2011: not so bad

2011 will be over in three days. In those three days, you will hear precisely seven people say, “I can’t believe 2011 is ending! It feels like it just started!” It did just start. Twelve months ago.

2012 will commence, and then you’ll hear a whole bunch of annoying people beginning to discuss how the apocalypse is coming, and that 2012 is the final year of the human race. While I will give conspiracy theorists and doomsday fans credit that the completion of the Mayan calendar is a little bit more convincing than a senile radio host predicting the end of the world, I will also take this moment to dispel any notion that the end is near.

Any prediction you have heard, and will hear, is bullshit. The world is not ending. It will continue, for years, and decades, centuries and millenniums, and you will all be miserable. There.

When I write my first blog, sometime in the first few days of 2012, it will mark the fourth different year that I have blogged in. I began this ill-advised endeavor on December 18, 2009, and I have not looked back since. Blogging has officially become part of my day. The new inevitabilities of my life are death, taxes and the Weinblog. They are all equally disappointing.

As you all know, I really started this blog just for fun and to appeal to people who already know who I am and what my sense of humor is like. I’m not really catering to people who don’t know me, and I just assume that if you keep reading, you will latch on to my particular sense of humor.

That being said, I always find it funny when I get a random comment from someone who tries to insult me. Freedom of speech may exist, but not here. I used to think that the best way to go about the harsh comments was to simply “trash” them, but I realized yesterday that I can actually edit comments.

Therefore, if you say something nasty to me, not only I will I edit your comment, but I will make it say the exact opposite of what you said, and then I will approve it. And there’s nothing that anybody can do about it. I’ve already started, and I can think of any other way to combat the dumb idiots who actually take time out of their day to respond to my blogs in a rude way. They’re rare, but they do happen. I also hope you all die.

So, anyway, 2011. Not so bad.

2009 was a shitshow at times, 2010 was half good and half bad, but 2011 was pretty consistently good. Not too many bad things happened, with the exception of last week. I know that monotony is not always the best of things, but it is tolerable when you actually enjoy the things that you do on a day-to-day basis. Do I hope to shake things up sometime down the road? Definitely. But not now.

Therefore, I declare 2011 a success. It was stable. Nothing overly exciting happened in my life, but nothing overly bad, either.

Oh, and another thing, On Christmas, I got a new kitten!

His name is Marbles, he is 10 weeks old, he is adorable and I love him. So that made my Christmas pretty splendid.

And now New Years is upon us. Ah, the most overrated holiday of the year. The year where everyone has to go out, try to plan things, and inevitably tell their friends about some special deal that they discovered – “Yo guys, this bar in [awful city] called [awful bar] is having special [awful deal] during New Years! We have to do it!”

Guess what? 100 other people thought the same thing. Your night is going to suck.

I am playing the holiday smart. I am going upstate with friends, and laying low, and getting drunk in the middle of nowhere with people who I actually like. That’s all I need: My friends, alcohol, warmth and Ryan Seacrest telling me how close we are to New Years.

Speaking of which, I never can get enough of how awkward it becomes upon the final minutes of New Years. The entire time, I’m just thinking, “Let’s get this shit over with, so I can move on with my freaking life.”

Or more specifically I am thinking…

11:55: Okay, five minutes away. Is it an awkward time to go to the bathroom? I could probably make it back with a few minutes to spare, right? Eh, screw it. I can wait five minutes. Wow, is that Jordin Sparks on TV right now? When the hell did she get so hot? What season of American Idol did she win again? Was it season seven? And what the hell happened to Taylor Hicks?

11:56: Damn it, I’m at that awkward part of the beer where there’s a tiny bit left, but it’s a little warm so I don’t want to drink it, but there’s enough left that I don’t want to waste it. Oh God. I hate this situation. Would this qualify as white people problems? I’ll just close my eyes and chug it down. Okay here it goes. Man, that was nasty. But at least I can get a beer now. Oh great, here’s that douchebag that comes around every year trying to get people to drink champagne at midnight…

11:57: I really should have went to the bathroom. My bladder seriously sucks now. When you get to the age where you wake up at least once a night to pee, you know you’re in trouble. It’s all downhill from there. Wait, isn’t that a song? It’s all downhill from there? Oh no, that’s “All Downhill From Here” by New found Glory. Plus I think the song is called something different. Catalyst, I think? Sounds right. I miss 90s music.

11:58: Oh wow, only two minutes left. This is getting real! Then we can all celebrate and join hands and sing “Auld Lang Syne” together. What the hell is that song actually about, anyway? Man, I really have to pee. I wonder if I can make a quick run and be back before New years. That would be pretty embarrassing though, to tell people I spent New Years in a bathroom. Unless I was getting laid at the time. That would be a great story. Man, I want to fuck Jordin Sparks.

