Chocolate X Peanut Butter Collaboration

Oh wait, someone already got to that

Okay, here goes. I don’t really mind the concept of “collaborations.” I mean, I get it, companies working together. That’s cool. I’ll admit, some are a little baffling, but I’ve got better things to worry about than a motocross clothing company making limited edition BMX gloves for a high-end shoe store named after a meat company in Manhattan.

The thing that really bothers me is the trendy “X” everyone uses to denote that a collaboration of any sorts is taking place between two companies. I don’t know why, it just does, in the same way that Finger Eleven and people trying to smoke, walk and text message at the same time do.

Wouldn’t a plus sign (+) make more sense? If you break it down, Dave’s Quality Meats X Fox gloves aren’t really the result of the two companies multiplying. It’s the result of them coming (read: adding) together to make something. The plus sign seems like a much better fit.

I’m not doing this for the sake of mathematics though. I just use the “X” on my keyboard way too much and barely ever touch the “+” button. What I am doing this for, is keyboard equality…

This Just Baffles Me

Remember a few years ago when the hair metal band Great White and their pyrotechnics crew lit a Rhode Island night club on fire that ultimately killed 100 people and injured 200 people? Well, here’s a photo from inside the club 40 seconds into the fire. In case I need to point it out, that part that baffles me is the guy with the cigarette in his mouth….

A Perfect Storm of Orange Soda and Minivans

I was out riding a few manual pads in downtown Jersey City that I like to frequent at night. I did what I wanted to do and started pedaling home after about an hour and a half. It’s mid March and it’s only about 40 degrees out, still kinda cold and I was sweaty. The no-brainer was to head home.

Heading up the hill on Newark Ave., I pass a group of approximately 8-10 thugged out kids walking up the hill. Immediately, the “Yo gimme your bike” “Faggot bitch ass” and still more “Gimme that bike” are hurled at me, which I choose to ignore and continue riding up the hill. Let’s face it, I could’ve returned some insults, but do I need to risk loosing my bike or getting in a fight with a lot more people than I can handle? No. Besides, ignoring ignorant people always kinda negates whatever they’re trying to do. So yeah, I ignored the insults, didn’t give them my bike and kept riding.

I did hear, “Hope you like soda biker,” or something like that. And then I spotted it in the air. A 20-ounce bottle of orange soda, being hurled from the group of thugs in my direction. It sailed over my head and landed perfectly on the roof of a minivan full of a different group of thugs driving up the hill. They stopped dead on the side of the road, jumped out of the van and ran straight past me toward the first group of thugs that threw the soda bottle meant for me. I didn’t stop to enjoy the ensuing brawl, but I sure enjoyed knowing that my perfect timing started it.

I tend to think that everything in this world is connected in some way or another. I could’ve stayed out riding even two more minutes and non of the above would’ve happened. The first group of thugs would’ve already been up the hill on Newark Ave. when I started riding home, and the same goes for the second group of thugs in the minivan. Maybe something different would’ve happened, maybe not. I can’t really say since I’m already at home. But for some unforeseen reason, three ingredients of this world collided into what became a 30-second perfect storm on the slight incline up Newark Ave. that eventually leads into The Heights.

I climbed the next hill off of Newark Ave. that leads back to my house and looked back over a twisted mass of bridges, roadways and sidewalk chaos, which at this point, was a full-fledged brawl between the two groups of thugs fighting over a tossed soda bottle initially meant for me. I was glad I got out of there, but still baffled at how my simple, non-aggressive act of riding my bike home had inadvertently caused a large fight between two groups of people. And it made me think that maybe everything isn’t connected, and that maybe this world is just a random mess of unrelated-ness waiting to collide and explode into fits of moral ambiguity.

But wow, was it ever a funny, funny mess.

The Rain Versus A Non-Existent Future

I never wanted to begin this with the weather, but it rained once or twice since the last entry, and it got hot and then cold again. I guess that’s just the nature of the beast. And so, once again, I begin on the weather.

