Category Archives: Stuff that ISN'T sports

Your daily dose of everything and nothing…at same time (cue dramatic music)

I have no thoughts

I sit down to try and think what the hell to write on this forsaken blog…nothing.  Just nothing.  The writer’s mind draws a complete blank.  I suppose that’s appropriate, since it took me until I was 21 to be able to even draw a straight line, which in turn is something I only accomplish 47% of the time with the odds doubling on the second and third attempts respectively.

I attended college for four years, which felt like three years rolled into two of which I remember maybe 6 days worth of events.  I paid the money it took to get a piece of construction paper mailed to me months after graduating.  I shook the hand of the dean who really had no previous knowledge of my existence…and still doesn’t.

Bottom line is I know I’m talented, sort of, and I know I’m interested, kind of.  I have some strengths with writing and MANY weaknesses (comma use, parenthesis, elipses…and a lack of ideas).  I’ve been known to make people laugh and to bore people to death, all within a 140 character tweet!

Supposedly this blog is supposed to hone my writing skills, express opinions I’ve been told are “fresh” or “interesting” or “funny” or “odd” and possibly to create something to show employers.  Clearly that isn’t going to happen without any motivation.

So fuck it, I’ll just write when I feel like it about whatever the hell I feel like.  I’ll make this a very public, yet rarely frequented place for me to bitch to nobody but myself about whatever is annoying me.

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880 sucks!…and other notes from the nether regions of the Bay Area

Note: I originally wrote this in July of 09, but was too lazy to finish it and too chickenshit to publish it.  I don’t know why I’m afraid to post my thoughts.  I just am.

Berkeley Farms isn’t in Berkeley…it’s in Hayward.  This is the biggest takeaway I had from my  venture to the often forgetten South Bay that isn’t Scrillacon Valley (I’ll thank E40 for that nickname…brilliant) for a job interview that, per usual, appeared to be legitimate and targeted at exactly what I wanted.  I was so overjoyed that they called me back for a second interview that I completely excused their normly inexcusable location in Hayward.  This was it, my ticket into the ad/marketing industry.  I would pay my dues at this smallish boutique, do the least inspiring work you could think of and rise to the level of Don Draper in no time.

A friend warned me about such an opportunity, as she was sucked into an opportunity of the same rhetoric.  She was promised the world, and ended up with cold calling offices, peddling office supplies.  “Haha,” I sniggered as she relived one of the worst experiences of her life, “sucks for you,” I continue insensitively.   Like many athletes Pacman’s locker room, I immediately thought “the bad things that happen to other’s will NEVER happen to me!” I was special, ordained by this boutique agency, getting in on the ground floor of something Madison Avenue will soon develop a drinking problem over not thinking of first.

I think I was the one who needed a drink after the second interview.

Driving to Hayward the next morning was a sign of things to come.  The traffic wasn’t as bad as people told me it would be, but the commute still seemed painful.  I feel for people in their cars all day.  I bet it’s daily commutes that get people so addicted to talk radio: it gives a human connection to some of the loneliest people in the world.  Moving on highway 880 is like any movie where everyone is trying to leave, only for some reason you’re going TOWARD the looming disaster. Just when you think you’ve passed the worst, meaning the ghetto in Oakland, you soon wish you were back near the Coliseum, airport and especially the In n Out burger off Hegenberger.  Not only have I passed San Leandro (a town only know to me as the home of Dennis Dixon) but I’m also forced to drive through somewhere called Union City.

The name Union City may evoke some kind of wonderful community where everyone gathers in a park to play frisbee or have a picnic.  This couldn’t be a bigger lie of a name…or the biggest lie for a name since Richmond’s motto being “City of Pride and Purpose”.  The most interaction between the locals in Union City is the MASSIVE movie theatre I can see from the dreaded 880 South, which easily could seat the entire city of San Francisco.  It’s probably what Texas-sized Walmarts look like or those big, evil stores in Wall-e…it’s embarrassing.

Ok, I finally get to Hayward, which isn’t much of a relief.  This time, I don’t get lost and easily find my way with plenty of time to spare (rule number one of job interviews: plan to get lost, so get there hella early).  I arrive, only to be surprised with how many people made it to the second round.  I sign in and the mega-cute secretary tells me to get in line withe everyone else.  Line?  Really? Is this a ride at Disney Land?  Must I be this height to ride Marketing Mountain?

