Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memoriam

Today is Memorial Day in the United States.  It's the major holiday of the year where we all take time to think about, thank, and reflect on all of those people who served our country in any capacity. This post, in it's entirety, is about those we wish to remember.

Maybe it is coincidence, or maybe it is because of the timing, but I found myself thinking yesterday for a new topic to make a post about.  It had somewhat slipped my mind that this weekend was Memorial Day weekend, and as per usual I was driving along as I scoured my mind for ideas. Before I even met up with my friend, whom I was attending a baseball game with, I realized I wanted to talk about remembering people who we have lost in our lives.  It wasn't until I was at the baseball game that I realized Memorial Day was today.  I knew I had to write about it at that point. There is no more of a perfect day than today to talk about remembrance. 

Saturday is when all of this started for me.  Of all things, I was cleaning my friends list on Facebook.  I came to the part of the alphabet where I knew there was a long-lasting deactivated account I would never delete. It belonged to a dear friend* whom I had known since grade school. In an unfortunate accident in 2008, a lot of us lost a wonderful friend. It was one of those things that no one would have ever expected to happen to a person of her character.  As a testament to her impact on others, the ceremony to honor her would rival any community event I've ever witnessed.  My entire High School class was there, as well as so many others whom she had touched in some way. It is something that still impacts me to this day, which is why I find myself writing about it now. 

When I came across this friend's profile I stopped what I was originally doing. Instead I took a moment to remember her again. It wasn't the anniversary of her passing, just another day in my life, but it mattered to me at that moment.  I've been in a contemplative mood the past several days, and I decided to take that moment to think about what I've done since 2008.  I came to a very heavy realization; I wasn't holding up my end of the deal. I've taken far too much for granted, and not reciprocated enough to validate myself.  I asked myself an honest question, "Why have I been given these opportunities when my friend wasn't?"  Man, talk about a really hard punch to the gut.

It was with those thoughts that I attended the baseball game on Sunday. It was a beautiful day(although hot and humid.)  But when realizing it was Memorial Day weekend, a process repeated itself inside my head. Every person I passed on the street, or at the ballpark, continued to fuel those thoughts. "Is that person taking advantage? Is he? Is she? Who has mattered to him/her?" 

Four schoolboys sang God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch. One Army veteran stood in a position of attention right next to them. It wasn't as if it was a never before seen moment, but that exact moment would matter a lot to the Veteran and hopefully to those boys too. That lead me to one final question...

What matters to you?  Do you know what made it possible? Do you know who made it possible? Today is Memorial Day. It is certainly meant to remember those who served, but no one ever said it couldn't also be used to remember all of those who have impacted our lives in one way or another.  I'd like to ask you to take a brief moment, remember everyone in your life who made some sort of contribution in your life. I know I am.

In Memoriam:
All Veterans
Uncle Casey
and many more I would list, but don't have enough time in the world...

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Politics and Analogies

I have to admit that I am very hesitant in broaching this topic. It is dangerous, it affects everyone no matter their interest in it, and it is very polarizing. Therefore I am about to gleefully type away on the subject.

Also, as a warning, I honestly try to stay neutral about all of this, but I'm also self aware I lean left in my own views. This is in no manner an attempt to push my views on anyone, nor claim I am right and those who think the opposite are wrong. I will attempt to choose my words carefully, but I am still human. Consider this more of an admission, not a lecture.

What I want to talk about first is what I think of politics in general.  I realize that on a basic level in society, they are certainly needed. As much as anarchists would love to establish their social ideology, some sort of societal leadership is needed. Note I say leadership, not control.  That's where today's world of politics has it wrong. Yeah yeah, in a perfect world everything would be perfect. No shit. We aren't in a perfect world, and are actually far from it.  Human nature has some crappy qualities in it, and we aren't afraid to use those qualities against better judgment. For as superior of a race compared to the rest of the animal kingdom, we sure do suck at properly using our gifts. Imagine if dogs had brains like ours, but they used it strictly for the betterment of dogs everywhere. It'd be a world of bones to chew, crap to roll in, never a lack of things to hump, and belly rubs on demand.  Actually, that sounds a lot like what dogs currently have. Bad analogy(I know I could've deleted that and not posted, but welcome inside my head).  So what does this have to do with politics? We have so much potential to make it all work, but then we let things like greed, envy, thirst for power, immorality, etc influence our decisions which in turn causes things to become corrupt.

