The No Huddle Has Its Place

**Uh oh, looks like your boy has his first guest post! The delightful and (on rare occasions) dignified Star has decided to grace my abode with another perspective on my Running The Two-Minute Drill post. Not only is this my first guest post, but if I’m not mistaken, it’s also the first time Star has written a blog post! Peer pressure is a bish. Anyway, read it, take it home, chew it, savor its nourishment, and leave your thoughts. Let’s discuss.**

OK, so TDA dropped some serious peacemaking, thoughtful, compassionate knowledge yesterday and I bow down to his epic post.  While it was so true…there’s more to this story.  Lemme let you in on a little of my truth. 

Some background, since to most of you I’m a stranger bish.  I’m 31, I’m single, I was born and raised in the Midwest, and my life’s goal is to be a great wife and mother.  Was I conditioned to want this?  Am I just following the not so subtle prodding of our patriarchal  society? Am I simply a robot marching to the ever louder tick tock of my biological clock?  Throwing up a hail mary as the last seconds of the game clock expire?

No.
I’m human.
I’m woman.
I’m sister.
I’m daughter.
I’m Star.

And my wants, my needs, my thoughts, my goals, my desires are as natural, personal and unique as yours are to be an astrophysicist or a partner at your firm or President of the United States.  I’m not ashamed of wanting a life partner, of wanting a family.  And yes, as with most of our wants, I want it is as soon as possible.

Realize, I’m no spring chicken, TDA’s post applied perfectly and completely to me at 26 and I woulda been in the comments saying “yeah, what’re these chicks freaking out for?  I’ve got plenty of time!”  Because at 26, I felt like by THIRTY surely I’d be someone’s wife and soon to be mother…however, with time comes knowledge, lessons learned that some may or may not be aware of:

~ The biological clock is no joke.  TDA, you mentioned a desire to understand it, but I would never wish that on you.  This need, this hole, this yearning to create and nurture and what’s worse, to be shamed for feeling it.  To be mocked and labeled for it.  Everyone’s heard of it, we all joke about it (uh, check the post photo!), but the reason a woman’s sexual peek is in her 30’s?  The ovaries have taken over.  They beat me bloody about 3 years ago, tied me to a chair,and have been running things ever since.  Any time I see a man interacting with child, a gentleman says something intelligent, some sexy mofo passes my way, or heaven forbid I meet a nice guy that shares common interests-the love below stages a coup and redirects all blood flow.

~ With age, women lose value.  It’s harsh, it sucks.  But it’s a societal fact.  Argue all you want.  We’re considered less beautiful: (compound all of this if we’ve already had children) our breasts start to sag, our bodies change, our hips widen, which makes our ass drop, lots of women gets new veins coming to the surface, hair removal becomes a whole new ball game, it’s harder and harder to stay in shape…

~ The Baby Making Factor:  The reality is, having children over the age of 35 is not recommended for women.  All sorts of risks multiply exponentially at that magic number.   Yeah people do it every day, but I want what’s best for my kids, not just what they can hopefully survive.

~ Jealousy: alright let me go ahead and admit it.  I’m jealous.  Jealous that men get to “have fun” all they want, seemingly without repercussion.  That it appears that men put significantly less effort into finding a stable relationship yet seem to come out on top regardless.  That as they age, their fertility only improves, instead of going down like a toothless hooker on the day rent’s due.  That they are judged on more than simply their hip to waist ratio and beauty.  That when you decide to find a wife, odds are the woman you are dating will be thrilled to marry you, not play you off like a thirsty, husband seeking psycho.  Yeah, I’m lookin’ a lot like Lot’s wife about now.

It’s like men are fishing in a stock pond.  Filled with handfed fish.  You drop your hook in, you get a bite, you like it or you don’t.  But even if you don’t, you throw your hook back in and another one is on the line.  You keep fishing.  No biggie.

But it feels like we’re fishing in puddles.  Where the bites are few and far between.  When we do get a bite it’s a snake or a boot.  Maybe some algae to nourish us for a bit.  But we want protein, substance.  And you can’t seem to understand why we’re so hungry.  But we’re fishing in different ponds.  You can say “be easy, relax, he’ll come” but when?  My pond’s not yielding the same results as yours.  I don’t have your same confidence.  And I’m hungry.