11:59: Oh God, one minute away! People are counting now. Counting down from 60? Really? Seriously, this is happening? Oh man, all of the couples are starting to hold hands now, this is sickening. I have to pretend like I don’t notice. So I’ll just stare at the TV like a jackass and pretend like I actually give a crap about this countdown right now. Okay, 30 seconds away. The ball is dropping. That’s what she said. Haha, good one. 15 seconds. I wonder if James Cameron is actually working on Avatar 2 at this moment? I hope so. Five seconds, so close! Four seconds, three, two, one…

12:00 KHFCKEWU8OFL4398!2~@@YGBMS#4!KJHJKDE OH MY GOD!!! IT’S THE NEW YEAR!!!

12:01: Okay, are we done now? Can I go pee?

And that is how the New Year happens.

Alright everyone. Be safe, have fun, and try not to spend too much money on some shitty deal that your friend found online. I will be out of town for the next few days, and will return in the new year, where I will continue, as always, to spit the truth.

It’s all I know.

I love girls. Just not individual girls.

I hope everyone out there had a truly wonderful and relaxing Christmas. I hope you got a lot of presents. I hope you had fun.

Okay, is that out of the way now? Are we good?

It’s funny, Christmas is pretty universally — and I suppose Thanksgiving is the same too — a day where everybody is nice to each other. Therefore, it is pretty impossible to have a shitty Christmas. Maybe unless you recently got a divorce, or your entire family died on Christmas many years ago, or something. Then I could see how you can have a shitty Christmas.

But every time I asked somebody today whether they had a nice Christmas, every single person gave me the most cheerful explanation as to why their Christmas was so great. It almost got redundant enough to the point where I was hoping that at least one person could have told me that they had a terrible Christmas. It would have been a nice change. Unfortunately, though, it did not happen.

Me? My Christmas was delightful. I relaxed, barely moved, got some cool gifts, and even got a new kitten. I’ll talk about it more tomorrow. I plan to write a “2011 in review” blog to wrap up the year. And not in review of the world, but a review of me. Who gives a shit about the world?

Anyway last night, while I was lying in bed, a blog topic hit me. That happens sometimes. However, nine out of ten times, I forget them overnight. I’m not going to jump out of bed just to write down a freaking blog topic. It’s not that important. But this one stuck with me.

I often discuss how much it bothers me when people assume that I don’t have a girlfriend because I am incapable of getting one. Sometimes you get lumped together with other single people — who, in turn, are actually incapable of getting girlfriends. They give us a bad name.

However, not to be narcissistic (but I will be anyway), I know I am fine-looking, I know I have a good personality, and I know that I am a catch. Any girl would be lucky to have me.

So then, I wondered to myself, if that’s the case, and if all the girls out there would willingly throw themselves at you if given the opportunity, why haven’t you found someone who you actually like?

But then it hit me. My TV remote fell off the ledge and hit me in the head.

No I am kidding. I meant it hit me, mentally.

I love girls. I love everything about them. I love the way they look, I love the way they talk, the way they act, and the way they represent themselves. I am in awe of God’s creation of the female. I could not have more respect for women. Fuck, I think even get along better with girls than I do with guys in many regards.

However, what I realized, is that when it comes down to it, when it comes to finding one girl who I could be with for an extended period of time, it becomes a problem. Because while I like girls, I do not like individual girls.

I love the idea of girls, and I love to look at them, but then when you actually get to meet individual girls, and learn about them, you realize that you don’t like them so much.

This isn’t the case for everyone, of course. I have plenty of girls who are friends. However, any time I let a girl get close to me, I find some overlying flaw that completely turns me off.

And in the rare occasion where I think with my dick, and not my brain, and actually make myself believe that I truly like a girl, it turns into an absolute trainwreck. I choose someone who could not be more wrong for me, and it completely deteriorates my faith in the female gender.

Again, I know I am generalizing, but I can only vouch for what I know. And this is what I know.

Plus, it’s probably my own fault more than anybody else’s.

Girls are awesome. I hope they rule the world one day. But, actually sitting down with one of them, trying to get to know them, and starting a relationship with one? Nightmare.

Twas the Night Before Christmas (Global Warming Edition)

Okay, I lied when I said I wouldn’t blog again before Christmas. I was bored at work yesterday, and I decided to rewrite the classic poem Twas the Night Before Christmas” to apply to today’s currenl climate.

Enjoy.

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was cold, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with ease,
The windows wide open to let in a breeze.

The children attempted to nestle snugly in their beds,
But couldn’t unless they held ice packs on their heads.
For global warming was upon us, no snow was in sight,
Oh the things we would not do for a bit of frost bite.

When out on the lawn – there arose such a clatter!
Hopefully a blizzard delivering white matter!
Away to the window I went in a glide,
Praying to God that the heat would subside.

The moon, it lit up my front lawn like a screen,
I blinked twice, hoping to see a shade of white, not green.
But what I see is not snow, to my heart’s dismay,
But fuckin’ Santa Claus and his goddamn sleigh.

Not an ounce of winter blast, not even a lick,
Instead I was stuck with jolly old St. Nick.
My eyes scanned for his reindeer – but then a realization!
They all had dropped dead from mass dehydration.

Unprepared for the warm, but Santa did not care,
Depriving them water as they flew threw the air.
To know the temperature’s changing, Santa, you needn’t be a sleuth,
Did you not watch Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth?”

