Love is a Science, But Not An Absence of Faith

March 29, 2012 § 9 Comments

Did you ever have your heart broken?

Did you ever sit alone after you knew it was over and pray that you could stop obsessing over every little thing that reminded you of your ex?  The shows that you watched together, his or her favorite food, the good morning text message.  The reminders aren’t just painful, they’re annoying.  They make you feel like you’ll have to wipe the slate of your life clean and start from scratch because now all of a sudden, everything is a reminder.

I sat in this position a couple of years ago.  I’m not ashamed to admit it, because most of us have.  If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ve probably been through something similar if you are a person.  A human being.  If you are a chair, you might not have ever felt this, but you’re also a chair that can read so I won’t make any assumptions about reading chairs.

But as people, this is what we experience.  It’s what I was experiencing and I grew sick of it quickly.  I didn’t want to feel like that anymore so I turned to the one place for support that I always know will be there for me; the internet.

Scouring message boards, articles, and studies, I came across other people whose hearts had been torn apart like a Choo Choo Choose Me Valentine’s card.  The stories of pain, disenchantment of love, and the underlying feelings of regret from losing their partner spread across the world wide web like pictures of Pamela Anderson and LOLCATZ.  I read through them for hours and came across a singular conclusion: My feelings weren’t only painful, but they were tirelessly unoriginal.

On a certain level I felt validated for feeling what I felt.  I wasn’t alone.  It was like these other people were inside my head, saying the things that I had not yet said.  It’s always nice to know that even if you’re crazy, you’re normal.  Yet on another level I felt stupid.  I felt stupid for thinking that my situation was different than anyone else’s or that I had let my emotions get the better of me.  That’s when I started to think of heartbreak not as a Katherine Heigl rom-com that existed in a world of “true love” and “destiny” but as a science problem.  Heart ache was closer to Bill Nye than it was to Say Anything.

That’s not to diminish the feelings you feel when your partner in crime becomes your ex-P.I.C., but all I cared about was getting over it and if I could think of it as a math or science problem, then I could get over it quicker.  It’s like finding out the stages of grief and then finding out how to skip past them, or moving through your 12 step program at a steady but furious pace.

The Stages of Heartbreak would go something like: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Moving On.  It’s just like the seven stages of grief, except I just named six.

How to move through them quicker:

  • Denial.  Well, this one is easy.  It IS over.  Come to that realization quickly and move on to step two.  Being in denial is dumb and the word alone should tell you so because when you hear the word “denial” your first inclination is “You’re wrong to think this isn’t happening because it clearly is.”  Don’t discount the fact that you’re feeling it, but know that it’s incorrect and the quicker you realize it’s real, the better.
  • Anger.  We want to punch something in the face and call the ex a “good for nothing so-and-so” but probably in nicer words than that and I’m sorry for my foul language!  So what do you do?  Get all your anger out immediately.  Punch pillows.  Hell, punch a wall because the pain from that will last longer than the anger you’re feeling and you’ll realize how stupid it was that you actually broke your hand over this.  Get the anger out though.  Go running, go watch Chipwrecked, get mad so that you can get happy and go onto step three.
  • Bargaining has never worked before and it will never work in the future.  “I’ll change” and “I won’t make you watch 162 baseball games next year, only 149” isn’t the problem.  The problems are probably much deeper than that.  Bargain with a gypsy, not with yourself.
  • Depression.  Well, this is sort of a tough one because depression is potentially the deepest emotion that we feel and it leaves us numb.  I could try to give ways to be not depressed, but short of drugs there really isn’t much we can do BECAUSE we are depressed.  “Do this” or “do that” won’t matter because your brain is telling you that life sucks.  Depression is sort of like burning your hand on the stove; we can find ways to numb the pain but we can’t change the fact that we just burn our hand really bad.  It happened and the only cure is time.  Just time.  However, if we can move past Denial, Anger, and Bargaining quicker, then we’ve time-travelled right into depression. WOOHOO!
  • Acceptance.  Okay, so you’ve done it.  You woke up this morning and you felt good.  It’s 1:30 PM and you’ve just realized for the first time today that you DIDN’T ONCE think about that person.  Until now… and now you feel kinda crappy, but it’s okay because you feel less crappy today than you did yesterday.  And then one day you’ll realize that it’s been three days since you felt crappy and now you’ve hit the home stretch.  Good job!
  • Moving on.  Awesome, this is basically not even a step because you’ve accepted that the relationship is over and that’s honestly the hardest part.  Nobody said that getting back on the horse is easy, but I think you’ll find that it can be quite fun.  “Playing the field” and whatnot.  (Everything is a sports metaphor.)  You’re ready to move on.  You can actually watch Survivor and not get sappy because that’s what you and so-and-so used to always DVR together.  You can drink your favorite wine again.  All of your favorites are your favorites again because you don’t miss that person anymore.  This feeling is the bomb, yo.

I have gone through these feelings multiple times in my life, but the time that I decided that love and heartbreak was as much science as it was metaphysical was the time that I got over it the quickest.  My point isn’t to discount your feelings but to give validation to the fact that we are human and because we are human that means that chemicals and biology are as much a part of life as feelings and emotions.  They are intertwined.  That’s the beauty and the curse of being human.

In the same way that we can end love on a scientific note, we can begin it.  According to Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, there are Three Stages of Falling in Love:  Lust, Attraction, and Attachment.

  • Lust: It takes between 90 second and 4 minutes to decide if you are into somebody upon first meeting.  This is driven by the hormones that give you boners and make women feel tingly: testosterone and oestrogen.
  • Attraction: This is when you can’t stop thinking about the person.  You want ‘em bad.  Monoamines are neuro-transmitters that hit your brain and mess you up: Dopamine, Adrenalin, and Serotonin.  These will make you hyper, get your heart racing, keep you alert, and make you a little crazy.  When you fall head over heels, it’s because serotonin is encapsulating your senses and, well… fucking with you.
  • Attachment: You want to do more than rub your membranes together, now you want to have kids, get a dog, and buy color-coded toothbrushes.  Oxytocin is now pulsating through your brain and that’s basically the bonding drug.  It’s the same one that hits you when your mom first pops you out and holds you and feeds you from her bosom.  It also gives women emotion-boners when you have sex.  Oxytocin and Vasopressin are big components to why you’ll never forget your first love or the first person that you entered/entered you.  It’s crazy, huh?

Every one of your emotions is more than just a recess of your mind.  It’s not just things you think because you have a soul, but things you think because chemicals are always moving around your brain and body and making you do things and think things whether you like it or not.  That’s love, that’s hate, that’s anger, that’s depression, that’s life… it’s chemicals, science, biology, and hormones.

As humans we can only control so much.  Sometimes our body is going to do what our body wants to do and the idea of things like “Love at first sight” or “Gut-wrenching heartbreak” are inevitable chemical reactions that we can’t necessarily resist.  But we can reason with it.  We can use our power of knowledge to combat the power of hormones, of chemistry, of science.

