So has it reached the point where we all need to be on Instagram now?

There was once a point in our lives when social media was considered a luxury. But times have changed.

Now it’s a necessity.

Not to sound self-centered, but I feel like I’ve always fallen into that age group that social media analysts cater to. In fact, at one point, I was the age group. Facebook was created in 2004, and, since we’ve all seen The Social Network, we know that it took about a year to really take off.

I began college in September of 2005. So I was really the first class of college freshman to enter university life when Facebook was at full steam. I perfectly remember that summer before college, and even the last few months of high school prior to that, when all my classmates were telling me that I needed to create a Facebook account, because it would be a great way to network with my fellow undergrads.

Obviously it was the first I’ve ever heard of Facebook, but I created one and have never looked back.

Facebook has obviously become a lot much more than a university networking tool, and people of all ages now have their own accounts. I’d say it was about 2010 when everyone in the world realized they had an obligation to get onto Facebook.

Twitter has gone the same route. I created my Twitter account sometime around 2009, and have increased my utilization of it ever since. I’m not quite sure if it’s gotten to that point yet where everybody needs to be on it, but it’s close. And at the very least, I think everybody at least understands the enormous significance that Twitter has on our society.

For the most part, though, especially for the younger crowd, Twitter has lost its “luxury” label and become a “necessity.” If you don’t have a Twitter account, you’re going to fall behind in the world.

And those things are fine with me. As I said, I’m Generation Y, I’m hip, I’m up to date. If the world is moving to Facebook and Twitter, then I’m right there with it.

The thing that does trouble me, though, is that Instagram may be following — and soon.

It used be that things took months to become popular. But now, in this era, it takes days. Sometimes hours. And I’ve recently begun to notice the widespread usage of Instagram. I see people take photos, and within seconds, they’ll mention about how they’re posting it on Instagram.

It used to be that when you took a photo, you’d have to wait until you filled up your camera roll, then take it to your local one-hour-photo booth at CVS to have them exposed.

Then we all got digital cameras, and we only had to wait until we got home so we could upload it to our computers.

Then we all got smart phones, and we were able to take the photos, and upload them to Facebook at the appropriate time.

But now Instagram has claimed dominance over photographs, and if you take a photo, you have to get that shit up within a nanosecond after you snap it.

I actually had a conversation today with somebody, and upon me telling them that I lack an Instagram handle, they responded, “You have to make one. It’ll change your life.”

It will change my life.

When somebody tells you that, you know it only means one things — It’s here, and it’s here to stay.

So I’m actually contemplating creating an Instagram account now. And don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t think it’s stupid. I want to make that clear. I’ve actually sort of started to gain a slight appreciation for photography recently, so I don’t think I’d have any problems adjusting to Instagram.

I also like taking pictures, just in general. No I don’t try to nail down the perfect angles or the perfect shadow and light manipulation — I’m just a fan of capturing the moment. If I’m having a good time in a fun place, I like to snap a photo that encapsulates that experience. Then when I’m bored, I can flip through my camera photos and recollect on all the good times I’ve had in previous months. It’s the nostalgic side of me.

And that’s exactly what Instagram is for — capturing the moment. Except instead of enjoying it solely on your own phone, you’re sharing it with the world. But it’s not like Facebook where you’re posting photos and having it blend in among other people’s statuses, check-ins and YouTube recommendations. On Instagram, it’s photos, and only photos.

But I’m not sure how I feel about all these filters and color changes. Because by altering and editing a photo, then you’re taking away all of those things that I just said. You’re violating the magic of the moment that you were experiencing. To me, capturing the moment in a photo isn’t about having the perfect-looking image, but rather — it’s about having a memory implanted in time. When it was happening in real life, were you experiencing it through a filter? I don’t think so.

So that’s really the one thing that is making me reluctant to join Instagram just yet. Seeing all of those manipulated photos would infuriate me.

Who knows, maybe I’m a hypocrite and I’ll grow to love the filters. But that’s how I feel about it right now.

