Beantown Throwback: Parking Girl

Hey fans, Quinn David Furness here with another installment into the Beantown Blog. Some of you might be feeling a little depressed after our last post about growing old. Honestly I thought it was pretty good, might submit it to some literary magazines, if anyone has any connections just DM me or email us at beantownpodcast@yahoo.com. I hooked my phone’s email app up to that last week so now I see your emails in real time and not once a month when I remember to check it as I did for the first couple months. Moving ahead here, I want to introduce you all to a new Beantown-related segment on the Beantown Blog: Beantown Throwback. One of my favorite things to do on the podcast and something that people really enjoy is when I tell long stories pertaining to my own past social experiences–These aren’t always in the same vein as my weekly ramblings. They tend to be a little bit longer, a little more focused on the human experience rather than sheer comedy, and the one thing they definitely have in common is that they’re all true. So, if you’re more of an audio person and you just want to re-visit the story from the time we told it live on air, head here and jump to the 4:05 mark if it doesn’t do it for you. Basically this is a written rehash of stuff you already know, but if you’re new to the podcast, or if you just really like a good tinder date story, this is the quality content for you.

This is early June 2018. I had recently gotten out of a weird pseudo-relationship type thing with this girl. As a side note, there is a ‘lost’ recording of the two of us doing a podcast together live from a cabin in the mountains of Virginia that is unpublished and will continue that way for the foreseeable future. I do still have the copy of the recording, but I’ve never listened back to it and don’t plan on it anytime soon. It was bad. Continuing on though, getting out of that relationship meant Q was fresh and hot on the dating scene. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Craigslist Personals, I was doing it all. Baltimore’s most wanted. So I match with this girl who lives in the County, about 15 minutes north of the city, and I could tell you her name, but I don’t remember what it was, so instead we will refer to her as Parking Girl. So Parking Girl doesn’t live in the city, but she does have a car. Now, I am always for being a nice human being and going out to people’s places to make it easier on them (heck I took the Baltimore subway to the County a few times when I first moved here to go on dates), but sometimes you just wanna be a little selfish and ask the girl to come down here. Hey, if it were the reverse situation and I had the car, I know 15 minutes of driving would be nothing compared to the alternative which for many would be about an hour long bus ride. Not as much fun.

So Parking Girl and I arrange to meet at a restaurant/bar about 2 blocks away from my apartment on a Friday night. It’s a home game for me. I’ve got it all lined up perfectly. Friday night rolls around and I walk over to the place we’ve agreed to meet–As I’m on the way, she texts me to say she’s stuck in traffic and that she’ll be 15 minutes late. No problem. I get to the place, and it is packed. Like sardines! So me being the excellent problem solver that I am, I text her back and say ‘Let’s meet at Brew House,’ which was this really neat restaurant and bar inside of an old fire station literally down the street from my apartment. Still a home game. By the way, I said ‘was’ because it shut down this past December. What a shame. So I text Parking Girl the new address, which is not hard to find by the way. It’s three blocks from the original location. I get to the new bar, Brew House, and because it is a beautiful early summer evening, I grab a table outside and order a beer. Everything seems good.

Red flag number one: We had agreed to meet at 7, then she got backed up in traffic and said she’d be 10 minutes late, but next thing I know I’m sitting at the bar and it’s getting close to 7:30 and I’m wondering what the heck is going on. Now, the astute reader might think at this point “Hey this is just a classic ghosting or catfishing situation, case closed” like they’re in the first five minutes of a Law & Order episode or something. Well here’s a gamechanger for you: Parking Girl shows up. In her car. So Brew House is on a street corner, and on the street immediately next to where I’m sitting it’s no parking, but it’s relatively easy neighborhood parking on all the streets around the bar, including in the next block of the street she’s on. So she asks a very fair question: ‘Where should I park?’ Although I don’t have a car, I have a good idea of easy places to park. The street she’s on is a one way street going north, but about 2-3 blocks south of the bar, there’s WIDE OPEN (and I mean WIDE OPEN) pay for parking next to a church and a theater (and about 15 other things) that is never occupied, and the good news is she’ll only have to pay for an hour because the meters turn off at 9. So I tell her where to go (all she has to do is get on the next street over to go back south and then come back up, it’s classic one way street management, my sister could do this) and she heads on her way. So we’re all good again, right? Wrong.

