Tag Archives: Fun.

What Magic Johnson Can Teach You About Relationships and Success

Audiobooks are hot fire. Even better than podcasts. They’re, like, every flame emoji a tweet can hold.

I just finished When The Game Was Ours by Magic and Larry. There will never be a better personification of humanity—the thin and nuanced line of contrast and commonality we all straddle with our individualism in a shared experience called life—in sports than those two ballers. I love calling them ballers. Especially Bird. Such a magnificent goofball. Dude is just a testament to single-minded ruggedness, like if plowing a field for 12 hours a day for a decade could put a triple double in your box score. And Magic, sheeeeeeat. Pretty sure he just smiled at HIV and it was like, “ok, maybe I won’t become full-blown AIDS.” That’s a joke, obviously, but there was one particular story Magic told in that book that’s worth sharing. We’ll get to it.

The book I listened to before When The Game Was Ours was called Take The Stairs by Rory Vaden. The gist of the book is that you have to work to be successful, which is just a golden nugget of an idea. Rory whittles it down to discipline and grind. “You don’t own success, you rent it. And the rent is due every day.” Taking this principle, Rory establishes the focus areas as five categories: Family, Finance, Faculty (work), Fitness, and Fun. I found this interesting because I’d always broken my life down to the less alliteratively pleasing categories of relational, financial, physical, professional and spiritual. I was close enough. When you drill into each area, you realize that they’re all conjoined. The qualities to be physically fit—discipline and routine—are the same qualities that make you financially fit. And just like those who give the most relationally have the most friends, people who give their money tend to find more financial opportunities. Maybe’s it karma. Maybe it’s fairy dust. Maybe you can see anything through rose colored glasses. I don’t know why it happens. But I do know that you should choose to put those glasses on and start seeing the world that way.

Here’s the Magic story as I remember listening to it.

Magic was in his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, just a kid. He’d just wrapped up practice, and he sees his more reclusive, hall-of-fame teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar get approached by a man and a boy.

“Kareem,” the man said. “My son and I are big fans. Would you mind taking a picture with us?”

Kareem dismissed them and walked on. Magic could tell that the boy was crushed and the father was embarrassed. So Magic put on a big grin and approached the father.

“If you don’t mind, you can take a picture with me,” Magic said. “Who knows, maybe I’ll be in the Hall of Fame one day.”

The father thanked Magic and posed for the picture with his son and the 21-year-old Laker.

Over 20 years later, Magic was indeed in the Hall of Fame. But he’d also become a businessman owning chains of coffee shops, movie theaters and other entrepreneurial efforts. To support one such endeavor, Magic had set up meetings with several businesses to secure investments. He was in the middle of his pitch with the CEO of one of these businesses, and the CEO interrupted him.

“You know, you and I have met before,” the CEO said.

“Really?” Magic replied.

“Yes we have. I don’t expect you to remember, but you took a picture with me and my son when you were a rookie, after Kareem turned us down. I always appreciated that you did that.

“Of course I remember,” Magic said. “How is your son?”

He’s doing very well. He has a great job with a good law firm. In fact, my son still has that picture. It hangs on his office wall.”

Magic left that office with a multi-million dollar deal.

Putting on the glasses,
Dusty “rose-colored” Riedesel

Dr. Tom – The Essential Summer Playlist (Part 2): P.A.R.T.Y?

Last week we discussed some crusin’ tunes: Dr. Tom – The Essential Summer Playlist (Part 1): Cruisin’ Tunes

Now it’s time to talk about how to set the perfect tone for your Friday night party/pregame/whatever. Let’s be honest, a party without (good) music is like a hamburger without cheese or a cherry Pop Tart with out butter…it’s useless and only enjoyed by people who are lactose intolerant. I have a couple of good friends who aid me in my musical discoveries. My buddy Nick has a playlist for EVERYTHING. I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean that extremely literally, and its awesome. Having an 80’s party? Check. Having a rager? Check. Barn party? Check. If you grew up in a city you have no idea what a barn part is, and the rest of us forgive you.