Just when I sit down, the employees role in, awkwardly staring at us with a gaze akin to frat boys sizing up new recruits.  None of us were particularly comfortable, considering none of us knew what the job was or who these people were.  They were all wearing matching uniforms, which gave me fright because they looked like a pit crew.  After our west side story-like confrontation (snapping as we approach each other in the alleyway), we paired off to see marketing in action: or how to want to light yourself and college diploma on fire.

What was promised to me as a jump start to a fantastic career of glitz, CLEOs, One Clubs and other random awards nobody cares about turned out to be akin to pumping gas at a full service gas station (shout out to all the Oregon readers, who experience this luxury on a daily basis).

It turns out it doesn’t matter how good you are at marketing to be good at marketing.  The entire concept of talent or creativity is thrown out the window.  So much so that when I asked my shadowee if the pay was commission based, he emphatically told me no. The pay was, in fact, based on how well you sold the products.  Now, I’m only a college grad with a degree in advertising, but I’m pretty sure that is the definition of a commission-based job!

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I don’t want to become one of those leftist bloggers, but…

When I began blogging, I didn’t really know what the hell I wanted to write about.  So much so that I gave it all up. My friend is a sports writer, through and through, so I figured dabbling in sports writing could be fun.  In the end that isn’t for me.  I realized that the Brein excels in sports writing because it is where his passion lies.  I quickly noticed myself not being as passionate as he with regards to the excruciating minutiae of the sporting world.

So here it goes: the search for topics to write on.

I know I’m interested in politics.  I’m fascinated by how the deals get done and how elections are won. It is clear to me that our political system has become nothing other than a series of competing PR machines, with actual substance in terms of policy cast aside for the oh-so-important public perception.  Americans are no longer competent or interested enough to understand policy and the consequences of their opinions.

In restarting this blog, I won’t be looking to convert readers to the liberal cause, or to get you not to vote Republican or reject your God. I don’t want to convince you of everything.  All I hope is that my opinions pique your interest enough to keep reading.

I plan to post something almost everyday, looking to hone my writing skills and entertain myself (and you as well!).  Help me out by commenting on the posts with your extended thoughts!

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Some large percent of life is just showing up… or so they tell me

And the partner has arrived. You can call me Ben or “The Brein.” Pretty much everyone else does.

I am in the midst of that magical summer between my first and second senior years and right now am holding down a nice little internship in promotions with the local fox affiliate. My true passion however is sports, mostly watching them or writing about them. Playing them… not so much, something to do with the lack of speed or coordination (and probably a few other athletic talents). Anyway, I’ve covered University of Wisconsin athletics for the last few years, want to find more chances to write in any official capacity (really, any, any at all) and (like any sports writer who happens to blog) eventually want to work in the sports media, hopefully as a beat writer. Cliché, I know.

I’ll mostly be chipping in semi-useless philosophical rants about sports (shocking, I know), journalism and other random topics that happen to catch my attention. There will also be commentary on subjects like local news, things that annoy me and just enough hockey to really irritate the other person writing for the site.

So prepare yourself for a whirlwind of everyday moments made more complicated because we flat out spend too much time analyzing them. Stay tuned.

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Let’s give this a try

So I finished college…10 days ago or so and realized bar hopping in Oakland/San Francisco may not be the most productive introduction into “the real world”  (stay tuned for another post about why I hate calling it “the real world” (stay tuned for MANY more rants about things I don’t like)).  I’m trying to get into the advertising industry any way possible.  Right now I’m applying (which really means begging) for an unpaid internship (which is a polite phrase for office bitch, which is a bastardization of SLAVE) and hopefully someday a paying job writing or researching.  No, I don’t think advertising is unethical, and no, I’m not willing to compromise my morals to do it (though I do joke about the opposites of both).  Enough about me.  I just thought it would be good to start at the beginning, and with regards to this blog, it starts with me.

I do have a partner too, and I’ll make him introduce himself at some point.

Soon we’ll post a whole mission statement about the blog, what we’ll do and what we’ll not do.  To tease that…We see our blog as a space to put our meaningless conversations about everyday details.  For us, our conversations usually begin with one of us pointing out a hot girl on the street.  We then take a left turn toward politics and finally frame it in the context of one of our sports teams (Bay Area sports baby!).  Along the way we pepper in non sequiturs ad nauseum.  That’s what we want this blog to be about: anything and everything, nothing and no one in particular.  Maybe sports…but mostly ranting.  We hope you enjoy!

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Filed under Sports, Stuff that ISN'T sports