Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!  It’s been months since I posted anything.  I realize that I’ve been slacking severely.   My B…  I’d love to say it won’t happen again, but who knows, it may.  For now though I’ll try to keep up on this blog because it entertains me and I know that it entertains some of you as well… 

So, now that that is out of the way, let’s get back to the topic of Halloween.  This is a night that we all have memories of.  Mostly I remember being a little kid and looking forward to Halloween night for an entire year.  It was the one night a year that I used to get to dress up in ridiculous costumes and then go out on the town and collect / enjoy chemicals that altered my state of mind (aka a Shitload* of chocolate).  It was always fun, and I spent time with my friends, laughing, acting silly, and generally having a great time. 

Now… now life is completely different, clearly.  After all, tonight I did not partake in any classic Halloween revelry; in fact it was basically nothing more than an average Wednesday night for me.  I went over to a friend’s house, ate some food, drank a bottle of wine, and spent a few hours with my friends watching television, drinking, eating, and generally having a great time.  Obviously completely different from when I was a kid going door to door, having a great time…

I suppose I’m writing this blog in this only slightly sarcastic tone, because I realized that while I still tend to have fun on Halloween night, there has been a certain loss of innocence to make note of.  I realized the difference when I was driving tonight.  While on my way to my usual Wednesday festivities, there were little kids (and mooching teenagers that did not deserve to be out with the little ones) all over the place. I was having to drive as slow as possible and the little kids in costumes were everywhere, reminding me of my childhood left and right.  Then a few short hours later I was driving home, and even those asshole teenagers were nowhere to be seen.  The streets were deserted and I was blasting a song, singing along to a deep voice singing “I’m gonna to pop some tags, only got $20 in my pocket, I’m I’m huntin, lookin for a come-up, this is fucking awesome.” 

I suppose I was forced to think back to when I was that little kid running around in a tiger costume asking for candy, and whether back then I could have ever possibly guessed where I’d end up 20 years later.  I don’t think I would have seen it coming…  Which begs the question, what will I be doing exactly 20 years from now, and do I even bother trying to guess?

*I clearly ate enough chocolate to warrant the capital letter.


Story Idea: The Destination

For this blog I would like to run an idea by all of you.  And whether you respond or not, it helps me think to write down my ideas and share them with people.

This particular idea is for a short story.  Now, I’ve got a few short stories that I’ve already written that I’m constantly, very slowly, working on improving.  And I’ve got a few ideas for stories that I just haven’t written yet.  But this is the first decent (I think) idea for a story that I’ve had in quite a while.  And as usual, the inspiration for it came from music; particularly Todd Snider’s “West Nashville Grand ballroom Gown” and O.C.M.S’ “Wagon Wheel”. 

                Here’s just the basic outline for the story:

There’s two hitchhikers (I haven’t decided where) one’s a man, the other’s a woman. 
He’s a failed musician still in love with his ex and hoping that hitching to her will win her back. 
He’s naïve, idealistic, and stubbornly optimistic.  (Like a slightly less stupid Dylan from Modern Family)
She’s running away from home and her oppressive family.  Basically looking to get lost.
She’s not quick to trust and has an overinflated ego, thinking she’s much cleverer than she really is.
They happen to be traveling to the same place.
They run into each other hitching.  Competing for rides, etc.  She avoids him at first, but he tries to befriend her.
While trying to befriend her, he shows up in the nick of time to save her from a dangerous situation.  She doesn’t thank him, but instead just leaves, continuing to hitch.
Later on down the road, someone picks him up, and then steals his guitar and all his possessions.  He runs in to her soon after, and she had recognized his stuff and stolen in back, she returns it to him. 
They continue their journeys, and travel together some.  They even spend a couple nights in a couple motels.  But she doesn’t stay with him, she leaves one morning before he wakes up.
They run into each other a couple more times, and are cordial, they finally meet one last time just before they get to their destination. 
Meeting him gives her a chance to resolve some of her trust issues, and meeting her gives him a chance to get over some of his naïveté.  The story ends right after that final meeting.

The reader never sees the hitchers reach their destinations, and never knows whether they learned their respective lessons.

The intended moral for the reader is that the journey matters more than the destination, and that opportunities to learn and change will land in your lap, but that it’s up to you to notice and to do something with the opportunity. 

Possible title: The Destination

                Now, I only came up with this idea about three minutes before I sat down to write this and honestly added a bunch more to this idea as I was writing the blog.  Still, keep in mind that this is just the very first pre pre pre pre draft of the story.  Still, what do you all think?  Is it worth taking the time to write more?  Got a better suggestion for the title?  Got an idea for a location?  Let me know either in the comments on here or my facebook.  Or you can just tell me what you think the next time I see you.

                Also, in future blogs, would you like to see more bare bones story ideas like this, or perhaps I should just post one of my stories that I’ve been slowly working on?

Thanks for reading!