Red flag number two: She is a big fan of texting while driving. I’m partially responsible for this because I continually texted her back as she would text me, but we were kind of getting into that flirtatious space and I figured that was a good way to ease the nerves of a first date so it’s all good, minus the illegal texting while driving part. So at this point, it’s probably about 7:30-35. Ten minutes go by. We’re texting but not talking about the parking situation. As each minute passes by, I assume she’s about to walk up and sit down with me and order a drink, seeing as she’s had plenty of time to park and do the 1-2 block walk to the bar. 5 minutes turn into 10 minutes. 10 minutes turn into 15. Next thing I know it’s 7:45 and I’m wondering what in tarnation is going on. So I text her something like ‘Yo baby where u at’ (you gotta know how to talk to women) and she says that she can’t find a spot. Hmm, that’s interesting and also not true if you followed my instructions. So we go to Plan B. Literally on the opposite corner of the city block where the bar is, there’s this odd and out of place strip mall (on the north side of downtown, at Guilford and Madison, next to the JFX, if you are from Baltimore you know what I’m talking about) that has things like a Dunkin Donuts (at the time they hadn’t changed their name to just Dunkin so I’m preserving historical accuracy), 2 Chinese places for the 13 Chinese people who live in Baltimore, a nightclub that is definitely a front for something (happy to talk about this another time), a Pack & Ship place, and an 8-Twelve which is a 7-eleven knockoff in case you’ve never seen one. So I text her ‘Yo, on the same city block there’s this strip mall with a Dunkin where there’s loads of free parking,’ and I mean LOADS. I park there overnight all the time when I go to Philly for evening events and get home at 2am. It’s foolproof. The lot is never more than half full. So this should finally solve all our problems, right?

Red flag number three: She texts back about 5-10 minutes later saying something like ‘I think I went to the wrong Dunkin Donuts, this seems far away.” Well wouldn’t you believe it, this lady drives all the way to Penn Station (about a half mile north of where I’m at) because there’s a Dunkin inside of the train station. Wat. How did we get from “There’s a Dunkin in a strip mall on the same city block as where I’m at” to “Go to the train station to find a parking spot?” Very confused. Starting to lose hope. Like in Rogue One when they say ‘hope’ (and then the other 1,005 times they say it in the movie). So I send her the address for the strip mall, and then I lay out my ultimatum: “Look, I’m gonna be here until 9pm (it’s about 8 by this point) and if you wanna come grab a drink (which I assume you do since you drove here from the County) then come do it, but at 9 I have to head home to record a podcast (which was not a BS cop out, it was true).” After another 5-10 minutes of texting back and forth (and texting while driving), she agrees to do it another time. Woof. Talk about a low quality woman. These are people you have to watch out for. It’s not anything related to their looks, or their personality, or their sexuality or anything discriminatory like that. They’re simply a low quality person. I get it–Driving in the city can be different than what you’re used to. No one likes parking in a foreign place. It can be stressful trying to figure things out on the fly as you’re driving. I get all of this. But we hit the point of acceptance around 7:30 or so, and then we kept going for another 45-60 minutes. That’s enough for me. I did not text Parking Girl after this incident and I’m p sure she didn’t text me back either. It’s kismet!

As a p.s., we re-matched on another one of those sites a few months back. I asked her if she wanted to drive down to grab a drink. No response.