Can you imagine if I could use the equivalent of a filter on my blog? I’d type out what I have to say, and then use a “filter” to completely change and edit my words to make it sound more pleasing to others?

What would you guys prefer? Me, or some better, altered version of me?

Actually, don’t answer that question.

It’s not your life that’s becoming good — it’s just the weather

As we age, we become more confident in life.

Of all the things that deteriorate in our later years — the ability to stay up late at night, to drink several beers and avoid a hangover, to play a game of football without pulling a hamstring, among others — confidence is something that usually goes in the opposite direction.

The reason for that is simple. The more you do, the more confident you become. As we age, we do more. That’s it. Experience is the recipe to life.

That being said, we still experience our ups and downs. Even with age, we experience new challenges, and must start from from the bottom of the ladder to figure out how to overcome them.

Those challenges can be anything, obviously, but among those challenges is obtaining a new job. There are very few things in life more stressful than starting a new job, and knowing that it’s really going to take you months to get into the groove of things. Nobody likes being a liability, but, naturally, we all are exactly that when we start a new job.

On the flip side, there’s no more satisfying feeling than the day you wake up and say, “Holy shit, I got this. I’m going to be fine. Everything’s cool.”

And that can apply to all aspects of life, and not just a new job. It’s just a great feeling when you know that you are in control, and that everything is going to be okay going forward.

I recently had such a feeling. I received a promotion last October, and by virtue of said promotion — received a heck of a lot more responsibility. It was nerve wracking. It was stressful. I spent weeks doubting myself over whether I made the right decision. In other words, my confidence level was low.

But lately, over the last few weeks, it occurred to me that I think I finally got the handle of things. I like what I’m doing. I enjoy it, and that’s great.

So when that feeling of confidence consumed me, I originally thought it was because of growth, because of maturity and because of my abilities. But then a short while later, another thought occurred to me — it has absolutely nothing to do with those things. It’s just that the weather is getting really nice.

Everyone take a step back and think for a second. Since, say, the end of March, have you suddenly found yourself having an extra zest for life? Is there an increased pep to your step? Are you a little bit happier than you were a few months ago?

This is what we like to call seasonal affective disorder. For the most part, everybody’s life is probably exactly the same as it was in January or February. Not much has really changed. Except the weather. You’re doing the exact same things you were doing then, but instead of doing it on 35-degree, blustery and snowy days, you’re doing it in gorgeous 70-degree weather. In other words, if this was a science project, then your life would be the control, and the weather would be the variable.

People tend to be much happier when they are able to wear a t-shirt and shorts, and sit outside and bask in the sun. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why. Everyone’s able to do the things that they enjoy doing under sunny skies. You could go to the beach, you could go for a brisk afternoon roadside jog, you could do happy hour with friends outdoors at 5 p.m. and you could stare at girls lying in bikinis outside your window. It’s awesome.

Especially those first few days of warmth — like today. When you step outside for the first day all year where the weather is above 70-degrees, you can finally take a deep breath, soak it in and say, “Now it’s summertime.” Instantly, all your summer plans you made over the winter seem a lot closer than they did the day before.

Last week, when it was 45-degrees out, that late-July trip you have planned felt like it was “Still three months away…”

Now, in 70-degree weather, that late-July trip you have planned is “Only three months away!!!”

And I’m certainly not saying that any of our lives our bad. Shit, just the fact that we are alive is a wonderful thing that we should never take granted. But what I am saying is that warm weather just gives us a little reminder about all those things in life that we should be happy about.

Unfortunately, in six months from now, the mid-October chill will once again be upon is, and we’ll start hating everything again and begin halfheartedly telling people how excited we are for Halloween. (Newsflash: nobody should ever be excited for Halloween.)

But that’s six months away, and there’s no need to think about that. For now, we simply get to enjoy the beautiful weather, and pretend that our lives are much, much better than they really are.

Cheers to that.

