April 6, 2013 § 6 Comments
Last time on Sub-Standard: After a less-than-pleasurable experience at two different Subways awhile back, I wrote this letter to Denise in customer service. It was fun and funny. I was hardly upset with the sandwich conglomerate, just a minor setback in our decades old relationship, but now I’ve got to say…
I’m a little perturbed.
I never did hear from Denise again. I imagine her sitting on a beach somewhere, maybe Cancun, and she’s just happy. Living the life I had always dreamed for her to live. I really wish I had though, because Subway pulled the absolute worst move that a food chain can pull when they’re trying to make up for mistakes gone by; a phone call and an appointment for me to pick up a free sub.
“But Kenny, you’re getting a free sub!”
“But reader, I asked for redemption, not an errand that I have to run!”
The “come in and ask for the manager” move is the absolute dregs of customer service in this society we live in. If it were in the Brat Pack, it would be Judd Nelson. What if I don’t feel comfortable talking to a manager at the Subway that I complained about trying to get something for free? What if, and I know this is impossible for you to believe Subway, but what if I don’t even want Subway for the next month or two? Oh, and by the way, what if they don’t believe me?
Bingo! Now you know why I couldn’t drop this complaint, a minor setback that would have been better solved by silence than by giving me a chore to do. You’ll be hard-pressed to get me to go to an appointment at the doctor or the dentist, let alone a fast food chain for a free $5 footlong. But that’s what they did when I got a call from some guy telling me that I could come in and ask for the manager (whose name I don’t recall because it’s not my job to recall names when you fu*k up my order. I have cousins whose names I don’t know) and that I would get a free sub of my choosing.
I took them up on their stupid offer anyway. That was a mistake.
It’s time for another edition of “My complaint to Subway”! By the way, I love that above the box on their “message customer service” box on the website are these words: This is where you write your message
Thanks. I would have never figured that one out. It’s a wonder that I ever managed to interact with society long enough to order a sandwich without shitting my pants and stripping off my clothes.
Here we go:
First off, I want to congratulate you. After years of escaping custody or detection it appears you are finally on to me. Yes, it is I, the Sandwich Bandit! Also known as the Sandit! All I have to do is go into any of your 1,000,000 locations across these grand United States and tell your employees that I received a phone call from a manager telling me to come in and get a free sub after they had screwed up, and they would give it to me. Unbelievable! I mean, we aren’t talking about just any free item here, we’re talking about a sandwich. Thanks to this scam, I haven’t had to work for 13 years.
But that’s not why I do it. It’s not about the tens of dollars I save on sandwiches, though it is nice to know what Donald Trump must feel like. No, I do it for the thrill. I can’t tell you how exciting it is to have adrenaline rushing through my veins as they are unwittingly toasting a sub that I will get for free even though I am totally fooling them.
It was all as my dad taught me to do from the time I was a little kid. You see, Curly Sue wasn’t only based on a true story but it was based on me and they changed it from a boy to a girl because Alisan Porter was too cute for words. I didn’t mind though, and I got a free signed six-inch meatball sub from Jim Belushi. He was kind enough to give me a free sub, and so to have you been doing for all of these years.
But today was perhaps the final day for me. I walked into your Subway on National Blvd and told them what I’ve been telling thousands of artists for years, that I had an issue with my last visit and was told I could get a free sub. As I waited for them to apologize and work it out, you can imagine my surprise when they didn’t comply.
“Look, I would have much preferred just a coupon but I was told to just come in and say what I am saying right now.”
She looked back at me deeply, silent, speechless. I wondered what her life must be like, what her hopes are, what she dreams of, and for that moment we weren’t a customer and a sandwich artist; we were one. We were friends, soulmates, lovers, dreamers, children, animals, we were wind and water and fire and stone. But only for a fleeting moment did we hold this glance of perfect understanding.
And then she told me that she couldn’t help me because she didn’t know what I was talking about, and so I paid regular price for a sub. Regular price?! I guess I’ll have to get a job again. I took out a loan just today to make up for buying a whole sub.
