I’m Still Here

July 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

I know a lot of people make blogs and write 2-3 times a month or less but my plan was never to write that infrequently.  Sometimes you just get blocked on new ideas or don’t like the ideas you’re working on.

I’ve got probably ten things in the queue but am not super happy about any of them right now.  Trying to think of new ideas has gone nowhere.  I’ve also been super busy and just picked up my sixth writing job.  I think that’s something else I could talk about if you wanted to be a writer or really anything:

Keep taking work.

If you really want to excel in a field and get better, keep moving up the ladder, you should really be saying “No” as often as you say “Tara Reid is a good actress.”  In other words, never say that.  It might be overwhelming at times, but overwhelming is good.  Overwhelming is going to be the challenge that keeps you learning, keeps you getting better, and most importantly, keeps you working.

But keeping me working on sports has kept me from working on my own personal work and that’s fine.  This is something that can always be around, even if it’s not updated as frequently.  And frankly, I need to have something to say and not just saying something because it’s been a week.

Like I said, there are things in the queue that could be polished up and ready to go, but also just as frequently a new idea pops in my head and a couple of hours later I have a 2,000 word post.  When I get an idea it’s going to stick in my head until I get it out.  This post isn’t really one of those.  It’s actually the opposite because I don’t have an idea.  Now I’m just writing.

And you read this whole thing!

Stay tuned to Kenneth Author for more stuff coming up.  As soon as I think of it.

The Biggest Obstacle Between You and ‘Staying Fit’ is Denial

July 24, 2012 § 3 Comments

I did it again on Sunday.  It wasn’t easy – it never is – but I did it.  And it’s getting easier.  Every time this happens, it gets a little easier.  Years ago, I would have never done it.  I would have pretended like I was fine and there was no point in pretending like it was that bad, so I didn’t do it.  Because I knew if I had done it, if I had seen the truth, I would have to do something about it, and doing something about it is hard.  It’s too hard.  I’ve done it too many times before to not be aware of how badly I didn’t want to get into that situation again.

But on Sunday, I did it.

No, I’m not talking about watching The Killing, I’m talking about the biggest step any person who has struggled with their weight has to make.  I stepped on that stupid, dumb, idiotic, truthful, brutally honest, bitch of a scale.  I had to.  I am too old, I’ve been through this too many times, to not know that I had to do it.

It hadn’t been that long since I weighed myself.  If you’ve followed this blog, you’d know that I last did it when I lost almost 15 pounds in 15 days.  But since that time, I haven’t stepped on a scale.  I have put it in the back of my mind and gone back to living how I live.  I don’t live very healthy.

It helps that I didn’t drink for a month.  It helped a lot actually.  But I did eat that month.  I ate a lot actually.  I ate healthy, in that you would have said, “Damn, you have a healthy appetite.”  I ate well, in that you would have said, “Well, you’re going to get fat again.”

I didn’t stop going to the gym, but I sputtered in going to the gym.  Like my 93 Volvo, I got there, but I didn’t get there fast and I didn’t get there consistently.  My engine needed a lot of tweaking and so I put it out of commission for awhile.  Maybe I’d go once a week, and twice a week was a miracle.  But on Sunday, after a couple of months of ignoring my eating, ignoring my workout, I did what had to be done.  I made that step.

It’s important to recognize that even if I had ignored my fitness for a couple of months, I used to ignore it for a couple of years.  A couple of months of “damage” is easily fixable.  Two to three years of damage is a road that’s so long, so arduous, that oftentimes it doesn’t feel like it’s even worth it.  Having added only a handful of pounds, I laugh in the face of the journey ahead of me.  I’ll be back to where I want to be in no time.

(Note to self: It’s still hard, and it’s not “no time” but I did what I had to do.)

If I had stepped on the scale during the college years, I would have never ballooned to 360+ pounds.  I know this.  I know that any time you have to face what you weigh, who you are, how much you’ve gained, it becomes too much to bear.  Maybe you don’t want to start changing, but then “want” doesn’t matter.  You have to do it.

At least for me personally, I always have to.

Now I step on the scale the moment I realize that it’s the last thing I want to do.  You want to be in a position where you’re fine with stepping on a scale, maybe even excited, but it’s when you don’t want to that you know you need to.

I forced myself in a position where I knew I had to start eating healthier again and start going to the gym consistently again.  I did what I had to do, and here we are.  I’ve got a trip coming up in about two months that I’m more excited about than any trip before.  I want to be a little bit more fit, so I took step one.  The only step that I feel is necessary for everyone, and while it’s the easiest thing you’ll do over the next however-many-months, it’s the one with the biggest mental block.

Get over the mental block.  Do what you have to do.  If you’ve got any doubt or fears about doing it, then I implore you… go step on that scale.  Today.

(Edit: I originally titled this as the biggest obstacle is ‘Doubt’ which does apply, but the word I really meant is ‘Denial.’  Being in denial of how much you’ve gained or the position you’re in, is the real obstacle.)

At the Movies: Why the Theater Has Always Been a Special Place to Me

July 21, 2012 § 6 Comments

A lot of people seem to have that memory of the first time they went to the movies.  Their dad taking them to go see a family movie, a cartoon, maybe even something R-rated, and then being amazed by the magic and the spectacle.  I don’t remember the first movie I ever went to see in theaters, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been changed by the experience of going to the movies.

Many of my most treasured memories come from when I was at the movies.

I remember going to see Back to the Future part II and how excited I was when they previewed part III at the end of it, and how upset I was that it was going to feel like forever until it was released.

I remember going to see White Fang with my sister, a rare moment when we hung out together as kids, and then her telling me to hold her seat when she went to the concession stands because the theater was packed.  A family came by and asked if the seats were taken and I was young and frightened by all people back then, so I just say “No” and my sister lost her seat.  We had to sit separately, once again meaning we wouldn’t be “hanging out” together as kids.

I remember seeing There’s Something About Mary as a teen and not realizing that you could laugh that hard.  The term “rolling in the aisles” made so much sense finally.  Everybody in there was amazed, in tears, and in pain.  It’s one of those experiences that truly defined why it was important to see a funny movie with a large group of people.

I remember when my mom took me to go see The Sandlot.  It wouldn’t be long after that until I became a snotty kid that didn’t want to be seen with his mom, but we both really loved that movie and had a great time.

I remember going to see Jurassic Park three times in the theater, because you just had to.  One of the times I went with my uncle in North Carolina, a man I’ve probably spoken to three times, but we really loved that movie and that experience.

I remember going to see The Others with a group of friends.  At one point near the end, a woman pops up and scares the crap out of you, and one of my friends literally ran out of the theater and didn’t come back for the last 15 minutes.  We were probably 18 or so at the time.

I remember seeing The Sixth Sense with a buddy after hearing all the hype about the twist and then somehow, beyond reason, despite how everybody was talking about the twist and looking for the twist, being completely fooled and still not knowing what it was.  Walked out of the theater with jaw dropped.

I remember also seeing Signs for my first time at the Cinerama in Seattle and having a great time.  There seem to be a lot of people who hate that movie, but I love it.  Part of the reason I love it is because of the experience I had at the Cinerama with hundreds of other people.

