Category Archives: Lifestyle

Buy or Sell: What Happened in 2014 that’s worth taking with us to 2015?

In a heavier mood from an earlier date, I pontificated on the passing of time:

I thought we made minutes small to trick ourselves into thinking that life is long. But I think the real trick is that the minutia of time was built in cycles. Hours, days, weeks and seasons repeating in perpetuity so that the future always looks like a cul-de-sac instead of a dead end. You hear it more than you think. This is going to be my year. The sun will come up tomorrow. It’s always darkest before the dawn. It’s as if hope was built into the fabric of time.

2014. It’s nearly in the books. And in an effort to take steps forward, I’m going to highlight 5 things from the year we as a society should be buying more of for 2015, and 5 things we should sell so hard that the only place they show up is in SNL skits in the year 2027 to remind us of how ridiculous this era is. All credit for this idea belongs to my co-blogging penemy, Tommy Cooksey. But first, because I don’t want to bury some of the most valuable and prescient information a man can use as New Year’s Day approaches, here’s a classic conversational tip for the upcoming season:

Ask people about their New Year’s resolutions. Few other topics simultaneously disclose a person’s insecurities alongside their dreams. Knowing those two things are like putting your two hands on the steering wheel of their life car.

Alright. That’s settled. Misogynists and gentleman alike, you’re welcome. Now on to Buy/Sell 2014.

BUY

Matthew McConaughey

2014 was a banner year. There was this:

And this:

And that character led to this:

Which turned into this:

I thought that I’d be willing to buy all things McConaughey until we’re born again into the moments we’ve already lived, but there is an end to this rabbit hole. It’s MM-spoofed marriage proposals.

Buy McConaughey. Sell social media marriage proposals…I mean, we were selling those back in 2012.

Colored Shoelaces

Most sartorial pros would tell you I’m a year (or two) behind on this trend. Maybe I am. I’m 29, and my mother was the one who told me this was a cool thing, so that is what it is. But this isn’t a “What’s the bleeding edge of cool in 2015” blog post. So don’t worry about it. BUY.

Enjoying Small Ball Baseball

Let’s be clear. Small ball is not the way to be a successful baseball team. High OBP and home runs are still the “best” baseball strategy. But as a fan, the threat of the steal, the high contact/low strikeout lineup, and the “we’ll never pull away, but we’re never out of it because you won’t score in the last three innings” approach of the Kansas City Royals is just better suited to build tension in every game. Just as in story-telling, complexity and layers create a richer narrative. I wish al lthe teams played smaller. In something we unfortunately can’t control, BUY.

The Hemsworth Brothers

As my friend Britt says, “There’s seriously a Hemsworth for every taste. You like long & lean, there’s a Hemsworth for that. A taste for shorter men, we have a Hemsworth for that. Maybe more of a broad and muscular, good news, there’s a Hemsworth for you too! Best of all, all Hemsworth models come with Australian accents.”

I’m a Chris fan. While his IMDB shows nothing in 2014, he still wrangled Sexiest Man Alive, and his 2015 is looking awesome. Don’t sleep on Hemsworth.

GIF Texting

Because:

BUY.

SELL

“Bye Felicia”

This isn’t something white girls should be clinging to. SELL

ice bucket challenge

Dear IBC,

It’s not you. It’s us. When we first met, we all thought you were fun and had a great heart. But after a while, you were forcing us to hang out with friends on your time. You made us feel crappy about the fact that we’d rather dump cold water on ourselves than give money to a disease (or water to thirsting nations for that matter). You aren’t who we thought you were, and we’re leaving you in 2014.

No longer yours,
America

“NO MORE” NFL CAMPAIGN

The NFL tried to cover up from me (and you and everybody) that one of their players did something horrific in an elevator. When their cover up was found out, they responded with an ad campaign that tells the viewer that they won’t stand for violence towards women. The hypocirsy is bothersome enough. But also, I don’t beat women. It’s one of those basic things that I picked up with “respect your elders” and “don’t be naked in church, or the general public for that matter.” Has one of these PSA’s ever stopped a guy? All these commercials do is make me angry at the NFL for being such a two-faced league that is actively violent and dangerous while saying it’s against concussions and battery and….[deep breath]. SELL

#blessed

We wanted to sell it in 2013. It’s still around in 2014. By all that is holy, let’s sell this thing in 2015.

