Living In A Movie

One of my favorite (and highly underrated) movies ever is Last Action Hero. It’s the story of a boy named Danny Madigan who gets his hands on a magical movie ticket that unexpectedly transports him into his favorite action movie. Pretty much every boy’s moist dream. He gets to experience car chases, gun fights, explosions, and uses his knowledge of “movie rules” to help the hero save the day. What I love about this movie, besides the fact that Arnold Schwarzenegger is parodying himself, is that they constantly point out and make fun of the stark differences between the rules in real life and in movies. So I thought about some of the things that consistently happen in movies that would never happen in real life….

…and then I wrote them down. In a list. Below this sentence.

  1. Most people with little purpose or significance in the main character’s life work in accounting.
    Accounting accounts (see what I did there?) for 78.3% of all tertiary character careers. Go pop in a random movie where one of the main characters works in an office. Guaranteed someone will bring up “Bob (they always have names with 3 letters like Bob, Pam, Tom, Jim, Tim, or Ann) from accounting.” Bob never gets more than 2 lines and is always a loser.
  2. Safety standards don’t exist
    Don’t hit that curb too hard, cause your car is liable to flip over and blow up. It amazes me that manufacturing safety standards are so poor in movies. Every car is seemingly coated with nitroglycerin and kerosene and a bullet is capable of turning anything into a huge fireball. Seriously, I’ve seen cars, planes, trains, buildings, computers, televisions, cell phones, pencils, chairs, vinyl records, composition books, and sharks explode. Glass might as well not even exist cause it breaks at the first sign of resistance. Any door is easily opened with a swift kick. Deadbolts are powerless. Tables? Yeah, they can’t support any human’s weight if someone is thrown at it, but if a hero uses them as cover, they can somehow repel any type of bullet.
  3. Women lose their ability to execute basic motor commands while being chased.
    Is there anyone clumsier than a woman being chased? How you just gonna fall down in an open field like that? Then the man has to come back and hold her hand while they run since she’s incapable of keeping her balance. Oh, let me guess, that bee that landed 10 feet away sent a ripple of air that knocked her over. Looking like someone lesioned her cerebellum. *rimshot* Amirite? #NeuroscienceHumor
  4. No one marries the person they’re engaged to.
    One of the most common plotlines of shitty romantic comedies is:
    Generic Womanstein is engaged to nauseatingly perfect, but secretly grade-A douchebag, Reginald McPerfecton. She’s happy and filled with glee. Dysfunctional, yet inexplicably attractive high-school janitor, Dan Cheatingisokayifyoureattractiveington, accidentally meets woman at a flea market. Generic is intrigued by Dan’s musk and his reluctance to share any feelings with her. They immediately become best friends and Generic tells Dan her private feelings about everything, including Reginald, even though he doesn’t ask. Generic starts to feel more and more unsure about marrying Reginald culminating with Dan revealing a piece of his traumatic past with tears. They end up doing it. The wedding goes on, but just before the vows are read, Dan confesses his love for Generic and Reginald is left at the alter. The audience tells Reginald to suck it up.
  5. It’s extremely easy for an athlete or entertainer to instantly spot a loved one in a huge stadium/crowd.
    It’s the last play of the game. Down by one score. Time is ticking, but there’s always time for what seems to be a 15-minute emotional glance at your mother/father/brother/girlfriend/best friend/mentor/butler/barber. Where’s the delay-of-game penalty? Even if you know where your loved one is sitting, it takes longer than a second to spot them unless you’ve got Steve Austin‘s bionic eyes. On top of that, how awkward is it as a player to see your quarterback staring into the stands with such an important play approaching? Get your head in the game!
  6. All aliens have one language, government, religion, and outfit per planet.
    Humans are apparently the only race to develop different cultures on their planet. Although to be fair, if we had been capable of interstellar travel for centuries, different cultures would’ve just moved to other planets to have all for themselves. Okay, this would make sense in real life.
I could go on forever, but what are some of the things you guys notice in movies and television that wouldn’t make sense in real life?
-TDA
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Being Superman

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

After a shitstorm of a day today, I sat in my apartment staring at my phone wondering how this simple statement made me feel as naked as the day I was born. Wondering how this short section of a conversation over text messages just revealed all my personality flaws to the world. My imperfections. My pain. My loss. My stress. My weaknesses. My doubts. Everything was out in the open.