Even by myself, I’ve had dozens of good times in the theater.  I’ll never forget the summer day when I had no one to hang out with, so I went to the movies.  It was a middle of a Wednesday, nobody else was at the movies at all.  So I went to four of them in a row, just sneaking in: The Descent, The Night Listener, World Trade Center, and Miami Vice.  I’ll never forget that.  I’ll never forget how much fun I could also have in a completely empty theater.

My ex-girlfriend and I went to at least 50 movies together.  I kept every ticket stub, including the one from our first movie date (Dead Silence.  Sorry, I love horror movies and she loved to please me.) and then took every stub I ever saved and put them on a card for her.  She had no idea I had saved every one.

I could literally go on forever talking about the great times I’ve had a movie theater.  How those moments have made me the person I am today, how they shaped my life, changed me and gave me a different view of the world.  It’s not just about seeing the movie anywhere, sometimes its about seeing the movie at the theater.  (Remember how f-ing great Avatar was in the theater and how awfully terrible it is anywhere else?)  It’s one of the few times that you’ll just sit down with strangers for a few hours and co-exist, just as long as they don’t talk, and not be strangers.  Or going there with a new romantic interest or acquaintance that could turn into a buddy, and bonding.

The times you may have went there with your dad, or mom, or the whole family, and finding that even if a movie is “expensive” these days, you can still have a great two hour experience for under $20.  I love going to the movies almost as much as I love doing anything.

Yesterday some sick, depraved, piece of shit did something that’s going to change how we view going to the movies for a very long time.  The ripple effect of what he did on Friday morning is going to ruin hundreds, or thousands, of lives.  It makes me mad to know what he did, but I guess we’re the lucky ones.  We’re the ones that get to be mad, and not the ones that have to deal with losing a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a lover.  I can’t imagine what they are going through at this very moment.  I only know that it’s upsetting to sit where I sit.  To think about this tragedy happening at all, and also happening in a setting that I love and cherish so much.  A place that’s supposed to be safe, even if right now it seems so obvious.

I’m still going to go to the movies.  I’m still going to love the experience.  It’s still going to be a major part of my life.  I think we all are, with the exception of those that are dealing with what they have to deal with right now.

I may not remember what exactly my first movie was, but I definitely haven’t gone to my last.

Best TV Channel Tournament Primer: AMC

July 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

So now that we’ve gone from network to cable, we go from quantity to quality.  These channels don’t have the same budgets, revenues, and reach as the networks, but they’ve got something that the networks don’t have:

The ability to say “Shit.”

As I said during the ABC primer, it was amazing that they ever had a show as good as LOST.  There was a time when FOX turned down The Sopranos, and thank God that they did because it would have probably ruined the entire show.  Programming like The Sopranos is partly special because of the gritty, dirty, bloody nature of the show (but quality writing and acting is more important) and The Sopranos would have been too tame for network television.  Attempts to re-create “grit” on networks have fallen flat each and every time.  While AMC can’t go quite as far as the premium channels like HBO, they do have the ability to go further than what they could have done on ABC.

More importantly, they’ve got some of the best writers and actors in the business (television OR movies) today.  AMC doesn’t have a lot of quantity, but it’s held up by two of the best shows on television and arguably the best two dramas in the history of television.  It’s hard to believe that they’ve come this far from where they started.

AMC launched on October 1, 1984 (and they probably did their first “Halloween” special 30 days later.  Not really.)

It was a premium cable channel, much like HBO, but played old movies and appealed to an old demographic.  Three years later it went to basic cable and per Wikipedia, was in 39 million households by 1989.  It’s hard to believe now, but it wasn’t really until about 2000 that AMC started airing commercials and became closer to the channel we recognize today.  Even then, you only have to go back to 2007 to find an AMC that didn’t have any of the original programming that made it a TV power player that we know today.

A stroke of luck (and misfortune for HBO and Showtime, who turned it down) brought the groundbreaking show Mad Men to AMC.  The success of that one show, much like the success of The Simpsons on FOX, opened the door for AMC being able to put it’s name prominently in the hat of “Best TV Channel.”

AMC has become so big that it’s recently given a big “F YOU!” to Dish Network after another unbelievable dispute between two more conglomerates that can’t decide how they want to split our money, but the programming is so good that I think most of us would just side with AMC.  Dish subscribers aren’t getting to see the new season of Breaking Bad (but AMC aired it online so that they could) and I can’t help but think that they’re ready to switch over when more AMC programming is lost to them over the coming months.

There’s a lot of good “Shit” here, let’s take a show-by-show look:

Mad Men (2007-present)

I did not actually watch this show until last year, and then I watched the whole series in about a week.  This is perhaps the most addictive and well-acted show on TV and when people ask me what’s so good about it, I honestly think there’s nothing I can say to do it justice.

“Ummm.. it’s about advertising sales in the mid-20th century… but you see it’s on Madison Avenue… no, like, it’s really good cause this guy Don Draper is actually using an alias… no, you’re not getting it, his wife is like crazy and the other guys in the company are all greedy but that’s business… no like it’s really good.  Damn it, just watch it.”

The writing is so good that it’s not so easy to just say “This guy gets cancer and starts making meth to support his family for when he dies” like Breaking Bad, but you can’t stop watching it.  The premise seems hard to sell, but watch an episode and tell me that you don’t want to immediately watch the next.  Jon Hamm, John Slattery, Elisabeth Moss, January Jones, Christina Hendricks, Vincent Kartheiser, just make the tip of the iceberg for an excellent cast  that has been nominated for 14 Emmys and four more as of this morning.  (Good luck, Lane Pryce!)

I don’t know what the future holds for Mad Men, how much longer they plan on going, but I could probably follow this crew right up to present day.  It’s that good.

Breaking Bad (2008-present but not much longer, sad face)

Hey, yo.  Aaron Paul is like the best actor on television, bitch.

That’s saying something, especially when you consider that Bryan Cranston has his own very solid case as the best actor on television.  Paul is vying for his first Emmy win and going against Giancarlo Esposito (Gus Fring) in the Supporting Actor category this season.

And if Cranston can’t finally get a win as Walter White, what’s argument do the Emmys have left of being legitimate?  Watch Malcolm in the Middle for awhile and then watch Breaking Bad for awhile and tell me that you aren’t seeing one of the best transformations that an actor has ever made on TV.  Hell, watch Walter White in season one and then watch him in season four and see the amazing transformation.

Oh, and how the hell did Bob Odenkirk go from being one of the funniest dudes on TV or movies to crafting Saul Goodman into one of the best supporting characters in TV history.  Or Dean Norris as Hank Schrader.  Or Anna Gunn as Skyler.  Or, oh my God, Jonathan Banks as Mike.  Jesus, how could you even pick a favorite?

Walt, Jesse, Gus, Mike, Hank, Saul… It’s the best character development I’ve seen since The Wire, which probably has the best character development ever.

And it all comes back to Vince Gilligan.  Who the hell was this guy to come out of obscurity (unless you were an X-Files ubernerd) to create one of the best universes I’ve ever seen?  (And he wrote Hancock?  What the hell?)

Breaking Bad debuted it’s fifth and final season on Sunday with the same amazingness and bravado we’ve seen in every other season so far.  Re-watching the series in anticipation of this, I found that I liked it even more the second time.  It’s sad to see it go but for now I’ll just enjoy it while it’s here and continue to follow the careers of some of the best people in TV.