Although Gatorade will claim it’s better equipped,
More so than water to give your energy a lift.
But our dear Kris Kringle ignored all the facts,
He lumbered on forward with a sack on his back.

And now he is here, in front of my dwelling,
His gifts I don’t want unless they are heat repelling.
A fan, an air conditioner, or new refrigerator,
A klondike bar, a popsicle, a cool incubator.

But what does he bring me? A gift card? Some mittens?
God damn it Santa Claus – leave my house, good riddance!
For this is no longer Christmas of years before,
Mittens may have sufficed back in 2004.

But polar shifts and climate changes have forever changed December.
It’s no longer the Christmastime we all long remember!
Go back to the North Pole, but beware — when you touch ground,
The ice will have melted and your elves will have drowned.

Oh maybe I’m harsh — It’s not all Santa’s fault,
Science is to blame; ocean currents, lack of salt.
I’d rather have not known and lived on in bliss,
And then maybe, just maybe, I’d have enjoyed Christmas.

So hand me your gifts, I’ll accept them all the same,
If it’s a new winter jacket, you cannot be blamed.
Maybe, in the future, cold shall return to this place.
And then I could make use of this brand new North Face.

In the meantime, Santa, spread your holiday cheer!
And find a replacement for your recently departed deer.
Christmas is changing, but you should not fear it,
We still need you to spread the holiday spirit!

And with those inspiring words, Santa gave out a whistle,
Hopped in his sleigh and departed like a missile.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a cold night!”

It’s a global warming Christmas miracle!

Well folks, Christmas is just three days away. The Christmas lights are glistening, the presents are tucked away under the Christmas tree, the cocoa is being poured, the gingerbread cookies are sizzling in the oven, and the hot sun is blasting its warm heat down upon all of us.

Wait, is that last part supposed to happen?

Everyone (and yes, I mean everyone) keeps pointing out to me, “Hey, it’s December, and it’s still not cold yet!” And my reply is always the same: “Eh, I’m sure by Christmas time it will be freezing again. Don’t worry.”

But then, today I realized, I don’t think we should be excepting a rapid temperature change in just three days’ time. It’s going to be a warm Christmas whether we like it or not.

I swear, I think I have heard at least 17 times this winter, “Tomorrow is going to be the last warm day of the year. Then it’s going to be cold for good.”

It’s so hot out, that Santa Claus is going to have to ditch his cloak and wear a red and white wife beater when he delivers his presents this year.

Say what you want about snow, but I think it is completely un-American to not wish for a white Christmas. It just has to be. It’s not Christmas without a thick layer of white powder blanketing my front lawn. I’m so desperate that I may contact my local drug dealer and purchase his entire supply of crack cocaine, just so I could pour it all around my house on Christmas day so that it at least feels like Christmas.

Today I was actually hot when I was outside. Not cool, not lukewarm, not comfortable —hot.

And to be honest, I don’t like using the phrase “global warming.” It’s one of the most overused terms that we see on Facebook now. Because in reality, nobody knows what the heck global warming is and how it is actually affecting us. We are not scientists.

But, God damn, it’s so hot that Santa’s reindeer are actually to die of dehydration during their travels this Christmas.

It’s so hot that the Winter Classic ice hockey game between the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers on New Years day is going to turn into a Winter Classic water polo game.

It’s so hot that people will be leaving chilled lemonade in their living room for Santa instead of milk and cookies.

It’s so hot that people are going to be sitting under their Christmas tree just to get in the shade.

It’s so hot that this year, instead of the yule log, CBS is going to be playing still footage of an iceberg.

I really could go all day with these.

However, I suppose that the true spirit of Christmas lies in spending time with family and enjoying life, regardless of what the temperature outside is. All that matters is that you are together, with your loved ones, sitting in your pajamas and opening presents.

Well, fuck that. I want snow, and I want it now.

In fact, you know how Mel Gibson has himself cryogenically frozen in the movie “Forever Young” so that he doesn’t have to watch his girlfriend die from a coma? I want to have myself cryogenically frozen on Christmas Eve, and not be awoken until snow begins falling again. Would that be a spontaneous, foolish overreaction? Absolutely. But it’s what has entered my mind, so I fully expect to go through with it. Once I invent a cryonic chamber, of course. Does… anybody… know the first thing about going about that? No? Well, that is what Google is for.

In all seriousness, this may be the last post I make before Christmas, so if it is, have a very merry jolly good time on Sunday, everyone. I hope that, like me, when you went Christmas shopping this week, you found yourself only buying things for yourself, and nobody else.

That’s what Christmas is truly about.

Is there a non-gay way to eat a candy cane?

Disclaimer: if you have been reading this blog from the beginning, and you actually still come to the conclusion that I may be homophobic in any way, shape or form, then I don’t know what to tell you. You’ve missed the point.

The only purpose that the start of Hanukkah actually serves is that it reminds me that Christmas is right around the corner. I’ve previously explained how much I enjoy the customs that come with Christmas; the movies, TV shows, music, food, etc.