The Irremediability of Senescence in 21st Century Infirmiable Decrepitude

The falling autumn leaves. The harsh numbing of winter. The spring awakening that accompanies an annual tradition of a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in which you realize you can no longer ‘hang’ with the man you used to be as your joints begin to creak. Broken down, beaten, demoralized, you yearn for the younger self through whom you once thrived. A lust for life, a yearning for the unknown, a daily feeling of boldness, discovery, and zeal that once accompanied your youthful vivacious young 20s person has been replaced by the aggrieved disposition of old age and the inevitability of your rapid descent into despair.

In 10 days, I will turn 24 years old. Just typing that leaves me with the jaundiced feeling of disenchantment upon recognizing that I’m a mere shell of what my young self once was. Ghosts of the past, both literal and figurative, haunt my inner soul as I approach the crossroads of life–Two roads intersecting with one another. One is the path of whom I was, the other the steep descent into loneliness and petulant solitude that life has thrust upon me. Long gone is the manic propulsiveness of our adolescence, the vivacious euphoria that injected such dubious elation into my gilded youthfulness. In its place is a more fragile sprightliness that so ambivalently yet effectively reflects the emotional, physical, mental, and sexual states of a man who is neither as insouciant nor spirited as his younger self. As the exhilaration of boyhood moves out, the faded bitterness and disillusion of old age have moved in.

As I sit here reflecting on my own misgivings, I am reminded of the Elton John record ‘This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore’ from his 2001 album Songs from the West Coast. “I used to be the main express / All steam and whistles heading west / Picking up my pain from door to door / Riding on the storyline, furnace burning overtime / But this train don’t stop / This train don’t stop / This train don’t stop there anymore.” Mm. These words resonate deeply within the inner fibers of my bones.

You see, as I slowly stumble out of bed each morning, fumbling around for my glasses and wondering how my I seemingly aged one year in one night, I try hard to avoid the mirror, as there are many things it would reveal I wish not to see. Still, in those early morning moments when I do accidentally catch a glimpse, I fail to recognize the man who looks back at me. With all too much frequency, my own evocation fails me. All the things my younger self once took for granted now cause pain: The physical, a response to a body that is simply running out of gas, and the mental, a sullen cogitation on whom we once were.

Lest you not doubt, my soul can still feel unbridled love, though all too often it is consumed by unheralded ache. In one instance, my heart is filled with joy, while in another it is broken into a million pieces by the world that continues to rush by as I slowly turn into a simple relic of the past. Although my spirit longs for still and clemency, all too often it is consumed by an overwhelming longing of emancipation.

So as I approach my 24th year on this earth that is simultaneously so astonishing yet redoubtable all at once, I recognize that although to many I am no longer attractive, my bones are weak, and my soul still feels nothing but rejection and ignominy, I’m still well aware of the inner beauty that pervades my soul, and in that consciousness my value will not be forsaken. Although old and gray, it’s true: I’m still here and I long to live with what little time I have left. .

Let’s call it what it was: The Oscars were garbage

2019 Oscars Monlogue Opening

I’m not afraid to call it what it was. The Oscars this year were rough. Anyone who follows me on social media (Facebook and Twitter) knows I was not shy about my disappointment in this year’s awards, but it really started long before the ceremony even began. Let’s review…

First, the Academy announced they’d be adding a new category, “Best Poplar Movie” or something like that. I never understood the hype–How many movies are there about trees? I bet ‘The Lorax’ wishes it could have won that category. But then they took it away after some well-deserved negative press. Second, the Kevin Hart debacle. Actually, not even a debacle. I don’t have a terribly strong opinion on this one way or the other, but how could the Academy not do its research into Kevin’s past to see whether or not there were maybe any skeletons to take care of first? Smooth move, dumbasses. Third, they announced they were going to be handing out awards during commercial breaks. Now, in theory this isn’t the worst idea. But why can’t they do it with the awards no one cares about? Best documentary short, anyone? Or Best Director this year? Let’s round up all the locks and do them during the commercials. OR we could just cut down on the commercials. Honest to god–How many ad spots for ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ did we witness last night? One time when my dad and I were driving from Chicago to Tampa, FL we counted how many Waffle House signs we saw along the side of the interstate. The grand total was 88. For those of you who didn’t count, the ‘Whiskey Cavalier’ count was somewhere in the mid to high 50s.

