Category Archives: Culture

Generation Complication: Play

Work is important, and so is play. Often times it feels like even leisure activities manage to become a new source of stress and complexity.

In this post I’m not referring to large scale or important events like traveling overseas, weddings, graduations, funerals, and so on. These all do require massive planning, coordination, reservations, and cost sharing.

Don’t Make Fun Events Stressful

In short, don’t make otherwise fun events, stressful ones.

Growing up, my parents would make me and my siblings all wear matching outfits and pose for our annual Christmas photo. There was always a rush to get dressed, a rush to the photographer, a lot of yelling, a lot of tension, a lot of my sister and me getting grounded for – gasp – not having authentic smiles.

Then stress would manage to sneak itself into the holidays themselves. Every year without fail my siblings and I were rushed to open our parents presents, then immediately whisked off to Grandma 1’s house, and then plucked out and flung over to Grandma 2. There was never any breathing room and the experience sucked the life out of the fun.


Traffic accidents, funerals, IRS audits, cancer in the family, and Piers Morgan evoke negative emotions, and rightfully so. But not everything needs to be a stress fest.

Your family’s annual Christmas photos should not be stressful. Christmas and Thanksgiving should not be stressful. A trip to Disneyland should not be stressful. A vacation should not be stressful. Camping, road trips, beach trips, going to the movies, parties and casual get-togethers should not be stressful.

If you’re stressing out over something that’s supposed to be fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Don’t Over Plan

I’ve witnessed people of all walks turn leisure activities into stressful activities, and simple days at the beach into overcomplicated logistical nightmares.

As a kid in the 90’s I didn’t have a cell phone or social media account, but miraculously I was somehow able to hang out with my friends after school, on weekends, and during the holiday breaks between semesters.

My mom did have a cell phone, but not everyone did. And before texting was popular and Facebook was even a whisper, somehow her and all her friends and relatives managed to coordinate parties just fine, without the endless game of ping pong that we now call planning a party.

Please don't....
Please don’t….

These days, planning a party or social outing requires no less than 87 text messages, satellite imagery, and four carrier pigeons. Where are we meeting? Can we move it back? Whose car are we taking? Who’s driving? Who’s coming? Where are you parking? What are you bringing?

Having fun yet? Remember, keep it simple, stupid.

You Only Need One Chief

Democracy sucks sometimes, especially when it comes to festivities. A lot of people like to weigh in or change something about an event for no other reason than they get to feel like they were in control. If you schedule something for Saturday they’ll ask to move it to Sunday. You schedule it for 2pm, they’ll insist it get pushed to 4. You plan on everyone meeting at your house, they want to get picked up. You already have a static plan in place, but they insisting on altering it in some way. There are always going to be people who attempt to swim against the tide. Don’t let them steer you off course.

I remember the good old days when planning went like this “This is the time. This is the place. We’ll find out who’s coming when we get there. I’m leaving my place at 11 if you want to hitch a ride. Hope to see you Saturday! Oh, and bring some friends!”

When hosting, be the chief..
When hosting, be the chief..

Don’t be uncompromising where it’s easy and convenient. 15 minutes here or there won’t kill you. But once the original planner is feeling like this is no longer what they wanted to do, it’s gone too far. Pick one chief to lead all the Indians.

Hosting Simply

When it comes to hosting a party, especially at home, here’s a simple tip. More is better. Expecting 10 people? Prepare for 20. People may bring a friend, or at the very least an empty stomach. My mom and dad are notorious for running out of red wine at their house parties and I always get stuck on a liquor run. You’d figure after all these years they’d learn we have a family of alcoholics and simply double down in the wine department.

When you throw a party don’t be conservative. Expect to throw down some mullah and don’t expect to make it back. You wanna be the host with the most? It’ll cost ya.

When hosting events, Costco is your best friend.

If someone’s friend or significant other decides to tag along, it shouldn’t throw a major wrench into your perfectly planned watermelon-slices-to-people-ratio.

Besides, if you over purchase anything, there’s no reason you can’t eat hotdogs, artichoke dip, and red wine for the next two weeks. The meal of champions!

Attending Simply

Bringing a little something to take the pressure off the host is always appreciated. Of course what you bring depends on the nature of the party, and if you’re sticking around or simply poking your head in for a quick visit to show face.

Attend Simply
Someone invite this guy to the party!

Whatever it is you bring, make sure it fits the party.  Go with the flow and bring something that would please the crowd. If you aren’t sure just call ahead of time and ask what the host is running low on. For summer parties you can never go wrong with beer, ice, and chips.

Don’t be RSVP Hell-bent

This isn’t me saying that people should never expect others to RSVP. Sometimes there is a place for it, sometimes it really doesn’t matter, so pick your battles.

In my humble opinion, people are too RSVP oriented nowadays. This means that with any social gathering, regardless of the cost, scheduling involved, nature, formality, or urgency of the event, they fully expect everyone to affirmatively say “Yes, I am going.” Or “No, I am not going”. The days of “Hey we’re throwing a party, hope you can make it!” seem to be long gone.

It used to be this is what we’re doing, when we’re doing it, and whoever shows up shows up. These days you have some party planner up your ass and around the corner “Are you coming? Well are you?! LMK! Did you RSVP? Did you get my evite?! LMK ASAP!” As if your attendance will make or break the plan.

If someone can’t make it or doesn’t show up, miss them, but don’t harass them. There will always be a next time, and it’s not worth souring friendships over party attendance.

Thank you, Dos Equis man!
Thank you, Dos Equis man!

