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Degrees of Separation 

Our world might not be as big as it seems. Sure, when I find myself trekking through a tundra in northern Russia, it feels as if I might as well be on a voyage through the jungle of the cosmos. The vast openness seems as endless as the immensity of our known universe, but these moments are few and far between. The days I am back in urban territories, stomping my feet amongst the local population, I have come to realize just how small this planet is.

Ever notice that there are certain people that you continually run into? You might live in one of the most densely populated areas in the world, but you frequently cross paths with a stranger with a familiar face. At these moments, the world seems to shrink in front of your eyes and the random occurrences throughout the day start to feel less random.

Sara Byrne and Dylan Howell have made a living on making the planet seem smaller. Their working of the lens exhibits the natural beauty of the random synchronicity of everyday life. I might not know the subjects in their shots, but the faces provide the eerily familiar feelings that are brought forth by the people I unwillingly stalk due to the invisible hand of fate.


Put things in perspective


Sara Byrne and Dylan Howell | Boise, ID

If you look closely in the window of a cottage on the ride, It's a Small World, you will find a picture of both Ms. Byrne and Mr. Howell. 


Dance, Dance, Dance to the Radio

Some of my fondest memories are from a time not too long ago. A glorious era where girls' were never too cold from the aid of their leg warmers, John Hughes was teaching us all a thing or two about life, MTV wasn’t the collective defecation of the most shallow aspects of our society, and everybody and their grandmas were trying to find where exactly the beef is located.

The 80’s were a time that fall into the same rank as I Heart Huckabees: it either blew your hair back by sheer awesomeness while you laughed through the entire journey, or you were never impressed and counted down the minutes until it was over. I am proud to say that I am in the former group. Among many other attributes I admire from this decade, the music has always been a personal favorite. Recently, I came across a group by the name of The New Division and was delighted to see that their feelings were mutual.

I was introduced to The New Division with their song “Starfield” and could hear the homage to some of the giants of New Wave as soon as I was able to remind myself that they weren’t, in fact, a side project of Dave Gahan. It then didn’t come as a surprise that their name is spawned from the combination of Joy Division and the surviving member’s follow-up group, New Order.

Recently releasing an EP titled “Night Escape,” their four new tracks are in addition to their library of music composed with an adequate amount of synth that doesn’t take off with a flock of seagulls (pun absolutely intended). They top their sound off with electronic elements created by the support of thirty years of music evolution that results in a sound both reminiscent and refreshingly new.


It will only be a matter of time that I’ll have the pleasure of seeing The New Division live in concert where I will be shaking my arms up and down like Ian Curtis. In the meantime, I will continue to bob my head to their music through my headphones and be thankful that they are keeping the spirit of the 80’s alive.


Always fresh.  


John Kunkel, Brock Woolsey, Janzie, and Mark Michalski are:

The New Division | Riverside, CA

They actually had the beef all along.  


A Friend in Need Can Be Very Strange Indeed

Remember the golden age of sitcomery when no one fit in, so they all banded together?  This was a time, way back in the 90's, when television felt good. Friends like Cody Lambert, A.C. Slater, and Waldo Geraldo Faldo always had your back, Kimmy was right next door and Sam would enter your bedroom window.

I miss the warm snuggling embrace of TGIF from time to time, but luckily I've also discovered that figuring out what the bottom of a bottle looks like is a far more entertaining way to spend one's Friday evening.

Well, how about a compromise?

For 5-15 blissful minutes, the world of webisodes has brought me a brilliant series titled, Bright Ideas, and allows me respite from my intrepid squalor. Here, I can mingle with real folks that share real laughs about real funny things and overcome tremendous odds while consuming a tremendous amount of malted beverage. My peers have, of course, changed with my tastes, so it is only sensical that my new cast of endearingly quirky pals have retained that cozy sense of comradery. Only now they have DIY tattoos, très cool French friends, and attend ultra-trendy gallery openings featuring pube-art.

So, who are the Avant Tardists responsible for this mess? Ms. Elektra Johnson, an up an’coming auteur is our smoke-and-mirror sculptress and lead puppet-master. Her cast of actor/writers consists of a rag-tag group of musically inclined ruffians known individually, but not specifically as: Menthol Mike Tirella, Danny Kendrickj, Marius Atherton, Brian “Neighborhood Creep” Oliveira, and Miles Luttrell.

As the episodes progress you really get to bond with these guys, and my sources tell me the next installment is in the works which is shaping up to be twice as insensitive... three times as charming!

Whether or not your nostalgia for the sitcom matches mine, you should at least give ‘em a chance. You can’t be a stranger forever.

