Oct 5, 2009

Coming Soon...

Let's be honest... We'll be back sooner than you think.


Jul 27, 2009

Pardon The Delay

Honest Notes will be back on Wednesday, maybe even earlier if time allows. Hope you all had a great weekend. -HN

Jul 22, 2009

Better Bundle Up

Let's be honest... Fashion is as much about functionality in daily life as it is an expression of style and personality. The choices made in attire serve as a uniform, whether for business or pleasure, that identify each person in that moment of time: the greasy jumpsuit of a mechanic, the skinny black jeans and American Apparel t-shirt of a hipster, or the wrinkled and rolled-up dress shirt with loosened tie of a claims adjuster. Of course, part of fashion is also incorporating certain pieces into a different context so as to blend in or stick out such wearing as combat boots as part of a casual outfit. The boots may appear to clash but they are not a superfluous detail in that footwear is a genuine necessity in the wearer's day. Unfortunately, however, there are those who add items, items which would otherwise be considered utterly normal, for the sake of completing the outfit they see in their heads when the context is simply questionable: multiple wristwatches on the same arm, multiple polos worn over each other in a "layering" effect, or one of the bigger offenders, wearing jackets, sweaters, or coats accompanied with shorts.

There is so much that needs to be comprehended with this travesty that Tylenol must surely be drooling at the thought of the possible revenue generated by the mere attempt to explain this mismatched combination. For the sake of time and simplicity, consider only the meteorological implications: just how cold is it that someone would need to layer themselves with a shirt and jacket but then somehow forget to cover the rest of their body? Or is that is just too hot for their legs to handle what their upper torso can with ease? Perhaps it was a hot day that quickly turned for the worst in the form of a sudden cold snap that caught them off-guard save for the cardigan that they conveniently packed with them but that they would normally only bring out during Christmas when the windchill is in negative territory. Maybe it was an unplanned January trip from the Virgin Islands to Newfoundland on the exact date for laundry day.

No one really cares what you wear but please stop treating your closet like a goddamn costume shop. You don't live in Milan, Paris, or in the unit across the hall from the Satorialist so just stop reaching for things out of your ass hoping that the next stab in the dark you make will be treated as avant-garde, let alone at all seriously, instead of the lotto quick-pick that it really is. It's just so fucking simple: if it's hot dress like it, if it's cold dress like it. People aren't looking at you thinking that you're cool enough to pull that down parka, short-shorts, and sock-less loafers, they're looking at you wondering what you did with your earmuffs, Casper & Friends coloring book, and court-appointed chaperone.

Jul 19, 2009

Wherever I May Roam

Let's be honest... It would be amazing to pick up an instrument and without any prior experience be able to play lick for lick, beat for beat the same configuration of notes, tone, and accentuation as world-famous musicians. Imagine, putting oneself in those god-like shoes, either alone or in front of one's peers, from the very comfort of a living room. Recent gaming technology grants such virtual power and unsurprisingly it is a runaway hit that originally began as simple guitar interaction but has evolved to include a full band. The game series even continues to expand its song library from The Beatles to The White Stripes so as to involve multiple generations of rock fans. Seemingly, the sky is the limit for music-loving gamers; unfortunately, however, the "sky" is really just glow-in-the-dark cutouts shaped like stars and quarter moons randomly glued to the ceiling of their bedrooms save for the constellation that happens to read, "Mom loves you."

Sure, it's fun to hang out with friends and rather than playing against each other play towards a common goal but doing so under the assumption that it somehow makes somebody a musician or musician-like is a farce. You don't become the world's greatest lover by masturbating ten times a day so why would you think that practicing on a piece of plastic with plastic buttons will prepare you for the real thing? Hell, it takes most guitarists a while to get accustomed to not only a five-button setup that resembles nothing to actual chords or notes but also having to strum in a style that is dumbed down, even on "expert" mode, at best. With that being the case they should just rename the series, "DDR: Hands and Fingers Edition!" It's really nothing but a distorted fantasy when the irony is that all the time and money spent drunkenly fooling around after-hours with friends could have been best used to learn how to play these songs with wood and steel instruments in the first place, maybe even opening the possibility of playing something... original.

But fine, it's a total blast to sit in front of a TV, press some buttons in time with pretty colors on the screen, and hear yourself "play" and judged in front of a virtual crowd. I bet at parties you have girls come up to you requesting you to do "Master of Puppets" just so they can whisper behind your back, "Wow, did you see him solo? OMG. He must masturbate like ten times a day!" Right. Well, while you're off in the den showing how it's done to "Freebird" I'll be tuning a guitar in time for your girlfriend to tell me how she picked a song to distract you long enough to show me her tits while I play her "Yellow Ledbetter."