This will help explain: https://twitter.com/bestofblessed

E-Cigarettes

These do not have a future. I’m pretty positive they peaked last February. Sell it all. Sell it now. SELL.

Build a better you,
Dusty “Project 2015” Riedesel

Hello Exercise and Dieting, My Old Friends (Whom I Also Hate)

Those that know me know that I’ve spent the majority of my adult life almost dieting. It’s always going to happen next week. Well, next week is finally this week. I’m dieting again. It’s just the most obvious sign that I’m not who I wish I was. Whatever. Get ready for Riedesel 6.0, launching in October…he’s basically a guy who can fit into Large t-shirts, but there’s a subtle thrill there.

There’s an interesting correlation between vanity and self-loathing that takes hold during a body reinvention. On one level, you obviously care a great deal for your appearance to eat carefully and purchase so much sweat equity in the gym. But on a different level, you have to be a little unhappy with your physical state to muster up that kind of drive. People kind of ignore that second part. It takes the shine off the apple. Fitness always gets crafted inside of a motivational message.

“The human body is the best picture of the human soul.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn

“The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.” – Joan Rivers

God bless Joan Rivers, the dearly departed. She’s right. If exercising wasn’t good for you, it’d be the worst. It makes you tired and sore, both things that are roundly accepted as unpalatable. Video games and beer is more fun than a protein shake and burpees. Pizza will always be better than kale. #fitfacts

That said, because I am vain and get off on some serious self fat-shaming, we’re rolling with this body reinvention thing. It’s a pretty complete plan, and I’ll let everyone know how it goes…if it works that is. If it works, you’ll be lambasted with “casual” pictures of scenarios where I happen to be shirtless. Here’s Dusty just casually hanging out on the basketball court, shirtless. Here’s Dusty casually hand-vacuuming the table linens, shirtless. Here’s Dusty casually taking a picture of himself in a mirror while trying to look like he’s not flexing to the point of passing out, shirtless. That’s just how we use the internet these days, people. If it doesn’t work, then you won’t hear anything about it until New Year’s, when I inevitably try again.

Diet – Doing this Whole30 thing and then a standard paleo plus supplements. If it works out, then details will be shared.

Workouts – 6am strength training, Mon/Wed evenings basketball, Tue/Thur evenings crossfit metcons.

Given what I’ve seen from friends and penemies (co-blogger Thomas), I’ll probably have plenty of mundane stuff to write about after a few weeks of crossfit. “Bro, that WOD was hella tough.” Might even get some shoulder ink done. Who can say!? Should be nice development for everyone in the Bareback village here.

The Gospel of Attraction, Why Girls Should Wear Tight Jeans

Few things in this world compel a man like the gospel of attraction. The timeframe of moments transforms him from being unaware to obsessed. It’s one of the few magics left in this world, right up there with music and sleep. And yet, because nature dictates a certain amount of constant dissatisfaction to spurn growth and survival, no one has clearly discerned—to me at least—a constant in these attractions. A boob guy, a butt guy, whatever. Isn’t every guy those guys? It hits you when it hits you, and then you’re someone new.

The concept of dating looks radically different through the scope of 30-year-old eyes than it did ten years ago. My first conceit is that age makes it tougher and easier, like a figure skater in the olympics. You know it well, but it’s not some playful dalliance anymore. You know too much. Experienced too much. You’ve been here before. One girl was the best cook you ever met, one girl the best companion, one girl the most intellectually engaging, and they were probably never the same girl. Your knowledge obliterates innocence, which is akin to optimism. And speaking practically, this knowledge is an enemy to your happiness, creating relational obstacles that your future girlfriend will have to hurdle to gain your approval. And before you know it, you’re jaded, living in an emotional panopticon where scrutiny kills optimism, just like fear kills love.

