Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Tweener is dead...Long live the Tweener

Hello everyone,

It is with little regret that I announce the discontinuation of posting on the Tweener, which will occur by the end of this week. This is not a joke. Repeat: This is not another joke. I will be setting up shop at the superior Wordpress in the near future with a new blog, or perhaps multiple ones in different categories. A couple of things you can expect in the new format:

1. A narrower focus.
2. A new name, because 'tweener' now means pre-teen females in popular vernacular. Having the name "the tweener" for a blog about 20-somethings, therefore, is not exactly a triumph of marketing.

We will post at least one retrospective this week of our best/worst posts in case this blog gets shot into space as part of some sort of introduction kit for extra-terrestrials. thetweener.blogspot will remain active so people can continue to read our timeless posts throughout the ages, and also so employers can deny me a fulltime job when they google my full name even though it is nowhere to be found on this site(Attn google: How do I stop this?).

The ETA on the new blog is anywhere from a few weeks to two months (two months is at the absolute most). If I have a new blog that is very topic specific, it will be supplemented with another that is composed of my random musings. As for Amy and Ryan, they might come along to the new blogs, but if they don't, I will keep you informed if they have their own thing going.

To everyone who has enjoyed this "online magazine", please come back and visit every couple of weeks, because I will post the URL of the new blog on this page. Thank you for reading, and to quote Churchill on his own alcohol addiction: "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Cities

Since college, I’ve lived for some time in three cities: New York, Washington, and Philadelphia. I totally failed during my 6 months in New York, ‘made it’ professionally in DC but left after a year and a half, and am now approaching two years living a relatively comfortable existence in Philly. There are a few basic lessons I’ve learned, and these apply to twenty-somethings with 0-50K salaries. If you’re reading this and are older and make more, however, send a big advance to 759 South Jessup St. Philadelphia 19147 and I will write some shit that will blow your mind. Nevertheless, here are the lessons I’ve learned:

-Most people tend to think the grass is greener on the other side. they believe that if they move to another city, their social lives will improve. If said people live in DC, then they are correct. For everyone else who hasn’t lived in their city for at least two years, though, step back and ask yourself what exactly it is that you are running from. Could it be...Yourself? Loser. Oh, excuse me...”Tragic hero.”

-New York is billed as a “city that never sleeps”, but without a lifetime supply of stimulants, how are you going to pull that off?

-To continue on New York, nobody interesting lives in Manhattan anymore outside of Harlem and the lowest of the East Side. Sex in the City was a really popular show that made Manhattan the province of 30-something, affluent, fashion conscious professional white girls. As a consequence, Manhattan is probably more boring than even Dallas these days.

-Philadelphia is a city full of skeptics, but unfortunately, people seem to leave their skepticism at the door when a mediocre guitar band is playing. People are very supportive of each other in the local music scene, so Matt Pond hasn’t been told to quit yet.

-In Washington DC, people get excited about their flip-cup teams.

So, with these lessons in mind, here are the cities compared by category:


New York: Although your neighborhood might be run-down, there is no actual ghetto left in New York, except in the northern parts of the Bronx. Yeah, I know you live in Bushwick or Bed-Stuay. Just because my car window was smashed the last time I visited, however, doesn’t mean there isn’t a brunch place two blocks away and a coffee shop across the street from your apartment.

Washington, DC: DC is so expensive nowadays that you are stuck paying 900 dollars a month for a small room in a Bungalow in Sherlington, where the metro is a mile long walk away. At least the shittiest neighborhoods in New York have Bodegas on the corners where you can improvise some food. Fuck it; I don’t care if your life in danger, living east of North Capital and North of New York Ave is still fucking better than Northern Va. or Maryland.

Philadelphia: Like I’ve said before, people on the outside still think our city is a post-apocalyptic warzone, so you can live in a lot of convenient neighborhoods on the cheap. Unfortunately, the rent has shot up in “next big thing” neighborhoods like Fishtown, but the secret is that Fishtown is actually boring aside from Johnny Brenda's. What’s the point of going to Johnny Brenda’s more than twice a week anyway? so you can tell people “I saw the A-Sides before they became minimally successful”?


Philadelphia: Since there’s little status to be gained in this city that anyone cares about, you don’t really need to take your girl anywhere other than a functional dive bar. If you are in even a below-average band, just point at the girl you want and take it from there. If not you are not in a band, just lie about being in the Future Tips.

Washington, DC: Some casual pre-dinner wine at Tallula’s, Dinner at Marcel’s, post-dinner jazz at Bohemian Caverns ending with drinks at 18th Street Lounge, all accomplished by chartering a fucking limo. This will merit you a shoulder shrug. Your date will go on to bang an aide to Sam Brownback in order to gain an interview for an assistant Press Secretary position.

New York: Nobody dates in New York. People just accidentally fuck each other a bunch of times.