I’ll try again tomorrow and see if perhaps the dream isn’t dead. I just pray that never the day comes when a person makes a minor complaint and you simply send them a coupon, not much different than the millions of coupons you send out in the Daily, rather than make them go talk to a manager to make up for their last unpleasant experience at one of your 1,000,000 Subway restaurants in these grand United States. Please, don’t ever ever ever do that. It would be too sensible. I’ll just be here, finishing my full price sub and waiting for the day when Prince Charming comes along and simply buys my subs for me.
And now, we wait.
Here is a little bit more to the story, because that wasn’t detailed enough. I walked up to the Subway nervous because I felt like maybe they wouldn’t believe me because why would they? But that’s what I was told to do. I leaned in closely to the sandwich artist and whispered softly, “Yeah, I had a minor issue last time I was here and they told me I could come in and get a free sub?”
Then she sort of stared back at me like, “What the heck are you talking about?” Then she asked the other girl making a sandwich for someone else and when she stopped making the sandwich for the other customer, I was like “no no no, go back to her sandwich it’s no big deal.” I was embarrassed that I had to go into a Subway and ask for a free sandwich but THAT’S WHAT I WAS TOLD TO DO. After minor quibbling, I told her to just make me a sandwich (that sounds so misogynistic even if you’re AT Subway) and if it didn’t get worked out I would just pay for it. Because here’s the secret that I dare never tell anyone but I’ll reveal it to you just this one time.
I can afford sandwiches.
I don’t go around trying to screw over major corporations by stealing all of their sandwiches. But as a company providing something to a customer, when you fuck up, make up for it. Have make-up sex with me, in the metaphorical sense. Bang me hard with your cold cut combo and tell me it’s free and I’ve been a bad boy. Don’t give me a chore to do and then when I do it, make me pay for another sub. Which is exactly what I did because I felt like a FOOL in the first place. You do this to us because you know that a large percentage of people that complain will never take you up on your offer. The right thing to do would be to send me a coupon and tell me to go to hell if I don’t like it. Want to save paper? Great, you had someone email me in the first place so have her email me a one-time coupon. It’s so easy to do, even a moron like me that wouldn’t know “Where the message goes durr duh duh duh” would be able to do it and figure it out.
What could have been ended weeks ago rages on. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go tell a wealthy widow that I’ve got a great investment for her and that I love her.
October 17, 2012 § 6 Comments
Let me start off by saying that I am not a very political person. My opinion of the facts, history, or laws of this nation should not be held in high regard because I am not a “political pundit,” I didn’t graduate with a degree in political science or political math and English, I vote for the President and pretty much nothing else. So what does that make me?
Just a regular, dirty, American civilian. I still get to have a vote and an opinion. My regular, dirty, American civilian opinion of this election is that we’ve veered so far off course from policies and reality that election season is basically no different than promoting the next Transformers movie. ”Hey look! Things go BOOM and we got rid of that awful lady!”
Watching the debates so far is like watching interviews or first dates. They go up there, put on their absolute best face, tell you everything you want and need to hear, and theyll lie their dicks off if it meant getting the job or sleeping with you. What we are getting mostly is statistics from the past and not answers for the future. We are getting deflections from the questions, and politicians turning their answers into the statements that they had planned to make all along in that particular debate.
“Mr. Romney, what’s the deal with assault rifles? Are you going to put one in the arms of every boy when he turns 12?”
“Well thank you very much for that question, I appreciate that someone had the balls to ask that. But first I really think you should go see the new Vin Diesel movie, FAST & FURIOUS: O6AMA!”
“Mr. Obama, I am very concerned about some of the things that went on during your first four years in office. Can you please help me better explain why you put in the policies you did and what you are going to do to fix the economy, with at least one specific example?”
“That is an amazing question, thank you. I appreciate it and I love it. I love you for asking it. Michelle and I would like to have you over for dinner some time and then whatever happens after that, happens. ;) But let me get back to what I was saying about the 47%”
The Earth doesn’t spin as often as two candidates getting asked questions that might require them to come up with real answers. I am sure that oftentimes the candidates fear that the answers are going to hurt them politically, turn away some votes if they knew the truth. But on the other hand: THE TRUTH.
Having an actual political candidate for either party that spoke the truth and was willing to be honest about the policies, about what they were going to do to fix America, what they disliked about this country and how they were going to fix it, well those kinds of aspirations are only left to Hollywood anymore. It would be like “Dunstin Checks In 2: The White House!”