I used knowledge that I gained through other people’s experiences to help overcome a time in my life when I was very low.  By reasoning with myself and with my emotions and knowing that even if I was only at the beginning of a tunnel, there was still an end to it (there is ALWAYS an end to the tunnel) and I’d do my best to run through it because while a soul might be unexplainable, math and science are basically the opposite because they do give meaning and reason to everything.

But is it always that simple?

This is part one: Love is a Science.  Part two will be next week: But Not an Absence of Faith.

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Mega Millions: What Would You Do With $476 Million?

March 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

I don’t buy lotto tickets and it’s certainly a suckers game, but it does give you a chance to dream.

I will buy a lotto ticket today.  Hell, if I’m feeling spicy I might buy two!  The Mega Millions jackpot is up to a record $476 million right now (damn it, I should keep that a secret so fewer people buy tickets) and instantly the idea of “What I would do with that money” starts racing through my head again.

I have several things that I think about as I lay me down to sleep each night.  Fantasies that help me get to my slumbered state until the next morning shines upon my bedroom window.  You can probably guess the first kind of these fantasies.  But somewhere near the top is the “Make money money, make money money money” fantasy.  What my life would be like to be Scrooge McDuckin’ it like a Zuckerberg wanna-be.

Perhaps it seems “foolish” or “selfish” or “greedy” to some but facts are facts: Money opens doors.  I believe that your time on earth is short and that it only comes once, so I want as many doors open as possible.  Let the cool breeze rush through the rooms of your life and force out the bad smell of being broke.

You could dream about having $100,000.  You could dream about having $1 million.  But why the hell are you doing that?  This is a dream you know.  It’s the one time when it’s literally your world so be bold.  If you wanna be a billionaire so frickin’ bad, then winning the Mega Millions will get you halfway there (kinda) and it’s as simple as being the luckiest person in America, the world, or the Universe, on that day.  No big deal.

Realistically, we need to take that $476 and “whack it in half” at least, thanks to our friend Uncle Sam.  According to usamega.com, in my state of California that will bring me $269,250,000 in a lump sum.

Almost 270 million billznotties…. What we gonna do?  Enter my dreams, won’t you?

Pay Off My Credit Cards and Student Loans!!

Woo!  Sweet.  Only $269,240,000 left though.  Better start being careful with my spending!  I’m actually approaching a near-debt-free life already and damn it feels good and when my debts are paid off, I’ll be able to pay off my other debts!

Donation!

If I had won, say $50,000,000, then I’d be worried about over-spending on charities and shit but with $270,000,000 I can feel free to go wild on some good causes!  In fact, that’s a good number to start with… $50,000,000 to a good cause.  Something like more Macbook Pros for students at Ivy League Schools or free Fiji Water at my old high school instead of drinking out of that nasty water fountain.

Oh, and Africa… For Sure.

Only $220,000,000 left!!

Mom, How Many Houses Do You Want?

We sold the home that I grew up in, and even though it’s not in a neighborhood that I’ll ever live in again or even in the state that I’ll live in, I’m buying that shit back.  Sorry, I’m sentimental.  It’s mine now.

I’d probably drop $5 mill on houses around Washington for my family members that remembered my birthday, with big deposits in the accounts of my immediate family.  That’s at least $20,000,000 and it brings me down to a cool $200 mill.

Damn, That’s Still a Lot of Money.  Let’s Donate Some More!

How about $25 million more to good causes.  Why?  It’s a tax write-off, chicks dig it, and it’ll get my name on the side of some building forever.  And I guess it will help people.

I’d Re-Create the 1994 film Blank Check, Starring Me

I can’t find a budget for Blank Check but I know that Preston made his blank check out for $1,000,000.  With inflation that’s closer to $1.5 million by today’s standards.  Obviously, I’d film it and try to turn a profit because Blank Check made $30,000,000 at the Box Office so this might actually be an investment and I don’t think I’ll even have to subtract any money from my lotto winnings for this one.

Plus I’d look really cool on this cover:

(Really, if you loved Home Alone, you’ll love Blank Check?  Home Alone is an amazing movie.  But Blank Check is the best movie of all-time.  Seriously though, shut the hell up “The Movie Minute.”  Go to the website and it’s pretty obvious that The Movie Minute is just a place for studios like Disney to buy quotes to put on their box covers.)  

How much money do I have left?  Oh, $175,000,000 if you don’t count the profit I turned on Blank Check 2: Real Ass Money.

I’m Gonna Need an Entourage

If Vincent Chase has taught me anything, it’s that when you get rich you get to tell your friends what to do because they’re desperate for a piece of that pie.  Like Vinny, I actually hate driving so I’m gonna need a driver.

I hate cooking, so I’m gonna need a chef.

I don’t know what the hell point of Turtle is (why can’t my chef also drive?) but I guess I’ll need someone around to be a Yes Man, tell me how cool I am, and to basically run all of my errands because there’s one thing that I hate more than anything else.  The absolute bane of my existence.  The thing that will one day be the death of me:

Doing stuff.

Let’s chop out… I don’t know… $10,000,000 for costs of help over the next ten years.  Lets chop out another $20,000,000 on a house.

I’ve got $145,000,000 left still?  Jesus, this IS a lot of money!

Investments

At this point you’re probably begging me to make some investments.  After all, this is how most lottery winners end up broke five years after they win right?  Well, they also lose a lot of their money on investments… just really bad investments.

That’s why I’ll invest $45,000,000 into businesses I believe in like Blockbuster, MySpace, and K-Mart.

Only $100,000,000 left!!!! What to do now???

Random/Bucket List

I’d play in the World Series of Poker every year.

I’d shop at Whole Foods.

I’d travel to exotic places like Thailand and Cleveland.

I’d pay for Morgan Freeman to narrate my thoughts for a week.

I’d pay Pauly Shore, Sean Astin, and Brendan Fraser to do a live-action Encino Man in my living room.

I’d also pay Daniel Stern to narrate my thoughts for a week, Wonder Years style, which would cost about %5 of Morgan Freeman narration.

Two words: Trampoline Floors.

Three words: Swedish Fish Ceilings.

I’d have the crew of Mad Men throw me a 60′s-style surprise party and I wouldn’t get mad about it.

Let’s call all of that, and other random entertainment, $10,000,000.

So, $90,000,000 is all I have left?  Geez, what’s the point of even living!  Definitely not baller status anymore :(

Seriously, what a ridiculous amount of money, even after lump sum + taxes.  Makes a person feel guilty for even playing the lottery, and I even donated $75,000,000!!!  I guess I better get a bigger house.

What would you do with the $476 million prize?

 

Is Marriage Obsolete? Divorce Statistics Should Make You Question the Whole Process

March 26, 2012 § 8 Comments

My journey to question everything about relationships continues with an updated look at divorce rates in America.

What kind of a future could my generation really envision when we were young?  The American family dynamic goes through cycles (baby boom, divorce boom) and all I remember was that it seemed more normal to have parents that lived in separate houses than to have the “core nuclear family” like the Cosbys.

