Apex Legends Sucks

The name of this blog is Everything Sucks so everything has to begin this way. But a full disclaimer on this post right away: I actually like Apex Legends to the extent that I play the game all the time and I think I enjoy myself (mostly) while playing it. I suppose I’m trying to say that I have nothing to fault the actual game for, but the type of game it is has some glaring fucking problems that make the experience less than enjoyable sometimes most of the fucking time. You’ll see what I’m getting at in a bit.

Apex Legends is another one of these battle royale games that has became immensely popular in the previous year or two with games like Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds — affectionately known as “PUB-G” — and Fortnite being, well, immensely popular. Since they’re so popular it’s no surprise that EA, the infamous video game company, also had to jump on board with its own battle royale game called Apex Legends. Another disclaimer is in order here: I’ve never played a battle royale game before Apex so my gripes are probably applicable to other games as well only this is the first time that I’ve experienced them personally. Let’s get into it!

Being the Jumpmaster

The first way this game suck is that it forces one of your three members to be something called “the jumpmaster.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: you’re the one in charge of deciding when and where to jump into the game world which isn’t a trivial thing. Really it isn’t too big of a deal as any good player can make any location they land at work, but to the inexperienced person this seems like a huge fucking deal. It’s anxiety-inducing if you’re new to the game and find yourself as the one to decide where in the world to land your team and how they’re at the mercy of any shitty choice you make in the matter. Like I said it isn’t too big of a deal but this also plays into the next part a bit.

The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect (roughly) means that any small choice or action can have huge ramifications in the future. Apex is a perfect example of this in a tiny, “fun”, and easy to understand fashion. For example, think of the jumpmaster from the previous section. If you land in a good location you might find good armor, fewer enemy teams, and this might set you up in a small but decisive way that allows your team to win the game. Conversely, if you make the choice to “hot drop” into a zone where half the other teams also drop there will be a bloodbath and you most likely will die in a few minutes. This is why being the jumpmaster really sucks because where you decide to land could actually determine if you win the game or die within 30 seconds.

That was just one example but these “small choices are a big deal” difficulties are all over the game. Like going into one door could mean you find an enemy squad and get shot in the face and die while another door could mean you find the best armor ever that allows you to barely not die when you do face that enemy squad. The tiny percentage of health that you don’t restore could be the tiny but deciding factor in you and your squad’s demise. I’ve had so many games where I didn’t do anything useful at all only to revive the one person on my team that wins the game for us making me, in retrospect, immensely important to winning the match. Each game you play leaves you wondering “what if?” with every little choice you make having huge implications for the rest of the match.

Randomness and Luck

The weapon, armor, and item spawns are random (more or less I guess) so luck plays a big part in the game. This is nice for inexperienced players as they could accidentally stumble upon an amazing weapon and this helps cut down on the edge good players have. (They can’t just drop where their favorite weapon is every game and dominate.) But it is frustrating when you hot drop into a death zone and upon running into a building to find a weapon — ANY WEAPON AT ALL! — you find two or three totally useless sniper stocks so when you see an enemy in the next 5 seconds you have no way to defend yourself and are instantly dead. This plays into the butterfly effect thing above, and I suppose randomness really drives it, but sometimes the spaws just suck, you find yourself with zero luck, and you die.

I Just Can’t Quit

I’ve had more “Just one more game” syndrome in this game than I’ve had in any other game, including Don’t Starve with the similar “Just one more day” syndrome. It’s so hard to quit when playing this game. This is due to the majority of the games — like 90% — you play being total shit where you die in the first minute due to the reasons mentioned above and below. It’s so hard for a game to be satisfying to ever call it “the last game” where you quit and go about your day. You just can’t end on a low note or even worse an average note. Some games you die before finding a gun, sometimes someone sneaks up behind you and kills you, sometimes your teammates are brand new and are worthless, sometimes your teammates run off and leave you or even exit the game leaving you alone; so much can go wrong that it’s hard to have a game that is decent and an acceptable “last game.” Speaking of others in the game…

I’m Really Bad/Others are Really Good

Part of the addictiveness of the game is the fact that I’m terrible at it. I should say that I’m not terrible at it but I’m not really good at it. I can sort of hold my own and support my teammates but I certainly can’t carry a team with two shitty players.