Are you a Hathahater?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Sunday was my birthday, and yeah, yeah, yeah, it was awesome.

I mentioned at the end of my most recent blog entry how I don’t like talking too much about my own personal life. Sure, everything I blog about is directly influenced by my own life experiences, mostly personal, but I turn them into greater societal generalizations. After all, this is the Weinblog, not a freaking Live Journal.

But I will say that it is always extremely humbling when you invite a lot of people out for a birthday party, and most of them actually show up. If you’re not famous, which most people aren’t, then you don’t really have that many humbling moments in life. I wi’ll never win a major award during some internationally watched ceremony, nor will I ever get the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth in the World Series. I’ll never have a moment like that where I can take breath, take it all in, and say, “Wow.”

So when you’re not famous, you have to appreciate little moments, and think of them on a relative scale. So when you’re out with some 30 friends, and every single one of them is there for you, it truly is a wonderful, humbling experience that makes you think that you’re obviously doing something right in life if all these people truly want to celebrate with you.

Alright, now let’s shake the femininity of this entry and move onto better things.

Yesterday I came across a rather fascinating article written by the New York Times.

The article is titled “Do We Really Hate Anne Hathaway?” and it is a 22-paragraph, 1,121-word article devoted towards the culture phenomena that is “Hathahating,” which is a sudden worldwide hatred of Anne Hathaway by the general public.

I find this amusing for several reasons. Firstly, it’s the New York Times that wrote it, and not TMZ or the New York Post. I’m not saying that to disparage New York Times, I’m just pointing out the humor that such a prestigious publication found this topic pertinent enough to conduct an entire exposé about it.

Secondly, until I read this article, I had never heard the term Hathahating. Sometimes, by claiming a phrase is popular, the media will actually be the ones popularizing it. I’m not narcissistic enough to think that I’m the authority of all things social media, but I think I’m savvy enough to know that if there is a new trend out there, I’d know if it.

But as I was saying, a publication as popular and credible as the New York Times has the ability to say that something is popular, and by doing so, making it popular. Indeed, I now am aware of Hathahating because of this article, and I was led to believe that I should have known about it before this. It’s a smart and effective mechanism that few publications can execute.

But anyway, I also find this article intriguing because of the topic. They actually sought the opinion of university psychologists to analyze Anne Hathaway’s public perception.

And I don’t think there’s any doubt that Anne Hathaway has become a negative target recently. It really hit its peak during film awards season towards the end of 2012, when she was winning award after award for her role as Fantine in Les Misérables, and thus, was put in front of a podium again and again for us to listen to. And it just seems like she tries too hard. Every word she says feels overly contrived, too dramatic, like she’s still acting. Her buoyant nature and her perkiness bugs people.

I used to adore Anne Hathaway. If you plug her name into the search bar in the top right, you’ll find dozens of posts where I discuss her in an extremely positive light. For one, I have long been extremely attracted to her.

Don’t ask me why, but I have a strong physical attraction to celebrities who aren’t “obvious hot.” Anne Hathaway doesn’t have the stereotypical sex appeal that a Jessica Alba or a Megan Fox might have, but in her own way, she’s extremely alluring, and I like that. hathaway catwomanAnd to top it off, I realized how talented she was after I saw her in the 2008 film Rachel Getting Married. So I knew that she was hot and talented way before anyone else. Call me a hipster.

But then she was overly perky as the Oscars host in 2011, and then wore skin-tight leather in The Dark Knight Rises and caught the attention of every warm-blooded male across the world. Then she cut her hair, won an Oscar, gave several annoying speeches, and now everyone hates this version of Anne Hathaway.

I’m not saying that I’m among them, and I am most certainly not a Hathahater, but my affection has definitely waned a tiny bit. But if I am anything, I am loyal. In fact, I recently had a similar post about Taylor Swift’s perceived public image, and stood by her.

Like Taylor, Anne has never been directly involved in any scandal, has never caused controversy, and by all accounts is an extremely humble and generous girl. She even occupied Wall Street a couple of years ago.