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

The crazy thing is, sometimes I don’t. The crazy thing is, I try so hard to be Superman and sometimes I believe it. No, I don’t think I came from Krypton, but I do try to convince people that I don’t bleed. I try to convince people that I’m not human.

Pain is in the mind and, throughout my life, I’ve chosen to let it stay there. I’m not one to wear my heart on my sleeve. Unless I want you to know how I feel, you won’t. It’s that simple. Trying to read my body language or hoping for subconscious cues are useless. I’m like Mike McDermott from Rounders and you’re Teddy KGB. There are people who’ve known me for years who have never seen me angry, sad, or upset. A lot of times, I legitimately don’t get upset or sad. Some of the things that happen to me aren’t that big of a deal to get upset over. Other times, when I do find myself at odds with certain emotions, I choose not to display or, sometimes, even acknowledge them to myself.

Why am I hiding? Why the shell? That’s a good question. Part of the problem is my twisted perception of weakness. Every now and again, I’ll have a conversation with myself that goes something like this: “You’re feeling overwhelmed/stressed/upset? So what? How many other people have problems too? Get your head out of your ass.” I don’t have time to cry over spilled milk. The problem is, sometimes I just ignore the milk altogether and don’t clean it up. Then later, I slip and bust my ass on the milk that I should have dealt with before. Now I have milk on my pants.

I’m also reluctant to “accept” sympathy or comfort. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said some variation of “I’m good” when someone was trying to comfort me. It’s almost a natural reaction. It’s not that I don’t appreciate or desire it. I just don’t want a pity party. And quite honestly, I find myself not wanting to be a burden to others. My problems are my problems. No need to get you involved in my mess or emotions. I want to find a solution myself or just deal with it. I guess it’s just me trying to seem strong. Which brings me to the reason why I won 2009’s Biggest Hypocrite Award…

I’m not Dr. Phil, but if you need someone to talk to about your problems, odds are I won’t turn you away. Odds are, I’d welcome it. I enjoy being there for people almost to a fault (actually, precisely to a fault). Oh, my insults and assholery threw you off? They often do. Seriously, not only does it make me feel good on a moral level, but on an intellectual level as well. Reading people is one of my most favorite things to do and when people talk to me about their problems or issues, I get a chance to do a, albeit crude, psychoanalysis on them. The problem is, sometimes sympathizing with someone becomes an attempt to “save” them. To help them out of their rut and carry some of their baggage for them. The only benefit that I get is knowing that they feel better, which is usually more than enough for me. The only hinderance is that my emotional load gets that much heavier, which is a sacrifice I’m always willing to give for those who need it.

The funniest thing about this is that Superman is actually one of the superheroes that I like the least. His extraterrestrial origin and near-perfect qualities make him almost impossible to sympathize with. Impossible to connect with. It makes me wonder how many people feel that way about me. The guy who never seems to admit to being angry or aggravated. Scared or sad. Depressed or doubtful. How can anyone connect with someone who doesn’t acknowledge that they bleed?

“You’re not Superman, you know?”

Yeah I know. But sometimes, I take the bullet anyway.

-TDA

My First Time At Red Lobster

Going to Red Lobster was #2 on my “Things Black People Do That I Haven’t Done” bucket list right after “watch The Color Purple and Roots all the way through.” So luckily for me, my friend got a $10 off giftcard in the mail for Red Lobster and suggested we go. Score.

