Can We Talk About…. Retail Workers at Christmas?

I mean honestly…. who needs or desires that level of niceness in their lives? I mean it is a tough pill to swallow on a normal day but its like on the Holiday season retail workers are force-fed speed or something they are sickeningly nice and it makes me wanna poke out my ears with chopsticks and bite off my own ears… if that were possible.

Do I blame the worker themselves? In most cases no I get that ridiculous behaviour is put in place and encouraged by management but that still does not make it okay… Do people honestly enjoy this fake ass nicey nice act as if the person has just been possessed by Barney the Dinosaur? Surely everyone is with me on this one.. look do I want some rude ass dick wrecking the somewhat ‘cheery’ holiday spirit I have obviously not… I just want a human being level of niceness not this cyborg of personified joy.

A hello, finding everything okay, how is your day and bye is perfectly acceptable for two strangers to exchange in a retail setting, I am down with that, that is all ANY reasonable HUMAN needs or wants and to the people encouraging this kind of shit take a look in the mirror and review your life cause you are living in a world of clouds and candy, grow the f**k up… Christ…

Knowing my luck this will inspire half the American retail workforce to turn into an army of Anti-Christs and be rude as f**k in what is the most retail heavy portion of the year then I will be on here sounding off about that…. but if we could find a happy medium between rude AF and sickeningly sweet we could be on to a winner!

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

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Can We Talk About…. X Factor?

Simon Cowell’s reality juggernaut completed its most recent season in the UK on Sunday, where Simon sits as a judge and it was the lowest rated final in the X Factor UK’s history. As an avid fan this makes me sad….but not surprised….

Simon’s return to the X Factor UK after three years away judging X Factor USA along with national treasure Cheryl Cole, Versini-Fernandez, Tweedy etc.., was met with much fan fare but the rating increase back to previous heights (2010 their last season as judges was the highest rated in the X Factor UK’s history) did not materialise and the ratings have continued to drop below the levels of the judging panel without Cowell!

Which poses this interesting question for me as a major fan of the format…. should Cowell return to give X Factor USA another go? I mean after so many years be THE reality judge in the UK maybe letting another judge take up the head judge role on the X Factor UK could breath some new life into the show and result in killer ratings. For example when Gary Barlow took over the head judge mantle from Simon for three series the ratings were much improved on where they are today. If Simon could lure a big name act into the head judges chair it could be just what the show needs….

Plus, I think we could see a win/win for Simon, let me explain. If a new head judge did give X Factor UK improved ratings great but what would Simon do you ask… well it is no secret Simon had much higher hopes for X Factor USA that never materialised ratings-wise at least. However, the X Factor launched during the height of The Voice’s ratings leadership and while American Idol was still a formidable force and ABC was still throwing some weight behind getting a reality singing competition off the ground…. perhaps the X Factor was suffered the effect of over saturation and people just stuck with what they knew i.e. The Voice and American Idol, but with American Idol now taken its final bow and The Voice’s ratings waning due to over exposure by NBC (twice a f**king year NBC really) now could be the perfect time for the X Factor USA to return, revitalised and with America’s favourite Mr Nasty and achieve a better share of the ratings pie.

Fox could definitely use the ratings given its current situation with their only bright spot being Empire… though hopes are high for the 24 reboot and Star in the new year. With no American Idol, Fox could totally make use of a talent contest with the brand name of the X Factor giving Simon’s original format its time to shine so to speak in the American spotlight. With Simon on the judging panel, and proper Simon who is honest, scathing and truthful not this PG version of late and a really strong panel around him, suggestions… Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Louis Tomilson (all of which have served as either full-time judge or guests judges before), Simon could taste success on both sides of the Atlantic again.

Simon call Fox… Fox call Simon… Simon call ITV…. make this happen

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Water?

Will it never end with this country and f**king up perfectly good drinks…. first milk then beer now this, water, a necessity to live. Truth be told I am still more pissed about the beer but look lets stay on topic.

I cannot explain the taste its like its stale water if that was at all possible it doesn’t seem fresh at all. Bottled water, filtered water, tap they are all weird as f**k and why what the hell need is their to add shit to water and what god damn shit is being added.