Let’s hope that AMC keeps some of them around for another project.

The Walking Dead (2010-present)

This show has a lot of die-hard followers, and I’m watching it, but there’s a considerable difference between those first two shows and this one.  I like The Walking Dead, but it’s flawed.  Really flawed.  And I’m a fan because I was raised on horror movies and have been waiting for something like this for a long time.

The attachment of Frank Darabont, who has directed some of my favorite movies (The Mist is soooo underrated), gave me even higher hopes.  But I don’t see myself falling in love with any of the characters.  I don’t root for anybody.  I’d gladly see a few more get killed off just so that something happens, because TWD can drag on for weeks sometimes.

YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY ZOMBIES.  ITS THE APOCALYPSE.  WHY ISN’T ANYTHING HAPPENING?!

I think part of the reason that the show has such a dedicated following is because there are a lot of people, just like me, that want so badly for the show to be good.  I am even worried that I so badly yearn for more quality that I was highly enthused by the preview for season three that was shown after Breaking Bad on Sunday.  (Michael Rooker is BACK!)

It looks like it’s getting better.  I can see the direction that I think that it could be heading and I really hope that it is, because it has an opportunity to be like a zombie version of Justified, but it needs to get there much faster.

Faster than a Walking Dead zombie, at least.

The Killing (2011-Present)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Killing is not a good show.

One of the “problems” about having two of the best shows on television, is that we’re going to hold you to that standard.  You started with Mad Men and Breaking Bad… that’s the bar now.   An unfair bar, maybe, but that’s the bar.  Don’t serve me filet mignon for dinner and expect me not to notice that you gave me a scoop of rum raisin for dessert.

I’ve watched every episode of The Killing now, wondering if it would get better, and it hardly ever did.  Oh, at times it seemed to show signs of not being terrible, maybe even enjoyable, but in the end they will only let you down.  We got the “answer we were waiting for” and I didn’t feel satisfied at all.

“Oh.  Cool.  I guess we’re down now.”

Yes, The Killing.  We are done now.

Hell On Wheels (2011-Present)

I still have four episodes of Hell on Wheels on my DVR that I need to watch to finish the first season.  It’s not that its a bad show, it’s just not a very enthralling one.  I wouldn’t leave an episode of Breaking Bad on my DVR unless I was planning on re-watching it.  “There’s a new episode of Breaking Bad record?!  Hold all my calls!  Cancel all my plans!”

“You don’t have any plans, sir.”

“MAKE ME PLANS AND THEN CANCEL THEM THEN!”

But four episodes of Hell on Wheels just sit there… They’ve been sitting there for however long since the mid-way point of season one.  I still plan on watching them because Hell On Wheels was more appealing than The Killing (not quite as appealing as Walking Dead) and I have hopes that its going to get better.  Some shows need to set a boring foundation before they start building the awesome.

Please.  Hell On Wheels.  We need to get more good Westerns.  Start building the awesome.

The Pitch (2012)

I watched AMC’s premiere of The Pitch, a reality show based around real-life advertising agencies as they compete for the services of a major brand name.  At first I was like, “This is cool!” because I think I’d be really good at advertising and I wish an ad agency would give me a job without me having any… you know… credentials.

But by the end of it, I was like, “Did I just watch an hour long Subway commercial?”

I like Subway the restaurant, but I’m getting overblown by Subway the advertising company.  WHY THE F DOES EVERYBODY ON TV HAVE TO EAT SUBWAY?  I see more Subway subs on Pawn Stars than I see actual items being pawned.

And then when I REALLY thought about it, I thought, “Wow, what a bullshit way to get free(?) advertising.”

In the episode, one team pitched a rap by the YouTube artist Mac Lethal and I thought that was pretty cool.  I thought it was a good idea and sure enough, the pitch “won” the battle over a rather lame pitch.  I was wondering when we were going to start seeing Mac Lethal commercials for Subway.  Answer: Probably never.

Subway basically got what they wanted, but for a lot cheaper I am assuming.  I’m sure that Mac Lethal was paid a handsome time for his work and effort, but an actual advertising campaign would be worth tens of millions.  Luckily for Subway, they can be on a one-hour show that’s dedicated to telling you why you should eat Subway, got a rap from a popular internet performer, and aired like three different campaigns without having to actually pay full price for three campaigns.

The Pitch is an interesting show and all, but I am against it in principal.  I don’t want to watch an hour-long commercial for a billion dollar company.  They get enough of my time by perpetuating my everyday life with their dumb ad campaigns.  This probably isn’t fair to the people that work on The Pitch, but I am simply against it.

Good show?  Maybe.  But I don’t want to sit through an hour-long commercial that’s broken up by commercial breaks.  A better reality show maybe though is…

Small Town Security (Just debuted)

AMC got sneaky (and kind of pulled some bullshit) when they aired Small Town Security, a reality show set around a real-life security company in a very small town, right after the highly-anticipated Breaking Bad premiere.

They were going to get a lot of  viewers from carry-over anyway, but they did even worse by saying “We’ll air previews for next weeks Breaking Bad…. during Small Town Security!”  They basically forced you to watch it, though I heard a lot of people say that they decided not to watch it anyway.  I did.  And….

I liked it!

I never felt like the characters in Small Town Security were “acting.”  I thought they were being genuine and that they weren’t really thrown into weird scenarios for the purpose of “interesting television.”  These people are already interesting because of how naturally weird they are.  It reminds me a little bit of one of my favorite all-time documentaries, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, but it’s not nearly that extreme.  These people are mostly just… weird.  And I like that.

Beyond all of that though is the surprise twist ending that will throw you for a complete loop when it’s revealed.  And yeah, it sucked me in to watch again.

I guess your sneaky bullshit plan worked AMC.  No surprise here though… you’ve been roping people in to keep watching ever since you premiered Mad Men in 2007.

Bravo.

(Wait no, that’s another network.)

The Patience of Forever: Not Married Yet? You Probably Will Be Eventually!

July 16, 2012 § 6 Comments

Never been kissed?  Are you a 40-year-old virgin?  Can’t hardly wait?  Operation Dumbo Drop?

Wait, one of those doesn’t fit.  I meant to say “Fools rush in” instead of “Can’t hardly wait.”  Yes, that’s it.

I continue my endless and sometimes fruitless journey to understand love and relationships with a look at marriage relative to age.  In baseball we have a term called “age relative to league” that compares a baseball prospects age against the average age of other players in that league.  The younger you are compared to the players around you, generally the better.  You want to see athletes be better at a younger age, giving them more room for growth and advancement as they get older and then who knows how successful they could be later on in life.

This does not work the same for marriage.  It’s harder to grow and advance in relationships or getting to know more about yourself during those formative years of your late teens and early-to-mid 20s.  This was hardly the case only a couple of generations ago, but in the modern era, people simply are growing faster and waiting longer.  Now those years are time for “experience” and that experience won’t be the same if you’re in the most serious relationship of all: marriage.

Take Lorraine for example.

This innocent Yahoo! Answers question posted three years ago asks “How many people get married after 30 or 35?