Generation Complication: Work

Through experiences with friends, high school, college, jobs, more jobs, and a career, I’ve learned some valuable things. Have you heard of Keep It Simple Stupid, or KISS? Simplicity truly is king, and it’s been lost on this generation. In this two part post, I’ll go over simplicity in Work, and in Play.


I remember in college my friends and I had visions of grandeur. Every juicy idea we had was the big one, the idea that would turn us all into multimillionaires overnight and before we knew it we’d be throwing Gatsby style parties and posing for the cover of Forbes. We’d talk about going international, but would always gloss over the parts about going local. We praised all these bells and whistles our company would offer alongside our flagship product. Unfortunately those bells and whistles didn’t yet have a bike.

Before you set out to conquer the world, conquer your neighborhood. Whatever it is you or your business does, whether it’s brewing beer, grilling burgers, or producing cars, come up with a money maker or winning strategy, lock it down, and hone it in.

Americans are raised being told “you can be whatever you want when you grow up” and while that’s not patently untrue, it should be amended to “it’s possible to be whatever you want when you grow up, and it’s going to take some time”. This cliché reassurance parents give their children has resulted in many young adults believing that all they need to do is throw themselves into the wind, and success will simply follow.

The 9th Symphony wasn’t Beethoven’s first and only draft. There was the iPod before there was ever an iPod 2, 3, 4 or 5 – and it sucked. But it sold. But what did Beethoven and Steve Jobs have in common? They were both willing to put their nose to the grinding stone.

Your first restaurant’s menu won’t be a mile long. Your first invention won’t have a million features. And that’s fine! The big players in any industry didn’t spring up overnight. The good stuff takes time. It requires practice, experience, trial and error, success and failure. Allow yourself to be small and nimble in the beginning of any new venture. This gives you more agility and flexibility when it comes to reacting to unexpected situations or a changing market.

Don’t worry if your product only comes in two colors. Sell a few, save up, regroup, and when you are able to, come up with a bitchin’ third color.

So whether you are an entrepreneur or work for the man, expect to struggle for a little while you find your bearing. We don’t live in a vacuum, so be prepared to put in your dues and work well with others, as well as learn from them.

Keeping it simple is a good idea. But first, try starting simple and see how that goes.

Happy Thor’s Day

In the last couple years Americans seemed to have caught on to the fact that Thursday means – or at least sounds like – Thor’s Day. In fact it does stem from Thor’s Day but Thursday is not a one off in that it is not the only day of the week that gets its’ English name from the Nordic mythos.

It might come as a surprise to many people out there that in the English language, all the days of the week are named after a deity or thing of worship, and their roots date back to Nordic and Greek paganism/mythology.

Here is some interesting stuff you may not know about the days of the week.


The first one is quick and easy. This one should come as no surprise to anyone, but Sunday actually means Sun Day, or day of the sun. At least in English. On to the next day.


If the first one was the day of the sun… wait for it. Monday comes from Moon Day! This is also the same in Spanish – Lunes – and several other Latin languages. Even the Germans call it Montag.


Tyr got a day of the week and Loki got didn't? I call bullshit.
Tyr got a day of the week and Loki didn’t? Ain’t that a bitch?

Okay, let’s get on to the interesting stuff. Tuesday through Friday all get their names from the Norse calendar, so what the heck does Tuesday mean? Tuesday comes from Teiw’s Day, which comes from Tyr’s Day. And just who is Tyr? The history is sketchy and often contradictory, but the popular consensus is Tyr was Thor’s brother. Nudge, nudge, Marvel! I hear a sequel coming on.


Moving on through the Norse pantheon we arrive at Wedne. Wait huh? All those Scandinavian languages are weird. I’ll cut to the chase here, but Wedn actually comes from Odin. Odin -> Woden -> Wedn. Aside from the d and the n, this one seems like a bit of a stretch but you gotta trust me on this. Or visit Wikipedia.

Odin banishes thou from Asgard for saying Happy Humpday!
Odin banishes thou from Asgard for saying Happy Humpday!


Come on. The name of the blog didn’t give this one away? Thursday means Thor’s Day. Next!


If Wednesday was the day of Thor’s dad, then Friday ought to be the day of Thor’s mom, right? We’ll like it or not, it is. Friday actually comes from Frigg’s Day. Most Germanic languages also reference Frigg in some way or another in Friday, whereas most Latin languages have dubbed Friday after Venus.

Thor's mom has got it going on. And did you see how she was kicking that Dark Elf's ass?
Thor’s mom has got it going on. And did you see how she was kicking that Dark Elf’s ass?


And which one of Thor’s relatives is Saturday named after? None actually.

What gives? Saturday was the ancient Norse equivalent of their sabbath, or day of rest, just like in Judaism. SaturnAs such, they never actually named Saturday. In the absence of a name for this day of the week, most cultures veered towards naming it after the Greek deity Cronos, or as the Romans called him, Saturn (better known as Zeus’ dad). Thus Saturday means Saturn’s Day.

But let’s get back to whole sabbath thing for a second. Native Spanish speakers actually gloss over this one quite often just because it’s their primary language, but the Spanish word for Saturday is Sabado, which actually means sabbath. Cool huh?

Cool Theory, But No

One idea that I tossed around once was that the seven days of the week were literally named after their respective number of the week, assuming the week started with Monday. It goes like this.