Going Out

Philadelphia: There are generally less douches in Philly. You can go an entire night in Philly douche-free. Since you are basically resigned to walking everywhere, however, your nightlife will slow down in the Winter to the point where you will not walk five blocks to a bar until it is at least 50 degrees out. And yet, no one would think to call you a pussy.

New York: Hop on the L Train! We've got a choice between a strip of bars in Williamsburg, or a strip of bars in the Lower East Side! There's no place like New York!

Washington, DC: Talk about other hotspots all you want, but your night will end up in Adams Morgan...In tears.


Philadelphia: In about two years, 60% of the hipster population will have a nervous breakdown over the tattoos they can't get rid of.

New York: Nobody even knows what's cool here anymore.

Washington, DC: You can't even get Chinese food without boat shoes.



Thursday, February 21, 2008

Rejected ideas for Tweener posts, today’s edition

Today, we look inside the mind of Chief Editor Scott’s attempt to come up with an idea for a post before his lunch break reaches two hours, meaning that writing the actual post would extend the break to three and a half hours. Even he feels bad about doing that.

This is a previously taped live blog that examines the creative genius behind the Tweener.

1:25: Come back with shrimp tempura lunch, and the first idea materializes: “The Tweener has run out of things to hate, please provides us with ideas in the comments”

1:28: Next idea: “Due to lack of ideas, The Tweener calls it quits”. Hmmm, this sounds suspiciously like “The Tweener surrenders to terrorism”. What’s the shortest amount of time someone has taken to plagiarize themselves? *breaks out spacemen 3 album* Oh yeah, the one second between songs.

1:40: Finish lunch. Read Anthony Bourdain’s blog. This has nothing to do with anything.

1:45: Third idea: “Documenting hate: a chronology of what Scott’s hated over the years”

1:52: Have to abandon timeline. It would’ve been 4 o’clock by the time I finished my rant on “Crazy Game of Poker” and that’s just the year 2000.

2:01: “The People’s Revolutionary Tweener Proclamation!” This one would’ve featured a soviet propaganda poster with my photo shopped face pointing directly at you, announcing glorious news that the “Twin Monster Movies: Cloverfield and London” post never existed, and the link would instead direct you to a post detailing the Tweener’s RSS subscription premium increase of the chocolate ration to 20 grams.

2:15: Read Andrew Sullivan’s blog. This is the most popular fucking blog on the net? Are you serious?! There’s like 20 words per post!

2:21: “Bad news and skiffle band blues: The greatest hits of Scott Cumberland’s MySpace bulletins and comments” I’m actually serious about this one. MySpace was like Greenwich Village circa 1960 back in 06.

2:30: Finally, “A note of concern to my friends: Adam’s Morgan Disease” and “Top Five Adams Morgan Fight Scenarios”. This is the post where I finally get to criticize my DC friends for still going to Adams Morgan. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but you all are not off the hook.

That’s it. Oh and by the way, I fucking quit. Until tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So, You’ve Decided to Quit Weed, cont.

5. Dissociating from stoner-types (a.k.a. entire social circle)

Pros: New friends! Not having to watch another episode of Wonder Showzen, ever.

Cons: Jonathan Richman's unlisted. Ian MacKaye is boring. Everyone else smokes weed.

6. Drinking

Pros: Costs less, alleged better method of socialization, increased confidence, improved dancing abilities.

Cons: Can't do it before work, hangovers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So, You’ve Decided to Quit Weed

Hey! What a coincidence! I’ve decided to quit weed too. That is, until I broke down and unsuccessfully tried to acquire some this past weekend. The worst part of not succeeding? Not being high to dull the feeling of failure.

It’s ok, however, because we’re gonna get through this quitting thing together. First, let’s dispel a bullshit myth: You will not suddenly have more energy. You know what they mean by ‘having more energy’? Not being high. Your normal state will not be enhanced because you aren’t smoking. You will just be in your normal state more often. What they mean to say, therefore, is that you will finally break even on energy after 8 years.

Now; step back and feel that normal energy. Kinda blows, doesn’t it? What you are going through is minor discontent. This happens 2-4 weeks after quitting. You have been burying your minor quibbles and major concerns under the green haze for some time now, and since the initial novelty of being sober has worn off, you are worrying that you should’ve put better use to your ‘down time’ in the past. At the same time, however, you have no clue where to start with the down time that you have presently.

It also doesn’t help that mid-end Winter is the worst time to quit. You are sick of the cold, and the weekends are at their most boring. During this time, all you want is a nice bowl and the New York Times Sunday Travel section, followed by a little Real Madrid and whatever other socialist activities you can partake in. Unfortunately, you don’t have weed for the bowl, you can’t enjoy yet another article on Portland, OR unless you are high, and Real Madrid have a tradition of fascism. This post, then, is to provide an introductory pro and con guide to steer your mind away from simply throwing more pot at the boredom problem. Disclaimer: Haven’t tried about half of this shit.