Here’s the thing, I’m happy.  I am.  But I want more.  I’m not done.  I want a companion.  A life partner, someone to build with.  I may sound like the gun wielding psycho above but I’m not.  I just haven’t accomplished my goals yet.  There’s someone missing.  And little someones that I dream about.  That I study about already, before they’re even a possibility.  I’m telling you what some people may not be willing to (and of course some women genuinely disagree with my every point-many young ones should).  But this is my post.  TDA was so kind as to give me a platform and this is how I feel.

I want a man, not in two years.  Tomorrow.  Any man? Of course not, but that desire is there none the less, even if I don’t know his name yet…

In the end, I hope TDA is right.  That I’ve read the clock wrong, that I’ve got another quarter to play, or an overtime, some favorable flag, something…

When that two minute warning approaches, you better have some kinda game plan.  The no-huddle offense is a necessary evil sometimes.

Running The Two-Minute Drill

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT’S relativity.”
–Albert Einstein

Time. There’s so much and yet not enough. Ask a man in his 80’s the things that come to mind when he hears the word “time” and he’ll give you a completely different answer than a 6-year-old. It’s all relative.

It’s this relativity that we sometimes forget when trying to understand the difference in how men and women approach dating and relationships. Men feel like they have plenty of time while women feel forced to run the two-minute drill.

For those of you who might not understand what a  “two-minute drill” (also referred to as the “no-huddle”) is, it is a style of offense used in football to “maximize the number of plays available for a scoring attempt before a half (or game) expires.” For example, instead of wasting time calling a play in the huddle, the QB will call a play at the line of scrimmage while his offense is lining up in order to conserve time. The key point in this is that the offense is running out of time and is forced to hurry in order to win the game before time runs out.

Women are often worried about when they will find that man to settle down and cultivate a long-lasting marriage with. Men, on the other hand, are worried about who they will be with. This isn’t to say women don’t care who they date or marry. However, by and large, women who complain about being single or about the “good man shortage” believe they are disappointed that they haven’t found a man to settle down with, but in reality are disappointed that they haven’t found a man to settle down with yet. They aren’t upset that they are single, but they are upset that they are still single.

This belief that their window of opportunity is closing causes some women to feel that they need to run a two-minute drill. They go to bars, clubs, weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals. They try speed dates, blind dates, skype dates, and GChat dates. They introduce themselves to men, wait for men to introduce themselves, chase, and play hard to get. All in the same week. These are the kind of women who, if they were down by one touchdown to the Detroit Lions, would bench Donovan McNabb & send out Rex Grossman (it’s a good thing we don’t have to worry about that ever happening). At this point, they’re either looking to try anything to win the game or have given up hope. But, I feel like they might just be reading the game clock wrong. They’re still in the 3rd quarter and either don’t realize it or willfully ignore it. Pump your brakes, homie. It’s not time to panic. Stop automatically thinking that something must be wrong (either with you or with men) because you haven’t found a man yet. Maybe you haven’t found a man yet simply because you haven’t found a man yet. (I just blessed someone with that right there.)

And don’t take my analogy as suggesting that men believe they are “leading” their respective football games. Since being single isn’t an end goal for most us, we understand that we are actually losing too. But we also know we haven’t lost1. I’m of the belief that men want to settle down just as much as women. But we’re going to take our time to find that special woman. Not because we love being single, but because it’s not something that needs to be rushed. No need to run the two-minute drill. Just continue to execute well, take what the defense gives you while taking some shots down the field, and make the necessary adjustments to give yourself the best opportunity to win the game.

So what do yall think? Women, is there truth to what I’m saying or am I erroneously disregarding the elephant in the room (your biological clock)? Men, do you ever feel like time is running out and you need to run a “two-minute drill” or is it safe to say it’s something specific to women? Speak now or forever hold your peace.