In fact, television is a good example of when you started to see people trending further away from the nuclear family: My Two Dads, Full House, Who’s The Boss?, and Step by Step (thanks Brady Bunch) as examples of television families that were in anything but a “normal” situation.  Except that the line between what’s normal and what’s unusual has been blurred out like a nipple on ABC Family.  To me and my friends, growing up in a single-parent (read: single mother) household was what were used to.  It was what we expected.  Would we follow in the footsteps of our fathers?

Most 80s Picture Ever

Well, not necessarily.  Since, you know, our fathers didn’t follow in their fathers footsteps.  Our parent’s parents would hardly consider the word divorce as an option.  Now after several decades of change in laws, social norms, and redefining gender roles, divorce isn’t only an option; it’s the endgame for half of marriages.

How did we get here?  What do we make of it?  Where are we headed?  Is marriage still going to be around in 100 years and should it?

I have examined the numbers from the recent census and other studies.  Some of the numbers are really telling and should be used to give insight on how marriage is viewed and how and when people should even start to consider marriage.  This is what I’ve found:

« Read the rest of this entry »

The Killing: 5 Reasons To Not Watch Season Two

March 23, 2012 § 12 Comments

Who Killed Rosie Larsen?

Who.  Really.  Gives.  A.  Shit.  Anymore?

Oh right, I do; Because I am a completest and I have been suckered into the show and finding out how it truly ends, I just hope that it only lasts two seasons.  Much like how Detective Sarah Linden should have never gone on that final call regarding Rosie, I should have never turned on that first episode of The Killing.  If you’ve never seen the show and if you’re thinking about catching up before the April 1st season premiere of the second season, let me give you some advice: Don’t.

It’s funny what AMC seems to get away with these days in terms of dramatic television.  Living off of the success of Mad Men and Breaking Bad (which are either the two best dramas on TV right now or the two best TV dramas of all-time) AMC has continued to churn out new dramas in the hopes that it can strike gold a third time.  In my opinion, it has yet to do that.

In the last year and a half, AMC has debuted three new series with great anticipation from the audience: The Walking Dead, The Killing, and Hell on Wheels.  AMC also debuted a show called Rubicon that was cancelled after one season and that I know nothing about, which tells you something else about how “Not everything on AMC is to be revered.”

For instance, The Walking Dead is incredibly popular, well-received, and is the “water cooler drama” of the moment, having just finished it’s second season after a long  mid-season intermission.  The season two finale was watched by nine million people, making it the most-watched basic cable drama telecast in history, which will assure that it stays on the air for awhile.  How good is it really though?  The Walking Dead has its moments but is incredibly flawed in story-telling, continuity, character development, and can go weeks without anything interesting happening.  Why do I watch?  Because I love zombies.  That’s basically it.  However, Dead has taken too long to get from point A to point B and the ultimate standoff between the protagonist and antagonist should have been established in season one.  Look at the epic-ness of shows like Justified and Breaking Bad and you’ll see what I mean.  I see what you’re trying to do Dead, so why not just do it already?

And this is still coming from a Walking Dead fan but are you going to make season three epic or are you going to drag this out for another two years?

Let’s be honest on level of epic-ness: Breaking Bad/Mad Men………………. BIG GAP…………………… The Walking Dead.  Can anyone really disagree with that?

The other show that came out during that time was Hell On Wheels.  The show had a lot of potential but I admit that I’ve still got the last four episodes on my DVR and they’ve been sitting there for months and I’ve never once heard anyone on Twitter or Facebook mention the show a single time.  It’s just sort of… there.  And it’ll be back for season two.

Back to the heart of this matter, now that I’ve given AMC the proper beat-down it needed on the other shows and talk about the really stupid show that was nominated for six Emmys.  The Killing will be back next Sunday and kick-off season two in the hopes that it gives you less answers than the first year.  There are a lot of reasons that you should not watch, but here are just five of them:

Bad Acting

Mireille Enos was actually nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress at the Emmys and Best Actress in a Drama at the Golden Globes (the more sensible Globes didn’t nominate The Killing in any other category) and I only have one question:  WHY?!

As Detective Sarah Linden, Enos plays a “take shit from nobody female cop that chews gum and shit and has hunches and is so much better than Detective Holder who is lazy and stupid and I’m the lead you got it cause as I said before I do not take shit from anyone did you think that just because I am a small woman that I am a pushover because you should know that I’m tough as nails and I don’t take shit from nobody.”

And the thing with The Killing is that there are very few good actors on the show so anyone that’s decent at acting should really stand out.  Those people are: Brent Sexton (Stan Larsen), Michelle Forbes (Mitch Larsen), and Eric Laden (Jamie Wright.)  I’ll give Joel Kinnamen credit because I had no clue that he was a full-blooded Swede, but that helps explain his stupid-sounding-thug accent.  Unless Enos turns out to actually be a 4-foot-tall black man in real life, I am not really sure where the “Best Actress” nominations came from but she is far from the worst actor on the show:

Bennet Ahmed

“I’m not a pedophile but I did marry Chrissy from Growing Pains”

Belko

“I’m naughty.  Momma says I been naughty.  Also, I was in Empire Records.”

Regi

“Hi.  I’m Regi.”

Councilman Darren Richmond (the WORST)

“Almost twenty years ago I was The Rocketeer.  Let’s just say my career didn’t ‘Skyrocket’ after that!”

Watch a show like Mad Men, they can sit around and talk about baseball for an hour and you’ll be entranced at the talent and method of the craft  of acting.  Watch The Killing for an hour and if they don’t produce a dead body you might as well pray for the same fate as Rosie.  It doesn’t help that the show is….

Really F’ing Cheesy

Well, I could make you watch any scene with Tom Drexler the investor

or we could just point out some of the best quotes of season one:

  • Holder: So good little dead girl was a bad little web girl.
  • Tom Drexler the Investor: People like me can do whatever the hell we want and do you know why? Because the Richmonds of the world will always clean up after us.
  • Holder: Yeah, you’re a real role model. You teach her how to shotgun a beer?
  • Tom Drexler: One shot and you get your five mil. Now you miss it, and you resign from the race. What do you say? Yes we can?
  • Darren Richmond: Adams wants to play dirty, he best like the taste of mud.
  • Mayor Adams: In no time at all, Darren’s come here and built himself a real rainbow coalition: blacks, fruits, whores, and drug addicts.
  • Linden: You don’t seem like the type that shares your toys
  • Linden: Cause you dress like Justin Bieber and eat pork rinds for dinner.
  • Linden: In situations like this, I like to ask myself: what would Jesus do? Holder: Don’t know. I’ll ask him.
The Killing takes every tv show cop cliche and says “Fuck yeah, let’s use that.  Let’s bury that cliche into the ground so deep that one day they’ll say “You’re stealing that from The Killing” because we’ll do it so hard that they’ll forget how it was done 1000 times before.”
Speaking of cliches, The Killing is set in Seattle and…

Disrespects My Home City, Seattle

Not because a young girl is murdered there, because young girls are murdered everywhere (and okay, Seattle has a certain reputation with serial killers) but by the obvious fact that everything the writers and producers of The Killing know about Seattle, they probably learned on TV and movies.

