Category Archives: Uncategorized

Her Name Was Weakness

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She walked to me from the corner of Bleak and Wretched, leaned in with cleavage out and asked if there was something I wanted to mention. I looked and I laughed, then proceeded to ask, “why are you begging for attention?” “Just a little lonely.” She said she would do half price for me only. Hesitant at first, but I was thinking with my second mind. So I lied and I said, “Well a girl like you isn’t easy to find.” She scurried over to the car when the idea poured through, that a soul like me is about as worthless as you. Before she got in is when I got out, and right in your face I shouted, “please don’t speak my actions aloud!” Then I stuffed your loud ass mouth with Mentos and warned you, “I get off to this!” chuckled to myself, cut your fucking throat then shot diet Pepsi up your esophagus. I swear blood flow ascended past my head, so I opened my umbrella. Lit a stoge, and in a calming tone said, “how about this weatha?”

Fuck weakness, buy yourself a Lady Killers tee.

-Vinny

Like Water

“A fight is not won by one punch or kick. Either learn to endure or hire a bodyguard.
Forget about winning and losing; forget about pride and pain. Let your opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let him smash into your flesh and you fracture his bones; let him fracture your bones and you take his life. Do not be concerned with escaping safely – lay your life before him.”

If you haven’t already known, this quote is from one of the most iconic and inspiring people in my life, Bruce Lee.

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Bruce Lee revolutionized the creation of martial art films, and was considered one of the most influential martial artists of all time. More importantly, his martial art influence and views run parallel with a lot of views on life.

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“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put a water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

Ignoring the quality of the photos (which isn’t the point of this post) I could run on and on about all of his teachings and how they influenced me. Though when it comes right down to it, he was just one of my idols; From being the badass in every film, to his humbling subtlety and poetic views. He even started my fascination in traditional chinese martial art uniforms. I would rep that every day if I wouldn’t look completely ridiculous.

Bruce Lee was one of the greatest, and I can only try to put forth the same dedication and focus as he did with Martial Arts. That’s it for now, my friend.

-Vinny

More and more orders are coming in, and it’s definitely raising the spirits of everyone. Jagged bumps and bruises hit us every now and then, but I feel like that’s mandatory in every area of life. Since my first post that started it all for me, I’ve been so focused that I can literally feel all the negativity slowly drain its way out of my body. It’s like looking at the world through an entirely different set of eyes. Now at night I see the shining of the stars rather than the darkness of the night, or growing trees rather than decaying leaves with our newly started season. That goes for everyone in City Approval. Cody’s morale is rising, and the remastered confidence is definitely being shown within the company. Casey went back to school to finish getting his diploma, and I’m going just to take a graphic design class and hopefully grab my certificate for it as well. Gooby is grinding in school too, as well as staying on point with all the financial and law aspects for the company. Morals are high, and productivity is even higher.

Speaking of Gooby, last night we were all outside getting a breath of fresh air, smoking a cigarette (irony fully intended) and he was bringing up some really positive viewpoints. We were just tossing words about how we hardly drink as much as we all used to, yet we all hang out twice as much. Before we were just a group of hoodlum friends, drinking poisons as a priority, but now were a team (of hoodlums) expanding off each other for greater things in life. Now alcohol is just a subtle luxury, and we’re a fiercely wrapped team. In fact, we’re more than a team, we are a family. We are City Approval.

-Vinny

More and more o…

Printing Orders & Ink Everywhere

Printing is getting hectic. If Casey keeps inhaling all these toxins, mixed with all the chain smoking to calm him down in between, I would say he has a solid year or so left to live.

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One of our newest graphics, “Lady Killers” has been catching up in popularity with some of our originals in the season. I wonder why..

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I prefer to take amateur pictures of Casey while he makes sure everything is lined up and deals with all the ink.

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Orders are almost finished and being prepared to be shipped out. This particular shirt is going out to a certain lucky contestant winner.

It’s finally starting to feel like there just isn’t enough hours in the day, and never in my life did I imagine actually writing out those words. Nonetheless complain about it..

-Vinny

A Taste of Death

Their souls derive within the deepest pits of hell. With their locked expressions of malevolence and despair, these vile creatures trespass through our barriers to destroy our heavens of truth, innocence, and love amongst other emotions. They disguise their revolting appearance behind a mask of beauty and elegance, however sometimes their eyes may bleed the darkest shades of black, as if all that is evil is draining from their deceiving, yet enchanting figures. With eyes that shall pierce your soul, these irresistible horrors shall leave you blind. The only truth you can apprehend will be the drippings from the knife within your spine, the silent whispers that kill you inside.

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Why haven’t you gotten yours?

-Vinny

A Day in LA

Waking up early to head to downtown can be a little rough. While you’re hungover as well makes it really rough. All in all plans went better than expected and our hats are on their way to being complete, so there really isn’t any room for complaint, just anxious to see everything start coming together. After our date with traffic on the way home, Cody, Casey, and I decided it was finally time to go back to my old place to grab the necessities from my once-was room. I was a little sketched out in case Brian was there, but to my surprise and joy, he wasn’t.