I agree with the New York Times article that Hathahating is just socially popular, mob-mentality trend where people like to jump on the bandwagon. It became trendy to hate her. Give it six months, and people will stop talking about her negatively. Not because she’ll have become irrelevant — she’s not going anywhere — but because the novelty of the trend will inevitably pass, like all trends do.

And just to cap off this issue, I was extremely amused by the line in the article that says that Hathaway’s publicist declined to comment. Can you just imagine that phone call? “Hey, this is the New York Times calling. I’m writing an article about how much the world hates your client. Care to comment?”

But hey, at least they let her know.

Before I go, I want to point out that last night was the Academy of Country Music Awards. I’ve mentioned before how country music is certainly nowhere near my go-to genre by any stretch of the imagination, but, I love country music awards shows.

You will never see a more tight-knit, conjoined community in any genre of music than country. It really seems like everybody gets along with each other. Can you imagine such a dichotomy in the hip-hop scene, with all these rappers hugging each other and poking fun at one another on stage? Can you picture 50 Cent and Lil’ Wayne bro-hugging in the center of the stage during a national ceremony?

And that’s why I like country shows. It’s refreshing. I also learned that Kacey Musgraves exists, and my life is a little better now for it. Though I have to listen to her a little more to see if I’ll develop a Taylor Swift-like ardor for her.

Also, speaking of Taylor Swift, she was part of an absolutely mesmerizing performance during the show. Tim McGraw sang his new single, “Highway Don’t Care,” which features Taylor Swift on background vocals and Keith Urban on guitar, and holy hell, the three of them just tore up the house.

I don’t know too much about Keith Urban, but seeing him absolutely manhandle the guitar the way he did last night absolutely won him my respect. Here’s a clip of the performance, which I advise you all to watch.

That video will probably be taken down for copyright purposes within a few hours, so watch it now.

How can anyone hate Taylor Swift? Seriously. Actually, between my steadfast defense of Taylor Swift and Anne Hathaway, I think I’m subconsciously trying to misdirect all of the Hathahaters and Taylor haters towards me, effectively sacrificing my public image to save theirs.

I’m just that nice of a guy.

The number 26

On Sunday I turn 26 years old.

I’m having a party with my friends on Saturday night, and I expect it to look something like this:

Rave lights

I wish.

Actually, it will probably look something more like this:

I think I’ve said before how birthdays are probably some of the most anticlimactic events known to mankind. And that is not to say that most birthdays are bad, in fact, I remember my birthday last year being a giant success.

But what I mean is that it is an extremely rare event where we actually throw our own parties. In fact I can say that is an annual event, since, well, we only have one birthday per year.

Everyone’s primary thought when they’re throwing their own party is, “Please God, don’t let this be terrible.” Nobody wants to be the one who has six people show up to their party. That’s embarrassing and pitiful.

That being said, as much as everyone imagines the worst-case scenario, they also imagine the best-case scenario. In their head, they envision every single person they invited showing up, everyone laughing and drinking and having fun all night, and the evening concluding with the attendees lifting you up and down on a chair like you’re at a Bar Miztvah. It’s the American dream.

Inevitably, those best-case expectations are never going to happen. It’s impossible. You can still have a great party, but it will never happen that one special way you see it in your head. And thus, that is what makes it anticlimactic. 

I personally enjoy the anticipation that exists leading up to birthdays. Not only does that possibility of the best-case birthday still exist, but, because of Facebook, you have an entire birthday event page to track and play around with for weeks leading up to it.

Creating a Facebook birthday event is probably the best part of your birthday. You get to handpick your own location, decipher your own guest list, make some funny jokes, create a humorous guest picture, and then you sit back and watch who your real friends are.

Another inevitability is that there are going to be those people who never RSVP, don’t contact you in any way, shape or form, and the majority of whom fail to make it. It happens. You can’t take it personally. It’s obviously an indication that these people aren’t your “best friends,” but at the very least it ensures that they will wish you a happy birthday on your Facebook wall.