My other good friend is Tom. In college Tom unknowingly effected me for the rest of my life with one single quote. He was huge on having music always playing at his parties and would adjust it to the mood of the party. At one point during a party, someone paused the music by mistake and almost instantly followed by Tom shouting “What the hell is this silence? I’d rather listen to Bette Midler than this silence!” I’ve since quoted him on this at least 50 times over the last several years, because I also couldn’t agree more.

I preface it this way, because the music at your parties is probably terrible. You put on a mix of Top 40 and Nickelback or simply turn your Kenny Chesney Pandora station on, and leave the ambiance of your tunes to complete chance. I’m gonna share 4 solid songs that I promise people will tap their toe, nod their head or get down to in your living room/garage this summer. (Spoiler alert: I’m also going to give you 3 bonus songs).

1. fun. – “Some Nights” – At this point everyone and their mother (and I mean that literally) has heard “We Are Young,” which in it’s own right makes it a solid party choice with inevitable sing-a-long-ability. But let’s be original and interesting and make the cute girl you invited say “This band sounds familiar, who is this?” and you can woo her with your in depth musical knowledge which extends beyond the current hit. You’re welcome. “Some Nights” is so reminiscent of a modern day Freddie Mercury and Queen and is probably going to be the next single from the album. So get on it now.

2. Childish Gambino – “Heartbeat” – It starts off slowly and you’ll think, Dr. Tom this isn’t the right prescription. And then 49 seconds in, you’ll say, “Thank you.” Not sure if I can use any other word to explain this song other than sexy. So I’ll leave it at that. Disclaimer: He doesn’t use a sensor when writing these lyrics.

3. Skrillex (The Doors Mashup) – “Breakin a Sweat” Ok ok ok, it’s dubstep. You’ve heard about it. Maybe you like it, maybe not. I had a serious debate with my buddy Quint about whether or not it is actually “music.” Personally, I don’t care because it sounds awesome and its perfect for your Friday night party. Besides it blends new wave music with The Doors, I mean…come on. If you’ve never seen the movie “The Doors” see it. But at 2:38 in this song you hear Morisson himself talking about the future of music 40+ years earlier. This won’t let you down. Scout’s honor (I wasn’t a Boy Scout, so that is an empty promise).

4. Head Automatica – “Beating Heart Baby” – Another dance jingle for you. It has a cowbell in it. Need I say more?


These next 3 songs are because I care about your well-being and popularity amongst your peers. I’m kinda like the doctor who “over-prescribes” your aderall so you’re free to share. (I’m not an actual Dr. and don’t recommend this).

The theme of these extra three songs are songs we were probably too young to actually drink and party to, but EVERYONE at your party will know them and sing along happily. A little nostalgia mixed with some alcohol is ALWAYS a good thing. Save these for after the power hour.

5. Blink 182 – “Damnit” – You know the band. You know the song. And you know that you were younger than 15 when it came out. If you were drinking at 12, then me and your family would like to invite you to a show called Intervention. Crank this at your party, everyone will know it, everyone will sing it and if the don’t, please uninvite them to future parties.

6. Wheatus – “Teenage Dirtbag” – I threw this in here because for some reason I’ve always liked it. It’s not even that good of a song, honestly. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I was kinda a nerd, or I like the movie Loser (no idea why). I just really wished we all still dressed like this. And who wouldn’t wanna be the guy in the band who plays nothing but simple hand instruments that no one hears? (maracas, tambourine, etc).

7. Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping” – My cousin dubbed this onto a tape when I was in 8th grade and I played this song on my Walkman until the tape actually ripped. Then I’d dance awkwardly at 8th grade dances with girls that I was too afraid to talk to with this song in the background. They talk about drinking multiple types of alcohol in this song…why were they playing it at an 8th grade dance? Anyway…drink a whiskey drink, drink a vodka drink, drink a lager drink, drink a cider drink (damn that’s redundant) sing the songs that remind you of the good times, and get up again.

Next up – Pool/Beach songs.