What we are left with are two candidates instead that are only trying to sell you on which person sounds better, looks better, and is most charismatic.
You will vote for Obama if you are:
- A hard-line democrat
- Against Mitt, for whatever reason
- Attracted to him
- Comfortable when he speaks
- For Michelle
- Against change right now
- Sexy and you know it
You will vote for Romney if you are:
- A hard-line republican
- Against Obama, for whatever reason
- Attracted to older white men
- Comfortable when he speaks
- Of the opinion that Ann is the bee’s knees
- Need change right now
- A baller and a shot-caller
What’s left is a small number of undecided voters that likely won’t change the outcome of the race. Democrats might not like Obama, but they hate Bush. Republicans might not like Mitt, but they hate Obama. You’re really not even voting for who you like as much as you’re voting against who you hate.
I might not know all of the issues. I may have not read up enough and educated myself enough, but I know that the debates don’t leave a single American with any answers, and I also know when I’m being dicked around. Be honest, motherfuckers. I will probably vote for Obama, but I’d be lying if I said that I’d be taken aback, confused, and curious if just once Mitt had said something like,
“I did say that shit about the 47% and let me tell you why. I came from a privileged background but I also worked my balls off to get where I am today. I wasn’t the smartest, but I was the hardest working. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll find it. If I don’t have the resources, I’ll manufacture them out of raw fucking materials. So it pisses me off when Americans tell me that they want a handout. Work your ass off, hell, work your dick off, work everything off until you’ve got nothing left to give and make it happen. My goal is to get rid of people on welfare and on food stamps and to eradicate poverty in this country, not by making it easier for them but by making it harder. To eliminate the ties that bind their hands and their feet and to create businesses in low-income neighborhoods that will provide opportunities for each and every American and I don’t care if you live in Compton or Beverly Hills, we are going to provide opportunity. If you deny that opportunity, too bad. If you accept it, you’ll see why I said that 47% feel like they’re victims. You’re not a victim, you don’t have to be a victim, take responsibility and action and make your own fortunes a reality. I’m not going to just give it to you.”
I would have been floored by something like that. My respect for Romney would have gone off the charts. It’s not even necessarily that he’d be right or wrong, but for a moment he stopped spinning me right round and had finally spoken from his heart. It’s rare that you ever feel like a candidate even has one. Whenever they dive into yet another anecdote about an encounter they had with an American (as if that’s something that’s so crazy) I can’t help but dive into my imagination and think about the weeks of rehearsal that went into telling that single anecdote.
“Oh shit, guys! Someone from that terrible incident just cried in my arms!!!!”
Stop turning a tragedy for one person into a political gain for yourself. Be a real person, have encounters with real people because you care about them, not about another photo opportunity. This is a major reason why I have such a problem with treating the debates as even a modicum of a “real thing” when it is so obviously nothing more than a show. Nobody wins a debate by anything other than flashing smiles, making the other guy look bad, and standing 15 feet away from their opponent whenever they hopefully say something stupid.
Obama probably “won” that debate in a single moment, his burn of Mitt Romney on his pension, making himself look quick-witted, not concerned with his own benefits, and funny. (Even if they had practiced hundreds of burns this week.) “This. Is. The debates. Yo mamma!”
For my own money, I would actually prefer it if we had some more rules to these debates and made it a real competition. Here are a few ways:
- When a candidate starts to spin off of the topic at hand, play the Oscar walk-off music.
- When a candidate starts to spin off of the topic at hand, remove one piece of clothing from a cardboard cut-out of his wife.
- “Ladies Night”
- Moderator Jon Stewart. (Not my idea but I honestly love it.)
- Instead of a meaningless running clock, the candidates are placed in tanks and those tanks will be full of water in two minutes.
- The girl in the Ray Lewis commercial that asks interview questions like “What’s your favorite color?” gets to be moderator, because what’s the fucking difference?
Here’s the bottom line: I don’t care if you’re democrat or republican. I don’t care if you’re politically active or politically casual, because I’ve already stated that I am the latter. I couldn’t care less if you made a buck or a thousand bucks (you can’t make more than $1,000 right? Please tell me this is the limit!) because at the end of the day we are all Americans and if you want to take it further than that, we’re all Earthlings. The President of the United States won’t just affect the U.S., he’ll have an impact on the world.