Yes, I'm well aware corruption isn't some new revelation. What really gets me is how the majority of human life seems to just ignore corruption, or gloss it over as something you just have to get used to in life.  There is always going to be a bad guy. At least one person is going to be sitting in utopia and realize they want a little more than the other guy. That doesn't mean you should ignore, or encourage, any person acting as such.  Maybe if more people acknowledged issues, then the issues would not be as prominent or excusable.

So in today's politics there is this dumbfounding issue of the people who are in charge happen to be in charge only for the sake of themselves.  There's no middle ground. Actually, let me rephrase that. There is a middle ground, but no one is willing to stand on it.  You either get what you demand for, or no one gets to make progress.  If you're foolish enough to move to the middle ground, you're taken advantage of. Moving to the middle tells your opposition that you're weak, willing to give in, and could potentially give in some more.  It's like an elementary school math problem.  Jimmy has 10 chocolate chip cookies, and Johnny has 10 peanut butter cookies.  Both want some of each. Jimmy thinks chocolate chip cookies are better than peanut butter, so they have a higher value.  Johnny wants 5 chocolate chip, but Jimmy demands 7 peanut butter in return.  Johnny tells Jimmy he is willing to give him 6 instead.  Jimmy agrees to the deal, but unknowingly to Johnny, Jimmy gives him the five smallest cookies in his batch.  The moral of the story? Jimmy is a fat little f***er.  (40 years later, Jimmy gets adult onset diabetes, because karma is a real bitch)

I hope that there is some sort of ethical revelation in today's society. If there isn't, we're all in for a really bumpy ride where none of us get cookies.  I don't know about you, but I really like cookies. Cookies for everyone. That should be a platform everyone can get on.

Expect more on this...

Type, Type, Type

Just a brief post here. I am currently working on a couple new posts. I'm finding myself stalled in their progress, otherwise I'd be using this time to finish them.  I want to keep this blog rolling along in it's infancy, which means that I'm about to dump a lot of randomness here for the time being until I get my more serious and insightful posts finished.

As I make each post, I've realized that I am slowly building a picture of myself to the readers. There's been a few things I haven't explained fully, and there are things I wanted to talk about but haven't found the right approach to present them. So I figure I'll just briefly mention some more about myself.

Sports. I enjoy them. There are few I don't like or know little about in the professional world(golf, tennis, NBA).  Hockey, soccer, baseball, football are in my sports pyramid. Expect a lot of references, comments, and opinions on sports to be shared. I think it's in my blog profile, but I'll admit it here. I'm from Pittsburgh, therefore it's pretty easy to figure out most of my favorite teams. Can I be a bit of a homer? What fan isn't? I'll try to be reasonable.

Technology. Oh baby oh baby. I can do what to my computer?! Sign me up.  That pocket sized thing can do what?(once again perverts, stop it

Music/Movies/Books.  Plan on reading brief reviews, opinions, etc on such matters. I doubt I cover all genres, but I think I'll manage to discuss a lot of fantasy fiction

I'm not afraid to make the very inappropriate comment/joke at the worst possible moment. I'm sure I'll find many ways to fit that into my writing. Please understand that I am no way racist/sexist/etc.  I'm very open minded, and look at all people from different walks of life in the same light.  So if I make an absurd comment, and it might sound that it is racist/sexist/etc., then it was purely a poor word/phrase choice. Leave a comment to point it out, and I'll clarify or apologize as need be.

OK, that's enough groundwork for now. I'm off to do that thing I do.

Video Game Review: Diablo III

To keep things fresh, this is an attempt at one of my many ideas for post subjects.  I'm going to review entertainment related objects. Movies, music, video games, TV shows, books, etc.

So for you nerdlings out there, I've decided to go for a review on the newest big name game release out there; Diablo III.

I am an admitted gamer. It's honestly not that shameful to admit in today's world. There's millions of us out there. Hell, ONE game(WoW) that I play involves millions of people by itself. Then you can add in the console gamers, PC gamers, smartphone gamers, and others. I'm even counting the people who played the original black and white snake on the tiny screens of cell phones in the early 2000's.  You know who you are.  With that said, I recently decided to make the purchase of Diablo III. The anticipation of this game stretched for over a decade from it's predecessor. So with such a big build up, there are a lot of expectations one has for such a game.

As with the first two games in the series, Diablo III is pretty straightforward in game play.  It doesn't stray from the originals in that regard.  It is graphically advanced, clearly up to speed with today's technology. It is absolutely fun to engage in from the start, and you are easily convinced that the game is living up to it's expectations. Great storyline, great options, great design, and cool concepts.  Then you advance to higher difficulties, and suddenly you start seeing the flaws of the game. And damn are there a ton.