It rained some. Not the torrential downpours of the UK nor the never ending mist of the Northwest. It wasn’t a special rain, just different. It was, and I know this isn’t the right word to use, but “teasing.” It would come, then go, then come again, never long enough to drive me inside, but just enough to annoy. Sometimes, I feel like standing up to the rain for a time might actually push the rain away. I know that’s silly, and a little preposterous, but hear me out before I get into the main part of this story. People in general think that the rain, and bad weather for that matter, is a bad thing, right? So what’s the opposing force there? The good thing. I’m not the good thing, this so much is true. But against the rain and every form of weather people in the world use to commiserate with each other, there’s gotta be some sort of oppositional force. The “Oh I can’t believe the rain today” needs a “I stood there and got wet and survived” to level the playing field. So yeah, I stood out there and got wet and let the rain happen. I didn’t win. I still got wet and I didn’t chase the rain away, but I know it’s not the misery some people make it out to be. Us people more accurately.

I guess I should also specify, there just aint a main part to this story. It’s as convoluted as the rain lately. Nice segue, huh? I knew you’d appreciate that.

This is some fucked up shit. St. Thomas Aquinas said that his version of God, who is all-knowing and omniscient, exists outside the realm of time. And since he’s an eternal being, every moment of time occurs at an all-encompassing once. Which is not so for us humans. We move in a linear fashion, with one moment passing into the next. Following this theory means that there can’t be a future because it doesn’t exist yet. Not only that, if there was a future we were going to be cognizant of, we wouldn’t be cognizant of it till it became the present. So God gets a future, but we don’t. There’s of course, a few theistic loopholes to explain why, with ‘God doesn’t exist on our plane of existence’ being at the top of the list. We move in a linear fashion. He, or she, does not, which is so not human that I think we should remove any references to God with pronouns that say this God is a he or a she. Being so obviously not human, this God is not going to be a he or a she. This God is probably an “e.” (That tangent should’ve been footnoted though, sorry.) So anyways, for us, there can’t be a future. It doesn’t exist yet, and when it does come to exist, it’s actually the present. This brings up all kinds of questions and issues for me. Here’s my list.

1) Why does the word “future” exist then? Is it from the same plane of existence as the word “unicorn”?

2) Where does this place the word “destiny”? Is that another “unicorn” as well?

3) And what about “consequence”? You know how people say, “You don’t want to know what the consequences would be.” But a consequence exists in the future. So if the future doesn’t exist, can I throw trash on the neighbor’s lawn and not worry about what will happen next?

4) This proves the existence of Star Wars, since it happened a “long time ago.”

5) And finally, my breakthrough thought about all this shit: NO MORE HANGOVERS! That’s like a consequence, the future and destiny all rolled into one, with a few unicorns along the way.

So that’s that. Wasted a few hours questioning the existence of the future today. But it made me think there’s gotta be a theological or philosophical way to explain away anything in existence, including ourselves. I think that’s what I’ll do tomorrow. But right now, I gotta complain about something, and since I don’t seem to mind rainy weather anymore, there’s gotta be something deeper to fill the void.

It’s a simple phrase that I keep hearing more and more every day, and it goes a little like this….. “It is what it is……”

No shit! Why don’t you save your breath and just say, “It is.”

It’s only a minor annoyance, but its frequency is increasing by the day and I don’t wish to accept it. Today, when someone said it to me, I said, “Well if it wasn’t, the world of definition would be a lot more interesting.” But they didn’t seem to understand. I should’ve pointed at St. Thomas Aquinas and let it be what it be.

There’s a few other phrases that annoy me, but I’ll save that till tomorrow, which by my own admittance, does not exist yet. In the meantime, I will try to figure out a way to explain away the existence of the word “existence” so that I can continue to battle the rain and procrastinate some more.

(By the way, I don’t think the word “procrastinate” can exist anymore if there’s no more future. This development could do wonders for slackers and late people! Declare yourself “God,” erase the concept of time from existence, do whatever the fuck you want.)

Another Writing Exercise

brian_l.jpgI’ve been writing a lot. For work. To the point where I don’t feel like doing anymore at night or on the weekends. So apologies for the lack of updates lately. Today is different though. I’ve got a cold, it’s about to dump a foot of snow outside and there’s absolutely nothing on the 300 or so TV channels we have. So I thought a writing exercise was in order. The kind where I google a word, pick the first image that comes up and write about it.