Just buy a fucking cat you overthinking loser.

But then you’ll see someone. Maybe she’s a waitress, quite possibly a “staffing executive” as women in their 20s seem to be. You might not find out because who has the courage to generate a meaningful relationship out of the thin magic of “I think you’re pretty”? But it doesn’t matter. It’s enough. The biological grace of attraction is enough to keep the wheels turning, to keep the sun rising, to make you think that someone will be the best something.

So keep those jeans tight girls. You might not know it, but you’re somebody’s sunrise.

“You Call That A Google Search?” – The Real Machine Apocalypse

I recently yelled “YOU CALL THAT A GOOGLE SEARCH!?” in response to my girlfriend’s word selection in an effort to find the mean height of Germany’s soccer team.

Unfortuantely, her search term “is the German soccer team tall” worked like gangbusters! First result had the exact information we were looking for. This leads me to the conclusion that Google is smart. People are idiots and Google has billions of searches to prove it.

In the early days of the Internet, you never saw Google complaining about people not knowing how to search for what they needed. Google just accepted that search terms will suck and it needs to keep on fine tuning that algorithm of theirs so that the dumb masses will just keep coming back. Keep searching. I’m impressed with your mentality, Google. That’s what it takes to be a success in this world. You have to be a realist, entitled to nothing. Read, react, and reap the rich rewards. The irony is this: A person who puts some intellectual specificity into their Googling with an “average height 2014 German National Football Team” search hits everything but the target with the top return. So the smart person will actually need to use dumb searches to find the right information to lean into Google’s mass-pleasing algorithm. Google is just making us all do what they’ve already done, adapt to the dumb masses. Read, react and reap the rewards.

The masses generally aren’t great visionaries. If you patterned your life after the masses, you’re weeknight would consist of eating McDonald’s while you watched Transformers 2 on your overpriced Time Warner Cable television package. You’d make $35K annually, usually have voted for whoever’s President, and you’d think Big Bang Theory is a funny show. The masses is not a person you should want to be. You should want to be more.

Maybe this is how the Machine Apocalypse really happens. It just keeps refining the algorithm, keeps on democratizing humans into a aggregated ball of narcissism that has taught itself how to get what it wants by becoming the same. Run a search, the machine knows you. Run 100 searches, the machine assimilates you. Run 1,000 searches, and you are the machine.

In the end, my girlfriend got what she was looking for. I did not. Maybe she’s smarter than me for adapting to the algorithm faster. Maybe this is my long-winded justification for being a bad Google searcher. I can’t tell you who’s more ultimately right in the end. But I know I don’t want to be like the masses, so I only have one recourse left.

My new home page is Bing.

DR

 

Friends Wanted: Must Love Basketball

So I recently sent my “friends” the following email:

Guys, let me paint a picture for you:

It’s summer. You know this because of the familiar heat vaporizing the dew into a thick morning haze that would cause you to sweat through your shirt. It would, but you’re not wearing a shirt. Your beloved team captain won the right to multitask. Sun and fun. The other team is uncomfortably “shirts”. So you’ve got that going for you.
 
Frankly, you haven’t played in a while. And it’s exhausting. I should really drink more water. Your hands are soaked with sweat from touching your opponents shirt. You wipe it on your shorts before taking off around a screen. Moving left, you step with a series of functions happening in a wave of physio-nostalgic perfection. A catch, a turn, a shift in weight, a subconscious aim, and a release that feels unsettlingly familiar. The undissected poetry of motion happens in the space of a second, and it’s all rewarded with a “thwip” that is partly a sound and mostly a fire. Clients, bosses, responsibilities and demands are incinerated by the moment. You are metabolising the world’s bullshit. And you’re doing that with basketball. 

I’m thinking 10 am at Kiwanis Park. 2525 Noble Road, Raleigh, NC 27608. Invite whoever and let’s get a few games before the World Cup or the real world start needing you back at Noon. What do you say?

So I have one of these friends committed. A backout move from the brothers Cooksey that I can’t be too angry about since I recently committed and backed out of watching USA World Cup game (we’ll call it even).