On the opposite side of the same coin is the fact that there are some really good players out there. It’s one thing to be good against single-player AI in games but it’s a whole other deal playing against actual people who have brains and can think more swiftly than you can about how to surprise and kill their opponents. I’m kinda busy with kids and a job so I can’t play very much but imagine that 12-year-old kid who every damn day gets home from school and plays Apex for six hours straight. Everyday. And this kid has also been playing Fortnite, Call of Duty, PUB-G, or Overwatch for the past five years nonstop. He’s going to be fucking amazing and at the very least way better than most people. It’s these type of people that can and will kill you in less than a second and leave you feeling like dogshit with your playing abilities.

It is pretty amusing when a 10-year-old kid carries your team to victory though.

Awful Teammates

By far the deciding factor in any Apex game is your teammates. If you play with friends you’re probably fine as you most likely have good team chemistry and know what the others are going to do, but if you play with random people you will most likely have a shitty game. I’d say 60% of the games I play are straight-up bullshit, 20% are average, and 10% are decent. This is mostly due to who you get stuck playing with.

The game pairs you up with two other people and just imagine how that can go? Like think of your coworkers and choose two at random that you have to work closely with as a team. You have to protect each other, stick together, and travel together while every other group in the world is trying to fucking kill you. Most of your randomly chosen coworkers will fucking suck; even if you have a few that you think you could work with the majority of them are asshats that do everything wrong. This is exactly how teams in Apex Legends are.

Sometimes you have an inexperienced group that insists on hot dropping and dying instantly because none of them can barely aim a weapon or run but somehow think they can solo 6 other 3-man teams. And then there’s the one guy in the group that thinks he’s a total badass and flies halfway across the map leaving you and your other member just shit out of luck when you get attacked. It’s possible to survive that situation if you’re really fucking good but in a battle royale game like this sticking together is one of the best things you can do to stay alive. Usually the person that goes rouge-solo is either actually really good or really fucking bad but really selfish. Either way it does nothing for the well-being of the group and everyone loses.

I’m not good at the game but I know I’m not as awful as some of these other players are. If I see my squad has shitty armor I’ll point some better stuff out to them and sometimes they just ignore it! Sometimes I’ll point out enemies to my squad and — especially if they’re new — they’ll just run across open ground in view of everyone and just start shooting! This inevitably leads to the entire team’s death in less than a minute because everyone knows where we are and can fish-in-a-barrel us from everywhere. And let’s not forget the people that just ignore you if you’re fallen or dead and give zero fucks about trying to revive you or to save you. Fuck you guys, you’re the worst.

People are usually the main reason anything sucks as we’re a varied species. For every person you get along with that isn’t an asshat there are at least 10 others that fucking suck. We’re talking drivers, workers, people at the store…shitty people are everywhere and Apex is no fucking exception. Most games I play I have average or sub-par teammates that can and will utterly fuck the game up for the team. But sometimes, rarely, you get a good team where everyone has complimentary play styles and everything fits together like a puzzle or a well-oiled and tuned machine. Sometimes everything just works and it’s amazingly fun.

And that’s what makes this game enjoyable to play: searching for that good damn game. Because when the stars do line up and everything works — your teammates are good and take care of each other, you get a good drop, a good weapon, come out on top in an early fire fight, find good loot, and just get plain fucking lucky — the game is fun as hell and amazing. You feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s the fact that so much can, will, and does go wrong that when everything goes right it’s an amazing feeling. Having that game where you and your three-man team comes out on top of 57 other people is a great feeling and leaves you playing over and over again. Apex Legends doesn’t really suck, or maybe it does and that’s why it’s such a fun game to play.

Does Weezer Suck? Part One.

This post will be a little bit different as I start out with the question of does something suck, in this case the band Weezer, and then follow it up it later with if it really does suck. I originally was going to write a post saying that, yes, Weezer does in fact suck, but that had one major problem with it: I hadn’t actually listened to any other their albums besides the first two. Trying to say a band sucks by not listening to anything besides the critically-acclaimed and wildly popular first two albums (Weezer and Pinkerton) is quite a flawed plan, so I held back on that.

But Weezer still might suck for the reasons I suspect they do so I’ll break the post into two parts.

