Being From New Jersey 

By: Christine Feeley Twitter: @FeeleyChristine Instagram: @christinefeeley

I love meeting new people.

But sometimes I really hate having to introduce myself because one of the first questions people ask is “Hey, so where are you from?” and I’ll reply, “I’m actually from New Jersey!”.

What comes next is usually a look of poorly-masked judgement and the response:

“Oh… you’re from Joisey…does it smell there?”

I’d like to break this down a little bit. Starting with, “does it smell there?”. I’m sorry, are people aware that we’re the Garden State? It’s not my fault that you all stink it up every time you come visit! Second of all, I have never met a single human being who pronounces where they live as “Joisey”. This is a misconceived notion about an accent that does not exist, and the funny part is, it is most often perpetuated by the people who “pahk their cah”.

All my life I have been ridiculed for where I’m from simply because people are so deeply uneducated about it. And listen, there have been times that I’ve disliked New Jersey too. I was one of the few students in my grade who did not apply to Rutgers- because I knew I wanted out. But reflecting on that now, I think that was a product of being from a small town and not the state itself, because I genuinely never realized how much state pride I possessed until I started school at UMass.

Going to school in Massachusetts is weird. It’s remembering that “the city” here means Boston, not New York. It’s forgetting that not everyone knows about the state-wide debate over whether a particular type of breakfast meat is called Taylor ham or pork roll (It’s Taylor ham; no question). It’s taking a bite out of one of my favorite carbs and realizing that people here are living the biggest lie of them all- not knowing what a real bagel tastes like. It’s having to awkwardly explain to people that no, you don’t know how to pump your own gas. Or alternatively, sitting in the car at a gas station wondering why your friend is getting out of the driver’s seat before realizing that it’s because she has to do it herself and someone is not going to come do it for her.

There are honestly so many things that people up here have never experienced. Some of you have probably never had Playa Bowls, which is shocking and horrifying to me. Yes, we pay $13 for a bowl of blended up fruit drizzled with Nutella that we could easily make at home, but it is undoubtedly one of the best-tasting things you will ever spend your money on.

Another thing that often gets blank looks is when I tell people about MDW (or Memorial Day Weekend for those who might have trouble with standard acronyms). For us, the entire year leads up to what is essentially New Jersey’s state holiday where the entire grade plans extensively in advance to go down the shore – not “to the beach”. When the week arrives, the alcoholics usually skip school to go down on Wednesday, with everyone else arriving Thursday or Friday night, to begin what is essentially five straight days of dages.

Yes, they’re called “dages”- not “dartys”. 

But the point is, it’s honestly crazy to me that these things don’t exist for some people. I hate to say it, but all of you are really missing out. It’s sometimes baffling to me why people have such a strong judgement towards New Jersey, because there are actually so many great things about it.

I constantly have to defend myself.

Sure, we might have one of the 5 biggest heroin ports in the United States, but we also have the best bagels and pizza outside of New York City, fantastic international food, the highest number of millionaires – and horses – per capita, we’re the origin of the blueberry as well as cranberry bogs, we have beaches with boardwalks, mountains, forests, farms, easy access to both NYC and Philadelphia, great public schools and colleges, and we’re the birthplace and home to famous icons such as Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, and Meryl Streep.

So why do we get so much hate? The answer is simple. People have never actually visited and instead choose to base their knowledge off of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey”. I’m sorry that you’re just jealous because Massachusetts doesn’t have its own TV show!

If we’re being real, there are so many better states to roast. Like if you want to pick an east coast state to shit talk, why not Connecticut?* Connecticut is like a teenager having an identity crisis – does it want to be a part of New England or the tri-state area? Half the people there would easily die for the Red Sox, but the rest would one hundred percent leave their husbands for Aaron Judge. I don’t know how they’re not facing the same sort of judgement that NJ receives, when they can’t even make up their mind about who they want to associate with!

And speaking of sports, yes, of course you guys have the best sports teams. I root for them too. But no one ever gives me the chance to give my explanation (I was born in New Hampshire, lived there for 4 years, and my dad’s side of the family all lived in Mass so I grew up with the fear of being disowned if I supported anyone but New England) because they immediately begin to roast the Giants and the Jets and all the other teams that I too, also think suck. 

