Tuesday, April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

As we reflect on the tragedies that have struck our nation over these past few years, it's easy to condemn humanity and view things in a negative light. But in honoring the victims of April 16th, the tragedy in Boston yesterday, and all those in between, don't be so quick to judge those that committed the act and say the world is an awful place. Terrible things happen and we can't begin to understand why. But use that emotion to comfort those who are most affected. Do something good for someone not for recognition, but to honor the victims of senseless violence.

I think Patton Oswalt's statement yesterday put it best:

"So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, 'The good outnumber you, and we always will.'"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Own Worst Cynic

It's been almost a year since I wrote my last post. A lot has changed since then. I won't go into all the details, but in a stunning turn of events that surprised no one, my latest slice of writing is on the same topic as my last.

"I'm done."

You know the feeling you get when you repeat words over and over again until they sound like mush? That's how I feel about those two words. On two separate occasions in recent years, I've been warned by friends who are concerned that my experiences with relationships and with women in general are causing me to be cynical when it comes to love. People toss that word "cynical" around and assume what it means, but I've never actually looked it up. So let's explore:

cynical - doubtful as to whether something will happen or is worthwhile

And if that wasn't enough, the first example on Merriam-Webster:

Cynical people say there is no such thing as true love.

Now we're getting somewhere.

I'm 21 years old and I can honestly say I've never been in love. I thought I was once. But aren't we all that naive when it comes to our first romance? I haven't been able to keep a relationship going longer than two months. For once reason or another, they just fall apart. I'm fully aware that there are people my age and even older who have yet to even be in one relationship, but those circumstances are completely different. Some people just aren't emotionally or socially capable of entering into a relationship with someone. It just doesn't happen. But that's not the case for me. I know I can. I just can't.

I've mentioned before about coming from a divided household and that I turned out generally ok. But that's not entirely true. I find myself obsessing over the idea of finding a love that's real. I want kids. And I never EVER want them to have to experience what I went through. It took therapy sessions and a lot of love and support from family and friends to keep me from going mental. The scars left on my being are things I'll never be able to get rid of.

I mentioned that things have changed since I last wrote about love. If you read the post below this one, it's generally optimistic. But as the days go by, I fear that I'm becoming the cynical cold-hearted person my friends were worried I would become. All around me, couples my age and even younger are getting married. Instead of being filled with joy and wishing them the best, I'm estimating how long before it crumbles around them and they become miserable and alone.

That thought scares me.

I want to believe so hard that love exists in this world and that someday I'll find it. But if the events of the last year are any indication of how things will be, it's going to be a long and lonely life. I can't remember the last time I saw a relationship or engagement on Facebook and was genuinely happy for its existence.

The person I'm becoming is not the person I want to be and I have no idea how to change that. What if this cynicism bleeds over into the rest of my life? I'm pretty awful when it comes to self-confidence, but one of my favorite things about myself that keeps me going is the fact that I have such a big heart. Ask anyone I know and I'm sure that's what they'll tell you. My love of making people happy is what inspired me to pursue a career in comedy and it's what I plan to do for the rest of my life.

If I lose that, I won't know who I am anymore.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bad Romance

Typically I'm in two moods when it comes to romance. Either I'm extremely passionate about finding the perfect girl or I'm terribly down on myself and become desperate for any female interaction I can get. Fortunately I'm primarily in the mood of the first one.

Every time I hear stories about people being together for 70+ years and still being in love, it warms my heart. It's terribly cliche, but I want to be the old couple who still holds hands in the Wal-Mart parking lot and always opens the door for her even when he can barely open it for himself. I want to always find my wife beautiful, regardless of how much age may take a toll. The biggest problem with a lot of relationships today is that they're based solely on sexual desire, so if the couple was to get married and grow older, that desire dies down and there's nothing left but two people who just happen to live in the same house.

For this reason, lots of couples refuse to even get married in the first place. They figure once one gets tired of the other, they'll just leave without having to deal with the messy stuff of divorce or worrying about kids. If you ask me, that's just as bad. But divorce is another reason why I want to take plenty of time before getting married. I had to experience it firsthand with my parents and it happened at quite possibly the worst time in my life. Even today I'm pretty scarred when it comes to an idea of love. At times I don't think it exists, or at the very least that I'll never find it. Luckily I turned out pretty ok. (At least I think so)

When I look around me and see people my age getting married and having kids, it makes me think. Part of me is desperate for that kind of love, because those people seem so happy. Then I realize they may have something that I don't, but it doesn't make them some kind of superhuman with a perfect life. They have their share of problems just like I do. The only difference is they have someone to share the problems with who can help them through it.

