Friday, January 14

The Routine.



If you don't know me that well, or just don't listen very closely, you should know that I get into flashback mode every January since 2000. It stems from the depression of the bitter cold, horrid cabin fever, and the idea of turning another year older. More positively, however, it stems from the fact that 5 years ago in January, me and Celia became a couple.

In retrospect of this, I've compiled a mixtape for the first winter of 2000. The soundtrack to winter nights at age 17, finding new love and new friends in a very old car. Never mind how tired, played and downright unlistenable these songs are to you now; just enjoy them because of where they put you when you hear them.

So come along with me. I'll open the door to my Buick and pull the seat up so you can jump in the back. Then we'll leave school and head to the practice room for cover songs and cookie dough. The space heater tends to act up a bit, so we'll all have to use blankets and friction to keep warm. We can play music until 10, but then we have to keep quiet until curfew.

Take off your mittens and press play.

DISK #1:
1. Mustard Plug - Go
2. Reel Big Fish - Somebody Hates Me
3. The Aquabats - Red Sweater
4. The Impossibles - Widowmaker
5. Goldfinger - I Need To Know
6. Edna's Goldfish - Veronica Sawyer
7. Spring Heeled Jack - Pop Song (Green)
8. Showoff - Tell Me
9. Zebrahead - Someday
10. MxPx - Tomorrow's Another Day
11. Face To Face - Disconnected
12. The Benjamins - Couch

DISK #2:
1. The Gadjits - Traffic Tickets
2. The Chinkees - She's My Friend
3. My superhero - So Wrong
4. Catch 22 - Day In, Day Out
5. Jeffries' Fan Club - She's So Cool
6. Mad Caddies - The Bell Tower
7. Goldfinger - Superman
8. Reel Big Fish - The Kids Don't Like It
9. Less Than Jake - Al's War
10. The Ataris - San Dimas High School Football Rules
11. Showoff - Ralphie
12. The Impossibles - Always Have, Always Will

(It should be noted that even though "Great American Zero" didn't technically exist in January of 2000, it should probably get a spot on the CD somewheres.)

So, I need suggestions. What songs remind you of January 2000? (Ben? Sherry? Little help?) Stories are always welcome here, as well. Of course, most probably couldn't or shouldn't be shared.

I'm in a good mood, because I'm an hour away from a 3-day weekend. It's so crazy to think back 5 years ago, when I would pick Celia up from school and take her to my house, then drive through the ice and fog to drop her off at 10pm. The only difference now is that I'm picking her up from work, and I never have to drop her off again. I'm simply floored by the directions a life can take you in the span of a few years. You could never predict the future for yourself, and it would seem as if fate is more twisted and complicated than we could ever comprehend.

When I met Celia, one of the first things I asked her was, "Do you believe in fate?" Now that I'm older, I don't know what I believe, but frankly it doesn't matter anymore. I got what I wanted. If it was my choice or someone elses, I'm just glad that it happened.

Wednesday, January 12

More Than You Needed To Know.

SKA IS DEAD 2005:
STREETLIGHT MANIFESTO
(New Streetlight CD Release Coming Soon! Keasbey Nights 2?)
VOODOO GLOW SKULLS
(Incomprehensible Rockhead on Vocals! Amazing Horn Section!)
MU330
(Played With Mediocre at Best!)
Tuesday, February 1
Doors - 4:30 / Show - 5:00
$10 Advance - $12 Door - All Ages
Mad Planet - Milwaukee
Buy Tickets Now!

Monday, January 10

I Just Don't Understand.

An open letter to the person who stole my lunch at work today.
By: Ryan Zeinert

To Whom it may Concern,

This morning, I awoke at 6:15 and prepared myself for work. I washed my hair, checked the news to see what the weather was like, and chose against shaving. Just before I left my home, I packed myself a lunch, as I tend to get hungry everyday at about noon. I've been doing this every day since May 16, when I was first employed here.

