to school for free for a while, after getting shafted on undergrad.
So I’m maybe going to IULaw for free, maybe with another grad degree. What else am I maybe doing? Pursuing a writing job is still something I’d love to do, as nerve-shatteringly daunting as the prospect is. I’m also learning a couple programming languages. I recently found out that it’s entirely possible to get a programming job without a CS degree, and I’ve recently rediscovered the fact that I genuinely enjoy programming, so programming could be in my future. I’ve even learned that good communication/writing skills are as important as good coding skills, which is a definite plus.
I’m not sure what changed today, really. I’ve always known that being a lawyer wouldn’t be like the TV shows, and that it wouldn’t be this perfect job where all I did was read and write arguments and beat people at thinking. I was aware of the fact that there would be drudgery and asskissing and late nights. I had heard the countless admonishments from current or ex-lawyers who hated their jobs. But I was holding out hope that lawyerdom was the perfect job I’d been looking for. It seemed so perfectly suited to me.
But now the prospect of becoming one of thousands of disillusioned legal operators plying our vast and slow and flawed legal system on behalf of uninteresting clients doesn’t sound like so much fun. How often do good things get done in court? Of course, there are still things that draw me to it: being the attorney who got to defend The Oatmeal and slam FunnyJunk’s attorney in such a decisive fashion would be fantastic. There are some great things you can do as a lawyer. I’d still love to work for the ACLU. But I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that for every lawyer fighting the good fight there are another fifty who are just putting in their hours to pay off loans and put food on the table. Going to law school for free would help my odds, but they still seem pretty murky, especially considering the abysmal placement rates revealed by this year’s more detailed law school data.
I also came to terms with the fact that having a JD wouldn’t be impressive in most non-legal fields. I finally looked at it from the perspective of an employer – you aren’t more impressive for having a law degree. It makes you look like a failed lawyer at worst, and the other options aren’t much better. Maybe you’re still looking for legal jobs and you’ll quit at the first opportunity. Maybe you didn’t like law and you won’t like this job either. Regardless, unless legal expertise is actually relevant to the job, it’s probably not going to help much, and it could very well hurt.
This all means I have to deal with the possibility of entering the job market sooner than I originally planned, which is actually okay with me. It’s a scary prospect, sure, but I’m looking forward to real financial independence and security, and having a real job as soon as possible is the fastest way there. Working a part-time job while accruing more debt isn’t. It also feels more like the right thing to do because of the fact that it’s scary. Law school has always felt a little like a cop-out to me, even when I was very enthusiastic about it. It’s so much easier to say “I’m going to law school” when people ask about the future instead of “I don’t know”. Another three or four years in school would certainly delay the inevitable angst of looking for a job, but judging by how this year’s law grads are doing, it would probably end up making it harder. There are other fields that are less saturated, and I have just as good a shot at standing out in one of them instead.
I suppose my plan is roughly this:
- Actually start looking at jobs I could apply for in various fields
- Actually apply for them
- Learn programming language(s)
- Write things that could go in a portfolio. Every day.
- Beat the LSAT just in case
- Look into non-law grad programs
- Read the things I should’ve read by the time I graduate so I can pull off that English major swagger when I need it
Oh, and the number one best thing I could do for my job prospects remains very obvious. If I quit video games and devoted that time to a mixture of reading/writing/thinking/job searching/programming/doing more productive recreational activities, everything would be a lot better. It would suck ass, but it might be possible, and it would definitely be worth it.
Food for thought and consternation. And that’s the name of my second memoir. (The first is “Lessons learned but quickly forgotten”)Read More
There are a lot of problems with Gizmodo, but the most glaringly obvious one is the popular tech blog’s insistence on taking contentious stances in their articles. For example, the article which prompted me to write this post was entitled “Reading Books on a Tablet Is Dumb”. The headline just begs for you to disagree with it. It’s juvenile and simplistic and provokes a fairly strong defensive reaction in anyone who enjoys reading on a tablet.