Elektra Johnson, Menthol Mike Tirella, Danny Kendrickj, Marius Atherton, Brian “Neighborhood Creep” Oliveira, and Miles Luttrell bring you:

Bright Ideas | San Francisco, CA

Ms. Johnson and the gang once held a 72-hour Perfect Strangers marathon to raise enough money to buy the old set from The Merv Griffin Show.


Flavor Enhancer 


Between you and me, I have not always liked the taste of scotch. When it first hit my lips, the subtle hint of peat was a shock to my less acquired taste buds. Being young and naive, I continued my quest through the bottom shelf whiskey and even (color me embarrassed) partook in the consumption of cheap vodka.

We all start from somewhere.

As the years went by, I grew more accustomed to the refined taste of the fine libation from Scotland. Starting with blended scotch mixed with ginger, I slowly worked my way up to the single malt and ended at the smokiest, peatiest brands on the market.

My transformation in taste for this beverage traveled a similar path with poetry. In the beginning, it seemed like a mess of words that were painted pretty with a rhyme here and there. However, the more I was exposed to this style of writing, the more I enjoyed the taste.

Artie Richmond’s poetry is my scotch and ginger. His style of prose is elegant enough for a younger me to start enjoying the flavor without overwhelming my taste buds with an abundance of smokiness.

If you don’t consider yourself a fan of poetry, take a sip of Mr. Richmond’s words. You might be surprised by the taste. 

My jeans are stripping, legs feel bare

Miles per gallon bring no conflict for the chuck

I may look different, people might stare

But my home is everywhere you look

No association with your normal panhandler

I give notice to my glorified laziness

Join me, and become my bohemian philanderer

The two of us will be happy and penniless

I will show you my corner in all of the states

We will gain the insight that would make others feel exposed

Your shoes and umbrella are all you should take

The road is always open, lets walk towards the suns glow

Tomorrow will be glorious, there will be no need for any clocks

Just try not to get caught, you might get whipped in the stocks


Artie Richmond | Age 29 | Edinburgh, Scotland

Fell asleep in a church and woke up in a crowded theater that was showing Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.


Primal Instincts

Each member of the animal kingdom conducts certain rituals in order to mate - the male peacock spider will perform a dance to impress his potential love-arachnid, the male porcupine will shower the female with urine before mating, and so on. The act of dating is essentially completing the task that the rest of these animals are executing. We are all just satisfying the natural urge to sustain our species. Unfortunately, humans are complex organisms, and spraying urine over a person of interest will not do the trick (unless you are into that sort of thing).

Dating is one of the most difficult endeavors each of us have to take. The voice of reason inside our heads gets shut off and the primal instincts - actions that are just shy of a caveman knocking a female on the head with a mastodon femur - completely take over. Luckily for us, there are seasoned pros who have learned lessons along the strange journey of finding love and can offer solid advice to calm down the inner-brute.

Nate is an individual who has successfully found a partner and is helping to sustain humanity for another generation. Time and time again, many of his girlfriends (i.e. friends that are girls) would come to him for advice on how to survive in the dating world. As he helped out his peers, Nate realized that are lessons that females, as a whole, can learn about their male counterpart and brought his knowledge to a blog titled,

We are lucky to have gained enough intelligence to communicate with members of the opposite sex on what we are doing wrong or things we can improve upon. The peacock spider does not have this luxury and will never know why his dance did not succeed in scoring some hot 16-legged action by the passing female. If we need to learn more about a certain behavior, we must seek out advice from those like Nate, learn from the lessons, evolve and overcome.

The future of your species is depending on it.


Crazy Quiz - 25 Crazy Things Girls Do

Everyone is a little crazy. Most people do a pretty decent job of managing that crazy though. In relationships however, crazy seems to spill out. That other person just gets under our skin. We can’t help ourselves and we know we’re acting crazy but they made us act that way! It gets worse though when we stop seeing our own crazy and the person we love most is pulling away (or running!) and we can’t figure out why. The good news is I’ve put together a post of the most common crazy things girls do with boys that ends up hurting (or ending) the relationship. Everyone should read this. If you don’t do anything on this list, excellent! Chances are though you are off the market since guys lock down (aka put a ring on it) girls who manage their crazy.

Now, not all crazy is created equal. I grouped the items into categories so you can get an understanding of your crazy score.

Level 1: Annoying activities, worth 1 point
Level 2: Kind of crazy activities, worth 3 points
Level 3: Legit terrifying crazy, worth 10 points.
Level 4: Super crazy, stop keeping track – you broke the quiz.

Level 1:
1) Call all the time. If your call log has your boy’s name 8 times in a row, you call too often.

2) Text all the time. If the thought of him out bowling with friends leaves you heartbroken, take a deep breath and put the phone down. You’ll live, I promise.

3) Making Facebook / Twitter / Google + / new social media platform I don’t know about statuses about fights the two of you are having. 2 points, if your messages are passive aggressive, don’t mention his name, but everyone know who are you are talking about.