The asker, Cathy, was “Just curious?  And had kids?”  Cathy was already feeling pressured to get married at 24, but the answer re-assured her that she could and probably should wait before rushing into anything.  Something that Lorraine apparently did not do and look how long it took her to regret it:

“i am 18 and married, its been 3 months and i should of waited. still sooo immature and hard to understand eachother. and no kids yet, thank god. but we trying to keep it going, and we will, just going to be tough. so wait and think hard.”

Only three months into her marriage, Lorraine seems to deeply regret it.  She acknowledges she’s too immature for this marriage, and we acknowledge that she still think that “Should of” is the same as “Should have” when it’s clearly not.  And clearly, Lorraine was not ready for marriage.

What made her rush into this?  How could she have been so blind before marriage and then make this realization only after the license was issued and the “I Do’s” were said?  Who names their kid Lorraine if they were born after 1960?

So many questions and so few answers.

I delve deeper into marriage and age today to take a look at how important it really is but also noting that no matter how long you wait, the odds say you’ll eventually sacrifice pledge your eternal love to someone.

Just like baseball, let’s turn to the statistics and ignore the chemistry:

There are almost as many unmarried adults as there are married ones

In 1960, over 70% of people over the age of 18 were married.  Think about how much of a loser you would have felt like if you were unmarried at 26 during the free love period of the sixties.  Being a 40-year-old virgin today is the equivalent of being a 22-year-old virgin in 1960 when you account for inflation.

A report from the Pew Research Center of last year shows that now just 51% of Americans over 18 are married.  Think about how significant that difference is.

The difference between being the only odd person out in a group of four against being in that same group of four fifty years later and knowing you have a single buddy.  Then again, does that mean that in your previous group of four that you were single and the other three were all married to each other?  Man, those sixties were wild times!

Whatever happened to key parties?  Not even NBC shows about swingers are popular anymore, let alone actual swingers.  But also that could just be because its NBC.

Professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College (where my younger cousin goes to school.  She better not learn about sex there, Mrs. Coontz!!!) explains that a large part of that drop off is the wait to get married.  Now at 26 for women and 28 for men.

“And that’s actually a good thing, because the longer a woman delays marriage, right up into her early 30s, the lower her chances of divorce. But it does totally change the social weight of married households in our economy, our society, our politics.”

Notice how she stresses not how long “people” delay marriage, but how long women delay marriage.  It’s the women that typically are asked the question, so its the women that have the power of when.  I’m sure that women can find themselves in several situations during their twenties where the question is popped but just because its being asked doesn’t mean that the answer has to be “Yes.”

I couldn’t imagine that amount of pressure being put on a person in that situation, especially if they think its too soon but really like the person, but the delay until the time is right could be crucial to the success of the relationship.

I would also say that there is almost no situation in which you are a teenager in America that the answer should ever be “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!”  Do you hear me, Lorraine?

That’s hot.

The wait is important and has also reduced the number of married couples in the U.S. thanks to fewer and fewer people being married in their early-to-mid twenties.  How much fewer?

Women and men married before 25 is only a fraction of what it used to be.

According to 2003 Census data, the number of men and women married in their early 20s is only a relatively small fraction of what it was in 1970.  As a matter of fact, less than half as many women in their early 20s are married compared to the sexy seventies.

Back in 1970, only 35.8% of women age 20-24 had never been married, and only 54.7% of men were in the same boat.  (The large difference between men and women obviously being because women typically marry older, meaning that you’ll have your best shot at marrying a college co-ed if you are her professor.)  Compare that data to 2003 when a whopping 75.4% of women age 20-24 had never been married and 86% of men under-25 were also sans wedding ring.

Think about how phenomenal a difference that is over a relatively short amount of time. That data likely shrinks even more when you take into account women who are pursuing college degrees and a career before they get started on the family life, something much more common than it was back in the days of the Beegees and psychedelics.

Up the ante to the second half of your 20s and a lot more people are getting married, but still a large pool of single people:

Just 10.5% of women were never married by 30 in 1970 compared to 40.3% in 2003.

Just 19.1% of men under 30 were never married compared to 54.6% of men in 2003.

Last week I had written on this site about my own situation as an almost 30-year-old single nerd, but we can trust the data: I’m in the majority, not the minority.  Not even women can feel left out if they’re still unwed by 30, as 2 in 5 bridesmaids have never been a bride at your best friends wedding that you hate so much.

Don’t worry, you’re doing the right thing and you’re still on the track to tying the knot, if that’s even a good thing!

By the time you’re 45, there’s a solid chance you’ve been married at least once (and probably divorced at least once, but if you waited until you were 30 there’s a much lower chance you’ve been divorced more than once.  That’s just science.) because only 19.5% of men and 13.2% of women as of 2003 were never married by this age.

And even if you don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage and think the whole thing is a sham, there’s plenty of precedent for doing the exact same thing that Dick & Jane are doing but never going to a church or Las Vegas to make it official.

The increase in unmarried couple households since 1970 was seven-fold.

Credit back to userniche.com on finding and compiling this stat from the US Census Bureau in a 2001 study that showed non-married couples went from 523,000 in 1970 to 4,000,000 in 1996.  Some of this can be attributed to the fact that there are just more people, but not all of it.

Part of the changing landscape of what society deems “acceptable” had a major influence on the number of non-married couples living together and having families as of today.  Even Hollywood hunk George Clooney has said that he’ll never get married again.  (Search Engine Optimization.  Search Engine Optimization.  Search Engine Optimization.)

There’s nothing inherently wrong with loving somebody and raising a family without getting the law involved.  However, that doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t want to be involved or that it’s not beneficial to technically be married.

Kicking it back to the article on PBS:

RAY SUAREZ: Well, you have talked about these big life moments, but have they responded to the fact that marriage has changed in this way over the last 50 years? Our tax laws, the way we build houses, the way we award property in courts, all kinds of things are still built around marriage.

Indeed, there are tax benefits and housing benefits to those of us that don’t “Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn” our lifestyle.

To be married is to benefit.  But the bonus is that we don’t have to rush into these benefits.  We are not going to die at age 45 anymore, we can raise a family sometime in our 30s and even into the 40s.  For men, even later because it’s not a health hazard to ejaculate your baby ghosts like it is to push out an actual baby.

Just the idea of getting into a financial mess and responsibility like a house or a baby boggle my mind at age 29, but with each passing year it gets a little less “boggly” (would be the scientific term.)

Those same benefits (to some degree) will still be around if you wait another 5 or 10 years.

What about other explanations towards the decrease in marriage and the idea that it’s better to wait these days?

The mental aspect of what it means to fall in love, get married and divorced, and “growing up” can be a burden many of us will wait on.

Yourtango.com tackles a few of the mental aspects of waiting on marriage in this 2010 article.  I believe they all hold at least a little bit of wait (that’s a play on words, y’all):

  • A “soul mate” fetish
  • Most of us have parents that divorced and don’t want to make the same mistake.
  • We don’t want to become “adults”
  • The “career” labyrinth
  • Birth control aka we can have sex without babies like all of the time now

The first one I’ve said time and time again: People have an obsession with finding something perfect, when perfect doesn’t exist.  You have to learn to live with peoples faults just as much as you get to enjoy living with their positives.  There is no “perfect.”  The best marriage you’ll ever see is probably only the parts that they’re willing to show.  I’d wager that if you grew up in a married household, you got to see first-hand what would never be shown outside of the household.