One thing you can expect for certain during this time, is that people will post their crappy little Christmas cupcakes that they made themselves on Facebook. Congrats, bro, you placed dough in an oven and then put red and green icing on top! You’re Julia motherfuckin’ Childs!

However, one non-homemade Christmas treat that I do highly enjoy, and I think it’s safe to say that this is universally agreed upon, is a nice old-fashioned candy cane.

Come on, don’t deny it. Whenever you witnessed your own or somebody else’s Christmas tree, and saw candy canes draped all over them, you just wanted to rip one of those bad boys off and devour them. Who doesn’t? You’d be weird if you didn’t.

What’s not to like about candy canes?

Candy? Yup.

Sweet? Yup.

Peppermint? Yup!

However, there is one fundamental problem that the heterosexual male encounters when he chooses to divulge in a tasty candy cane.

How in the living hell do you eat a candy cane without making the most homosexual gestures, movements and appearance? Because come on, if you don’t see the phallic undertones that lie within the geometric composition of a candy cane, then you’re flat-out in denial.

Editor’s note: Every sentence from here on out can be appropriately followed with “That’s what she said.”

You can’t just suck on it slowly. You can’t purse your lips and let the candy cane slide over your tongue. You can’t go “mmhmm” and “ahhh” while you are serenely slipping the candy cane around the outermost crevasses of your oral cavity.

So what can you do? Well, luckily for you like, like always, I have some solutions.

The most manly thing you can probably do is break it in half. That is certainly one way to go about it. That gives you the circular end and the straight end. What I used to do, as a kid, is put the circular end around the inside of my mouth as if it’s a mouthpiece. I always thought it was cool. And then you can just let it sit there, and when you’re done, move on to the next piece. It’s small at this point, and it’s like you’re eating any type of candy. Gayness averted.

The other option is to keep the candy cane intact, and put it in your mouth circular side-first. But instead of actually sucking on it, you just let it sit. Being inside your mouth, it’s naturally going to dissolve on its own. No sucking is required. This way, the straight part just sticks out of your mouth like a toothpick. And as all of us men know, there is nothing more masculine than standing around with a toothpick in your mouth, while carrying a facial expression that says, “Damn right, I have a toothpick in my mouth. And I don’t even need a toothpick, my teeth are clean, bitch! I’m just that bad-ass.”

If you choose that route, then not only are you steering clear from any homosexual conduct, but you are actually making yourself look kind of cool. As cool as you can while eating a candy cane, at least.

And that, my friends, is the 101 on how to eat a candy cane without looking like Adam Lambert. You are most certainly welcome.

Oh, Hanukkah started?

Okay, I really do feel a lot better today. Whenever somebody asked, texted or Facebook messaged me to see if I was okay, I mostly downplayed my sadness and shrugged it all off. It’s a lot easier to say “Thanks, I’ll be alright,” then saying “I am insanely depressed, just want to go in a hole and cry, and never come out again.”

However, each person that approached me with their concern played a huge part in my recovery. Not that I am fully back to normal, and I will certainly never be the same with Pebbles gone, but I am back to feeling like my old self, at the very least. So thanks everyone.

So moving on from all that crap, let’s review what happened in the world while I was in my depressed stupor.

For one, Kim Jong-il died. Let’s be honest here. The main reason we all know about Kim Jong-Il is because of “Team America: World Police” (Fuck yeah!) Man, who knew puppets could have such an impact?

I’m not going to pretend that I know a lot about North Korea. But I do know that it is one of the most uncivilized, poor, decrepit and shittiest places in the world, thanks to the aforementioned Mr. Jong-Il.

Amazingly, everyone in North Korea loves him too, and mourned his death. I really don’t know how that’s possible.

I know that they spend every cent they have on their military, and as a result, poor South Korea has to spend every waking second of its existence keeping an eye out on North Korea. It’s like if you were bunking rooms with an actual tiger. You can’t actually go to sleep at night, because you know that if you do, the tiger will freaking maul you to death. That’s how South Korea has been… always.

I remember in World History class in high school, my teacher showed us a satellite photo of North Korea and South Korea. While South Korea is alit, since they are a normal civilization, North Korea is completely dark because they don’t even have electricity. That’s how little they have evolved. Let me see if I can find it via a Google search. Whatever picture I find, I will not give any credit to the original photographer.

There ya go.

So it’s easy to be happy over Kim Jong-Il’s death, or at the very least, indifferent, but I highly doubt anything will change over there. I believe he already trained his son to take over and keep running things the same way.

In a related story, Hanukkah apparently began today.

Jesus Christ, this holiday. I mean no offense to Jews, especially since I am half of one myself, but how little attention does this holiday get? I only know that it is Hanukkah because a couple of people posted about it on Facebook.

First of all, the date of Hanukkah changes every year. Second of all, everyone spells it a different way. There’s Hanukkah, Chanukah, Channukah, Hannukah, etc. I really don’t even know which one is correct. Maybe I’ll just call it Honica. Like Monica Gellar from Friends, but different. Who, on a side note, was also Jewish. She’s also not real.