This is the intended effect, of course. It’s a cheap, blatant tactic to get more pageviews, and the advertising dollars that follow. Not only does it generate more initial pageviews, from incredulous content consumers like me, it also generates heated arguments in its mysterious comment system, which translates directly into even more advertising revenue for Gizmodo.
The article itself isn’t entirely terrible. It points out that having a dedicated ereader makes it easier to read for long periods without being distracted by the other pursuits one may enjoy on a tablet. This is a valid point for an individual consumer to consider when choosing which device would best meet their needs, but why is it an entire article on Gizmodo, framed not as one point to consider but as a universal rule? “So yeah, when it comes to books, screw the tablet. Get an eReader instead.” This article would make for a decent comment on a blog post about tablets or ereaders, but it makes for an exceedingly inadequate actual blog post.
This isn’t to say that tech blogs can’t or shouldn’t have an opinion on the news they report. After all, we don’t go to tech blogs looking for objective reporting on things that have happened. We want them to have an opinion. We want reviews of products, predictions about the future, rumors and the blog’s assessment of their validity. These blogs thrive on opinion. But it’s crucial that they offer a well-informed, reasoned opinion, and do it in an appropriate way. If a blog’s opinion is to be trusted, it has to be reliable and reasonable, and based on facts.
These are very vague criteria, by necessity, but I’ll give you an example. The Gizmodo post in question references a New York Times article about how consumers and publishers view the tablet vs. ereader struggle, and in particular, quotes a section about a study that found a 15% decrease in publishers who think tablets are the ideal ereaders. Of course, the Gizmodo article cites this as strong supporting evidence for their claim that we should never read books on tablets, when it is nothing of the kind. A decrease in publishers who think tablets are the ideal ereaders in no way translates to “So yeah, when it comes to books, screw the tablet. Get an eReader instead.” Gizmodo took an interesting, well-written article on trends in the eReader industry and turned it into a trite, stupid conclusion that has no place anywhere on a professional blog. Honestly, Gizmodo should’ve just described the New York Times article and posted a link to it, but if they insisted on cannibalizing and regurgitating it, they should’ve done it differently. They should’ve referenced the New York Times article, accurately summarized its content, and then provided some insightful, well-informed speculation on what that could mean for the future of tablets, the future of eReaders, the future of publishing deals with various eBook stores, the future of the paperback, etc. They should’ve done something that in some way adds value, rather than reducing a great article to contentious trash.
Also noteworthy is that Gizmodo’s post isn’t categorized as an editorial or an opinion post, but simply under the category of “EREADER”. In a tech news blog, which Gizmodo purports to be, this would imply that the post contained news about ereaders, which it clearly does not. Engadget frequently features well-written, well-supported editorials, labeled as such, which take a position and argue for it. Gizmodo, on the other hand, seems to have nothing but poorly-written, poorly-supported editorials, not labeled as such, which basically consist of a snide opinion and a smattering of facts whose relevance is questionable at best. This is conduct unbecoming any blog, let alone a tech news blog.
Granted, Gizmodo is hardly a tech news blog these days. Many of its posts have nothing to do with technology, and many aren’t news. I remember it as being an analog to Engadget in 2009 when I began obsessively reading tech blogs, but now it seems to be a haphazardly-assembled collection of things Gizmodo editors found on the Internet that they think might interest their tech-inclined audience.
This isn’t altogether a bad thing; I find some of these irrelevant posts really entertaining. However, the site is called Gizmodo. There’s a whole family of Gawker blogs to disperse these other posts to, if Gizmodo wishes to continue to masquerade as a tech blog. Otherwise is should be much more clear about what it is now: a pageview-mongering amalgamation of childish editorial trash and links to content that might be interesting to readers of real tech blogs.
These flaws would be forgivable if they were infrequent, but they aren’t. They’re constant. Here’s a handful of headlines from Gizmodo’s coverage of the Blackberry Playbook, a flawed but interesting tablet.