But this is the sort of blatant prejudice I have faced my entire life, and it is the reason that I wish people were more educated about the state as a whole as well as the people within it. Mainly so they can realize that not everyone supports awful sports teams just because they happen to live there and that not everyone is white trash who dress like Snooki.

Because contrary to popular belief, my life is not an episode of “Jersey Shore”. I don’t drink “cawfee” and “warder”.

I drink coffee and water.

So the next time you meet someone who says that they’re from Jersey, don’t mock and judge them based on a TV show. Instead, think about how you would feel if the entirety of Massachusetts was judged based on Amherst.

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Editor’s Note:

Looks like Christine’s got some support on this one

 

NNNN Episode #19 with Zach Valencia

Fun show today talking with Zach about all things:

-Public Speaking

-Stand-up

-Philosophy

AND…

More.

Like, Subscribe, Leave a 5 star review and above all- Enjoy:

 

https://anchor.fm/pat-labelle/episodes/NNNN-Episode-19-With-Zach-Valencia-e6fmml

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/no-names-no-numbers/id1457394246

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Power Ranking Nicknames That Send Me Into a Spiral of Fury and Anguish

By: Jake Sockett Twitter: @SockettJake

There is no better way to get me worked up than by calling me a nickname that comes across as condescending. That shit really just gets under my skin. Inspired by Pat’s tweet from yesterday, I’m ranking some common nicknames used.

Before we jump in here I want to just explain the context of the use of these nicknames. The context in which I am being called these names is when I don’t know the person very well and we do not really intend on getting to know each other that well (i.e., I’m at work and they are a customer, they are someone I know from class, they are a stranger on the train).

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

10) Man

Man is at the bottom of this list because it really doesn’t bother me at all. In pretty much any context I am okay with being called man. It’s not really a gender-neutral term so I can understand why non-men might get upset by the word. Interesting to think that saying “hey man,” is so normal and non-confrontational but saying “hey woman,” would be really strange.

Much to think about.

9) Dude

Pretty similar to man here, dude is a go-to “I don’t really know you but I need to get you to look at me so I can get off this train” word. The only reason it could kinda get me mad is that dude is a little bit more of a personal word than man, but I don’t really mind it.

8) Guy

Like the two before it, guy is pretty low-key. It can be said with some inflection to make it a little rude, but it’s overall not really a bothersome word. Nothing else to say.

7) Boss

Boss is an interesting one because it has been used on me both when I was the customer and when I was the employee.

Both times it got under my skin.

It’s just a simple situation of “why did you choose that word? Of all words?” I’m not your “boss” and I don’t want to be.

Leave me alone.

6) Bro

Bro sits right here because there is a degree of personal relationship needed in my book to be called bro but I understand that there are many out there who use bro on a whim and it works for them. There have been instances where I’ve been called bro by a stranger and not minded, but there are plenty of cases where a stranger called me bro and I thought, “I don’t know you, and I know I’m not your bro.” 

5) Kid

This might not apply so much to any non-Boston readers, but kid pops up a lot for me. Being called kid is kind of like someone flicking your ear. It’s not the worst thing they could do to you, but it’s fucking annoying isn’t it? It’s patronizing and the user is trying to imply that they’re older/smarter/more important through that word.

4) Chief

Chief wasn’t very common until Twitter took “I don’t know about that one, chief” and ran WILD with it for a very long time in a very dark period of Twitter History or “Twistory” if you will. The amount of times I’ve been in the mud pits of the reply section and gotten second hand anger from seeing that stupid Naruto gif of the guy doing Jutsus (I hope you know the one) is absurd.

Disagreeing with a take and using that as a response doesn’t make you right, you turd.

3) Champ

Champ is pretty much only something you want to be called by your coach/dad literally right after you’ve won a championship or by Joe Rogan/Dana White after you take a UFC belt. No other time has anyone thought “boy I wish I were being called champ right now!” 

2) Buddy

Like Pat said in his tweet yesterday, being called buddy is so demoralizing. It throws off your day and quite frankly your entire week. Getting hit with a buddy by pretty much anyone can fuck your life up, but when the girl you’re talking to smacks you in the face with a “thanks buddy!” after you tell her how cute she looked today, there’s no coming back.

1) Pal

Woof.