As we neared the restaurant, my friend gave me some directions that were less than accurate. Not way off, but enough where I felt the need to remind myself aloud that this was the reason why I didn’t take directions from women (I’m sexist. You didn’t know?). She quickly pointed out to me that she just didn’t have a clear memory of the last time she was there and that she has a great sense of direction. Fast forward to the end of the evening as we’re leaving the restaurant. She proceeds to walk in the opposite direction of the exit, not knowing she was going in the wrong direction until I pointed it out to her. TDA – 1. Women – 0.

As we waited for our table (you like how I just Tarantino’d this story right there), we saw that America’s Funniest Home Videos was playing on the televisions and we discussed how funny that show used to be. I chalked it up to the fact that everything is funnier when you’re a kid, but I couldn’t deny the fact that, as a whole, comedy has gotten cruder and more violent and that innocent type of comedy doesn’t get people to laugh a lot anymore. Immediately after that, I bust out laughing at a man accidentally getting hit in the face with an oversized mallet. Classic.

We get a table and order an appetizer. It was some kind of chip and dip thingamabob that our waitress suggested for us. When we got our appetizer, we noticed that either someone had sprinkled crack on our chips in an attempt to setup the only black people in the restaurant or one of the staff had a really bad case of dandruff. Later on we found out that the snowmaggedon nesting on our chips was actually salt. We tried to scrape off what we could and enjoy our chips, but it was no use. We ended up asking our waitress to bring us some chips that didn’t look like Tony Montana sneezed on them.

Later, the moment I was waiting for had finally arrived. The real reason I wanted to go to Red Lobster. All I’d ever heard about were the cheddar bay biscuits and how great they were. You automatically dedicate your life to Christ after eating them. So I was really excited when the waitress brought some out for us. My friend was cheesing the whole time. Then we both took a bite from our biscuits.

Meh.

They were okay. Definitely not as amazing as everyone claims they are. My friend assured me that it was just those biscuits in particular that taste average and not an indication that all Red Lobsters are this disappointing. I’ll be the judge of that.

Now to the entree. I got some crab legs because, again, this was my first time at Red Lobster and I’ve never eaten crab legs. Yes, I’m from Maryland and have never eaten crab legs. I’ve also never been in the Washington Monument even though it’s 15 minutes from my house. Bite me. The crab legs were great though. I have to admit, I was a bit gentle with the crab legs at first. Cracking them slowly and trying to keep my area tidy. After 20 seconds, that ended. I think some enate caveman reflexes kicked in and I just started ripping the legs apart mercilessly. A piece from one of the legs flew off and hit an old lady in the next booth. It was fun in a sociopathic sort of way.

Anyway, my first time at Red Lobster was decent. Still disappointed that the cheddar bay biscuits didn’t bring me to orgasm like many had told me they would. Regardless, I feel a little blacker today than I did yesterday. Now to tackle the next thing on my list: get pulled over for DWB.

-TDA

What Did You Want To Be?

The other day, I had the urge to change my desktop wallpaper. I usually do this every couple of months (even though I usually have so many windows open on my computer that I never see my desktop, but I digress). I was casually looking at a collection of wallpapers when I came across some that were illustrations of outer space. Depictions of planets, stars, asteroids, nebulas, and black holes. As soon as I saw these pictures, I heard the same thing that I hear whenever I see pictures like these:

What do you want to be when you grow up?”

You see, I’m sure we all remember being asked this question many times during our childhood. The world was rich with possibility and potential then. We could be anything we wanted. Some wanted to be scientists, singers, doctors, sports players, police officers (just kidding, I lived in a black neighborhood), engineers, politicians, or lawyers. But I wanted to be an astronomer.

The mystery of the universe always fascinated me. Maybe its just the Aquarius in me, but Earth has always felt too small. It started as an interest in science fiction movies and tv shows. Futuristic spaceships whizzing about the galaxy, using their warp drive to travel at light speed, shooting enemy vessels with laser beams and photon cannons, and exploring strange worlds. Then my interest manifested into an awe about the beauty and infiniteness of space and a respect for its power and mystery.

