50 Thoughts XXXIII

1. Food trucks should drive around neighbourhoods but, instead of playing music to alert people, the driver uses a microphone to announce what foods they have onboard. Imagine hearing, “FRIES! PULLED PORK SANDWICHES! CAESAR SALAD!” coming down your street.

2. I didn’t want to bring it up at the time, but it felt like last week went, Monday-Wednesday-Wednesday-Wednesday-Friday.

3. Seedless grapes, that have seeds in them, have some nerve.

4. Libraries are great, but have you ever thought about how many people sneezed into the book you’re reading?

5. It bothers me when a famous person signs an autograph for a kid, but never looks at them.

6. I feel like we’ve been in the, “Vinyl is making a comeback!” phase for at least nine years.

7. Did Robin Hood’s friends ever call him, “Rob”?

8. I can’t believe I watched every episode of the musical version of The Bachelor.

8.25 The series they have planned for the summer better delve into the early years of the show.

8.5 I need a two-hour deep-dive into Jen Schefft winning her season, only to come back as the next bachelorette, reject a proposal from the guy she picked, and break up with him before the season finished airing.

8.75 2005 was the wild, wild, west in Bachelor land.

9. Everyone should know who Henry The Duck is, specifically the story: “Henry’s Important Date”. Look it up.

10. There was a play in the 2001 NBA Playoff series between Philadelphia and Toronto where Allen Iverson subtly dragged his pivot foot and moved about 3-4 feet without dribbling. Travelling was not called. No one noticed.

10.5 I rewound it four times just out of respect for the brilliance.

11. If you flip backwards through Instagram stories, you won’t see any ads.

12. The beginning of Jerry Seinfeld’s latest Netflix special is reminiscent of how Jeff Probst used to transport the final votes back to America in the early seasons of Survivor.

13. Why does America always have to declare war on everything?

14. Carlos Delgado’s swing was a thing of beauty. It had so much torque in it. I thought he deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, but I might be biased.

14.5 Look at his stats, though. Thirteen consecutive monster seasons. What more do you want?

15. My theory as to why the writers of Outer Banks named the main character, John B., is this: They wanted to name him Johnny, but that would come across as too childish. And since his antics could already be misconstrued as childish, they didn’t want to re-enforce that theme in our head. So, they went with John B. because it sounds similar, but the inclusion of the middle initial makes him sound like a historical figure from 1697, whom we should respect.

15.5 This probably isn’t the reason.

16. We need to bring back the phrase, “Good night, nurse.”

17. Social media is the day-to-day equivalent to a school yearbook.

18. It’s crazy how everyone has the exact same thoughts regarding IKEA.

19. I have lost about 4 lbs. since I started sleeping on the floor two weeks ago. I hope this doesn’t mean I have to start a fitness account on Instagram.

20. Dr. Phil is the most infuriating contestant on the celebrity version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION, PHILIP.

21. It is not a meal from McDonald’s unless there are fries. I don’t make the rules.

22. More people should start a blog. It forces you to discover things about yourself you never knew existed within you. Plus, you become friends with people all over the world which is cool.

23. I still sing the Mighty Machines theme song to myself.

24. My favourite display of team camaraderie was when most of the players on the Toronto Raptors wore purple headbands during the 2001 NBA Playoffs.

24.5 Just warms my heart.

25. Everyone thirty and younger is a kid and everyone older than that is a professional adult.

26. Is there a more unsanitary sport than baseball? From experience, your hands are covered in dirt the whole time, and if they aren’t, you make sure they are.

27. Life would be simpler if dust didn’t exist.

28. Shad Gaspard was a former wrestler for the WWE and was in a tag team called, Cryme Tyme. They were great. Sadly, Shad got caught in a riptide yesterday and when lifeguards went out to help, he directed them to save his son first. Shad is still missing. It’s a sad story, yet a heroic one.

