Those who do not use the Chick Fil-A app are subclass

I don’t know how much clearer I can be than that headline. 

People who do not utilize the Chick Fil-A app are a class of people that are secondary or subordinate to those who do.  Fact.  Mic drop.  Walk off stage.

No matter what CFA does in the media, its political or religious stance or whatnot, it somehow manages to rise above all other non-food related topics, because simply, their food puts them on a class higher than that of every other fast food chain in the country.  Frankly, I challenge all people to find a CFA that doesn’t have a license to print money or really be able to recall at any point where a CFA closes down due to poor business and not renovation because their demand warrants it.

Go at the wrong time of day, and you will undoubtedly get stuck in some sort of line, be it inside the restaurant, or getting into a drive-thru line that literally wraps twice around the building.  In spite of the insane demand for CFA on a daily basis, I do give a lot of credit to the company for often times being proactive and always thinking on how to speed things up and keep customers happier, regardless of the fact that they really don’t have to, because people will go there for their food, regardless of if the perky teenagers that work the restaurants say “my pleasure” or not.

But just about every CFA in Atlanta has gone down at various points due to the need to renovate, or to add a second drive-thru lane, because they can all justify the needs for them.  They’ll stick employees outside with tablets and card readers in order to help expedite the service.  They’ll stash them in little pop-up tends before the pick-up windows in order to receive cash or give receipts just 20 seconds quicker than it would be at any other restaurant’s drive-thrus.

Most importantly though, they have pretty much the best app in the fast food industry, that’s easy to use, easy to register, and extremely efficient when it comes to saving time and effort.  Punch in your order and send it on, and then there’s zero need to spend time in line deciding on what to order, or to even pay for it, regardless of how many options the physical lines give you in order to save time.  The app saves even more time, and even more effort, and it basically makes it a no-brainer when it comes to deciding on which fast food joint to hit up.

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The last singles

If I can pull the curtain back a little bit, whenever I sit down and write, there’s no guarantee that the most recent thing I’m writing is actually the most recent thing that’s actually happening.  Especially these days, I often times come across things or thoughts that spark the want to write, but I just simply don’t have the time to write, because I’m always busy at work, and by the time I get home, I’m either too busy to write or too fried to write.

In times like those, what typically happens is that I have a cloud-based document where I jot down the date and the general theme of what was going to be written, and if there’s any links that I want to refer to, that too.  And when I have the time and the motivation to do some writing, those are the things that I try to tackle first.  Typically, I don’t like the queue to grow too big, because then it gives me anxiety and a feeling of being worthless as someone who likes to write.  But there are exceptions to the queue, where I start writing about something in the true present, because usually there’s some degree of time sensitivity to where it’s not something that I can go back and write about retroactively.  At the time I’m writing this, there are three posts queued up that I still want to write about when I get the time.

Right now, is one of those moments.  Because the last few days, I’ve been coming to the realization that a lot of the things I’m doing, are the last time I’m doing them as a single guy.  Yes, melodramatic me is actually writing about the slow farewell to single, unattached life, because I’m two days from entering the wedded bliss of holy matrimony, and getting married.  What started out as mythical gf became mythical fiancé, and now I’m about to have a mythical wifey, and I’m actually going to be somebody’s husband.  Sucks to be them!

But anyway, it’s a lot of little things that I’m doing that I’m realizing are the last times I’m doing them as a single person.  All throughout the week, I’ve had my final chest and tris day as a single guy.  My last time running on the treadmill as a single guy.  Today was my last bis-shoulders-hamstrings day.  As the weekend progresses, I’ll have my last meals and drinks as a single person, and then when I’m at the altar, likely watching down at mythical fiancé coming down the aisle, probably looking radiant and beautiful, I’ll be ticking down my last minutes and seconds as a single person.

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MLS is clearly the preferred white people sport

Driving around Atlanta, there are often a lot of tells on peoples’ cars that indicate the race of the people driving them.  Some are pretty blatant, like how white people all love to have shit like stick figure family stickers, black people have big flashy rims or the content of Africa silhouetted in some way shape or form, or Hispanics having pictures of their trucks airbrushed onto their trucks, while being looked over upon by the Virgin Mary.

