Life As A Sore Thumb

The adventures & sometimes misadventures of a quarter-life crisis.

Bahamas - Full liveset from SXSW

One of the best concerts I’ve been to, and I even went alone. It turned out to be a liberating experience.

The Mid-20s: Where Have All the Friends Gone?

I’m talking about music, loneliness and the transition to adulthood we didn’t see coming.

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Yesterday I made the last minute decision to attend a concert by myself. My rationale for going was that I’d probably spend the evening alone anyway, so I may as well go out and be lonely in the presence of good live music. For many 20-somethings, it’s the first time that our individual life trumps the collective life of the friend group. Our jobs and relationships require and deserve more than a bare minimum effort, because we actually care. Ergo, many of us find we’re spending a significant portion of our days alone or only speaking to colleagues. So last night as I was biking across the Williamsburg Bridge in the warm late summer air, it occurred to me that this would be the norm as my social circle matured, and that could be liberating.

Without necessarily growing apart, many 20-somethings are experiencing a shift in obligations. Grad school, late nights at the office, medical school applications and future baby-daddy and wifey-hopefuls are a demanding workload. I don’t begrudge anyone putting full effort into their future. I’ve been known to head home early to Skype with my long distance beau. And for the last two months I’ve been working weekends and missing fun left, right and center. It’s just a point that doesn’t allow for as much whimsy among friends anymore. Hence going to a concert alone, which was actually awesome and the exact opposite of lonely.

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Bahamas is the solo act of Afie Jurvanen accompanied by lady harmonies and percussion. He’s a soulful Canadian with a magnetic stage presence. Google compares him to Jack Johnson but depending on the song, I hear The National vibes. There’s a braid of presumed human hair on Afie’s guitar strap – his wife’s? He joked about his sad-sack lyrics and how the crowd cheered through “Can’t Take You With Me” a song that should drag anyone down into the depths of broken-hearted gloom. Yet, somehow the way he plucks the strings of his pink Strat make you feel inspired rather than depressed. Lucky me, since I was fully prepared to get sad drunk all by my lonesome.

When I showed up to the concert the first people in line were Mike and his 17-year-old daughter, Lily. When he heard I didn’t have a ticket, and knowing they were sold out, he gave me one of his two extras and refused to accept payment or barter of pizza, drinks, etc. from me. I never would’ve experienced this generosity without being by myself. Once on the inside, even the bartender was friendlier than expected, but that may have had more to do with me being more open to finding camaraderie in the moment.

Though there are fewer impromptu social gatherings since my early 20s, the silver lining to every brunch that gets scheduled weeks in advance, or actual phone call on a birthday become more meaningful. Instead of lamenting being alone, embrace it. Join a coed sports league, take trip-hop dance lessons, whatever, just be willing to entertain the idea that your social life doesn’t have to only exist with a pre-established group of friends. It’ll at least give you some new stories to tell at the next wedding. 

Here’s a solid introduction to Bahamas. A full liveset session recorded at SXSW. Enjoy!

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Male Birth Control Is Coming & These Are the Facts

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I wouldn’t rely on male birth control as your only means of contraception, but it’s a start.

1. What’s in a name?
Vasalgel is named after the vas deferens (the tube sperm swim through)

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2. Where’s that needle going?! 
Through a one-time injection, Vasalgel blocks sperm without severing the vas deferens, as a vasectomy would.

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3. Are we talking months, years, forever?
The injection’s effects are reversible, but scientists aren’t sure how many years the implantation lasts yet.

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4. Do I need to refinance my house to pay for it?
We don’t know how much it will cost but “A contraceptive shouldn’t cost more than a flat-screen TV!”

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5. I want in, where do I sign up?
The Papsemus Foundation plans to begin human trials in 2015. There are thousands of requests, but if you’re interested stay informed.

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6. When does Maury start losing guests?
Expected to hit the market in 2017

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7.Freedom!
This is an awesome advancement in contraception BUT only condoms can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.

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Parsemus Foundation

Where Are They Now?

A look at where 80s cartoons, like Roger Rabbit, are now. It’s bleak.

Source: Steve Cutts Art

Groundskeeper Willie Explains Everything You Need to Know About the Scottish Independence Vote

"It’s not a tattoo, it’s a birth mark!"

Find the Best and Worst Values in Your Local Bar
I started working at a bar the same month I swore off buying alcohol for 30 days. Drinking wasn’t my problem, but the markup on alcohol, especially living in New York City, is a damn shame. This short video explains the mark up cost, sometimes as much as 456% (!) and you might be surprised to find it’s cheaper for high-end beverages.
(Business Insider)

Find the Best and Worst Values in Your Local Bar

I started working at a bar the same month I swore off buying alcohol for 30 days. Drinking wasn’t my problem, but the markup on alcohol, especially living in New York City, is a damn shame. This short video explains the mark up cost, sometimes as much as 456% (!) and you might be surprised to find it’s cheaper for high-end beverages.

(Business Insider)

Fuck Yes or No

Chet Faker – No Diggity (Live Sessions)

I’m a sucker for acoustic covers of hip-hop. Though, It’s probably not that surprising since I’ve always felt like our society’s human version of a mixed metaphor. I’m a middle-class black girl from Staten Island. I didn’t sound like my peers because enunciation was king in our household. I didn’t dress like a rocker, like a punk, like anything really because it was too much money. I was a jock who drank and smoked on the sly; an Honor Roll kid who was boy crazy. My average-ness isn’t tidy, so it’s always been noted. This track is for all those people out there who’ve spent life as a sore thumb.

Why & How Millennials Are Choosing Freedom Above All Else
Courtesy of one of my favorite travel sites, the Culture-ist.

Why & How Millennials Are Choosing Freedom Above All Else

Courtesy of one of my favorite travel sites, the Culture-ist.