  1. Mon = One
  2. Tues = Two
  3. Wed = Three (somehow)
  4. Thur = Fhur = Four
  5. Fri     = Five
  6. Sat   = Six
  7. Sun   = Seven

Of course this isn’t the case, but the lining up of the letters and how the first syllables sound is a very interesting coincidence? Or is it?

Interesting Facts

A lunar cycle is about 28 days, and a week is 7 days, so a week is essentially a lunar cycle broken into quarters. Why did almost every culture around the world (on all continents) decide that a repeating week schedule ought to be 7 days, vs say 14? I don’t know, but it is interesting that there are some common threads in the way the days of the week are named, whether they are Latin, Germanic, Indo-European, Indian, or even East Asian.

The common naming convention is that Monday and Sunday are almost always named after the moon and sun, respectively, regardless of where in the world you are. Tuesday through Saturday are named after the five planets in our solar system visible to the naked eye. That’s understandable, but the weird part is they are all named backasswards in the same random order.

From the Sun outward, the first five non-Earth planets are in a different order than the days of the week.

  1. Mercury – Wednesday
  2. Venus – Friday
  3. Mars – Tuesday
  4. Jupiter – Thursday
  5. Saturn – Saturday

Now I damn well better hear everyone saying Happy Odin’s Day from now on!

Firearms Every Beginning Gun Owner Should Have

In the last couple years, the prepping, doomsday preppers, and bug-out-bags have entered the common American vernacular. Shows like Doomsday Preppers, The Colony, Walking Dead, and Falling Skies have all catapulted the ‘end of the world’ to the forefront of pop culture. Zombies make for great entertainment, and we can’t help but scream at the TV and debate how each of us would be the best survivor in the post-apocalyptic world.

Guns are by no means the solution to end all solutions in an apocalyptic world. But they are a good place to start, and a lot of people have been getting into firearms lately, especially in light of political attempts to ban and restrict them.

Short and Sweet

This list is not super long, and that’s intentional. I can give you a list of 30 guns I think are ‘totally bad ass’ but it wouldn’t help.

  1. Most people can’t afford dozens of firearms
  2. Most people don’t have the space to store dozens of firearms.
  3. Even if you do have the money and space, how many guns can you physically carry with you on foot at one time?
Maybe one day…

If you’re new to firearms, looking to build your arsenal, and you’re in North America, this is a short, sweet, and practical list of firearms to start your collection with.


Forget the spinning rims. Here is the criteria I used when deciding what made the cut.

You want a firearm that is going to be:

  1. Reliable
  2. Durable
  3. Useful
  4. Practical
  5. Accurate
  6. Easy to find replacement parts for
  7. Easy to find ammunition and magazines for

Right off the bat, this list eliminates a lot of the firearms and rounds on the market. Sorry, no Uzis, Desert Eagles, flamethrowers, or grenade launchers.

9mm Luger

Firearm Type: Pistol

I own a Sig 2022. It was around $460.

Also commonly known as 9mm Parabellum, this round is the screwdriver in your tool belt. The 9mm is not the biggest round on the block, but it will tear through most heavy clothing and drop bodies just fine, though it might take a well-aimed follow up shot or two depending on the target and distance. If stopping power has you worried, that’s what God invented hollow points for.

What full metal jacket 9mm’s lack in stopping power, they make up for in carrying capacity. 9mm’s are considerably smaller than their 40, 45, and revolver counterparts, making it easier to carry large quantities of them, whether in your ruck, or in your magazine. California regulations aside, most 9mm handguns hold anywhere from 13-18 rounds with non-extended magazines.

If you know a gun owner, you know gun owner who owns a 9mm. Yes, in public, the 9mm is the butt of all jokes, but in all seriousness it’s a must have. It’s readily available, easy for women and children to handle, accurate, easily reloadable, and lethal.

Notable 9mm Luger Firearms:
  • Sig Sauer P-Series (P226, P2022)
  • Glock 19, Glock 17
  • Springfield Hi-Power
  • Beretta 92FS / Military Beretta M9
  • Springfield XD-9

.45 ACP

Firearm Type: Pistol

Considered the king of pistols many. At the very least, the 1911 is the grandfather of the modern pistol.

Quit your belly aching already. All the .45 loons reading this probably had a coronary that 9mm was listed first. The .45 hasn’t been around for over a hundred years for nothing. It’s a tried and tested round that has seen combat on several continents. It is the measuring tape of your tool belt, and for many 1911 enthusiasts, the round by which all other rounds are measured.

The 9mm’s older and much bigger brother, the .45, will ruin anyone’s day. Layers of clothing won’t deter this determined round, and it’ll even fight through plywood, 2x4s, and small appliances to reach its intended target.

Not quite as common as the 9mm, the .45 is still commonplace in American households and never in short supply at the local gun store. In hollow point form one shot is all you need to make your point.

But be warned. Most .45 handguns have a naturally limited magazine capacity of 7-8 rounds, making them not much better than a revolver. You have half the lead, so make every shot count, and don’t bet on suppressive fire.

Notable .45 ACP Firearms
  • 1911 .45 ACP
  • HK45
  • Glock 21
  • Springfield XD-45
By The Way

You’ll notice I did not mention .40 SW, and numerous other rounds, like .357 Sig. .40 caliber is an in between round that brides the gap between 9mm and .45 ACP. Smaller than a .45 letting you carry more rounds, but packing more punch than a 9mm, the .40 has a cult following. The problem is that outside of law enforcement, .40 SW is not very common. Of the 50 or so gun owners I know, just two own a .40 SW, and lo and behold, they both work for the Border Patrol. In my experience, its on-shelf availability is unpredictable, it costs as much as .45, and hardly anyone owns one making magazine changeability impossible. They might be great during times of peace, but in times of OH S**T, you’re better off with a 9mm or .45 ACP.