That marriage and family are difficult, but even the most successful ones are successful simply because they worked on it.  Relationships don’t come without a little bit of work and frankly, if you are constantly looking for the perfect soulmate you’ll be looking for a looong time up until the moment you decide “Oh duh, you were my soul mate.  I just decided that I am completely changing my criteria because I’ve been waiting for 39 years and sure you can borrow my car and my debit card, here’s my pin number.”

I can totally dig the idea that we fear divorce more than ever simply because it’s been driven so hard into our brains over the last twenty years: 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce… 

Divorce is the new Bogeyman and so many of us are strictly determined to not get married unless we feel very confident that it’s the right decision.  That kind of confidence doesn’t come lightly.

The last one about sex just makes me kind of giggle.  Not just because “sex” but thinking back to our grandparents age when it was strictly forbidden to have sex before marriage so of course you would get married when you started getting tingly feelings in gym class five or six years ago and now you’re finally old enough to get married and married = sex with a girl.

Of course it wasn’t always like that for everyone and of course there’s still people that wait until marriage today, but the entire cultural landscape has flip-flopped.  You don’t have to wait until marriage to have sex, you only have to get her to agree.  (Which for me is at least twice as hard as finding a girl to marry.)

The part where I say “In Conclusion”

We started this article off with the story of Lorraine.  She got married probably at around the same age that another Lorraine, the one that married George McFly, got married, but they didn’t get married at the same time.  That’s the critical part. Not the age, the time.

Lorraine McFly got married in a much different time than Lorraine H.  Maybe in 1985 Lorraine McFly had some regrets, but that was still thirty years of solid marriage because those were different times.  These days, there is no need to rush into marriage as a teenager or even as a young adult in your 20s.  Time is now… on your side.

People were perhaps a bit more mature, had to grow up faster, back in the 50s, 60s, or even 70s.  I think this other Yahoo! Question, this time coming from Lorraine H herself, explains why not all people that are 18 anymore are ready to get married.  Are you f%@#ing ready for this….

I feel i am not good enough for my husband?

i try to please my husband soo much. but i feel like i fail, becuz i make him angry all the time instead. I feel i’m over obsessed with my husband. i can’t never stay mad at him, i cry when he talks roughly to me, i always write him love letters, sent romantic cards. I even wanted to get his name tattooed, but he got mad at me. i am so in love that even the little things he says hurts me. Everytime we get into a fight, i feel im not good enough, and can’t sleep at night. Then i ask him what can i do to be a perfect wife? and he says i am already perfect. i just don’t understand. I felt soo bad that i even told him i want to die cause i don’t want to live like this. i think it was a mistake to tell him that. I don’t want to leave him, I love him toooo much. please help me.

Additional Details

i don’t want to be so obsessed with my husband anymore. it’s lame. so how can i stop?
That is an actual question posed by the same person that had answered a question earlier that she had made a big mistake getting married, just three months after saying “I do.”  I believe this helps shed some light on how a girl can get married at age 18 and have it be too soon.
It’s now been three years since Lorraine H. got married.  Does anybody have any doubts that she’s now back on the singles market?  Give it another six years or so, and she might be finally ready for husband number two.
(Reality: Lorraine might never be ready for another marriage.  But you and I?  We just need to have a little patience.)

Twitter Account of the #FF: @UNTRESOR aka Brandon Guttermouth

July 13, 2012 § 1 Comment

It has been awhile since I have done one of these.  Frankly, I don’t really #FF much and maybe that’s why I never get the Follow Friday love in return because there is nothing to return.  However, I will always throw out a #FF every now and then when I think a Twitter account simply needs to be seen by more people.

Enter @UNTRESOR.  Seriously, I think he wants you to enter him.  If it’s even a him at all, I can’t be 100% sure on that.

In my older versions of this series I had highlighted some well-known people that were surprisingly hilarious such as Brandon McCarthy and Ken Jennings.  These were a couple of folks that you would never assume were funny (a baseball player and a Jeopardy contestant.  There is a famous Jeopardy contestant!!!) but they managed to string words together to make these things called “Jokes” and then in return of reading these jokes you end up laughing, or “Ha Ha-ing”.  It’s quite a fun activity.

Brandon Guttermouth is also good at this except I have no damn idea who he/she/it is.  I honestly don’t know if a bunch of people do and I’m just not in the loop, but a http://www.Google.com internet search for “Who is Brandon Guttermouth” only returned results of his http://www.Twitter.com haikus.

His picture doesn’t give it away either:

Oprah?

Anyways, who doesn’t like a little mystery?  We’ve all used public bathrooms, am I correct?  The heart of the matter is the funny tweets.  I have given a #FF to @UNTRESOR a couple of times before but maybe that’s not enough to convince you.  Instead, here are some of “its” best tweets in existence.  Enjoy!

UNTRESOR
just drank an entire bottle of soy sauce and now my farts can solve sudoku puzzles.
if you love something, let it go, if it comes back to you, it has really low self esteem and you should exploit that for sexual favor.
If you urinate in a pair of swim goggles and strap them to your face you won’t need Instagram anymore.
Is it ok to say “OWNED!” to black people?
.@RedLobster My colostomy bag explodes after only like five or six of your cheesy biscuits. I think you’re using too much yeast.
so seal’s face and forest whitaker’s eye walk into a bar and that’s it. that’s the joke.
Wow, that’s some gold right there folks.  And literally he does this successfully several times per day!  I loved the Instagram one so much that I actually EMAILED it to some friends and REGULAR MAILED one to my grandmother handwritten and sent through the US Postal Service!
I don’t know what an UNTRESOR even is, but just go follow it!  You won’t be disappointed! (Until that one day when everything disappoints you and you leave Twitter and partly blame him, me, and everyone else for not loving you enough which I totally get by the way.)

Netflix Instant Review: How The Universe Works (And Why Humans Need To Know This If We’re Going To Survive)

July 12, 2012 § 3 Comments

I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about the universe.  About our planet and what really lies beyond it.  There’s a lot of problems on Earth, but damn it, I think that the future of our species really depends on what we can do to move off of this planet.  Thank God we have people looking into this.

Before I started watching How The Universe Works, I didn’t know very much about the other seven planets in our solar system, the Sun, or really anything outside of this solar system.  I thought that maybe I did, but after having watched the first season on Netflix, I realized that I didn’t know anything.  Now I probably know like .01% of the information, and that’s a lot.  How The Universe Works is an amazing and necessary starting guide for anybody else that’s interested in finding out more about how the universe was put together and how it will ultimately fall apart.

You’ll learn things like that the universe is about 14 billion years old, but also be told why we know that rather than just being expected to believe that we could date something as complex and amazing as the universe.  You’ll learn how the Earth was constructed and how close it was to never being born at all.  You’ll learn about how it’s all going to be destroyed someday.