29. I saw a person walk down the street in a zig-zag formation, as if they were a race car trying to warm their tyres.

30. How many words can you spell, using only the letters in the word, “Weather”? I got up to 18 in about 25 seconds.

30.5 Google says THERE ARE 111 WORDS.

31. The MLB on TSN theme song is my childhood.

32. My Nonna is so confused by my ankle socks.

33. I am forever in need of someone with which to play catch.

34. Karen, the neighbour in Dead To Me, is absolutely hilarious.

35. I looked up the main premise of Star Wars and, basically, it’s Mario saving Peach from Bowser, but with weird costumes. Who knew?

36. It is incumbent upon bloggers to introduce their readers to bloggers who don’t yet have a huge following. That being said, go check out Toni’s blog and give her a follow!

37. I am very satisfied with the winner of this season of Survivor. My pre-season pick to win came in second.

38. I am a big fan of commemorative patches on sports jerseys. The Maple Leaf Gardens – Memories and Dreams patch is one of the best.

39. There has been an uptick in the number of TV shows that have a “money laundering” storyline.

40. I tried ramen the other day, for the first time. My throat was on fire for 20 minutes.

41. The hope is that all the bad days prepare us for the good days.

42. Nothing gets people out of the house more than the presence of a fire truck on their street.

43. Can you have pomp without circumstance?

44. Remember when “Somebody That I Used To Know” came out and the song and music video felt like a glimpse into the future of the music industry? I think we were wrong.

45. Season 3 of Dynasty hits Netflix in four days. You should watch it.

46. Nocciola means “hazelnut” in Italian. Uovo means “egg”. This has been your Italian Translation of The Day. Now go make pasta from scratch.

47. I need more Japanese game shows in my life.

48. Vince Carter got so much flack for attending his college graduation the morning of Game 7 against the 76ers in 2001, yet in the fourth quarter, the commentators said it didn’t look like Carter’s play had been affected by his decision.

49. I would love to give a speech at a university/college graduation some day, just so I can avoid using every motivational cliché.

50. “I know there’s someone out there feeling just like I feel. I know they’re waiting up, I know they’re waiting to heal. And I’ve been holding my breath, are you holding your breath, for too many years to count?”

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Falling Asleep in 2012

I think most people miss waking up in a certain place, or year, or time in their life, but for me, I miss falling asleep in 2012. Is that a weird thing to miss, or are you just used to me saying strange things, that your red flag doesn’t even flinch anymore?

To be more specific, I miss falling asleep in the last four months of 2012, and the first four months of 2013. Just had to get that out of the way because my second middle name is, “Precise”.

Let me provide some backstory.

Before going away to university in 2009, I always went to sleep around 10PM or 10:30PM. Those times coincided with the conclusion of whatever baseball, hockey, or basketball game I was watching on TV.

That meant, I could listen to the post-game show on the radio as I fell asleep. I loved that.

When I went away for school, I thought I would carry on doing the same thing – in bed before 11PM, listening to the post-game show of whatever game had just ended.

Boy, was I delusional.

By the time I graduated, most people knew I would stay up late and frequently pull all-nighters to finish assignments. My philosophy was, “It doesn’t matter when you sleep, as long as you sleep.”

I was not dumb. If I was going to lose sleep in the middle of the night, I would take a nap in the afternoon when nothing was going on and lunch from the cafeteria was making me drowsy.

In sports, they call this “clock management”.

After midnight was my time to get things done because there would be no more distractions. Everyone else did me a favour by going to sleep, if I’m being honest.

Anyway, my hopes of an early bedtime weren’t just shattered because of my propensity for staying up late to do work. They were shattered in the first week of my first year, when I realized my radio didn’t have the same stations I had back home.

My Toronto sports talk radio stations were gone. Gone! No one told me this was a side effect of moving closer to Buffalo!

I would try to listen to other stations, but I could never find sports at night.

I think, for a while, I got comfortable with falling asleep without the radio on. I had never really done that before and felt very weird about it. So much silence in that time between putting my head on the pillow, and actually falling asleep.

That was probably one of the things that made me stay up later. I did not want to go to bed, only to lay there with my own thoughts for an hour. Let me utilize this time in a more productive way, that will ensure I don’t go to sleep until I am a blink away from conking out.