Fact: It actually doesn’t have torrential downpour every single minute of every single day.  It rains a lot in Seattle, relatively, but did you know that the sun actually does appear every day in Washington?  No joke!  We are part of the earth!  I know, crazy, right?

 

 

I live in Los Angeles now and down here we actually get much heavier rain than you’ll see in Seattle.  Sure, it rains about ten times less often, but the hard rain is in LA and the consistent rain is in Seattle… but it’s not THAT consistent.  We don’t need to walk around covered in tarps 24/7.  We do things during the day as well.  And the sun comes out.

“I’ll end up as security at the Space Needle” says Holder in one episode, in a way to note that “YES WE ARE INDEED IN SEATTLE.  I MADE A SPACE NEEDLE REFERENCE.”  I can honestly say that the only people who ever talk about or ask about the space needle are people that have never been to Seattle.  I expect in this season at some point Linden will say “Let’s go arrest the perp, but first let’s throw fish at Pike’s Place Market.”

Finally, and this has always bugged me…. WE DON’T HAVE A DEL TACO IN SEATTLE SO WHERE THE FUCK DID YOU GET THAT IDEA HOLDER?

I’m glad to finally get that off my chest.  Maybe it would be easier to accept all of this if I liked any of the characters but….

 

There Isn’t a Single Character To Root For

 

Watch a good show like The Wire or Breaking Bad or Mad Men and you’ll find yourself invested in characters that you shouldn’t root for, but you do anyway because they are amazing.  A criminal like Omar, a liar and cheater like Don Draper, a psychotic chemistry teacher like Walter White… you love them for their faults and you hate them for their faults but God Damn It you LOVE them.  Who the hell am I supposed to love or even like in The Killing?

The stupid ass mayor and his stupid ass aides?  The teacher that married his student and has an inappropriate relationship with Rosie?  The detectives that are kind of shitty at their job, one of whom is a recovering druggie that seems to have really good skills at picking up high school chicks when he need to and the other one that can’t keep her emotions in check when a murder investigation is ongoing?  And don’t even get me started on her fiance that can’t understand why she needs to finish A MURDER INVESTIGATION OF A YOUNG GIRL.

The only person that I can even kind of root for is the father Stan Larsen (and not his wife who freaks out and gets mad at him for everything he does) and I think I mostly root for Stan because he kind of looks like Louis CK:

 

Also, how amazing would it have been if the show had cast Louis CK?  How much more watchable would it be then, because Louie can actually do a really good “sad” even if his overall acting is a work in progress.  Just imagine Louie in this world as a grieving father and looking around The Killing and calling everyone out for their bullshit.  Amazing.

Too bad they didn’t though because I really don’t care what happens to any of these characters.  I just want to find out with 100% certainty who the killer is but will that ever happen, because….

 

You Won’t Get Any Answers, You Only Get Red Herrings And Questions

 

The end of season one seemed to answer the question of who killed Rosie Larsen but also left it open so that the writers could change their minds if they wanted to.  Ginia Bellafante of The New York Times defended the ending of season one, but is also a vehement defender of the show and believes it’s got a lot more positives that meet the eye.  I don’t think so.  I think we’re looking for answers but The Killing isn’t giving us any.  At least three times during the season did it seem like we had a serious candidate for who the killer was and then the next week they tore it out of our hands.

This season on The Killing:  

 

Linden: Bennet, we’ve got you on tape murdering Rosie Larsen and the DNA evidence proves it.

Bennet: But I didn’t do it!

Holder: You clearly did, we have all the evidence we need to put you away for life.

 

/Well that’s clearly it for Bennet…

 

The next week….

 

Seattle Chief of Police: We’ve got evidence that Bennet has a rock solid alibi.

Linden: But what about the video and the DNA?

Chief: The video was faked by the Coalition of People Against Muslims and the DNA was planted.

Holder: Damn son.

 

The writers feel like they can do anything and then get away with it the next week by writing something else that proves it was all a fake-out.  That’s why Ginia is clearly going to be proven wrong on her assertion that “They did prove who the killer was in season one and they’ll just move onto the next crime.”

 

I am absolutely certain that The Killing will throw a wrench into the gears next Sunday and tell us that indeed the killer was setup and we’re going to have to keep looking for Rosie’s killer.  Why?  Because the show isn’t very good and it hates to give us answers when it knows that by giving us bullshit, they won’t lose viewers.  Twin Peaks was seen as one of the greatest shows in TV history during it’s first season and was an absolute American obsession that year… until they wrapped up season one and went into season two with a new plight and was cancelled shortly thereafter.  The Killing will drag this murder on for as long as it has to, trust me.

I feel like the viewer is Tom Cruise and The Killing is Jack Nicholson:

 

The Killing: You want answers?

The Viewer: I think I’m entitled to it.

The Killing: You want answers?

The Viewer: I WANT THE TRUTH!

The Killing: YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

The Killing: Son, we live in a world that has television, and that television has to be created by men with families and responsibilities.  Who’s gonna do it?  You?  You Kenneth Arthur?  Writers have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom.  You weep or Rosie Larsen, and you curse the writers.  You have that luxury.  You have the luxury of not knowing what I know.  That dragging out Rosie’s death, while tragic, probably keeps you tuned in another week.  And our existence, while annoying and incomprehensible to you, gets viewers.  You don’t want the answer to who killed Rosie because deep down in places you don’t talk about at the water cooler, you want me writing TV, you need me writing TV.  We use words like red herring, Space Needle, and “Yo Linden!”.  We use these words as the backbone of a life spent annoying the shit out of television viewers.  You use them as a punchline for your TV reviews.  I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to viewers who rise and sleep under the blanket of cable television and then question the manner in which I provide it.  I would rather you just said “Thank you” and bought the DVD box set.  Otherwise, I suggest you write your own damn TV show and get a pilot sold.  Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

The Viewer: Did Richmond murder Rosie?

The Killing: I did the job I….

The Viewer: DID RICHMOND MURDER ROSIE LARSEN?!?!

The Killing: WE HAVEN’T THOUGHT THAT FAR AHEAD!

And that’s pretty much exactly how I feel about it.  The writers wrote a premise and they didn’t write an ending so that’s why you get a new red herring every week and open-ended questions about who really killed Rosie.  Because those assholes that wrote the show didn’t even know.  And yet I sit here every week, knowing that I’ll watch season two because damn it, I want the truth.

I can handle it.

 

Follow me on Twitter and I’ll tell you who really killed Rosie Larsen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice Guys and Our Proximity to First Place, Do Any Girls Really Want One?

March 22, 2012 § 26 Comments

To say that I finished last would imply that I finished.

If you’re a woman reading this, I only have one question: Do you actually mean that shit when you say that you want a nice guy and only “little girls” want bad boys?  Look, I know that you don’t want a pussy, but what about a guy that’s a gentleman?  A man that will do nice things for you and compliment you and take care of you?  He’s not going to ever hit you, or mentally abuse you, or play games with you and tell you that you’re ugly so that it lowers your self-esteem enough to sleep with him.