When I was younger, I thought that the NASA program was an incredible waste of money.  Why would we spend billions or trillions of dollars on getting to places like the Moon?  What could we have really learned from that and what are we really doing to advance our species by finding out what kind of gasses Jupiter is made of?  It never made a lot of sense to me.  Wouldn’t we be better off spending that money on education or a Michael Jackson amusement park?  But more recently I’ve started to wonder what the point of any of this is and thinking that if and when the human species becomes extinct, why were we even here?

Are we just doomed to become fossils for another generation of animal that will arise a billion years from now?  Then I started to look beyond the atmosphere.  Beyond the planets in this solar system.  To some place many light years away…

To a place where a human-like species is already living and thriving.  If we could just contact them, we could potentially learn more about ourselves, about evolution, and perhaps about technology in a single day than we have in our entire history.  Imagine if we encountered a species that was very similar to ourselves, but had been around for an additional 100,000 years.

Or even imagine if we had encountered that same species, but we were about 100,000 years ahead of them and what that could teach us about ourselves as we are now.  Wouldn’t that be the greatest moment of our species existence?  Well, what’s the likelihood of that?

Watching How The Universe Works gave me a good basic understanding of how the universe began, how stars are born and die, and how galaxies form in very similar fashion to one another.  We can also learn that there are many planets out there that are of the correct distance away from the sun and the right size to potentially have liquid water and as we should know by now, that’s all you need to get started.  A planet with water is a planet that can support life and be a hot-bed for it.  And so then, if the planets and galaxies are constructed in a similar way, and if many of these planets could potentially have water, then isn’t it likely that life would form in the same way?  That our paths, even separated by hundreds of light years, are going to be quite alike?

Of course, the real question that we should be asking ourselves is not if alien life exists (because it almost surely does with billions and billions of stars supporting billions of planets) but if we’ll ever be able to contact it.  After all, even a trip past the moon seems to be difficult and as I learned in the series, probes sent to far off places like Jupiter take many years to get there.  It would be so far beyond my capable thinking ability to understand what it would take to get 100s of times further than that and be able to reach a place like that while any of us are still alive.

However, what we know now isn’t going to be anything like what we know in 10, 20, or 100 years from now.  Intellectual and technological advancement doesn’t grow at a constant rate, it’s exponential.

Imagine how insane the world would look today to a person who time-traveled to the present from 1912.  The Titanic was probably the most amazing thing that they had ever seen, and that mother sank.  Now everybody has a car or two, a television or three, a little device in their pocket that allows them to contact everyone else from anywhere on the planet, the ability to travel in the air away from icebergs, and the ability to actually go off into space and explore those shiny dots in the sky.  Isn’t it amazing just how far we’ve come from the 19th and 20th centuries?  For any rational human being, it should be mind-blowing.

So why can’t it be proposed that humans in the next 100 years will be able to create wormholes, fold time, propel jet engines at light speeds, or something else that nobody else has ever thought of?  I’d actually say, and this is just a non-genius, non-expert, regular guy opinion, that it’s quite likely and also very necessary if any of this is ever going to matter.

Anyway, what does any of that have to do with How The Universe Works?  The series, which aired on the Discovery Channel in 2010 and just premiered its second season on The Science Channel yesterday, has been crucial to opening up my mind and thinking outside the box on what’s possible.  It’s given me a basic understanding of just how the universe does work, but providing amazing imagery, excellent dialogue from experts, wonderful narration from Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs, and weaving together the story for the average, not-genius, regular guys and girls like myself.

The episode list is as follows:

Big Bang 

Black Holes (Holy god these are interesting)

Alien Galaxies

Extreme Stars

Supernovas (Perhaps the most amazing thing in the universe that we know of)

Extreme Planets

Alien Solar Systems

Alien Moons

It’s been an awesome opportunity to find out more information about the alien solar systems and galaxies to find out just whats out there.  And I mean, really really really out there.  That perhaps my strong inclination to get the hell off of this planet could actually have some possibility.  That the universe is just so vast that I could never be able to wrap my head around it but this series has at least given me a start and I would recommend it to anybody (yes, ANYBODY.  This is one of those things that should be shown to every sixth grader in the country and I wish that I had seen something like this at least a few times going through school) that has a slight interest in the universe.  Or even if they don’t.

I plan on watching the series at least a few times to get a better grasp on the knowledge given and I think it’s going to be very helpful in my continued personal exploration of why there even is an us, or a planet, or a universe.  Thankfully, I know a little bit more right now on how it works.

 

 

Oops! I’m An Almost-30, Single, White, Awkward, Nerd.

July 9, 2012 § 4 Comments

God forbid anyone asks me my A/S/L.

29/M/Basement.

That’s only 66% accurate (The “M” should actually be a “C” for “Confused”) but I’m not going to lie, I’m slightly concerned about my relationship life trajectory right now.  It’s not like I’m about to hit the Panic Button, things could be a lot worse, but I must admit that sometimes I do self-reflect and think “Huh, maybe I’m NOT that cool!”

There is a large but unheralded group of over-30 males that are single and have been that way for a very long time.  I know this because I’ve seen it many times.  My sister has a couple of guy-friends that are in their early-to-mid-30s that I have never heard of having serious girlfriends.  There is also my brother-in-laws brother (so, my brother-in-law?) who is in the same boat.  They’re just a few dudes that have spent a large part of their lives single and there’s nothing wrong with that.  It doesn’t make them “weird” guys or “bad” guys.  In fact, that’s the scary part.  They’re basically really nice, fun, good guys.

And yet, they are still living singler than Queen Latifah.

Does that mean that I could be on a path that leads to being in my mid-to-late-30s, or forever, where I’m just not in any serious relationships?  I like to think of myself as a nice, fun, and sometimes-good guy that would eventually find “The One” but damn, it’s clearly not like I’m fending them off with a stick or other fending-devices.  I’m just going about my life, day-by-day, the same way that I’ve been doing it for 29-and-a-half years.

By the way, don’t ever feel like you’re too old to count “half years.”  Relatively speaking, you won’t be alive for a very long time.  Even if you live to be 100, you’ll only be alive for a tiny fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of human existence.  Make the most of marking your life as it is.  I am not 29.  I am not 30.  I am 29 and a HALF!

So the few guys that I know through my sister have remained single for most of their lives.  Like me, they had that one serious relationship that fell to shit in their 20s and have just sort of coasted ever since.  Then there’s my brother.

He’s a special case.  He’s in his early 40s and has never been married.  In fact, he’s in the most serious relationship of his life right now.  It’s hard to say which way it’s going to go, but traditionally I would say that this looks like the “final” relationship of a person’s life.  But my brother probably could point to a single week in his life where he had sex with more girls during those seven days than I have in my whole life.  He took 100% of the genes from my dad that helped you with women and I got left with the genes that helped you discern the exact difference between a chicken Lunchable and a turkey Lunchable simply through smell.

The only thing that has ever kept my brother from getting married or being in a serious relationship is his willingness to commit to a girl and not the other way around.  Otherwise he probably could have married 100 times over.

Finally, I look at the friends in my life.  I have one, yes ONE, friend from my childhood that is now married.  ONE.  It’s not like I didn’t have many friends, I had a few, but the ones that I’ve kept in contact with even a little bit over the years are still single.  More of my friends have become DADs than got married.  There is one other friend that I have (had, really) that is married and he was basically married before I met him.  Other than that, all of my friends in California are single, near-30, dudes.

