How to escape the dreaded friend-zone in one easy step (a poem)

  1. The friend-zone doesn’t exist, you stupid fedora-wearing twat.

An Explanation:

It came to a surprise that people (i.e. men) in their thirties still believe in the friend-zone. I’ve accepted that self-proclaimed “nice guys” and incels embrace the mythical friend-zone, but it’s disheartening that people I know are secret fedora wearers.* I’m no stranger when it comes to falling for someone who has no interest in me. I’m no stranger of having someone fall for me when I have no interest in them. Unrequited love is a real thing, after all. And it might run rampant among several guys. The problem arises when you start making up fictitious reasons why you’re not a candidate for her heart. The dreaded friend-zone lies only within the fact that you placed her in an unwarranted and unwelcome “relationship zone.” You think that being nice and proper automatically means you’re deserving a chance, but that is neither nice or proper. People are attracted to who they’re attracted to—thing is, this person just isn’t into you. And while that may change, it’s unlikely. Stop throwing yourself at every girl only to bitch when the results aren’t in your favor. Because obsession isn’t romance. It doesn’t even come close to passion.

*I own two fedoras; however, it’s been at over a decade since I wore them. It was a weird phase I was going through in college. We don’t have to go into it.
Film 365

Singles (1992)

  • Title: Singles
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Year: 1992
  • Starring: Bridget Fonda, Campbell Scott, Kyra Sedgwick, and Matt Dillon
  • Studio/Production: Warner Bros; Atkinson/Knickerbocker Films
  • Synopsis: A group of twenty-something friends, most of whom live in the same apartment complex, search for love and success in grunge-era Seattle. (source)
  • Rating: 6.7/10 (IMDb)

I woke up one Sunday morning, back in the late 90s when I did things like go to church, and caught part of a movie whose title I never knew. As a freshmen in high school, my music world exploded with the assistance of friends. Most of the bands that entered my life stuck around all these years. Grunge music filled up my mixtapes—received and given. And any one of them could have made up the soundtrack to this movie.

Throughout the film, cameos by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden), and others grace the audience. Hell, even Tim Burton makes an appearance in the movie. It screams 1990s at the top of its lungs, and I guess that’s part of the reason I love it so much. Yet it fails to hold a cult classic status.

Like all movies that I enjoy from the 90s, Singles focuses heavily on twentysomethings having a difficult time being adults, managing relationships, chasing dreams, and falling in love. Specifically falling in love with the right person. Or becoming the right person for the right person.

It took me a few Sundays to watch the movie and to learn its name. You can watch it once or twice and forget about it. But the beauty of this movie is that one day, maybe ten years after you’ve seen it, you’re busy and work and you remember a line or a gag or an entire scene. It doesn’t have to be your favorite movie; it just wants you to get to know it again.

Also see: Reality Bites & High Fidelity


Blog Resolutions

My last post detailed personal hopes and goals for the new year. This post details blog hopes and goals for 2017. And while I know that my blog resolutions (blogolutions?) in the past crashed and burned before they got started, I remain semi-hopeful that this year will be different.

As most of you know, I have never found a niche for Chapin City Blues. While A Book Hunter’s Journal chronicled book finds, reviews, and opinions, I’ve managed to keep this blog as a journal left lying open on the dining room table. And while my readership is low, I don’t expect any changes I make to boost my numbers. And who cares? This blog’s sole purpose was to keep me writing.

However, adding new features never hurts—right? In addition to tapping into my book hunting roots—something that died with Hastings and several book thrift shops—I want to talk about movies. Not in the film criticism sense, but in a film fan sense. I remember a time in my life where my world revolved around books and movies, sometimes combining the two when a film adaptation was released.

The idea for Film 365  came about at work one day after watching a wide variety of movies, most of them I wouldn’t have touched otherwise. Now Film 365 is the idea title. I’m sure better minds have already trademarked the phrase. In fact, a quick Google search could confirm this.

While I won’t have time to watch 365 cinematic titles—no parent does, right?—the idea is to watch at least one movie a week. So why not Film 52? Doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Another idea that comes to mind is listening to new music. Not brand spanking new, but new-to-me songs, bands, and albums. There might have been a time where Chapin City Blues wasn’t already music heavy, but it’s a time I cannot remember. With music streaming services (I use Google Play’s) at our fingertips, why confine ourselves within our comfort zones?

I’ve never been photo savvy with this blog. Personal pics have been used before, but mostly they’re borrowed from other websites or stills taken from videos. I want that to change. Not that anyone out there is dying to see my fat face plastered all over this blog, but using my own pictures (when I can) would give it a more personal atmosphere. Maybe.

More posts by Shaun. I promise this every year, but nothing has come of it. Shaun’s a complicated child. He’s almost five, by the way. And his personality has blossomed beautifully. He started pre-K last August, a milestone that Jeanna and I were both nervous and proud of.

More talk about games. Tabletop RPG, board, and card game reviews are still a long way from my expertise. But writing about my nerd nights with friends and coworkers might add more fluff to the blog. And with the Book of Malor on the horizon, there might be recordings as well.

And that wraps up the first post of 2017. I’ll be back later with the first movie of the year, 200 Cigarettes.