Let’s start off by saying that I was never a huge Weezer fan. I first became aware of the band back in high school around 2001 or 2002. They appeared on the scene with the slightly-okayish song “Hash Pipe” and some music video with Muppets in it (“Keep Fishin’”). There was also the slightly-catchy but really cringy and annoying “Beverly Hill”s that I was never a fan of. It seemed like a geeky band released a “try too hard” song about being cool or something. What was really strange about this “new” band Weezer was they seemed really well-known and popular when these songs came out even though I had never heard of them. One girl in high school even had a Weezer shirt. Like they release a few okayish songs and people are wearing their shirts already? What?! The songs weren’t that good.

It turned out that Weezer was a thing because they had already released two magnificent albums in the 90s before going on a hiatus. I became aware of this fact after high school when my friend Brent and I went on a road trip to South Dakota. This isn’t too important but on the long drive back to Illinois he put on an album by Weezer, and it was really good. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was treated to fantastic, unnamed songs that I later discovered were “My Name is Jonas,” “No One Else,” “The World has Turned,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” among many others. Even on my first listen stuck in a tiny Saturn in the middle of nowhere I knew this album was something else. Usually when you first listen to an album you don’t know if it’s good or not but this was one of those rare albums that I knew was a classic. Weezer was a thing because of that album at the very least.

This masterpiece right here.

I later came to find out that that album was their first one, titled Weezer but constantly referred to as The Blue Album because, well, it’s blue (The Blue Album is basically its de-facto name now.). I later listened to their second album Pinkerton a few years later and that album was good because it was heavy, raw, and you could hear the band struggling with their newly-found success, especially in regards to the lyrics. It was a mess when compared to Blue but a real, genuine mess that had its own dark, quirky, insecure personality. Remember I found all of this out after their new “success” and the “Beverly Hills” days.

Currently Weezer is back in the spotlight with their cover of Africa and even released a new album of cover songs titled Weezer but called The Teal Album. They also have another album coming out in a few weeks titled Weezer but called The Black Album (are you seeing a pattern yet?). With all of this recent news about Weezer it got me curious as to what they’ve been up to in the past decade and a half.

Apparently either a lot or not very much depending on who you ask. They’ve released a ton of albums while none have seemed to have gotten the hype and love that their first two albums have gotten. Go pick any of the mid-to-later year albums and read some reviews on them: most seem like they’re “meh” while everyone is hoping and expecting another Blue Album. The same seems true with the songs on these albums: go listen to any random song off of these later albums and it’ll probably sound good but not too good. Like it’ll be what you expect a Weezer song to sound like without being a Weezer song from The Blue Album. While I’ve heard a few decent songs from these years (“Pork and Beans,” “The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived”) nothing seems to be standing out as a “great album.” And for releasing like 7 or 8 albums since Make Believe (the one with “Beverly Hills”) you’d think there’d be something notable out there but there isn’t. They appear to be releasing constant 6/10 or 7/10 albums: albums that are good but not really good.

That was my original “Weezer Sucks” thesis: the band made two masterpieces and went to shit after they found success. Making this even worse is they kept churning out music in what appeared to be a desperate attempt to just make music, even if it was mediocre music. They didn’t release two good albums, a shitty one, and called it quits when they realized they were trash. No, they just got shitty and kept going. Their later music also lacks any sort of conviction or heart of the first two and even though they are shoveling out album after album nothing feels genuine. Listen to any song off of The Blue Album and then listen to “Beverly Hills” or “Can’t Stop Partying” and you know that band has lost its heart. Like they lost their soul or something. Arcade Fire’s past two albums have been shit, but it seems as if they’re still being genuine about their songs and just failing in the execution. Weezer just seems like a band that has lost its way and isn’t that enough to say that they Suck?

No, because I haven’t actually listened to anything post-Pinkerton besides a few songs here and there. Obviously it’d be stupid to write a Weezer Sucks post after not having actually listened to their later music. They’ve also been around for so long the middle stuff might actually be good and the latter music trash (Make Believe is closer to The Blue Album timewise than it is to The White Album), but I can’t say this unless I listened to more of their music. So that’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to sit down and listen to every Weezer album in order to get a real idea what happened with the band over the years. So does Weezer suck? I don’t know. Maybe. And if they do suck I might actually be spot-on with my reasoning and can make a second post saying “Yep, told you guys. I was right.” So far I’ve made it past Make Believe and I can say for a fact that it sucked, but as for the band and their entire discography? I don’t know. We will see!

Before I get too far into their albums, feel free to let me know what your favorite and least favorite albums by Weezer are. After I listen to everything I’ll be really curious as to what everyone thinks about their albums.