12 Gauge

Firearm Type: Shotgun

“Just get a shotgun!”

I don’t quote Joe Biden often (or ever), but he had a point. Just get a shotgun. I don’t mean to be sexist here, but women and kids probably shouldn’t be firing a 12 gauge without many hours of instruction. To the uninitiated, shotguns, and 12 gauges especially, have a lot of kick.

The shotgun is the electric drill of your firearms tool belt. Shotguns are very multifaceted and come in handy in a wide range of situations.

Shotguns have 3 main types of ammunition: bird shot, buck shot, and slugs. Bird shot is great for hunting, you guessed it, birds. Buck shot is great for hunting bucks. Are you catching on yet? And slugs are great for killing anything, including Orcas. Shot guns are great for hunting, close quarter combat, and shooting through walls, locks and hinges.

12 gauge is EVERYWHERE, it’s always in stock, it’s always dirt cheap, and everyone has one. If the crap hits the fan and you can’t find any at the gun store, you’ll be able to find it on the street very easily. Not to mention, shotguns themselves are incredibly inexpensive. A very good shotgun can be bought, new, for $350-$500 at Big 5, when not on sale.

Notable 12 Gauge Firearms:
  • Mossberg 500, 930 and 935
  • Benelli, various
  • Remington 1100, 11-87
  • Remington 870
  • Winchester Super X Pump
By The Way

Again, you may have noticed I did not mention 20 gauge, and other shotgun varieties. 20 gauges area hoot and half to go trap shooting with. But availability is also the Achilles heel of the non-12 gauge varieties.

 .223 / 5.56

Firearm Type: Rifle, and occasionally pistol

A must have for any everyone firearm owner.

15 years ago, owning an AR15 made you something of a celebrity amongst your gun owning friends. These days, everyone has one, or ever three, and for good reason: they work.

True, a good AR15 might run you $800 – $1,500, but their essence is in their modularity. No two AR15’s are the same, and you can customize them to fit your specific needs. The backbone of the AR15 is the ammunition it uses.

.223 Remington, also known as the 5.56 NATO, is a great round. It’s been used by the US military since the 1960’s in every military campaign we’ve been in since. It’s accurate, long range, has adequate stopping power, is astonishingly inexpensive, and it quite possibly grows on trees.

AR15s are everywhere too, meaning there are tons of replacement parts available. The AR15/.223 is a very low recoil firearm and very light weight, making it an ideal choice for women and children.

Good enough to hunt with, and cheap enough to train with, AR15’s are great for just about everything. .223 is great for hunting anything from rabbits to medium sized deer, and people. Tougher targets can be taken down by steel core armor piercing rounds, for about the same cost. For their cost, availability, accuracy, and modularity, there is no gun/caliber combination on the market that will give you a better bang for your buck than an AR15.

Notable .223 Firearms
  • AR15 based platform
  • Ruger Mini-14
  • Remington 700
By The Way

AR type rifles come in many calibers, including 9mm, .40SW,.45ACP, .22LR, .308, and dozens of specialty rounds, making it the single most modular weapons platform ever designed.

.22 LR

Firearm Type: Pistol, Revolver, Rifle

A .22LR is the perfect gun for introducing children to firearms.

Last, not least, but definitely the smallest, is the ever popular .22 LR (Long rifle).

Not only should every gun owner have a .22, this should probably be the first firearm you own. .22 rifles and ammunition are very inexpensive. Ammo can easily be bought in bulk. As of January 2015, a ‘brick’ of 550 rounds is about $20 at Big 5, and it’s called a brick because it can fit in your hand.

.22’s are great for firearm introduction, training, recreational shooting, and hunting small game such as rabbits, squirrels, foxes, and birds. They are very light weight, have virtually no recoil, and therefore make great firearms for women and children. The first firearm I ever shot was my dad’s Ruger 10-22, around the age of 5.

The .22 has so many strong points it’s probably easier and shorter to name its drawbacks. In fact, there are really only three drawbacks to the .22LR; lack of stopping power for large targets, jamming, and not reloadable. If you don’t reload, and if you are smart enough to not take on a gang of marauders with nothing but a .22, that really only leaves jamming.

So, to summarize, .22LRs are inexpensive, great for training, can be used for hunting varmints, incredibly accurate out to 100 yards, quiet, low recoil, easy to shoot, incredibly fun, very readily available, and can be used for many rifles, pistols, and revolvers making it very versatile, and so small that you can carry hundreds of them without much effort or fatigue. Just make sure to clean them often, and have a side arm handy should they jam on you.

Notable .22LR Firearms
  • Ruger 10-22 (Rifle)
  • Marlin Model 60 (Rifle)
  • Ruger Single Six (Revolver)
  • Ruger Mark Series (Pistol)
  • “AR-22”, an AR-15 based rifle that shoots .22LR, or an actual AR-15 with a .22 conversion kit. This allows you to have 2-in-1.


Note, this is not a list of “best guns ever”. This was a list of practical firearms that people in North America should start their collections with, which is very different. In the event society collapses and Americans are left to fend for themselves, 9mm, .45ACP, 12 gauge, .223 and .22LR are going to be the most readily available forms of ammunition out there. If you have a firearm chambered in one of these that you have trained with, these are your best bets. Yes, there are other guns and other rounds, but in an emergency you want a gun you are familiar with, and know how to operate, so being trained in something that is universal is key.