Posts By Shaun

Shaun vs. the New Bed

So it’s been a long time since Dad let me borrow his computer and type my own post. Well, let’s face it. I’m not technically allowed to type my own posts because in everyone’s mind I’m just this almost-three-year-old ball of awesome. Either way, there a few things that I want to say before typing this post:

  1. Taylor Swift just needs to stop. Listen, girl. I get it. You’re trying to build an empire. Who isn’t these day? But you’re exploding to what my Dad calls Donald Trump/Paris Hilton proportions. And that doesn’t sound like a good thing as Dad considers them as a media whore and a failed politician with a cheap toupee. “This sick beat” has been around longer than I have been alive, Dad tells me. And I’m older than your single I love forcing Dad to dance to with me. So just stop. Also, this whole not streaming your music? That needs to stop, too. Dad is never going to buy me your CD and my tablet doesn’t have Internet connection outside the house. How am I going to listen to you now, girl? Stop sticking it to your fans and get with the program, already. Even this almost-three-year-old knows most of your money comes from merchandise and appearances.
  2. While we’re on the subject of streaming music. Google Play Music All Access (or whatever it’s called) needs a desk top app that we can use on Dad’s laptop. Do you all not know how annoying it is to switch back and forth on tabs to skip a song we don’t like? It’s knackering. It almost makes us want to drop your service and get on Spotify or Pandora One. And neither of those music services compete with yours. So stop being a Tay Swift and give us a desktop app.

Moving on.

I spent Valentine’s with Dad. We did the usual Dad things. We went to Barnes and Noble where he bought me a chocolate milk. I played with the Legos while Dad picked up a couple of books for me. Then we went to Target where Dad rushed away in search for something. When the rest of us caught up with him, he was standing beside something. A box. A largeish box. “This is for you,” he told me as I was taken out of the shopping cart and the box was placed in. We went home after where Dad and grandma spent a large amount of time putting it together. When it was all done, Dad called me into the room.

“Oh wow,” I said as I climbed onto my very own bed. It’s nice having a bed to lie in while I play on the tablet. Only Dad wanted me to sleep on it, too! “What do you mean?!” I protested. “This is my bed,” I told him, patting on the large bed we spent every weekend on. But I’m not one to pass up a new opportunity. So I lay back in my own bed and slept the whole night through without so much as a peep. It’s not as spacious as the bigger bed, but at least I’m not disturbed by Dad’s snoring.

He’s talked about giving me a room of my own, too. But I don’t think either of us are ready for that just yet. We’ll see, though. Oh well, I’m out. Until next time, stay frosty… Yeah. I don’t have a nifty sign off like Dad does.


“I’m not gonna teach him how to dance, dance, dance”

Last night, I compiled my fourth playlist since I started up again. The soundtrack to a fake romantic comedy about a girl who works as a barista. Inspired by nothing and everything. I made two copies. One for Angela (I promised her one way before it ever came to fruition), and one for me. A good amount of time spent on thinking about it, I realized that it’s something I may attempt later in the future. I just need to carve out the story a little more, and pepper it with romantic comedy clichés—”[T]his song sorta gives it the kissing in the rain feel. Which, as we all know, is romantic (but not in real life as rain water is really dirty due to all the pollution in the air).” For those of you reading this and wanting to recreate my playlist (I’d totally share it with you if I had the ability and disposable income), I’ll add the track list at the bottom of this post.

Angela's copy
Angela’s copy

For the cover and CD art, I used a collage by Ashton Cutright entitled “Summer Reprise,” which you can buy at Etsy. Ashton and Miranda’s CDs were the first to feature art on the cover and CD label. It’s something I’m probably going to add from now one because, as I’ve stated before, I love making these CDs and creating arte for them adds to the fun. Like scribbling doodles on the cassette tape sleeve.

Ω  Ω  Ω


Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission
Serving Him: Sexy Stories of Submission

So the above happened today. Upon receiving my copy of Serving Him edited by the sultry Rachel Kramer Bussel, I noticed the packaged open. No explanation. No attempt to tape up the violation of my package. It’s been some time since I received an erotic book to review in the mail. About a year, actually. Copies have been sent to me via e-mail for Kindle or Nook readers (I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3, and I use the Nook app due to Amazon’s tight ass restrictions on their Kindle app). It’s sad that Ms. Bussel may take the same route because the USPS decided to open and lose several packages because they suspect that their media mail service is being abused.

I started the book, checking off Lori Selke’s “What You Deserve.” I won’t review the story here (not yet).

Ω  Ω  Ω

My coworker told me his creative well has run dry. It’s something I’m familiar with. However, there’s never been a time that I couldn’t write. It’s just what I write isn’t worth reading or worth the time spent writing it. Words, good or bad, never failed me. I can’t begin to imagine what he’s going through.

I force myself to write something every day. Good or bad, just keep writing and things will get better. I read as much as I write and I’m reading less these days. I need to change that. Need to switch off the TV and the computer once in a while and just start writing.

  1. I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You – Black Kids
  2. Teenage Angst – Placebo
  3. My Body’s A Zombie For You – Dead Man’s Bones
  4. Ah Uh Mi Hed – Shuggie Otis
  5. All I Want – Kodaline
  6. Memory – Sugarcult
  7. I Love Rock And Roll – Zombina & The Skeletones
  8. Recycled Air – The Postal Service
  9. Make Me Fall – Nina Nesbitt
  10. Sideways – Citizen Cope
  11. Breathe – Sia
  12. True Love Waits (Live in Oslo) – Radiohead
  13. Geek Love – Nerina Pallot
  14. Teenage Angst (Piano Version) – Placebo
  15. Swimming Pool – Freezepop
  16. I Melt With You – Modern English


Don’t Mourn

“What if my son stares with a face like my own/And says he wants to be like me when he’s grown.” –Diddy

Sometimes I feel like a Skylar Grey song. All the excess parts of me are removed only to have the good credited to someone else. No body wants to hear her variations, just the hooks mixed with grooves and beats with the nuances of modern hip hop. And I only have to look at my son to see that the good parts of me were passed on to him. And that is something of a magic trick. A case for immorality. While I’d rather be remember as a whole, I’m glad that parts of me will continue into this world.