Quitting Drinking Sucks

I think I’ve realized that I’m what people call a “High-Functioning Alcoholic” meaning that even if I drink quite a bit more than is healthy/good/normal I don’t exhibit any of the “classic signs” of being an alcoholic. I don’t miss work. I don’t drink and drive. I don’t gamble or blow unusual amounts of money when drunk and I don’t beat the shit out of my family. But by being this type of person you get sucked into the mindset that you don’t have a problem when you probably do. Since there is nothing to really gain by maybe, possibly being an alcoholic I think I’m going to attempt to stop drinking. Again.

That’s right: Again. I gave it a decent shot a few months ago and failed miserably. I made it two weeks sober and just totally fell off the wagon (or got on the wagon?) You might think that two weeks sober is pretty good, and while I suppose it is, it apparently means you’re not out of the woods yet. Upon reaching two weeks sober I realized that shit was beginning to get very very difficult. Let me digress for a moment…

I used to smoke cigarettes and nicotine, the addictive ingredient in cigarettes, is one of the stupidestly addictive substances known to man. Like it’s right up there with heroin in case you didn’t know. I smoked for about five years and tried to quit countless times and met failure each of those times, except for the last of course. Because I did quit smoking! I told myself when I was free from nicotine to never get addicted ever again because it was such a bitch to quit. I just never wanted to have to quit smoking ever again.

It’s common knowledge that quitting smoking is hardest in the first week; if you make it a week without smoking you’re good to go. I found this to be not precisely true as you still crave nicotine even after a week. In fact the urge never seems to totally go away; the cravings just sort of tend towards zero after a long time. But I would say after two weeks of not smoking I felt pretty decent and not at risk of smoking again. The hardest time occurs during the first few days though. Upon trying to quit cold turkey I found I became suicidal within the first six hours. It was no joke how nicotine (or the lack of) fucks with your mind. I know it was nicotine withdrawal causing my mental havoc because upon smoking a single cigarette my suicidal thoughts magically disappeared. My point here is that nicotine withdrawal peaks really fucking fast and is really shitty. With nicotine I found I needed to slowly “wean” myself off them because cold turkey just didn’t work at all for me.

Here. I made a rough chart showing how miserable I felt when I quit smoking. As you can see your misery peaks in a day or two and then slowly subsides to a low level by a week.

A scientific chart on how awful you feel when you quit smoking.

Since I quit smoking — which is one of the most ridiculous and addictive things ever — drinking should be easy to quit! Right? After all I never drank as much as a “real” alcoholic would; I wasn’t drinking daily for years upon years. Even if there were scary withdrawal symptoms (alcohol is one of the few substances that you can die from during withdrawal) I was confident that I wouldn’t suffer the worst of them like DTs or those fucking “pink elephant” hallucinations from the Looney Tunes cartoons. Like I wouldn’t end up hospitalized or anything so I have that going for me.

One thing that should’ve tipped me off that not drinking wouldn’t be that easy — even without any serious medical issues to worry about — is realizing how I can easily go a few days without drinking and that cravings really only happen on the third or fourth day. I assume I had this “nicotine withdrawal” mentality going on where I thought if you made it day or two without drinking you instantly win against alcohol, which is obviously easy to do. This is not the case.

I made it about a week and a half before I really started to know something was going on. I began to feel tired and exhausted all the time. I would sleep nearly 10 or 12 hours, drink three cups of coffee, and still be tired. I also started to feel like I was “fake” and in a dream for large parts of my day where I would blink and sort of be surprised at the fact that I existed or something. My mood noticeably degraded where I came close to snapping on a few of my coworkers. These coworkers are perpetually aggravating but somehow being sober brought my frustration front and center and almost allowed it to boil over. I was agitated, depressed, tired, and didn’t even want to eat. I’d come home from work and go to bed and just want to be left alone with the lights off. And everyday that passed made it worse.

Like this!

You’re told that when you quit drinking that things are going to get better so a descent into depression, lethargy, and misery is shocking. You can power through the tough times here and there, but it seemed like the bad feelings just kept piling up without any reason or way out of feeling like shit. It felt like walking into a dark cave where there is supposed to be an exit in front of you but the further you walk the darker it gets and the exit seems like a made-up lie. Every day would seem worse than the day before, and eventually I wanted to drink again not to be drunk but just to feel like a normal person again.

