Sunday, August 23, 2015

I'm not the only one...

I have encountered a roadblock in the quest to take this blog to the next level.

It is a known issue, but it is one that I avoided dealing with because it lacked urgency.

There is another Escaped From LA.  


I discovered this the week after I created the blog back in 2011, but I just didn't want to change the name because I liked it and it really made sense for me at the time.

While I was and am the Escaped From LA blog, and I am this blog no matter what, the name was admittedly never all that original.  A damn near fatal flaw, but the fact that it's now biting me in the ass is perhaps somewhat symbolic of the fact that all things must evolve or die.  Perhaps I subconsciously chose to leave the name as-is then knowing that eventually I would move away from Philly, cling to the blog name, and require external forces to compel me to change the name.

If you're curious, the other Escaped From LA is a film company that isn't based in LA.  Who'd have thought? They bought all the Escaped From LA .com, .net and .org domains, so unless I want to have a spammy sounding address, it looks like I'm shit outta luck if I want to keep it as escapedfromla verbatim. 

There's good news and there's bad news here.  Or neutral news since I know most people wouldn't admit to giving that many shits about what I call this blog.

The good news is that you won't have to change your bookmarks at all because I intend to keep the address.  You can type it into your browser or click a link for it and it should still direct you here.  The bad news is that I will have to create a .com URL that may not precisely match the Escaped From LA name.  This will probably bother me more than you, but still, I figured it was worth mentioning.

If all else fails, is available, and as ironic as that would be, and as much as you know that I really did consider registering it because I think it's funny, I probably shouldn't risk getting my friends fired for reading a blog post at work.  Imagine explaining that to HR: "BUT I THOUGHT XXX meant HUGS HUGS HUGS!"  Well, I guess it does, kind of....I digress.  There will not be an, sorry.  

I'll be rolling out the new dot com address soon.  Stay tuned or don't, I'll do it either way :)

And also, if enough folks click the stupid ads I put up here, I may be able to knock enough change together next year to buy a Frappucino at Starbucks next January and write a post about it.

Monday, August 3, 2015

One of Us: The Allure of AM Talk Radio When You're "Old"

When I was a kid, I fucking hated AM talk radio. I just didn't get it.  In the mornings, I just wanted to hear regular music when I turned on the car radio.  You know--the regular stuff that stations play a million times during the day.  That's all I wanted.  Mornings were frustrating.  I would keep changing the station until I heard music, and then I would listen the rest of the way through until the talking would start up again.  

When I was in the 7th grade, one of my teachers said that we wouldn't understand the allure of talk radio until we got older.  She said to us that "adults love their talk radio."   

Yeah, sure. Oookay. 

I didn't believe her.  I thought the Howard Stern Show was alright though, that was entertaining (and wildly inappropriate), and I liked Robin.  I sometimes would listen to that and it was chill. However, my teacher's intense hatred of Eminem led me to believe that she wasn't referring to Howard Stern as one of her morning go-to shows.  Other than Howard, I couldn't even with AM talk radio.

Flash forward many years later to my return home at the ripe ol' age of twenty...something (you'll have to dig deep into the archives of the blog for my actual age). To get to work, what was once a 25-minute walk through West Philly plagued with morning catcallers and other video game-esque obstacles, is now an hour-long vehicular odyssey across LA in traffic that begins at the asscrack of dawn.

I find that not only am I listening to Cruz in the morning and Ryan Seacrest and some dude who sounds like Ryan and may or may not be him on another station, but I even get so into the banter that I once even called in and nearly got through to give my two cents.

Yeah, that's right, I fucking called the radio station. LOL.  At that moment, I realized I had a problem.  What the fuck happened to me that I got so into the show that I needed to inject myself into the conversation when the host asked people to call in?  It was like something had clicked in my mind: "yo, Cruz said to call, IMMA CALL NOW, where's my phone?!" I was like a kid again--repeatedly dialing a radio station's number trying to get through, just like I used to do in the 90's trying to request Ace of Base songs.  This time my shtick was that "I choose Cruz!" but sadly, Cruz couldn't choose me because they ran out of time for the segment that I called in for.  They offered to call me back later on, but I had to go to work.

Shit. I was alert enough to drive as long as I had a cheap reusable Starbucks mug filled with Folgers from my K-cup machine, but I think an extra hour of sleep might have resulted in slightly more chill decisions about how I respond to radio. What had I become?  

one of us.  one of us.  

I remembered my teacher's words all those years ago. In that moment, I understood. I still didn't entirely understand her hatred of Eminem, but damn if I finally understood the allure of talk radio.  As comical as this seems, listening to this radio show was just how I was spending the last little bit of "me time" that I would get before starting my workday, where I could just drink my coffee and listen to people talk about the same shit I used to talk about with my friends in Philly.  I embrace it.  I will chill out about calling into shows though.  But I'll embrace it nonetheless.  I'm getting "old."  

