America… rejoice.

I’ve never been more proud to be an American than I am today.

Even in 2003, when George W. Bush stood on the USS Abraham Lincoln and recited, “Mission accomplished,” when he allegedly indicated that the war with Iraq was over, have I never felt more proud.

Even last summer, when Seal Team 6 swooped into Islamabad and killed Osama Bin Laden, have I never felt more proud.

And even when I first watched Rocky IV, when Sylvester Stallone whooped Dolph Lundgren’s Soviet ass, have I never felt more proud.

Had I been alive for the 1980 Miracle on Ice, or D-Day, or the moon landing or even the final day of the freaking American Revolution, would I never feel a greater sense of nationalism than I do on this very day.

Why?

Earlier today, Music Television, better known as MTV, announced that Jersey Shore will be canceled after this season.

WE DID IT! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

When I first heard the news, I nearly broke down to my knees in tears. That’s how excited I was. This nightmarish, horrifying, god-awful blemish on our great nation is finally fading away, lost in the aether of time, where it rightfully belongs.

I suppose it is fairly ironic that I would be saluting America for this, considering we were the ones who popularized it to begin with. However, I’ll cut people some slack. The show premiered in 2009 — what the hell else happened in 2009? Nothing. People were bored, needed something new, and Jersey Shore came around and occupied their attention.

America, I forgive you. Just don’t make the same mistake again.

The worst part about this show is — well, it’s hard to pick, actually. One of them is the fact that the cast is making $2 million each for the sixth and final season, which apparently is equal to how much the adults actors in the ABC hit show Modern Family make per year.

Another one of the worst parts is the fact that it gave us Snooki. Enough said.

But I think the very worst part is the fact that we tried to forcefeed the show onto other countries. Other nations must have looked at the Jersey Shore program and said, “Dear God, this is what Americans watch to occupy their time? No wonder their economy is in the shitter. But, whatever floats their boat — just keep it the hell away from us.”

And then what do we go and do? We ship these group of degenerates off to Italy. I mean, that’s just as bad as sending over an envelope of anthrax. *SIDE NOTE: I am not endorsing that — FBI do not investigate me*

In all seriousness, though, I’m just glad that I never have to hear about it again. Sure, the “actors” are all set for life financially (granted they don’t waste all of their money on drugs and alcohol, which they will), but at least they have to face the semi-harsh reality of finding new occupations. They won’t be shipped off to an expansive house and paid to make fools of themselves.

Now they actually have to discover something that they’re good at. But, knowing the television business these days, they’ll probably all just get their own individual reality show spinoffs. For shame. If that happens, I rescind my aforementioned congratulations towards America.

But until that happens, allow us to rejoice. Ding dong, the show is dead.

In other news of things coming to an end, Andy Roddick retired.

Gee, I wonder if he’s wearing a Lacoste shirt and hat for fun, or if there is any other incentive involved? I’m not sure.

To me, this is the least warranted attention anybody has ever received for retiring. Andy Roddick won one grand slam in his career. Yeah, I know, “But he played in the same era as Roger Federer! And Rafael Nadal! And Novak Djokovic!”

Well, if you want to be the best — the very best — then there was no better time to play. Yet, Roddick seemed perfectly content making it to the quarterfinals of grand slams before getting eliminated by one of those three guys, and taking his paycheck and going home. I’m not saying the guy wasn’t a competitor, but considering the hype surrounding him earlier in his career, I don’t see how you can label his career from a competitive standpoint as anything but a failure.

After winning the U.S. Open in 2003 at the ripe age of 21, he was primed to become the next American tennis sensation. Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras had just retired, and American fans were still interested in tennis. Roddick was the guy.

And then he never won again, and after a few years, Americans lost interest in the sport as it became dominated by the Swiss, Spanish and Serbs. The three S’s.

Again, I’m not saying Roddick didn’t accomplish a lot, and I’m sure he won a ton of minor tournaments — and obviously we know he’s made a fortune in his career, but, I just can’t believe he wishes to throw in the towel without feeling compelled to trump the “Big 3” once and for all and take home one more title.

He’s retiring after the U.S. Open — in which he is still currently involved (he plays his third round match tomorrow), so if he miraculously wins it, and rides of into the sunset into retirement, then I’ll eat my words. It’s actually going to be pretty crazy watching the fan support that he’s going to receive during his next matches. The crowd will be nuts and it will be must-see TV. So perhaps it will motivate him. We shall see.

Actually, I take it all back. I’d probably retire too if it meant getting to spend more time with this:

Seriously, how the hell did he pull that off?

Oh, that’s right. He’s rich.

Why do people insist on taking pictures of themselves while holding a baby?

When you choose your primary Facebook picture, you want it to accomplish two things.

1) You want it to make you look physically appealing. Nobody in the right mind is going to choose a picture of themselves that captured them from a bad angle or a bad light.

In fact, people go out of their way to doctor a photograph so that they could use it as their profile picture. What I mean is that when they are photographed standing directly next to some one — but they think they look good — they might crop the photo so that they cut out the other person. The result is a picture of them where they are situated in the very far side of the picture, and you can often see the arm or the side of a face of somebody else that has been cropped out.

This always amuses me because it just informs you how much people care about their primary Facebook picture. But it is what it is.

2) The other thing people want to accomplish with the profile picture is maintaining a politically correct image. In this day and age, you would be bonkers to post a photo of yourself drunk as your Facebook picture — let a lone a photo of you holding a beer or a glass of wine. Because you know that future employers might encounter this photo and make a decision based on it.