Small Price to Pay

Wow, it’s been a while.  I don’t think I wrote a single blog last month.  My life has been a bit crazy as of late.  And while I’m still busy, it’s now at least seeming to narrow down to only being busy with a few things instead of a bunch of things at the same time. 

So here I am.  I’m making enough to get by, and maybe even save a bit for a vacation or something.  My life has calmed down, I’m not as stressed out, and I’m not being pulled in quite as many directions at once as I was a month ago.  So why am I still sleep deprived?

A lot of you know me as “the guy that works/ed with dogs”.  I worked at the SPCA for four years, and I’ll never live it down.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the animals, and I’m proud that I worked there.  It was a great experience, and a miserable one, but overall I’m happy I did it.  And I still love animals and I love working with them.  But I haven’t had many opportunities to do so since I left the SPCA.  Sure I volunteered for a while, but mostly it just annoyed me, and I didn’t like having to devote a huge chunk of my time to doing solely that.

A random Leonberger on a couch.
So now we approach the reason that I’m sleep deprived.  I’ve recently (three days now) started fostering a dog for a group called Canine Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary (CRCS)http://www.facebook.com/pages/Canine-Rehabilitation-Center-and-Sanctuary/241882369156854.  Her name is Padme, and she’s a seven month old Leonberger.  I haven’t had a puppy that I’ve had to deal with all day, or train in years.  It’s exhausting!

Padme at four months old.
She won’t sleep at night, because she’s apparently nocturnal.  The clock strikes 10:00 pm and she thinks it’s play-time.  After the first day of having her in the house, Levi got so worn out that he’s barely moved since.  Hell, I had to call in reinforcements; I had my friend Amy bring her foster dog, Zeus (a one year old pit bull) over to play.  Zeus and Padme ran and played for 5 hours straight, and she still didn’t sleep through the night. 

Taking care of puppy is not easy (let alone one that is nearly 70lbs. and not even close to full grown yet), I can’t imagine how difficult kids would be.  Add on to it all the fact that she needs serious socialization with people (she’s very timid with people, but great with dogs), and that she has no housetraining whatsoever, and you get a cocktail that leaves me wide awake at night just wishing she would shut up, or go pee, or both, so that I could go to bed.

Padme and Zeus playing tug of war in the backyard.

Still, I’ve been told that what I’m doing; taking her off “death row”, socializing her, training her, and giving her a second chance, is a good thing.  So I suppose sleep deprivation, and running out of paper towels because she won’t stop peeing on the hardwood floor, are small prices to pay for doing a good thing.  And I know that they’re a small price to pay for getting to work with animals again.


The Last Thing I Hear...

So I’ve been trying to think of something to write about for around a week now.  And today, while listening to music on my drive home, it hit me; I haven’t written about music yet.
                I have a playlist on my iPod that I call my “Bucket List” (I know it’s not the most original name, but if you have a better suggestion, I’m open to hearing it).  The playlist is composed upon the idea that if I end up in a situation where I can choose what I listen to as I die, these songs are the last things I want to hear.  They’re my all-time favorite songs; the songs that even if I hear them too much in a short period of time, a month later I’m willing to do it all over again. 
                So, in this blog I would like to not only tell you what I have on this Bucket List, but also give you a taste of the songs that I’m considering adding to it.  Keep in mind, that even though I don’t have any problem taking a song off later if my tastes change, I’m still very picky about what songs I’ll put on the playlist.  I don’t want to add my favorite song of the moment, just to get sick of it a week later, and never want to listen to it again…
                There are currently only ten songs on my Bucket List, and here they are:

Can’t Complain, by Todd Snider… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihI6R72QQMQ&feature=related (though I prefer the studio version)

Corpus Christi Bay, by Robert Earl Keen, covered by Todd Snider… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRuOvy4n13U

Summer of ’76, by Stephen Ashbrook… http://www.lyricsmania.com/summer_of_76_lyrics_stephen_ashbrook.html (I couldn’t find a video, so I’ve just posted a link to the lyrics)

Aerith’s Theme, by Nobuo Uematsu on piano… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxDlok9tu_I (the video isn’t him playing, but it’s still very good.  And yes, this song is from Final Fantasy VII, shutup and don’t knock it til you’ve tried it.)

Welcome to the Goodtimes, by The Black Crowes… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExEM1wr1clY (though I really prefer the iTunes originals version.  If it weren’t for that version, this song probably wouldn’t be on this list.)