By 2012, I had made a full transition to listening to music while falling asleep.

I would, regularly, crawl into bed around 3AM, turn on the radio, and feel so at ease. It was always the same songs during the middle of the night. Heck, tt was probably the same songs during the day, too, but who’s keeping track?

Let me recall some of the songs that made those nights of sleep so memorable.

The Lumineers had two songs that often came through the radio – “Stubborn Love” and “Ho Hey”. I didn’t know who they were. It wasn’t necessarily the type of music I normally listened to, either.

And yet, I liked it?

They were good sleep songs, and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way at all.

Ellie Goulding’s song, “Anything Could Happen”, was also popular at the time and got a lot of play on the radio.

Then there was the band, Fun, who took over with three popular songs: “Some Nights”, “Carry On”, and “We Are Young”.

Oh, and then there was Owl City. Hoo? Owl City. Sorry, couldn’t help myself. Their song, “Good Time”, featuring Carly Rae Jepson, was also apart of that nightly assortment of music.

There were more, but I can’t seem to remember them.

The songs I mentioned will always have a special place in my heart, even if they’re not all on my “Liked Songs” list on Spotify. Sorry. Think of it as friends growing apart, but still talking every once in a while, as if nothing has changed.

I often wish that we can pause time and stay in a place where we want to be for longer than we are allowed. Sadly, we can’t.

However, we can take memories and we can take reminders.

These songs are a reminder of who I was and how I felt during a time I truly loved. I am taken back to those early mornings in 2012 every time I hear them.

I am sure many of you won’t be able to understand being able to fall asleep to voices on the radio but, for me, it is something I have always enjoyed.

So, is it weird that I miss falling asleep in 2012?

No.

It is weird that I wrote about it, though. I realize this now. Oh well.

Publish.

Do you fall asleep with the radio on, or do you have to be in complete silence? Is there a time/place in which you miss falling asleep?

Posted in Life, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

That’s A Stretch

I have started stretching before going to sleep. Nothing too extreme. Just the normal head-to-toe stretches you did in your Grade 9 gym class. Doing so helps prevent any injuries I may incur while doing the dangerous activity we all refer to as, sleeping.

What’s that? It doesn’t? Well, lalalala not listening.

A few weeks ago, I realized I was waking up with soreness. I believe, “general soreness” is the scientific term. It felt like I had a hip-pointer and I don’t even know what that feels like.

For a while, I have struggled with where to put my arms when I sleep. My bed is not big. There is nowhere for them to go. One of them inevitably ends up under my pillow, while the other one is nearby waiting to get tagged in.

So, I wake up and my arms are sore.

Not lately, though.

At this time, I will walk you through my pre-sleep stretches, as to sound like an authority figure on the subject. The words and descriptions I use may not be accurate, or what Google says, but that’s why words have synonyms.

Also, this is the closest I will ever get to explaining a workout (is that a phrase?) to anyone, so I am going to enjoy it.

Step one involves turning off the lights and opening Spotify to a song. Then I stand up and close my eyes because if the room is dark, what am I looking at anyways?

I start with my head. I look left, I look right. No dead skunk in the middle of the road.

If you did not get that reference, I probably sound weirder than usual. If you did get that reference, you get a scratch-and-sniff sticker.

Then I do neck rolls, which involves dramatically looking to my left and right, but only after my chin touches my chest. If you have stubble, it may get caught on your shirt and/or scratch your body, so suck it up, fruit cup.

I remember my gym teacher telling us to never roll our head backwards, so don’t do that. Don’t do a full moon Joe Louis. Only a half moon Joe Louis.

Next up are shoulders. I do about ten shoulder rolls forward. It feels like they’re on a rowing team. Then I do ten shoulder rolls backwards. It feels like a pirate ship is coming after their rowboat. Get back to the shore!

I realize that I am probably ruining your future stretching exercises, and for that, I am grateful. When you roll your shoulders, think of me.