But anyway, who cares about all of that. It’s political Facebook bullshit.

Let me talk about the age 26. I really can’t think of a less significant age to turn than 26. It honestly feels and sounds no different from 25. You’re still right in the mid-20s, and telling people that you are 26 doesn’t really feel old. Turning 27 will be a whole different story, but I’ve got a whole year to worry about that.

No legal ramifications come with 26 either. Although I’ve heard that apparently at the age of 26 you are able to rent a car for cheaper. WOO-HOO! PARTY IN THE RENTAL CAR BITCHES.

The one thing that does come with a birthday though, is that you can tick another year off your life expectancy. I don’t mean to say that in a morbid way. What I mean is that most people have an internal — maybe even a subconscious — checklist of where they want to be at certain ages. There also comes a time in your life, where, if you’re not on the verge of becoming successful, then you probably never will. The age of 26 probably isn’t there yet, but it’s not exactly extremely far away.

One way to judge how old you are is to compare yourself to superstar athletes. For example, if I was a Major League baseball player who just turned 26, I would be just entering the top-athletic prime peak of my career. So that’s good.

And yet, if I was an NFL running back, I’d probably be over-the-hill already at age 26. So that’s bad.

And if I was a professional curler, I’d probably have to take a step back and ask myself what the fuck am I doing with my life that I decided to become a professional curler, no matter what age I am.

However, far and away the biggest piece of significance that will come with my changing age is that I have to input a different number into the treadmill when I do cardio at the gym. Now that is going to feel weird. I honestly can’t think of any other reason why I’d feel differently between now and next week, other than that. (SHAMELESS GYM PLUG.)

By the way, I’m usually not one to talk about myself, but since I blog year-round, I didn’t want to confuse my readers into thinking that I don’t have a birthday. Because I know how concernedyou’d all become. And since this will likely be my last entry prior to the big day, I felt obligated to discuss it.

And now I’m just ending this awkwardly.

So I’ll just wish myself a happy birthday, and, stop typing… right now. Now. Now. One more. Now.

Oh and rest in peace, Roger Ebert. May you be forever looking down upon us, eternally giving two thumbs up in approval.

I had a lovely time at the DMV this morning

About a month-and-a-half ago, I realized that my driver’s license was due to expire on Sunday, April 7, which also happens to be my 26th birthday. (SHAMELESS BIRTHDAY PLUG.)

So, naturally, I waited until the very last week to go do that. Because let’s face it, nobody goes to the office of the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles unless they absolutely have to.

When people have to go to the DMV, they act with the same demeanor as if they’re being shipped off to Vietnam. And when they tell other people that they have to make a trip to the DMV, they say it with the same vocal connotation as if they were telling somebody they were going to a funeral.

Not many places are looked upon less favorably in this country then the DMV. Maybe Cleveland.

But I went today, and I must say, I absolutely enjoyed my experience. And I am not being the slightest bit sarcastic at all. In the time I was there this morning, I was complimented, I was wished a happy birthday, I had a brief interaction with a hot girl, and I was in and out in no time. It was absolutely joyful.

You only hear people talk about the negative experiences they had at the DMV. And nothing else. No one ever comes back from their trip to the facility and raves about how good of a time that they had. Well I will be that first man.

One of the reasons the DMV gets such a bad reputation is because of the lines. People get there, see the line, and act like this is the first time in their lives that they have ever waited in a line before.

Hey, people, don’t you wait in a line for, well… everything?

When I get my coffee at Dunkin Donuts in the morning, there’s a line. Albeit a short line, but a line nonetheless.

When I drive to work during rush hour in the A.M., and am stuck in traffic, then yes, I am essentially waiting on a 3-way line. And girls, when you go to the mall to buy a discounted scarf, don’t you wait on line for hours?

Even when I go to do things that I like, as in go to a concert or a baseball game, then I have to wait on a line to get my ticket
stamped or checked.