So people choose a photo where they are dressed nicely, or where they are posing with a family member or significant other, or a picture of themselves on vacation to show that they are well-traveled.

Everybody bears those two things in mind when they choose their profile picture. There are other factors to consider, of course, but these two are mandatory.

So what else accomplishes those two items on the checklist?

A picture of yourself holding a small baby.

Everytime I log onto Facebook now, I have to do a double take at people’s thumbnail photos of their profile picture, because I can’t even tell what I am looking at. And then when I click on it, I see them holding a baby, and then I curse aloud for wasting five seconds of my life actually clicking on it.

Posting a picture of yourself holding a baby is borderline sinister, in my opinion. It’s also brilliant. Here’s why:

a) Girls love babies. By posting this picture, you are guaranteeing yourself at least seven comments and/or likes from girls, who will saying something along the lines of “Awwww!” In other words, it will draw girls to your Facebook page like a moth to a flame.

b) It shows that you’re a family man. By holding a baby — in a proper fashion — it shows that you are not afraid of them. It means that you are tolerant of infants, and you know how to handle and be around them, and chicks dig that too. Also, the baby is not yours — you’re too young. It means the baby is either your niece, nephew or cousin, and that shows that you are very close with your family if you are allowed to hold it. Awwww!

c) It makes you look mature. Sure, you may go out on Friday nights, get wasted, and then pee in people’s bushes on your walk home. But that doesn’t matter, because all sins are forgiven as long as you’re holding a baby. The fact that you are trusted to hold something so small and delicate — so much so that it could die if you drop it — means that you have your shit together. At least you did for that one photo, and girls acknowledge that. Awwww!

d) You look good. Nobody in the history of the world has ever looked ugly while holding a baby. This is for two reasons. The first being that whenever you’re holding a baby, you always have a doofy smile on your face. It brings out an innocent and endearing side of you and, again, chicks dig that. Awwww!

Secondly, you are not even the focal point of the picture. All anybody is looking at is the baby. So whatever faults you may have are overlooked and unnoticed, because all anybody gives a shit about is that goddamn baby.

So that is why posting a picture of yourself holding a baby is ingenious. The reason why I said it was sinister before is because it borders on exploitation. Not in the sense that the picture was taken, because everyone likes to document the early days of somebody’s life.

Nor is it exploitation in the sense that it was posted to Facebook, because everybody likes to keep their friends abreast of the happenings in their life, which includes a baby.

It is borderline exploitation, however, that you chose it as your Facebook profile picture, namely because you are trying to accomplish the four things that I listed above. You can’t blame someone for doing it — most of the time it is a very cute picture — but by using the picture of the baby to accomplish ulterior motives, it is indeed a mild form of exploitation. I don’t make the rules.

And if it is your baby, then you have a lot more problems in life then trying to look good in your profile picture.

Awwww!

“Once in a blue moon…”

This Friday I am going to go out to a bar and I am going to flirt with as many girls as possible.

I am going to go girl by girl, shamelessly asking if they want to hook up with me. If they say no, I’ll accept my losses and move on to the next girl. I expect that I’ll get rejected in many different ways, but I am waiting for that one special type of rejection. I will approach the hottest girl I could find — a girl who is way out of my league and who I wouldn’t have a chance with even on my best day —  and I will ask her what the chances are of a guy like me hooking up with a girl like her.

She will look at me, possibly laugh, and say, “once in a blue moon.”

And then, I will promptly take her by the hand, escort her outside, and point her up towards the sky.

Why? Because this upcoming Friday, there will be a blue moon.

When she sees this blue moon, she will have no choice but to hook up with me, and she will know it. There is a binding legal contract, and you don’t break those. And that is how I will hook up with a beautiful girl on Friday night. It’s fail-proof.

Of course, it could be a really cloudy that night, and in that case, the plan will completely and utterly fail. So I guess it’s not completely fail-proof. In fact, I could tell you right now that it won’t work.

So what is a blue moon anyway? When people think of it, only one thing comes to mind.

Which may I add is the most overrated beer this side of a Corona. Yeah I know people will say “but… but… put an orange in it and it’s soOoOoOo good!” No, it’s not. It’s slightly less shitty, but with an orange.

As a huge advocate of wheat beers, I can personally attest that Blue Moon is crap. People only get excited to see it on tap because it’s a different beer that they are familiar with other than Budweiser.

Much more superior wheat beers include Hoegaarden, Palm and a new personal favorite of mine, Weihenstephaner (pronounced Why-Fin-Sty-Phin.) Or basically, anything that is Belgian or German not named Blue Moon. Okay, I’m done.

So a celestial blue moon means that it is the second full moon in a given month. Apparently, the first full moon occurred on Aug. 2. Twenty-nine days later, it is back again. When it occurs though, the moon is not actually blue, but dust particles and volcanic ash in the atmosphere sometimes give the appearance that the moon is blue. Hence, a blue moon.

And despite the phrase “Once in a blue moon,” a blue moon is apparently not that rare. They occur about once every 2.7 years, and the next blue moon will be visible in July 2015. So considering that it will be the last one in three years, that makes it a bit significant. Who knows what the hell will happen in the next three years. I’ll be 28 when that happens. *Shudders at the thought, then decides he’ll be a millionaire by the time he’s 28 and feels better*

The moon takes 29.5 to wax and wane and become full again, and since this is less than a calendar month, it will lead to two full moons in a single month on occasion. This is one of those months. In fact, in 1999, there were two blue moons in a two-month period! (There was no full moon in February that year.)