Waiting for my Real Life to Begin, by Colin Hay… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cvrzqcfv9mY
Straight to Hell, by Drivin’ N Cryin’, covered by Matt Nathanson…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_ystQ7vN2Y

The Weary Kind, performed by Ryan Bingham… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zelvaxvTaUk&feature=related (yes, it’s the theme to the movie Crazy Heart)

Money, Compliments, Publicity, by Todd Snider… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0MzOEgt4ZI&feature=related (this video has a short story, great example of a live Todd Snider show)

La Petite Fille de la Mer, by Vangelis… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12Nky9lo8Nc

                Those are the songs currently on my Bucket List.  Now, I’ve got a few songs here that I’m considering adding… you can go ahead and give me your opinions on them, just know that it’s very likely I’ll ignore your opinions and do whatever I want anyway…

Play a Train Song, by Todd Snider… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxvKjy7LRsU

Demise, by Knowledge Lives Forever… http://www.myspace.com/djknowledge/music/songs/demise-feat-whitney-myer-explicit-84026489 (the link isn’t a great one, considering it’s myspace… but it works, just hit play)

Wind Cries Mary, by Jimmie Hendrix, covered by Jamie Cullum… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTdxAVPkUOk (I know it seems sacrilegious to prefer the cover over the original, but I LOVE how he belts it in the final verse, so much that I can’t stay away from this version)

The Professor, by Damien Rice… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNL88ann1W0

Coconut Skins, by Damien Rice… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqdGHm79R_4 (this one is as good as on the list already really)

3’000 Miles, by Ellis Paul… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PAuQgPnlGE

Fuzzy, by The Incredible Moses Leroy… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE71x6JsFso

Take a Minute, by K’Naan… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaYVs1HPn2w (the song in the intro isn’t K’Naan… give it a second)

Blues for the Horn, by K’Naan… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdWvMTLslN0

Roll Away Your Stone, by Mumford and Sons… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlYrOBvt9IQ

Awake my Soul, by Mumford and Sons… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jLJ5mhgVw4

Rise, by Peter Mulvey… http://www.lyricsmania.com/rise_lyrics_peter_mulvey.html (again, no video, so lyrics instead.)

The Three of Us, by Ben Harper… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuqGI0kS3Z4

                God damn, that list is longer than I thought it would be… anyhow, enjoy!  And now, you all have an idea of my rather eclectic taste in music…


A Very Muddy Opportunity

I know it's been a while since I wrote a blog.  I haven't stuck to my one a week rule either.  But too bad, here's the blog I've been meaning to post for two weeks now...

Most of you know that last year I participated in Tough Mudder, and I'm assuming by now that most of you know that I will be participating in this year's Tough Mudder as well.  I'm writing this blog to see if I can't inspire some more people to take the same leap I did last year.  

Though Mudder is intense, it's difficult, and it's something that most of you have probably never dreamed of doing.  I know a lot of people that look at the event and all that it entails, and automatically say, "That's insane, there's no way I could do that!"  I'm here to tell you that yes, you can do that.  It is insane, I won't deny that.  But I promise you that your body is tougher than you think it is.  

I signed up for Tough Mudder almost exactly a year ago.  I then immediately began to dread the event, and regret that I signed up.  I can’t quite remember, but I may have been drunk when I actually signed up, it’s my only explanation for how I got the courage to do it.  After I signed up I did some work outs, but not a whole lot, and I still ate like crap.  At some point in June I finally figured it was time to really see what I had and how far I had to go in my training for the event.  So I showed up to one of the group workouts that my Tough Mudder team had set up. 

The workout was a simple jog about a half mile in to the hills, then sprint up this short hill, do some pushups, and jog down the other side as many times as you can.  I jogged probably just under a quarter mile at the very beginning, and thought I was going to die.  After taking a break, then finishing the rest of that first half mile, I sat on the ground for nearly 20 minutes will my teammates ran up and down the hill.  I wasn’t prepared for shit.

Luckily for me, my friends and teammates wouldn’t let me quit.  They convinced me to come to the next group workout, and they always made sure that one of them stayed behind and helped me, and motivated me to keep going and push my limits.  Before I knew it, I was jogging a mile without too much trouble.  When I got on the scale next, I realized I had dropped ten pounds. 

That was all the motivation I needed, I started working out three times a week, two group workouts and one on my own.  Mostly running or hiking in the hills or at Rancho San Rafael.  A little while later a slightly different group of friends started playing basketball twice a week.  I joined them, and without realizing it, I was working out in some fashion at least 5 times a week.  And since almost all of the workout time was with a group of friends, my social life actually expanded.  I net new people, and found new activities to do.  It was great.

To bring a quick end to this story, after three months of this training regime, I had dropped about 40 pounds and had to wear a belt with every pair of pants I owned. And I could jog five miles around a track or jog/hike ten miles in the hills without much trouble. Then came the big day.  We rented a cabin up near the event, at Squaw Valley.  We had a huge pasta dinner the night before, had a couple shots, and got to bed early.  Then we took group photos in our team shirts, and we went to the event.

Waiting for the signal to go, was one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life.  When we were finally on the course though, I noticed some of the other people.  There were amputees passing me, there were people that must have weighed 300 plus pounds, and there were people in their 60’s possible 70’s all participating in this challenge with me.  And the best part is that not only were my teammates there to help me, but everyone on the course was.  If someone fell, there were 20 or more hands helping them up.  Everyone on the course wants to help you, and no one is left behind. 