-TDA

1 No, being single doesn’t mean you’ve lost at life. It just means that if your goal is to settle down, get married, and the such, then you haven’t reached that goal.

The Rule of Three

The Three Musketeers. The Three Amigos. The Three Stooges. The Three Wise Men. The Three Blind Mice. Three’s Company. The Powerpuff Girls.

Everything happens in threes. Some good (Rock, Paper, Scissors) and some bad (Diddy Dirty Money). So since I’m a self-proclaimed movie snob, I want to talk about some of my favorite movie trilogies.

Now making a good trilogy isn’t easy (see: The Matrix, The Mummy). Especially with Hollywood’s propensity to make sequels for no other reason than the fact that they know people will pay money to watch it (Saw 23, anyone?). It is a business, after all. So when a trilogy comes out that has a story that not only progresses through three movies but that is coherent in that progression, captivates the audience, and is generally awesome, it should be something to be honored. So here is a list of my favorite movie trilogies…

Star Wars  (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of The Jedi)
This, IMO, is the best trilogy ever conceived in the history of EVER! I may be a tad bit biased since The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie of all time and I love sci-fi, but this is my list so the entire thing is biased anyway. The story, dialogue, character development, special effects, and action are all so well done. I’d KILL to have been in theaters watching The Empire Strikes Back when Darth Vadar revealed that he was Luke’s father. It must have been pure chaos. Mass hysteria, looting, and projectile vomiting. It is the quintessential trilogy for all nerds and has had a greater and longer lasting societal impact than arguably any movie ever made. Ironically, George Lucas, the same man behind this great feat is also the one behind what I consider to be one of the WORST trilogies ever made. The Star Wars Prequels. Ugh.

Back To The Future (I, II, III)
A time traveling Delorean. Enough said. This movie is the only reason that anyone even knows what a Delorean is, cause it was a pretty shitty car.  That won’t change the fact that I will pay someone a lot of money to recreate the Delorean from Back To The Future once I get enough money. And for all the cheesy messages and corny dialogue that the movie had, the story was so interesting and skillfully connected between the three movies that it’s a classic in most circles. It also gave us a very valuable lesson: time travel is dangerous. Your mom might end up wanting to do you.

Indiana Jones (Raiders of The Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade)
Now, some people have the opinion that The Temple of Doom holds the trilogy back from being considered great, but I’m not one of those people. Indiana Jones fought the Nazis so please show him some respect. Raiders of The Lost Ark was the best of the bunch (and has one of my favorite scenes of all time!), but the other two movies weren’t too far behind. The Temple of Doom was the weakest of the three, but still entertaining. The Last Crusade, with the help of Sean “Suck It, Trebek!” Connery, brought a great end to the trilogy (The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull doesn’t exist to me).

Die Hard (Die Hard, Die Harder, Die Hard with A Vengeance)
Now, I will admit, this trilogy doesn’t really have a coherent progression through all three movies. The first and third movies are weakly connected and the second one can stand on it’s own. But John McClane is a badass, so I had to add it to the list. I mean, he kills terrorists while barefoot. It’s simply a trilogy with action upon action and a protagonist who is comprised of one part sarcasm, one part asshole, and three parts badass. Yeah, that’s really all there is to it. Moving on…

Lord of The Rings (Fellowship of The Ring, Two Towers, Return of The King)
What made this trilogy so great is that the movies were based on books and, get this, stayed true to the source material. Peter Jackson was able to take the detailed world of J. R. R. Tolkien and make it one of the most visually stunning and wonderfully executed trilogies ever. The mammoth lengths of all the movies (all three movies run a little over 9 hours) is a testiment to how much detail was put into them. Some people find the trilogy boring and that is one of the inherit flaws of making a movie so true to the source material; it makes it harder to generate interest from those who aren’t familiar with it. Regardless, the movies were nominated for a total of 30 Academy Awards and won 17 of them, which is a record for any movie trilogy. The last movie in the trilogy won 11 Acadamy Awards by itself.