Even my Jewish friends don’t even care about the holiday. Or they just celebrate it for one night, and not eight or nine, or whatever the hell it is.

I feel like, every year, Hanukkah becomes less and less relevant in comparison to Christmas. In fact, I firmly believe that in 20 years, Hanukkah won’t even exist anymore. Jews still will, of course. We’re like cockroaches, we just aren’t going away. Bear in mind that I am not actually calling Jews cockroaches. I would be offending myself.

People start counting down to Christmas like three months in advance. People don’t even count down to Hanukkah on the day of Hanukkah. I just feel really bad for the holiday.

However, I suppose Hanukkah gives us a fun excuse to use words that we normally wouldn’t use during any time of the year, like “dreidel,” or “menorah,” or “latke.” I will give them that, because those are fun words to say.

Regardless, Happy Hanukkah, or Channukah, or Honica, you lovable Jewish folk.

True colors

It is the time in your life when you are at your most vulnerable point, and therefore depend the most on others, when you discover the true nature of people.

People are who they are. They’ve been one way since they were born and there’s really no changing it. However, it is during times of need when you really learn of it.

It’s both a good thing a bad thing.

I say this for a few reasons. For one, it’s a bad thing because it totally changes how you have always viewed that person. While they may have always been that way, the truth is that they may not have always been that way in your eyes.

I always preach that you need to look for the good in people. It’s not healthy to go around disliking people, and you’ll be much better off if you focus on the good qualities and appreciate them for it. I will always stand by that philosophy.

However, it’s also dangerous, because it can give you a misleading perception of somebody. If you try to focus on the good, then sometimes you ignore or disregard the bad. You almost block in out in your mind, and you continue to give that person the benefit of the doubt even though they may not deserve it.

Now I say it could also be a good thing when you witness somebody’s true colors, because finally, once and for all, you know. No matter how many chances and how many opportunities you give somebody, there are some things that there are absolutely just no coming back from. And unfortunately, it almost takes these extremes to come to that realization. It hurts, no question about it, but at least you know.

When you care about somebody, you want so badly to believe that they are good. You see them not as they are, but how you want them to be. Also, when you care about somebody, you want to be there for them, and conversely, you assume that they will always be there for you. It happens to all of us. We believe what we want to believe, and no matter how old you are, when this occurs, we become as naive as a small child.

And when the shit finally hits the fan, then the blinders, which have been there from day one, are finally lifted, and for the first time, you can see clearly. It’s like a cathartic experience, and you wonder why it took you so long to finally get it. But you get it now.

And that’s why it’s a good thing. Because you can finally move on in your life and realize who the people are who will really be there for you if you need them. And when it happens, you can’t really be bitter about it, because you are just as much to blame. You formed this false perception, and you kept on believing it. That’s your fault and no one else’s.

Again, it all just really makes you take a step back and appreciate your real friends. Although we never wish to experience heartbreak, or tragedy, or any type of sadness, it’s good to know that when it does happen, you will have people who will be there for you. That is what really matters.

Life can be bittersweet sometimes, can’t it? I hope I feel better tomorrow, and can blog about something more happy.

RIP Pebbles

Yesterday, on Friday, December 17th, just before 3 p.m., my cat Pebbles died. She was 20 years old.

To add some context, I am 24 years old. For nearly 80% of my life, she has been here. I don’t recall any instance of my life when she wasn’t alive. To say I am sad, or devastated, would be a gigantic understatement. It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, and I just feel lost. I feel like a part of me is missing.

I don’t think I need to discuss or explain why it is so sad to lose a pet. We all know about the affection, loving nature, and innocence of animals; and especially ones that become our pets. I just want to tell you my story about Pebbles.

Pebbles, earlier this year. RIP.

I don’t remember much from my infant years, or early childhood years, if anything at all. Anything before six years old is a blur. However, I remember, as clear as anything, the day we brought Pebbles home.

A friend of my mother had a cat who gave birth to many kittens. She asked us if we would like one of them, since she didn’t have the time to care for them all. We had never had a family cat before this.

I remember my dad and brother returning home with Pebbles. I remember my entire family sitting in the living room, and I was sitting on the left side of my couch, to the right of my dad, watching Pebbles prowl around the room for the very first time, exploring her new home. I remember turning to my dad and expressing how excited I was. I just couldn’t believe that this little creature was now our pet, and that she would be here all of the time.

I remember that day as if it was yesterday.

You know how pets will sometimes single out one of its owners, and will form a special connection with them? That was me with Pebbles.

She followed me everywhere. As a child, whenever I was curled up reading a book, she was lying next to me. When I was sitting down and watching a movie, she was next to me. When I was sitting at the computer, she was on my lap. Every night, before I went to sleep, I regretfully had to kick her out of my room. Given the nocturnal nature of cats, I knew she would keep me up all night. So I always had to pick her up, bring her to the end of the hall, and hustle quickly back to my room. She would always follow me right back, and I had to close the door before she could get back in. It broke my heart every time.

And when I woke up the next morning, Pebbles was right outside my door, waiting for me.

