Author Archives: Quzar

Something About Something About Friends

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From time to time we are faced with why

it’s our closest friends who always make us sigh

 

Passerby, classmate, coworker, new friend,

try and do, show up on time; setting a new trend

 

The reason is plain but not easy to see

It’s a problem with them but also with me

 

While new friends may show up and share a good song

Best friends are those to whom you can never say ‘so long’

 

New friends are gone if they don’t try

But best friends are forgiven without batting an eye.

 

You don’t want them to just be there in the end,

instead to be *with you* and take the hand you lend.

 

You want them to grow, to live, and be free

And when they do, it fills you with glee.

 

So don’t you forget, we all do some wrong

but best friends are there to make you feel like you belong.

 

Tell a friend you love them. It can’t hurt!

10 Roadtripping Tips

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Around every 2-3 years I make sure to take a road trip of at least 4000 miles. In the past I’ve done Miami-Charlottesville (MagFest 4), Miami-Pittsburgh (School – CMU), Miami-Chicago, and most recently Miami-DC-Chicago-Homestead, MT-Denver-Grand Canyon-OKC-Miami. Through these trips, and with advice from my father (a veteran road tripper) I’ve built up some good tips and tricks for (solo) roadtripping on a budget. So when our very own BoxyBrown told me he was looking for tips for his 2 month tumble around the states, I decided to gather up some of my best.

 

1) Windshield Wiper Fluid

A mostly forgotten car fluid, having this in good supply is essential on road trips. When driving familiar streets, as one does day-to-day, low visibility can be an annoyance but usually not dangerous. However, when going 80 in the dark down a highway looking for signs, those smudges on the windshield become a lot more than eyesores.

Spritzing wiper fluid when you first turn on the wipers for rain can also aid in the water sliding off the windshield and beading better. Of course also ensure your wipers are generally in good working order, they’re not too costly but make a lot of difference when you have a lot of road ahead of you and the rain is coming down.

2) Frozen Water Bottles

When keeping a cooler in your car for snacks, meals, and/or medical supplies frozen water bottles are the best way to maintain cold (significantly better than reusable chemical ice packs). 1-3 liter bottles are the best, but will take a day or so to completely freeze. Once frozen, they can last a week in a cooler (especially if you surround your cooler with insulating things like blankets, pillows, towels, or suitcases), and when in need will provide cold water. In any overnight stop you make where a freezer is handy, then can be refrozen and topped off.

3) Snacking

Not only a good way to cut down on stops for meals, having something that you might be reaching for and chewing helps stave off monotony on large stretches of road. Trail mix, or jerkies tend to be good not only because of the chewyness, but for being very concentrated nutrition sources. When on the road, I tend to only eat two light meals a day, then nibble on snacks the rest. Can’t afford to get the itis!

4) Voice Recorder

Being in the isolation of a car for long periods tends to cause the brain to try to stretch itself out, some people call it thinking (whatever). Instead of letting errant thoughts flit away like the milemarkers you pass, record them. This can be like an audio diary, or just notes for yourself. When you have downtime, go back to the recordings, and you can elaborate or take action on them. Regardless of how you do it, it’s much more pleasing (and productive) than talking to yourself, and much less dangerous than actually having a phone conversation.

5) Interstate Rest Stops

I’ve never paid for a hotel on a road trip. In almost all states, the interstate road stops allow for at the very least 16 hour parking, and in many have some sort of security. They tend to be away from town centers with the interstate being the only way to reach them, which makes them relatively crime free. Throw a mat or blankets in the back seat and you’re good for the night. During the day, many are also manned with someone who can provide information on the locale and any sights to see. At any time there are usually also maps, which may seem irrelevant in the era of GPS but are great for wandering, finding scenic routes, and as souvenirs. Last, but certainly not least, the restrooms tend to be much MUCH nicer than your run-of-the-mill gas station.

6) Pawn/Thrift shops

Other than being a good way to interact with local color, second-hand shops tend to be full of souvenir goods that have lost their appeal. Additionally, any item that you get now automatically has a much more exciting back story, e.g.: In a large indoor flea market in Cheyenne, WY I found an AD&D Player’s Handbook. Inside was a story of the former owner’s last play session with a good friend who had to move away.

7) Sammiches

Ingredients tend to keep without spoiling in a cooler, and with a relatively small set of condiments you can get a good rotation of flavours to not grow tired of the food. Saves vs fast food financially, health-wise, and time-wise.

8) Reenter highway on the next exit

Oftentimes when stopping for gas, instead of going right back onto the highway, I’ll make my way through the city and reenter one or two exits down. This is a very time-economical way to get a little bit of sightseeing in. Main streets are particularly fun, or you might ask a clerk at the gas station about anything worth seeing nearby.

9) Cruise Control

This is a real take-it-or-leave-it thing. I’ve had people tell me that focusing on keeping a constant speed allows them to focus more on driving and alerts to when they’re too tired. To me, it just creates a distraction. Keeping cruise control can ensure that you are at peak gas efficiency, not accidentally speeding, and more precisely aware of how long it will take to get to your next destination. It can also just give you one less thing to have to worry about and free your mind up for taking in the view or talking to yourself.