The items contained in the lunch were carefully selected by myself days earlier at the local Supermarket. I chose these items because I enjoy to eat them, and I like to make my lunchtime experience as comfortable as possible. I look at lunch to be like a brief vacation from work, as most people do. Today I had brought along a Stouffer's frozen microwavable plate of macaroni and cheese with broccoli, as I do 4 days out of the week. Accompanying this dish was a vacuum-sealed portion of Mandarin oranges, as well as a butterscotch-flavored Snack Pak and a can of caffeine free Diet Pepsi. I brought along a plastic spoon and fork with which to enjoy these dishes.

Upon arrival to work, I placed all these items (save spoon and fork) into the refrigerator that is shared by approximately 50 people in my section. I neatly marked each individual item with a blue Sharpie brand marker, initialing them "R.Z.". It's office policy to do this, determining who's responsible for what lunch. It prevents old lunch build-up and confusion. This system was supposed to be foolproof.

That was until 11:58 today, when I opened the refrigerator to retrieve my lunch. The Pepsi, Mandarins and Snack Pak were where I had left them, but the Macaroni and Cheese was missing from the freezer. I chalked it up to misplacement on my part, and did a thorough check through the piles of other employee lunches. Sure enough, my main course was gone. Someone had taken it, and used it for their own lunchtime enjoyment.

What is wrong with you? I cannot for the life of me understand how someone can open a freezer, take out something that is clearly not theirs, and claim it for their own. Did you think it was your own lunch? If so, wouldn't there be an extra Macaroni and Cheese still sitting in the freezer? There wasn't, so that argument won't work. Did you not see my initials on the top of it? Even if you didn't, you couldn't possibly forget that you brought something completely different to eat for lunch that day, or perhaps you brought nothing at all. Which leads me to another upsetting aspect of this. Did you forget your lunch at home and decide to steal mine, or did you purposely leave your lunch at home so you could steal someone else's? Either way, that's not even close to cool on your part.

Perhaps you're a diabetic, and you needed the sugar. May I remind you that there's not much sugar in Macaroni and Cheese. Only 7 grams, to be exact. There's candy bars for sale right next to the refrigerator that have 5 times the sugar that was in my lunch. They were only 70 cents. No, you made a conscious decision to take someone's lunch, knowing full well that that person wouldn't be able to eat today because of your laziness and selfishness. Shame on you!

Usually, I would bring along 2 or 3 backup lunches in case something like this would happen. However, I was in a hurry today and didn't have the time. You see, I hurt my neck badly this weekend, and it's hard to turn my head back and forth. I'm in a good deal of pain, and it's hard to work as efficiently as I usually do. Today was very draining, and I was really looking forward to that lunch to pick me up and help me through the rest of the day. Imagine my disgust when I found out that you took it from me. Sure, I had oranges and pudding to eat, but I was reminded of a saying that my Dad used to tell me before I went to bed:

"As far as good meals go, lunch takes the cake,
but snack pak and mandarins, a lunch does not make."

You bastard. I hope that you don't know who I am. I hope that you're a new employee or something, because my initials were on the top of that lunch you ate today. Why don't you like me? Why did you take my lunch? There were, like, 30 lunches in that freezer that were bigger and more expensive than mine, but you purposely dug through those to get to mine. For the life of me, I cannot understand why you wanted to hurt me today. I wasn't at work all last week, so I couldn't have done anything to piss you off recently. Oh, and don't bother pretending that your initials are the same as mine, because I'm the only "R.Z." in the damn book. Save it, Judas. You stood there for 4 minutes and 30 seconds while my lunch rotisserated in the microwave, thinking about what you were doing.

I hope that the Macaroni and Cheese tasted like stale lies and betrayal, because I went hungry today because of what you did.

With Deepest Regret,
Ryan Zeinert


(Here are some sleeping tips to prevent yourself from neck injury while sleeping.)