Ironically, I have an allergy to cat hair. But Pebbles was so prevalent in my life that I grew accustomed to my constant nose-blowing and sniffling. I didn’t mind it. Pebbles’ love was more than worth the extra money I spent on tissue boxes.

I know all cat owners will say this, but I mean it when I say that Pebbles was a special cat. She was warm and affectionate. She never shied away from anyone. Whenever somebody new stepped into our house, Pebbles would run to greet them, and would begin rubbing against their legs. All she wanted was to be around people. That’s what she loved.

Additionally, Pebbles was a smart cat. I really mean that. Whenever she looked me in the eye, I could see that she understood everything. She understood how much I loved her. She knew what was expected of her, she knew what to do when she wanted food, and she was extremely well-behaved and obedient.

Until yesterday, Pebbles had been one of the few constants in my life. I’ve been through a lot of different stages in my life, and through all of them, she was always there.

She was there for me as a child, when I was still young and oblivious to the world. Her and I were oblivious together.

She was there for me as a tween, when I couldn’t wait to come home from school and play with her.

She was there for me as a teenager, especially when I went through a phase in my life, during high school, when I thought I had lost a lot of my friends, and in result I went through a mini bout of depression. Regardless, I still had her.

She was also there when I developed a severe case of acne towards the end of high school. It wasn’t a long stretch, but It was so bad that I was embarrassed to go out in public and look at people. But Pebbles didn’t care, she loved me all the same.

When I went to college, I remember missing her so much. My parents would send me pictures of her, and that made me even more upset. But I got used to the separation. During this time, Pebbles formed a closer connection with my mother, since I was no longer there for her around the clock like I used to be.

I was always so excited to return home for breaks, just so I could see her. And conversely, it was always painful to say goodbye again. But the time away made me realize how lucky I was to have her in my life.

When I graduated college, and returned home, it was like I never left. She was older now, about 17, but she didn’t look it. She still was perfectly healthy, she still had energy (albeit not as much as she used to), and she still had that gleam in her eye that told me that she was still the same old cat she always was. Honestly, I even started to believe that there was something magical about her.

Pebbles outlived some of my other cats. When I was in third grade, we learned of a family who had a cat, but could no longer take care of it since they just had a baby. We volunteered to take it. His name was Yo-Yo.

Unfortunately, upon having the baby, the family kept the cat in their old, dusty basement, and as a result, Yo-Yo developed a breathing problem. He had bad stretches regularly where his breathing was strained, and we had to take him to the vet many times. But we loved him all the same. He was mistreated by his prior owners, but we got three years out of him to show him proper love and affection before he died. I was 10 years old, and it was the first loss of a major pet that I ever experienced. I was incredibly upset.

A year later, to replace Yo-Yo as our additional cat, we purchased two twin tabby kittens, Rusty and Snoopy. They looked identical, except for the fact that one was black and one was orange.

These two cats were not nearly as friendly as Pebbles, but they were wonderful additions to our home, and they loved to play together.

Things went smoothly for several years. Pebbles, Rusty and Snoopy were part of the family. Then, in 2008, Rusty stopped eating one day. He was clearly in pain, and spent a lot of time crouched on all fours and off to himself. He had kidney failure. We kept him alive for a month, until we realized that he could no longer live like this. We had to put him to sleep at nine years old. Snoopy had lost his brother.

About four months ago, Pebbles, after 19-and-a-half years of great health, became ill. She was having trouble walking, and had no appetite. I thought for sure she had kidney failure, and that we’d have to put her down.

However, according to the vet, her kidneys were fine. He believed she either had a tumor or internal bleeding. He said there is nothing that can be done, but that she can get better, but she could also get worse. We didn’t know what to expect.

It was probably one of the saddest days of my life. For the first time ever, the imminent mortality of my beloved cat was upon me. I always knew the day would come, but I refused to believe it. But it was here.

Miraculously, after about a week, Pebbles recovered. She was her old self again. She had energy, was eating a lot, and was just as affectionate as ever. This incident was really a wake-up call. It made me accept the fact that Pebbles would not be around much longer and it gave me a new-found appreciation for her. I made sure to spend time with her every day to show how much I loved her.

Yesterday, I went downstairs at about 3:00. My dad came out of the bathroom, and he said, in a broken voice, “Pebbles is dead.” I looked on the couch, and sure enough, he was right. Her eyes were open, her mouth was open, and she was not breathing. I couldn’t believe it. Pebbles was dead.

I helped my dad put her in a box, and we decided to bury her in the backyard. Without a doubt, I knew I had to help bury her. I had to.

I joined my dad, and silently, we dug. I can’t remember the last time I saw him cry, but he was crying then. After digging a couple of feet, we came across another box. The remains of Rusty. We had buried him in the same spot we wished to bury Pebbles.

So we moved over a few feet, and dug a new hole, and put the remains of Pebbles there. We have two cat statues in the backyard, and we placed one over Pebbles, and one over Rusty. They are viewable from my window, and even now as I write this, I can see them. It is horribly upsetting and joyful at the same time. I know that together, the two of them, with Yo-Yo, are playing together in kitty Heaven.