You’d think that painting a word picture about playing basketball on a sunny, American morning could sell a free activity these days. It didn’t. But like any self-centered A-hole, I’m not taking responsibility for any of this. I blame my friends for making poor decisions. If you need me, I’ll be playing my imaginary alter-ego in a game of HORSE this Saturday.

He always lets me win,
Russ Diesel

Worth a Visit? The Station, Raleigh, NC

There’s other places in Raleigh where you can drink drinks and eat eats. And there are places with more SEO friendly names. Those places aren’t The Station. But nonsensical preamble aside, I’ve been to The Station, so I consider it my duty to answer your burning questions on whether or not a visit is worth your time.

Do you like drinking drinks and eating eats?

One visit is all it will take to realize that EATING AND DRINKING ARE THE MAIN THINGS GOING DOWN AT THE STATION, so this is an important question to answer, even if it seems a foregone expectation in the bar/restaurant industry. Besides, here at Worth A Visit?,  we pride ourselves on writing a comprehensive review. There are anorexic people out there that probably appreciate a heads up that going to The Station will be walking into a psychological warzone where peer judgment of their body might conflict with peer judgment of their hiding pita points underneath the Bacon Habanero Pimento Cheese Dip while claiming lactose/habanero intolerance. If you’re not a member of the anorexic community that is criminally underserved in most restaurant reviews, VISIT! This place meets the eating/drinking criteria in spades.

Did you read the name of that appetizer in the mostly unhelpful paragraph above?

Of course YOU DID. Everyone knows that bacon is the ultimate cheat code of the culinary world. Even bacon-wrapped paint thinner is probably worth trying. But replace “paint thinner” with “pimento cheese dip” and you’ve got a dish WORTH VISITING FOR!

Are you the kind of individual that enjoys paying $10 for a lunchtime sandwich?

When the sandwiches are this good, YOU’D PAY $12 DOLLARS! And it’s a good thing, because some of the sandwiches are $12 dollars. Let me make a recommendation. The Brown Butter Beer Grilled Cheese is the ballz! CHEEEEZZZEE 4 DAYZ!!! If it were an actor, it would be Shemar Moore in every movie he’s ever been in, warm and inviting and (probably) delicious. But not everyone’s into Shemar (lolz! They totally are), and that’s okay. The burger was awesome too, SO VISIT! Sidenote: a girl nearby said she liked her salad, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Do you like drinking outside?

You don’t have lupus if that’s what I’m asking? And what’s with the medical cautions in this review? You LOVE DRINKING OUTSIDE! And The Station is for a true lover of unsheltered imbibement. There’s a self contained outdoor bar that is simply wonderful, so that old saying, “Sun’s out, let’s get wasted,” is very applicable here. YOU’RE VISITING!

Did you find the intro of American Horror Story to be unappetizing? Particularly the part that shows odd animal body parts suspended in an unknown preservation fluid inside of mason jars?

American Horror Story!!!

Maybe you DON’T VISIT, because this place has a lot of that going on. Sure, pickling apologists will say this is a charming affectation for the otherwise “cozy, rustic, watering-hole” ambience, but how different is an egg and a baby chicken really? They’re gross and you can’t avoid talking about them unless you AVOID VISITING.

The Station!!!

Now that I’m thinking about it, how did the cucumber become the titled king of pickled mountain?

When assessing this debatably trivial piece of criteria, IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU VISIT. All the etymological knowledge of pickling that you need is right on Wikipedia. The Internet knows it’s a just a geographical oddity that Americans call the pickled cucumber a “pickle” while calling the pickled onion a “pickled onion”. Maybe the UK does it smarter (they do), whatever. But you should read up on it IF YOU VISIT, because you won’t be able to avoid talking about the mason jars.

Does the message of whether or not to visit feel like it’s getting a little lost and convoluted as this author takes forever to throw a blanket recommendation on this place?

Relax. This is a low-risk proposition. You’re not signing a mortgage in 2006, geez! IT’S DEFINITELY WORTH A VISIT….unless you don’t like drinking drinks and eating eats. ANOREXIC PEOPLE SHOULD NOT VISIT.