So I made it two weeks and broke down just because I felt like I was going insane or losing my identity. As what happened with my nicotine-withdrawal-induced-insanity, upon having the drug you’re craving you instantly feel better. After one beer I felt calm, mellow, and like myself again.

Here’s my nicotine chart slightly tweaked for drinking. The dotted line is what I think will happen if I make it past two weeks. As you can see the time period here is about seven times longer: if you flip out without smoking in a day or two you will probably flip out by not drinking between the first and the second week. This also makes me think the comedown period will also be a ton longer, like on the order of a few months.

I guess I left the “legend” on the side?

This is obviously some shit. Nicotine gives you a fucking quick battle with misery that starts and ends relatively quickly while alcohol seems to drag on forever. A huge downside to this is that there’s just more time for something stressful to happen to kick you back down again. If you stop smoking you can pretty easily pick a span of a week or two when nothing stressful should happen but how do you ensure that you have a span of three months without stress to stop drinking? Alcohol is a pain-in-the-ass to stop using, and I have a newfound appreciation for anyone who has become an alcoholic, realized they are an alcoholic, and made the effort to stop drinking. It’s apparently hard as hell to do so congrats to any and all of you who’ve succeeded. Stopping drinking fucking sucks.

Update: I wrote this about a week ago as a way to sort of write about my problems and not drink. I knew it would be frustrating to stop again so venting helped get my spirits up quite a bit. I’m now on my 11 or 12th day sober and it still fucking sucks, but the key it seems is to not think about things too much and to keep fucking busy with whatever you can find.

The New Year Sucks Part Two: The Nostalgia of New Beginnings

Back when I was younger (and stupider) I always found myself sitting around on December 31st with either a piece of paper or a Google doc writing and reminiscing on how the year went and reflecting on all of the shit that had happened. This would inevitably run into dreaming about The New Year and wondering what the next 365 days would bring. I have suspicion that many — if not most — of us do this and while I never really told anyone about this habit or asked others if they do it, I’m sure I’m not alone.

On a very superficial level many people like to party and celebrate the new year, which as you can probably tell from my first post I think is stupid because it’s so arbitrary. I’d be all up for having a celebration at the solstices or equinoxes (like dancing around a campfire on the first day of spring or some shit) but outside of pagans, witches, and astronomers (maybe?) no one actually does this. If anything the news just blurts out something like “It’s the first day of summer, and the weather is nice!” while maybe mentioning that it’s the longest day of the year. Ya know, by the way. But The New Year is a big circle jerk of partying, drinking, kissing, and watching some fucking ball in New York “fall”. This is if you have an “ideal” life; if you’re single, miserable, and/or depressed the holidays in general just make you want to kill yourself or hide in a closet for a month. After any intense year-end partying I just can’t help but ask myself “Okay. So…now what?” The whole thing feels pointless and hollow. Like at the end of the day you wake up in The New Year: Day One with the worst hangover you’ve ever had and smelling like expired pizza and sweat. Happy New Year!

Failed Goals

People also like to use The New Year as a start for various goals and self-improvement plans they set for themselves. These are usually referred to as “New Year’s Resolutions” and have a horrible failure rate. At the very least this should prevent people from starting any goals on New Year’s Day; why start a goal if it will have a 55% chance of success after only a month! Like if you set two resolutions for yourself, only one will succeed on average; if you start a diet and stop drinking for New Years you’ll either be eating a doughnut or drinking a six-pack on February 1st. Maybe even both. The rate of success also becomes worse with time. After two years only 19% still followed their resolutions — higher than I would’ve guessed — but still dismal. If you started a diet you most likely would’ve fucked up between a month and two years. It was a good run but in the end you still failed at your goal.

I attribute these failure to various things, but the most obvious reason I can think of is that New Year’s Day is a terrible time to try the typical shit people like to set for their resolutions. Think dieting, losing weight, exercising, starting (and maintaining) a hobby, being a “better person,” and whatever else. This is mostly because New Years occurs near the start/middle of winter and immediately after the holidays. How is this not setting up for instant failure?

Let’s say you want to exercise like maybe run a marathon or something by summer. Well, January 1st is likely cold and shitty so why would you want to force yourself outside to run when it won’t get warmer for another two months? You might be able to get out and run a mile or so, but this isn’t the situation that actually favors sticking with it. Even if you keep with the goal of training for a marathon, running a few miles every few days isn’t going to help much in the long run. It makes more sense to wait until the season improves a bit and then hitting running in a hard but sustainable way.