Edit: I originally had a much larger post, but then I came across a meme that basically sums up the game. I realized writing about all of the flaws in Diablo III would require a short novel. Instead, I give you this...

Shameless Fetishes & Addictions

We all have them. You can admit it, at least to yourself. Letting others know is a whole different story.  Luckily for you, I'm willing to share mine. Will they all be embarrassing? No, I don't believe so. Some are more interesting than others.  If you are interested, feel free to share yours below. Maybe it'll lead others onto it, and you won't be the only person in the world who likes pickle and peanut butter sandwiches(seriously know someone who eats them).  Also, if you were the pervert who clicked on this post expecting sexual things, you're going to be sore(not like that, perv) and mistaken.

A meme, just for you.
  1. Video Games -  I know what you're thinking. This isn't much of a shameful thing to admit in today's world. I'll counter and tell you that you're wrong. The only people who think it isn't shameful, are fellow gamers. The rest of you just shake your head with pity, thinking gamers don't realize there's a real world out there. "You poor sons o' bitches". Also, I play WoW. It has 10 million subscribers you say? I can't even count the times I've been teased about playing this game. Either guys are 'too cool' for it, or women think you're a large child with an overactive imagination.  I say 'screw you', I'm going to play my games anyway. I'm trying to type this post in a fashionable amount of time so I can go level my monk.
  2. Memes - For those of you who are about to open a new browser to Google the term, allow me to help and save you the trouble. Memes are the Internet sensation of taking a picture(random, though some get popular), and putting text over it to make a joke. is the place to go. I'm there daily. I laugh out loud(no really, I actually do) at the majority of them. And once you get the inside jokes down, they become even funnier. A lot of them are random and terrible puns, but you still find yourself laughing. I think the best part of memes is the fact that a lot of them are 100% true, speaking about something you have thought yourself but would never openly say to others.  
  3. Coldplay - OK, so this another one of those "you're dumb for claiming it's shameless" items. Not so, I say.  Sure, in a perfect world where all humans were in touch with their emotions, Coldplay would be even more popular than they currently are.  What you might realize is that we sure as hell don't live in that world.  Coldplay is an amazing band. I personally enjoy the majority of their songs, would love to see them perform live, and hate Chris for being married to Gwyneth Paltrow. (small thing here, but Apple? Really? I would've went with Orange. That way kids couldn't make fun of my child with rhymes(Due Date anyone?))  Anyway, a lot of guys can lose some points amongst one another.  Scenario A: Four guys at a bar, having a guys night. Jukebox stops playing Foo Fighters, starts playing Coldplay. One of the guys, the one with the Mai Tai in hand, suddenly starts singing along. The other 3 stop, stare, and shake their heads as they slowly distance themselves.  Well I'm that guy, though I'd prefer a beer instead of the Mai Tai.
  4. Fantasy Sports - Another one of those things played by millions(of dudes), but frowned upon in society.  This one is more for the ladies. It's August, you are outside on the patio, lemonade(w/vodka?) and book in hand. Your darling man suddenly appears with an expression and body language that immediately makes you tense up. "This ought to be good." He asks if he can have the guys over next weekend, it was his turn to host the fantasy football draft. Offers of sacrifice(doing the dishes, flowers, etc) are presented. What say you?  Let the boys play is what I say!  Also, managing a team allows every guy to think his criticisms of his favorite real life team are valid, and that he should apply for the open GM job. "I'll trade McCoy and Hillis for Brady. 

I'm stopping there for now. I think this might be an ongoing series of posts. I thought of a few others, but didn't think they were worthy of commenting on.  As I said before, if you think you have a contribution, feel free to leave a comment. Also, any suggestions on the blog overall I will welcome and take into consideration. It's brand new, and I plan on continuously working on it to make it a great experience for all. 

Self Therapy

Today was an exhausting day. Sure, I'm currently single with no kids, no responsibility, and no obligations, but I do attempt to live a life. To each their own I say.  So anyway, I attended a wedding of a close friend.  Yes, I know it sounds silly to claim exhaustion of having to attend a wedding, but it wasn't strictly that which made me tired.  I guess I should preface this with a brief bio.

