My buddy Quint told me that “Musical Therapy” sounded like I was treating you while playing music, or treating you with music so I opted for a name change.
Last night I saw Ace Enders play an acoustic set and even talked to him for a few minutes. Ok, mostly I stumbled over my words being star struck by an artist I’ve enjoyed since I was 15. Either way, 15 year old Tommy would definitely have been giving me a solid (or high-five, or low five, or…I don’t remember what was cool in 2001?). Either way, it reminded me of a simpler time, where the only things that mattered were.. does your plaid shirt match your sweater, don’t miss the bus, and remembering to call your girlfriend on a land line at 9pm (because her sister needed the phone at 9:30pm and they only had one line).
This song is a personal favorite of mine, and the chorus says all you needed to know at 15…and sometimes I like to pretend its still true “All we ever wanted was love and love and happy afternoons, watchin tv from your room, while you’re layin in my arms.” Come on, how perfect? Thank you Ace for providing an anthem to my teenage years, and influencing just about everything I know about music.
It’s not always easy to find high quality writing amongst all the drivel on the internet. In light of that, I’ll try to help out by posting links to some pieces you’ll enjoy reading, no matter where you do it.
1. Chuck Klosterman on Tim Tebow – There have been so many articles written about Tim Tebow. I thought this one was the best. It feels unbiased and does a great job of explaining the logic behind what seem to be illogical viewpoints from both the pro-Tebow and anti-Tebow parties.
2. Maddox Gives a Tribute to Real Men – This one’s old school. It’s been on the internet forever, and Maddox is never going to win any awards for AP style. However, a surprisingly analytical approach hides behind the ranting tone, and it’s just plain funny. This particular article is one of the articles that got me blogging in the first place. The Best Page in the Universe is one of the most enjoyable time-killing sites out there if you’re OK with raunchy humor.
3. Seth Godin on Opening Acts and Rock Stars – I’m a subscriber to Seth Godin’s blog. It constantly provides progressive thinking. More than anything, he can take new ideas that people have trouble understanding and explain them with an old example that makes it easy to understand. I chose this article because even after three years, it has stuck with me and proven truthful.
4. Tom Dinard with Sunlight For A Moonlight Man – This was forwarded to me by my friend Michael Bracey. I’m glad he sent it, but I will warn you right up front that this one’s a time investment. It’s also well worth it. It tells the story of former Yankee, Stefan Wever, who loved baseball and life and never gave up on either one. This story is not just about overcoming adversity, but persisting in it’s constant presence. If you’ve got time, it’s a rewarding read.
Paying it forward,
I decided I’d give myself a checkup on what 2011′s biggest news stories meant to me. About midway through writing this, I realized that I live with my head up my butt, and you don’t get the news in there. These are the Top Ten News Stories of 2011 as chosen by the readers of CNN.com.
You can see what #10-6 mean to me by going here. Enjoy.
5 Apple founder Steve Jobs dies of cancer at 56
- I actually heard about this a day later than everyone else (my Twitterverse really only consists of Bill Simmons, Mark Titus and a few old college buddies…thinking I should let Fox News in to get some fair and balanced reporting on non-sports issues). Even though I spend most of my time trying to deny the superior usability of Apple products (because I’m cheap), there’s no denying that humanity took a big hit on this one. He has to be a top ten influence over the last 30 years, right? Sure feels like it. I also thought the iPhone4s = “4 Steve” was the best combination of cute/tragic sublicity (the word I just made up for publicity that is below regular standards) that I’ve seen in a long time.
4 Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is shot in the head at public event, survives
- Here’s the scenario in February 2011 (alright, it was January 2012). I’m sitting at my cube in my office, and I say, “You guys hear about this Giffords person getting shot in the head and living through it? What’s that all about?” My cubemate Jimmy replies, “I haven’t, but have you heard about this cat named Obama? Apparently he’s a big deal.”
3 Arab Spring spreads from Tunisia; regimes fall in Egypt, Libya
- Literally knew nothing about this, so I emailed my friend Ben to ask what was most interesting about the Tunisian revolution. He wrote, “If considered in a vacuum, I would say the fact that the dude that started it thought that his best option for protesting the way the police treated him was to burn himself to death. BUT, considering the rest of 2011, I would say that the most interesting thing about the revolution was that it was the catalyst for the Arab Spring in general.”….That first part sounds interesting.
2 Japan suffers major earthquake, tsunami and resulting nuclear crisis
- Sadly, this 8.9 barely registered on the Riedesel scale. I may be huge in Japan (TBD), but evidently Japan isn’t huge to me. To the people involved, it’s tragic. I’m just thankful I wasn’t involved.
1 U.S. commandos kill Osama bin Laden in Pakistan raid
- What did this mean to me? Well, I was with a different company at the time, working a job that, to be quite honest, sucked….I was also on the tail-end of my Match.com dating experiment (highly recommended if you’re single and bored). This current event mostly allowed me to be proud of my Facebook profile pic and the fact that I have family in the military. I enjoyed leveraging it as conversational filler on my dates. God bless America, you know?
In other news, 2011 was an ignorantly blissful year for Dustin Riedesel. I promise to read more than the entertainment section when I visit The Daily Beast from here on out.
Running for President in 2024,
Dustin Hussein Riedesel
It has occurred to me that I have a phenomenal and diverse taste in music. I spend a lot of time sharing this music with friends and colleagues. I often find that I ask this question of the fairer sex within a few minutes of meeting them at a bar/party/gala (i admit i’ve never been to a gala, but damn those mardi gras themes look like fun!). sometimes their answer to my question “what kinda music are you into?” determines whether or not the conversation continues. Some call that a problem, I call it natural selection. So now, what we’re gonna do here is daily or weekly or kinda whenever i feel like prescribing it, I’m gonna hit you with a tune that will improve your day (it won’t help that rash, you need penicillin for that).