I won’t get in to the details about the challenge here, but I hope you will notice that nowhere in this post did I call it a “race”, because it’s not.  Would my teammates and I like to finish faster than we did last year?  Yes, but that mostly means starting earlier so that there aren’t as long of lines to wait in.  Ultimately, Tough Mudder is NOT A RACE.  It’s a challenge, an event, one huge fucking obstacle.  And you complete it not for victory or for a time, you complete it just to say you did.  You complete it so that in the future when you’re presented with some obstacle in your life, you can look back at Tough Mudder and say, “Yeah, I fucking did THAT, so this will be a breeze.”

I suppose what I’m trying to say is, if you feel like your life has gotten a bit stagnant, and the day to day grind is getting you down, and you want something to change.  Why not let this be the catalyst?  When that big part of you looks at Tough Mudder and says, “There’s no way I could ever do that.”  Let another part of you stand up and tell yourself to shut the fuck up and do it.  It will change your life, I promise.  If you participate in a Tough Mudder for the first time, and your outlook on life isn’t changed in the least, then I promise I’ll make up for it with sexual favors, I guarantee it!

If you want help, help like I had when I started working out, if you need someone to motivate you, and keep you going, there’s still room on our team for the Tough Mudder NorCal (Tahoe) event.  It’s a Northstar this year.  I promise we will help you get ready and we’ll help you finish.  You just have to take that first step and sign up.  Our team name is Nuclear Chupacabra.  If you want to sign up with us, just let me know, through the comments on here, or on Facebook. 

It’s a great experience, we’ll help you every step of the way, and then we’ll all party our faces off afterward.



NFL Rant: Take 1!

Welcome Ladies and Gents!  Welcome to my first blog post about the NFL. 

It’s been one week since the opening of free agency, and already it feels like it’s been a month.  Not because it’s been boring, but because so much has been done.  Free agency pickups and trades have been happening left and right.  Already new team building strategies are emerging with multiple teams, and people are predicting the success of those teams.  Would you believe it that some commentators are already picking their favorite team to win the Superbowl?  It’s a bit ridiculous.

That being said, I’d just like to mention that I’m not going to go over EVERY trade or free agent, I’m only going to cover the biggest names, and those players that I personally pay closest attention to (e.g. all Green Bay players; past, present, and future)

I’m going to save the marquee QB talk for last, if I opened with it, what would drive you all to read the rest of the blog?  So I’m going to go over five talking points from 5 down to 1 (and yes, Peyton Manning / Tim Tebow) will be number 1). 

5)             First I’d like to go over the somewhat conspicuous lack of action from certain teams.  There have been some teams that haven’t uttered a single peep since the opening of free agency.  Most of these teams share the reason that they are right on the edge of maxing out their salary caps.  Hell, some teams had to cut a bunch of players because they were way over the salary cap thanks to last year’s CBA negotiations (Lookin’ at you Raider’s).  Still, there are some teams, that have room in the salary cap, maybe not a ton, but they have room nonetheless. 

The premier example of course would be the Packers.  As a Packers fan, let me just say, that even though I get wrapped up in the excitement of certain free agent prospects (Mario Williams and Michael Bush in green and yellow?  Yes please!) I’m actually rather proud of the Packers and GM Ted Thompson’s tendency to stay out of the melee. 

The Packers and the other teams like them that have stayed oddly quiet this week, tend to depend on the draft to fill their rosters and to find diamonds in the rough that they can train up.  Ted Thompson is the most famous for this, other than a few notable instances, he tends to trade draft picks down, in order to pick up a bunch of late round picks.  Then the team and coaches sift through those picks and find people that you never expected to do well (James Starks, Matt Flynn, Mason Crosby, Desmond Bishop)

So what I’m trying to say is, to those fans of teams who are being awfully quiet and passing up all these fantastic players, don’t fret.  Our time will come.

4)            The next conspicuously missing aspect in this past week has been the signing of free agent running backs.  As that amazing running back, Tim Tebow, proved last year, a good back can make a team.  The Ravens and Bears realized this and used their franchise tags to lock up Ray Rice and Matt Forte before they slipped into uncharted waters.  But, there is still a decent number of big name RB’s out there, looking for a job. 

The only two big names that have been picked up by new teams are Mike Tolbert (Panthers) and Peyton Hillis (Chiefs).  And let’s face it, Hillis is cursed.  That leaves; LaDanian Tomlinson, Ryan Grant, Cedric Benson, Michael Bush, Brandon Jacobs, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  Most of them have made visits to teams, and been actively looking for a job, but not finding one. 

There are teams that are looking for running backs too; though ironically most of them are the same teams that the aforementioned RB’s are leaving.  So why?  Come on, I’m dying to see where most of these guys go! 