4) Start fights for no reason. Any attention is good right? Wrong! Constantly fighting is emotionally exhausting and sooner rather than later he’s going to meet a girl who likes him without the drama.

5) Saying “I love you” way too early. If you tell him “I love you” before the waiter brings your entrée on the first date or really anytime in the first 3 months, WAY TOO EARLY. Seriously, you’re not in love, you’re smitten. Big difference.

6) Talking about ex BFs all the time. This is usually done to make him jealous or because you’re not over your ex. Downside: will piss him off — not make him jealous. Upside: you’ll be single soon, so you can reconnect with your ex.

Level 2
7) Accuse him of cheating every time he talks to a girl. He knew other girls before he met you. Expecting him to stop talking to all of them now that you’re in his life is REALLY crazy. That being said if you keep it up, he might make you right!

8) Verify his “alibi.” I put alibi in quotes because that’s how you treat every explanation for where he’s been when he wasn’t with you. You know who else has alibis? Criminals. Treat your boy like one and he will act like one.

9) Search his phone / email / FB. Seriously ladies, this is really not cool. You don’t trust him so you violate his trust. At this point why even bother pretending you are in a relationship? Without trust you don’t have a relationship.

10) Create a fake online identity to hit on him or spy on him. Also known as entrapment in the legal community. If you’re this insecure, maybes it’s best you are single.

11) Stalk his ex girlfriends. This one is just bad karma. Eventually you’ll be ex girlfriend and the next crazy chick is going to stalk you!

12) Ask his boys to spy on him or tell you where he has been. Very stupid. You know the saying “Chicks before dicks” and “Bros before hoes.” They are 100% accurate. Expect them to tell your boy about your not very well thought out plan. Also expect them to lie to you. Also expect them to tell him you’re crazy. Finally expect them to tell him about the cute bartender who thinks he is hot and wants to know if he’s single. He’s about to be.

13) Start fights with his mom or any family member for that matter. Families are a lot to handle already without putting him in the middle. You don’t want those people in the world closest to him actively undermining you.

14) Call his job – its 2013, we all have cell phones. He may even have a personal line at work. It’s fine to call that within reason. You don’t however need to call the main office number and expect his coworkers to be his personal assistant and take messages. Let’s be serious you’re going to dump him if he loses his job, so why are you putting his job at risk?

15) Make a scene in public. For me personally that is an immediate deal breaker. Don’t find out the hard way your guy thinks the same way I do.

16) Cry to manipulate him. It’s super effective the first time, no denying that. But if it keeps happening it loses its effectiveness quickly. Remember what happened to boy who cried wolf? He got eaten and died. Don’t cry wolf with your boy.

17) Hate on his female best friend. She can be your biggest ally or your biggest enemy. Remember she’s outlasted the last 12 girls he’s brought around, don’t make it a bakers dozen.

Level 3
18) Lie compulsively. Most people are terrible at lying. Most people also think they are great liars. Accept that you’re not. Just because he doesn’t call you on a lie doesn’t mean he believes you. This never ends well.

19) Follow him in real life. Notice a theme with some of these concepts? Performed by law enforcement and crazy women. Watch a cop show, the suspects never fall in love with the cop who is treating them like a criminal.

20) Park outside his house. Ahh, a good old-fashioned stakeout. Don’t bring too much to drink or be prepared wear a diaper like the NASA chick who kidnapped her ex boyfriends current girlfriend (She’s in jail). Remember if you ask to use his bathroom after you waited outside his house, it reduces the impact of terrifying him. Also if he says no, doing your pee-pee dance while screaming at him from the driveway, is incredibly un-sexy and a violation of #15 – Don’t make a scene in public.

21) Diss him in public. A mans ego is sacred. Just like you would freak out if he called you fat and ugly in public, expect a very BAD reaction.

22) Hit on his friends. Flip the script. How would you feel if he was hitting on your friends? Soon he might be when he’s single and looking for a new girl.

23) Physically hit him. We all agree guys should never hit a lady, but it goes both ways, no violence in a healthy relationship.

Level 4:
24) Threaten suicide. No jokes here. You should seek professional help.

25) Fake a terrible event. As soon as he finds out you made it up, he will be disgusted with you. There is a better way. Desperation is not attractive.

Now add up your score from the 3 sections to get your total crazy score then use the legend below:

0-6: Not crazy, or #18 a compulsive liar! Either way congrats!
7-25: Normal crazy — keep it under control and you’re a keeper
26-50: Legit crazy girl — time for self-reflection and change in behavior
50+: Yeah….this is bad.



Perform the dance.  


Nate | Age 29 | U.S.A.

Walked the entire Great Wall of China just to see what was on the opposite end.