Where do I even start with pal? It’s just so easy to spit out of your mouth at someone. When someone calls you pal, they are probably wanting to call you fuckface but just aren’t able to say that word because there are children around (always gotta think about the children). Reserved for only the lowest of the low, pal is not to be trifled with or dropped casually.

If you call me pal, from that day going forward it’s on sight.

NNNN

Editor’s Note:

1st off- great piece by Jake.

2nd- Saw “boss” so I think I have an obligation to link to a certain someone:

#GetBagelBossOnThePod

How ‘Lost’ Changed My Life

By: Nicole Bates

Most of us college kids were pretty young when Lost aired on ABC back in 2004. But if you haven’t heard of the show by now? You must be living under a rock.

There are many differing opinions about the show (I think it  was a masterpiece) but regardless of what you thought about the ending or the last few seasons- Lost had a huge cultural impact.

I discovered the world of Lost right around the time I was working on the dreaded common app my senior year of high school. I remember that period as a magical time in my life because alongside the stress of applying to colleges; I was knee-deep in Lost. If you ask anyone I was friends with at the time- I didn’t talk about anything but the show.

I was obsessed.

I found myself in awe at the cast of characters. The writers of the show did such a great job at creating an ensemble of fully real and human characters. This, in combination with the life of the island itself is what captivated me. I was taken by the secret underground bunker, the Dharma initiative and the mysterious smoke monster that could shapeshift into a character’s worst nightmare. It was such an imaginative, beautiful, wonderfully horrifying world, and every time I watched I felt I was literally transported away from my life into the world of the show.

This may sound like an exaggeration  (I am a dramatic person) but when the show ended; I felt like I lost some friends. I had been with these characters all throughout one of the most stressful times of my life yet so knowing I had watched everything there would ever be of these characters was sad.

Contrary to popular opinion, I enjoyed the ending. I thought it was fitting for a bizarre, complex show that built its legacy off of always leaving the audience with unanswered questions. (I also did my fair share of research on theories about the ending and I found an explanation that made me quite happy with the way things panned out).

I could go on and on talking about Lost and all its idiosyncrasies, but that isn’t the point of this post. To this day, three years after I finished the show, I still hold the world of Lost close to my heart because I have such fond memories of the time in my life when I was watching it.

It was a time in my life when I had to come face to the face with the fact that high school was ending and I would be leaving home and all my friends to go somewhere new. Obviously, this prospect was exciting.

But change is always scary too.

With my future preying on my mind, watching this show made me long for island life. The thought of it was so appealing. I could live surrounded by exotic vegetation, watch an awesome sunrise/sunset every day, wander as I please, eat mangoes and live a simple but beautiful life.

Obviously, in Lost (pardon my French), a lot of fucked up shit happens. However, that is because it is a form of entertainment and as much as we might hate to admit it- things have to happen in TV shows so people keep watching. But if you take all the horrific things out of the equation, you are left with a lot of really tender moments in the show.

Moments like when they build a golf course in an open field, Sun’s garden grows herbs that can save lives, Desmond and Hurley’s genuine friendship with Charlie or Rose and Bernard’s home they built for themselves on the island away from all its madness!

My list goes on and on.

I know, not all these characters make it, and evil incarnate itself also lives on the island. But what the show taught me is that in these dark and hopeless times, love, happiness and beauty still exist- and these are often the times people are brought together.

In a world where I feel I hear nothing but bad news every single day, the idea of living on an island away from everything is extremely appealing. On an island, I wouldn’t have to pay attention to politics, I wouldn’t have a phone or social media to worry about, and I wouldn’t need a boring job because my life would be consumed with gathering food and making life work on the island.

I would be able to enjoy life for what it is really is. (Hopefully on this island I would be surrounded by loved ones, and we could enjoy each day there together)

Now I am talking about this “island” idea as if it were some radical idea I came up with, but it is most definitely not.  This idea of paradise has been written about over and over again. The idea is reminiscent of the Garden of Eden from the Bible or Thomas More’s Utopia which speaks of a perfect community set on an island, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, which is set on a tropical island full of spirits and monsters.

People have longed for this life since the start of time, but I feel as a society we have moved further away from it rather than closer. I am not promoting a true “utopia”, because we all know from reading books like 1984, The Hunger Games, and Fahrenheit 451 that attempts at perfection always turn dystopic. But what I would promote from this “island” lifestyle is to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.