Ok so the Oscars had some serious pre-game performance issues. That’s fine. You can still salvage it. How? With a dynamic, electric, young, hot, hip, and sexy host. Did I say young? Yeah, not turning 24 for another 3 weeks. Talk about a youth movement! They could’ve at least let that kid from ‘Stranger Things’ host. Which kid? I don’t care. Anyone but Millie Bobby Brown. So if you haven’t noticed already or if you aren’t yet tired of me spamming you with it, the video above was my take on the Oscars monologue. I had a lot of fun making it but it was also a ton of hard work. It got absolutely wrecked on Reddit so I had to take some gut punches but I really enjoyed it. It quickly became my most-watched YouTube video of all time, so thanks to those of you who DID attend the premiere. Plowing ahead here, I legitimately feel like I could write a solid 3-5 pages single spaced essay about why I didn’t love the Oscars this year, but honestly being hungover on a Monday is not necessarily the best environment to do that. I did that sort of thing as a rebuttal to ‘The Last Jedi’ and as much fun as that was, it takes it out of you. So instead of a super long post that takes a deep dive into all my issues, I’m going to give you the short list. Apologies for what I’m forgetting, because there was a lot.

  • The fashion was pretty gd boring. I’m not big into the Red Carpet in general, but it really wasn’t memorable in any significant way. Spike Lee going as Violet Beauregarde from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ was p cool but otherwise it was so bland.
  • Ethan Hawke wasn’t nominated and thus wasn’t there. Travesty of Justice.
  • They didn’t show my monologue at the ceremony. I messaged about 50 nominees on Instagram and Twitter asking them to share it with the Academy tech people and so far no one has responded.
  • That Laura Dern plug for the new Academy Museum thing? What? Not only is this in bad taste, it was also just super awkward. Also Laura Dern. Come on.
  • Awkwafina. More like Awkwawful. I’m sorry. I just don’t get it. So bad. So very very bad. I remember watching her SNL episode and going into it with an open mind because I didn’t know her, but it’s just cringe after cringe every time she appears on screen.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody winning for Best Editing.
  • Glenn Close not winning.
  • Ethan Hawke and Timothee Chalamet not being nominated. Garbage.
  • Green Book? Really?
  • Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Panther won something like a combined 7 Oscars. What on Earth did we just witness?
  • Nothing (again) for Nicholas Britell. This guy is brilliant. Go listen to either the ‘Moonlight’ or ‘Beale St’ soundtracks and explain to me why he doesn’t have an Oscar.

I guess at the end of the day, I really just did not find the show either entertaining or funny, two important factors when determining success. 3 weeks ago was Super Bowl Sunday, yesterday was the Oscars. Both were gigantic letdowns. At this rate, I’m half-expecting the Kentucky Derby to end with all the horses getting shot and eaten at the post-game party. The blog haters will argue that the ratings for this Oscars were way up, but I believe that’s because of the hype for ‘Roma’ and Alfonso Cuaron. Here’s the deal–Mexico’s population is 129.2 million. If every person in Mexico watched the Oscars, that would easily explain the jump in Oscars views by approximately 4300% so it all adds up. Math is my strong suit!

Alright. Time to rest. And also time to stop thinking about the Oscars for awhile. It’s been a lot lately.

The REAL Jury Duty is Exactly as ‘Bleh’ as it Sounds

Well it happened. After I finally got around to changing my voter registration from Chicago to Baltimore, I got nailed. Picked up by the courts. Thrown in the slammer. Left for dead. I got selected for jury duty. On a side note, I’ve been in Baltimore for about 20 months now, but still have my IL license. Other than the confused looks from bartenders, I don’t have too many issues.