Then I stretch my right arm across and support it with my left. After ten seconds, they switch. Then my right hand goes behind my head to touch my left shoulder. It’s like passing notes in school, but more obvious. Then my left arm sends a note back to my right shoulder.

The next exercise is arm circles. Hold your arms out to your sides, so you look like the letter, “T”. I’ll do small circles forward for the first ten, and then I’ll let them get bigger as I reach twenty, until it looks like I’m trying to fly away.

Then do it again with your arms going the other way.

Do not do this in heavy winds, you might get airborne.

This brings us to the hips. Put your hands on your hips, like you’re a superhero, or a cast member on a dating show. And then do circular motions.

In my Grade 9 gym class, we called this, “The Washing Machine”. So, do that. Don’t worry, we’ll Tumble Dry later.

Exercise is all about circular motion. Everything is either clockwise or counter-clockwise. If it’s counter-clockwise, it means you should’ve done it yesterday. Think about it.

After this, it’s time to tell the legs to do stuff. Touch your posterior (we’re being uber professional with terms today) with one foot and hold it there for 10 seconds, and then switch legs.

You can also stretch out your stance, so you look like an outfielder, and lean to one side and then the other. Doing so will do something, but you’ll never know what.

Finally, it’s time to get the feet involved. I just rotate them ten times each way. You never know when you’ll be running through someone else’s dreams, right?

The final thing I do is hold my arms up, like the contestants on Masterchef do when Gordon Ramsey says, “Time’s Up! Step away from the food.” You know the pose.

Then I’ll just shake my arms up and down so my hands feels like they’re going to fall off, but then the wrist pulls them back. Wrists are quite heroic.

Finally, I’ll stretch my arms up and try to touch to the ceiling, while Woody from Toy Story says, “Reach for the sky” in my head.

Then I’ll try and touch my toes, but my fingers and feet are like two north poles of a magnet.

If I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll add in a few more stretches. One of them is I’ll pretend I’m a cross-country skier, but only move my arms and keep my body as still as possible.

I think it activates my core. Or maybe it aggravates my core. Who is to know?

I’m not sure if pretending to be a cross-country skier does anything. Maybe I should try it in a circular motion?

Within five minutes, or less, I’ve completed my stretches and can proceed to watch Netflix for the next two hours before actually falling asleep.

Since starting these stretches before going to bed, I don’t wake up feeling sore anymore. I should probably do stretches in the morning too, but I don’t feel like it.

I do a one-minute plank most mornings, and by the end of that I just want food.

I always hated stretching before gym class, as a kid. I thought it was a waste of time. What are they warming me up for? I’m not a bag of microwave popcorn. I’m a bag of Smartfood popcorn! I come ready.

Now I get it. They were preparing us for old age.

Anyway, this post turned into something I didn’t anticipate, which means I have material for another blog post related to sleeping, that you’ll see another day.

For now, though, I want to say “sleep tight”, but we just stretched, so I guess “sleep loose” would be more appropriate? That sounds weird, though.

So, go nestle your pillow.

Yup, that works as a blog sign-off. Just as long as you don’t think I meant “Nestlé”, like the food company.

Thou shalt not stuff your pillowcase with chocolate!

You will wake up with a stomach ache.

Do you sleep well? Do you wake up feeling sore? Have I ruined stretches for you, based on how I described them?

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Blog Posts That Made Me

There was a time when I did not think I would make it to twenty-five blog posts, yet here I am today, at 800. Is that considered a lot, or a little, after seven years? To me, it’s a hefty amount. It’s a “bring in the wheelbarrow” amount.

Since this is a milestone post, I thought I would look back on the blog posts that made me (Yes, I borrowed this verbiage from, The Movies That Made Us) and take you behind the scenes a little bit. I will explain what I was thinking when I wrote them, as well as what they mean to me.

1. Leading Off

This is my first post and I hate it, although it is slowing growing on me in a “so bad, it’s good” kinda way. I didn’t even introduce myself in it. Nowhere does it say, “My name is Paul.” All I did was welcome you to a sports blog, explain why I called it The Captain’s Speech, and then tell you about my writing style.