Afterthoughts and Honorable Mentions


Firearm Type: Rifle

The AK47 is a never-fail, robust tool of awesome.

If there is ever a war fought on American soil, 5.56 is the round you’ll find the most of on the American battlefield, because of it’s widespread use by the U.S. military. And in the event such a war happens, our enemies will likely be using 7.62×39, as this is the ammo of choice for Russia, China, North Korea, and most of the United States geo-political foes. The 7.62 is not the best round. It’s as likely to key holes it is to spiral, and it isn’t the most accurate round out there, but it packs a punch and tears through wood, concrete, and flesh.

Notable 7.62×39 Firearms
  • AK-47
  • SKS
  • Saiga AKS
  • Ruger Mini-30


.308 Winchester and .30-06 Springfield (tie)

Firearm Type: Rifle

When you graduate from shooting .223s, you can upgrade to a 30 caliber variety. While the .308 and .30-06 (pronounced thirty-ought-six) are very different rounds, they share a lot of overlap in terms of their usefulness. Both are large rounds, have been battle tested, incredibly accurate well past 500 yards, and will take down any game on the North American continent. Some of the best rifles ever designed are chambered in .308 and .30-06, such as the Springfield M1A/M14 and the M1 Garand, respectively.


Notable .308 Firearms
  • Springfield M1A and M14
  • AR10 Variants
  • FN-FAL
  • Savage Axis 308


Notable .30-06 Firearms
  • M1 Garand
  • Remington 700, 760, 7000
  • Savage Axis 30-06


In With the New?

I swear, I’m not against change. You might think I am, but I’m not. Change can be good, change can be bad. I don’t think it’s quite accurate to make the blanketed statement “change is good”. I think change is just change, and good or bad depends on the situation.

Some people can be way too anti-change when it comes to certain things, for example changing their underwear, or apartheid. But nowadays I feel like the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction, and now people are aching for change simply for the sake of change. They want new for the sake of new.

The new norm
The new norm

I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, or simply a contemporary societal thing, but whatever it is, I’ve noticed that more and more people are adhering to the out with the old, in with the new mentality. They’ve fallen for the whole ‘new and improved’ bit. But truth be told, new isn’t always improved and sometimes changing things too often or too hastily can be detrimental.


People are constantly burning through technology and replacing it with something newer. People say “OMG! I can’t wait to get the new iPhone 6!” but in other words they are saying “I can’t wait to get rid of my iPhone 5”.

There’s nothing wrong with upgrading from time to time, but if you have owned every. single. iPhone. that’s been released you might have a problem.


Imagine that at one point you were excited enough to camp out front of the apple store for three days in a fucking tent in 40 degree weather to get your new phone, and then imagine that in 9 months you’d be just as anxious to get rid of that very same phone. Does anyone else find this ridiculous besides me?

And let’s not forget the ever rotating roster of iPods, televisions, goPros, tablets, and laptops.


You’ve met the car whore, right? These people, usually men, change cars more often than they change their car’s oil. It’s too big or too small. Too slow, or not fuel efficient enough. Not enough storage, or a pain in the ass to parallel park. Whatever the reason, these people’s cars have a life cycle of 18-36 months. The second that lease expires, boom, new car.

Romantic Partners

I suppose this is worse than the car whore. You may notice I refer to a lot of things as whores in my various posts. Selfie whore, car whore, attention whore. But what about real whores? I get that in some areas like LA and NY being an actual whore is a rite of passage. Not knocking on casual dating. Or even casual sex. The people playing that game have a clear directive: DTF. They know they aren’t in it for the long haul, or even the short haul. The game is get laid and bounce, fair enough.

HPV waiting to happen.
HPV waiting to happen.

But what is up with serial daters? These people are incapable of not being in a relationship. There is no such thing as being single for them. They are eternally on the rebound. As soon as they are done with one relationship, they are immediately on the prowl for their next failed relationship. It doesn’t affect me at all. But I worry for these people, because they are constantly setting themselves up for emotional disaster. I wonder if they give actual relationships a fair shake, or if they duck and run the second things get a little shaky.


Another thing people are constantly cycling through is fads. More so now at an alarming rate than ever before. Forget tangible things like say consumer goods and ya know, human beings. People can’t even commit to a damn idea these days.

Gluten free, paleo diet, the green movement, the occupy movement, juicing, kale, acai, hands up don’t shoot, the ice bucket challenge, exercise, twerking, planking, Harlem shaking. These things are short lived fire crackers that ignited with a bang and disappeared just as quickly as they arrived.


Think about something like Snapchat, which literally is a photo or video taken and shared with the intent of being discarded in a matter of seconds.

In With the Old

Again, I’m not anti-change. But there’s something to be said when people are constantly getting new cars, clothes, boyfriends and girlfriends, gizmos and gadgets. They are so fidgety and anxious they are always bouncing from one thing to the next, never sticking with something long enough to really enjoy it.

People can’t listen to the radio without constantly changing the station. They can’t even listen to their own playlist without changing songs every two minutes before the current track is done.

I’ve been told my blog posts are too long, even though they would only make up 5-6 pages in a paperback novel.

When I found out about Robin Williams passing away two hours after it was announced, my friend informed me “that’s old news”. Old news? Really?

People are hanging out with one friend but ignoring them, because they’re too busy nose deep in their cell phone texting someone else.