Waiting on lines is extremely commonplace. And yet, when people get to the Department of Motor Vehicles and see a line, they act like the line they’re getting onto is one that leads to a firing squad.

Of course there’s going to be a line at the DMV. You have hundreds of people flocking to the place for about 95 different things. Every single person has a form, some are holding four license plates for God knows what reason, and half of the people there can’t even speak English. And to boot, they’re all waiting for one single teller.

I think the problem that people have is their mindset. They enter the building thinking they are going to have a miserable time, and when they see the line, they act like their worst fears are confirmed. It’s like people actually expect that the one time in five years they head to the DMV is the one time ever that there will be no line.

So, I got there, and I stood on line. No big deal. Fortunately for me, there was a cute blond directly in front of me.

When you have the same full-time job for a few years, and thus fall into the same patterns day-in and day-out, you don’t often surround yourself with many new people. And worse, many new hot people of the opposite gender. So when you are afforded any opportunity to be anywhere near a hot chick for an extended period of time — even if it’s at the DMV — it’s never a bad thing.

At one point, the blond actually got off-line to grab a form, and when she returned, she was unsure if she was getting back on the same spot in line. So she asked me. Caught off guard by a hot chick actually talking to me, I simply replied, “Yeah,” and actually pointed to the spot in front of me, as if she couldn’t find it herself if I didn’t properly direct her. Smooth.

That ended our interaction. But, by definition, it was an interaction with a hot chick, and it filled my quota for the day.

After about half-hour of waiting in line (“Oh my God!!”), it was finally my turn to approach the teller. It was an elderly woman, and I told her I was here because my license expires on Sunday. Her response was “Happy birthday on Sunday,” and I politely thanked her, and with that, I had my very first birthday greeting of 2013 — the elderly teller at the DMV.

So after supplying the necessary information, I took a step back and she took my new license photo. I asked her if it came out well, and she not only said yes, but then said, “You could be a model.” Yes I am aware that she was just flattering me and being friendly, but I am equally as sure that she would not have said such a statement to an ugly person. So there’s that.

Spoke to hot blond? Check. Was wished a happy birthday? Check. Was told I was good-looking? Checkaroo.

The last steps of my DMV trip involved me sitting on a bench for five minutes and filling out a form while I waited for my number to be called. It was, and I took the “eye test,” which shouldn’t legally be called an eye test because it comprised me standing five steps away from an eye chart and reading one single line. I’m pretty sure the woman testing me wasn’t even paying attention, either. The entire process took approximately nine seconds, and it was over. And with that, I completely understood why there are so many awful drivers who remain on the road.

And that concluded my trip to the DMV. I went into the building expecting to be there at least an hour, and I was gone in 45 minutes — so my expectations were actually exceeded.

I can honestly say that I had an enjoyable experience. I laughed, I smiled, I passed an eye test, I had a stirring conversation with a an attractive girl, and I was wished a happy birthday. What more can a guy ask for?

So next time I hear somebody groan with dismay as they utter aloud, “Ugh, I have to go the DMV tomorrow,” I will reply by telling them how jealous I am of them.

In fact, I had such a good time that I think I may actually take a date there.

Hey, it can’t go any worse than my previous dates.

The bar is really, really low in that regard.

There’s no scarier time in the world than waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom

I’m not somebody who scares easily. No I’m not trying to say that I’m some type of gallant 13th Century squire who fears nothing. Nor am I some brave heroic superhero who will stand up to any foe.

I am cowardly. I am non-confrontational. I am meek.

But I still don’t become scared. And the reason for that being is that I don’t put myself in situations where I would ever become scared. I don’t frolic through the woods at midnight with nothing but a lantern and a walking stick. I don’t venture alone through haunted houses as white smoke billows from every corner and clown laughter echoes from the background.

I also don’t skydive or base jump, and if I ever got called to the front lines for battle, I would flee to Canada faster than you can text message me to tell me that I am a pussy.