During the summer before 8th grade, I was accepted to participate in a summer program that was pretty much a summer camp for nerds. Kids got to spend 10 weeks on a college campus and take an upper-level course of their choosing. I naturally chose the Astronomy course they were offering. It was an awesome experience because it provided me with my first in-depth look into astronomy. I learned about the life of a star, the strength of a black hole, the vastness of our universe, and the physics behind it all. I learned about this environment that covers our planet. This environment where millions of truly amazing and breathtaking phenomena occur. Phenomena that are physically impossible on our little planet. Space is a place where the “impossible” is often shown to simply be the “improbable”.

But during high school, my dreams of being an astronomer fell by the wayside. There weren’t any astronomy courses that I could take & our physics class barely touched on the subject of stellar bodies. Instead, I became interested in computers and programing, which had its own track of courses. After that I majored in Computer Engineering in undergrad & am currently enrolled in a PhD program studying Bioengineering. I enjoy what I’m studying now & feel passionate about the impact that my research will have, but my interest in the cosmos remains as bright as it was before. LaLa’s post yesterday also had me thinking about alternate career choices. How different things might have been if my interest in astronomy had been nurtured more.

Anyway, as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? And I’m not talking about in the 2nd grade when you wanted to be a Power Ranger or Cinderella. What was your first serious career goal? Are you still interested in that career goal or have you moved on? Zip it up and zip it out.

-TDA

Music Saved My Soul

This past Sunday night, 60 Minutes did a story on a gospel music program in Harlem called Gospel for Teens. Vy Higginsen started the group five years ago as a way to teach the art of singing gospel music to teens from 13-19. The teens have to go through auditions to get into the group, but they accept a large number of the kids and keep it free to encourage kids to try-out. During the story, you see & hear these beautiful voices come together with power and grace, but you also learn of the struggles that some of the children face in their lives, most of which are unknown to Higginsen until the latter part of the program. At one point, Higginsen asked all the teens to raise their hand if they had lost a loved one recently. Most of the kids raised their hands and began sharing stories of how they lost loved ones who were still in their youth to street violence. It wasn’t isolated to those in rough neighborhoods or single-parent homes either. One of the teens, who seemed very detached and aloof during the entire program, later revealed that her attitude was a response to her parents’ neglect. She took her pain with her to rehearsals so she could sing it out. All these kids were dealing with stress, fear, and rejection not just from the outside world, but in their own households as well. But the music and the atmosphere created by the Gospel for Teens program was a place of serenity for them.

Music was their strength. Singing was their peace.

The story really resonated with me because, just like those kids, music isn’t just music to me. Singing isn’t just singing. They aren’t just entertainment. They’re my therapy. My heart skips a beat when I hear a choir crescendo in harmony. I get chills when I hear a drummer flip the fuck out on his drums. I wince when I hear a guitar cry. I melt when I hear a soloist passionately ad-libbing. I can’t tell you how many times music and singing have been like a therapist, psychiatrist, and whatever Dr. Phil is. Baxter Music knows how to cut to the core of me. There’s a peace when I sing that I couldn’t explain to you. A feeling that words can’t accurately describe. The thing is, I would never call myself a connoisseur of music. I don’t always care about the underlying meaning of a song or its lyrics. I can’t read sheet music or play an instrument. And I don’t have an intimate knowledge of the societal impact that certain artists and periods of music have had. It’s a lot simpler than that for me. I just love being in the presence of music.

There have been days when I’ve felt discouraged. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Loved ones pulling away. Opportunities disappearing at every turn. But when I sing to some Fred Hammond, Israel & New Breed, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, or Jonathan Nelson, I feel lighter. I’m not carrying as much weight on my shoulders.

There have been days when I’ve felt angry. Upset at a situation or person. Ready to scream or throw something or use the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart technique on them. But when I play some Linkin Park, Rage Against The Machine, or System of a Down, I channel my aggression into the songs. I rock my head to the sounds of the distorted guitar and bass drum until my hostility is subdued.