Yeah, new can be cool. But what about things that are so good they are worth keeping around for a long time? Isn’t that worth even more? What about not moving so fast that everything worthwhile is instantaneously converted into yesterday’s garbage?

In with the new, out with the old?

Forget that. In with the old.

Friends hugging
Friends hugging

Merry Fucking Christmas

As everyone probably knows, my mom is Jewish. However it may come to a lot of people’s surprise that growing up, we never had a “Hanukkah Bush” or a “Hanukkah Tree”. Yeah, we had a menorah on the mantle, but every year we also went to the tree lot and decorated it and put an angel on top, and my mom insisted to everyone that our tree was in fact a Christmas tree. Even as a non-Christian she never had a problem having a Christmas tree. And why should she?

I’m not particularly religious. I do believe in God, but I’m very secular. Not being a religious person, I can see how Christianity, or at the very least, Christmas, is constantly being put on defense here in the US.

You have a couple people constantly taking jabs at Christmas.

Happy Holidays Trolls

A lot of us have been conditioned to say “Happy Holidays” because of years of indoctrination from HR and PR people at work telling us it’s no longer acceptable to say Merry Christmas. Oh, and you’re fired if you say it at the holiday party on Friday. Did you get the memo?

How do I describe that there is nothing inherently wrong with saying Happy Holidays while at the same time acknowledging that it’s bullshit we must say it to avoid “offending” some uptight, over sensitive pussies? I guess I just did.

Hulk smash people who say Merry Christmas!!!
Hulk smash people who say Merry Christmas!!!

As stated above, my mom is Jewish. I can’t remember her ever getting bent out of shape when an unsuspecting neighbor would tell her “Merry Christmas!” but a lot of people do. Who are these trolls that sit and wait for the opportunity to pounce on well-intended people who had no idea you were lurking under your dick bridge? “We’re Scientologists in the household! Raw raw raw! You should say Happy Holidays!”

Asshole Atheists

Disclaimer, I don’t think all atheists are assholes. And not all atheists do this, but the ones that do are so incredibly fucking annoying and douche baggy about it they get their whole section.

Some atheists just like to shit all over everything remotely religious, especially Christian related, and especially during the holidays.

“What’s that? Merry Christmas? Don’t shove your religion down my throat! We’ll let me regurgitate to you my pre-rehearsed diatribe about how God isn’t real and you’re an idiot. Take that Christmas!”


Side note, they only like to do this to Christians for some reason. You’ll constantly hear atheists say “Christianity is the cause of X million deaths and blah blah blah, fuck your religion” right to a Christian during Christmas, but you’ll never hear them say that shit to a Muslim about Islam during Ramadan.

Let me also offer up that not all atheists share the urge to suck the life and joy out of the holidays. My girlfriend is an atheist and she LOVES Christmas. She says “Merry Christmas!”, and writes Christmas cards, puts up Christmas lights on her Christmas tree, and buys Christmas presents for her friends and family.

Counter Culture Fucktards

These people are more annoying than asshole atheists. They probably are closet atheists and just don’t want people to know, so they disguise their anti-religious garb as being strictly anti-consumerism, which everyone knows is a façade.

Come Christmas time, these fucktards will tell you alllllll about how Christmas has been hijacked, and how all things Christmassy are actually rooted in paganism, or were invented by Hallmark, and therefore you’re not even celebrating Christmas. What’s their end game here? Are they hoping everyone is going to be all “Oh my gosh, you’re right. Fuck me. I guess I’ll mope around during the holidays and be a miserable little twat like you. Thanks for nudge!”

"Well Christ wasn't even born on December 25th, wah wah wah, boo hoo"
“Well Christ wasn’t even born on December 25th, wah wah wah, boo hoo”

Like really, who the hell cares? For fucks sake, we get it. You don’t like Christmas and you’re too much of a pussy to come out and say it, so instead you have to shit all over Christmas trees, and Santa, and Rudolph, and giving presents. You’re counter culture and annoying as shit. We got it. Go suck a dick already.


Get Over It Already

You don’t have to be a Christian to like Christmas. It’s a cool holiday! During October everyone decks their home out to look like a horror movie. In December everyone decks their home in awesome lights, snow, and furry critters. It’s like EDC for a whole month, but with hot cocoa, and without the ecstasy. People actually hold open doors and use manners, and have parties, and listen to Christmas music, and have ugly sweater competitions, and play the elephant game. Parents get to spend quality time with their kids decorating trees, and get to watch their kids eyes light up. People get to hang out with their family, and maybe enjoy that new 70 inch TV they trampled an old lady for on Black Friday. Plus, all the amazing food, and time off work/school for most of us.

If you like Christmas, keep on keeping on, and don’t feel one ounce of guilt for doing so.

If you don’t like Christmas, that’s fine, you don’t have to.

And if you like to shit all over Christmas, get a life.

Have a Merry Fucking Christmas!

ninja santa

My Take on Sons of Anarchy

I’ve been an avid fan of Sons of Anarchy since it first aired back in 2008. SOA lasted a lot longer than people expected. Series creator Kurt Sutter originally didn’t plan on the show lasting any more than 3 seasons, but with record high ratings and level of viewers, the show was stretched out to 7 seasons. I would say that with the exception of Season 3, the entire series was amazing. Here is what the show is, and meant to me. (Spoiler alerts ahead).

soa jax


Sons was dark, it was edgy, suspenseful, hilarious, bloody and violence, and at times it was even heartbreaking *cough Opie Cough*. Most importantly, it was honest and faithful. In that honesty, the show never pulled any punches. It didn’t take the easy route. It didn’t run your characters to the edge of a cliff and work up a nail biter, just to reel them back in like some bullshit CW TV show. Sons would kick him (or her) right off. Fan favorites, show veterans, women, and children. In Sons of Anarchy, nothing is sacred.