What I care about is the water cooler talk the day after the debate. The arguments about who won and who lost. The debates on the debates. If you think that you’re having a political conversation, think twice. Unless you learn something new from them, debates are entertainment television that might as well be moderated by Billy Bush and hosted by Maria Menudouswhatever. Add a swimsuit competition if this is the kind of pandering that the candidates are going to give us during “da’ bate season.”
I am not a very political person. But as a television fanatic, I am appalled.
September 26, 2012 § 4 Comments
Time to get back on the train of deciding which network or cable channel is the best of them all. We continue today with a quick look at a cable network that’s quickly growing into the best of both worlds as a hybrid between the excellent programming of a Premium Cable channel, to the “Can’t say ‘Fuck’” of a Network.
Most of the shows that you’re currently watching on FX are less than five years old. Some of your favorites might only be three years old or less actually, but the road for them was paved by other programs that the network took a chance on. Fittingly, FX is the “FOX” of cable channels. It didn’t seem to have anything going for it when it premiered other than being “edgy” and now it’s dominating almost any non-AMC cable channel in terms of programs.
It starts with Justified, arguably the best drama on TV. (and the reason I show “Justified!” when I shoot someone in the face.) When I first started to watch Justified, it was only for one reason: Timothy Olyphant, my “If I had to do a guy” guy. I’ve been following the ‘Phant since Scream 2, through Girl Next Door and Deadwood, and now we are here. I wasn’t super impressed with the show early on, it felt like one of those “new crime every week!” shows that are rather pointless to follow like CSI or Law and Order.
Oh sure, I’ll sit down and watch me some L&O:SVU if my TV happen to be on TNT (or USA, or local FOX, or 30 other channels) but it’s nothing that’s going to go down as one of the best shows ever. Too rapey.
However, as Justified started to get into it’s groove by midseason, it had established it’s characters and setting and I was hooked. The on-again, off-again relationship between Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder as the main setting for what should be an epic showdown when it’s all said and done. I came for the ‘Phant, but I’m staying for the backwater shootouts.
American Horror Story debuted last year with much anticipation, and despite the fact that it felt like the show had written itself into a corner and had no way out other than to say, “Wait, this is fiction, I’ll just make something up!” I thought it turned into a show that we could praise for taking chances. It’s definitely weird, dramatic, confusing, and off-kilter, but I thought that’s what people have been praising David Lynch for since the 80s. Except that I think that creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have out-Lynched Lynch, since I actually want to watch AHS. They’re killing it. (As opposed to “The Killing it,” which means that you are actually making frustrating, annoying, shitty television.)
(To be fair, if Lynch had anything to hang his hat on, it’s that he was most successful during his run with Twin Peaks.)
The other drama on FX is Sons of Anarchy, a show that I only started watching earlier this year. I ran through the first two seasons on Netflix, as addicted as one could be to a show, but then they started to lose me. Sons felt forced at times to do something edgy, but then every time you thought something was going to happen… it didn’t. I love Charlie Hunnam because of Undeclared, but it doesn’t feel to me like he truly suits this character.
That’s probably blasphemy to say and I’m sure Sons fans will run me over for saying it, but him in that role stopped working for me. However, I’ll eventually find out where I left off and continue to watch the series. It’s not going anywhere, since last season it saw a major ratings jump when it hit 7.5 million viewers per episode, compared to 3.23 million viewers two seasons earlier.
So when comparing AMC and FX, I’d have to say that they’ve both got strong arguments in the drama categories, but there is no competition in sitcoms/comedy/whatever the hell Louie and Wilfred are. Because FX stands alone in that department.
Giving Louis CK free reign to make whatever show he wanted without notes or post-editing was the best thing that’s ever happened to sitcom television. As mostly the only writer, director, editor, and star of Louie, we get to see his vision exactly as he sees it and holy shit is it amazing.
There are times when I watch Louie and I laugh so hard that I can’t breathe. There are other times that I watch an entire episode without laughing and yet at the end, I’m just very impressed with what I saw. I want to watch it five more times to catch everything that I had missed, and often I’ll find myself again laughing so hard that I can’t breathe, I just didn’t catch it the first time.