For those reasons, I don’t scare easily. I keep myself in safe, controlled environments, surrounded by people I trust. I’m like Reuben Feffer from Along Came Polly. I play it safe. And as a result, I live a scare-free, non-stressful life, and it’s great.

But that all changes in the middle of the night. I’m talking about like 3 to 4 a.m. And again, it’s not because I put myself into dangerous, frightening situations at those times. Instead, it’s all about context.

Unfortunately, I’m at that age in life where I have to wake up at least once a night to pee. And that’s on a good night — I have been known to wake up as many as four times in the middle of the night to pee. It sucks. But it’s necessary.

To get to the bathroom, I have to walk across the width of my hallway. Of course, the width is only about four feet long at best, but in the middle of the night, when I’m still half asleep and it’s dark and dead silent, that distance feels more like 400 feet.

I don’t know what it is. It’s something about still being in that flux between half-awake and half-asleep that puts me on edge. As mellow and calm as I am by day, I am petrified and scared shitless at night. I’m like a deer in the middle of an open field who is being hunted. Because let’s face it, being a deer sucks. Everything tries to kill you. People, wolves, coyotes, bears, crocodiles, and heck, even large owls probably have murdered deer before.

Well that’s me. I’m the deer.

And this is something I only realized in my later years, but I tend to have very apocalyptic dreams. My dreams seem to always take place during some situation where the world is on the verge of ending, and I’m trying my best to survive. My entire dream existence is like a Roland Emmerich movie.

So when you combine all of those elements, being half-asleep, the darkness, and the feeling of just waking up from imminent death — that is what makes the middle of the night the most frightening time in the world.

When I unlock my door 3 a.m. to head to the bathroom — because of course I lock my door — I turn my head towards the end of the hallway and expect to see the girl from The Ring walking towards me. I look at the bottom of the stairs and brace myself for the creepy twins from The Shining to be looking at me. And even when I’m finally in the bathroom, I expect Norman Bates to come out of nowhere and stab me with a knife while wearing a wig a la Psycho. And when I do return safely to my room, I check inside my closet to make sure the little Asian boy from The Grudge didn’t creep in while my door was ajar.

I’m so nervous that my heart rate during these moments must equal that of a baby gerbil.

The other night, I woke up around 3 a.m., and I noticed that my throat was incredibly parched. I tried to ignore it, but I quickly
realized that I would not be able to fall back asleep without a drink of water. The worst part? Our Poland Spring bottles are located in the garage.

That means I had to walk down the creaky stairs, creep across the pitch-black kitchen, and enter my stoned floor, ice-cold garage, full of cobwebs and dust. When I was halfway down the steps during this journey, I thought I was seriously going to break into tears. I almost regretted not bringing a handheld video camera so I could film my own Blair Witch Project video.

Somehow, though, I managed to make it. And henceforth, I am keeping several unopened water bottles near my bed at all times to avoid ever having to make that ghastly trip.

But then I fall into an easy slumber, and I wake up with the sun shining through, the birds chirping, and my cat scratching at the door wanting to get in. And I wonder how I was ever afraid.

Until it’s 3 a.m. again, and my bedroom turns into a scene from Paranormal Activity.

Or I could just save myself the trip to the bathroom and starting peeing my pants.

Problem solved.

This is why the majority of the world watches sports instead of playing them

Easter Sunday may have represented the Holy Day for Catholics, but Opening Day is the real Holy Day for us baseball fans.

One thing about my life that I miss is my childhood ignorance and exuberance. Before I knew what health insurance was, before I knew that people even had to work to make money, and before I knew that lower back pain was a thing — I was blissfully happy.

Not to say that I’m not happy now, in fact, I’m very happy. However, back then, I was blissfully happy. Meaning I was joyously ready to embrace every day, without having any direct knowledge of the hardships that would come with age. It was a great childhood.