It took me over an hour to write that short little post. I remember crafting each sentence one word at a time because I was trained to believe that people on the internet are ruthless and criticize every little detail. Also, my head was still in “university essay” mode, so letting words flow freely wasn’t as easy as it is now.

By the way, do me a favour – say, “The Captain’s Speech”, out loud. I didn’t realize until a few years ago that the “s” in “Captain’s” and the “s” in “Speech” run into each other, so for a brief moment you sound like a tea kettle.

Ssssssssssssssss. Lovely.

2. I Miss School, Already

This is the blog post that started it all, really. If I’m not mistaken, it was my 22nd post, and one of the first times I wrote about something other than sports.

I still remember the night I wrote it. I was sitting in front of a blank screen, trying to think of something sports-related to write about, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how all my friends were back at school and I was at home for the first September as a graduate.

Eventually, I got to a “screw it” moment in my head, and wrote about missing school. I had tears in my eyes the whole time. It was worth it.

The feedback I got from friends was phenomenal and made me realize that we all feel the same things, but sometimes you need one person to say how they’re feeling first, so everyone else can too.

The next night, I received an email from WordPress, telling me it was going to be featured on Freshly Pressed (now known as Discover). A couple of days later it was up, and my notifications and views would not stop.

I had been blogging for just over two months and my record for views in a day was 32. Well, that was crushed. On September 6, 2013, this blog had 1067 views. That is still my single-day record.

I spent that day shaking. I’m not exaggerating. I couldn’t believe how much my post resonated with so many strangers. That was my first real introduction to any level of “fame”.

Writing that post made it okay for me share things from my heart and not worry about how they would be received. It went on to garner about 2800 views that month.

I think it will always be my favourite post. If I didn’t write it that night, I don’t know if I’m here right now, writing this.

3. Watching The Leafs Isn’t Fun Anymore

This post was also featured on Freshly Pressed, seven months after my first one. I was proud of the fact that I got a sports-related post to be featured. That seemed rare.

At the same time, I wish it would’ve been a more positive post.

The 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs were not very good, nor were they fun to watch. I don’t think I watched a game from start to finish that year. I was tired of all the analysts picking on them and all the negativity surrounding the team.

I think it was after this, when I came across someone’s blog and on their side banner they said they’d been featured five times on Freshly Pressed.

Right then and there, I made the “Impossible Goal” to be featured at least five times as well. Why not, right?

What the “Impossible Goal” actually did was push me to make every blog post as good as I could. It wasn’t about wanting to be featured, it was about hitting the “Publish” button and feeling proud of what I had written.

Eventually, I would be featured five times on Freshly Pressed/Discover and the “Impossible Goal” came true.

4. Growing Up Millennial

With 1166 likes and 715 comments, this is my most popular post. I think it also had over 100 re-blogs. Just a mind-blowing amount of attention. That being said, it is not my most-viewed post. It’s not even second.

A small part of me regrets this post. I don’t like reading it back because I think I sound whiny, or overly assertive for no reason, in some parts.

The motivation to write it came from constantly hearing people on TV complain about millennials, or just saying “millennials” and scoffing at the term, as if we’re bird droppings on a car.

So, I took it personally and basically became the self-appointed voice of a generation.

I’m sorry.

But, my words resonated with a lot of people. And all I was trying to say was, every generation is going to grow up differently than the one that came before them. Our age and the development of the world is merely a matter of circumstance.

This was my third time featured on Freshly Pressed.

5. I Took Notes During The Second Presidential Debate

Long title alert.

October 16, 2016. The second debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was held.

This was the birth of what is now known as “Viewing Notes” on my blog. The series where I watch a TV show (mainly The Bachelor/Bachelorette) and make notes as I’m watching.

This was something we did in my Grade 11 Media Studies class, whenever we watched a movie/show/documentary/anything on the fat-back TV. They were called, “Active Viewing Notes.”

There was one assignment where we had to pick five topics from a list of eight, and write a one-page report on it. I decided to write about the Presidential Debate at the time – Barack Obama vs. John McCain.