(Also, if you’re my mom and you’re reading this… ehhh… maybe skip this article. :) love you!)  

When I date someone that has been in abusive relationships in the past I can’t help but think “She’s not going to be interested in me, I’m too nice.”  That’s not because she’s intentionally seeking dickheads, I’m sure every conscious feeling in her body is telling her to find a guy that will treat her how she deserves to be treated, but underneath all of that I believe that people become used to certain aspects of relationships.  Some asshole has made her believe that she’s not worth a damn and so she distrusts me when I tell her that she is.

I’ve seen it a bunch of times because I somehow have dated many girls with abusive relationships in the past.  We don’t end up dating for very long.

I have to admit that part of me is attracted to females that are a little broken inside because I want to help put the pieces back together.  I don’t pretend that I don’t have a couple of broken shards of glass in my heart either and maybe that helps ease the pressure to be “normal” for anyone.  I confess that more than once I have seen a really cute girl on Intervention and thought “Yeah, I would date her.  I could do it.  She’s so pretty and I could help her get back to a regular life and quit this addiction.”

Although, I don’t think I’ve ever watched My Strange Addiction and thought “Yeah, I would date that girl that eats cigarette ashes.”  A bit too much for me to handle.

I know some men could read this and say “Being a nice guy will get you nowhere with women” but I am what I am.  I have set a course and I am okay with staying on that course because a leopard can’t change his spots and I can’t change my “Hang in There” kitty screensaver.  I am nice.  I’m not a “pussy” and I don’t even have the strongest morals, but I’ll treat every woman with respect.  The only question I have is: Where are all the women that want that?  The guys that tell me that I will “Get nowhere” with this attitude have so far hit the nail on the head.  Isn’t that a bit crazy?

It’s so damn crazy and backwards and messed up that I am wildly attracted to it.

Here are the Pros and Cons of being a nice guy:

PROS

  • People generally like me.  I’m like How I Met Your Mother, but a guy.
  • I’ve only been in one fistfight in my life.
  • My life is pretty stress-free because I have a sunny disposition and a positive outlook about the future.
  • I’m very trusting of other people.

CONS

  • People generally like me but people don’t generally “fall in love with me.”  Probably because they know I’ll still be nice to them if they don’t.  I’m like a great TV show that could be cancelled because not enough people watch and spread the gospel.  (Community)
  • I swung and missed in that fistfight.
  • My sunny disposition can lead to complacency and procrastination.
  • I’m very trusting of other people.
  • Far fewer blowjobs received than what “jerks” will get.

(On that note, I am amazed at how many girls I’ve gone out with that describe themselves as…. well, lets just say “promiscuous” because I’m far too nice to say that they described themselves as sluts… at how many of them that I’ve gone out with and then been shut down upon request for entry.  Why are you hanging a sign in the window that says “Free Handjobs” and then when I get inside your store you say you’re all out of Free Handjobs?  Oh yeah, because I’m so nice that you know I’ll still buy a bumpersticker that says “Honk If You’re Horny”)

Anyways, I can do my own handjobs for awhile and stick to being a nice guy because my positive outlook on life tells me that one day it will pay off.  For a long time I’ve sort of stared at my mid-30s and said “That’s when I’ll do it.  That’s when I’ll get married and start to have a family and that’s okay.  I can wait and I know that when I get there, it will be all worth it because when I’m older and I have my career going strong and it will be the right time anyway.”

I sort of picture it that way and that sounds just fine to me.  Don’t worry about the details right now, just continue to be a nice guy and let the pieces fall into place.  I don’t need to be a “player” nor do I need to “crush a lot” because I’ve made it 29 years by being a gentleman that can smile and laugh at anything.  Including myself.  I’ve become very good at entertaining myself.  (Okay, now that sounds really sad.  It’s not like I am super lonely.  I have friends!)

So what’s up ladies?  Do you want a nice guy or does your heart always push ahead of your head and gravitate towards the assholes?  Do you really want to have sex with Michael Cera or do you really just want to sit around and read comic books with him?

Follow me on Twitter and help me get even more friends! :)

My 100th Post: Thank You Mom

March 20, 2012 § 7 Comments

For whom the first 99 posts and the rest of my life would not exist.

Go back to what I wrote yesterday and you won’t see my mom.  Go back to what I wrote a week ago and see if it has anything to do with my mom and you’ll find that the answer is obviously “No.”  Go back a month, a year, or decade and none of it really had much to do with my mom.  Sharing a few memories here and there about my childhood and adulthood and sure, there will be mentions of her, but for the most part I have written about sports, movies, and my poor excuse for a dating life.

That is my life: Writing, sports, and movies.  It’s what I live for and what I could never do without and while you won’t usually hear me mention my mom believe this: Not a damn word I’ve written would be possible without her.  It’s not just because of the “miracle of life” and how she brought me into this world, it’s more about how she helped me navigate through it and I can sum that up in one word: Encouragement.

It’s pretty ridiculous to believe that your son is going to write a movie that gets made by Hollywood or that he’ll win an Oscar or “make it big time.”  I mean, it’s downright delusional and the practical thing to tell your kids as they get older is that they’ve got to start focusing on how they’ll find a real job so that they can pay their bills and be financially secure.  That believing you’ll become a professional writer is about as reasonable as believing you’ll be a race car driver or an X-Men superhero.  But I did believe that I’d become a professional writer and I did believe I’d join up with the X-Men and it’s all because of one person…

Mom.

It was my mom that saw my passion for films when I was very young.  It was my mom that took me to the video store when I was absolutely desperate to see something new.  It was my mom that allowed me to watch horror movies, even if I was a little too young, but only because scary movies were my absolute favorite and without which I would have never become a writer at all.

It was my mom that took me to see movies like The Sandlot, even if I did get those “embarrassed to be seen with Mom” feelings as I got a little bit older.  It was my mom that sent out dozens of letters to my favorite actors and had them send back autographed pictures addressed personally to me.  It was my mom that stopped at Blockbuster on her way home from work one summer day to rent Scream, the movie that made me want to write.  It was my mom that setup a “Hollywood themed” college graduation party.  It was all my mom… the same person that gave me this dorky personality.  :)

My mom was the one that followed my sports writing, even if she didn’t care for sports.  My mom was the one that encouraged me to move to Los Angeles three years ago, even if it did mean that I was quitting my job without a new job waiting for me in LA.  Every single bit of my inspiration to be a writer, from John McClain in Die Hard to Punky Brewster and MC Hammer, has at least one fingerprint left on it by a certain person; My Mom.

If I sat here and told you that raising two kids as a single parent wasn’t easy, I’d be fabricating a conclusion to a scenario of which I have no experience.  I was only the kid, so who the hell am I to pretend to know what it was like to raise me and my sister?  The best guess that I could come up with is this:  Really.  Fucking.  Hard.