**I wrote another post a few years ago about things that happen when you get old awhile back. I guess I could add "voluntarily listening to talk radio" to that list too.  

Friday, July 31, 2015

"how much longer:" the time was right. no regrets.

As I get used to the idea of being back in LA, I can't help but have brief moments, milliseconds, where I wonder if I could have or should have stayed in Philly a little while longer. Things have changed so much in these last few weeks, but what would have happened had I continued in that trajectory and location?  Was coming home the right choice?  Was the timing right?  Did I leave too soon?

Just as I was about to write a semi-angsty, semi-philosophical post about life changes, I stumbled across a partially written but abandoned draft for a post. I started to read it, and as I continued on, I felt myself almost completely re-immersed into the situation and re-living the memory.

But why share this now?  Why didn't I just delete it or leave it as a draft, or finish the post the day I started it?

Those are good questions.

I'm sharing the nearly discarded post now because it answers any doubt I may have had about coming home, and it is an honest portrait of what life looks like when your life narrative needs revision.  When I started to write that post, I was being completely honest with myself, and anyone who may have read it had I finished it then, about how I felt at that time.  You will find few people are willing to "break the 4th wall" of social media to show you times in life when things aren't shiny and beautiful.  During the last few months of my time in Philly, there were too many days in which the narrative of my life did not match the narrative that I wanted for myself. In deciding to leave, I chose to work toward a better narrative.

Before you go on to read the abandoned draft, I'd like to clarify that when I say that my narrative needed revision that I was not referring to the expletives.  Those are all supposed to be there.  If you aren't cool with "bad words," then this post isn't for you.  Anyway, the original post was entitled "how much longer."  Here it is:

Things can always be worse, but shit, the idea of 5 more months of school makes me feel physically ill.  It's not even just the classes, it's all of it.
Perhaps these thoughts are too personal for this place, but this day just got off to a shit start.  I've heard the average bad mood lasts for 12 hours, but we're well past that, so maybe I just am going to have two 12-hour bad spells back to back.  I realize that some of these may sound like they aren't real problems, but they're enough cumulatively that I don't feel good.

1. I started off the day walking to work.  Pretty normal.  It was cold as fuck.  Also pretty normal.  Unpleasant, but typical for this time of year.  I was bundled up and trying to get myself in the zone to go to work when I heard honking coming from an ambulance in the parking lot that I cut through every morning.  The honking continued a few times and so I thought something was wrong and looked at the ambulance.  When I looked up, the driver was smiling and waving at me.  I had no idea who this person was and I didn't realize that I was getting hollered at until another person in the parking lot made a comment. 

I fucking HATE getting catcalls.  Few things piss me off more.  If it's before noon and you feel the need to catcall, then you probably need to go the fuck back home, rub one out, take a cold shower to take the edge off and try your day again.
That's right folks.  My day started out with a catcall from an ambulance in a Rite Aid parking lot.  At that point, I needed feminism, I needed an adult, and I needed to get the hell out of Dodge.  You'll notice that this would have been event 1. in a series of bad things that day had I finished writing.

This was all I needed to see. I made the right decision.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Escaped From LA: who I am, no matter where I am

I am officially back in LA.

All that remains of my time in Philly is a long series of memories that I haven't blocked out. 
Taking a brief look back I don't know what to make of my time in Philly because there is so much that I have not had time to process. 

A few friends have placed informal bets on me returning to live in Philly, but I just don't know if that will be "a thing".  Right now predictions for a triumphant return stand at 9 months and at 2 years, but after how difficult of a task it was to just try and pack up the car to drive away, I honestly feel like any amount of time would be too soon. 

I'm happy to come back to visit for little trips - I miss my people in Philly, and I've already begun to miss important milestones in my friends' lives, which is unfortunate.  But I just don't know that the environment will ever be right enough for me to live there permanently in the near future, if at all ever again. I will never say never, but I just don't know what the future will hold.  I am a lot of things, but psychic isn't one of them.

Before I left, folks brought up that after my move I would no longer be "Escaped from LA" and asked what would become of this blog.  I had given it thought, but I wasn't be ready to address it at the time, and didn't know how I'd feel about it after leaving Philly.  Now that it's been about a month since I have been back, I've ultimately decided that the title still makes sense for me, because Escaped from LA is who I am, no matter where I am.

If I change the title, it will ultimately be because the .com address is already taken, and not for any other more complex reason.  Such is life.