So from now until Friday, if someone laughs off your request by saying, “I’ll do that once in a blue moon,” then you can spin it right back at them and inform them that a blue moon will not only happen again soon, but this very week. Bam! Oh and to those who are actually wondering, the moon will reach its full phase at approximately 9:58 EST on Friday. Which means it’s during the day and not even visible. But try looking at night and check out that blue mofo, albeit not in its “fullest form.”

While I am talking about the moon, I should probably point out that Neil Armstrong died on Saturday, August 25 at the age of 82. He is not only known as being a distant cousin of Stretch Armstrong, but he is also known for being the first guy to walk on the moon.

His famous quote misinterpretation and conspiracy theories aside, this guy lived a fascinating life. And to me, it’s cool that he never even tried to profit off of it by writing a book or anything like that. Most jackasses nowadays will jump at the opportunity to cash in with a willing publisher, but Neil simply kept to himself. He didn’t overtly attempt to defy the nonsensical conspiracy theorists either, because he knew what he did. When you land on the goddamn moon, and are the first person ever to do it, you don’t have to answer to anybody after that. Ever. And you have to respect that.

Also, people like to brag about where they’ve been. I’ve been known to brag about even the most feeble vacations, such as New Hampshire or Washington D.C. But then you have that person who trumps you, and says they went to Las Vegas or Los Angeles.

And then you have that even bigger douchebag that will scoff, and state in the most obnoxiously inferior tone — “Yeah, that’s cute. I’ve been to Italy. Twice.”

Well, if Neil Armstrong was in that room, within earshot of the conversation, he could simply approach that arrogant, self-aggrandizing prick, look him or her straight in the eye and say, “I’ve been to the motherfucking moon.”

That you have, Neil. That you have.

RIP Neil.

My week with Maria

Today I went to the U.S. Open for the first time in my life. As I am and always have been a huge tennis fan, there’s really been no excuse as to why I have never gone before. The park is legitimately within 30 minutes of my house, and it’s not even really that expensive. However, I’ve never found the time to go.

So when my buddy informed me he had an extra ticket for the opening day of this year’s U.S. Open, and asked if I wanted it — it wasn’t a difficult decision.

My first thought after I accepted the ticket was, “I need to see Maria Sharapova play.” I have long been obsessed with Maria Sharapova. OBSESSED. I think she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. I’ve followed almost all her matches for the past five years or so, and I root for her as hard as I root for any other of my favorite sports teams.

Fun fact: she was also born 12 days after me. We are destined to be together. Like, for real. Except she’s engaged. To basketball reject Sasha fucking Vujacic.

Anyway, I immediately checked online and saw that Maria was indeed playing today, and that got me excited. However, her match was scheduled for Arthur Ashe Stadium, which is the main grandstand stadium in the park. You needed a special — and much more expensive — ticket to attend that arena, which we didn’t have. Oh well. It was upsetting, but at least I’d still get to see plenty of tennis. My first ever encounter with Maria would have to wait.

So we’re at the tennis center and having a great time. The sun is beaming, so much so that I was sweating extravagantly in my seat. We walked around for a little bit, catching some different matches, when out of nowhere it began torrential downpouring. In the blink of an eye, we had to run for cover.

The rain lasted two hours. I got soaked. However, when the rain lightened up a teensy bit, my friend and I walked around, and we approached the entrance to Arthur Ashe Stadium. We noticed that the security was a little lax during the rainstorm, and we saw that on the corner of the entrance barricade there was a slight opening. We carefully watched the attendant for about three or four minutes, who was standing about fifteen feet away, and picked the right moment to casually walk in. We did it.

We hung out in the arena for the final hour of the 3-hour rain delay, and we were still unsure if we’d even get to the seating area since we lacked the proper tickets. But lo and behold, it was our lucky day. We walked right on in and sat down in an empty section of seats in the closest possible section. But still, we figured that somebody would come in and claim them, right? And that we’d be kicked out of the arena, right?

Nope.

For a good four hours during once again beautiful weather, we watched Andy Murray, the fourth-ranked men’s player in the world, win in straight sets, and, you guessed it — Maria Sharapova.

It’s a weird sight when you see your biggest celebrity crush in person. I made sure I stood as close as I could to the entrance ramp so I can get the first glimpse of her when she walked into the playing court. I was as close as possible, merely feet away, when she emerged. It was like an angel descending from heaven. In fact, I panicked so much, that this is the picture I ended up taking.

Major, major choke job on my part. But if you look a the top middle of the picture, you can absolutely see Maria Sharapova’s shoes.

But anyway, we sat in about the sixth row, and then for the end of the match we even moved up to the first freaking row, and I came as close to Maria Sharapova as I ever have, and ever will. It was seriously awesome to see her up close and personal. She absolutely dominated the match in straight sets against some Hungarian chick, and all I can say is, wow, she is even more beautiful in person. God damn.

Here are some photos I got:

But seriously, everybody has celebrity crushes. We all have that one person who we know we’ll never meet, or even see in person, but like to imagine that one day we will.

So for me to actually get a chance to see her, and watch her do what she does best live, was a pretty surreal experience.

In fact, the closest I got to her was at the very end, when she spurned my autograph request following her victory.

Honestly, I don’t even care that I didn’t get her autograph. That I have documented video evidence that I was that close to her is enough for me. But to sum up, it was a pretty awesome day. I spent a good 10 hours at the U.S. Open, watching the top tennis players in the world compete, and also got to pay $9 for a beer.