This is what Louis CK was meant to do, and I’m grateful that FX let him do it.
Wilfred is another experimental show and though I never seem to hear other people talk about it, I think it’s one of the most addictive, well-written, funniest shows on television. It’s not just about a dog that can talk or a man in a dog suit (though it is also about those things) it’s about depression, anger, manipulation, heartbreak, torture, love, crushes, drugs, and… dogs eating vomit. But it’s also deeper than that.
Two years later we still don’t know what Wilfred is and that reveal might not come for awhile, but at least it’s a sitcom that’s giving me reason to keep coming back. I feel like I’m watching “Funny LOST!”
None of this would have been possible though without the sitcom that broke the mold and the longest running show on FX, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. It’s crazy how all these other new shows have sort of made me forget about Sunny after what feels like a very long hiatus, but I sort of did. And now I’m sort of remembering how amazing it is.
First advertised as “Seinfeld on Crack” or something, Sunny turned out to be so much better than a shitty FX tagline. The adventures of Charlie, Dennis, Mac, Dee, and Frank have been far more satisfying than one would imagine from a show that’s often described as “crass” or “crude,” it’s actually one of the smartest written shows on television. The group is actually much smarter than one would think if they judged a book by it’s cover or its dick towel. (Glenn Howerton went to Julliard, for example. And Danny DeVito is Danny fucking DeVito.)
Seven seasons and still going strong, I highly anticipate a new year of a show that set the edge in 2005 and is constantly fighting to stay ahead of it.
Then FX debuted Brand X with Russell Brand and Anger Management with Charlie Sheen and screwed everything up. What the hell, FX? You went for ratings and completely shot your reputation among the smart crowd. Brand X is literally one of the worst things I’ve seen on television.
Archer – Kill me if you must, but I have not yet gotten into Archer.
FX doesn’t try to complicate too much, but they’ve taken chances with their programming that few other channels ever have and it’s paid off. Justified makes a case as the best drama on television. Louie makes a case as the best sitcom (or just plain any show) on television. Wilfred and American Horror Story are two of the most successful “weird” things on television. Sunny is going down as one of the most influential and important shows in cable history. FX has been to cable what FOX was to Networks…
Let’s just hope that Brand X isn’t a sign that they’re going to start a reality singing competition and fuck the whole thing up.
September 22, 2012 § 7 Comments
Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time. When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza any time.
We are all familiar with the jingle. If you want a refresher course, here is the commercial. It first starts with “Now you can give them pizza WHENEVER they want.” This is only about the song, so let’s just get this first part out of the way…
Parents have no interest in how they can give their kids pizza whenever they want. It’s very low on their list of priorities. Right below “How can I get them to run around the house yelling and screaming more?”
Let’s talk a little bit about what’s wrong with the jingle:
Pizza in the morning STOP
People are already eating pizza in the morning.
Pizza in the morning STOP
I have never actually had a bagel bite in the morning, as I can recall it, but I feel that I’d be about 10,000 times less likely to have a bagel bite in the morning than a slice of pizza. I don’t usually wake up and say, “Hmmm… the roof of my mouth feels fine. How can I fuck that up?”
Pizza in the evening STOP
There was not a shortage of people having pizza in the evening.
Pizza in the evening STOP
Bagel bites are really a snack or maybe a lunch. I’m not going to lie to you and act like I’m all high and mighty and haven’t eaten 10 bagel bites in the evening or in the middle of the night, but my honest opinion is that MOST people eat a bagel bite in the middle of the day. Afternoon, noon, lunch time… it’s never mentioned.
Pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time STOP
Now, I have never lived in an area where “supper” was a term that anyone used, but as I understand it and as Wikipedia explains it, supper is an evening meal. It seems to me that supper has ALWAYS been an evening meal. Is this line not redundant? That’s like saying, “Pizza is some pizza, eaty eaty pizza, did you know that pizza is pizza?”
Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time STOP
So when it comes down to it, we’ve named just two times that you can eat pizza when it is on a bagel.
When pizza’s on a bagel STOP
This is more of a pet peeve maybe, but can we please not compare this:
To fucking pizza?
