One year later (the not-so good one)

It was just days after my child was born.  As she was premature, she was immediately admitted to the NICU, and it was heartbreaking to leave the hospital without our daughter coming home with us, but we tried to take comfort in the fact that she was exactly where she needed to be in order to play some physical catchup to where she would be allowed to come home.

Every single day afterward, mythical wife and I would go to the hospital twice a day to spend some time with our child.  Except for those first few days, I didn’t go, because I had come down with a pretty nasty cough, and given the situation that was rapidly spreading across the globe, understandably, there were some major red flags about an Asian guy having a cough, especially not just at a hospital, but at a NICU.

Fortunately, it was most likely just allergy-related, as like a true genius, I had participated in a double 5K event that involved running two 5Ks in an eight hour span; one at 1 am, and then one at 7 am the following (same) morning; it was daylight-savings themed, and the novelty of it alone made me want to try it.  But in doing so, I had inhaled a metric fuckton of early Georgia spring pollen, and my body was revolting as a result.  However, it cleared up fairly quickly, as the pollen coursed through my system, and I would get to go into the NICU later on.

However, it was on one of those days in which I dropped mythical wife off at the NICU, and came back home to log into work, I have a memory of swinging by the nearby Publix on the way home, and knowing we were low on bottled water, I made a point to pick up some more.  There was a display upon entering for a buy 2, get 1 free, so I figured, why not just get three cases?  With this whole pandemic thing starting to gain momentum, I figured three cases of water between two adults should be sufficient for all this shit to blow over, right?

Funny how perceptions are when you’ve never really lived through a global pandemic in your life.

So here we are, one year later; people with brains larger than a pea, are still wearing masks out in public, if they’re even leaving home in the first place, and coronavirus has officially killed over half a million Americans, and countless many more over the rest of the globe, but pretty much nowhere worse than it was in America.  Several vaccines have finally come to light, but the distribution of them leaves a lot to be desired, considering an entire planet’s population all need it in order to hopefully return to some semblance of normalcy, so in spite of the supposed cure existing, it’s still a slow and still dangerous path to the finish line.

Continue reading “One year later (the not-so good one)”

Man, What A Stupid Commercial #017

Plot: family jonesing for some small business ice cream is sad to discover shop is still closed, inspires small business to pivot business model to a delivery system.  Small business owners allegedly uses solely Adobe products to rebrand and expedite their customer-facing identity

Yes, I have dusted off this old series from the days prior to the brog going down for several years, as there will never be an end to commercials that are capable of triggering my ire and unleashing the snark.  It’s not that I ever abandoned this series as much as a combination of brog downtime, the improved avoidance of commercials by virtue of streaming television, plus the baby I now am responsible over which further takes me away from television watching, that has collectively reduced my exposure to commercials outright, but it’s always been a thing I’ve enjoyed blabbing about, because most everyone can agree that commercials suck, and I can typically keep these posts shorter and sweeter than a lot of the other drivel I tend to go on about.

The funny thing is that in spite of all the reasons why I don’t get exposed to many commercials, on Thanksgiving, my father-in-law turned on the actual television to watch some football, and at the time the only game on was Redskins Washington Football Team vs. Cowboys, and it took all of five minutes for the game to go into a commercial break and expose me to a commercial that immediately caught my attention as something needing to be blistered on the brog.

Make no mistake, I am all about supporting small business and ice cream, and the general narrative of the commercial itself is sweet and pleasant.  It’s just the fact that it’s a commercial for Adobe that I find both objectionable and unbelievable that inspires me to write about how much bullshit it turns the entire commercial subsequently.

There’s no fucking way a business can rebrand and change all of their UX/UI through Acrobat and Sign.  Why they advertise it as such is completely beyond me, and in order for this much action to occur, undoubtedly the entire Creative Suite would be necessary to utilize.

But most importantly, what the commercial fails to convey is the sheer unreliability and instability of Adobe products these days, and sure they can eke out a 60 second spot to look all happy and cheerful, but off-camera there’s probably numerous hours lost to Adobe software crashing over and over again in the process of altering the brand of Mila’s ice cream shop, and scenes where Mila herself is ready to throw her computer(s) onto the ground when the constant software crashing has her questioning why she’s even trying to pivot her business in the first place.  Feeling resentment at the little girl who taped a picture to her door and making her feel sad in the first place.  Cursing the monopoly Adobe has on the entire graphic design industry, justifying their position to release subpar software at egregious prices.

Furthermore, without question, after the camera stops rolling, the drone stops responding and crashes back down to earth, and when Mila’s truck turns around to investigate, it too stops responding, and crashes into someone’s house, because that’s what Adobe products do: stop responding and then crashes.

