Behavioral observations as a new Tesla driver

To cut to the chase, I bought a Tesla.  Okay, it’s really my wife’s car and she’ll be the one making the payments on it, but on paper, I’m the purchaser, since I don’t have student loans and my credit was more optimal to get the financing done.  But we have a Tesla, and I get to drive it around every now and then.

It hasn’t been long, but it’s definitely a fun new toy to drive around in.  There’s definitely an adjustment period getting used to regenerative braking, and how you can literally drive with your foot on a single pedal.  The feeling of there being no gears shifting at all as you accelerate, and the sheer lack of sound of motors or smells of exhaust definitely makes you feel like you’re driving a spaceship.

Without question, there’s still a treasure chest worth of experience yet to be tapped as far as diving deeper into ownership of our Tesla, and I’m sure weeks, months and maybe years down the line, there will be functions and features that we’ll still be discovering, and hopefully none that will have been gamechangers early in our ownership.

But the point of this post is about behavioral observations that I’ve had, now that I’ve been driving around in the Tesla myself for a few weeks now.  I didn’t really think much about it after experiencing some observations, I guess I can kind of understand what’s going on around me whenever I, or my wife are riding around in the Tesla.

  1. Surrounding drivers are more aggressive. This is really the big thing that I’ve noticed the most when driving around myself.  Turning on a turn signal to initiate a lane change, way more frequently than I’ve noticed in any other car I’ve been in or driven, results in adjacent drivers stepping on the gas to forcibly deny me entry.  If at a merge point, surrounding drivers are noticeably more aggressive and out to make sure they get ahead of me, regardless of our spatial positioning.  At stop lights, in just the last two weeks, I’ve had more people act like they’re Brian O’Connor on me, and turn a green light into an impromptu drag race, and seemingly make a point of getting in front of me like they just won the le Mans.  I’m all like, buddy, I’m still trying to learn the pedal of this car, I’m definitely not trying to get in any races here.  Plus, I’m 40 with kids, I’m long past caring about 95% of red light matchups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pushed the pedal a few times, and the acceleration is staggering.  In most cases, I probably could smoke a lot of the cars that have gone Dom Toretto on me, but just because I could doesn’t mean that I am, especially where I’m still new to this and learning about the car.

    But I don’t know if it’s the color of the car, or the notion that all Tesla drivers must be rich assholes, but it’s pretty undeniable that drivers all around me, when I’m in the Tesla, have their aggression ramped up like that one cheat code in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City where you can make everyone super aggressive.

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H-Mart* is where people act like the pandemic never ended

The other day, I took my au pair to H-Mart.  She could see what an Asian market was like, we could take the girls out of the house to stave off their boredom, and I could introduce her to some of the more unique foods in the food court.  Plus, ever since I discovered Bibigo’s ez-Korean stews, I wanted to get some more to stash for a rainy day where I’m jonesing for some Korean stew.

We get there, and while we’re walking into the store, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the customers headed inside, were all masked up.  This was confusing to me, because usually when I’m out and about, I’m usually the only one who still wears a mask in public places.

Sure, it’s finally gotten cold in Georgia, which means it’s the usual cold and flu season on top of the fact that COVID is still all over the fucking place, but that’s never really stopped anyone from arrogantly going into Publix or Target without a mask on these days.  The news can literally mention a new variant or a spike in infections, and people still parade around like it’s 2019 again.  White people, black people, men and women, young and especially old people, just can’t be bothered to mask up anymore these days.

Inside H-Mart, it looked like it was March of 2020 again, with everyone masked up, except there were way more people packed into the store, which was a colossal pain in the ass considering I had a shopping cart and a double stroller for the girls.  But make no mistake, the vast majority of shoppers in the store were masked up, and it wasn’t lost on me the ones that were rocking the heavy duty KN95s instead of more casual cloth or surgical masks.

It didn’t take long to consider what the outlier was, which was the fact that we were at an Asian grocery store.  Sure, forget that H-Mart corporate is based out of New Jersey, and most of the produce they procure is from the same suppliers as most commercial grocery chains in America.  The narrative now begins to feel like the fact that it’s an Asian business with a bunch of chinks and gooks all over the place means that China Virus is clearly wafting around in the air, and all the non-Asian folk will be damned if they are going to risk getting it.

I mean, they could just, not shop at H-Mart, but I suppose their low-priced produce and Korean fried chicken are far too tantalizing to resist, and for these people, it’s worth risking their lives and looking like passive racists.

But hey, if you’re exasperated with people arrogantly not masking up, start going to H-Mart to shop for your groceries instead of Publix or Kroger.  If you’re not Asian you’ll look like a racist, but at least you can shop somewhere where most everyone is finally being careful for a change.