Most importantly, Aug. 27, 2012 will always be known as the day that I snuck into Arthur Ashe Stadium and was within inches of Maria Sharapova.

All guys are assholes, and all girls are bitches.

What do people complain about the most in life? Obviously there’s plenty of things up there, like work, money, sports, politics, family, the weather, etc. There’s an infinite list of stressors in this world that cause people to complain. But what tops that list?

The opposite gender.

People love, love, to complain about men and women. Girls love to tell their friends about how some guy failed to respond to her text messages. Guys love to complain about how some girl flirted with him and then turned him down when he asked for her number.

I can vouch for the guys’ side, obviously. If a girl turns him down, she’s labeled as a bitch, plain and simple. He’ll badmouth her to his friends and call her all sorts of impolite names that are synonymous with the word  “harlot.”

But I am always amused by the complaints from the female side. You hear:

“Where are all the good guys?”

“Why are all the good ones taken? Or gay?”

“All guys are assholes. Even the nice guys are assholes. It just takes them longer to show themselves.”

It makes me laugh because there’s no middle ground. When a girl likes someone, it means he either likes you back and he’s a saint, or he doesn’t like you back and he’s an asshole. That’s it.

But let me tell you all something that everyone in this world should have realized a long, long time ago. You ready?

Men and women are naturally incompatible. It’s a fact. We have different interests, different life aspirations and different states of mind. That’s all there is to it. Of course, there are men and women who do indeed find themselves to be compatible enough, and tolerate each other. And that’s how relationships are formed. But 99.9% of the time, they are not.

In other words, men and women are not programmed to be around each other 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All guys don’t fall under the terms “nice guys” and “assholes.” Just like how all girls don’t fall under the labels “slut” and “nice girl.” Everyone is somewhere in the middle.

I mean, think about it for a minute. Just because a guy didn’t return your calls after a drunken hook-up, it doesn’t mean he’s an asshole. He just simply isn’t as interested as you. For a guy and girl to meet, and want the same exact things at the same exact time, is so freaking rare. So to chalk a guy up as a bad dude because he just wasn’t in to you at that moment in time, is nothing short of irrational. And yes, I used bold font for basically the first time ever. Emphasis was needed.

Just think of all the scenarios that exist when a man and woman share intimacy. Ready? And just to keep it consistent, I’m going to paint the man as the “bad guy” in all of these scenarios. But they could be reversed to go either way.

  1. Man and woman hook up. Man has no desire to hook up with her again. Woman tries to text him, he ignores. He’s an “asshole.”
  2. Man and woman hook up. Man is willing to hook up with her again when drunk, but that’s it. He mostly dismisses her texts but is nice and flirtatious to her when they’re out at a bar together and hook up a few more times. She finally catches on and tells him off. “He’s an asshole.”
  3. Man and woman hook up. Man is sort of interested and is initially receptive, but eventually backs off when she texts him too much. He’s an “asshole.”
  4. Man and woman hook up. He tells her he’s not interested in a relationship, and wants to keep it casual. She obliges but secretly wants a relationship. They keep hooking up but when it gets too serious he ends it and reinforces what he said earlier about not wanting a relationship. He’s an “asshole.”
  5. Man and woman hook up. He asks her on a date, and they do. After the date, he tells her he’ll call her again, but in reality he wasn’t feeling it and doesn’t. He’s an “asshole.”
  6. Man and woman hook up. He asks her out, and is interested in a relationship but not sure if she’s the one. So he gives her a max of three dates, because he knows anything more than that will make it serious. After the three-date trial, he tells her that they should stop seeing each other. He’s an “asshole.”
  7. Man and woman hook up. There is mutual interest for them to go on dates, and they do. The man has a seedling of doubt, though, but he wants to try it and to see where it goes. They date/hook up anywhere from 3 to 8 months, becoming ‘Facebook official’ along the way. He ends it when he realizes that his seedling of doubt was warranted and they have no future together. He’s an “asshole.”
  8. Man and woman hook up. They highly enjoy each other’s company, and date for a while, maybe years, before the man realized they are not destined to be man and wife. He tells her this. He’s an “asshole.”

And I’ll stop after that, because anything further is much more serious. In all of these scenarios, the guy comes out looking really bad in the girl’s eyes. She writes on Facebook about how “all men are assholes.”

But they’re not. Just like how not all women are bitches. This was simply just a case of two people not being on the same page. The same “good guys” who meet their eventual partners, fall in love and live happily ever after, were involved in one or more of these scenarios before that. That’s right, the love of your life was indeed an “asshole” once.

And those scenarios don’t even factor in other outside variables — like personal problems that might lead to you making these romantic decisions. Or perhaps you just got out of a serious relationship and are currently not looking for another. Maybe you just experienced a death or illness of a family member or close friend. Maybe you are having work problems.

So again, to repeat for emphasis — for two people to meet and be on the exact same page at the exact same time is very, very, very rare. Life is a long and harrowing experience, a lot of shit is going to happen over the course of your time on earth, and for you to be judged simply by how you treated a member of the opposite sex during one single occasion is asinine.

Is it understandable to be upset with somebody if they “wronged” you? Of course. I’m not taking that away from you. But maybe people need to understand that other people have their own lives, and their own thoughts, and their own problems. So just because you want them to like you, doesn’t mean they should. In most cases, they won’t.

The point of this whole spiel is that every guy in the world was, at some point, an asshole, and every girl in the world, was at some point, a bitch. But that doesn’t make them an asshole or a bitch. It just makes them people. That’s all.