The Bourne Trilogy (Identity, Supremacy, Ultimatum)
This is a trilogy that flies under the radar for most people. I remember when The Bourne Identity first came out. I couldn’t fathom seeing Matt Damon as an action star. It was comical to even think about it. And then I watched the movie. O_O This dude kicked ass. These movies seamlessly flowed together and made for a great mystery/thriller. Did I mention this dude kicks ass? If I remember correctly, he beat someone up using a rolled up magazine….while the other guy had a butcher’s knife.

Dollars Trilogy (A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly)
Now, I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never actually seen any of these movies (some movie snob you are smh), but I know that this is regarded as one of the best trilogies ever. Since I’ve never seen it, I can’t give you a breakdown of what made it so great, but I know that Clint Eastwood is in it. So, that’s a good place to start.

Honorable Mentions:
Alien
Terminator
Godfather
Spider-Man

The pattern that all of these honorable mentions meet is that they all have a great first movie, an even better second movie, and a shitty third movie that keeps them out of my best trilogy lists. I mean Godfather and Godfather 2 are regarded by some as the best movies ever, Aliens 2 and Terminator 2 are both huge favorites of mine, and Spider-man 2 was a great sequel to the surprisingly popular Spider-Man. But Alien 3? Terminator 3? Godfather 3? SPIDER-MAN 3??? Good Lord. Just awful. AWE-FULL!

But anyway, what are some of your favorite movie trilogies? Do you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Be kind, rewind.

-TDA

Family Matters

Yesterday was my first day back in the lab after a much needed break. My day started out just like any other. I overslept and when I arrived in lab, I spent time checking Facebook, Twitter, and countless other sites before even thinking about work. My advisor sent an email to everyone asking to meet with us later in the afternoon. It was the first day back in the lab for most of us, so why wouldn’t we have a meeting?

Me and one of my labmates (one of my labmates and I?) were the first to arrive in the conference room, so our advisor asked us how our break went and told us about what he did during his time off. We were sharing stories and cracking jokes. Again, a pretty normal day. Once everyone arrived, the meeting began. I got my notebook & pencil out and was ready to participate in a discussion on where everyone’s research was at, the goals that we have as a lab for the coming semester, and how the new semester would affect lab schedules. But instead our advisor told us that him and his wife were getting a divorce.

After he said it, I kept waiting for him to tell us it was a joke. He didn’t.

My advisor is pretty young for a guy who heads his own lab. I’ve only interacted with him and his wife a few times, but from what I saw they seemed great together. Of course, seeing them interact in public a few times doesn’t mean I knew how they interacted in their private life, but it was still a shock. My life has, for the most part, been void of divorces. I have a couple of relatives who’ve gotten divorces and some of my friends’ parents are separated, but most of those happened either when I wasn’t in the picture or when I was younger. This is the first time in my adult life that someone who I interact with often is filing for divorce. It really caught me off guard.

On top of that, I also kinda saw my advisor’s marriage, or what I thought it was, as a view of what my marriage would be like. And while his career wasn’t the sole reason for the divorce, it was a contributing factor. I have a long way to go before I graduate, but my goal is to stay in academia, teach, and run a research lab like my advisor. It’s a job that requires early days, late nights, and constant attention. It’s a very demanding career and one that I see myself on the path to, but I don’t want it to consume me to the point where I neglect my family. As if that wasn’t sad and discouraging enough, one of my married labmates told me that they’ve been having some trouble in their young marriage as well. *sigh*

I’m not going to worry about what my marriage may or may not be at this point. Hell, I don’t even have a girlfriend. I have too many more pressing matters to attend to right now. But the possibility of my career getting in the way of my marriage isn’t something that I thought about up until today. I don’t want that to happen. I want to be able to leave my work at work and spend time at home with my wife & kids (yeah, one isn’t enough). I want to find that balance between pushing my career to the next level and giving my family the husband/father that they need. I want to make sure I don’t lose sight of what’s truly important. God willing, I won’t have to go through what my advisor currently is.

For those of you who aren’t married yet, is this something you’ve thought about? Ever worry about the delicate balance that you’ll have to find between your family and a demanding job? Any married folk out there who’ve been successful or unsuccessful in this regard? We could always use some advice.

-TDA