I’ll list my ideal teams for the back I mentioned above:  
LaDanian Tomlinson: I’d love to see him stay with the Jets, but if that just won’t work, then the Vikings just may be looking for a veteran to fill Adrian Peterson’s shoes for a while, or at the very least to share the work load with him.
Ryan Grant: Anywhere other than Green Bay.  I’ve never been a fan, and I think he’d look great in a Miami jersey with new coach Joe Philbin.
Cedric Benson: While he’s not Arian Foster or Ray Rice, he’s one hell of an improvement on Grant, so I’d be thrilled to see him in Green Bay.
Michael Bush: Seeing him in a Bengals uniform just seems right doesn’t it?  They need a strong, power back, and he’s the best on the market.  He wants a starting job, and they’ve got one to offer.  It’s perfect.
Brandon Jacobs: Somewhere with nice weather, and cushy turf so his knees don’t hurt so much.  San Diego, to replace Tolbert?  Why not.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: I think he’s still worthy a starting gig and despite some success at the end of last season, I think it’s possible for Denver to upgrade from Willis McGahee.  The Law Firm fits perfectly as a mid-sized, speedy back.  Though he also may look good on either New York team.

3)            This is a short one; I simply have to mention it.  Matt Flynn to the Seahawks.  Does this mean that Sidney Rice is finally going to have a decent QB throwing to him?  I must say, that the Seahawks have impressed me with this pick up as well as with a few others that they’ve made in order to give Flynn some help.  Seattle has a remarkably young team overall, and this MIGHT be their year to shine, and Flynn just might be the catalyst they need.  I’m looking forward to seeing them play; it should be an interesting year in Seattle.

2)            San Francisco.  Why couldn’t you have let Alex Smith go?  Encourage him to join the Dolphins, get him out of the bay area!  I know that the 49ers were one play away from the Superbowl last year, but close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and public bathrooms.  Alex Smith can’t score in the redzone.  Sure, he doesn’t turn the ball over, and he can put together a decent drive; but when he hits the 20 yard line, just send out Akers, because Smith WILL NOT get the touchdown nine times out of ten.  And, his accuracy is laughable.  The only reason we didn’t hear more about how inaccurate he is, is because everyone was in awe of Tebow’s ability to throw the ball nowhere near his receivers and still win the game. 

Harbaugh says that Kaepernick is their QB of the future.  I’m all for letting a QB learn on the bench for a year or two, but if you don’t give him at least a little more love, he’s going to leave the first chance he gets. 

The upside to all of this is that the jaw dropping defense of last season is almost entirely intact, and that there have been some HUGE upgrades on the offensive side at receiver and OL.  With the upgrades they’ve already made, and the draft still coming, even with Smith under center the 49er’s may have a real good shot at going all the way this year. 

1)            Peyton Manning > Tim Tebow.  It’s math.  If you say that Tebow is a legit starting QB and point to his wins last season as proof, then you don’t understand football at all.  He’s a legit starter, just not as a QB.  He’d be a great full back or even tight end.  Still, if the fans insist on seeing him under center next season, then I can really only see three teams as being interested.  Jacksonville and Miami both for the same reason, they don’t have any other options and Tebow would be at/close to home.  Ticket sales would skyrocket.  The third (and my preference for him) would be Cleveland.  The majority of their receivers aren’t fast enough to be deep threats, so they go for the short pass and a punishing run game; with a very occasional deep bomb to Greg Little in the end zone.  The playbook was practically written for Tebow, it is the only place that I think he could shine as a QB.

As for Denver, will Peyton Manning save them?  No.  I’m sorry, he MAY take them to the playoffs; they won’t get to the Superbowl.  Peyton Manning can’t carry the entire team that far.  Yes, he’s amazing, and yes, he’s won ONE Superbowl.  But look at more than just last year.  Look at the year before that one… Injuries to the wide receiving corps, and his top receiver was Austin Collie, who’s just another version of Eric Decker, and the Colt’s went 10-6 and lost in the first round of the playoffs. 

I’m sorry Denver fans, but unless you get lucky in the draft… be ready to lose in the first or second round of the playoffs, if you make it that far. 

And that’s it for my first NFL blog; the next one will be after the draft.  In the meantime I’ll blog about other shit.  Enjoy!  


Ignorance and Douchebags!

                People go through their day to day lives concerning themselves with nothing outside the world around them. I think partly it stems from our natural self-absorption. And that’s not something that you should be ashamed of, everyone is self-absorbed, at least to a degree. We can only see the world through our own eyes, through our own viewpoints, so everything that we do, we typically do in order to benefit us in some way; sometimes it’s blatantly a self-absorbed action, other times you help someone else because doing so makes you feel good. The part people fail to realize is that that is ok. It’s all right to be self-absorbed, because that’s simply the nature of life. It’s not possible to completely view the world through another person’s point of view, we don’t live in the world of “Being John Malkovich”, so instead we do the best we can with our own limited perception. But that’s not even where this post is going…

                Seeing as we can only experience things through our own eyes, it’s no wonder that international issues go unnoticed. Joseph Kony has been leading the LRA for over 25 years, and yes it’s just now becoming common knowledge to not only the majority of my very own generation, but to the majority of American citizens. The KONY 2012 movement has taken on a life of its own. It’s spreading through our little self-centered, electronic worlds like wildfire. The information has been out there and available to us all for decades, but the American public has generally ignored it until now.