1. Throwing money at the problem

Pros: Xbox 360s, furniture/clothes shopping, prostitutes, yoga, non-gateway drugs, weekend getaways, visiting a therapist. They say money can’t buy you happiness, I say bullshit...3-6 months happiness guranteed. At that point, you can simply go back to smoking at smugly tell people, “hey, I quit successfully for half a year. It wasn’t for me.”

Cons: You don’t have the money.

2. Dating

Pro: The “thrill of the chase”. Finally being able to eat at nice restaurants.

Cons: Impossible to achieve balance. Suddenly, the girl you are having sex with becomes your girlfriend and starts throwing words like ‘ambition’ around, so you think to yourself, “I’ll serial date or work on two/three girls at a time”. Sorry buddy, but you are a serial monogamist. You will be involved with 5-8s until you are married. I’m not saying you will never date multiple girls at a time, but the only people who have the ability or drive to *consistently* do this are highly unlikable upper crust douchebags or dorky Mystery “pick-up artist” Ron Paultard voters who are lying about 75% of their conquests. Become really good at what you do or hope you land on that 8.

3. Cooking

Pros: A craft that is rewarding on many levels. Cooking an elaborate dish can take up to 2 hours of that exceedingly boring after-work downtime.

Cons: Some recipes you just can’t trust. Par exemplar: Chicken Curry. I had a simple formula:

-4 tablespoons Thai Yellow Curry past

-13.5 Ounces Coconut milk

-2 tablespoons soy sauce

-a sprinkling of sugar

-Chicken thigh meat, along with onions and mushrooms

Suddenly, I come across this online recipe that recommended that I forego the curry paste and instead coat the chicken in the following spices:




-Ground Cloves



-Chili Powder

I mean, is all this junk really necessary? “It’s just how it was traditionally done, man”. Well, I’m sure that’s how it was traditionally done 150 years ago when the chicken was exposed for 13 days in room temperature and had to be covered in spices to mask the rot. It’s 2008, however, and I don’t my dark meat to taste like someone’s garden.

4. Exercise

Pros: Absolutely the simplest and easiest way of dealing with post pothead stress disorder. No matter what the mood, exercise will improve it. I hate to say it, but it’s true. It’s what the government doesn’t want you to know; that’s why every baseball player is an alleged steroid user, NBA players are portrayed as not giving a fuck, and NFL teams are stupid enough to draft players like Kyle Boller in the first round. Indeed, the government is interested in continuing America’s time-honored tradition of indifference to all sports and physical fitness.

Cons: Gym membership costs money. If you don’t have a gym membership, you can work out at home, but that means you have do your cardio in either the freezing cold or boiling heat in a city full of drunken Irishmen. Dieting and exercise trends shift so often, the healthy workout you are doing today could suddenly be a cause of prostate cancer tomorrow.

To be continued tomorrow.

Monday, February 18, 2008

In Honor of President's Day, Ranking the Fictional Presidents

1. President Bennett - Clear and Present and Danger

Makes a deal with the Columbian drug lords he was previously trying to fight, cutting off his illegal black ops army in the process and getting them slaughtered. A true American hero.

2. President Andrew Shepherd - The American President

Before he had a big hit with "The West Wing", Aaron Sorkin made his mark with this movie about the West Wing. In The American President, Michael Douglas falls in love with Annette Bening (really? Annette Bening?). Douglas' presidential qualities are exaggerated due to the fact that no one would ever vote for Richard Dreyfuss.

3. Fake President Bill Mitchell - Dave

Kevin Kline undergoes a metamorphosis in this movie from goofy impersonator of the incapicitated president to someone with real ideas. What are these real ideas? Getting every American a job. With that type of insight, You might as well promise free sandcastles as well.

4. President Tom Beck - Deep Impact

When everyone goes crazy for Obama, they forget that Morgan Freeman was the first Black President in "everyone in this cast seems to be taking a nap" Deep Impact. Like Obama, Freeman got saddled with an America in crisis for his presidential term. Instead of a recession, however, Freeman had to deal with a humanity destroying meteor. Luckily, only part of the asteroid hits, landing on the East Coast and building a tidal wave that reaches as far as Missouri. You know what that means? Lots of crucial red states, including Florida, were obliterated. That undoubtably left California's electoral votes to aide a victorious second term for Freeman.

5. Stock footage of Bill Clinton - Contact

Stock footage of Bill Clinton oversees the first successful contact with extra-terrestrials; is there anything the Clinton's couldn't do in the 90s? Indeed, The Clinton machine was so successful, they could campaign leftover footage of Bill for president. The problem was that Stock Footage's speeches seemed a little vague, like he was trying to leave out all nouns to fit any situation: "we must know about the facts to make a decision on this particular subject. Without the facts, we might rush to judgment on the issues in question. It is the most important issue of our time, one that demands that we know the facts."

Not listed: A shitload of movies starring Chris Cooper.