Tag Archives: vice

Web I Read

If not technical references, I generally avoid reading lengthy non-fiction literature. Self help books from lifestyle gurus with horticultural certifications are not my cup of green tea. And for someone who professes to be as well read as myself, I also detest broadcast news; especially all news as breaking news, flashing lights, and theatrical diplomacy, that promote little more than depression, anxiety, and fear. For more positive segments, without the morning variety show spiel, then kudos to GOOD Magazine‘s impression of my ideal newscast. Because I’m a contrarian and appreciate alternative snarky perspectives, most news that I do find intriguing are discovered through New York Magazine, Vice, and the Onion. Enjoy my other categorical exceptions below.

Every young man should be gifted a subscription to Esquire magazine; I bought mine in High School while piecing together my own Weird Science inspired role model and mentor. Esquire’s web presence has nothing on their print, and while there’s a boat load of consumerist alternatives to online Esquire, including Valet and Uncrate, I drew my metro-sexual line just before anyone should expect their appearance to trump their achievements. After diligent research, I still haven’t found a newsstand female lifestyle magazine less ignorant than listing Love, Beauty, Life, and Career Advice under Horoscopes: I’m looking at you Marie Claire.

Supplanting years of terrible ESPN web design, the new Sports Center Feed is a boon to every self confessed sports addict. In my youth, as a growing athlete, and avid sports watcher and reader, Peter Vecsey’s articulation and shrewd judgment nurtured my early literary interests. To completely avoid the New York Daily News, I shifted to reading Bill Simmons, who remains my favorite sports author and leads Grantland, the ESPN offshoot, with awesome articles and B.S. Report podcasts.

Wired, Venture Beat, and The Verge satiate my general technologist needs; TechCrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo, and Mashable are now too popular to not be written for lay people, and Pete Cashmore’s smug face is an eye sore. Without delving into an endless list of web design and development references, I recreationally enjoy reading Smashing Magazine, A List Apart, and the Firefox Developer Blog.

Reddit/pics is a great distraction if you’d like to uncontrollably giggle to yourself in public. Reddit also provides a gateway to every interesting nook and cranny on the internet, most notably including science and medical journals; on that note, if anyone knows a doctor willing to prescribe me Adderall and Lithium treatments then email me their information, thanks. About people who mislead their humorous capabilities with reposts from Reddit, just know that you’re a huge disappointment in person.

For business and entrepreneurial news, the Harvard Business Review is an underappreciated gold mine. Special shout out to my good friend and industry consultant, Michael del Castillo of Upstart Business Journal, for his genuine enthusiasm about startups, and thought provoking content. I hope to continue this article with a nightly list of links I find worthy of sharing. Feel free to suggest any publications I may have missed. Best wishes and good reading everyone!


Jorene Rene vs Cigarettes

Here’s the problem: smoking is awesome! Fact: smoking is awesome! Disclaimer: I will smoke again before I die. You don’t know me; you don’t know what I’ve been through. However, I didn’t want to waste the prime of my life, or setup a slow and painful death down the road; so I resolved to quit smoking, and *it finally happened* some three years ago now.

Ashley Williams wrote a creative post about smoking before the New Year, which jogged my memory and provoked me to share my method in writing for once. Ashley’s analysis determined that smoking is the perfect game, she goes on to discuss why and how to counter-game the perfect game. My thought process was much simpler, smoking is a habit. I won’t go so far as to call it a bad habit… Well, smoking is an addiction really… Whatever, what I will say is, we subconsciously smoke in response to some sort of trigger: basic withdrawal, stress, etc. Like getting over a girl, the key should easily be replacement, except that doesn’t work. Not with the terrible taste and texture of Nicorette gum, not with Nicotine patches, despite their boastful claims about increased quitting rates, real statistics show those rates are in the single percentages after six months!

If you can quit for a week, then nicotine has completely left your system, the fight should be over; that’s as far as a replacement will take you. What will close the door behind you is identifying the external trigger: the crutch. I replaced cigarettes with water, started drinking more water than I ever had before, which sadly equates to drinking ANY amount of water. I still can’t swim… Anyways, one night I’m out with friends for drinks and caught wind of a craving in the making – therein lay my premonition: alcohol was my crutch! I couldn’t, and still can’t imagine drinking alcohol without smoking a cigarette. I suspect that your crutch is similarly not as addictive, and easier to quit than cigarettes.

Maybe you’re a social smoker who can manage a single cigarette on off-nights, during the occasional drink with friends, after sex, or generally rarely, all of which greatly differed from my situation. I smoked a pack per day for a minimum of seven years. The concept of cigarette conservation didn’t come into effect, until New York introduced budget-busting cigarette tax hikes. I never would have quit if I lived in a state with five dollar packs. On days that I couldn’t afford my addiction, I learned that smokers are some of the most charitable people you’ll ever meet. Try asking a perfect stranger for a stick of gum, smokers are twice as amenable for twice the cost. We’re a good community restricted to the fringes of public parks and college campuses. I probably wouldn’t date a smoker, because of my increased chances of remission, but I will own that you still smell damn good to me ladies.

Somehow, I put all of my warm fuzzy feelings towards smokers and smoking aside, made a conscious decision to quit, and did so with a healthy replacement and an easily identifiable crutch in mind. That’s how I quit smoking. Be warned: my life is boring! I spend Friday nights editing blog posts for goodness sake…