And of course, I should mention that there are legit assholes in the world, like men who cheat on their girlfriends/spouses or beat their wife. They are true assholes.

But to lighten things up before I depart, I should mention that everybody’s favorite boy band One Direction is releasing a new album in November. It is called Up All Night. 

That’s one way to avoid being labeled as an asshole. Start a boy band and speak with a British accent.

You’ll do no wrong.

Why is celebrity fashion such a concern?

Today was a great day.

No I did not hook up with my dream girl. No I did not get a raise at my job. Nor did I win $5 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. This news is even better.

For the first time in her already illustrious career, Taylor Swift reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 with her new single, “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together!” WOO-HOO! Yeah!! Everybody come and celebrate with me!

*Starts jumping up and down. Realizes no one follows.*

Well, it is exciting. Taylor reached the 2 spot twice in 2009, with her singles “You belong With Me” and “Today Was a Fairy Tale,” but had yet to reach the peak. But now she has. 

Taylor, the Weinblog would like to formally congratulate you on your historic accomplishment. I’d also like to buy you dinner.

Man, she looks so good in that photo. I can’t resist a girl with bangs. I don’t know why. But speaking of haircuts, apparently whenever a singer or actress changes their hairstyles, it is news now. It’s like there are no wars or economic recessions going on — all that matters is Lady Gaga’s new haircut.

But nothing takes the cake more than the scrutiny that Kate Middleton gets. A few months back, it was an actual ‘scandal’ that she wore the same dress twice in eleven days. A scandal. Like as in… bigger than Watergate.

If you ask me, Kate looks fantastic all of the time.

Just look at her elegance. Every girl wishes that they could look half as good as Kate does. #Hatersgonnahate.

But anyway, back to Lady Gaga. Apparently she died her hair brown, and now the Internet is abuzz. How did all of you handle this news? Are you coping? If you need somebody to talk to in light of this startling revelation, I’m here for you.

Additionally, last week it was a story that Miley Cyrus cut her hair short and bleached it blond. Personally, I think she looks like Draco Malfoy. And yes I just linked to a site called the Hollywood Gossip.

The point is, why does this deserve any semblance of attention? Why does this news have to eventually somehow reach my ears?

When I get a new haircut, I don’t expect there to be rumblings around my office with people discussing my new look. In fact, I almost sympathize for these celebrities. They can’t even dye their hair without attracting national attention.

But then I remember that they are millionaires, and my sympathy dissipates. You know what? Maybe next I get a haircut, I will be the one to blog about it. I will be the one to post pictures, and I will pose to the public whether it is “hot or not?” Maybe that will be the post that finally brings the Weinblog to the national spotlight. And then after that, I’ll wear the same shirt twice in eleven days.

Actually, shit, I don’t think I even own enough clothes to not wear the same shirt twice in eleven days. In fact, I can probably do the same shirt three times in eleven days. And I’ll wear the same three pairs of jeans over that time. Scandal!

Oh well. I have one more bit of celebrity news to point out — I have voiced my opinion on the past about how even though American Idol is an annoying reality show, it does serve a good purpose and actually discovers quality talent. Just look at Kelly Clarkson (who sold out the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach last night), Jordin Sparks, Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Philip Phillips, etc.

So in my opinion, because of the talent, the show was watchable.

But now it isn’t. It was reported the other day that Nicki Minaj was going to take over as the next judge to replace Stephen Tyler. But apparently it’s not confirmed. As if it that wasn’t bad enough — I’ve previously expressed how Nicki Minaj is one of my least favorite people on the planet — there are now rumors that Kanye West might be the next judge.

Excuse me while I go vomit uncontrollably into a bath tub.

With Nicki Minaj as a judge, I would have at least just tuned in for the performances and skipped over the judges’ comments, maybe. But if Kanye West has anything to do with that show then I may have to boycott. And, oh god, just think of all the “I’mma let you finish…” jokes that are going to ensue. Horrible.

So since I decided to become Weinblog Hilton today and stick primarily to celebrity gossip, which in a sense is kind of hypocritical to the actual title of this blog post, let me point out a news item that actually means something to the world. It’s a report by the NY Times about autism.

One in 88 children are on the autism spectrum. But in the past, nobody has really known what causes autism. So little is known about it. Many attribute it to environmental factors, but nobody had any hard evidence. Well it seems like there is finally a study with merit that may shed some light on what may play a factor in causing it.

Older men are more likely than young ones to father a child who develops autism or schizophrenia, because of random mutations that become more numerous with advancing paternal age, scientists reported on Wednesday, in the first study to quantify the effect as it builds each year. The age of mothers had no bearing on the risk for these disorders, the study found.

I just think it’s interesting because, as I just said a moment ago, it’s the first real study that has actually quantified the risks of autism. It also makes me think — my father was 47 when he had me. So does that mean I was lucky to turn out all right?

Actually on second thought, “all right” may not be the right way to put it. I am a Mets fan, after all. I am also a 25-year-old male who has an affinity for Taylor Swift.

God dammit, dad, what did you do??

I keep having the same freaking dream

The other night, upon waking up in a cold sweat in the dead of night, I came upon the realization that I just had the same dream for the eight billionth time.

It’s not easy to remember dreams. In fact, the only dreams I do remember are the ones that occur right before I wake up. Which would make up like maybe 2% of our dreams. Sometimes I even wake up like 30 minutes before my alarm, and then go back to sleep, and have an epic, adventurous apocalyptic dream that felt like it lasted hours. But it was only like 25 minutes. I guess that gives credence to Christopher Nolan’s thinking in Inception, where dream time moves about 10 times slower than reality.