Jul 15, 2009

Saturday Night Fever

Let's be honest... Everyone deserves to let off some steam after a long week at the 9-to-5. If only for a couple of hours once a week, people should be able to unwind with a friends and a few drinks so that their stress and obligations can be put on hold. Perhaps within the context of this leisure activity one can allow himself to be more open to possibilities: less-than-intellectual conversation, crude jokes, nostalgic music, and maybe even getting to know the person occupying the next stool. Romance does not have to be on the evening's agenda but if such an opportunity presents itself then why not throw caution into the wind? It all seems like such a casual event but do not be so quickly deceived.

Someone once wrote in an online article on the benefits of going out that, "Clubbing is what separates the men from the boys. You’re either one of the guys dancing with women on the floor, or you’re on the sideline with your Corona watching him. It’s difficult, but definitely possible." I would recommend that the only kind of "clubbing" this author experiences intimately be the business-end of the type endured by baby seals in the infamous Northern pastime. Apologies aside, square-toed shoes and extra-large barely-buttoned dress shirts purloined from a Mervyn's outlet paired with an overpriced Miller 64 hardly separate the "men" from anything other than their common senses and their cash from their wallets. I will just skip all together the part about the vomit-inducing "music" coming from a DJ whose tastes include whatever he can lick out of Ryan Seacrest's anus that week. One of the core issues that should bare the most importance is the thought of the club as a meat market where somehow one will distinguish oneself from one's carbon-copy clone brethren enough so that the night's prey takes notice or is danced with long enough, or be made drunk enough, to be left distracted and lower its defenses. And this is the "norm," this is the strategy, this is the natural game plan that goes unquestioned and undeterred.

It's embarrassing. Either you're too stupid to realize that it's loud, out-dated, pay-to-play live version of "Hot or Not" or you're too shallow to even care. Or maybe you're not that interesting in conversation outside of mouthing enough syllables to ask if she'd like another drink so you let your Al Gore-like dancing and roofie coladas do the talking for you. If it's a bit of fun and companionship you're after then find a place with a bottom line that is just that instead of waiting in a long line to pay $20 for the chance to play in their sandbox. Go have a good time but skip the douchebaggery of lousy club drinks, creepy dudes complaining about the sword fight they've unknowingly created themselves, and the person whose life ambition is pressing "Next" on her iPod while sitting behind the speakers. Fuck, you do so much better than that.

Jul 12, 2009

Dressed to Kill

Let's be honest... there is little as classic and timeless as a man in an immaculate, well-fitting suit. One can almost feel the genuine pride he puts into calmly buttoning each shirt hole, one by one, choosing the right tie while using the right knot with just a touch of slack, and then facing himself in the mirror while taking care to lightly brush off stray pieces of lint that may have attracted themselves to the fabric since the last time it was pressed. Everything has come together in harmony as he sits down, reaches forward, and begins to tie his Chuck Taylor sneakers. Wait, what? All that effort cheaply thrown into the pyre because of a pair of shoes... for what reason?

Actually, there are a number of feasible reasons; take for example the case of Coaches Vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Week that took place earlier this year that had basketball coaches around the country raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society simply by wearing sneakers when they would normally wear a pair of dress shoes. Other examples of situations where one would choose sneakers over dress shoes would be because of a lack of time, a lack of memory, or a lack of sobriety. That would be about it.

Rules in fashion encourage those to constantly challenge its boundaries, but they're also there to encourage you not to look like a complete fucking tool. We get it, you want to look all dressed up and proper without sacrificing the real you who plays by his own rules and who just because puts on a suit doesn't mean is one. Give us a fucking break. Hell, even as great as promoting a cause like cancer awareness is even the cancer society knows what a complete fucking eyesore sneakers with a suit is, that's why they do it to get attention in the first place and also why they know to keep that shit limited to a fucking week. So stop being such a "rebel" by copying what you saw some cokehead douchebag celebrity wore on a red carpet that one time back in '99 and put on some real shoes. Here's $5, run over to Payless before someone sees you like this, dumbass.

Blues Brothers

Let's be honest... Sunglasses are the epitome of instant style. They project a sense of mystery while also serving to protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. So many media icons have relied on them throughout the years as their signature from Roy Orbison to ZZ Top, Tom Cruise in "Risky Business" to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator 2." Indeed, shades have proven to be a lasting fixture in the arsenal of cool but their effectiveness and credibility quickly diminishes as the sun sets on the horizon. Who are these people who have never appeared to have received the memo regarding the nightfall, who press forward plastic-to-nose in mocking defiance of the sun?

It's unknown how exactly this phenomenon came to be. Are people mimicking their musical idols Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder or are they simply paying homage to their favorite 1980s horror movie, "They Live?" However ludicrous the explanation, it's difficult to deny the utter pretentiousness exuded by these people regardless if the sunglasses are worn ironically or otherwise; it's dark yet they're wearing sunglasses.

So really, just take them the fuck off already. You'll just be saving time in the long run since you'll need to have them off by the time the police department takes your mugshot and books you on soliciting sex from a minor anyhow.