A line in my report was, “When Barack Obama talks, people listen.” Where is the lie?

Eight years later, here I am applying the things I learned in high school, to my blog. The post was well-received, so I did it again for the third debate.

The “Viewing Notes” title officially debuted on my blog a few days later, when I watched the movie, Halloweentown. Then I did some Viewing Notes for a few episodes of The Office, before starting on The Bachelor in January 2017.

6. I. Am. Poet.

On May 26, 2015, I wrote this fun, little rhyming poem, which reads more like a rap. It wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.

People seemed to love it and then I received a comment along the lines of, “This isn’t really poetry, all you did was rhyme a few words.”

I must’ve deleted the comment because I don’t see it there anymore.

For some reason, their comment irked me, even though it was true. I knew it wasn’t real poetry. I knew all I was doing was rhyming words. But them pointing it out, bothered me.

Let me make the joke. You don’t have to tell me that I’m making the joke. I know I’m making the joke!

Because of that comment, I told myself I’d start writing poetry and get really good at it. I took it as a challenge to prove that I could actually do it without relying on witty rhymes.

This brings me to #7.

7. This Is How It Is

This was written about 10 months after “I. Am. Poet.” It is my most successful poem and 7th most popular post, in terms of likes (115). I also really like it.

To me, it symbolizes that I can write a real poem, without relying on humour, and have people like it.

So, in your face, random commenter.

I haven’t written a poem in almost a year because I feel like I have nothing new to say in that format. And if I ever go back to poetry, it’ll be more in the form of lyrics, I think.

8. The Announcement

Back in 2016, I announced that I wanted to write letters to other bloggers. I wouldn’t send them in the mail, I’d post them on my blog.

The idea to do this came to me at about 6AM. It was a very spur of the moment thing.

I thought I’d get about 10-15 requests and be done with them quickly. Little did I know I would end up writing 40 letters and take, exactly, 19 months to do them.

It was a draining experience and the thought of, “I still have __ letters to write” was always lurking in the back of my mind whenever I wrote about something else.

I’m glad I did it, though. It allowed me to connect with other bloggers in a different way. Plus, it challenged me to make every letter sound different, which was half the fun, honestly.

9. 50 Thoughts

There is a sports broadcaster in Canada named, Elliotte Friedman. I’ve been a fan of his since the early 2000s. He’s currently a hockey analyst. In recent years, he’s been doing a monthly article called, “30 Thoughts”. And since the NHL expanded to 31 teams, he expanded his column to “31 Thoughts”.

His thoughts mainly revolve around hockey, but he will throw in thoughts about other topics, too.

So, that’s where the inspiration for “50 Thoughts” came from. I just wanted a collection of random thoughts that pass through my head to be presented on a screen.

I have a note on my phone that I add thoughts to, and when I get about 20-25 written down, I’ll know it’s time to do another edition of 50 Thoughts. I like to think of the remaining thoughts while I’m typing the post because that ensures they are random and hopefully fun.

As of a few days ago, I’ve put out 32 editions of 50 Thoughts. It’s one of the posts I look forward to the most, and I know some of my readers love it as well.

10. Paulo’s Kitchen: Soup

The early part of 2015 is one of my favourite eras of this blog. I felt like I had a new idea every day. The creativity was just flowing. That is when Paulo’s Kitchen was born.

Paulo’s Kitchen is a fictional televised cooking show, which features my alter-ego, Chef Paulo. He cooks the most basic meals and goes into too much detail explaining how to prepare them, because in his head, he thinks they are complex dishes and if he doesn’t teach others how to make them, they will never know.

He thinks he is a cooking savant, but he is actually a Chefsplainer.

His Cameraman, Sam, is the pain in his side, who is constantly making quick comments that Paulo knows are intended to make him look bad, but he’s not entirely sure how they make him look bad.

The idea for all of this came when I saw other bloggers sharing recipes and pictures of really nice of food.