"You're young. You have plenty of time to find love."

I've heard those words countless times, but every time I can't help but wonder:

How much time is plenty?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Connection Error

I was sitting in a restaurant this weekend and I did what I tend to do when I go out: I look around at others in the restaurant just to see what types of people are there. I guess you could say it's sort of a hobby of mine. I don't stare or anything like that, I just like to be observant. Normally I just glance over people and move on with my meal.

This particular day, a couple caught my eye. They looked to be in their mid-twenties, with a couple of kids. One kid was still in a high chair happily playing with a set of toy keys and the other was too young to say much. At first glance, it was nothing really out of the ordinary. But I took a second look and realized the neither husband or the wife even acknowledged that the other existed. They both had their phones out and weren't even paying attention to the kids, much less each other. After taking this in for a moment, I couldn't help but wonder...

Is this what we've become?

We put so much emphasis on cell phones and other forms of technology that distract us from the real world, we can't even bother to hold a conversation with each other for more than a few seconds. This was a couple in the prime of their lives, just starting a new family. Yet they acted like they weren't even aware that they were out for lunch together.

It amazes me that in a world filled with technology to help us stay connected, we're losing the ability to make any real connection at all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

You Know What Really Grinds My Gears? #1

People that think they're better than everyone else and insult those they feel are below them. I've seen it so much tonight with Alabama's win over LSU. Instead of celebrating their own victories, fans find the need to insult the other team and take cheap shots. Now I realize that there are people like this on every side, including the Hokies, but I see it so much more in the elitist fanbase of the Crimson Tide. The following is a message to all those fans: (NOTE: If you're a fan who just celebrates, feel free to skip over the rest of this and go rejoice in your victory)

Please go away. No one likes you. Your constant put-downs of others does nothing but show what kind of a slimeball person you are. Bashing the opposing team is bad enough, but when you insult other programs who are doing well in their own divisions, you're taking things much too far. Every team has bad games. You're so quick to forget that your team lost in this exact same situation just a few weeks ago. You say that your team "just had an off-night" in that situation, but when anyone says that about LSU, you immediately call them out for making up excuses.

In closing, please go crawl in a hole somewhere where you belong and don't come out. Everyone around you will be much happier if you choose to do so.

Thank you, and good night.

This has been what grinds my gears.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lessons Learned in '11

A couple years ago I decided to compile a list of lessons I learned during the year. Some funny, some serious, and some in between. A lot of people enjoyed it, so I decided I'd make one every year. I normally post them as a Facebook note, but I decided to give a preview to anyone who regularly checks my blog and those on Google+. Enjoy.

1. Everything shouldn’t have to go right all the time for you to be happy.
2. There are some things people do that I’ll never understand.
3. Having a passion for something makes it much easier to accomplish.
4. People take everything to the extreme, including couponing.
5. Normally this is the spot where I put that relationships are more complicated than you’d think, but I wasn’t in one this year. It still needs to be said.
6. It’s impossible to go through a semester of college without at least one all-nighter.
7. Life isn’t about who you’re with, it’s who you’re without.
8. Gyms actually exist.
9. People that call others out for being “fake” are usually the ones made of plastic.
10. Some people don’t understand that there’s a difference between the Internet and real life.
11. Macs can crash.
12. So back up your hard drive as often as possible.
13. Obama’s birth certificate got more coverage this year than he did.
14. Google pretty much owns my life.
15. When I start making bajillions of dollars, I’m hiring Seth MacFarlane to sing me to sleep every night.
16. Arrested Development might just be the greatest show ever created.
17. Planking is much less fun than it seems. And it seems pretty lame in the first place...
18. Summer camp is so much better when you’re on the staff.
19. The Office just isn’t the same without Michael Scott.
20. There’s 3 things I learned about Rick Perry. He doesn’t study his own notes, he can’t speak very well, and...uh...I can’t recall the last one. Oops.
21. Rebecca Black knows what day it is once a week.
22. I’m horribly addicted to Angry Birds.
23. Hugh Laurie can sing the blues better than most professional blues artists.
24. I’m not really sure how I’ve lived 20 years of my life without a smartphone.
25. Donald Glover is simply amazing at everything he does.
26. Twitter isn’t completely useless.
27. But people can take it way too seriously sometimes.
28. Jon Stewart sliced his hand open during a bit and kept it going to the end. If politicians were as half as dedicated as he is, the show would have nothing to make fun of.
29. I can’t wait to have kids. I’m nowhere near ready for the responsibility, I just want to see their faces light up when I take them to Disney World.
30. Listening to Watch The Throne is like Where’s Waldo, only instead of looking for Waldo, you’re listening to see how many times they can say Watch The Throne.
31. Oranges can burn.
32. No matter what the case is, every person is convinced they’re the exception to the rule.
33. Having a 3DS makes me wish life were in 3D.
34. Modern music is catchy, but nothing can top the classics.
35. For Katy Perry, I guess Russell Brand is the one that got away.
36. It was an awful year to be a dictator.
37. Bill Cosby will be funny until the day he dies.
38. A new Zelda game consumes my entire life, but I’m perfectly ok with that.
39. It was a pretty hard year for Anthony Weiner.
40. No matter how many times I tried to pick a favorite song from the new Foo Fighters album, I could never decide. Just when I thought I’d picked one, the next song started playing.
41. The McRib is the most overrated thing in America.
42. Most people who sing “Sexy And I Know It” are lying.
43. Watching Jeff Dunham's new special taught me a valuable lesson about how to recycle. All his jokes are reused.
44. Google+ is nothing more than a place to retreat to when you’re tired of people complaining every time Facebook changes.
45. I miss the days when I could really get into a good book.
46. Osama bin Laden wasn’t already dead.
47. Some people will never grow up.
48. Herman Cain should’ve stuck to making pizza.
49. Robots are amazing at Jeopardy.
50. Saturday Night Live is still pretty funny.