What about dieting? You just came from stuffing your fat face all holiday season and a week later you’re all of a sudden going to eat vegetables and fruit? Cut your calories in half in a day? It could work but it seems like the worst time ever to start an actual diet that you can stick with.

What about not drinking? The holiday season has probably been so stressful that you’ve been hang onto reality bottle by bottle but then have to cut the cord right immediately after? Good luck…especially when your first day sober is you waking up after a YOLO-final-New Year-drinking-party with a terrible hangover and craving another shot of vodka just to make the headaches, spinning, and the shaking stop for awhile.

Any sort of these motivational, self-improvement goals also have one primary thing in common: motivation. You can’t just do your goal: it takes drive, dedication, hard work, and persistence. Once again, the cold darkness that is early January isn’t conductive for any of this especially in regards to some goal you set for yourself in a make-or-break attempt to make progress. You’re putting it all on the line with a hard start date at a time where your motivation is likely total shit and waning. Pile on multiple goals and you’re left grasping for any sort of willpower you can find. And January isn’t helping any of it.

Then again maybe all of this is just a problem for me.

The Nostalgia of it All

In the end, all of this hating on the practical downsides to resolutions are nothing with the whole naive “starting over” aspect of it all. Remember when I was talking about my little journal entries on December 31st? And how every year I’d reflect on things and while I wouldn’t set hard resolutions I would try to pick a direction for the year: how to improve on things, what large ideas and goals to keep in mind, what sort of person I should be, so-on-and-so-forth, etc. It always seems so nostalgic to sit and write and dream about a whole new 365 days where you can start over and I still find myself wanting to do such a thing.

The truth is I recently went back and read some of these entries and they’re cringeworthy at best and depressing at worst. Any sort of lofty goal I’ve had like “helping the family achieve their goals,” “investing more in ETFs,” “do something with my life,” or “day-trade cryptocurrencies” have fallen totally flat on their fucking faces in the course of just a few months. Is this my fault or the fault of the entire idea of “starting over?” I don’t know, although it could be both.

Everything seems so clear from the year-ending perspective. You can see how the year has been, what your mistakes were, and what you could’ve changed. You realize how you didn’t spend the summer outdoors enough, or you didn’t garden as much as you wanted, or whatever and you regret it. But this is all in hindsight and in the actual moment you “screwed up” you never had that hindsight perspective and clarity. When you could’ve been outside gardening or biking you decided instead to sit inside and play video games, but that was your reality and you made the best choice you could at the time. It’s only by looking back you’ve seen how you “screwed up.”

Looking forward also offers this messed up vision, but this time it’s based on vague hopes for the year. While hindsight is 20/20 the future is always rosy, dream-like, and successful. Even if you fucked up in 2018, 2019 will surely be different because, well, it’s in the future and you can construct as rosy of a picture of your year as you want. Even if you end up filing for bankruptcy or losing a loved one in 2019, you don’t know this on January 1st so obviously 2019 will be a landmark year of happiness and success for you. In short, no one realizes how much of a challenge the next 365 days will be and we always imagine the best possible outcome.

Hency my newfound hatred for looking backwards/forwards during the New Year. When you look back you seen how much a struggle it has been and see all your mistakes in perfect hindsight clarity. When you look forward you see a clean slate that will probably end up as much as a struggle as the last year where you make the same stupid hindsight-obvious mistakes that you always end up making. When I’d read my past entries regarding The New Year, I always see this nostalgic vision I put forward into the past and the hope I put into the future; it never seems to arrive. Each New Year is just as bittersweet as the last — if not more — because it’s the same shit all over as it’s always been. Determination, hope, mistakes, reflection, regret. Then determination, hope, mistakes, reflecti……….

The New Year Fucking Sucks.