I never thought I'd publicly say these following things, but I figured it's time I am honest with myself.  I deal with depression and anxiety.  Yes, I'm not the only person who does. No, I don't want your pity. I'm just making a statement. It's an explanation for the processes of my mind, and it is a fuel to power the words I put on this page. I first began noticing it in High School, and over the last decade have attempted to 'solve' my issues.  I can tell you that I have yet to find any permanent solution.  A myriad of medications to potentially 'fix' the shortcomings of my body chemistry.  Attempts of therapy with professionals. Conversations with select friends and family.  Self-help through endless efforts of research.  There isn't a cure to depression and anxiety, but one could say there are ways to help dealing with it.  Recently, I've decided that enough was enough. The time to 'man up' has arrived.  I'm done hiding my emotions, my thoughts, and anything else about myself.  Thus, this blog was finally created.  So let's jump back to where I left off, as I try to defend my complaint of exhaustion...

I always find myself in an endless pool of thoughts, usually self reflecting or attempting to find the answers to life(coincidentally, today was Towel Day, and the answer to life is apparently 42, but I digress). The wedding I was attending happened to be a few hours from home, therefore offering an opportunity to drive alone and ponder things.  With help from some music, which I seem to always let influence my emotions, I found myself thinking about my 'health' situation.  I've been struggling recently to find motivation to actually do things. And it's not always things that I don't want to do that lacks any motivation, but things that are optional and would be something most people would jump at the opportunity to do(fuck you depression).  It's not that I don't want to do these things, I just find myself not wanting to exert the effort to do them. You following? Good.  So there I am driving along to an event that promotes happiness and good feelings, and I am feeling miserable, hopeless, and dejected.

I talked to myself(out loud) "What's wrong with you? You know you need to beat this. You know you need to fight this. You should be ashamed you haven't tried harder to do this.  You are completely capable of doing anything you put your mind to, but you'd rather wallow in despair."   I was completely right, and finally decided to listen to myself.  The only person who can 'fix' me!  So begins my journey to find out what my life is intended for. No more fear of failure, no more doubting. Only doing.

This blog is a result of my self revelation. I decided that it would be good to write, as it would be an outlet and empower myself.  Success breeds more success(I might have made that up, but it sounds damned good). Do I think it will definitely produce a profound result? No, but I won't object to anything that crops up from these writings.

Sidenote:Writing this post is very important in my opinion. It establishes, to myself and others, that there is a driving force behind the blog.  I do not intend to write in this light all of the time. It just so happens that this particular post has this particular theme.  Fear not, I plan on writing in many contexts. Comedy, intellectual, fictional, political, factual, etc.  That IS a guarantee.  I want this blog to entertain,but with the effect of making the reader think. We shall see if I'm able to find that balance on a regular basis.

The Goal

So what is this all about? What made me want to start writing and sharing it with anyone who happens to find it on the world wide web?  I know part of the answer, but not all of it. I will do my best to explain it all along the way, but this is also an invitation for you to join me in this quest of finding out. Feel free to comment on anything you want, and don't be afraid to speak your mind. All contributions will, in my opinion, help us find answers to the questions we all have.

I've been wanting to start a blog for a few years now. In earlier times, I would think about it for no more than a brief moment before passing it by. I figured that when I really wanted to do it, I would. I've written thoughts a few times, but only once or twice exposed it to others.  Six years ago I bought a black bound book, full of completely blank pages. It's intended for an artist to sketch, but I thought that it would also be perfect for a writer to express themselves as well.  Over a period of time, I only made contributions to the book on occasion. The majority of those contributions were from a trip to Italy I took in college, and rambled about my experiences as I went.  I hope that sketchbook is a springboard to this blog, and the success I hope to achieve with it.

Over the past couple weeks, I knew I wanted this blog more than ever. As with most things in my life, I took time to analyze that decision and what the best direction for it would be. What I discovered was that I wished to write about anything, and everything. While sounding and seeming like a very broad and terrible idea, I know that it is much more concise than that. What I mean by 'anything and everything' is that I want to post my thoughts, opinions, feelings, and perspective on life and what it has to offer.  I guarantee no particular direction from post to post, though I will gladly give you the possibility of finding some cohesion between my chosen topics.

In the end, I want to be able to read this blog and feel that I did not fail to provide a plethora of cognitive thoughts. (guess where I thought of the title?)

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoy writing this. I already(after two whole posts) am enjoying this process, and am terribly excited/anxious to get to the good stuff. So, without further ado...

Friday, May 25, 2012


Welcome to my new blog.  This is my first attempt at the idea, and I am entirely new to the creation and management of one. So allow me to begin by apologizing in advance for any mistakes, errors, and non-working functions of this blog. As with most things, there is a learning curve involved and I plan on diligently educating myself so that this provides the best experience a blog can give to it's visitors.    With that said, let us begin the journey I wish to take with you all.