Wondering if etymology is a fun hobby,
Dusty “The Big Pickle” Riedesel

The more we know, the less we think. The danger of consumability.

It is a great power to take something and make it fit for human consumption. Crack a coconut, skin a rabbit, manufacture sunscreen, capture on film, put an idea into words. Somewhere along the metaphorical assembly line of producing human consumption—probably coinciding with Gutenberg’s kite getting struck by lighting and giving him the electric idea of a printing press powered by a steam turbine engine—it was realized that the more turnkey the entire process of consumption can be, the more individuals will consume it (whatever it may be). From Microwaves to Twitter, this idea has been the cornerstone of most technological developments. If it’s easy, people will use/buy/watch/click/eat it. Necessity hasn’t been necessary for decades. Laziness is the true mother of invention.

 

I call it consumability. There should be a better word for it since IBM tainted this word, but I’ll figure that out later. You see consumability being practiced everywhere. Peanut butter and jelly in the same squeeze bottle has higher consumability than peanut butter and jelly in two separate jars. Bottled water has higher consumability than a gallon of water. Send an email instead of writing a letter. Fly instead of driving cross country. Buy pre-sliced cheese. Hire a trainer. Join weight watchers. It’s any news focused around a ten-second sound bite. It’s anything that doesn’t require you to educate yourself. It’s anything that’s processed or mass produced, etc. Anything that’s prepackaged, presized, etc. Anything tweetable, etc. Anything etc. Yada yada. I know, right?

It all leads to curiousity about the consumability bell curve, where the easier it gets to consume something increases your enjoyment of it up to a point, and past that point you no longer appreciate the consumption because there is so little invested to get it. Individuals with time-intensive hobbies inherently understand this bell curve. They enjoy making ribs with a homemade rub and a homemade sauce that took 12 hours of prep time and 3 more hours to cook. They like fixing their own cars, mowing their own lawns, oiling the leather to break in their own baseball mitt, and slicing the orchard-picked apples to bake their own pies. If this sounds like a heavy handed call back to some suburban utopia of Americana past, it’s only because it is. The crazy part is that all that utopia describes things that are still my parents. That distant past is still happening tomorrow.

I’m not against advancement. I get it. Brewing a cup of coffee and hand-rolling a cigarette is a pain in the ass compared to a Keurig and an E-cig. You don’t even have to walk outside to enjoy the latter two (although that’s changing). Technological ease is not an evil unto itself, which is kind of a “duh” statement. But the human mind is a muscle that requires training, and once trained, it gets stuck in its ways. It’s the reason that a five-year-old can figure out an iPad faster than a 50-year-old. When trained for the far end of the consumability bell curve, we become dumb because we lose our curiosity. Our minds are trained for answers, not discovery. We have Google searches, Yahoo answers, whatever BING does, and the knowledge is given, not earned. The more we know, the less we think. On the flip side, someone who appreciates process as much as results has a learned understanding and healthy skepticism about everything that goes into the consumable end product, tangible or otherwise.

So that’s the worry. But every generation has always worried that everything’s getting bigger, faster and will spin out of control. It’s entropy on sociological level, and that’s always been the natural law that will drive the apocalypse. Does the universe expand enough to introduce an alien race that takes us down? Will technology become so smart that it renders human beings extinct. Will we create energies so powerful that we blow ourselves up? I’ve always thought that a blend between Wall-E and Nineteen Eighty-Four’s apocalypse stories was most likely. The interent doesn’t democratize us and set the world free. It spoon feeds us knowledge and makes us easily manipulated. Who under the age of thirty has any interest in reading 500 pages of legal verbiage in a political bill about what Tyson can feed their chicken? So it slides by, and the butterfly effect means no more privatized daycare. How the hell did it happen? Nobody on the single parent message boards knows.

Making something fit for human consumption does take power, and every Spider-Man fan knows what goes great with power. As long as consumers follow through with the responsibility of thinking critically, we should be alright.

Does my nickname prove a point?
Dustin “TL;DR” Riedesel