The New Year Sucks Part One: An Arbitrary Date

Most of our calendars and time measurements are based off obvious natural phenomenon: the time it takes the Earth to rotate once is called a day while the month is roughly based off the moons orbital period (29.5 days). There are also some random time periods like the week having 7 days for some reason (from the “seven planets” apparently), there being 12 months, and a day having 24 hours, but the year is one of the obvious ones. The year is just the time it takes the Earth to revolve around the sun and serves as a pretty good value for a “long timescale”. The year also corresponds nicely to the Earth rotating about 365 times which makes perfect sense that the year has 365 days in it. Even if things do get silly by realizing you need to have orbited the sun 21 times before you can drink ethanol, and some movies require you to orbit the sun 17 times before you can see them, I don’t really see a better way to measure this arbitrary period of time outside of the Earth zipping once around the sun.

I suppose my gripe with the year is the random time where we choose to consider it “starting”: the New Year. Obviously the Earth’s orbit requires you to specify something as the start so we all can be on the same page with regards to dates and calendars and shit, but January 1st seems really damn arbitrary. Consider the fact that the Earth’s orbit already offers a few “special” points that would make better sense for the “start” of a new orbit, and hence a new year.

And we’re already familiar with them. We all know that the days are longer in the summer and shorter in the winter (confirming my northern hemisphere bias) and this is due to the Earth’s axial tilt. Since the time of day varies by season these orbital points would make perfect sense to consider as the  “start” of the a new year. There is a point where the Earth is most tilted towards the sun and we call this the summer solstice: the first day of summer. This is the longest day of the year for us northern hemisphere folks. There is an opposite point on the shortest day of the year called the winter solstice that serves as the first day of winter. From this point on the daytime length becomes longer. And in between these two days are the two equinoxes where day and night are of equal length: these serve as the first day of autumn and spring.

Earth's Orbit
I made a picture.

It would make sense to plop the new year on one of these important orbital locations and adds a sort of whimsical touch onto what a year really is. I really like the idea of starting the year on the winter solstice as it does seem like a new beginning with the days getting longer. The winter solstice is also around December 20th or 21st and would only make the official start of the year a week and a half earlier from the current which isn’t a big deal.

What adds another layer of frustration to this is the fact that our calendar was started by the Romans who were very aware of equinoxes and solstices. Hell, the Greeks before them knew that the Earth was round and loved science and math. Being the Romans and basically making the calendar, why not plop the new year on one of those dates? They didn’t and you can read about the detail by Googling it if you want.

year
From here. This is a chart of how long the days are at whatever latitude you live at. This chart also shows where the equinoxes and solstices occur and how they correspond to day length. And as you can see, January 1st is nothing special at all.

Obviously we will never “move” New Years. We are set in stone with our lame ass calendar. In our modern synchronized world it would be impossibly complex to move the start of the new year to another day even if it is close and “makes more sense”. It would involve a massive amount of adjusting and coordinating and would lead to quite a few headaches with regards to birthdays and anniversaries. Like I realize this is something that will never actually occur but it’d be nice having the new year on some remarkable point in the Earth’s orbit. January first doesn’t mean shit in the Earth’s orbit; it’s just some random ass point chosen to be the beginning of the year. This makes such an “important” date seem rather boring and unimportant. This helps play into another gripe I have with New Years: people are fucking stupid about it.

Everything Sucks: An Update 2.0 (Or Something…)

If you’re a hardcore fan of this blog you might’ve realized that I’ve seemingly dropped off the face of the Earth the past half year or so. But since I don’t actually think I have any hardcore fans let me state that I’ve basically dropped off the face of the Earth in the past six months or so. This is due to a ton of things but it boils down to a basic lack of motivation. Keeping with the tone of this blog, this Sucks and I’m going to bitch about it.

You see, I’ve written a ton of shit about motivation and for me at least it does seem to be in short supply. Even if I intend to blog, if anything more important or taxing comes up I will immediately drop blogging (unintentionally) to focus on what is most stressful/important/whatever. It’s sort of a theory I live by but continually try to sidestep; like I believe the whole “finite motivation” idea is true but continually try to overextend myself into tons of different matters. It’s even more insulting considering that I’ve written a few blog posts about blogging, consistency, motivation, but still seem to drop the fucking ball on writing and posting blog posts. Like the dude preaching about motivation and consistency continually drops the ball on actually making consistent posts.

Currently I’m taking flight lessons, writing like two or three books (depending on what you consider “writing a book” means), trading stocks and options/dealing with a fucking terrible market, working peak season at a delivery company, being a father/husband, and trying to cope with depression/alcoholism. My life is a fucking hellish mess where I don’t seem to have any time to recoup, find myself, or to just relax and listen to music. There’s always something I feel I should be doing even if I don’t end up doing a damn thing.