Pizza is not on a bagel. It looks more to me like four to seven tiny cubes of fake pepperoni, 10-20 tiny cubes of fake cheese and maybe a few cubes of fake sauce. And then I have to ask myself what the hell constitutes something actually qualifying as a bagel.
When pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza any time STOP
Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.
When I was a kid, this made some sense to me. The size makes it portable, the way it’s kept makes it accesible at any time, as a child I’m saying to myself “Fool proof.”
As an adult, here is how the song should go instead:
Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time. When you’re a fucking adult you can eat pizza any time.
There is nothing about a bagel bite that actually makes it more okay to eat at any given time, and in fact, there are probably less times to eat pizza on a bagel than just regular pizza. I’m also just dumbfounded and confused as to why the company is selling the idea to parents that they can now give their kids pizza any time. When did parents start a national letter writing campaign to congress that there weren’t enough ways to give their kids pizza?
I’m not better than bagel bites. I’ve had plenty of them in my lifetime. But I think we’re all better than this completely confusing, terrible, non-sensical, and incredibly catchy jingle.
I’ll give the song that, it’s catchy. I can listen to it at any time, both in the evening AND at supper time.
September 4, 2012 § 8 Comments
I try to set goals in every area of my life. Goals give us motivation, drive, a bar to set, things to strive for, and best of all is that when you accomplish one you can scream out:
I’ve set goals for myself in writing that I can see progress towards every day. Maybe at times you take a step back but when you take steps back, you get another chance to survey the field and come back better the next time. It’s like playing Super Mario Bros. 3 and replaying a level for the third time, you’re going to kill that level because you know what to expect.
You need to step back sometimes before you can step forward.
I can see that in my writing and I’ve progressed towards a financial benefit that gets me much closer to being a professional writer than I was a year ago. It’s crazy to believe that I could make progress towards accomplishing a lifelong goal or that I could actually say that I’m a professional writer, but I now have confidence that I’m on that path.
You probably also think it’s crazy that I could be a professional writer since my second paragraph of this article was just the word “Goal!” stretched out. People will pay for anything these days!
The idea of a “dream job” is a rather broad spectrum of opinion and generalization but I’d say that if you’re getting paid to do something that you’d do every day for free, you’re living the dream. Not quite like in this Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers question:
How Many People Do Get Their Dream Job?
Not chosen answer: Peoples dream jobs is not working in McDonald’s, it’s becoming writers, marine biologists, singers, actors, sports players, etc. Imo, 1/10 get to do their dream job. The other 9/10 are teaching, coaching, or just not doing their dream job. It’s really depressing.
Yeah, I would say that the off-chance someone would take your advice is rather depressing since you said that people that teach or coach aren’t doing their dream jobs. I’d wager that many teachers are doing exactly that since many of them are doing it for free. Or the immeasurable amount of people that volunteer to coach.
A dream job is whatever you want it to be and nobody can tell you that it’s better to be a writer than it is to work at McDonald’s. If that’s your dream job, who am I to judge? It’s a much more attainable dream than become a “sports player.”
Everybody has something. Many of us don’t know what that thing is, we can’t recognize our talent as a talent, but inside each of us is a quality that can be trained and honed into a quality that will service at least a tiny piece of the world. It would be easy to say that Michael Phelps has a talent for moving his arms around in the water, a natural gift that allowed him to grow his back to the size of a Smart car, but it’s not going to be so simple for all of us.
The International Business Times took some testimonials on what a dream job actually is. Here is one:
“A dream job is just a job that you look forward to going to. A job that makes you happy, it doesn’t have to be something outlandish or farfetched. And as for dreams go, once those die then we’re going to have issues” - Dexter
I think from that quote we can learn that even being a serial killer is perhaps something we are naturally inclined to be great at.
I didn’t wake up one day and think, “If I am a writer, I will have all the riches in the world!” I did however wake up one day and think, “I gotta write somethin’!” and then after that eventually clean up my vocabulary to not include “gotta” or “somethin.” It’s just what I had to do. Then it transformed into being a more specific form of writing, though still working on it over ten years later to try and find out what kind of writing I am best at and maybe try new things too.