I know it’s pretty cliche to say this, but it’s been a roller coaster year for me. Things have gone from great one minute to terrible the next. But through it all, the biggest thing I learned this year is not to get knocked down by what life throws your way. If you’ve known me for more than a few seconds, you’ve probably know that my favorite quote is “It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.” That doesn’t mean you should compromise values or what you believe in, it just means that life isn’t always going to be amazing.

So keep a bat handy. That way when life throws you a curveball, you can knock it out of the park.

I feel like I say this every January, but 2012 is shaping up to be a great year. So far I haven’t been wrong. Let’s hope things stay that way.

Take time to enjoy life and have a fantastic year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


So I've been watching a lot of How I Met Your Mother recently, since Netflix added it to Instant Stream. I had seen the show a few times before and enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a go. It's a great show, but I've developed such a love/hate relationship with it.

During the show itself, I have no problems. The jokes are funny, and sometimes predictable, but there's nothing wrong with that. Shows often make you feels smarter if you can tell what jokes are coming. If you've never seen it, you really should look into it. It's a great comedy about how different people handle relationships. You have the couple that's been together since high school, the guy whose sole purpose is to have sex with as many women as possible, and then there's the main character, Ted. The show revolves around him finding his soul mate, hence the name "How I Met Your Mother."

It's clear that CBS picked Ted as the main character because that's who a lot of people empathize with. Seems like a lot of us are out here looking for that special someone we want to spend the rest of our lives with. Of course, some have already found that person and some just aren't interested in looking, so that's what the other characters are for, to cover all the bases.

Now onto the problem with the show. It always comes just after the last scene, when the credits start rolling. For me right before, there's always that "Aww..." moment. It's either a good aww when something goes right or a bad aww when something goes wrong, but it always seems to be an aww. Either way it never fails that during the credits, I always get a sinking feeling. If it was a good aww, the feeling is a hint of jealously because things went right. If it was a bad aww, I tend to put myself in poor Ted's shoes because I know the feeling.

By now you're probably thinking about how stupid I am, having emotional ties to a TV show. I agree completely. But if you think back to and TV shows or movies in your life, there's always been some sort of emotional response. That's what they're for. Same goes for theatre.

The important point I wanna make here is not to let something you watch define what you expect out of life. I'll use relationships as an example. Far too many people expect love to be just like the movies, where two people from different worlds magically find each other and fall in love in front of a nicely painted sunset background. I hate to break it to you folks, but it never works like that.

Sure, I have feelings about certain things I watch. But I know not to expect something perfect like that out of life. And to be honest, that's a good thing. I'd like to think I'm a nice guy, but I couldn't be half as romantic as those movie guys. But that's ok with me, because I know they wear tons of makeup and everything they say comes off a piece of paper they had to memorize.

I'd much rather wait around for something real than try and force something scripted.