Like I said before, it still hasn’t hit me. I still look around my house, expecting to see Pebbles lying there. I truly can’t believe she is gone.

I’m a young guy, and going to be alive for a long time, and even if I live to be 100, I know that not a day will go by when I won’t think of Pebbles.

She wasn’t just my pet. She was everything to me. I know that people will say “You took care of her and made her life great,” but, the truth is, she made my life great. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for her. There is no doubt in my mind about that.

I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world that I got to have a cat that was so special. It’s terrible that she couldn’t make it until Christmas, or New Years, or long enough to one day meet my future wife and kids. However, through me, Pebbles will live on forever. She will be the light that burns inside me and keeps me going every day. Her physical presence may be gone, but her spirit and her impact on this world will remain alive through me. I vow to live each day and cherish life to the fullest, and it’s all because of her. It’s the least that I can do after all she has done for me.

Snoopy is about twelve years old now, and shows no signs of slowing down. He is my only cat left, and I will love him to the end, just like Pebbles, just like Rusty and just like Yo-Yo.

Rest in peace Pebbles. I will always love you.

It’s not about having a lot of friends

Having a lot of friends is never a bad thing.

For one, it’s a good indicator of the type of person you are. If you are an annoying, rude, boisterous and/or grouchy individual, then people will not want to be around you. So if you do have a lot of friends, it means you possess good qualities, and that is certainly never a bad thing.

From a networking standpoint, it’s great to have a lot of friends. When searching for better job opportunities, there are plenty of people who can help you out. So that is definitely another plus.

Lastly, and arguably the most important factor of having a lot of friends, is that you get to flaunt it on Facebook. I’m obviously kidding when I say it is the most important, but to say that it doesn’t matter would be a flat-out lie. Whenever we make Facebook statuses, we all hope that we get several ‘likes’ and several comments. And conversely, it’s extremely embarrassing to write a Facebook status that receives zero responses.

On a side note, it’s almost unfair to have a spouse, because if you ever find yourself with an unappealing Facebook status, your wife or husband will always be there to bail you out with a ‘like’ or a comment. It’s one of the most overlooked benefits of marriage. I’m single, but does someone want to volunteer to be my automatic “prevent my Facebook statuses from going ignored” person? All it requires is checking my Facebook wall once a day and making sure all my statuses have responses. Send applications if you are interested. Thanks.

Okay, so yeah, for all of the reasons I stated above, it is extremely beneficial to have a lot of friends.

However, I realized something recently. Having friends is nice and all, and it makes you feel good. There’s no doubt about it. It’s cool to have over 1,000 Facebook friends as opposed to 250. However, the realization I had is… it’s not the quantity of friends that matter.

It’s the quantity of friends who actually give a shit about you that matters.

In other words, the people who actually like you and care about you.

What if you have 1,200 Facebook friends, and yet, only two of them really truly care about you? What if only two of them would pick you up along the highway when your car breaks down at 3 a.m.? And if one of them is your mom?

And if you have 250 Facebook friends, and yet, 50 of them would be willing to pick you up if need be. Which of those people would you rather be? I think the answer is pretty damn easy.

I’m not trying to be narcissistic, and say that you want people to worship you or anything. In fact it’s the opposite.

How do you get people to genuinely like you? How do you get people to care about you? Well, it’s simple.

By genuinely liking them back. By caring about them too.

Now I’m not saying that you should be fake. Don’t pretend to like people. If you don’t get along, then you don’t get along, and leave it at that. But you really need to learn to see the best in people. You should learn to realize that everyone has their own life too, and treat them as such. Then, my friend, you will earn their respect and their friendship. I never said it was easy. It’s a lot of responsibility, but it is worth it.

If you live in your own little shell, and only converse with people when you need to, or when it’s convenient for you, then it’s worthless how many people you know. If you don’t show people the compassion, attentiveness and self-respect that they deserve, at all times, then they will never consider you a real friend, and that is how it works.

So, again, it’s not about “knowing x amount of people.” Rather, it’s about knowing x amount of people who you can always talk to when you need to, who you can form memories with, and who you can count on at all times. That is what friends are really about. And the only way to get that is to give it in return.

PREACH.

To change gears a little, I want to point out that I went to the movies today (saw “Hugo”, fantastic movie. One of my favorites of the year, hands down), and during the sneak previews, I became appalled.

It’s easy to notice how unoriginal Hollywood has become nowadays. Every movie is either a sequel, a prequel, or an adaptation from a book, comic or an earlier film.

But the lack of originality has hit a new low. I saw six previews during my theater experience today, and three of them were Titanic, Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars. Yes, I know that all of those movies have come out already, but they are returning to theaters. In 3D. Talk about freaking money-grubbing.

I blame the success of the Lion King, which returned to the theaters a few months ago in 3D, and topped the box office for about three weeks in a row. So now every classic film is going to do it. Why the hell would people waste their money on this? it costs about $14 to see a movie in 3D. It’s not worth it; I’d prefer to just watch the original version in its classic form.

People, don’t encourage the lack of originality. Just don’t do it!