But anyway, my point is, since we remember so little of our dreams each night — it adds significance to the fact that I do remember this one specific dream so vividly. It means I have this dream a lot.

So by now you are probably all curious as to what the dream is. I will tell you.

I’m on a beach with eight naked women, and we —

Just kidding. I WISH that was a recurring dream. But, of course, it’s only the upsetting dreams that recur, and not the good ones.

So the real dream is that I am back in school. Usually it is college, but sometimes it is high school. In the dream, I come to the realization that I have not been attending one of my specific classes. I realize that I have been purposely skipping this one class — whichever one it is — all yearlong. It’s just one class, and I have been fine with the others.

That leads to anxiety within the dream, because I know that there is a very good chance that I may fail that class. Sometimes in the dream, I find myself actually going to the class, and having to think of an excuse as to why I am never there, and why my grades are so bad.

And then I wake up, and I become relieved with the realization that I have not set foot inside of a classroom in over three years. And then I realize that I probably have to go to work soon, and I become upset again.

But anyway, it was not until earlier this year that I realized just how often I have this dream. I seriously feel like it is every night. So recently, I decided to think about why I was having this dream repeatedly, and I even searched the Internet to find some answers. And I think it all finally started making sense to me.

When I was in high school, I was a great student. I rarely missed classes — in fact, during my four years at Wellington C. Mepham High School, I think the number of total classes I missed during that time equates to single digits. Impressed?

But then I went to college. No one was there to supervise me if I didn’t wake up for a class. No one was there to reprimand me when I cut. Thus, I developed a habit of skipping classes. Often.

In fact, I would register for classes in the beginning of the semester, go for the first month, and then decide which classes I could succeed in without attending the lectures. And I never failed a class, but I did get a few C’s and even a D here and there. I got better as college progressed and brought my grades up to As and Bs, but I still skipped classes when I knew I could get away with it.

In fact, I took one specific class my first semester of senior year that I went to three times. I’m not even kidding. In fact, it may have been two. I skipped about 48 of the 50 lectures.

Three years later, I am older, I am wiser, I am smarter and more responsible — and the mere thought that I actually did something like that scares the living shit out of me. Looking back, I can not believe how irresponsible and clueless I used to be. If I ever went back to grad school, I would be an efficient student, I know it. I wouldn’t miss classes, I’d study and I’d actually make an effort to talk to teachers after lectures (During college, I didn’t attend a professor’s office hours a single time).

So that’s why I think I have this dream. I think it is a direct commentary on the fact that I am mature, and that I am responsible, and my subconscious makes me think about the stupid shit I did in the past — like skipping classes — and the anxiety that arises in the dream is the reaction that I would have right now. Because, trust me, I didn’t have any regrets at the time about skipping classes. But now I would.

And apparently it’s a common dream. A quick Google search tells me that other people have even blogged about it.

All in all, I think that the dream is good thing, even if it does make me temporarily panic. Again, it means that I am growing up. My drinking habits may have not gone away — in fact, they may have even increased, which is alarming — but I am much more intelligent and responsible. That’s definitely important in life. And I think this dream is trying to even signal my brain to just forget about the past. What’s done is done. School’s over, so move on bitch.

To be honest, though, what I regret more than skipping classes is my failure to utilize my time in college better. I could have actually taken classes that meant something to me, instead of taking classes that I thought would be an easy A. I could have taken classes — or perhaps even chose a different major — that may have put me on a better path to succeed.

But oh well. Like I said, it’s all a learning experience. That’s life.

Now hopefully tonight I avoid this dream, and instead have the one where I’m on a beach with the eight women…

You can’t make this stuff up

It’s amazing how much can happen in the world in just four days. The last time I blogged was Thursday evening, and now it is Monday evening, and the last 96 hours have brought upon different sources of news that are a combination of facepalm-worthy and tragic.

Let’s start with an incident that occurred in Oklahoma City at a school called Prague High School. Actually, this most likely occurred earlier this summer, but the news is only going national now.

Apparently some girl named Kaitlin Nootbaar (which, incidently, may be the best last name I’ve ever heard. It sounds like a name of a candy bar) was the valedictorian of the school this past year. Good for her. That means she is obviously a smart girl with a bright future ahead.

That is, a future that may be stalled due to the small fact that the school is withholding her diploma.

According to the story, Kaitlin was delivering her speech and talking about how often she’s changed her mind as to what career she wants to pursue. At the end, she said that when people ask her now what she wants to do, she tells them, “What the heck do I know?” However, instead of ‘heck,’ she slipped and said ‘hell.’ As a result, the school is refusing to allow her to have her rightfully earned diploma until she apologizes.

OH MY LORD THE HUMANITY. How dare this miscreant poison the minds of the students at jolly old Prague High School by blaspheming the word “hell” upon their virgin ears! She should spend the rest of her life seeking penance from God almighty, who is now looking down on the Nootbaar household with shame. How dare thee.

Seriously, this may actually be one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. And that was before I even became aware of another piece of information — The mascot of Prague High School is THE RED DEVILS.

You can’t make this stuff up. You really can’t.

There already is a Facebook group that exists calling for the school to give Kaitlin her diploma, which you can view here.  And that is why the Internet is awesome. Through Facebook and Twitter, we can now easily expose all the dumb shit in this world with ease. Kudos to whoever began that Facebook group. Something tells me that, by the end of the week, Kaitlin Nootbaar will have her diploma. Man I love that name. In fact I think the phrase “Nootbaar!” should officially replace “YOLO!” It’s done. I’ve decided.