I wake in the morning and I love nothing more than to quench my thirst with a lovely ice-cold glass of water, kick my day off right what more could a man ask for…. instead some slop arrives in my glass which quenches nothing… I would rather just drink cement!

My eternal struggle to climatise to my new surroundings just seems never-ending but surely water is something that is next to universal in most first world countries, alas no America well done that is beer, chineses and water you have ruined for me… well done…. count yourselves very lucky your amazing weather, ice cream, candy and lifestyle is making me stick around… F**king Mer-Ka.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Outlet Malls?

Granted we have begun to have such a concept in Ireland but nothing to the scale of what is available here. Today, I spent the day in the Citadel Outlets and the sheer size and scale of the shopping experience was incredible. It housed all the major brands you require in huge units with plenty of selection including your discounted sale items, as well as some in season on trend items sprinkled throughout.

Given its size you may ask was it not daunting or confusing to navigate throughout but it is superbly laid out in a semi-circle of sorts with small inlets housing even more shopping opportunities. It also provides more than ample parking without compromising the shopper friendly navigation layout of the units.

Usually a let down with an outlet mall is its lack of food offerings especially if this is an all day shopping event. However, at the Citadel Outlets that was just not the case at all with a whole food court waiting to house your tired, worn bodies and overheating credit cards, with a number of offerrings like quick and easy e.g. Subway to more substantial food spots e.g. Ruby’s Diner. And for those with a sweet tooth at two ice cream stands to gorge on, I am sure a key attraction in the summer months but for now in the coolness of December a Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks should warm any body right up.

The only glaring omission I can pull from this shopping oasis is the lack of an Abercrombie or Hollister which are personal favs of mine though American Eagle can fulfill a similar need for me so the blow was somewhat cushioned.

All in all I felt I realised REAL outlet shopping,  I weep for the pale imitations of my homeland.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Beer?

I do love a good pint of beer after a stressful day, and happy hour makes it even more appealing here there is just one issue with what should be the dream scenario, why the f**k is US beer weird why… you guys making a balls of milk annoyed me but I could cope to an extent but beer is a step too far.

It’s so f**king flat and gassy like where is the nice head on the beer….. a good creamy beer is all one would need but instead the pints are flat and gassy as f**k.  The pale imitations of Guinness you serve up there should be false advertising suits being filed all over this country.

After one or two pints you just physically can’t stomach any more of the gassy, flat miserable excuse for a thirst quenching beer. In this heat with happy hour raging my day would be perfected with a proper pint of beer and I am not a beer snob a Bud Light or PBR is fine with me but a proper pint, God I would give anything to get one of them transported from home, to blow the minds of American beer drinkers if nothing else.

Santa Claus this Christmas I just have one wish…. sort out the dire beer situation here mate…. xoxo The Sounder.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Tourists?

Recently, I have taken up a volunteer role checking guests in and out in a local hostel and I have in my brief time here come to one resounding realisation…. tourists are stupid… like frustratingly stupid.

Like why come to a country with zero ability to communicate in said country? Pointing, clicking and gesturing at me like I’m a dog or some sort of similar pet, word to the wise I am not so learn an acceptable amount of English to get by, I am not saying  a political debate or a spelling bee, which would be excellent viewing, but enough to get by. I wouldn’t go to a country where I did not have a language I could communicate in, am I at an advantage because English is so widely spoken yes and could I be being slightly unreasonable due to growing frustration with the daily game of charades I am forced to play most definitely but I think it is necessary, a win/win for everyone.

Also, learn some god damn common sense. You arrive into a hostel you see a desk in the middle of the sleeping hall featuring a person waiting for you with a fake ass smile and a laptop…. yes I can confirm that is in fact the check in desk, what the f**k else do you think I am doing sitting here, a full on welcoming committee for his lord/ladyship’s arrival…. sorry to disappoint but no I am not. Another clue would be when you are walking in, face looking like your first day of kindergarten, and someone says are you okay, or can I help probably a good hint they can check you in, a blank yeah or hi is not what I need from you right now, wise up get your head in the game and stay with me here.

Am I asking too much? I do not feel so can we not live in a world where people help each other not to stress out their day to the point sticking your head in a blender becomes a real option.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Santa Monica?