                Why’d we ignore it? I don’t know for sure, I can’t speak for the entirety of the country. If I had to guess though, I’d say it’s because we’ve always felt that there was nothing we could do. This tragedy is happening on the other side of the world, it’s not happening to anyone we know, and it doesn’t affect us right? So what can we do anyway? But nowadays, that’s all changed. We can do something about it by simply clicking a button and typing our names. Do that and we’ve saved a life or two right? Wrong.

                Every re-post of the KONY 2012 video and signature on the petition for his arrest is nothing more than a drop in an insanely massive bucket, and in order for anything to actually happen to stop Kony, that bucket needs to be overflowing.

                But don’t be disheartened, every drop counts, every tiny little bit does do something. That’s the beautiful thing about the technological world. The world has become “flat”, we can contact someone in every corner of the world in an instant and send them photos and videos and almost anything else we want to. Likewise, if we want to place our drop in the bucket in order to change the world, we can; and it costs us no more than a couple of seconds.

                Please note that I’m not saying that the KONY 2012 movement is a bad one or that the people perpetuating it are ignorant. However, think of how huge this movement is getting, and then think of the power we have through this social networking, technologically advanced society in which we live. Then realize that there is so much more that we can affect, this movement is far from the only tragedy happening in the world, and even more so realize that the future of our country is very quickly falling into our laps, and that the vast majority of us are not prepared for it. Bills and laws are being passed right under us that are directing this society to places it’s never been.

                If this Facebook society were to wake up and pay more attention to the world outside of their own, just imagine the power it would have. We’d have an almost immeasurable ability to change the world.

                This however brings me to the point I really want to make. I’ve noticed in just the short time that this KONY 2012 movement has expanded, that there have also been a growing number of detractors. People that belittle others for signing it; people that say those passing on the video are “fauxtivists” or ignorant because they didn’t know about the Ugandan Conflict beforehand.

                 The people making these negative comments are the truly ignorant ones.

                 I’m all for being a hipster, but refusing to perpetuate the movement, or making fun of people for doing so while you imply that you “knew about Joseph Kony before it was cool”? Fuck you. You may think that you’re intelligent, and that you’re too cool to be one of the “sheep”, but in actuality you’re even more ignorant than everyone else AND you’re a douchebag.

SPOILER ALERT: Being better informed does not equal intelligence!

                  Intelligence comes from what you do with the information you’re given. Intelligence is a measurement of how you lead your life and how you conduct yourself in this fucked up society of ours. Just because you read the news does not make you intelligent, it makes you informed. And trust me, the number of well-informed idiots out there is massive.

                  You’re negative comments about the KONY 2012 movement and all other Facebook movements similar to it, literally help no one, except for maybe Joseph Kony himself. Your comments only cause other people to question their motives, and then they worry that maybe it’s not “cool” to sign the petition. And then if enough of you ignorant bastards manage to shoot down the movement, Kony will have free reign to continue his war for another 25+ years.

                  So if you’re one of those people that refuse to perpetuate the movement because you knew about the Ugandan Conflict before it was cool, please explain yourself in the comments below. Feel free to defend your actions, because I think that calling you a douchebag is an insult to sanitary products everywhere.

                 Thanks, and have a great day!


E.O.G. An Epidemic

Today I’d like to use my blog to warn people of an epidemic that is sweeping across our nation.  I call it, E.O.G. it stands for Early Onset Grandma-itis.  It’s a condition that has been showing itself in our younger generations, primarily geared toward those people in their twenties.  Now, while the condition primarily affects women, it has been known to affect men as well. 

Symptoms include: An unnatural love of knitting circles, a propensity to wear shawls or scarves, a craving for tea and biscuits, a growing excitement over “early bird specials” at restaurants such as Carrows or Black Bear Diner coupled with a tendency to be in bed before 8:30pm, and an aversion to all loud noises.  More advanced cases will begin to leave saucers of milk or open cans of tuna outside their front doors in order to lure unsuspecting neighborhood cats into their homes. 

It’s a condition that is having a severely negative effect on the social lives and the dating lives of those in the twenty-something age bracket that are not battling this particular affliction.  Not to mention the potential it has to change the landscape of our social networking sites; with E.O.G. sufferers flocking to sites like Pinterest, the primary function of our beloved social networking sites (to sell stuff and find ways to get laid) is being replaced by the needs of the afflicted (to create and organize knitting circles and book clubs). 

Warning signs of E.O.G. include but are not limited to: having a room in their living quarters set aside entirely for crafts, choices for movie nights are limited to “The Little Mermaid”, “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”, and “Finding Nemo”.  They own more than two bedazzled garments.  They like to keep a bowl of generic hard candies available for guests.  They refer to cold weather as “snuggle weather”. 