The word choice is always the toughest part of this exercise. I try to keep it as basic as possible. “The” works good. “At” is always a winner. But I thought I’d get a bit more specific today. So I’m going with my first name. It’s “Brian” in case anyone doesn’t know. Here goes. Thirty minutes no holds barred.

I have little, if any, connection to my first name. There’s only, maybe, a handful of people that actually address me as “Brian,” and I think I like it that way. I don’t know where my parents got the name from. There’s no other Brians in my family as far as I know. But that’s they name they gave me. I actually prefer my middle name. It’s James. Jim for short. And there are tons of Jims that I know and like in this world. But I realize that it’s a little late in the game for me to start going by another name, so Brian it is until the day I die. But you can just say Tunney. For all intents and purposes, it just works better. I should also point out, that by having the middle name James, my initials became BJ. I hope I don’t have to point out the obvious here. I share the same initials as the guy from BJ and the Bear.

But the name Brian kinda puzzles me. I don’t know many people, besides the dog from The Family Guy named Brian, that are inherently a Brian. With certain names, you just know the name fits the person. Like, “Oh man, that guy is definitely a Ted.” Or, “Josh, Josh, Josh, quit joshing me!” The name “Brian” just doesn’t seem to attach itself to people as well. Now some of you might say that it’s because there isn’t a direct meaning or state of being attached to the world of Brians, but I think it’s more a case of linguistics. Brian is hard to say. Say it aloud if you don’t believe me. It doesn’t roll off the tongue like Mike, Ted, Ben, Ebenezer or Shawna. It has to build up before it’s forced out of the mouth, and I think that act alone carries a lot of underlying meaning behind the lack of Brian actually meaning something more than just a name for cartoon dogs and legendary BMX vert riders.

Actually, I’m going to use Brian Blyther as an example. For those not in the know, he’s a legendary BMX vert pro that brought style and finesse to vert like no other. It’s rare that he’s actually called Brian though. Personally, I’ve always call him “Brian Blyther.” That’s just cause I like alliteration. But most of the time, he’s simply referred to as “Blyther.” Why? Same as me. There’s no inherent inherentness to the name Brian. (I made that word up, kill me.) It’s just a first name. Nothing more, nothing less aside from a burden onto the tongue and lips.

Maybe The Family Guy got it right by naming their dog just Brian? When I watch the Family Guy (which only just started recently for me) I actually do think, that their dog is a “Brian.” And that’s because they use his name all the time. They don’t call him “Griffin.” It’s just “Brian.” Now, if I follow that line of thought, I should drop my surname and just call myself “Brian.” Kinda like McLovin, but without the awesomeness. Or Prince, but without the purple. But I would never do that. I like being a Tunney. And I could never take a real person with just one name seriously. Unless that name is “Tron.”

Ten minutes to go. I’m trying to think of other Brians in the world. Brian Wilson, the crazy guy from The Beach Boys. He’s never been just a Brian. Actually, he’s always been “That crazy guy from The Beach Boys that took 30 years to make one record.” Bad example. Brian Eno. I gotta confess, I don’t know too much about the guy, but I do know that if your last name is something badass sounding like “Eno,” that you don’t go by Brian. At least I wouldn’t. And I’m not even an pioneering prog rocker.

Six minutes to go, so I should start wrapping this up. Brians of the world, our name is nothing special. It’s hard to say, despite the Celtic/Irish origin meaning “high and/or noble,” it’s not doing most of us any good, and more importantly, it’s become most well known in the pop culture lexicon for a cartoon dog that lives in Quahog, Rhode Island and a Monty Python movie. Actually, for such a non-meaning, hard to pronounce first name, I guess that’s doing pretty well. I think it’s safe to say that you earned that upcoming beer Brian….

And oh yeah, I always tell myself that March 1 is the symbolic end of winter. So much for that.

And on top of that, do not ever build up a new bike while you are sick, with a snow storm approaching not far behind. I’m learning the hard way how much it sucks to build up a new bike and not be able to do anything but look at it.