Jury duty is one of those things that you hear about all the time, but it kind of feels like it never happens to you, unless you’re someone who gets selected for jury duty at a normal rate. This is where I was up until yesterday. So for those of you curious about just what goes on behind closed doors OR if you’ve never seen an episode of ‘The Wire,’ allow me to give you an in-depth behind the scenes look at what the REAL jury duty is like.

8:00AM. This is when Baltimore City tells you to arrive for jury duty. What they don’t tell you is that 1) If you don’t get there by 6:45, you’re probably not getting a seat close to the TV OR the door. Heck, I had to climb over 7 angry middle aged black guys just to find an open seat. Wish I had brought my grappling equipment! Grappling is such a fun word. I feel like there were a lot of grappling hooks around in TV shows and movies when we were kids, but they’ve sort of fell out of fashion. Now everyone wants a lightsaber or a 12 gauge. So I finally get to my seat, right at 8am, and wouldn’t you believe it, I don’t even get called up to register my attendance until about 10:30am, so for those of you who failed linear algebra, that’s two and a half hours of chilling right off the bat, which seemed cool at first until I realized these chairs were not going to be able to provide me with the lumbar support that I desire. I quickly realized that my boyish enthusiasm around missing a day of work was misplaced. The $15 they pay you is nice though. I’m going to invest that in my 403b and retire an extra day early.

10:45AM. I finally got to get up to stretch my legs for all of 10 minutes in order to check-in. Here’s another thing they don’t tell you about jury duty–They’ve got a guard in the room the whole time, and he does NOT like it when you stand up for any reason whatsoever. By 11:15 in the morning, my calves were so tight you could…Well whatever you do with tight things. I sat in front of the computer for a solid minute thinking of something funny to write. Sometimes the jokes just aren’t there. So a few more minutes pass, and we FINALLY got a movie on. It’s kind of absurd that everyone was there ready to go by 8:05-8:10am and they didn’t put a movie in until 11:30am.

11:30AM. ‘Hidden Figures’ was the movie of choice and I will argue that it is Baltimore City’s favorite movie. I’ve been to two separate ‘Movie in the Park’ type deals since moving here, and both times they’ve shown ‘Hidden Figures.’ Add to that the 2 times I saw it in theaters, and we’re now up to 5 times I’ve watched it. The only other movies around or above that count for me would be Spielberg/Lucas films, some of the classic John Hughes 80 films, ‘The Fugitive,’ and ‘Black Swan.’ Well, one scene from ‘Black Swan’ in particular. It’s around this time too that they start calling numbers to head to courtrooms to start the jury selection process. On this particular day, we were dealing with numbers 6000-7200 and I was number 6930, so tbh I really wasn’t expecting to get called. However, we were REALLY moving and grooving through the numbers early on, so I guess there was a lot of crime yesterday. I blame gentrification.

12:30PM. Lunch. I brought my lunch, a nice little ham and cheese and spinach sandwich with some cheese crackers and an apple (normally I’d be doing my chicken cabbage stir fry but I didn’t have gas for 6 days including last weekend, remember?). In hindsight, even if I’d brought my lunch, it would’ve been smart to use the hour to go walk around, maybe to the top of Fed Hill or something. Or to Hooters. I swear, I never remember there’s a Hooters in the Inner Harbor until my meal situation is all figured out. It’s behind the Ripley’s Believe it or Not so you can’t actually see it from the water. This is why I always forget. I’ve never been to Hooters. I’m not looking to go there to score some ladies, but I’d like to have the cultural experience. It’s the same reason I went to White Castle and Little Caesar’s on my 21st birthday. You don’t pickup ladies there either. Long story short, I continued to sit on my big white butt and I pulled up ‘The Office’ on my iPad (love that Netflix storage feature). Oh, here’s another important note: NO WIFI. This had me thinking, who are the real prisoners in the Baltimore City court system? Us or Them? Let that one sink in for awhile.