*and presumably any other Asian-run business that non-Asian people like to patronize

Kairi, and the long overdue IWGP Women’s Championship

When I heard the news that KAIRI (FKA. Sane) had become the first-ever IWGP Women’s Champion, I was both pleased and disappointed.

I liked Kairi Sane when she was a part of the WWE; she really captured the imaginations of those who watched her rise in NXT through the Mae Young Classic (which they really should consider doing again), and I enjoyed her development into the main roster where she formed an entertaining team with Asuka.  She could work and had charisma, and I was disappointed when it was revealed that she did not re-sign with the WWE, but understandable given the circumstances of her wanting to go back to Japan.

Needless to say, I’m happy for her that she’s the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion because I always liked KAIRI, and I think she deserves it.

However, at the same time, I’m perplexed and mostly disappointed in the fact that in 2022, is when New Japan Pro Wrestling had finally decided to create an IWGP Women’s Championship.

Sure, NJPW never really had a women’s division at all, often outsourcing their need for women talent mostly to Stardom, but as the rest of the world continued turning, NJPW remained in the Bronze Age as far as gender equality went.  Which is doubly ironic, because Japan is home to such a deep well of female talent, both Japanese and foreigner alike, with most of the latter ex-pats coming to Japan on their own fruition as it’s known to be such a robust scene to grow as performers.

For as much of the weebs of the world think that Japan is this magical culture that can do no wrong, the fact that there’s never been an IWGP Women’s Championship until now is just a little microcosm of where they as a culture truly are behind the times.  And it’s not even just about wrestling, it’s the simple fact that as culture, Japan is still extremely misogynistic.  Sure, they’re no draconian Sharia law country, but they’re still a hundred years behind the United States, and we frankly are mediocre at just about everything.

Either way, I’m pleased with KAIRI becoming a champion once again, but it really is kind of pathetic that it’s taken this long for NJPW to even have something of a women’s championship in the first place.

Sports have too much fucking money vol. 1,232 feat. Jason Heyward

Impetus: the Chicago Cubs release Jason Heyward after seven years of his eight-year contract

Between 2008 and 2009, Jason Heyward was one of the most hyped prospects in baseball.  After the 2009 season, he was the de facto #1 prospect in baseball.  In the Spring Training of 2010, Heyward emerged onto the radar of the national spotlight when he clubbed a home run so far, it left the ballpark and shattered the windshield of a car in the parking lot.

He was so good, he forced the Atlanta Braves to put him on the Opening Day roster instead of taking part in the traditional practice of stashing him in the minors for two months in order to ensure that they can keep him for an additional year of indentured servitude known as team control, instead of getting to free agency.

That Opening Day, Jason Heyward took the first step to immortality by launching a three-run home run in his very first at-bat.

To this day, I still consider that day and that moment, one of the most magical sports memories I’ve ever had.

He performed so well through the first few years of his career, it became very apparent that he was going to become problematic in the sense that as he grew closer and closer to free agency, he was going to command a tremendous amount of money, and as any Braves fan can explain, the Braves absolutely do not like to spend money.

The inevitable became fulfilled when the Braves shipped him off to St. Louis for his contract year in exchange for a pitcher who still had team control available to him, and Heyward unsurprisingly put up a monster year for the Cardinals.  He went into free agency in as optimal position as a player really could be in.

And the Chicago Cubs came knocking, as they signed him to an 8-year, $184 million contract.  Jason Heyward had accomplished what just about every professional athlete strives to do; make it to the big leagues and perform well enough to where you can make it to free agency and cash in on a monster megadeal.

But then something interesting happened: Jason Heyward basically forgot how to play baseball.  From the moment he suited up for the Cubs, he was mostly an offensive liability, hitting .245 and OPSing .700 between 2016 and 2022.  Almost all of his value came from the fact that he was still a reliable glove in the outfield, winning two Gold Glove awards.  That, and the fact that as a person, Jason Heyward has always been a pretty outstanding human being, personable, polite, philanthropic, and just a great teammate, as many of his peers have attested.

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If life were wrestling, Stacey Abrams turns heel now

I never wanted to be a person whose gave much concern over politics, but maybe it’s a symptom of getting older, or the world is just getting so progressively fucked up that people like me are organically becoming more aware of them, but I’ve found myself caring enough to the point where when the political season starts heating up, I feel the need to ignore everything, because I care, and I’m treating the whole thing like how I treat sports game that I’m vested in.

That being said, I can’t say that I’m the least bit surprised at the results of Georgia’s political battleground, namely the two key races that most people have been paying attention to.  Despite all of the available facts out there, Georgia unsurprisingly embarrassed themselves on a national stage, by having a legally brain-dead Hershel Walker garner so much voter support, that his deadlocked race against Raphael Warnock is now headed to a dreadful run-off race next month.