In other news, “The Expendables 2” is the #1 movie in the U.S. after it grossed a shade under $30 million this weekend. It also has a 65% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.8 rating on IMDB. Its cast consists of Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Liam Hemsworth.

Do people seriously not care about the integrity of our country? How can we make this the #1 movie, and still consider ourselves an educated, cultivated society?

Don’t get me wrong, you’re allowed to see this movie. It’s your own hard-earned money and you can do whatever you choose with it. However, if you do see it — at least in theaters — you shouldn’t expect people to take you seriously about anything ever again. By watching the Expendables, you have actually made yourself expendable.

The last thing I want to discuss is the sad story about director Tony Scott committing suicide yesterday. Whenever somebody commits suicide, the first thing people wonder is, “Why?” Well, that seems to have been answered. Although the more prestigious publications like the NY Times and Washington Post have yet to confirm it, other less-esteemed news tablets, like the New York Daily News, have revealed that Scott had inoperable brain cancer. I guess that’ll do it.

Still, the guy had a wife and two young sons. To leave them behind like that — no matter what struggles you are enduring — is nothing short of cowardice. I hate to say it, but it’s true.

I have nothing more to add to the subject, but I wanted to point out that Tony Scott has directed a lot of really good movies, some of which people may not even realize — Top Gun, True Romance, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State, Man on Fire, Deja Vu and Unstoppable were all his concoctions. As far as creating fast-paced action thrillers, not many did it better than Tony Scott. And by “action thrillers” I don’t mean crap like the Expendables — but movies that contain action that have actual depth and quality cinematography.

Also, as a movie aficionado I am ashamed to say that I had no clue that he was the younger brother of Ridley Scott. That information kind of blew my mind, actually. Oh well.

And finally, in news that is slightly more uplifting, Rosie O’Donnell apparently had a heart attack, but is doing better now. She posted about in limerick form on her blog. Yup, Rosie O’Donnell has a blog. Her and I are one in the same. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that. However, I am glad to hear that she’s doing all right. Maybe this will open her eyes to take better care of herself and enjoy life a little more.

In other words…

#Nootbaar!

Taking a dive

At 11:30 this morning I found myself doing jumping jacks with a group of 10-year-olds.

If I just finished this story right now, at that sentence, you would probably all be very, very horrified. At the same time, you would be extremely intrigued. Need not worry, there will be no cliff hanger.

I took a diving lesson at my local pool this morning. I did it as an assignment for my newspaper, and I got grouped with a class that comprised half of a dozen 10-year-olds. As a warm-up, we stretched, which included jumping jacks. It was the first time I did jumping jacks since I was in elementary school. And hopefully it will be the last.

Side note — I never realized how much mystique comes with the profession of writing for a newspaper. I’m serious. This evening I was getting a massage (I will get to that later) at a spa, and on the form I had to write down my profession. I put “newspaper reporter” since I’m unsure what the official title would be otherwise, and as I was leaving, two girls at the front desk stopped me and asked “Are you really a newspaper reporter?”

First off, why would I lie about that? If I’m going to lie about my job, I would say I was a doctor, or a professional athlete, or a ninja. But anyway, I said yes and told them what newspaper I worked for. One of them goes, “like Clark Kent?” And I laughed and instantly understood where the mystique comes from. I told them that yes, I am exactly like Clark Kent, and as soon as I leave I am going to go fight crime. And then nothing else happened because I am a pussy.

So getting back to my diving lesson. The funny thing is that I have never, ever dove into water in my life. I’ve never even tried. I’m not a professional swimmer, and I don’t have aspirations to be — so why did I ever need to learn how to dive? I’m more of an “ease yourself into the water step-by-step while wincing and complaining about how cold it is” kind of guy.

I was a little anxious to learn. However, seeing 10-year-olds execute perfect dives with no fear whatsoever eased my nerves a little.

Apparently there is a whole technique and approach to diving. There really is a lot to remember. We practiced off the side of the pool first, and then made our way to the board. On my first try, I was so focused on perfecting the technique that I took about two minutes walking myself through it. Finally, I thought that I was ready.

I took a deep breath, concentrated hard on making the right steps, began my leap at just the right moment, and then when I nailed the technique and got to the edge of the diving board — I totally forgot that I was supposed to actually dive at that point. So I just kind of fell into the water. Not a very good first try.

However, being an apt student, I quickly refocused and tried again. By the end of the lesson, I was executing very respectable dives. And now, for the remainder of my livelihood, I know how to dive into water. Will this skill get me girls? Probably not. But who knows.

At the end of the lesson, there were cookies and pop corn set up at a nearby bench for the class, so I chilled with the 10-year-olds and ate some cookies. I earned that shit.

So it’s been a week of firsts for me. I siphoned a fish tank, dove into a pool, and as I previously mentioned, I got a massage. Don’t ask me why. A massage is always one of those things that you would want at any given time, but never actually go through with going to a spa and getting one. Well, two nights ago, I was experiencing neck pain and felt particularly motivated — so I called up my local Massage Envy and booked a time.

To be honest, it’s amazing how anxious and nervous I was for something that is meant to be the ultimate relaxation therapy. I was worried about tipping, what I would do if I experienced flatulence while on the massage table, and I was worried about whether I would have to maintain a conversation with my masseuse. And most of all, I was worried that my masseuse would be so attractive that — well, you know.