2:00PM. We start moving through numbers again, and we’re getting into the 6800s AKA I’m p sure I’m gonna get called at some point. Hey what’s the closest you’ve ever come to being arrested? Hmm I’m trying to think of mine. I should probably research some statute of limitations stuff before I disclose anything. I guess underage drinking? I wasn’t even that hardcore–I started drinking the fall of my sophomore year of college, about a year and a half before I turned 21. The craziest part about my drinking history is that that year of college, when I was 19-20, was by far the hardest I’ve gone in my life. It’s really been downhill from there. The spring of my senior year after I turned 21 was pretty fun and I drank casually a lot but wasn’t going that hard consistently per say. Otherwise, probably throwing stuff at the old McGaw Hall with some of my music friends before they demolished it. Hey, it was around Spring Training time and I think we were just hoping to get discovered.

3:00PM. My day of reckoning. Well, my time of reckoning. It finally happened. I, along with about 14 other jurors, got called into the courtroom. Now, here’s something they don’t tell you about juror selection. Both the prosecutor AND the defense attorney go through what is essentially a remake of when you’d be playing sports on the playground as a kid and the captains get to pick their teams one by one. This reminded me of that situation specifically because in both cases, I didn’t get picked. Ha! I’m kidding. I didn’t have friends as a kid.

So a jury has 12 people on it, with 3 alternates. Oddly enough, there was already a group of about 25 potential jurors in the courtroom who had arrived long before us. My group of 15 was more or less the backup group. And when it came time for the prosecutor and the defense attorney to make their picks, they didn’t even get to our group. So it really wasn’t that exciting. I feel like I didn’t watch all of those ‘Law & Order’ episodes for nothing. Also I still haven’t seen ‘Night Court.’ Is it worth watching? They did have one of those bailiffs though, like Byrd from ‘Judge Judy!’ I love that guy. Did you know that in 1996 when Judy Sheindlin got offered her own show, Byrd wrote her a congratulations letter (they had worked together in Manhattan in like the 80s I think) and she offered him the job on the spot? I should start doing that with people from college whom I worked with who are making it big now. I’m looking at you, Jaboukie. I bet he knows Justin Bartha.

4:00PM. We return back to the original room with the death chairs. ‘Hidden Figures’ had ended and ‘Spare Parts,’ a 2015 movie starring George Lopez and Marisa Tomei. The film itself seemed pretty average (not bad, just not a standout), but the true story is really incredible. You should go check it out.

4:15PM. We finally got released! I tell you what, it was only one day in jury duty, but I feel like I can really empathize with what inmates go through now. Bad chairs, can’t leave the room, don’t get any recreation time, and mainly movies you’ve already seen 5 times. That’s brutal! I definitely will not be committing a crime any time soon! I got scared straight!

Here is a fun photo of me as a free man. Thanks for reading! Big weekend ahead–Ryan Ligon and I will sit down to go through ALL 24 Oscars categories and make our picks, and on Sunday, my Oscars monologue will go LIVE and maybe viral? We’ll see! Also, Y/N on the buzzcut? I’m kind of tired of my current hair…

Hey Restaurants–Get off your High Horse and Show me the money a la Cuba Gooding Jr

Hey fans and friends – Quinn David Furness coming at you with a midweek check-in and our second ever installment of the Beantown Blog. I gotta tell you, I really like what we’ve developed here. I can’t tell you how many times throughout a week I think of something I really want the world to know about, but it’s too long for a social media post, too short for any sort of podcast or Beantown Unplugged series, and not really best suited for standup. Not to mention the standup scene out here in Baltimore is somewhere on the spectrum of ‘Non-existent’ and ‘What do you mean stand-up?’ My dear Friend of the Podcast Matthew Fiedler has been asking for some sort of midweek 5-minute rant weekly for a long time now, so I hope you’re satisfied with this for now, Matthew.

Let’s get right to it–Restaurants who don’t put prices on their menu. I’m sitting here on lunch break the other day, and you know me, I’m swiping and such, up down left and right, interacting with the fans, publishing some instachats, going facebook live, you get it. I happen to stumble across an insta story from my old piano teacher, and she posts a photo of the menu of this place, and it looks nice and all, mixed chopped salads, greek parfaits, the works, etc etc etc, but you know what I notice? No prices. That’s right, nothing.