One of them was engaged once but that ended and he’s been bouncing around OkCupid the same as me.

Another one is basically like a younger version of my brother.

Another one shares a lot in common with my situation, but we’re all basically in the same situation.  We’re in our late 20s or early 30s, we’re all varying degrees of nerdy, we like to drink, watch movies, hang out, and remain friends on that level.  I’m sure that if I already was a married guy, I’d have more married guy friends, but it is interesting how we’ve all remained single and honestly, haven’t even had as much as a tiny threat to that situation except for the engaged friend and he wasn’t living in Los Angeles at the time.

That’s the other thing, we’re around friends.  I think there’s something about the motivation for companionship that drives us find somebody, even subconsciously.  The time I was in a relationship, we met up after I had graduated from college and was still in that slightly-awkward-adjustment-to-the-real-world phase where all of my college friends were living somewhere else.  It’s like, I might not be able to tell you where the nearest lake is, but if you took away my ability to get drinking water from any other source, I’d find out really soon.

“Hmm, I’m lonely and all my friends are gone.  Better go find someone to hang out with, and hey, might as well be a person that I can have sex with too.”

I’ve basically put off finding that person for a long time for several reasons: Guys can wait until their 30s, and these days girls can too, though it’s less common.  I’ve been happy with where I’m at.  I am not yet done with working on myself yet, so it’s probably too soon anyway.

So am I worried?  No, not realllly.  By looking around at the way of the world today, at the number of my friends that are still single, at my current situation, I am content with the fact that not having it right now doesn’t preclude me from having it ever.  29 is still relatively young and there’s still so much time for me to think about getting married and having kids.  My sisters husband was in his mid-30s (I think, it would be really insulting to him if he was actually like 31 because I picture him more like being 35 at the time.  I’ll be impressed if he calls me out on this because it would mean him or my sister had read my blog.) when they got married and now they have two kids.

It makes perfect mathematical sense for our 2012 culture that people are staying single well into their 30s.  The median age for marriage and having kids has progressively gotten older as culture has advanced, so there’s plenty of time indeed.

But it does make me reflect.  To look at myself, my habits, my friends, my thoughts on relationship and what a good use of a Friday is.  To think about the fact that maybe I’m more nerdy that I thought, more dorky than I had assumed.  I always used to wish that I could go to the National Spelling Bee and impress everyone with the fact that even though I could spell amazingly and was a kid prodigy, I was also really funny and cool and liked things like Saved by the Bell and wasn’t a total bookworm.

The problem is that I was nowhere near being a child prodigy or qualifying for a spelling bee in my own school, let alone on a national stage.  It also turns out that I might not be “Mr Cool” either.  And that’s okay, there’s still plenty of time to figure that out.

One day my A/S/L just might be 32/M/Your Basement!

 

Google Searches: Near Death Experiences, Decapitation, UFOs, and What Celebrities Are Gay?

July 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

Google is probably the most amazing and useful technological tool that the average person uses every day.  That’s kind of crazy to say about a search engine, but it’s got to be true or very close to true because the answer to almost every question is right at your fingertips whereas before people had to guess, lie, or remain in the dark every time they pondered something.

Or go to a library I guess.  What’s a library?

My favorite part of Google is definitely “Google suggest” when it already knows what you’re going to ask before you get finished asking it.  You thought you were original, but you probably weren’t.  Even better, you thought you wanted to know THIS and then all of a sudden in the middle of typing your question to Google it suggests something else and now you decide you really want to know THAT.  My favorite example of all-time was when it was raining outside and I decided I want to know if birds can fly in the rain.  It might seem like a stupid question but there are no stupid questions, there are only really dumb questions.

I started to type “Can birds fly” and then the suggestions come up:

“Can birds fly at night”

“Can birds fly in the rain”

“Can birds fly backwards”

I then decided that what I really wanted to know if birds could fly backwards or upside down.  I went there and immediately I found a Yahoo Question that was one of my favorite Yahoo Questions of all-time:

“Why can birds fly but flies can’t bird?”

I don’t know if that question is still on Yahoo but damn it is a great one!

We all use Google to find random factoids and so I figured that a fun new series would be to share with the world what I Googled this week.  Maybe it will be interesting for others to find this kind of stuff out?  To share my findings and my random thoughts during a given week.  Or maybe it won’t be, whatever.  I’m going to do it anyway!

Here are some of my recent Google searchs:

“Near Death Experiences”

You only need to type in “near” for Google to suggest “near death experiences” at the #1 suggestion.  I’ve recently become obsessed and consumed with trying to find out what happens when you die.  (You need to type in ‘what happens’ for Google to suggest ‘what happens when you die’ which is the second hit after “what happens in Vegas” so that really helps put our national idea of what’s important into perspective.)

Of course, nobody knows exactly what happens when you die but people have died and come back and many have shared the same tales of bright lights, tunnels, and seeing dead relatives.  Near-death.com is the top hit for Near Death Experiences and is full of links and information regarding near death experiences.  It’s really interesting stuff.

By lowering the body temperature, you can actually remain dead for hours and be brought back to life.  Many people have recounted similar experiences and actually being able to float out of their body and see what’s happening below them, oftentimes in an operating room.  I was led to one of the most famous accounts of this by a woman named Pam Reynolds.  She had brain surgery in 1991 and was completely brain dead for a time but when was revived and awake, was able to recount particular details that she could not have known unless she was actually in the room watching what was happening.  How is this possible unless the soul really can escape the body after death and go off to heaven or being a ghost or whatever?

Well, of course there are critics of this and skeptics.  According to her Wikipedia page, they have cited that some of Pam’s memories actually occurred while she was under anesthesia and not when she was dead.  It’s possible that she was just really out of it but managed to pick up the sounds and conversations in the room and make an educated guess on what was going on.  Others have also said that EEG monitoring of your brain waves isn’t 100% accurate, so it’s possible that she was not dead or not dead for very long.

That’s another interesting point though: What is “dead”?

Amazingly, I came across “Moment of Death” randomly on Netflix last night and thought “DAMN I NEED TO WATCH THIS NOW!”  The National Geographic documentary specifically highlights the debate about when you are actually dead, as well as near death experiences. Are you dead when you stop breathing?  When your heart stops?  When your brain shuts down?  When your cells die?

Even after your heart stops pumping blood to the other parts of your body, your organs go into shutdown mode but it takes a couple of hours.  The rest of your body is TRYING to stay alive, even if it’s futile.  You know in the movies when a person’s head is chopped off and they blink a few times and you think “Yeah, WHATEVAH DUDE!”?  Turns out that it’s not science fiction.  Oftentimes in history when the guillotine was the most popular execution device, it was reported that heads would blink, speak, gives looks, and move their mouths.  However, it’s mostly anecdotes and often thought among the science crowd to just be random muscle twitching or automatic reflex action.

It’s said that Antoine Lavoisier was asked to blink after he was beheaded and that he actually blinked 12-15 times.  Probably Morse code for “Screw you guys.”

The truth of the matter is that we couldn’t know for 100% certainty unless we cut someone’s head off, re-attached it and brought the person back to life to tell us whether they meant to mouth the words “Fuck You” or if it was random muscle twitching.