I sat for a moment today and thought about how I was coming up on my 100th official post on KennethAuthor and reflected on the past year and what I have been able to accomplish in that time.  Starting with Ray Guilfoyle at FakeTeams.com letting me join up as a blog writer for fantasy sports, finally getting back into a rhythm on writing articles again.  Then seeing the website grow exponentially in that year and getting recognition from SBNation.com and feeling proud that I had a small part in that.  From there, Danny Kelly at FieldGulls.com asked me if I wanted to write for my favorite Seahawks blog.  Hell yes, that was like a dream come true.  From OkCupid I came across the profile of Jen Friel at TalkNerdyToMeLover.com and asked if I could get a guest spot and she graciously allowed me to post something every Thursday on her amazing website.

In addition to all of that, Danny asked me to help write on Seattle.Sbnation.com so that I could write on all things Seattle sports and I even recently started a YouTube channel for FieldGulls, finally starting to realize my dream of turning written word into video.  Back in December, I reached out to fellow TNTML writer Melodie Tao about any advice she could give me on marketing and she suggested that I start my own blog and have yet another medium to write, except now I could write about anything under the sun.  It was awesome to be able to become a writer on already established websites, but to be able to see KennethAuthor grow and then get FreshlyPressed… it all made my heart swell up with pride and think that maybe I could finally be on my way to become a professional writer.

So an immense Thank You to Ray, Danny, Jen, and Melodie.  Without you guys, I don’t know where I’d be today.

And without my mom I would have never met any of you.

Thank you Mom for everything you’ve done.  Thank you for believing with total conviction that I could accomplish my dreams.  Thank you for the thousands of dollars spent on trips to the movie theater, the video store, and the writing teacher.  Thank you for always being proud of my work, even if you sometimes disagreed with it’s content.  Thank you for seeing my vision as well as I could see it myself.  Thank you for being “delusional” and for being a dork.

Today I still sit here as a writer making a few bucks a month and without a movie or an Oscar to my name, but still with the dream kept alive and my mind as sharp as ever.  None of that would have been possible without you Mom, and I wanted to just take this moment to tell you how much your support and guidance means to me.  When I finally get that Oscar nomination, I know just who my date will be…

Mom.

Love you always,

Kenny

Netflix Memories: The Gate (1987)

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

It’s amazing how fucking stupid we are when we’re kids.

It’s no wonder that as adults (technically speaking) we see kids television, movies, and music as being “quite shitty” but we understand that it’s just because kids usually like to keep it simple.  Don’t over-complicate it, just make a watered-down movie that will make kids laugh and scream in joy because it doesn’t take much to do that.  I guess what we don’t quite get to live down is watching kids grow up and realize just how stupid their favorite movies are.

For example, I remember watching Mac and Me as a very young child and LOVING IT.  I thought it had great story, adventure, and a classic tale of a boy and an alien and I stuck with that story for a very long time.  Why change it?  I didn’t bother to actually watch Mac and Me for years but I never forgot how it made me feel as a five year old.  I should have stuck with that story.

Mac and Me is the dumbest fucking movie ever fucking made.

Forget the fact that it’s a complete ripoff of E.T. or that it’s basically a 90-minute commercial for McDonalds, it’s just a terrible movie and it’s only redeeming quality is just how terrible it is.  (At least do yourself a favor and watch the dumbest dance sequence in cinematic history.)  But that’s just part of being a kid; loving really stupid shit and being ignorant of what is good and what is not.  It doesn’t matter when you’re a kid if it’s good or not, it only matters if it made you happy for a little while.  Mac and Me did that for me as a kid, but it also made me feel like a damn idiot as an adult.

Another movie that’s similar in that respect, but not quite as bad, is The Gate.  A movie that I recently revisited on Netflix Instant watch.

If you’re unfamiliar with the movie, I’ll break it down like this: Stephen Dorff (what’s the point of giving the characters name when he’s played by a young Stephen Dorff?  It’s Stephen fucking Dorff!  And he’s 12!) and his sister Al (played by a not famous person, although she looks like the big sister in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids!  Although, I guess that actress isn’t famous either) are left home alone for the weekend by their parents.  A lightning storm or something forces the tree to fall over in the back hard and landscapers have to dig it out and leave a big hole in the backyard.  Dorff and his loser friend Terry (no offense loser) go to the hole and find a geode (a rock with pretty insides.  I am not breaking this down because I think my audience is dumb, I honestly wouldn’t know what a geode was if not for The Gate) in the ground and let’s just say it has magical powers because I have no time to pretend like it doesn’t.  We know where this is going.

(My apologies for all of the parentheses.)

They take the geode into Dorff’s room and then it like burns some ancient evil words onto a piece of paper and they repeat the words: Aka kuto alla meta.  Which is an anagram for “A Oatmeal Talk Auk” and that’s not in the movie but I’m giving it to them for free.

But uh oh everybody, the house is now cursed or something and demons are going to be released in Stephen Dorff’s house!  That night, his sister Al is having a a party and like most high school parties, they stop and tell ghost stories.  And like most times when kids sit around and tell ghost stories, one of the girls swears that she can make a person levitate.  And like most attempts to levitate Stephen Dorff, it works!  And like most times that a bunch of people actually see a person levitate, people basically shrug it off like no big deal.  That’s all.  He just floated in mid air when that girl said “Watch I can make Stephen Dorff float in mid air.”

When all the weird shit in the house begins to happen, Stephen Dorff and his friend Terry realize that it’s some effed up stuff and that they have a serious problem (like when their loving dog mysteriously dies and they get over it in a couple hours) or the levitation and Terry brings over a terrible metal album and explains all this stuff about demons and why demons are probably coming out of the hole in the backyard.  Seriously, 12-year-old Terry knows more about demons than a Satanic Book Shop Owner.

In order to keep the demons from getting out of the hole in the backyard though, the guys have a good plan: Put a piece of wood over it….  Really.

This doesn’t work and hilarity (horror?) ensues.  Terrorizing Dorff, Terry, Al, and the Lee sisters for the next 40 minutes or something.  Who are “The Lee Sisters”?  Fun Fact: They are the only other people besides the Dorff to become famous, even though they have a relatively small part in a relatively small movie.  They are played by Kelly Rowan (The O.C., One Eight Seven) and Jennifer Irwin (Eastbound & Down, No Strings Attached.)

I won’t “ruin” the rest of the movie for you, and I also am just sick of talking about it.  The movie left some images in my mind that sort of always stuck with me, such as an eye in Stephen Dorff’s hand that he has to stab and little claymation demons running rampant in the house.

It’s one of those movies that I would never forget, except for all of the important details that made it really stupid.  The Gate has a lot of sentimental value for me (like going to Blockbuster on Fridays with my mom and running straight to the horror section and picking out a different VHS every week, probably renting The Gate several times) but otherwise turned out to be a pretty horrid movie.  This is properly exemplified in its 5.4 rating on IMDb and its 33% Fresh Rating/45% Audience Rating on RottenTomatoes.  There is a reason we usually don’t let kids rate movies or have respected opinions on movies, because I would have easily given The Gate 10/10.