This commercial is false advertising.  Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s kind of appropriate that it sucks

When I caught wind that the WWE was going to unveil a brand-new United States Championship design, I had a moment of dread; if it looked baller, then I was undoubtedly going want to get a replica, no matter how many times in my life at this point I’ve said NO MOAR BLETS.

Plus, I’ve been very unhappy with the WWE Shop for having available replicas of just about every single championship belt design over the last 30 years, except for the one and only WWE-branded belt that I want: the NXT UK Tag Team Championship.  Seriously, they have shit like the yellow Intercontinental belt that the Ultimate Warrior wore like, twice, and the old European Championship which only existed for like 3-4 years, but they do not have the NXT UK Tag, which unlike the litany of “tribute” belts they seem to release on a weekly basis, is an active championship in the company right fucking now.

To hell if I was going to be wooed by a brand new US Championship belt before I could get the one and only belt that I really want*

*not entirely true, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a Ring of Honor World or John Cena US spinner belts as well

But then Monday Night RAW came and aired, and because I don’t have cable television and don’t actually watch RAW anymore, I had to wait and see when the pictures broke on Twitter, and unlike the NXT UK Tag, the WWE Shop was more than ready to push the new shit available online like a software hotfix.

And the verdict is . . . it sucks.  Whew!

Continue reading “It’s kind of appropriate that it sucks”

Los Angeles Rams’ logo – football or news station?

If there was anything that would help get me writing about things other than being a new dad and how I’m often operating on a sleep deficit and spending the expected amount of time changing diapers, it’s a good old fashioned dunking on a rebranded logo.  And the Los Angeles Rams Formerly of St. Louis did just that, futilely trying to get people to pay attention to them and not think of them as another dead franchise that inexplicably cannot survive in a sports-crazed market like LA.

Honestly, in spite of the harsh tone and the likely critical things I’m going to say about it, the overall logo isn’t that turrible.  It says “LA” and then there’s a horn of a ram in it, the point is made, and the objective is completed: LA Rams.

The problem is, I can’t not see a glorified news station logo when I look at it.  The very first thought that came to mind when I saw it was that it looked like it had to be an NBC affiliate’s news logo for Los Angeles.  Like it was born to be a news station logo, not the primary identity of a futbol americano franchise in the NFL, one of the most influential and wealthy sporting entities on the planet.

I mean seriously, the image above is a quick shop job I did to illustrate my point.  If this whole post wasn’t talking about the logo, would anyone stop and think twice about the logo tucked in the bottom corner of any news broadcast?  It fits so seamlessly and could easily be used in any broadcast throughout all of Los Angeles.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that LA just can’t get a break when it comes to professional football.  They’re such a massive market, yet the NFL just inexplicably can’t seem to get their shit together out there.  Even the Knicks were once good in New York, but LA just can’t seem to get people to take the NFL seriously there.  I mean look at the memes that the LA Chragers became when they unveiled their low-effort logo that lasted all of like two days before it was ridiculed to literal death.

I can’t say I bothered to see if the Rams’ new logo was nearly as ridiculed as the Chragers’ one was, but to this snooty graphic designer, all I’ll ever see is a fictitious news station’s logo, waiting to be permanently positioned in the bottom corner of a television screen during a broadcast.

Neck Beard Club is 2 sweeeeeeeeet

Don’t wait, get on board with the hottest merch in professional wrestling!  Official Neck Beard Club merchandise is available at Hot Topics across America and ProWrestlingTees.com.  And why stop with the official t-shirt, when you can get the official fedora, and top it off with the official Neck Beard Club vape pen!  Supplies are limited, get ‘em while they last!

This is actually an idea that’s been rattling around my head for a while now, but just very recently did I get the motivation to actually bring it to fruition.  Maybe it’s because I recently went to my very first New Japan Pro Wrestling show, and even in spite of the mass departure of all the guys that ended up birthing All-Elite Wrestling, Bullet Club remains as relevant as ever, even if it’s sort of kind of beginning to feel like the nWo black and white after Hogan and Nash basically imploded the entire faction.

The point is, Bullet Club started to become kind of lame once it reached peak popularity, and much like the nWo, hit a level of where it began saturating so much of NJPW, it was basically the only thing you saw fans gravitating towards.  Suddenly, the whole world’s wrestling fans all started becoming huge Bullet Club marks, and it wasn’t that they were fans of NJPW, it’s just they were fans of this idea that didn’t originate in the WWE, and it was cool to like wrestling things that weren’t WWE.