However, some tells are more subtle, but no less obvious to those who see them.  Like blackout license covers or (likely) illegal shades of tint or a box of Kleenex wrapped in an ornate satin box cover sitting in the back window.  But there’s no more obvious tell that a car belongs to a white person in Atlanta, than an Atlanta United sticker or emblem on it.  Because there’s nothing short of Ponce City Market and talking about gentrification and urbanism that white people in Atlanta like more than Atlanta United soccer.

And then it got me thinking beyond just Atlanta United, and about soccer in general, specifically MLS.  And how it really seems like MLS has become the de facto preferred spectator sport of choice for white people, even above the NFL, NBA and MLB.  The more cursory internet glancing I do, I’m seeing that in major cities like Toronto, Seattle, Portland and Philadelphia, if you take snapshots of the crowds, they’re unmistakably overwhelmingly white.  It doesn’t seem like a lot, but that’s really all the justification I need to make my snap judgments; I’ve been to enough cities to watch sports, and despite being in different states, they really aren’t that much different from one another.

Ultimately, I think white people loving MLS really boils down to two very obvious white people traits: racism and a lack of commitment.  A low-key third would be the fact that so many are hipsters, so naturally, they gravitate towards a lower-tier popularity sport, especially if it meant that there were fewer minority fans to have to mingle with.

But frankly, upon thinking about it, it kind of makes perfect sense why white people love MLS so much. Go to any NFL or NBA game, and it’s abundantly clear that black people love football and basketball.  And the average white person is often times afraid of the average black person, so it stands to believe that white people don’t like going to these sporting events, because it puts them in too close proximity with those that intimidate them.  When the home team does well and the black people get excited, it scares the white people.  But when the home team loses and the black people get butthurt, it scares the white people then too.  This isn’t to say that white people avoid these sporting events outright, but typically they tend to go when they have privileges like corporate box seats, or are in large enough numbers to where they manage to feel safe, but even still it’s not the same white safety as an MLS game would be.

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The brutal absolute of the rule of three

As those people who read my writing might be aware, I don’t really write that much about my personal family life.  There’s not really any particular reason for that, except for the thought that I guess there are veils that I prefer to keep on certain things depending on the audience.  Plus, the internet is already full of heavy and glum things to read about, and I’ve always preferred to try and write about less serious and more whimsical things, or at least dunk on all of the stupid shit that the City of Atlanta or State of Georgia does.

But after the third death in the last six weeks, the prevalent thought in my head is just how brutally absolute that the whole rule of three really seems sometimes.  I forewent my bachelor party due to a death in the family of someone very close to me, and as much as it probably would’ve been great to get smashed in Vegas and piss away a few hundred dollars, it was more important to be with my brother in a tragic time.  A week later, there was a death in the family of mythical fiancée, and although this one was kind of anticipated due to obvious circumstances, a passing is a passing, and it’s no less sad because we could see it coming.

This morning, I found out that an uncle of mine passed away.  Which, to me was kind of a surprise, but at the same time kind of wasn’t.  I knew his health was deteriorating, but it’s been quite a few years since he had a quintuple (read: five) bypass, so it always just seemed like he survived a tough ordeal and was on his way to simply living out the rest of his life in relative normalcy.  He watched both his sons grow up, get married and father their own kids, becoming a grandfather four times over.

My family has this group chat that I regularly keep my eye on, to see general chatter amongst my cousins and aunts.  I had seen that he had been admitted to the hospital due to a complication in regards to an artery, but according to the chat, it seemed like he made it through, and I’d see pictures of him sitting back and reading the paper, or when he was out on a walker doing physical therapy.  I felt some relief that it looked like he was on the mend.

But then I get some messages from one of my cousins, telling me that they’re not going to be able to make it to the wedding, on account of my uncle’s hospitalization.  And although I’m disappointed losing headcount this close to the wedding, if there was any reason that could be justified and understood, this was it.  I called my mom, because I wanted more details, and it turns out that he’s doing way worse than the family chat made it seem like.  He was mostly immobile, relying on an oxygen machine in order to breathe, and the kicker was that the only times he wasn’t actively in pain was whenever the morphine kicked in.