That’s not to say that The Gate is all bad.  I mean, it’s got The Dorff and the Lee Sisters and it has some interesting moments, while also being unintentionally funny at times.  Here are some interesting facts about The Gate, both good and bad:

  • It’s a Canadian film.  I feel like I should have opened with that.  It would have made a lot more sense if I said from the get-go that it was a Canadian film.  I never knew that until this morning and then that did sort of explain a lot with just one word: Canadian.  No offense to my Canadian readers :) xoxoxoxo.  (It doesn’t really help if I say “No Offense” does it?  I love many things Canada, I promise.)
  • Don’t worry, the Dorff isn’t Canadian.  He was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  This was his film debut.
  • Dorff was nominated for a Saturn Award (a nerdy science fiction/fantasy awards show) for Best Performance by a Younger Actor, but he lost to Kirk Cameron for the “body switch” movie, Like Father Like Son.  The following year, the award went to Fred Savage for the much different “body switch” movie, Vice Versa.  Note to young actors, if you’re not in a “Freaky Friday”-type movie, what are you doing with your life?
  • He was also nominated for a Young Artist Award for leading actor in a horror film and lost to Corey Feldman for The Lost Boys.  Other winners that year included Patrick Dempsey, Fred Savage and River Phoenix.  Ohh… eighties, how I love thee.
  • The Gate won the “Golden Reel Award” at the 1988 Genie Awards, a ceremony for Canadian films.  The Golden Reel is given to the highest-grossing film of the year (The Gate grossed $13.5 million) which is rarely the best film of the year.  Other winners include Meatballs, Porky’s, Johnny Mnemonic, and Air Bud.
  • A short documentary named The Gatekeepers was made in 2009, about the making of The Gate.  I have not seen it.  I will search for it now though!  If only to find out if people can actually levitate in Canada and that’s why nobody at the party freaked out.
  • A 3D remake directed by Alex Winter (yes, Bill S Preston, friend of Ted Theodore Logan) was in pre-production for a long time around 2009-2011 but I can’t find any updates on it recently.

You can watch The Gate right now on Netflix Instant, and you can see the Dorff scowling and trying to give a sexy look somewhere in Hollywood.

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My 99 Problems #12: The Price of Fruit

March 18, 2012 § 5 Comments

If you havin’ girl problems I can sympathize, son

I got 99 problems and this is one

I was at the grocery store today and needed to pick up a few things.  A few dinners, a few lunches, a few snacks.  At the behest of keeping my “skinny clothes” within reason and not stretched out like Goldie Hawn’s face, I try to eat healthy.  I put in work to lose weight and I’d like to keep as much of it off as possible, so I try to steer clear of the cookies (Samoas, thanks!) and chips (Lay’s Salt & Vinegar or just tortilla chips and guac.)

What are the healthy alternatives?  Well, it doesn’t get much better than some good, old-fashioned fruit.  There’s a section with all of the pre-sliced fruit, including my favorite combination: Tropical Tango!

Mango, apples, kiwi, and pineapple.  Fuck.  Yes.

Without question, without hesitation, and without guilt, I will dominate this bucket of sliced fruit in a single sitting.  Maybe all of that natural sugar is still too much, but better than eating a gallon of Moosetracks.  (Would if I could.)

The real problem doesn’t lie in the sugar or in my ability to devour a pound of fruit, but in the cost of purchasing a pound of pre-sliced fruit.  NINE DOLLARS?!  AND THAT’S “ON SALE”?

I hate to spend $9 on a MEAL, let alone a fruitragious snack!!!  What kind of bullshit is this?  Isn’t this the shit that we are SUPPOSED to eat?  The shit that’s pushed on us from the time that our teachers were teaching us about food pyramids since we were six years old?  Where on the food period is “save your fucking pennies though, kids!”?

Between grains and proteins?  Didn’t see it there.

It’s the shit that is still pushed on us by Michelle Obama telling us that are kids are fat.  I am NOT political, and I will not take a stance on anything political here, but just using it as an example that the Presidency is telling us to get fit but not willing to drop the cost of a fucking mango.

And it’s not just fruit.  Try to eat healthy, period.  You can’t even shop at Whole Foods unless you start pulling in six figures or hit a pick six on the lottery.  My fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins all cost extraordinarily more than a double stack at Wendy’s or a JR Whopper.

Bucket of healthy and delicious fruit: $9 on sale.

Jumbaco: $2 and it takes far less time to make a Jumbaco than if I wanted to just buy the fruit whole and cut it myself (and still pay over $10.)

The whole system of buying and selling food is the absolute opposite of the shit that we are preached in school and taught to do as adults.  Not all of us have time to make dinner after a long days work, let alone breakfast after a restless night of sleep.  And if I do want to get breakfast on the go, the options are: Egg McMuffin that will cost a buck and take 2 minutes of your time or cup of fruit that costs $5 and required the additional 5 minutes to go into the store and buy it.

Here’s a novel fucking idea: Make the drive-thru’s for the healthy shit and make the fruit cost $2 and the McMuffin cost $5.  Then we can eat healthy because it’s a CHOICE and not eat unhealthy when it’s a CONVENIENCE.

You can call me out for being “too lazy” to cut my own fruit or cook all of my meals, you can call me “cheap” for bickering over a few bucks, but even if that’s true can we at least agree that the system is fucked up and that it goes AGAINST what we’ve been told about how to eat for our entire lives?

Can we please get that shit right???

For more info on the subject, watch FOOD INC on Netflix Instant.

For more ranting and bullshit, you can follow me on Twitter at my new handle @KennethArthurS

Oh, by the way, I finished my bucket of Tropical Tango in a few hours of short trips to the fridge.  I want to say it’s worth it, but would be more worth it at $5 per bucket.

 

Rambling On My Slump

March 15, 2012 § 7 Comments

I’m all out of love, I’m so lost without you, I’m sitting at home, alone on a Friday.

Oh, hi.  I didn’t see you there.  Come on in and have a seat, I’ve made Bagel Bites.  I’m so glad you made it.  Look how far we’ve come, my baby.  No, WAIT, COME BACK!  Sorry, I won’t do that again.  I swear…  by the moons and the stars in the sky.

Seriously, L-O-L-J-K, K?  I want to have a chat.  Please stick around for awhile.

The reason that I invited you over here was because I’m in a slump.  Yeah, that’s right.  A dating slump.  I don’t know what to do but maybe we could talk it out.  How’d I get into this slump?  Well, ever since January when I had a trio of dates that went varying levels of nowhere, I can’t buy a good date.  And trust me, I’ve tried.  The escort service was like “No. Stop calling.  We no want your business.”

The last girl I went out with invited me over to her place and then rejected me when I tried to make a move.  I’m still trying to remove the dagger from my heart on that one, but it’s stuck in there like the sword in the stone.  The girl before that was great up until the moment she told me that she didn’t see a romantic relationship in our future.  Oh, the girl before that?  She was awesome!  I wonder what ever happened to her, since she stopped returning my texts.