Back to the movie Moment of Death for a second though.  It’s hard to say when you actually die (and Terri Schiavo was brought up for the fact that some people believe you’re actually dead when your “personality” is gone) but I think we can all agree that it happens to the best of us.  It used to be that people were so afraid of being buried alive that you’d be kept above ground with a string attached to your finger and a bell for several days before they’d actually consider you ready for burial.  (They never once had a case of a person ringing the bell.)

But what about near death experiences?  The most damning piece of evidence to me, when it comes to whether or not near death experiences are actually you leaving your body and going to heaven or whatever, is “High-G Training.”

Pilots-in-training are put into a centrifuge and tested against high speeds where they have to hit like 9 G’s of force and test whether or not they can handle it.  Many of the pilots pass out during this test and completely lose consciousness but are nowhere near actual death… they just black out because the brain loses blood during this experiment.  (I’m not an expert but this is what my research has told me.)  What I do know is that pilots report back there experiences from blacking out in the centrifuge:

A bright light, tunnel, dead relatives, out of body experience.  Identical reports to near death experiences except these pilots were nowhere near death.  Lame.

“Parapsychology”

I’m going to make this one much briefer and not even related to Parapsychology, really.  Near death experiences fall under the umbrella of parapsychology and I was led to this page when I went down the Wikipedia rabbit hole, an even more dangerous rabbit hole than the Google rabbit hole.

Parapsychology studies things like telepathy, reincarnation, and near death experiences but has nothing to do with The X-Files.  They don’t care about UFOs, bigfoot, or ghosts.  However, that’s where my brain led me to and I just want to get this off my chest:

EVERYBODY HAS A CAMERA NOW.  ITS IN YOUR POCKET.  IF GHOSTS EXISTED, WE SHOULD HAVE EVIDENCE.  IF YOU SAW A LEGIT UFO, THERE SHOULD BE EVIDENCE.  IF YOU SAW BIGFOOT, OR THE LOCH NESS MONSTER, OR A CHUPACABRA, WHERE ARE THE PICTURES OR VIDEOS?

There were valid excuses for not having hardcore evidence of ghosts and aliens in the past.  People used to burn innocent girls for being witches and it seems harsh now but why wouldn’t you believe it in the 1700s?  Seems legit because my grandpa said witches are real, right?  Well, we soon realized that it was stupid and now with communication, we can easily transfer information in seconds.

NOT A REAL PHOTO BUT IT SHOULD BE

I believe in aliens.  As in, I believe that there are probably thousands of civilizations in the universe that we don’t know about.  But they’ve probably never been here.  Ancient Aliens is a terribly stupid show.  Why wouldn’t a UFO just once fly over Manhattan?  Why wouldn’t we have a hardcore video showing a UFO that nobody would show?  Oh, the government wouldn’t allow it?  If I had shot a UFO video that was real, I wouldn’t let the government stand in my way of sharing it with the world and getting those dollar bills and fame for being the first guy to have real evidence of E.T. and it wouldn’t be hard for me to do since I have a camera in my pocket 24/7.

I want to believe in ghosts but the only “Evidence” of ghosts is on Ghosts Hunters when it would really be on THE NEWS if it were legit.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves until someone has some real video of some of these things.  It wouldn’t be that hard to do, considering that big brother is always watching.

“What Celebrities are Gay”

Anderson Cooper was in the news this week for coming out of the closet that nobody thought he was in (I mean, the sky is blue too, right?) and so it got me curious to see a reminder of what other celebrities were gay.

Gay, straight, bi, tri, I don’t care what you are.  Get married, though I don’t know why you would want to.  Straight people should probably be protesting to have straight marriages banned, considering how often they end in divorce.  But I have no problems with gay people and definitely think they should have all the same rights as everyone else.  Just the fact that we even have to debate this is terrible.

But I wanted to know what other celebrities were gay.  I was honestly shocked how long it took for Google to know what I wanted, when you consider the fact that you can type almost any actors name into Google and one of the top hits is “Will Smith gay” or “Ryan Gosling gay” for basically every guy in Hollywood.  We all just seem to want to put rumors around these people for being gay.  I think that some of them definitely are.  I think that John Travolta probably is, though it’s none of our business really.  (I do think it would be cool if more of them just came out and represented their beliefs for that community.)

Realistically, acting is kind of an effeminate occupation but we never talk about it like that. Look, there are a lot of gay women in the WNBA.  I read a quote from one woman that used to play in the league that is already “out” and she said:

“I don’t know how many women in the WNBA are lesbians but I think it would be easier to tell you which ones weren’t rather than which ones were.”  (I’m paraphrasing but that’s pretty close to the actual quote if not exact.)

I only know one girl that played college basketball and she’s a lesbian and she said most of the girls on the team were too.  My point being: Certain occupations are going to have gender identities that sway harder towards gay or straight.  It wouldn’t surprise me if acting was one of those occupations.  It might only be 15%, but that’s higher than average.  It’s hard to say exactly how many people in the US are gay, because not everyone is out and not everyone cares to share, which is fine, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the number was slightly higher in acting for men.

I also think that sometimes men have so much heterosexual sex when they’re famous that they can become bored and start experimenting with other stuff.  Seriously, wouldn’t a guy like Channing Tatum just have so much sex that he can’t help but try on a different style?  I developed this theory after having accidentally come across a friends internet history and seeing some tranny porn listed, which really surprised me because I know this friend is straight and that he has very regular sex with lots and lots of women.  Maybe to the point where he just became bored.  Just a theory.

There are some celebrities that are gay and in the closet, this is a fact and not all of them are as “assumed” as Anderson Cooper.  Perhaps they’re afraid that coming out for them won’t be as successful as it was for Ellen DeGeneres.  Perhaps they just don’t think it’s your business.  It actually isn’t.

Though it may not seem like it at times,  I also want to reveal something to the world: I’m straight.  There, I said it.  Sure, I have as much sex with women as Anderson Cooper does, but I really wanted to get that off of my chest.  It really does feel better!

“What Celebrity Do I Look Like”

Like I said, “What celebrities are gay” doesn’t even come up on the Google suggest for “what celebrities.”  The suggestions are “What celebrities are instagram,” “live in Malibu,” “smoke” and “are wearing.”

However one of the first hits for “What celeb” is “What celebrity do I look like?” so I immediately went to that and found a facial recognition scanner on Myheritage.com.  My three friends and I all took pictures and went for the facial recognition scanner and I wasn’t very successful.  While my asshole friend Marcus got comparisons like Paul Walker and Dave Navarro, I wasn’t so lucky.

UDAY HUSSEIN?!

Apparently I look like the son of Saddam Hussein, which basically means that I look like Saddam himself.  Though I don’t have any real facial hair or big bushy eyebrows, this is the comp I got, though it was only 60%.

I don’t really look like any celebrity, which is why I ran this test.  The best compliment I’ve ever received is probably that I looked like a fat Channing Tatum.  I wish I would have stuck with that and not the son of a madman, who was also a madman.

“I Was on Pawn Stars”

I wasn’t on Pawn Stars but I wanted to hear some real life accounts of people that were on the show to see what it was REALLY like.  For some reason, these aren’t easy to find.  I’m going to keep looking…

Back to the Google!

Where Am I?

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