It turned out she wasn’t ugly, but she wasn’t a knock-out either, and I was actually relieved by that. She told me to disrobe to the point where I feel most comfortable, and since I was a newbie, I decided to keep my boxers on. In hindsight, I kind of wish I didn’t. Because it became apparent that she just doesn’t give a crap. She was going all the way up in there even with my boxers on. Of course I never expected anything to go further (you’ve all been thinking it ever since I mentioned the word ‘massage’) but I just think I would have enjoyed it more had I donned my birth uniform. Picture that image, ladies.

Anyway, it was good. It was just a general, one-hour massage, so she didn’t really focus too much one one area, and just made sure to hit up everything. Maybe next time I’ll just ask for a deep-tissue rubdown on my vulnerable areas, like my neck and my back. Or my balls.

If there are any guys out there who feel self-conscious about either calling or setting foot inside of a spa, I say to quell those fears and just go for it. Who the fuck doesn’t want a women putting her hands over your entire body for an hour? It’s like porn, except real.

After all that, though, I am exhausted. So I’m going to sit back for the rest of the night and listen to the new Taylor Swift song on repeat. Because I do things like that.

#YOLO

I siphoned a fish tank

There comes a time in everybody’s life when they accomplish something that had previously bothered the hell out of them. When it happens, you feel an extreme sense of pride and self-worth.

The late Jimmy Valvano famously said, “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.” Well, unfortunately, 99% of Americans give up. Usually after one try. In fact, usually we don’t even try at all. So in the extremely rare occasions when we actually stick with something, and then do it, it feels good.

One would think that the sense of accomplishment would be contagious, and that we’d want to accomplish more things, but the typical American will just say, “Okay, I’m done accomplishing things for the next six months now. Time to watch TV.”

So what did I accomplish? I siphoned a fish tank. Any retard can probably do it, but it took me a while so BACK OFF.

My dad has been ill as of late, and has not been able to perform the household chores that he normally does. He typically cleans the fish tank in my room about once every month or two. Since he’s been unable to, the tank was becoming algae-ridden and you can tell that the fish were not looking too hot.

So I had no choice but to clean it. It was either that or let them die. And sorry, but nothing is dying on my watch. Ever.

But I didn’t even know the first thing about cleaning a fish tank. I know you have to replace a good percentage of the water, but how do you go about doing that? So I took to the Internet. After several minutes, I learned the equipment that I would need. A scrubber, a siphon and a bucket.

I then proceeded to scour my house looking for these objects, and were finally able to locate them. But then I had to learn when and how to use them. So that is when I took to YouTube. You can pretty much learn how to do anything on YouTube these days. A quick search of “cleaning a fish tank” yielded several hundred results, and I started skimming.

To subtract the majority of the water, the easiest way was to create a siphon. A siphon is simply a long tube. However, after inserting the tube into the water, and the other half into the bucket, nothing was happening. I kept looking on YouTube for tips, tried them out, but nothing worked. I finally had no choice but to do it manually. I scooped the tube in, secured a fraction of water, and dumped it into the bucket. It took me about 30 minutes just to even get 10% of the water out. I decided that was enough.

Also, when you create a siphon, it allows you to put the tube to the bottom of the tank, where it sucks out all of the leftover food and whatever other residue is there, cleaning the tank even more. I couldn’t do that since I hadn’t created a successful siphon. But I did the best I could do.

After a couple of hours of hard work, I cleaned the tank the best I could, and it looked better and the fish were looking more lively. I had prolonged their life.

Well, flash forward three weeks later, and the tank was looking scuzzy again and the fish were looking lethargic. I rounded up the equipment, and I decided that this time, I was going to create a siphon no matter what it takes.

I should add that in between these two incidents, I asked somebody how to do it. They told me that you had to suck on one end of the tube. I immediately became repulsed, and shook off the idea that I would ever allow dirty fish tank water to get into my mouth.

So I went back to YouTube, and tried to find anything, anything, that would help me siphon this damn tank without having to use my mouth. After a few minutes, I realized there would probably be nothing. I had no choice.

I reluctantly put one tube in the water, and the other end towards my mouth, and all the while I was thinking, “There is no way in hell this works.”

Well, I put my mouth on the tube, sucked in, and within not even two seconds — smelly, disgusting, filthy, unsanitary, god awful fish water jetted into my mouth. I immediately withdrew the tube, spit out, and watched as more water splashed through the tube into my face. I quickly put it into the bucket, and watched in awe as water freely flowed, uninterrupted from the tank to the bucket.

I had just gotten a taste of dirty fish tank water. But I wasn’t even mad — quite the contrary. I felt like I had just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. I felt like I just threw a perfect game in the major leagues. I felt like I just won a Grammy.

I felt like I was Tom Hanks in Cast Away, when he begins hollering and yelling after he finally creates fire.

Basically this was me:

Except replace “I have made fire” with “I have siphoned a fish tank.” Also, instead of being on a deserted island with no food or shelter, I was in my room surrounded by my flat-screen TV and laptop. A little different, I guess.

Anyway, I ended up replacing about 60% of the water, and was able to clean the tank infinitely better than I did the first time. And it took  me about a quarter of the time. But most importantly, I learned how to siphon. It goes back to that whole “teach a man to fish…” saying, meaning that I now have the knowledge to clean fish tanks that will last me a lifetime. Also, the use of that saying is wildly inappropriate given the context.

Will this knowledge help get me girls? Probably not.

But I did it, SO BACK OFF.