I wasn’t sure how long we actually had to grab my shit before he got back, so we made sure we got in and out as fast as possible. I already knew both the front and back doors were dead-bolted, so I climbed onto my fence to reach the roof where the window was to my room. Luckily he didn’t add locks to the window so I leaped into that hell hole and rushed downstairs to unlock the door for Cody and Casey. Well, the clever mother-fucker had a two sided deadbolt on both doors so there was no way to let them in. So instead I yelled out the front window to tell them it was locked. Immediately both of them followed my routine and hopped onto the roof to help me. We handled it like a well oiled conveyer belt; I would pass what I chose was important enough to grab to Cody, who passed it to Casey, who climbed back down (in a pretty impressive manner by the way) to store it into Cody’s car. After nearly breaking my computer trying to get it down, we grabbed some clothes and other things and started to get the hell out of there. However before I climbed back out, I decided I should look downstairs in case he had any “presents” for us. And just as I thought, I found two handles of alcohol, one being Tequila and the other being Vodka. Not my best friends, but still worth it. I made my escape before Brian could come back to discover his missing friends, stored them in the trunk, and we took off. So in the end, today was a good day.

-Vinny

A Humble Start

I’m a hollow man encased around a general body, your everyday twenty year old killing his days with every poison that comes into grasp. If I’m not out trying to get black out drunk with the few friends I have, I’m locked in my room trying to find any way to make my days turn to haze. I’ve kept this routine up for a solid three years give or take, broke as a joke and unemployed, no car or even a phone, I am apathetic towards every aspect of life. I can’t even find the motivation to search for an inspiration, I am adrift, yet not worth reaching for. My name is Vinny Marano.

Only a couple of weeks ago, I could honestly call this my life, and that would be the fullest depth of it. No special talents, no drive of any passion, not even any dark depression or rays of happiness. and if it wasn’t for the recent changes in my life, I could guarantee I would still be in my room, locked away, fucking with whatever drug was in my household. And there were quite a few. Luckily for me, so to say, everything happened to force these recent changes.

It began on such a typical night, I ventured out of my house to go on my quest for alcohol. On that night my friends and I chose to go to Cody Baird’s house, creator of City Approval and my close friend since high school. This happened often since he is one of the only friends who live on their own. I eventually got picked up by one of my friends, while another would buy a handle of whatever we could afford to get destroyed, I was a pretty professional mooch who’s lucky my friends just wanted to have a good time. Finally we arrived and I had reached the only goal I had, getting drunk.

The sun would rise and I would either still be drunk trying to find any alcohol left over to keep it going, or miserably hungover begging, literally groveling, for someone to give me a ride home. On this morning it was another hangover from hell, so the patheticalness ensued. Eventually everyone wanted to stop dealing with my shit and left, so Cody kindly stopped his work to drive me into the depths of the valley where I lived with my mom and step dad, Brian. Normally, I would walk in and immediately run upstairs into my room, going unnoticed by either of them and pass out on my bed until it reached nighttime again so I could restart the cycle. However, this day I wasn’t so “fortunate”.

The door was locked and I came to learn that my keys were of no use, the lock was changed to a deadbolt. Confused, furious, and feeling like misery I used Cody’s phone to call my mom since I was lucky that he stuck around to make sure I got in. All I heard were tears and mumbles until she eventually just hung up on me. Now lost, worried, and even more furious I had no answers and no options, not that I knew of at least. Cody was nice enough to let me come back over to chill while he worked, and so I did until I could figure out what the fuck was going on. My mom eventually called back explaining that Brian had recently found a new slut bartender to maybe work for their bar (I should have probably mentioned they owned a bar together, oop) and she apparently wanted him as a bonus. Being the fat, spoiled rotten, piece of shit that he happens to be, he accepted the offer with open arms. Now of course a guy this awful couldn’t happen to have an ounce of courage either, so his version of, “I want a divorce.” was translated into “Hey let me change the locks to the house and cancel all your debit cards, now go away.”

So I was left without a stable living situation, still broke and unemployed, no car and no phone. Yet, once again, Cody came to the rescue. He told me without hesitation that it was okay for me to stay here a few nights and borrow a couple sets of clothes. After a few days passed I didn’t know how I could possibly show my appreciation for his generosity, so I just started helping him clean up after he had our friends over. Slowly but surely I started watching how he prints his shirts, as well as all the other processes before, after, and in-between. I just wanted to be an extra set of hands to help out while he let me stay at his house. As more days continued to pass he saw my attempt to help in any way shape or form, so he offered me a chance to help with his company. At first it seemed hopeless with no experience or education in the industry, or even going to school in general for the possibility. So we weren’t exactly sure if there was anything I could do. Eventually after constant brainstorming I told him about how I would free write occasionally on Tumblr, and he excitingly told me about how I could help with social media marketing. Hesitant at first, I felt like all I would do is either screw it up or give it up, so I didn’t even want to give it a try. Yet slowly I went to a few of his meetings just to test the waters, and gradually my confidence began to grow. And well now here I am, giving it my best. I’m cleaned up and eager to continue growing with the company, this was my throwback, my story, to show you how and why I’m here. My name is Vinny Marano, and I work for City Approval.