- BlackBerry Playbook OS 2 Finally Turns the Playbook Into a Real Tablet
- Report: BlackBerry’s Last Hope Is Totally Screwed
- The PlayBook Is Killing RIM
- The Only Reason to Use a PlayBook Is DOS
- RIM’s Buy Two Get One Free! PlayBook Deal Is World’s Most Depressing Sale
- If Blackberry Playbook OS2 Drops Next Week and No One’s Around to Update, Will It Make a Sound?
- Here’s What Android Apps on the BlackBerry PlayBook Won’t Do (Um, a Lot of Things)
The Playbook got some well-deserved criticism when it launched without built-in email and calendar apps, among other things. Gizmodo, however, enacted what amounts to nothing less than a war against the tablet and RIM itself, haranguing on the tablet and its creator endlessly, trivializing every improvement to the tablet’s software, and predicting the doom of the device and RIM in post after post of uncalled for attacks and criticism. Giving the tablet a bad review at launch is fair; noting shortcomings of software updates is fair; but “The only reason to use Blackberry Playbook is DOS”? There was no attempt at balanced coverage here. There was no optimism for RIM to redeem itself. Gizmodo inexplicably rooted against RIM and the Playbook, because hey, why not? People will click our articles!
I would guess that Gizmodo continues to operate like this because it’s working, not because it doesn’t know any better. I’m sure its writers can do better than “Reading Books on a Tablet is Dumb”. These outrageous headlines and flamewar-inducing posts must be getting them pageviews. As a result, I don’t think they’re likely to change anytime soon. Competing with Engadget and other tech blogs on quality and depth of content would be a challenge for Gizmodo, especially after years of doing business this way. However, if they wanted to change, I would offer them this advice:
- Focus. Keep it tech-related. Your recipe for recreating a Four Loko is interesting, but it doesn’t belong on a tech blog. If you don’t want to focus, stop pretending to be a tech blog.
- Fire whoever writes your headlines, and especially fire Jason Chen. That’s a post for later, though.
- When conveying opinion in a post, keep it reasonable, and support it with facts. Keep irrational personal prejudices out of the posts.
- If a post is nothing but opinion, either don’t post it or call it an editorial.
Of course, I don’t think this will ever happen. For now, if you’ve been waiting for Gizmodo to shape up, like I have, don’t hold your breath. Switch to a different blog.Read More
Yet Another Kansus Update – NO WAIT NOT THAT
Luckily, nothing quite as dramatic has transpired in the last few days. I did have the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the lovely Topeka emergency room, but it was a short reunion. Amanda (see previous post) had some back pain, so of course, the emergency room was the place to be. People here seem to go to the ER at the drop of a hat, in situations where I think most people would wait and see their actual doctor the next day or go to immediate care, something less dramatic and expensive and fucking irritating than the emergency room. Also, in case you were wondering why my presence was required for this visit, so was I. Anyway. I’m actually blogging this year, as part of my campaign to spend far fewer hours playing video games and far more writing and reading. Since I already did a Kansas rant, today I’ll be writing about — NOPE KANSAS RANT TIME
There are so few white-collar businesses in Topeka! I’ve seen all of three – several branches of some bank that seems to have a monopoly on the hotbed of financial service competition that is Kansas, an unimpressive little law office, and the hospital, whose doctor and nurses are clearly low-GPA imports from low-tier medical schools. Other than that, it’s all retail and food-service. I guess there’s some kind of circular cycle wherein people earn money at restaurants and stores and then spend it at the restaurants and stores next door. ;dflaksdjf;alsdfj.