The last thing I want to say is that today I had the first opportunity to switch to the “Timeline” option on Facebook, and it was a no-brainer for me. The format is very different, but like all changes, I’ll get used to it in a few days. Additionally, if you’re a nostalgic person like me, then it’s always fun to go back and look at your old pictures.

Well, since the Timeline sorts everything into chronological order, it is now extremely simple to scroll down to earlier points your life, and not only see your old photos, but also your old Facebook statuses and wall posts! It’s nostalgia city and in a very aesthetic and convenient manner. I love it. And I tip my hat to you, Zucks.

Okay that’s all for me today. I have a fantasy basketball draft ongoing at the moment and I think people will get pissed off at me if I keep letting it get down to the final seconds for all of my picks. Also, Beauty and the Beast (THE NON 3D VERSION, THANK YOU VERY MUCH) is on ABC Family right now. So yeah. I’m good.

Do people actually have dessert as a meal?

As kids, we are taught the primary courses that most humans abide by. There’s breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. However, once you grow older, you realize that dessert isn’t actually a thing.

Breakfast is arguably my favorite meal of the day, and I try to have it daily, depending on how early I wake up before work.

Lunch is also a can’t-miss, especially since this isn’t communist China, and most workplaces allot us a lunch hour.

Dinner, meanwhile, is where I stuff myself, and then hold my stomach in regret half-an-hour later. (I can’t help it — I eat until my plate is empty!)

But dessert? Seriously? Like, my question is, do people actually reserve time in their daily schedule for dessert? Do they hold back on dinner just so they can eat dessert later? Do they buy cakes and treats at the supermarket with dessert in mind? And do they actually wait until a certain time, such as “dessert time,” and sit down with their family while eating it?

I wonder this, because once I became a knowledgeable young adult, and started actually learning about health and proper eating, dessert vanished in my mind. We learned that the foods that normally comprise desert will very easily lead you to a life of obesity, or a heart attack, and that is all that I needed to know.

I understand that junk food exists, and that it is enjoyable to indulge in ice cream, chocolate, cupcakes, brownies, pie or a box of Good N’ Plenty every now and then. We’re only human, we can’t restrain ourselves all of the time.

But daily, as in a fourth meal? Please tell me this doesn’t happen.

For almost a decade, the word “dessert” hasn’t even crossed the threshold of my mind. I don’t look at the clock two hours after dinner and think, “Oh my, it’s dessert time! Time to eat… again.”

In my opinion, I think it is flat-out poor parenting to encourage your children to eat dessert. Not that I would deprive my children of junk food, but I would never set aside a certain time, say like 8:00, and call to them from the bottom of the stairs, “Kids, dessert time!” I also would not ever beat them.

And I’m trying not to be judgmental. If you like to pig out and eat junk food on a regular basis, well then, as long as you’re comfortable with it, then I’m comfortable with it. If you don’t mind sacrificing your physical appearance for excess overeating, then more power to you. I have nothing against fat people.

But what does bother me, is when fat people often complain about how they hate how they look, or how they “wish they could lose weight”, or how they “don’t have the time to lose weight,” and yet, when they eat a meal, they have two helpings, a brownie and a coke, well, then that does bother me. I can’t help but look at what they’re consuming, and not think, “Yeah dude, this is why you are fat. Look no further.”

But of course, you can’t actually say anything. So I keep my discriminating thoughts to myself. Like I always do. Except when I’m blogging.

Oh boy. I’m glad I never say my name on here. Oh wait, I do. Crap.

Anyway, I’d like to move onto something a little more serious. I want to take a moment to say a proper goodbye and pay my respects to a certain feline, who went by the name of Bubbles.

In life, there is nothing better, and nothing worse, then to love. You all know why there is nothing better. Conversely, I say it is also the worst, because as happy as love can make you, it can also make you as distraught when you lose the ones you love. It happens to us all, and it sucks.

Some people out there may try to devalue the loss of a pet, claiming that “it’s not human, so get over it.” But, fuck them. Us pet owners and animal lovers know differently.

To lose something who knows nothing else in this world but to give and accept unconditional love, no matter the circumstances, is nothing short of tragic. Regardless of what you look like, or what you are going through in life, your pet will love you. It’s all it wants to do. It will still snuggle with you at night, and it will still purr when you pet it. That never changes, and it is what makes a pet so wonderful.

Losing a pet is awful, but at the same time, it makes you so damn happy to know that you got to experience your time with it. Again, it’s that “best and worst” thing. It makes you wonder how anyone in this world could not be a pet owner, since they are missing out on one of the greatest companionships known to man.

Although one may experience devastation, heartbreak, anger and frustration upon losing a pet, while wondering how that lovable creature can be taken away from you, one also needs to realize that they made that animal feel like it was the luckiest thing in the world. Nothing was making you love that pet. Nothing made you feed it several times a day, give it shelter, and nothing made you play with it. No one even told you that you had to have a pet in the first place. But you did, and you made every second of it count.

A cat may not know many things, with its little brain and all, but that… it does get. You made it’s life, and that’s all you could ever do.

And after those emotional words, I think I can use a cupcake.