To my recollection, Democrats haven’t won a single run-off since I’ve lived here or paid any attention to, so instead of losing in November, Warnock seems destined to lose a bigger and more scrutinized race in December, because from what I can observe, the Democratic party can’t seem to put together a single winning strategy against the formulaic low-fruit smashing tactics of the GOP.

But the main point of this post is about Stacey Abrams, who lost for the second time to Yosemite Sam for governorship of Georgia.  I can’t say that I’m at all surprised by this outcome, but I was hoping that Sam’s bickering with the orange guy in 2020 would have done enough damage to him to where it might have shifted some voters to not vote for him, but when it really comes down to it, and the exit polls kind of confer, Stacey Abrams being both black and a female just makes it way too hard to overcome both racist and sexist reflexes of the Georgia voters that actually decided to vote.

According to census numbers, Georgia has about 7 million people who are of voting eligibility, but only about 4 million people actually voted.  Obviously, this isn’t to say that both Abrams and Warnock’s chances of victory would have been improved by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s still frustrating to learn that nearly 3 million people just didn’t vote at all.  If I’m a Hershel Walker supporter, I’m just as frustrated by this, seeing as how the margin of voters between Warnock is what’s sending this to a run-off in the first place.

Either way, to no surprise, Abrams is taking her loss with dignity and class, as was the case the first time around.  She vows to continue to fight for Georgians, and is saying all of the right things that those in the political career should be saying.  But honestly, if I’m Stacey Abrams, and life were actually professional wrestling, at this point I’m fucking sick of Georgians, tired of trying to win Georgia, and I’m turning heel on the state and vowing to move onto bigger and better things.

3 million motherfuckers not voting at all?  What’s the point of Fair Fight when there are a bunch of people who just don’t want to fight at all?  Twice now, Georgians have left Stacey down by not turning up to the polls, and she’s basically had to eat a shit sandwich twice over now.

Abrams is no stranger outside of Georgia too, as she was one of the names that was on the short list of potential Vice President candidates.  Who’s to say that after jobbing twice to Dutch Mantell that she just stops giving a fuck about Georgia and doesn’t move on to bigger and better opportunities in Washington? 

Frankly, I think it would tickle me delirious if Stacey Abrams were to go have a press conference on WSB to announce what she’s going to do next, and unleashing a scathing promo on the state of Georgia, that she’s sick and tired of trying to prop this sexist and racist backwater state up to civilized standards, and that she’s peaceing the fuck out of here, before dropping the mic.

As she gets down from the podium, a bunch of white rednecks in UGA sweatshirts are seen throwing Bud Light bottles and toilet paper rolls onto the stage, like a 1998 episode of WCW Monday Nitro.

At this point, I can’t say I’d blame her.

David Chang has apparently gone full Gusteau

Over the last week or so, I’ve been getting inundated with ads for David Chang’s (endorsed) air-dried noodles, which effectively has taken David Chang from being a well-known restauranteur and into the arena of an actual home cooking brand. 

I have this love-hate opinion of David Chang, because when I first heard of him, I thought he was this weeb that sold out his Korean heritage by opening a restaurant called Momofuku.  But then I learned that not only did he grow up in the same area I did in Virginia, one of my cousins has classes with him in high school, adding to the parallels I felt I had with him in this self-loathing manner.  But then I really did enjoy his first Netflix series, Ugly Delicious, because it was a well-produced series that had a lot of heart and soul in it.  But then anything he did afterward turned into this cringey star-fucking humblebrag, because of his increasing celebrity, so I’m mostly at this 60/40 scale of thinking he’s uncool, because anonymous people on the internet’s opinions totally matter.

Never mind that the product is about the whitest alternative to instant ramen there possibly could be, and their marketing pitch strategy that seems to think people are choosing to eat these 17¢ pucks of freeze dried noodles in pure salt water because they have a financial choice, and that “at ~$4 a meal” buying Momofuckyou air-dried noodles are a superior alternative.  Or that we’re supposed to believe that Chang himself was actually involved in “ten years of flavor research” when the guy is a few years older than I am, which would imply that he actually had any time at all in his early 30s to give a fuck about how to make a more white people friendly version of instant ramen.

It’s that by entering the world of producing DIY home cooking products, David Chang has basically turned into Gusteau from Ratatouille, spring-boarding his restaurant brand and celebrity status into a cheesy food brand.  Sure, it will in all likelihood make him richer beyond my capable dreams, but on the less-significant and internet coolness side of things, make him kind of a lame sell-out. 

Obviously I’m of the belief that such is always the goal of those who achieve fame, because securing the financial freedom for your family and possibly the generation(s) beyond you is always more important than what strangers think of you.  But I really wanted to make the comparison of David Chang to Gusteau, because it’s what I think he’s on the cusp of doing. 