10) Respect Your Limits

Simple right? It’s harder than you’d think sometimes. Try your best to plan a trip flexibly, making room for going slower than you know you will or driving fewer hours than you know you’ll be able to. It becomes very easy to lose a lot of time, and you don’t want to be thinking about driving another 100 miles at 2am. Relax and remember this is supposed to be fun, and you can always set your alarm earlier in the morning. If you find yourself having to guzzle the caffeine, or are constantly wanting to stop to just stretch and wake up, you should probably already have stopped.

 

Hope these help and would-be traveler. Throw down a comment if you have any you’d like to share!

Go live.

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This page is hereby deemed alive. Below are some posts that BoxyBrown (Jorge) and I (Donald) have been working up in the past while to fill this thing up.

On Homosexuality

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‘It’s not gay if there’s no tongue’

I’m On One

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This song is clearly about how rough it is to be an athlete outclassing your teammates and being held back by them. Drake is a veteran baseball player who has returned to his home city’s loosing team. His teammates (Rick Ross and ‘lil Wayne) perform so poorly that he is perpetually stuck on first base.

The intro is clear:

(I get ’em up!) I’m on one
(I get ’em up!) Fuck it, I’m ‘on one
(I get ’em up!) I said I’m on one

‘I get ’em up!’ is a reference to the fact that the audience comes only to see him play, and are quite excited (standing up). While the repetition of ‘I’m on one’ is both a sad and angry declaration that he has made it to first base. He is there due to his spectacular playing, but cannot leave due to lack of help from his teammates.

” I’m getting so throwed, I ain’t went this hard since I was 18″

He is being ‘thrown for a loop’ because he has not had to put so much effort in since the start of his career, and yet he gets nothing out of it.

“Apologize if I say anything I don’t mean
Like what’s up with your best friend?
We could all have some fun, believe me”

He has tried, and failed, to encourage his teammates to put some effort into playing. ‘We could all have some fun’, but they are content with their own poor performance due to a sense of job security, being paid enough, and a sense of comfort with futility.

“And what’s up with these new niggas?
And why they think it all comes so easy?”

Even the new players on the team, not hardened by defeat, think that victory can come without hard work and thus fail as well.

“But get it while you here boy
Cause all that hype don’t feel the same next year boy
Yeah and I’ll be right here in my spot with a little more cash
Than I already got trippin off you cause you had your shot”

Despite their failings, he’s going to continue playing as well as he can, working as hard as he can. He has the admiration of his fans, and notoriety and he will not let anyone keep him from that. The rest have had their chance and he’s not going to end up like them.

“Hate the rumours, hate your bullshit, hate these fucking allegations
I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking, watch me take it!”

With his ambitious character, his teammates have slandered him quite fiercely, but he’s still going to strive for excellence.

And now with a burst of owning his situation and flaunting it we arrive at the hook:

“All I care ’bout is money and the city that I’m from
I’ma sip until I feel it, I’mma smoke it ’til it’s done ”

He has his money from his previous successes, and now he’s focusing on caring about the city he loves. Sipping on fame and ‘smoking’ the competition.

 

“Two white cups and I got that drink
Could be purple, it could be pink
Depending on how you mix that shit”

Purple and pink drink are clear references to various flavors of sports drinks.

The following verses has his teammates simply extolling the ‘large’ life they live. Exaggerating their grandiose living and skills. After each one he comes back in repeating the hook, making clear that while they are absorbed in their lives of faux stardom, he is concerned about his hometown. And despite their supposed excellence, he is still on one.

Cashin Out

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I listen to the song and hear the lament of someone who lived the big life during the housing bubble and is now underwater on his condo.

 

“Got a condo on my wrist girl, I’m cashing out
Got a condo around my neck girl, I’m cashing out”

He is shackled and yoked by the burden of his property, and now has to ‘cash out’ sell it for what it’s worth and take the loss. He recounts this to a girl to dismiss her seeking favor from him.

“I got Versace all on my back
These hoes all on my back
Plus these plugs all on my back
Cause they know I’m moving that pack”

His favorite clothier, former sexual partners, and drug selling associates are all out to collect on his debts to them, because they know he is leaving the condo and coming into money.

 

“These Louies all in my face
Four-fifths stay up on my waist
Plus it ain’t on me for nothing so please don’t make me catch a case
Cause bitch I’m ’bout it”

‘Louies’  are the collection agency thugs holding a .45 revolver to his waist. He asks them not to take him to court, because he is serious about restitution.

 

“Me walking round with no check on me, psshh
Yeah I doubt it
Your girl ain’t finna leave with me, psshh
Yeah I doubt it
And I’m like, what the hell they talking ’bout
And if I got it I bought it, cause boy you know I’m cashing out”

This is a lament to his former life of solvency, when he could use cheques (due to having money in the bank) and leave with any woman he wanted. But he shames those who might talk poorly of him for his financial choices, for he takes full responsibility for his purchases, and he is now cashing out.

On Fabric Softner

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‘Bitches love fabric softner’

Welcome

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Soon to be filled with a little bit of everything from the minds of myself and a few friends.

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