Some time ago, I said to someone: "If you don't like my blog, then you don't like me."  I remember I bristled a little when I said it because it seemed harsh, but ultimately it was the truth in the statement that made it so harsh. This is where I write personal thoughts and experiences that I care to share publicly.  On the Facebook page, I share articles that I actually have read completely and find interesting, informative, or just plain funny.  Escaped From LA is where I create my written art, and where I comment about what is going on in my life when I get a moment to spare.  It is where I experiment with things that I learn about social media, communication, and web design so that I can apply them in other aspects of my life [like helping organizations build their social media framework].  Escaped From LA has been a thing that I have kept up for the better part of four, going on five, years now which has given me an outlet for thoughts that cannot sufficiently expressed in 140 characters on Twitter or brief but status updates on Facebook.  I've been more silent in the latter part of those years but this was always in the back of my mind as I wondered if I would have time to write a post (unfortunately, the answer was usually no). I won't be tattooing this blog's name on my body anytime soon, but it's safe to say this blog will continue on.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Why "Adulting" Should Be Banned From Our Vocabularies

Today I paid a bill on time. That's so adult of me!
Look at me adulting, I went furniture shopping!
These clothes make me look so adult!

Growing up can feel surreal, and many times, the mundane duties in our daily lives can feel like they are taking over.  But that still does not fully explain why people feel the need to advertise the fact that they do simple, everyday tasks that most well-adjusted, responsible humans should do regularly and why they feel the need to applaud themselves as though these things are really something special.  

Why are people using the word "adult" as a verb, or as an adjective to describe anything and everything they do that smacks of responsibility?

When I was a kid, people typically used the word "adult" as an adjective to describe the following:
  • movies that were kept in a place where kids were not allowed to go
  • magazines and websites where people weren't wearing any clothes
  • alcoholic beverages or tobacco products
When I was a kid, the actual adults in my life used the word "adult" in verb form: NEVER.  I never once heard any of the real adults in my life say anything to the effect of, "look at me adulting!" Actually, I just tried to type "adulting" into this post and it keeps getting marked as misspelled because it's not actually a fucking word.

As I sit here in my late twenties, I picture the people I currently view as adults in my life: my coworkers, my older family members, my friends' parents.  I try and recall a single time anyone of them has referred to the things they do as "adulting" or spoken of a single time that they have pointed out the fact that they regularly pay bills, showed up to work, or bought themselves Kitchen Aid mixers and said something to the effect of "This is so adult of me!"  Not a single instance comes to my mind. 

So, this is a plea to my peers: stop abusing the word adult and remove "adulting" from your vocabulary, especially when describing the way you navigate life.  It's one thing to use the word adult as a noun when referencing yourself or someone else who is, in fact, an adult. If you are over the age of 18, you are legally an adult. Respect yourself by not begging for the spotlight to be placed on you for doing everyday tasks like paying the bills or fulfilling basic life responsibilities. When you call attention to yourself for doing such things you reveal yourself to be anything but an adult, and trivialize the fact that you are actually growing up and taking real steps toward becoming a mature and responsible member of society.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Ultimate Pi Day/Erin Express T-Shirts

In just over 2 weeks, it will be Ultimate Pi day, meaning that twice in this particular day in a given time zone, it will be 3.14.15 9:26.53 

This day also happens to fall during Erin Express, which is a long-running bar crawl in Philadelphia that has been happening for 30+ years (you can learn more about it--->HERE)

Because this could be my last Erin Express in Philly, I am determined to have a custom shirt, and I thought Ultimate Pi Day would be my perfect chance to make something that isn't didn't say anything along the lines of:


Here is the shirt that I've designed:

Please help me realize my dream of getting a custom shirt for Pi Day/Erin Express and order one!  There is a link at the end of this post to order one for yourself!

I took orders until Sunday March 1st.  Shirts were just $15 each!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Youtube Deejay Sessions: I Can't Go For That

I haven't done one of these in awhile.  It's time.  I also felt like writing, but I don't have a lot of energy for writing all of the things I want to post, so this will have to do in the meantime. 

In the last few days, I had to write two very long lawyer-y complaints to resolve an issue.  I am hoping that I do not have to escalate the issue any further than I already have (if I do, you will definitely be getting a blog post detailing what happened) but in the meantime, it has sapped away my ability to write anything of substance because my mind feels like mush now. Conflict takes a lot out of me, but I won't stand for being taken advantage of.  But I digress.

I was in class on Friday and during the break I checked my email and found a message from Google that I could get a free album.  You know me and free stuff, especially legally obtained free music!!!  YEAH!  Google had a bunch of choices that were awesome from artists that I like a lot, and after much deliberation, I decided to go with Hall and Oates greatest hits album. 

I decided to feature the song "I Can't Go For That" on this Youtube Deejay post because:
  1. It is supposedly about to start snowing like a motherfucker and "I Can't Go For That" (ha ha ha...)
  2. Someone tried to cross me unjustly and "I Can't Go For That", either.  No can do.
What we should all do, however, is enjoy some Hall and Oates.  Yeah.
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