Sure, Gusteau is dead [spoiler-alert] and it’s his crooked sous chef selling him out, but if Chang decides to go beyond noodles, and starts trying to sell DIY Indian food or soul food or Caribbean food, then he’s basically a real-life Korean Gusteau, worthy of having a series of tasteless cardboard cutouts of him wearing stereotypical garb of various nationalities.

Either way, I’m sure the internet and their endless parade of algorithms will know that I’ve got any opinion of David Chang at all, and when he inevitably releases Momofuckyou’s DIY chicken tikka masala, I’ll be ready and waiting to photoshop his head on Dhalsim’s body for an I-told-you-motherfuckers-so brog post.

Damn it, I have to side with the conservative chick

It’s obvious that my brog has kind of devolved into this cesspool of parenting, wrestling and occasional sports posts, and that I don’t really write so much about the variety of topics that I tried to spread out throughout my ability to write.  Parenting has really shrunken my general world into a very small space that I obviously need to focus on more than anything else these days, but every now and then a slice of the world outside my own manages to sneak in through social media, grasp my attention, and trigger an avalanche of thoughts, and ultimately words that I can put down onto a word doc and call it a brog post.

Normally, when I hear that an alleged victim is of a conservative variety, I expect to get ready to roll my eyes and imagine at what nonsense a white person is going to be bitching about next.  But in this particular story that someone found its way to me, about a girl who is enraged with American Airlines, because she was on a flight where she was the unfortunate middle seat in between two, morbidly obese siblings, for a three hour flight, I kind of get it.

I think it’s a safe bet to say that I’ve flown more than the average traveler.  And in my travels, I have sat in more than my fair share of middle seats, especially considering all the standby traveling I did where middle seats were really my only option versus not making it out at all.  And let me tell you, in the age of seats getting smaller and smaller so that more seats can be crammed onto aircrafts, I have definitely been this girl more times than I can count, where I’ve been victimized by people whose girth far exceeds the confines of a standard airline seat.

Of course, I am no small individual by any means.  I’m probably like 20-30 lbs. away from an ideal mass ratio, but for the most part, I fit adequately into the boundaries of an airline seat.  Sometimes my shoulders exceed the boundaries, not necessarily because I’m swole or anything, but because everyone’s shoulders usually exceed the boundaries of a seat, and most of the time it’s a domino effect of everyone in a row gradually leaning to one side in order to try and get some physical reprieve.

Except in the case of this poor girl, there was no reprieve, because she was literally sandwiched in between two mammoth masses of humanity.  The fact that they were spread out with a gap seat in the middle indicates that they knew they were both blobs and needed the space of a seat in between them, but the fact that they didn’t just outright purchase that seat meant that there was always the chance of some poor unfortunate soul getting booked in it, which is exactly what happened in this case.

And normally I tend to not feel much empathy for those who proudly identify as conservatives, but as a fellow human being who has traveled on his share of airplanes, I completely feel for this girl.  It is absolutely the worst feeling in the world being stuck next to a blob of a person who is oozing into your personal space, and you’re stuck touching these usually less than hygienic My 600 Lb. Life patients for more than two hours otherwise you might’ve driven in the first place.

I have loathed every time this has happened to me, and in my case it’s usually been from one side, but it has happened where I’ve been the schmuck stuck between the Natural Disasters and it is the absolute worst.

The ironically funniest thing about this story is that after the initial, fairly nonchalant response from American Airlines to this girl, is the secondary follow-up response where AA basically sided with her, low-key admit our bad, and gave her a voucher for the horrendous atrocity of having to endure a flight being a literal Jill sandwich.  It’s like after the initial shot was fired, some case worker actually analyzed the scenario and realized how miserable she was and had the empathy to reach back out and offer a peace offering.

It reminded me of my own experience, where the above photo was a picture that I took on an AirTran flight coming back from Las Vegas.  We were surrounded by a family or three where everyone was massive, and fortunately they weren’t in my row, but they definitely were all around me, and because of their girth, they were obviously uncomfortable in their seats, resulting in them constantly getting up and meandering all around me, to where at one point, they just gathered in the back, right next to me, just so that they wouldn’t have to be seated in tight quarters on account of their blobbiness.

I contacted AirTran about the incident, and they actually sided with me with no resistance, and gave me a credit.  It’s like they too know how much of a pain in the ass huge motherfuckers are to the airline travel experience as much as everyone else does, but because so many Americans are so fucking fat, it’s just something that happens on the regular, and they just hope people don’t reach out to complain about it.

Anyway, this chick obviously got blasted by the internet for being so callous as to fat shame, but the funny thing is that there was also a notable amount of sympathy for her situation, because at the root of it, just about everyone who’s ever had to deal with it themselves knows just how much it sucks flying next to a bunch of fat fucks who ooze all over the place.