So let’s talk about it. Yeah, I’m calling you out, the fancy steak places, the seafood joints where they got a guy in the bathroom handing you towels, the Five Guys to your McDonald’s, if you will. Look, we’re not all Bill and Melinda Gates. We can’t all go to a restaurant, order an appetizer, an entree, a dessert, AND a drink without starting to sweat it a bit. I know ever since I switched careers from music to education, I’ve had a bit more of a financial cushion, but the cushion isn’t that thick baby. Nay, this is an injustice. I know you want to seem all high-end fancy whatever, but as an American citizen, I believe I have a right to know how much my appetizer is going to cost. Would I like a glass of sauvignon blanc? Yes, but only if I know if I’m gonna have enough money to pay for health insurance at the end of the month (TY OBAMA). Of course that tierameisut (I’m leaving it like that because it was my first attempt and it was close) on the dessert menu looks tasty, but you know what else I could do with $10? College Quinn could’ve eaten for a week. That’s a slight exaggeration but not far off (when I was 19 living in Uptown, Chicago, I used to take a $20 bill to Aldi up on Broadway/Wilson and walk out like a king)

Here’s my secret: A lot of people I talk to don’t place enough emphasis on the cost efficiency of items. For example, if you buy a big ole sack of rice, that’s crazy good value, because you can get multiple pounds of rice for about $2-3. On the other hand, sure, we all love cheese, but you might just get a mid-sized bag of shredded stuff for another $2-3. You tell me what’s more valuable/efficient. So here was the plan, and it was all about staples: Rice, barley, typically chicken (I like turkey and beef but chicken tends to be the most cost effective), no superfluous beverages besides Folgers coffee (that stuff still haunts me), just the produce you need to make a big batch of something like chili or jambalaya, apples for breakfast, oats, and frozen veggies to stay fit.

Now, occasionally when either myself or one of my music buddies would score a church gig, we would make it rain ($50-100 may not sound like a lot to you, but as 19-year olds, it was everything). That’s when we pulled out the big guns–Hawaiian Punch and Vodka. I’m telling you, this stuff is the nectar of the gods. I distinctly recall one time pre-gaming at my apartment in Uptown with roommates (drinking the aforementioned nectar) before taking the train to campus for the sole purpose of playing drunk pickup basketball. And the best part? We brought thermoses filled with more of the concoction, so that in between games, we could stay (de?)hydrated. Here’s the kicker, and you might not believe it but I promise to god it is true: We were better wasted than sober. I don’t know if it was divine intervention because we went to a Catholic university or simply the sheer power of Hawaiian Punch and Vodka, but in those moments, we were infinite. If you want proof, I played in a rec basketball league last spring. 8 games in a season. I probably averaged about 20 mins/game in 40 minute games. You wanna know how many points I scored the entire season? 0. My hops just aren’t what they used to be. I know people roll their eyes when I complain about getting old, but the marathons I’ve run and the hamstring and back issues I’ve had have really taken it out of me.

So here’s the point: Hey Restaurants–Get Off your High Horse and Show Me the Money. That’s what Cuba Gooding Jr (aka Rod Tidwell) told Tom Cruise in ‘Jerry Maguire,’ and he won an Oscar for that. Isn’t it enough that I actually showed up to your restaurant? I shouldn’t have to spend the entire meal eating in fear. That’s not fair to me, our communities, or America. I’m p certain there’s a clause in the Geneva Convention that prevents that. Leave it up to a bunch of fancy rich communist restaurants to turn their noses up to such a universally binding document.

All right, I ran out of things to say. See you this weekend for the podcast. Or before on the Blog if I think of something else. Also, I’m finishing up my Oscars monologue–If anyone has any good last second jokes, email me at beantownpodcast@yahoo.com or leave a comment here. You’ll get writing credit and it’s tax deductible! Also, trying to get hooked up with Justin Bartha so if anyone knows the best way to contact him, please also let me know.