If you or someone you know is beginning to show symptoms or is already suffering from E.O.G. please consult with your local bartender for a prescription or the leader of the nearest Church of Scientology for thetan testing.  If we work together, we can stop E.O.G., before it stops us.

Good Night, and Good Luck.


Superheroes fade to grey

I’ve had trouble writing this blog.  Maybe it’s because of the lead up to the super bowl, maybe it’s because I’ve been drinking every weekend, maybe it’s because Angry Birds has taken over a large portion of my life.  In fact I’m sure that all of those reasons plus more are contributors to why it has taken me so long to write this blog.  But I think that the primary reason is that as I was “researching” this subject, in order to make sure that I wasn’t talking out of my ass any more than usual, I discovered that superheroes are a damn complicated subject. 

That’s right, this blog is about superheroes.  It was originally going to be focused on their flaws, and how over the past decade or so we have gone through a fairly dramatic shift in nature.  I was going to use examples of our earliest heroes such as Achilles or Gilgamesh, and point out that their flaws were primarily physical.  And that our more contemporary heroes were starting to gravitate toward flaws more centered on human nature and introspection than the physical world.  But then I of course realized that Gilgamesh didn’t have a physical flaw, and that one of the single oldest heroes of written literature (I’m still talking about Gilgamesh for those of you who don’t know his story) had possibly the most profound of introspective, human flaws, the fear of death. 

I looked in to it more, and while my original ideas weren’t TOTALLY off, they weren’t totally on either.  How could I write a blog about one of my own opinions that I had just proven wrong?  I thought perhaps I could just slim it down and focus only on comic books.  That worked, to a degree.

I was going to point out that the greatest heroes in the Golden Age of comic books all had primarily physical flaws, and it’s true, they did.  Superman’s weakness was Kryptonite, purely physical.  Batman’s was that he was a regular dude in a costume fighting enemies that weren’t always “regular dudes”.  Hell, Green Lantern’s original weakness was the color yellow.  But then I realized that I was only focusing on DC Comics characters.  So I looked up some Marvel characters, and while a bunch of them had physical flaws, many of them also had deep, human, emotional flaws right from the beginning.  So out the window went that plan. 

So, after everything in this rather geeky journey, I reworked my theories.  And I decided to focus on heroes in general and our interpretation of them rather than simply their flaws.  This final stroke of genius actually hit me just a few minutes ago while I was watching a show called Misfits on Hulu.  (If you haven’t watched it, do so; it’s fantastic.)  I realized that it isn’t just the flaws that have changed; it’s the heroes in general. 

Let’s just admit right now that for decades, Superman has been the ideal hero.  Whether you’re a fan of DC, Marvel, that crappy show Heroes, or any other venue or source for heroism, Superman is the ideal.  He’s perfect in every way, unerring morals, physically unstoppable, a perfect leader, etc.  So if he’s our perfect hero, then why have we been seeing less and less of him in the past decade?  Why have Batman, The Hulk, Spiderman, Ironman, Green Lantern, and so many others, received so much more attention than Superman?

The Dark Knight trilogy has taken off like no other superhero movie ever has, The Spiderman trilogy was mostly a success and now they’re starting a new Spiderman series, Iron Man 3 is already slated for production after the success of 1 and 2, The Hulk even has multiple movies out.  Green Lantern has rumblings of a sequel despite its poor writing, and the same goes for Thor.  So why were there never even rumblings of a sequel to Superman Returns?  True, they are making another Superman movie, due to be released in 2013, but it’s not a sequel, it’s a restart.  Admittedly The Hulk movies were officially called a restart as well, but there was only five years.  When all’s said and done it will have taken seven years before a movie studio decided that releasing another Superman movie was a good idea.  If he’s our go to hero, then why has he been fading from popular culture?

Not only in movies but in all formats, we’ve been seeing less and less of Superman.  The beginning of the reasoning is that it seems that we as a consumer nation have been gravitating toward the heroes with issues.  We have begun to enjoy following the deeper and darker stories of heroes with painful human flaws.  Bruce Banner and his growing seclusion from the human race as well as his constant struggle with his own demons from his past has become infinitely more compelling than Superman’s weakness to kryptonite.  I won’t deny that Superman has some humanity, but he’s only ever had one real ethical dilemma, “How should I use my massive power, for good or for evil?”  That question is old and has been asked simply too many times, and we all know the answer. 

I feel like as a society, we are pulling away from the classic ideal of a hero.  We don’t want the boy scout personality anymore, we don’t want the clear cut good vs. evil, right vs. wrong storyline anymore.  We crave moral ambiguity and we want our heroes to essentially be emotional cripples.  Hell, one more example; since I brought up the show, Misfits, let’s look at why its storylines are gaining in popularity while Superman’s are plummeting.  Like I said, Superman’s only moral conundrum is that one tired old question, should I be good or evil?  Spoiler alert!  He’s going to choose to be good.  After he gets past that painful dilemma, he’ll save the day.  And he’ll save it with his physical abilities.  He’ll pick up the island and throw it into space, he’ll catch the plane before it crashes, whatever the case may be, the climax of the story revolves around a question of his physicality, and another spoiler alert!  He’ll succeed. 