For others, they’re going to be successful at anything they do because they’re naturally inclined to just obsess over and work hard at whatever comes to them. Was Bobby Fisher born to play chess or was he just a savant that attached himself to chess at age four and obsess over it for years until he was the best in the world by the time he was a teen? Would he not have been the best at backgammon, checkers, or Hungry Hungry Hippos if one of those was the game he chose instead?
We also adapt and change as we grow as people.
A survey of 1,100 people by Salary.com found that only 16% of people are living the dream jobs that they had when they were children. Actually seems like somewhat of a positive number considering how many people want to be Princesses or Hulk Hogans. Yet 60% also said that they still wish they could fulfill their dream jobs.
I also have changed as I have grown. I didn’t always want to be a writer. For a time I had actually switched away from writing to video editing and then back to writing, but no longer as a screenwriter but now a sportswriter. It’s not even what I would have imagined two years ago, but it’s worked out so far and it’s only just beginning.
We have to adapt to the opportunities presented to us and then find ourselves as we go.
That survey also found that less and less people were working their dream job as they got older (until going back up as people near retirement and have nothing left to lose but to pursue their dreams, or after the kids have finished college) and that’s not what I want. I want to find myself working closer and closer with my dream as I grow up because I could die today or I could die a long time from now, but I hope I died doing what I loved.
Many people are just looking for the job that pays the most, but I feel confident in saying that money will come easiest to you if you’re doing what you love to do. Money is a reward for hard work and you’re going to work a lot harder if you love what you do rather than forcing yourself to do something even though you hate it.
A Wall Street investor that despises greed isn’t going to cut it for long.
A writer that only wants to write might not make money for a long time, but then you write Harry Potter because you refused to give up and now you own England.
Family can also get in the way of pursuing those dreams. I don’t want to say that getting married and having kids ruins your dream, because for many people that is part of the dream, but responsibilities can mount and force people into a situation where they do have to put money in front of making your dreams come true. I guess lucky for me that it’s still not a problem.
The imbalance of success seems to be that you can’t always have everything. Here I am at 29, finally making headway into a career that I want so badly, and yet I can’t make a relationship happen nor do I have the desire to put any energy into it. Today I’m sacrificing a social life or a girlfriend for my dreams, and not the other way around.
It’s funny to read this article on mynippon.com about finding true love. Funny because they compare it to… finding a dream job. You shouldn’t just expect a dream job to fall into your lap just like a dream girl (or boy) won’t do the same. Now, I don’t think that the comparison is quite that apt because you could absolutely just meet someone at the right place and right time and who knows, but it certainly has some weight.
Before I was working two jobs, I had plenty of time to browse OkCupid and then go out on dates and see what happens. I am hardly afforded the luxury of coming to my own blog and writing anymore with most of my time spent writing over a dozen articles a week on other sites and then trying to get my brain together again, let alone seeing the same 150 girls on OkCupid that have been signed up for as long as I have.
(There’s that fun thing called cynicism!)
But it’s true. You have to work on it a little bit. I expected 2012 to be a banner year in the dating department for yours truly and quickly had three interests in the first month of the year. Three incredible disappointments later, I had all but given up. I have hardly even dabbled since and we’re practically weeks away from the Mayan apocalypse.
Working on it is the last thing I’m doing. I’d love to say that can success can come in many areas of once as easily as failure can, but that seems to rarely be the case. We have to choose something and then we have to work on it. Hard. We have to fight for it and claw at it and not give up until we’ve won.
I’m working on my dream job right now. Maybe for others they’ll get married and then get an unexpected phone call saying, “We’d like you to come work for us and we are your dream job!” but for me it’s going to be the opposite. Maybe while I’m working endless hours on the writing, a dream girl will fall in my lap.
Maybe she’ll hit the contact button on my blog and say, “Hello!”
We can’t predict the future. We can only control what we’re going to do right now. Now that I’m done writing this article, I’m going to go write. Not find love. Maybe it will find me, otherwise, it’s going to have to be on hold.
(Sorry for the Michael Bolton hold music.)
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.
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?
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?
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:
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!
Netflix Instant Review: How The Universe Works (And Why Humans Need To Know This If We’re Going To Survive)
July 12, 2012 § 2 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:
Black Holes (Holy god these are interesting)
Supernovas (Perhaps the most amazing thing in the universe that we know of)
Alien Solar Systems
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.