What’s a guy to do?  Get back on the horse?  Oh yeah, that wasn’t a problem.  I did get right back on the horse.  It’s not like K-Steins was about to give up, ya dig?  I kept moving, kept shaking, kept the booty quaking.  At least I tried and I tried to try.  What happened?  Not a single response.

It’s like the K-Man was throwing bait in the water over and over again and kept catching tuna cans.  I cannot eat a tuna can, I am not a goat.  Maybe I should convert to Goattism.

However, as a current non-Goat, a man must figure out what to do when his dating life has hit the skids.  He must realize that not only does one ride the horse (or the goat, or a goat riding a horse flying on the wings of an eagle) but that man cannot ride horse if man does not mount horse.  I’ve been flailing and jumping trying to get on the horse as if I am Peter Dinklage, but I can’t give up just because I failed.  Eventually I’ll get onto the horse and mount the horse.  The horse may not ride, but with enough trying I will have success.

It’s like anything else in life; hard work breeds success.  Nothing comes for free.

It’s like Martha Washington once said: “Gotta get that.  Gotta get that.  Gotta get that BOOM BOOM BOOM!”

Been awhile since you’ve had a good date?  Don’t worry, they will come.  It’s like they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take…

Wait, that doesn’t really make any sense.  How can you miss something you don’t take?  Doesn’t seem fair.  How about this: You will never have sex again if you never have sex again.  You miss 100% of the girls or guys you don’t date.  You can’t find love if you’re lookin’ for a porcupine sitting on a tuffet.  (That last one is something I just imagined Paula Deen saying.)

Don’t fret pets and I won’t fret either.  Slumps happen but you have to break out of a slump, it won’t happen on it’s own.  You’re a baby raptor, trying to break out of it’s little baby shell so get out there and attack some people.  Wait, that doesn’t sound right.  I mean in the metaphorical sense of a raptor attacking it’s prey, but like, instead of that I mean knocking boots and stuff.

Does that make more sense?

Thanks for listening.  Thanks for sharing.  I don’t know what I’d do without you.  Seriously.  How do I live without you?  I want to know.  How do I breathe without you?  By sucking in and out air?  Not good enough.  Must suck love.

Wait….

I Love You, Wendy Peffercorn

March 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

I was 10 years old, at the movies with my mom, and perhaps had a connection to a fictional person for the first time.

The Sandlot is one of the greatest family movies, coming-of-age stories, and collection of young characters of our time.  It’s not just about a group of kids trying to get back a baseball, it’s about so much more than that.  It’s about making a connection with a father-figure when you don’t have one.  It’s about making friends in a new town when you’re alone.  It’s about going outside of your comfort zone and pretending to have a passion for something just so that you’ll have friends.

Sure, it’s about baseball, summer and overcoming your fears.  It’s about banding together to accomplish the impossible, about doing anything for a friend, about being there for people you care about.  About the ways we grow together, and the ways we grow apart.

When you think about it and consider it all, The Sandlot is an amazing movie and I feel blessed to have been around the same age as the boys that starred in it.  The players in the film are all so different and yet they are connected by one commonality: baseball.  And within that, they find themselves connected in so much more, despite their different backgrounds and personalities.

And we could all find someone to relate to you.

Are you a Smalls?  The insecure kid that feels out of place, like every day of your life is the first day at a new job?  Sweet and innocent, with a simple goal of finding joy and comfort?

Are you Benny the Jet?  The leader.  The kid that had the world at his hands and yet, never acted like it.  Humble, level-headed and brave?

Are you a Ham?  The one that uses humor as a defense mechanism and does it with the skill and wit of a person twice your age?

A Yeah-Yeah, a Bertram, a Kenny DeNunez?

We should have all been able to identify with someone in the movie.  To understand the emotions that they were going through, even without them having to say a word.  It may have been a “kid’s movie” on a few levels, but there is a reason that some “kid movies” are timeless.  Because they don’t capture a time period (Case in point: The movie is set in 1962) they capture a feeling.  Some feelings are timeless.

Me?  Well, despite my hefty frame and my penchant for throwing insults and jokes to make friends, I don’t consider myself a Ham.  No, definitely not.

You could see the pain and emotion in Squints eyes and face when the boys arrived to the public pool for the first time.  His soul was not only in love, but it was in pain.  The pain of knowing that his dream in life was not only magnificent, but it was irrational.

Wendy Peffercorn.

The beautiful and statuesque Wendy was not only a picture of perfection, but she was noticeably and significantly older than Squints.  And Squints… well… he seemed like an “L-7 Weenie.”  Big glasses, giant mouth, and just a kid.  But the heart wants what the heart wants.

Who can’t relate to that?  Just because I was ten, I knew what that felt like and had my share of crushes.  None of which seems realistic or attainable in retrospect.  I was focused on whoever was the most beautiful and kind girl that I knew at the time and I had blinders on, despite the fact that I didn’t feel I was in their “league.”

Still, the heart wants what the heart wants.

This movie that had so many themes and story lines had at least one more to give: Unrequited love and passion will always be unrequited if you never make yourself known to the person and show her that white knights do exist.  Even if Squints “move” was a bit creepy and not recommended for future use (you may have charges brought against you) it was his “now or never.”

That last day at the pool, he made it known.  “I can’t take it anymore.”  And so he did what he had to do… he took  a chance.

His plunge into the pool was so metaphorical that it can’t not be seen: Squints was drowning.  He was drowning and he needed Wendy Peffercorn to save him or he may never breathe again.  The thought of not being with Wendy was killing him and it was Wendy that gave him the ability to breathe again.

“Holy shit, did he just do that?”

Squint confirms, even if dishonestly, “Been planning it for years.”

This is certainly not good for Squints in the long run, but at least he got his kiss from Wendy.  At least he now knows what that moment of happiness felt like, even if it was only for a couple of seconds.  He did it, he knows.  Amazing.  And then he looks back at the pool, knowing that this will be the last time he sees Wendy Peffercorn, the love of his young life.

She gives him shame.  He feels the shame and hangs his head.  We told you not to do it Squints…

And then she gives him a smile?  A SMILE?!

Squints moment of happiness won’t only last for a couple of seconds.  He floated home that day.  Now Wendy knew who he was and beyond it all, gave him a smile.  This is a feeling that would last For-e-ver.  For-e-ver.  For-e-ver.

The Babe’s short appearance in Small’s dream said it best:

“Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.”

I’ve had my Wendy Peffercorn’s.  At least a dozen.  It’s the curvy blade that sticks deep in your chest and doesn’t kill you; it’s killing you.  Over and over again without relief.  That’s childhood love… before you can process it.  Sometimes, we still can’t.

Beyond just being the funniest character in the movie (Before my clothes go out of style) that’s why I can relate to Michael “Squints” Palledorous.  He was a boy of love.  A boy of passion.  He set his sights high and then he took a plunge for love.

I got that.  I knew that.  I just never got the smile back.  But at least for a moment when I was ten, I could live it through Squints and get an idea of what that felt like.  Thank you Squints.  Thank you Sandlot.

I love you, Wendy Peffercorn.

Where Am I?

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