There have been days where I’ve felt overwhelmed. So much work. So much studying. So much time and so little to do. (Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it.) But when I play some Coldplay, John Mayer, The Fray, Kings of Leon, Esperanza Spaulding, John Coltrane, or Miles Davis, I start to mellow out. Life slows down a little and I can relax long enough to breathe.

There have been days where I’ve felt scared and intimidated. Psyching myself out before the fight even begins. But when I play some Kanye, J. Cole, Common, The Roots, Lupe, Rick Ross, or Jay-Z, I get a little pep in my step. A little more swagga in my style.

There have been days where I’ve felt guarded and untrusting. Convincing myself to stay closed and to not be vulnerable. But when I sing some D’Angelo, The Foreign Exchange, John Legend, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, or Corinne Bailey Rae, I feel an urge to take the walls down. To love without boarders and without fear.

Music and singing continue to be a place of strength and peace for me1, just like it is for the students in the Gospel for Teens program. What about you? What activity/hobby in your life saves your soul? Is it working out? Is it reading? Prayer? Cooking? What do you consistently go to when you need therapy or to release some negative emotions? Just let your soul glo glow.

-TDA

1Except for the next 17 days since I gave up listening to music for Lent *playground slides*

You Deserve Rebecca Black

Now that we’re done with Charlie Sheen, we have another train wreck to focus on. Her name is Rebecca Black. She’s here to chew bubble gum, sing about what days occur on the weekend, and offend auditory nerve fibers everywhere. And she’s all out of bubble gum.

Now, let me start out by saying that if you haven’t heard her song or seen her music video for it, don’t. But since you’re going to, check out here and get Cheekie’s commentary about the video for no extra charge (offer not valid in Alaska). While people all over the internet are calling it the worst song ever, I tend to disagree. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awful, but I’ve heard enough music in my life to know it’s not even close to the worst. It’s not close to the level of Bangs “Take U To Da Movies”, a personal favorite of mine. And I don’t like exaggeration unless it’s used in a well delivered joke. But I’m not here to discuss how bad it is. What I want to talk about is someone’s defense of Rebecca’s song.

Like I said, the internet erupted with shouts of malice at Rebecca when her video was released. And while she is entitled to put out music and do what she loves to do, the public is entitled to defend their temporal cortex from attacks such as this. However, at least one brave soul decided that Rebecca Black’s foray into music didn’t deserve the title of “worst song ever.” A Yahoo contributor by the name of S. Maven wrote an article called Is Rebecca Black’s ‘Friday’ Really a Musical Abomination? Kudos to you, S. Maven, for not sitting idly by while anonymous cowards proceeded to rain down blows upon Rebecca’s hopes and dreams. Let’s see what she had to say.

Some commenters are complaining about “Friday’s” silly, repetitive lyrics. If SingStar and Guitar Hero taught us anything, it is that many beloved, popular songs have repetitive or silly lyrics masked by a catchy beat or chorus.

The Black Eyed Peas’ songs are repetitive and “I Gotta Feeling” actually lists all seven days of the week. The song reached number one on Billboard’s Top 100.

Okay. Well, it is true that other songs have silly, repetitive lyrics that go on to be classic and fun songs. I don’t like the current Black Eyed Peas and “I Gotta Feeling” brings about great vengeance and furious anger whenever I hear it, but the song did reach number one. I guess if one shitty song can make it to number one, why can’t another?

Although her natural singing voice is questionable, “Real Housewives” star Kim Zolciak managed to deliver a dance song with lyrics cautioning everyone not to be tardy for the party. It sounds like an awkward phrase straight out of a rhyme-obsessed third grader’s mouth, but the dance beat compensated for the lyrics.

I laughed at the “rhyme-obsessed third grader” comment, mainly cause it’s true. “Tardy For The Party” is a great example of mediocre vocals with mildly retarded lyrics covered in an infectious dance beat. In fact, now that I listen to it, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” is pretty much a “Tardy For The Party” for middle-school children. Hmmm, what else…

Chart toppers can quickly become amazingly annoying. Remember the Baha Men hit “Who Let the Dogs Out?” In 2000, that song rose to number 18 on Billboard’s pop charts. The tune got heavy rotation on radio stations and at public events.