Not many things restore that feeling that I once had as a child. Maybe chocolate pudding. Or possibly whenever I hear the song “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia. Which ironically is about rape. I didn’t know that until a few months ago. But that’s besides the point.

But one thing I can wholeheartedly confirm that does restore that childlike, blissful feeling of elation is Major League Baseball Opening Day. There’s something about seeing the sun shine down on the freshly cut grass, the way a baseball sounds making contact with a bat, and the roar of the fans when the home team takes the field that makes me giddy. It’s unexplainable.

My team is the New York Mets, and I left work today when they were winning their game today 11-2. No joke, I was legitimately running down the hallway to get to the exit with a giant grin on my face, just so I can get to home to catch the end of the game even though the result was already a foregone conclusion.

As I ran down that hallway, I didn’t feel like my 25-year-old self running down my work hallway. Instead, I felt like my 12-year-old self, running home from school so he could change into his pajamas and watch the game on his favorite spot of the living room couch, because it was the only TV in the house. A lot may have changed since then, but my love for the game has not. And I’m sure thousands of other baseball fans like me felt the exact same way today.

That’s what makes today Holy. But unlike Easter, I don’t need to eat dinner with my extended family, nor do I need to attend Sunday mass. I just have to cozy  up in front of my television (which are now more abundant in my household), and watch. After all, there’s a reason why we — the fans — watch, and don’t play.

In fact, I can give you two examples of this that occurred this weekend. On Saturday, I played competitive football for the first time in nearly two years. While I am used to running pretty long distances, I am not used to sprinting on-and-off again over the course a few hours.

Therefore, I am experiencing soreness in my quads two days later like no other, and it is both painful and extremely embarrassing. In my teens, I could play football anytime and anywhere, and be fine the next day. But in my-mid 20s, we fall out of “game shape,” and just a couple of hours of pigskin has rendered me unwalkable.

So that’s one reason why I let the superstar athletes compete, and why I sit on my bed and watch while eating nachos.

However, even the superstar athletes are not immune to injury. And example two of why most people don’t compete in sports at a high level is, because, when you compete at a high level, you tend to injure yourself at a high level.

Most people are probably aware of the horrific injury that occurred to Louisville guard Kevin Ware on Sunday. He broke his leg so badly that the bone was actually popping out of his skin.

When some people break bones, the severity of their injury is sometimes described with a sentence like, “It broke so badly that it almost popped out of the skin.” Well, that happened for real. And it’s as gruesome and horrifying as it sounds.

I’m not usually too daunted when it comes to sports injuries, especially since you grow accustomed to seeing them when you watch sports as often as I do. But this is an injury that I am making a point to never watch a video or see a picture of. When I heard the part about the bone protruding from the skin, and a player on the Louisville bench actually fainting when he saw it, then I was out.

All I know is that I am never jumping again. The injury occurred after Ware jumped to contest a 3-point shot, and he came down and shattered his leg on the landing. That information is enough to deter me from ever attempting to leave my feet again for the rest of my life.

And seriously, I’ve already discussed how I am not an athlete — so what purpose do I ever have in life to ever jump again? I’m never going to partake in a game of Leap Frog. I’m not ever going to do vertical leaps at the gym because I’d probably pull a groin just thinking about doing them. And I’m perfectly content walking around objects that are blocking my way rather than trying to leap over them. I’m not Super Mario.

So I actually see no reason why I can’t live our the rest of my life without ever having to jump again. I think it’s perfectly feasible and after seeing what Kevin Ware did to himself, then I think it is a safe plan.

But here’s hoping to speedy and successful recovery for Mr. Ware. Here is a cool and inspirational image that surfaced around Twitter shortly after the game:

On a side note, did anybody else have no idea that today was April Fools Day? I seriously have never participated in — or been the victim off — any type of prank in my life. So it didn’t shock me at all that I forgot today was April Fools Day. I think I care more about Pi Day more than I do April Fools. And maybe even — dare I say it — Valentine’s Day.


Fuck Valentine’s Day!