Moving on, how about that Iowa caucus? Romney won by what, 8 votes, and yet he seemed perfectly comfortable claiming victory and thanking Iowa for its support. For the record, as the Huffington Post notes here, voter turnout for the Iowa primary was 5.4%, and while that was a record high, it’s still pathetically, horrifically low. With such a miniscule sample size, it’s hard to read much into what this means for the future of the Republican primary season. However, if we ignore that fact for the moment, it does seem that the Republicans are still struggling for a candidate who isn’t Mitt Romney. Granted, Santorum worked hard for his 25%, with close to 400 rallies in 99 counties in what is surely in the top 5 most boring states in the union. But that alone doesn’t strike me as being sufficient, given his near-total lack of name recognition and kooky-as-fuck views on foreign policy. What helped him to near-victory a few nights ago was the fact that the GOP has pretty much nobody left to turn to. First they gave Rick Perry a trial run, only to discover that he was even dumber than the last Texas governor to grace the debate stage. Then they tried Herman Cain, but “allegations” of sexual harrassment and an affair shut that pizza party down. [I'm sorry for the puns, I don't know what's wrong with me]. Most recently, Newt Gingrich became the Republican’s two-week boy-toy, but Newt Gingrich is and always will be Newt Gingrich, a petty, unappealing, imp-like little man who couldn’t possibly get any more out of touch. Once the honeymoon phase was over, people quickly realized that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Barack Obama.
So who’s left? Michelle Bachmann? Nope. She had her moment in the sun, and looks it. She’s wiry, dried-out, and judging by her frantic crazy-eyes, is more than a little sun-touched. To drop into vernacular for a moment, bitch is fucking nuts, yo. Other than her erratic personality and politics, addiction to questionably legal, signed campaign pledges, Angelina Jolie-like baby habit, and revolting personality, she’s also somehow managed to be more conservative than the conservative base. Courting the Tea Party might work for her in her district, but she’s overplayed her crazy cards.
That leaves Ron Paul, who took a respectable third place in Iowa. Although he’s one of the few remaining candidates who haven’t had their week as frontrunner, he’s a Libertarian at heart, not a Republican, and although his small-government message resonates with much of the Republican base, he’s too moderate in some areas and too extreme in others, and I get the feeling the older Republicans mistrust him because the younger ones have taking a liking to him. Jon Huntsman? As evidenced by his pitiful showing in Iowa, things aren’t going well for the former ambassador. He’s quite rational, which is strike one, he worked for Obama, which is strikes two and three, and liberals seem to like him, which is the quite-unnecessary strike four.
And so it’s Santorum. My prediction? After Iowa, his grassroots effort and time-intensive, money-cheap campaign structure isn’t going to be able to compete with Mitt Romney, who has money pouring out of his too-clean ears, not to mention super-PACs and the benefit of what has essentially been a 6-year campaign. It looks a lot like we’re going to be see a Romney-Obama race. I’m anxious to see how moderate Romney becomes when he’s in general election mode. In spite of the fact that he’s Mormon, which I must stress is a perfectly acceptable qualm to have about him as a candidate (more on that in a later post), I would prefer him to any of the other Republicans. Granted, that’s not saying much, but I would not have the overpowering urge to leave the country if he were to be elected. I honestly believe Obama would win, but the worst-case scenario is tolerable, which is something.
It’ll be interesting to see how my opinion of him changes over the next 10 months. He says Obama is in over his head. In some ways, I can see why he thinks this. Obama is having probably the most challenging presidency in recent history (you pick the definition of ‘recent history’). His election campaign overcame more boldfaced lies and bullshit than John Kerry’s didn’t, only to inherit two recreational wars and a massive financial crisis. While I am disappointed in several things he has done, I really think he’s made the best of a shitty situation, and I think the proximate cause of much of my disappointment is the unprecedented, over-the-top gridlock caused by Senate Republicans who somehow believe that they should be entitled to a veto power in spite of being elected in the minority.
I would be 100% behind Obama if he would just call people on their bullshit loudly and angrily, Republicans and Democrats alike. He’s done that a few times, and those were the moments when I was proudest for having voted for him, but it needs to happen more often, especially if he wants another four years.Read More
There’s no easy way to say this, so I’m just going to say it. I’m in Kansas.
The reason I’m here is as mundane as Kansas itself; my girlfriend’s mother and baby sister live here, and she only gets to visit a couple times a year, so here I am. The drive down was disheartening, to say the least, but that’s a topic for a different post. This post is to keep me from self-destructing.