And then this morning, I get a call at a very unusual 6 a.m., and I knew the news was not going to be good.  Just like that, right after talking about him the night prior, he was gone.

Since it’s so fresh, I have no idea what the next few days are going to be like in terms of a service or funeral.  All I know is that the likelihood of me going to another funeral is pretty good, provided flight availability isn’t catastrophic.

I couldn’t help but think about how the rule of three came into play again here, but this wasn’t like professional wrestlers, athletes or nostalgic celebrities.  These were people that were entwined with people in my everyday life that were passing, which means it was hitting home just that much harder, because I’m seeing the sadness and grief affecting people right in front of me, and enduring the helpless feeling that there’s nothing at all that can be done to snap them out of it.

It’s scary just how seemingly absolute and inevitable the rule of three tends to be.  After the first two funerals, I can’t say that the thought didn’t cross my mind, but I couldn’t help but feel this sinking feeling when I found out that my uncle was going to the hospital.  I’m not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve long since walked away from my Catholic upbringing.  But much of my extended family are, and watching and reading them talk about the prayers they were having for the family, and then the initial news that my uncle’s surgery was successful gave promise that maybe things were headed in the right direction, and there just might be reward for those with faith, as long as they’re good people.

But as stated, there was way more to the story than what was made available in an online group chat, and now the inevitable third is gone.  The rule of three strikes again, but it’s unfortunately a little too close to home this time.

Let’s just hope that it’s done now, and that the people in my world can not have to go to any more funerals this year.

Unsurprisingly lame

BB&T and SunTrust banks choose their united name: Truist.

I mean, I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised that this ended up being something as lame as this.  Fewer things in the world are as square and soullessly uncool as the entire banking industry.  I mean, it’s an industry that’s basically built on storing the money of people that are not themselves, and finding every single possible way to take cuts and slices from them in order to profit.

I even yawned heartily while typing out that line, that’s how lame the whole concept of banking is.  I can’t believe I worked in the industry as long as I did, and in some degree of retrospect, I kind of have to thank them for being the tools they are and laying me, as well as my entire department off, because they kind of did me a favor of getting out of the banking industry.  I mean seriously, it paid the bills pretty well, and I would’ve have free parking for years during Dragon*Con, but I have to say that it wasn’t a whole lot of fun saying I worked for SunTrust; as large as it was in Georgia and the eastern seaboard, it was still a regional bank and it was the equivalent of saying that I worked for like, Habib’s Fuel & Automotive in the grander spectrum of the world.

But back to the point at hand, with the name of the unholy union being established, that means that without any further question, the home of the Atlanta Braves is soon to become Truist Park.  I had to wiki it to make sure that it was going to be the de facto lamest name in all of Major League Baseball, but since I’ve completed my quest to visit all 30, I’ve fallen a little to the wayside when it comes to ballpark names.  And as gargantuan-ly lame as Truist Park is, I think there is some stiff competition when it comes to comparing to Guaranteed Rate Field (Chicago White Sox, replacing “The Cell” US Cellular Field (the worst park in MLB)) and RingCentral Coliseum (Oakland A’s, who are always plagued with bad names).  Ultimately, it’s like comparing herpes to chlamydia and gonorrhea, because no matter which name you have, it sucks.

Given the propensity of the Atlanta Braves to always go in the direction of profit > style, it’s no surprise that they’re going to be perfectly at home playing at a place called something as boring, vanilla and lame as Truist Park.  But damn if they aren’t going to get rich cashing in on those naming rights, despite the fact that the product on the field isn’t going to benefit one iota from said proceeds.  A bunch of old white guys need to take their slice of the pie first, as well as their seconds, before the Braves have any chance at possibly getting a little bit of forward investment to maybe succeed. 