Oh yeah, I remember “Who Let The Dogs Out”! Not a great song, but very catchy and fun to listen to. At least it was the first 100 times they played on the radio….in the span of 2 days. That song definitely got annoying after a few months of saturation. Unfortunately, radio stations, movies, TV commercials, and DJs wouldn’t let us forget about it. But I don’t really understand S. Maven’s connection. “Who Let The Dogs Out” was a decent song AND THEN became highly annoying, in my opinion. Rebecca’s song is already annoying. But I guess if Ke$ha’s annoying ass can make hit songs, why can’t Rebecca?

Anyway, while Rebecca’s song is one that will certainly anger the music gods, it’s not too different from the other top hits that we hear being whored out on the radio, in clubs, and on ringtones. My point? People can lash out at her and the song all they want, but this generation of music consumers deserve this song.

-TDA

Rooting For The Home Team

Those of you who know me know I’m an extremely passionate Redskins fan. That’s my team through thick and thin. I grew up in Maryland right outside of DC. I love them because I love DC and they play for DC. It’s that simple. To me, you always root for the home team. That’s just my sports fan philosophy. I have several friends who grew up and still reside in the DC area who root for other teams. I don’t hold animosity towards them (unless they’re Cowboys fans, who can die) because as long as they’re not bandwagon fans, I respect them for having a passion for their team. However, I do feel disappointed that they decided to join a team that isn’t from their hometown.

I remember reading a post not too long ago from TheMostInterestingManInTheWorld at The Lower Frequency on loving black women (please go read it if you haven’t). It was a post that really resonated with me. I found myself agreeing with a lot of his viewpoints on not only why he loves black women, but why he prefers black women. It reminded me of my “rooting for the home team” sports philosophy. The reason I bring that up is because the other day while I was walking to lab, I saw this young black woman walking on the other side of the street. She caught my eye for some reason. She was very pretty, but that wasn’t what caught my attention. She was walking down the sidewalk playful giggling, touching, and walking with a white dude. I wasn’t even aware I was staring, but I was. It surprised me because I can’t remember having done that before. I wasn’t mad at what I had seen. I didn’t feel that this white man had taken another one of our sistas from us. But for some reason, seeing that resonated with me. I felt……disappointment. Not disappointment that she was with a white guy (which to be honest, was an assumption on my part). Disappointment that she wasn’t with a black guy.

There’s this idea that black women are the only ones who think about interracial dating in this way. They side-eye, scoff, and scream when black men grab some plain vanilla loving. But, at least in my personal experience, that isn’t isolated to black women. Black men feel the same way in regards to black women, but just aren’t as animated in their responses. The reason why black men feel this way is usually some combination of these reasons:

  1. Black men are territorial
    As if this was a surprise. Yes, there are plenty of fish in the sea, especially when it comes to eligible black women, but this doesn’t change the fact that hundreds of years of having things taken from us has put us a little on edge. We may not express this in the same way that black women do (ranting and raving with their arms flailing about), but we do feel it.
  2. Black men love black love
    Black love brings a special smile to our faces that few things can. There’s a pride that we feel when we see a happy, strong black couple because ultimately that’s what we want for us. And yes, I’m aware of the notion that black men are running in droves to be with the “pure” white women, but trust me, that is a vocal minority, if not a flat out lie. Most black men want everything to do with black women.
  3. White men are the devil
    I’m just saying.

So what do yall think? All my black men out there, am I right or completely off base? Do you tend to get a bit disappointed when you see a sista with a man of another race or are you completely colorblind when it comes to love? Ladies, were you aware that men harbor this kind of reaction? Am I just a closeted racist? Do tell.

-TDA

*I can pretty much relate anything in life back to football.

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