Right now Hali, my girlfriend, and her redneck-racist friend Amanda are babysitting someone’s awful, awful infant. This little bundle of misery is congested and has spent virtually every waking moment since she arrived emitting inhuman, head-splitting shrieks. It sounds more like a small alien being microwaved than human spawn. Miraculously, it slept through our ill-advised lunch at Olive Garden, but it’s sure as hell awake now. I’ve never empathized with mothers who kill their babies until now, and let me tell you – so much empathy. It makes me want to start a baby-disposal service, so mothers can throw their asshole infants into dumpsters from their front doors.
What kind of fucking irresponsible piece of shit mother pawns their sick, screaming infant off on a friend? And what kind of gullible moron agrees to babysit it? This situation alone has already given Hali a breakdown or two, but for me this is just the shit-scented icing on the cake-shaped pile of shit that is my trip to Kansas.
Our first day here started out okay. After being awoken at 7:30am by Hali’s baby sister, who apparantly hates sleep, Amanda picked us up and took us to Topeka’s one (1) mall. It was surprisingly nice, but that’s not really as impressive when you consider that it is the only mall in the state capital. To my further surprise, there were a few people in the mall who were not white! In case you aren’t familiar with Kansas, in which case I envy you, it isn’t exactly a paragon of racial diversity. For example, Hali’s friend Amanda loves the Confederate flag, which she insists is an important part of her heritage, in spite of the fact that Kansas was in the Union, and notwithstanding the fact that the Confederate flag is evocative of divisive hatred and racism. When she visited us in Indianapolis, she was horrified by the number of black people at the mall, though those were not the words she used to describe them. But I digress. So yes, there were a few minorities at the mall, but largely it was what you’d expect – rednecks and white trash.
Kansas’s booming job market was on great display – even drooling, unshaven, guffawing half-wits in torn black pants and untied shoes were gainfully employed selling gaudy, bedazzled hot-pink Confederate flag cell phone cases. That said, the valueless trash for sale wasn’t much worse than in any other mall, it was just skewed heavily towards camouflage and outdoorsmanship and the recreational killing of animals. Amanda squealed with excitement over camouflage foam coffee cups on more than one occassion.
I’m trying to locate the heart of my suffocating dissatisfaction with my current situation, but it seems to be a culmination of many small affronts. I hate how unimportant education seems to be here. Getting a job right out of high school seems to be perfectly accepted, and while that may make sense for the majority of Kansas kids, it makes me really sad. This whole city seems to suffer from a distinct lack of ambition. Graduating from high school and spending the rest of your days flitting from one mediocre job to another while falling behind on the rent of a squalid apartment and producing equally unambitious children isn’t the worst-case scenario here. It’s life. And that scares the shit out of me.
I had been planning to go to Westboro Baptist Church on Sunday, to see the infamous hate-mongerers up-close, but I was disuaded. First of all, that Sunday turned out to be New Years Day, and I had been up pretty late the night before. Second, I conversed with a number of people about the prospect, and they reminded me that ultimately what WBC needs to survive is attention, and that’s exactly what I’d be giving them. So I didn’t go. It’s for the best, really. I’m pissed off enough already.
Hali’s family itself is actually pretty great. Her mother is a fantastic cook, and rather than regarding cooking as a chore to be fought over and avoided as it usually is in my family, she views it as her principle conduit of affection. And she is apparently very affectionate. She cooked meatloaf and augratin potatoes and brussel sprouts broiled in bacon grease, and I don’t know if I’ll ever look at food the same way again. This sounds corny and ridiculous, and it is, but it tasted like fucking love. Okay? Yesterday she made a bagel with cream cheese, which seems ordinary enough, but she mixed garlic powder and kosher salt into the cream cheese, which transformed it into a culinary masterpiece the likes of which I have previously only tasted at extremely expensive restaurants. This is how food was meant to be prepared and eaten, as an output of creativity and joy in the process, not a grudgingly prepared assembly of ingredients tossed roughly on a plate. This food has almost made up for the nearly insurmountable depression brought on by a near-fatal overexposure to central America.