Meanwhile Misfits is overflowing with questions of moral ambiguity.  Instead of powers being given to the perfect moral person, the powers are bestowed upon a group of kids perpetually doing community service for petty crimes.  They’ve killed dozens of people, they’ve stolen probably millions of dollars, they’ve exploited their powers to make money and get sex, so on and so forth.  But at the end of it all, they always end up saving the day.  The most interesting part is that 90% of the time it isn’t their powers that save the day, it’s their humanity.  Whether we’re talking about Simon sacrificing himself so that he and Alisha can be together, or Curtis realizing the deeper differences between men and women, either way it ultimately isn’t their ability that saves the day. 

And perhaps this has to do with the fact that their abilities are centered around their humanity.  Instead of having laser eyes, or super strength, or the ability to fly faster than sound, they have abilities that are spawned from their own human flaws.  Kelly can read minds, but only when she’s feeling judged and insecure; Curtis, the most masculine of the characters gains the ability to switch seamlessly between genders even though he doesn’t understand women at all.  Alisha, who starts the series as a slut, suddenly can’t touch anyone’s bare skin without sending them in to a sexual frenzy, thus preventing her from ever feeling true intimacy.  Hell Rudy’s ability is nothing more than a physical manifestation of his split personality. 

So now, after this too long blog, I’ve finally reached the point where I can definitively answer the question I’ve asked, that being, why are our classic ideals of heroism fading, and why are these morally ambiguous heroes coming to the forefront of our society? 

My answer is, that I have no fucking idea why.  Honestly.  This entire post, with all these examples, and all these questions, has been so that I could reach the answer of, I don’t know.  Perhaps our society is becoming more introspective.  Perhaps it’s because of the phenomenon described in Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat”, basically being that when you can log on to a computer and see a satellite picture of Russia, or set up a group video chat with friends from Japan and Brazil at the same time, we lose the desire to explore our surroundings; and when there’s nothing more around us to explore, we resort to exploring ourselves.  Perhaps the physical world doesn’t hold as much wonder as it used to, and so we as a collective have resorted to exploring our subconscious and studying our inner demons.

Who knows, maybe it’s just that Superman’s marketing team sucks.  Whatever the case may be, it is clear, at least to me, that the world of our heroes is changing, and it’s changing because of us.  Personally I think it’s changing for the better, but maybe you disagree.

Thank god this post is over, it’s way too long.  Also, I really don’t feel like editing this, so if there are grammatical or spelling errors, get over it.


Shame v. A Good Story

               The other week one of my roommates had a small party.  As a gift, my roommate received a board/drinking game version of “Never have I ever”.  It came with 90 cards with good never have I ever questions, situations ranging from threesomes to picking your nose in the car…  I should have prefaced this story by telling you that my roommate, despite being 22 is still fairly innocent.  He’s a hard worker, devotes himself to his school work, ambitious, and isn’t going to let a bunch of probably bad decisions get in his way… Unlike me.
                I wasn’t even the oldest person that played.  We didn’t play the game according to any classic rules.  Quite simply, if you HAD done whatever was on the card, you got a point.  I ended up with 69 (yes 69 was also one of the cards I got a point for) and upon further review, 70 points… out of 90.  The next closest person had 42. 
                I can’t really decide if I should be proud of this, or ashamed.  I mean yes there may have been a few years of morals so loose it was like trying to use the shattered Ten Commandment tablets dam up Niagara Falls… but still, there’s an upside somewhere in there as well. 
                The way I see it, most people end up with some damn good stories to tell their friends, family, and descendants when they break the rules and go against the grain occasionally.  So if I go against the grain more often than not, I’ll have an ass so full of splinters it looks like a hamburger made by a blind carpenter, AND I’ll have some absolutely awesome stories.  And let’s face it, 90% of the stupid things I do, I do for the story. 
                As I’m writing this, I realize that I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s not much point to being ashamed.  It’s not like acting sorry about things is going to successfully cover up or erase my shady decisions, so I’d may as well tell the stories right?  If nothing is going to change the past, then I’d may as well glorify it and get some laughs from it…
                That’s right world!  I have loose morals and not only am I proud of it, but I’m going to flaunt it!


Welcome to Blue’s Views

Welcome to my blog.  In future posts you will get to read about how I see the world.  Following posts will include a plethora of subjects: musings on our culture or society, philosophy, drunken rants, NFL rants, drunken NFL rants, music/book/TV/movie/game/concert reviews, short fiction, jokes that I heard recently, really anything I feel like spewing out onto the internet via my trusty keyboard, etc.  I hope you enjoy. 
And please, I’m always looking for critics and comments.  I welcome comments, concerns, questions, commendations, reprimands, etc… That is not to say that I’ll actually take anything you say seriously, other than the commendations of course.