We do not need to live grandiose lives to find fulfilment and happiness.

We all find happiness in different things. You might like to have a routine and embrace the daily grind in an effort to get rich or to support a family; but this is not the only option.

There is so much pressure on students to get the internship, so they can get the job, so they can get rich- when some people may not want that. As I’ve gotten older, I am starting to think I may be a lot happier with a simpler life (like running a bed and breakfast in the South of France or owning a flower shop in Maine. Who knows? The possibilities are endless).

I am not exactly sure what I want in life yet, but I do know I would like to work towards finding the magical feeling watching Lost brought me.

I found that the moments in the show that stood out to me the most (and still do) were the moments when the characters found companionship in each other and peace in discovering the joy the island had to offer.

What a concept.

NNNN

Social Media Is Not Evil

I want to make one viewpoint of mine abundantly clear:

Social media is not evil.

It seems like every single time any issue is brought up, some genius is quick to place the blame solely on our dear friend social media.

That’s like blaming your virtual Tom Brady for throwing an interception in the Madden NFL video games.

The problem is not social media.

It’s you.

I’m going to use Instagram for our example today but this thought process applies to all the other major forms out there as well.

If you’re a dude with over 1,000 followers like me then posting a picture of you with a funny caption is almost sure to yield hundreds of likes . (I know- I’m a big deal!)

And if you’re a girl- do I really have to say what pictures get the most likes?

No likes? No relevance.

It’s time for our first question:

What if there were no likes?

Pat, what do you mean no likes? That’s literally the whole point of the app! Stop trying to be woke and go back to writing about shitty UMass football.

I think the reason people hate the idea of no likes is because a change like that would mean that that the only point in sharing something would be to provide benefit to your followers. (Unless you’re attractive- trust me the horny folks will stick around no matter what)

If Instagram won’t get rid of likes then I think they should at least change the name to something more applicable:

Envys.

I think most people have heard something along the lines of “Instagram is just a snapshot of real life”

I’d say it’s more like one pixel.

For this reason, I’m fascinated by the world of finstas. (Which for any boomers or non-internet savants translates to “Fake Insta”)

Has anyone else noticed that…

THESE ARE THE REALEST ACCOUNTS AROUND!!!!

Let’s call a spade a spade; creating a finsta is the safe way to use Instagram how you wish you could use it.

My message to anyone with a finsta? You just don’t have the guts to call it quits.

I’m not shooting from the hip here. I’m saying these things because I played the game myself for such a long time. I created the “NNNN” account so I could put out pieces of content that I believed in but knew wouldn’t get any likes on my personal page.

The likes mattered to me. It’s embarrassing- but they did.

Something tells me that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I think there are people with real talents getting left behind because they weren’t the most popular kid in high school or they don’t have a rocking body. Frankly? It pisses me off.

Why?

Because likes are meaningless.

I know this is a tough pill to swallow because it has taken me years to finally force it down my throat.

But I’m positive- they’re meaningless.

  1. They don’t mean you’re better than those with no likes.
  2. They won’t make you a better person.
  3. And they certainly won’t make you feel any better about yourself for longer than the instant gratification of that day’s post.

They’ll just make you crave more.

I remember when I first got 100 likes on a post I couldn’t believe it.

I thought to myself:

“My life really is a movie!”

I still think all our lives are movies; they’re just not box office smash hits.

They’re more like a low budget indie film doing its best to get made.

This isn’t a bad thing in my eyes.

Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good. 

The last thing I want to hit on quickly is when people announce to their followers that they are “taking a break” from social media.

Doesn’t that itself represent the problem?

You decide that looking at what hundreds/thousands of people you barely know are doing is bad for you.

So, what do you decide to do?

Tell all these people you barely know that you are taking a break from social media.

Here’s the harsh reality:

They couldn’t care less and if they do they think you’ll be back on your bullshit soon enough.

Maybe you disagree and that’s fine.

Keep on posting whatever you think is going to get the most envys  likes and enjoy the artificial attention you receive.

But if you see where I’m coming from- don’t leave me alone in this.

The problem is not social media.

The problem is how you use it.

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P.S- Just something to think about