For the first installment of Dr Tom’s Musical Therapy (open to title changes..suggestions?), enjoy Butch Walker’s “Synthesizers.” If you don’t like this song then you have no soul. So let’s assume that you’re soulless. If you don’t like the video concept, then you have no brain. So let’s assume you have no soul and no brain. You can enjoy the girls walking around behind Wooderson and embrace the 1970s which you may or may not have been around for.
I decided I’d give myself a checkup on what 2011’s biggest news stories meant to me. About midway through writing this, I realized that I live with my head up my butt, and you don’t get the news in there. These are the Top Ten News Stories of 2011 as chosen by the readers of CNN.com.
10 Prince William marries Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey
- This news event ended up being a positive for me. Remember the Wedding Crashers quote, “We are gonna have tons and tons of opportunities to meet gorgeous ladies that get so aroused by the thought of marriage that they’ll throw their inhibitions to the wind.” The royal wedding and its ensuing media coverage brought a watered down version of that emotional catalyst to the forefront of the dating scene. Did it really help guys out? I don’t know. Did it hurt us? Not a chance.
9 S&P lowers U.S. rating after 11th-hour deal to raise debt ceiling
- Humbling news for the land I love, but it really only reminded me that I’m not rich. News about the stock market inevitably gives me a mind-trip back to college economics where I try to figure out what kind of ripple effect the news has on a poor, single guy. As in economics class, my answer usually ends up about as defined as, “Well, it can’t be good.” That said, if people brought this story up around me, I did attempt to use a thin layer of exasperation to cover my ignorance by saying things like, “That’s politicians for you. More concerned about winning than helping their country. I’m finished thinking about it.” Well done, concerned citizen.
8 U.S. unemployment remains at staggering 9.0 percent
- I admit that I read these stories in the opposite order that I’m writing about them (I started with #1), so this story would have actually been beneficial to my thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street story (see #6). In the job that pays me, I talk to accountants all day. A good number of them tell me that the economy is terrible. I’ve had a Google alert set for over a year because a certain firm in Washington said not to call him “until the unemployment rate dropped under 8 percent like the president promised”….Whatever. Unemployment is like AIDS. Until it affects you or someone you love, you only care with your head, not your heart.
7 Deadly tornados usher in year of severe weather
- I grew up in Kansas! Tornado Alley, y’all! As the news issued more severe warnings, I issued more severe nonchalance. Then power went out, and when it came back on, the local news told me that apartments one mile away from my own had been flattened. I felt blessed and foolish all at once…mostly foolish.
6 Occupy Wall Street movement spreads from New York City
- Hated the idea. Loved the unintentional comedy…this impacted me most by forcing me to say “That looks really underwhelming” as I drove by the 10+ tents set up off of Hillsborough street in downtown Raleigh. This next statement comes from a place of total ignorance and honesty; my second thought upon seeing those tents was, “Don’t those people have jobs to be at?”…..see comments on story 8.
Late New Year’s resolution: pay better attention to the world I live in. #5-1 coming out tomorrow…
I believe it was the great Nelly who said in his slightly popular song “Midwest Swing,” “I’m from the Show-Me state, show me 7 I’ll show you 8.” Well said Mr. Nelly.
One-upping is an art among circles of men. It’s an art that can leave you looking like the Alpha Dog in a social situation or a Douche Bag. The only time the latter is preferred is if you’re on Jersey Shore or if you’re simply from New Jersey. This takes place in the office, at the bar, in the gym, pretty much anytime there’s at least 2 guys present. Much like wolves in the wild, there’s a natural order of men in conversations, Alpha –> Omega. Let’s just be honest, a girl, your co-workers, everyone wants to hang out with the more interesting Alpha. He’s just more fun and his stories are just so damn good!
You want to see yourself as more Brad Pitt (I’m just gonna be effortlessly more interesting than you) and less as Donald Trump (I have to flash my money, suits, buildings so you think I’m interesting). Since this is a dangerous line to walk, I wanted to outline some do’s and don’ts (sp? dont’s? don’t’s?) of one-upsmanship.
- Listen to the entire story of the lesser man and always acknowledge his story before starting your own “That’s awesome man. Yeah when I was…”
- Stick very close to the truth on your story. embellish a little if necessary, but once you start lying it snowballs and next thing you know you’re story ends up with you riding unicorns and drinking magic beer with leprechauns. people will see through your lies.
- Act it out where appropriate. Some people are more visual, you want everyone in your audience to appreciate your better story.
- Have a solid punchline. I’ve heard a lot of stories that build me up, only to let me down with their weak, uninspired, pointless punchline.
- Interrupt. If you interrupt, you’re gonna look like a D-Bag. End of story.
- Use words to start your story like “Oh yeah, that’s nothing…” “I had that happen to me but it was way worse (better, stronger, etc)…” “Listen to how much better my story is…”
- Try and one-up more than once. After that it just becomes a pissing contest and no one’s gonna win this. It’s just gonna get really awkward for all parties.
- Tell your story first. Unless you’re absolutely sure that nothing can top your story.
- End your story with “and then everyone just laughed” “i blacked out and don’t remember” or any iteration of this.
Follow these do’s and don’ts and you’ll be the largest Silverback Gorilla at your next company outing…the peacock with the brightest feathers at the bar…the most interesting M’Fer.
You might now be thinking to yourself, “who is this guy, and how arrogant of him to write on such a topic..?” Well guess what, do not try to out-humble me, because I have stories for days that will out-humble your humility.