I hear winning is pretty lucrative, but the risk-averse Braves don’t really seem the type to risk possibly finding out.  But misery loves company, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that pretty much any team not the Houston Astros seems pretty content on sitting on cruise control and cashing in on revenue sharing, and if they happen to win, great, but if not, that’s perfectly okay as well.  Fuck that, and fuck Truist Bank.  Need to figure out a simplistic and punny name for the new park, because “ScumTrust” is running out of time.

Black Mirror S5: I think we’re out of ideas

I’m sure it’s a shock to those who know me, but I’m pretty staunch about the order in which I watch things.  Nowadays, content is released so frequently and there’s so much of it, there have literally been nights where all I do are surf through previews on Netflix and just add things To My List, but then don’t actually watch anything, because I’ve just spent 45 minutes combing through content and now it’s 11 pm and I need to think about going to bed.

Black Mirror however, is one of the few shows in which I’ll pretty much drop whatever else I’m watching and fast track it to the front of the line.  It’s a series that I’ve often extoled my general love and admiration for, and all the way up to Bandersnatch, I’ve always been a fan of the risks they take and the creativity they express when making the show.  The writing is strong, and the acting is often consistently strong, so it’s an easy show for me to have fallen in love with.

Season 5 of the show, understandably “short” on account of the fact that Bandersnatch kind of folds into it, was but a mere three episodes outside of the aforementioned choose your own adventure.  As a whole, I enjoyed the season, as I often did with all preceding seasons, but by the time I got done with it, I couldn’t help but have this sentiment that, I think the show is running out of ideas.

I stumbled across this specific article when Googling the show after watching the season, which is often times the norm after I watch a show, and it basically mirrors my exact thoughts about the season; the writing is still strong, the acting is still good, but in terms of storyline, the plots aren’t really as … innovative as episodes from earlier seasons have been.

Make no mistake, Striking Vipers is the unmistakable star of the season; every season has one, like how U.S.S. Callister shone through season 4, and Nosedive was for season 3, and at least for me, White Bear and Fifteen Million Merits were for seasons 2 and 1, respectively.  It was the one episode that wasn’t just the most outlandish, as lots of Black Mirror plots kind of are expected to me, but it’s one that provokes a tremendous amount of thought and debate on how the viewer(s) should feel.

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I’d be all in if this actually happened

All.  In.  If the Braves were to rename the ballpark after Waffle House.  100%.  Maybe even get a season ticket package of some sort.  It would be the perfect catalyst for anyone to go balls deep into, or back into Atlanta Braves fandom, because the time couldn’t possibly be more appropriate given the talent movement going on with the club right now.  I just need a little push, or a little nudge.. or just that slight positive association of the greasy spoons where I’ve never had a bad meal in my life where I could feel comfort knowing that the restaurant I like to go to the most after drinking is partnered up with the sports franchise that makes me want to drink.

Although the possibility of something like Waffle House Field coming to fruition is like as likely as my job not sucking any time soon, the logic behind the really is a solid.  I didn’t think for a second that upon the collection of ScumTrust by BB&T, that the conglomerate would even consider for two seconds to give up the naming rights to ScumTrust Park.  I just, and still assume that whenever the transition is complete, it’s just going to remain something as soulless and corporately square like “BB&T Park” and continue existing as the vanilla mass of land in which baseball is occasionally played while they soak in accolades and praise from equally square and vanilla white people who think they know something about architecture with character.

But imagine a world in which the Scum&T blob decided that paying the Braves millions of dollars to slap their name on a stadium that exists outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Or the Braves actually growing a spine and deciding that it would be nice if their ballpark were named after an actual Georgia company, instead of a banking company that turned tail and ran towards the money.  What better business would there be to take the keys to the ballpark than Waffle House?  Sure, Coca-Cola comes to mind, as does Delta Airlines or The Home Depot.  And as Oprah-rich as those businesses are, they’re still businesses that some people still have to stop and think about to remember that they’re companies based out of Atlanta.  Waffle House is definitively, a symbol of the south, which is something that the Braves often try to declare themselves, regardless of the cultural clash between representing the south versus hoarding money like a true Wall Street grub.

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