And in my own little head, when things become too popular, they become lame, and I barely had any time learning about Bullet Club before I began thinking they were so popular, that it was nigh impossible for them to live up to the hype that the collective internet had put them on a pedestal with.

A year or so ago, I went to Dallas, and with my brother, we went to a Ring of Honor show.  Back in like 2012, I went to an ROH show in Baltimore, and it was an enjoyable experience seeing a lot of talent that I’d never seen before and just witnessing a brand new scene, very different than that of the WWE crowds that I have little desire of going to their shows anymore.  So I had high hopes that this ROH show in Dallas was going to be as good as my first time.

Continue reading “Neck Beard Club is 2 sweeeeeeeeet”

Not art + design

Because every gym on the planet is seemingly contractually obligated to be airing ESPN on at least one television, I saw this story about how the coach of the Cleveland Browns was spotted wearing this t-shirt that said “Pittsburgh started it,” as commentary over an incident a few weeks ago where the Browns’ Myles Garrett and the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph got into a scuffle ending with Garrett ripping Rudolph’s helmet off of him and swinging it at his head.  Garrett has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for basically assault, and Rudolph was fined a bunch of money for remarks that supposedly started the whole incident which may or may not have been racist.

But this isn’t a post about the incident, because when the day is over, I really don’t give two shits about an organization that somehow thinks organized dog death fighting is a lesser crime than kneeling during the national anthem.   No, I’m more incensed over the fact that on the aforementioned t-shirt, is an actual signature on it from a supposed “art + design” company as if printing a t-shirt with three words in the Garfield font (Cooper Black) is remotely anything considered art or design.

This is the kind of shit that really makes me jaded towards the creative industry as a whole.  A bunch of hacks out there that take the most low-effort bullshit, slap a logo or take credit for it, and call it “design.”  And when challenged, comes a deluge of bullshit about minimalism or simplicity.  And then there’s legions of like-minded sheep who think it’s the most innovative idea in the world, and then it goes viral and people actually benefit from it.

Amazingly, the “company” that signed this shirt that I could easily plagiarize in 2 seconds, appears to be an actual company that actually makes all sorts of Cleveland-centric apparel and merch, almost all of which is 78,000% more creative and contains actual design than Pittsburgh Started It.  But because they’re an actual company, they do have the audacity to try to monetize their low-hanging fruit, and to no surprise at all, are selling these bullshit shirts for $28 a pop.  But realistically, even if it was some individual who calls themselves a studio, they’d still try to sell them for $35, because they’re broke-ass poor and trying to capitalize on going viral.

Naturally, people are buying them because they clearly have way too much money.

Either way, if I had more than 0 readers, I’m sure I’d inevitably be accused of being jealous that someone out there is making money on such a low-budget idea.  And they’d be entirely right, because I would love to make actual money on such little effort.  Why the fuck can’t something controversial and nationally known happen for an Atlanta team, that I could easily make into some sort of meme, call it design and cash in on?

Shop talk

It doesn’t happen, by design, that I talk about my job.  Frankly, most of the time it’s nothing particularly interesting, and probably not really any different from anyone else who works a fairly normal corporate job anywhere in the world.  But lately, my work has been a little bit more encompassing in my daily life than I’d really like it to, and I feel like I’m in a not-that-great position currently, and I feel like everyone I’d vent to is kind of tired of hearing the same old stories about my job, but I still have a lot of thoughts and words that I’d like to get out of my system, that writing about it, seems like the only viable option in order to accomplish that.

Imagine . . .

  • You’re an auto mechanic. You fix cars and motorized vehicles for a living.  You use tools and work with your hands in order to fix said vehicles, day in and day out.  One day, a chef walks into your shop, and gives you a bunch of forks, spoons and spatulas and tells you, these are your tools now.  Please fix my car.
  • You’re a chef. You cook food for a living that feeds all sorts of people.  You use an arsenal of knives, spoons and various utensils in order to prepare all the food that you cook.  One day, a graphic designer walks into your kitchen, plops and laptop and a mouse on your counter and tells you, these are your tools now.  Please make me lunch.
  • You’re a graphic designer. You make shit on computers, using a variety of artsy software, specifically made to make shit.  Sometimes the shit you make ends up on the internet on websites and sometimes it is manifested into something tangible.  One day, an IT guy walks onto your floor and installs this shittily-made, outsourced, glorified data entry program and tells you, this is your primary software now.  Please resume creating advertisements at a high volume and high quality.  Except there’s no please, because this IT guy is a fucking asshole

That’s my life at work, in a nutshell.

Continue reading “Shop talk”