Obviously given that mess it’s no surprise I haven’t fucking made a blog post in a few months…

What has changed recently was that I made the mistake of checking this blog a few weeks ago. Thinking that the blog had crashed and burned and that no one would give two shits about what was going on here I found myself pleasantly surprised: I was somehow netting about ten views a day even though I haven’t posted anything in a half year! This somehow bolstered my motivation in regards to my blogging and — I assume — bumped my blogging priorities up quite a bit.

So I suck at keeping a schedule and I guess I have reasons for that even though I’m a slacking piece of shit, but seeing how this blog has had consistent views even while I have been neglecting it gets my inspiration up. It makes me want to work on it. Maybe this blog isn’t something to let wither away and maybe I should keep working at it? I’m not looking for inspiration or justification or for anyone to spur me on to keep posting — because fuck that — I just wanted to make a(nother) post about how much of a bitch inspiration and motivation is and how priorities suck. But if you hang in there maybe you can still start over and that even if you have pissed away quite a bit of time you can still jump in and make progress. But what the fuck do I know? Everything Fucking Sucks.

Junk Mail Sucks

1

I got this envelope in the mail today. As you can see it looks really fancy and important, so if you lived life at all you should realize that it’s total junk. It’s pointless and unimportant simply because it looks important. If you’ve ever applied for a credit card or recieved a debit card you know the bank mails them in the blandest, boringest, unmarked envelopes ever. Think of a bill from Comcast, the electric company, or from wherever; they’re always in boring envelopes. If you get a flashy envelope from Comcast, you know they’re just trying to upsell you on a new package deal or whatever and that it isn’t a bill.

I open the envelope to actually see who is trying to sell me stuff. It’s from a car lot. Look 2at how fucking flashy and gaudy it is. I’m surprised these things don’t cause people to have seizures. I’m also surprised they don’t send these without tiny batteries and flashing LEDs to make it even more ridiculously over-the-top and gaudy.

Also note who it is addressed to. It’s addressed to me, by name, but also says “or current resident”. They don’t give a fuck if I really do open it, and if it made its way to another horse, any dipshit can open it because they’re “the current resident”. While the envelope makes you feel special by receiving this gaudy-ass piece of mail, it undermines itself by also stating that “if you’re not this person, no big deal, you can open it too!” Imagine if a bill said that. Billy Johnson owes $230 to ComEd for electricity, but if you’re the current resident you can pay it too, if you want…”

2Zoom

The ad goes even further down the “what the fuck” path by including a car key. I guess this is to symbolize that you can win a car if you’re really lucky! There’s a fucking scratch-off area like a lottery ticket and a symbol to match. And if it matches you might win the Grand Prize!!!!!!!! Holy fuck, I (or the current resident…) am lucky! I can win the Grand Prize™!

 

Now you know what’s going to happen even before I scratch it. Of course I’m going to “win” the Grand Prize™ because why wouldn’t I? I scratch it and HOLY SHIT, I won!

I Won

HOLY SHIT I WON

Now I don’t know what the Grand Prize™ really is because I know it’s just a ploy to get your ass to the car lot to buy something. I imagine the “prize” is something like $1,000 off a new car or something trivial like that. Something that sounds good on the surface but still nets the car dealership a bunch of new sales to gullible idiots who think they’re special while still taking out an unnecessary car loan.

And I guess that’s why this Sucks: ads like these are just so obvious it’s pathetic. But like I said in my post on pre-screened credit offers, even if they are pathetically obvious they must work otherwise people wouldn’t mail them out. Even if them being so obvious is stupid, the fact that people are actually that gullible to believe that they (or the current resident!) won the Grand Prize™ is even stupider. I almost think that ads like these are meant to capitalize on old people being gullible and even if the fine print does give all of the details, you know the damn thing is misleading. Every level of ads like these are upsetting: how obvious they are, how people are gullible and fall for these tactics, and how companies actually make money off these unsubtle pieces of shit.

It’s like those TV commercials with the really small print that lays out all of the legal details but don’t show them long enough for anyone to actually read them.

But after taking the pictures and writing this quick little post I did what I was going to do originally. I walked over to the trash and tossed the thing in where it belongs. But don’t be like me, please recycle if that is offered in your area. Or, better yet, use up a stamp and mail the shit right back to them. Which I wish I would’ve done earlier…