Sons of Anarchy is not dickless like Vampire Diaries

Sons of Anarchy is not dickless like Vampire Diaries


It was faithful and ‘stuck to the script’. Kurt Sutter once had a quote on the SOA website blasting other studios for having no balls. SOA has balls. Big balls. They would go there. No other TV show would have had the balls to air anything remotely close to the Season 2 or Season 6 Premiers. It was also faithful to the viewers, and wouldn’t cut the story or viewers short, just to make filming easier. The 60 minute show would frequently air 75 or 90 minute episodes, usually 2 per season, the entire sixth season was 90 minute episodes, and the series finale crept up on two hours. Does your TV show do that?


If all you know about the show is what you’ve seen on the commercials or ads, then you haven’t the slightest idea what the show actually is. Get past the criminals, the bikes, beards, guns, skulls, and highways and show has a lot of meaning and depth to it, which I have explained below.


The show, and specifically the series finale was ripe with religious innuendo. The bread and the wine left by the homeless woman was obviously a reference to Jesus, and the sacrifice he made. Whereas Jesus sacrificed himself to cleanse the sins of his fellow man, Jax in his final days did the dirty work necessary to prevent his brothers from having to commit to sin at all. They get to live free of punishment, because of Jax’s actions. The way Jax died, arms spread out, also ringed of Jesus Christ. Heck, even Jax and Jesus both start with J, as did both of their father’s, John and Joseph. But that could be stretching.

Take this wine, this is my blood, which shall be given up for you.
Take this wine, this is my blood, which shall be given up for you.


After years of fans wondering “what’s the deal with that homeless lady?” Jax finally asked the question outright in the series finale.

Was she Death? Was she God? Time? I think she was Fate, but more importantly, she was a harbinger, or omen. She presented herself to numerous characters over the course of the show, but usually to Jax and Gemma. The common thread here is she always appeared just before a wave of change, such as before Jax’s mission to lead the club away from crime, or before his final rampage.

Harbinger of doom
Harbinger of doom


The last thing the homeless women gave to Jax in their final encounter was her blanket, as if to give him comfort or solace. She knew what he was going to do, and that gesture reassured him of his path. Not only that, the blanket itself was instrumental in the execution (no pun intended) of his plan, before offing August Marks.

Most importantly, when Jax wore the blanket, he looked like the Grim Reaper – Death – which the show alluded to all the time. That was actually some scary shit.

Jax as the Grim Reaper in Series Finale
Jax as the Grim Reaper in Series Finale


The show is all about family, and what you would do to protect them. I think this show’s answer to that question is “anything”. And what happens when one of your loved ones hurts another. The problem is that one man’s path to protect his family might cross paths with another, and when that happens, we witness anarchy.

This was no more evidenced than by Gemma’s longstanding and heated relationship with Tara, and their tug of war of influence over Jax and the kids.

soa family


Martyrdom and self-sacrifice was as big a theme as any in this show. Jax and Juice selling their souls to protect the club. Tig sacrificing himself to avenge and protect his daughters. Gemma hiding her rape to keep up the morale of her family and the club. Tara sacrificing a promising career and future to love a criminal and raise his son from another woman.

But then there is the sacrifice. You know what I’m talking about. The moment that stands out tallest among them all: When Opie sacrificed himself to the prison guards to save his brothers. Without even any context, this scene was the most heart wrenching of the entire show. But why? Because Opie had already lost so much to the club. Of all the club members, he had spent the most time in prison because a fellow member betrayed him. Then Opie was set up to look like a rat, and in a case of mistaken identity his wife was viciously murdered at the hands of the club. Then, in an effort to cover it up, Opie’s father was also killed by the club president. It seems so unfair, because Opie had given so much already. But Opie also had nothing else to lose. The club was all he had, so for him self-sacrifice was the only move he had.

Opie made the ultimate sacrifice.
Opie made the ultimate sacrifice.

For those who are well read, Opie and this scene reminded me of the Boxer the horse, and what befell him, in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.


You’d think the Sons – given their name – would be all about anarchy, but they aren’t. The Sons actually have a very organized system set up for how they handle their affairs, and deal with members and insubordination.

Despite this, the Sons do land themselves in a handful of shitty situations that at times seem very chaotic. Chaos is the protagonist of the entire series. It is amazing how one misstep, one lie, one deception, one bullet, can result in such a devastating and endless series of events.

Yeah, Sons of Anarchy sounds cool. But I think the point of the club’s name is not so much to literally mean “children of chaos”, but more likely, that we are all the byproduct of chaotic situations. Jax Teller is the show’s biggest testimony to that, and despite his actions or best intentions, he couldn’t change himself or his club. As my friend Brett tells me, a rock cannot change the river.

David vs. Goliath

This ties back into the religious innuendo, but the underdog narrative also makes for good story telling in general.

In season one, the sons are a big fish in a small pond, operating unopposed in their small, fictional town of Charming, California. They are in the minor leagues, and their protagonists are a rival small time motorcycle club, a street gang in Oakland, and some skinheads. As the show moves on, the threats escalate, and the enemies the Sons encounter get bigger and badder.