Weddings and +1 Suppression: An In-Depth Look into the Totalitarianism of Modern Holy Matrimony

The Title Says it All, doesn’t it?

Well, February is here, and that means it’s wedding season. A time of great passion. A time of great joy. All sounds pretty nice, eh?

Hey folks, Quinn David Furness checking in here with our first ever installment in the ‘Beantown Blog,’ a new opportunity to bitch and moan about whatever’s on my mind at any point anywhere anytime. No longer will you the Friend of the Podcast have to wait for our weekly shows to see exactly what’s grinding my gears on a daily basis. Let’s jump in here.

So here’s the deal–I’m not normally the guy who gets invited to a lot of weddings. Surprised? I don’t know if it’s because people don’t want paparazzi at their special event, or what the situation is, but I accept it because I recognize that while many things are, not everything is about me. Long story short, weddings are not usually something I have a lot of material for due to inexperience. Well, in the past week or so, I’ve all of a sudden had multiple issues with wedding invites and +1s, and that brings me to what we’re here to talk about: +1s and their legal status.

Now I know what you might be thinking–“Oh man, Quinn, +1s? That’s pretty simple. You give your invitee a +1, and they get to bring whomever they want to bring. As long as there’s no weird bad blood or anything between the invitee’s +1 and the host of the event, it’s all good.” Well, you’d be wrong. There have actually been a couple of different instances involving +1s I could talk about here, but I’m going to focus on one specifically.

When you send out an invite and include a +1 for the invitee on the invite, you are giving up your right to control who the +1 is at that point. When you drop it in the mailbox or you send your e-card, BOOM. It’s done. I think there was some sort of Supreme Court law from the 50s that established this, but I don’t really remember. We’ll get someone from the writing team to check that out. Back to the bit here tho, I’ve got a female friend who’s got some weddings coming up this summer, and she wants me to act as her +1. Easy enough. I’ve done the +1 before. I know the +1. I was born to play the +1.

There’s only one problem. The hosts of these weddings [that’s right, multiple instances] is not sure if I’m a suitable +1 because they don’t know me well. Pretend for a second I’m that lawyer from Serial who botched the case (and she also died RIP in Peace): “WHAAAAAAATT??” My running buddy from grad school Elyse used to be a killer impression of her. She’s also getting married this summer! I’ll be there! No word on the +1 situation for that wedding yet…Feels like I’m jinxing it at this point.

So what’s the deal here? I thought this was AMERICA, where you could bring anyone you wanted as your +1 because it’s your God-given goddamn constitutional right. As a PSA to all of you out there getting ready to send out your wedding invitations: This isn’t the 1950s Soviet Union anymore. You’re not Stalin. Your totalitarian authoritarianism has no power here.

You might think I’m overreacting, but if this is indicative of a larger societal cultural trend, I won’t hear it and I won’t stand for it. Invitees should be free to bring whomever they choose! We all want the special day to be filled with joy, mirth, and happiness.

Has anyone ever read that novel House of Mirth by Edith Wharton? I read Ethan Frome once and I just remember feeling really depressed when it was over.

BTW Cristina Gutierez was the name of the Serial lawyer. She died in 2004, technically of a heart attack, but she had diabetes and MS too. Woof.

In conclusion, you don’t get to pick and choose your invitee’s +1s. That’s not what this country was founded on. You wanna know what America is all about? Liberty. Freedom. Passion. Fear. Greed. Obesity. Diabetes. Football. The TODAY Show. Howie Mandel. But it will never, and I mean NEVER, be about wedding authoritarianism.

Thanks again to everyone for reading. This was pretty fun, eh? Hope you’re having a good day, wherever you’re reading from. I’ll leave you with an inspirational quote

Fear is America’s #1 natural resource -Quinn David Furness