Party on Garth,

tc “Wayne”



Dr. Tom – The Essential Summer Playlist (Part 1): Cruisin’ Tunes

The amazing weather outside lately has really motivated me to sit on my couch and write (there’s irony there – think about it). What’s the best part about summer? The beach? Nay. Cookouts? Nope. Baseball? Not a chance. The best part about summer…the girls in sun dresses. What does that have to do with music? Nothing. So let’s talk about music now (smooth transition).

Summer provides us countless opportunities to create a soundtrack for our lives and when the perfect song and perfect moment meet, its orgasmic and something that song will be associated with in your mind (heart) forever. That was really cheesy, but I’m not gonna apologize. I’m a lover not a fighter. Since most of you have awful taste in music and would probably just play Kenny Chesney “Summertime” on repeat all summer, I felt it was my responsibility as your doctor to not let you make that mistake.

In a 4 Part Series I’m gonna give you 5 songs that will get you through your drive home from work, 5 for the party you’re throwing Friday night, 5 for the pool/beach the next day and 5 tunes you and your lady can sit on the back porch, pier, park bench, bed and listen to and make memories (read: love).

Disclaimer: These playlists will likely be sans modern country music. Nothing against it, but I just don’t listen to it and don’t find it particularly moving or inspiring anyway. Long Live Alan Jackson!

Today we’re talking about songs you’ll want to crank the windows down after a long day or weekend, go the speed limit and enjoy the ride (if you still manually crank your windows down, I hope you also still have those beaded seat covers that rip the hair out of the back of your leg too. My grandma had them in her gold 1989 mercury sable). And in no particular order…

1. Band of Horses – “Marry Song”. Quite honestly any BoH song would fit perfectly in those quotes, but this is an older tune from them that has always been a personal fav of mine. I don’t know if its the ringing organ, the spot on harmonizing vocals or the amazingly accurate lyrics, but I love this song.

2. The Format – “If Work Permits”. Ever heard of The Format? Maybe you recognize the voice? Yeah, you got it. It’s Nate Ruess from the band you now know simply as “fun.” Ben Heller mentioned the final Format album Dog Problems as “arguably the catchiest, most overlooked orchestral pop album of this century” and I really don’t think I could agree more. Check his take on it here. After this post it will be one of the best, most complete albums you’ve ever heard, I promise. The line “sometimes when sailors are sailing, the think twice about where they’re anchoring. I think I could make better use of my time on land,” should make you go do something with your life. Also when everyone is singing “We Are Young” at the next bar/party you can be really pretentious and say “This song is good, but their early stuff when they were The Format was so much less corporate and processed.”

3. Good Old War – “That’s Some Dream”. Simple chorus “I’m gonna live I’m alright. I’m gonna die its alright, I’m OK.” Combine that with an impossible to ignore Beatles-esque “La Da Da” and you’ll be singing this song all night. Also just accept the fact that you’ll never look as bohemian as these guys.

4. Lydia – “I Woke Up Near the Sea”. If you ask someone what instrument they wish they could play, the overwhelming majority will say guitar. It’s a sexy instrument. But if you watch people when a song comes on that everyone really digs and the majority of people prefer the Air Drum over the Air Guitar. And most people are terrible air drummers. If you ever drive by me in my car see me flailing my arms like I’m playing drums, it’s probably to this song because its an easy air drum song. This song is like your favorite roller coaster – slowly builds you up, then drops you raging downward at an 80* angle and it does it until you hate that you love this ride that makes you feel this way.

5. Butch Walker – “The Closest Thing To You I’m Gonna Find”. Butch Walker is a genius and he rocks the hell out of a cut off denim jacket. He also puts on the most incredible live performance I’ve ever seen and he takes about 8 shots of Jameison Whiskey while he’s doin it. That’s a man. I couldn’t find a recorded version of this song to share with you, so I used a live version. Aside from the crowd noise, if you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t be able to tell anyway..he’s that good. Enjoy!

So that does it for Part 1. Now go download these songs/albums/discography, roll your windows down and enjoy the ride.