The Sons graduate, and clash with skinheads, rival MCs, the Aryan Brotherhood, the ATF, the IRA, the Russian mobs, the Chinese mafia, crooked cops, sadistic US Marshalls, Mexican drug cartels, and even the CIA.

The World Keeps Spinning

With a lot of cunning, the Sons (usually) ended up on top, by the skin of their teeth.

I think the message of the show is to keep on keeping on. No matter what adversity you face. The problems, the troubles, the confusion. Do the best you can with what you have, work hard and push through to make the best life you can for yourself, your family, and your children.

We’ll always be remembered, but the world keeps spinning long after we’re gone.

soa world keep spinning


With Thanksgiving a week behind us, this post might seem a little ill-timed, but the hell with it. I’m posting it anyway.

I have a ton to be thankful for. Some of those things are obvious like my health, a roof, food on my table, etc., and some are not so obvious, and I want to take some time to bring attention to them, and also bring attention to some of the people I am happy to have in my life.

My Parents

I am so thankful to have my parents. Not just parents, but my parents. My parents fucking rock. I wasn’t born super rich with a billion dollar trust fund to my name, but my parents always took care of me. Although divorced when I was very young, and even though they did not always agree, my parents had a unified front when it came to raising me. Many divorced or separated parents use their children as a bartering token, or form of leverage to enact revenge on their ex. My parents didn’t do that. When my (step)mom came on to the scene, she faced the obvious challenge of being a third wheel when it came to me. But if anyone asked me today, I would tell you have 1 dad and 2 moms. Not 1 mom and 1 stepmom. And my birth mother would agree with you. I’m fortunate to have been raised in a (very unusual) situation in which my parents were able to put parenting before politics. Something truly rare these days with divorced parents. Moms and Dad, I’m thankful for you.

My Enormous Family

Most of friends have but a glimpse of the size of my family. Let me break it down to you. As its height, I had 4 grandmas, 4 grandpas (yes 4 each), 2 moms, 1 dad, 1 brother, 1 sister, 9 aunts, 9 uncles, and 20 cousins. We’re unfortunately without Grandpa Hernandez at the time of writing this, but I’m still so happy to have my enormous crazy family.

Grandma’s house on Christmas and Thanksgiving was always the place to be. Drop in any random Wednesday and you’re bound to bump into a few cousins. Grandma would say I was “too flaco” and sit me down to eat something. Score.

There was the ever abundance of relatives keeping your ass in line. It truly takes a village to raise a kid. When I fucked up, and I did plenty, I had not just 1 or 2 relatives barking at me, I had a village of relatives lecturing me to not fuck up again. And for that, I am truly thankful.

My Good Family

Out of 25 grandkids in total, you figure at least one of us would have ended up on the wrong side of the law. Nope. To the best of my recollection, no arrests, no DUIs, no gang members, no domestic violence, no drug addictions, no alcoholism, none of that shit. Even an unfathomably low level of inter-family bickering.

Am I bragging? A little. But more importantly I’m thankful that our family instilled a sense of values into us. That none of us grew up to be low lives. That we all kept our shit together in rough times, and Grandpa passing was a very rough time. And that after all these years, our reunions still fill the house with noise and laughter.

 My Role Models

I had a very big and diverse group of people who raised me, in addition to my three wonderful parents.

Fred, Todd, De Veau, Johnny and Tawny, Jeff, Steve, Tobie, Vicky, Enas, Mr. and Mrs. Diaz and countless others.

If you read this post, you know who you are. You helped mold me into the person I am today (for better of worse!). You all kept my ass in line when I was a kid and even now into my adulthood. You are all honorary parents of mine, and I am thankful for having you all in my life.

My Awesome Friends

Getting older is tough. People grow up, and grow apart, and admittedly it can be very sad. I prided myself on having a select group of close friends, vs. an endless list of “associates”. Here’s a quick shout out.

Jenny, Adriana, Anders, Becky S, Becky W, Brett K, Brett N, Brian, Candice, Fred, De Veau, Jon B, Jon VM, Louis, Melody, Nick, Ryan, Stephane, and TJ. (Please notice with the exception of Jenny that was all alphabetical, so no one getting butt hurt on me).

I haven’t kept in touch with all of you as much as I would like to, but I am nonetheless thankful to have you in my life.

My Upbringing

I’m thankful for the life lessons I was taught and raised with.

Family is important.

Respect your elders. Look out for your siblings and those younger, weaker, or less fortunate than you. Stay together no matter what.

Work hard.

Work ethic is very important. No, don’t waste your years working away, but also don’t be a lazy sack of shit. My grandparents worked their asses off for my parents. My parents worked their asses off for my siblings and me. And I’m gonna work my ass off to give my kids the life they deserve.

Do right.

From a young age I remember my mom and dad telling me to do the right thing. “Boy, always do the right thing”. Those words echo in my mind every day. Don’t rip people off to make a quick buck. Tip well. Share. Be charitable. It’s not that I’m righteous or holier than thou. I’m legitimately thankful I was raised to be that way, because not everyone was and it pisses me off.


My dad is Martin, and he taught me what I call “Martinisms”. Here are some of my favorite martinisms:

  • If the mind is weak, the muscle must grow.
  • Stupid hurts.
  • Two in the chest, one in the head. When in doubt, empty the clip. Bullets are cheap, life is expensive.

And of course I’m thankful for bacon and California burritos.

Seriously though, this Thanksgiving I had a lot to Thankful for. For those in my life I hope you all know how thankful and grateful I am that you are in it.

Happy belated Thanksgiving everyone!