I’ve saved the most vivid of my tales for last, it seems. After we took in the mall, something compelled Amanda to stop by some guy’s house to talk to him. There’s so, so much back story to this, but it’s not very interesting. TL;DW (too long, didn’t write), this guy had gotten defensive upon meeting Amanda’s fiance the night before, had been in a car accident with Amanda four months before, sustained serious injuries in the groin area, and now had a catheter/bag setup. He was also, apparently, a minor exboyfriend of Hali’s. So there’s all that.
We arrived at his tiny, poorly-aging house and found him shirtless in a room full of under-stimulated children and ashtrays, his face contorted in pain as several of his housemates tried in vain to extract urine from his bladder using a large plastic syringe. This is my favored way of meeting new people. I took in the house, momentarily fascinated by its impressive level of disrepair, the particular flavor of the clutter, and the characters inhabiting it. Laundry and animal hair blanketed every horizontal surface. There were four adults dwelling there, all probably younger than me, and at least one of them had children. I felt much worse for these kids than I did for the guy with the too-full bladder. Their parents were already fucked, but they might have turned out okay, were they not living in this particular house with these particular people.
I never made it further into the house than the front doorway. While I was committing the scene to memory for later literary use, Amanda was apparently volunteering to drive this guy to the hospital. Admirable, sure, but not how I had been hoping the night would unfold. Maybe, I thought, it would just be a minor inconvenience—we’d drop him off, maybe wait until he got checked in, and then get back to our previously scheduled programming, namely anything but being in a hospital in Kansas. Of course, I was wrong.
I wouldn’t inflict a play-by-play of that night on my worst enemy (actually I totally would), but what ended up happening was us sitting by this guy’s hospital bed for the next six hours while he intermittently moaned and screamed in pain (the pain medication was ineffective) and incessantly rubbed at his penis through gym shorts, apparently the only source of relief. That would be unpleasant enough by itself, sure, but that’s not all, folks. Here is where you get to see what a selfish asshole I really am.
Not five minuets after we entered the ER waiting room, my phone’s battery died. THIS IS NOT OKAY. So, to recap, I spent six hours watching a guy I didn’t know in excruciating pain with none of the pleasant distractions provided by having games and the Internet in your pocket. Okay, you might say, so you grab a magazine from the waiting room, big deal. Well, I tried that. There were exactly two magazines – Shape, a fitness magazine, and several issues of “Ohio’s Amish Country Magazine”. Yes. Not only is there something as fucking boring and useless as one issue of a magazine about Ohio’s Amish country, there are somehow multiple different issues of this stupid fucking publication in a hospital in Kansas. I truly believe that they were placed there by some House-dwarfingly misanthropic doctor to induce suicide and mental breaks.
So, I read the Shape magazine cover-to-cover four times, which took all of ten minutes, and then I was just fucked, for the rest of the seemingly never-ending night. Poor me, you mock, poor Corin and his functioning penis and comfortable bladder, he doesn’t have anything to read! What ever will he do? Well, fuck you. Sure, I was better off than him, but objectively, I was forced to endure six hours of unprecedentedly painful intellectual starvation while a stranger anguished in pain and was consequently the object of my girlfriend’s intense sympathy and compassion, feelings to which I am apparently immune when said object once dated my girlfriend. Anyway, I endured it with dignity, for the most part. The lessons I took away from that night are pretty obvious.
1. Wear your seat belt.
2. Don’t ride with shitty drivers.
3. My happiness is more important to me than the happiness of strangers, particularly strangers who have dated my girlfriend.
4. Always, always, always bring your charger. Everywhere. I cannot stress this enough.
5. A properly-functioning penis is a really nice thing to have.
Kansas, Kansas, Kansas. Thanks to you, I am now certain that living anywhere in the interior of America is not an option. I’m moving to the coasts or emigrating by 25. That’s a promise.
The screaming asshole baby is gone, and I’m off to eat some lovingly prepared chicken-fried steak. Sometimes good things happen, even in Kansas.