Nearly 9 weeks in this country and only now do I decide to take the delightful trip to Santa Monica…. holy shit wasn’t I late to the party! It has got everything that I want from life…. beach, good food, shops, happy hours… it was a total oasis, the dream if you will.

My only mistake was that I thought one afternoon in this haven was sufficient time, WHAT WAS I THINKING?!! I could spend a week there and not even be marginally bored. So many shops to browse in and fantasize about all the things I want but cannot afford (reminder to self do the lottery), the food outlets all looked terrific especially the beach front restaurants. A shout out also to The Cheesecake Factory, boy am I a sucker for that god damn cheesecake, over expensive yes, but oh so so good.

The pier was full of activity and as the sunset the carnival just came alive it served as a great Snapchat opportunity btw my Snapchat story quickly accumulated to the stage it became one of those annoying 120 second monstrosities. The beach was cosy and peaceful far after dark, despite the presence of children failing to understand respectable volume levels, so peaceful and relaxing I had to remind myself I had a home to go to…

Long story short Santa Monica dude I will be back for a proper stint, till next time…. catch you on the flip side.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About…. Uber/Lyft Drivers?

So yes I have already given my feelings of joy towards Uber on a previous post, but as I use this service and Lyft more and more one aspect emerged as a contender for its own post, the driver.

The driver brings a sense of suspense to the art of Uber/Lyft who knows what this trip will bring curbside to you. You could get the stereotypical road rager who whizzes across the freeway thinking he/she is an extra from Fast & the Furious having little or no consideration for the safety of themselves or their passengers, focusing on collecting and dropping fares as quickly as possible to start the next one and maximize earnings. Interesting tack hey who cares if it maybe causes the passenger a limb, or the integrity of their underwear right? These type of drives do not get as much as one star review from me, partly because they are being reckless and stupid as f**k and partly because my hands haven’t stopped shaking long enough to sure my phone coherently.

Then you have the driver who wants to be your ‘friend’, your ‘pal’ who asks you questions and asks what music you wanna hear and ohhs and ahhs at whatever you say. These are nice and quite the ego booster after a long day interviewing and general begging for a job, but I task anyone to sit in a car with said type of driver for more than 30 minutes and resist the urge to grab the wheel and put you both out of your misery. The ‘nicey nice’ act gets old FAAAAAST.

Finally, you have the preacher driver who proceeds to tell you all about how the world is f**ked and how wrong people are and how he/she has had a new awakening or outlook due to life experience, religion etc.., and anyone not on their wave length should go get f**ked basically. Their philosophy is 100% right and the rest of the world is just too stupid to realize the greatness of their way of life.

Is it too much to ask just to be driven, SAFELY to your chosen location with BASIC manners without being approached to join a cult or wanting to rip your ears from your head to stop the endless babble.

Sounding off and signing off.

The Sounder Xo

Can We Talk About In & Out Burger?

Knock another one-off the California bucket list peeps, this California staple has been well and truly hit! And expectations were somewhat surpassed… I am always weary not to buy into hype too much but the In & Out Burgers were tasty as f**k, for a fast food offering they were substantial and quite the meal not a miserable, crappy piece of questionable hamburger that looks nothing like its marketing image… NOTHING!

I indulged in a Double/Double meal with fries and a medium beverage, shock I swear the only thing I am achieving from this trip is weight the goal is a job and instead I am trying to win the record for the quickest expansion of a person’s waist, anyways. The burger from the outset looked incredible plenty of toppings and big patty (I do always appreciate a big patty) and it tasted up to how it looked a real meal clincher. I mean you cannot go wrong with soda so my lemonade was good can’t fault a lemonade really.

I will offer one critique the fries were lukewarm at best, as a champion of extremely hot food this was a slight issue for me but I feel the meal would have achieved new heights of perfection had this been the case. The fries were actually good quality too so the temperature really was the only issue but something totally forgivable given the circumstances. In & Out managed to give me a terrific burger in 8 minutes, tops. I don’t need nor want to know how they did it all I know is it worked.

Long story short put me down as a fan!

Sounding off and signing off!

The Sounder Xo