I thought – well, I can never do that. I’ll let the experts post their lovely recipes, and instead of trying to do what they do, I’ll do the exact opposite, while pretending that this simple “dish” is the most extravagant thing ever made.

That’s how Paulo’s Kitchen was created. By the way, it should actually be, “Paolo” but I didn’t realize my mistake until it was too late, so now I just see the misspelling as another quirky character trait for him.

This blog series actually motivated me to learn how to cook new things in real life, so I never run out of content…even though I just went a year without a Paulo’s Kitchen post.

This concludes my list of blog posts that made me. 

I love this blog. In many ways, it gives me a sense of purpose. Coming up with a new idea, or blog series, is fun for me. What can I do, that no one else has done? I constantly think about that.

I am not afraid of running out of things to write about because I know I never will. There will always be something, no matter how small, that I will try and turn into a post.

Besides, blogging is 10% content, 90% personality, isn’t it? When in doubt, just write about what you like in the most you way possible.

People go to your blog for you, your content is just extra.

Of course, none of this would have been possible without any of you cool cats and introverts. I don’t make it this far without your friendship, feedback, and willingness to go along with my ideas. It means more than you know.

Thank you for laughing, thinking, crying, smiling, and punching the air with me for my first 800 posts.

May this never end.

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50 Thoughts XXXII

1. Kids these days will never experience finding 25 cents in a payphone, only for their parents to ask them, sternly, “Do know how many germs are on those phones!?”

2. The song, “Mr. Roboto”, doesn’t really get going until the 3:10 mark. Shame.

3. New Idea: The Olympup Games. The announcer will go, “And here come the German Shepherds from Germany, or as they are referred to in their home country – Shepherds.”

3.5 “And here come the Canadian synchronized doggy paddle team. They train out of Newfoundland and Labradoodle.”

4. If you hold a roll of paper towels, horizontally, it looks like toilet paper for giants.

5. Whenever a dad posts a picture of their kid on social media, there is always another dad who comments, “Good thing they got their mother’s looks!” 

6. If you eat enough parsley, you can speak parseltongue.

7. So, we’re calling these The Boring 20s, right? 

8. My thoughts regarding Too Hot To Handle can be found, exclusively, on my friend Cass’ blog. Click HERE to read our baffledness. 

8.5 I know “baffledness” isn’t a word, but it is the only word assemblage of letters that makes sense in this context.

9. These “Don’t Rush Challenge” videos with multiple people in them are starting to drive me up the wall, across the ceiling, and into the light fixture.

9.5 WHY ARE YOU THROWING YOUR PHONE AROUND LIKE IT’S A BOUNCY BALL?

10. The most country thing about me is my love of donuts from Country Style. Yee-Haw..aiian donuts?

11. When all of this is over, can we agree to not ask each other “what’s new?” for the next six months. And if we like not having to answer that question, we’ll extend it indefinitely. 

12. I am a handful of mixed seeds, and a 25-minute talk about yard work with the neighbours, away from being a full-fledged house husband. This is a call for help. 

13. Is it bad that I don’t like the song, “Imagine”?

14. I have always seen Carol and Daryl as having a mother-son relationship on The Walking Dead, but people have wanted them to be a couple for years. I don’t see it.

15. If a shoelace and a necklace switched places, would they also switch names?

16. I was taught that when you use contractions in your writing, it takes away the importance of the words, so I try and avoid them when I can. 

17. Three WWE superstars I’m currently excited for are: Bianca Belair, Austin Theory, and Liv Morgan. Oodles of potential with all three.

18. I was bored enough to look up what Animal Crossing is. Sadly, it has nothing to do with chickens crossing the road. Missed opportunity.

18.5 Unrelated, but related: Chickens walk like they always have a wedgie. 

19. The first five turns of the Japanese Grand Prix, in the 2012 Formula 1 video game, are absolutely chaotic. There’s a 98% chance you’re losing pieces of the front wing.

19.5 The hairpin at Turn 6 in Monaco is also gnarly. It is a 35-car pile up, in a 24-car race. No rear wing is safe.

20. There was a kid crying outside the other day. I like to think they represented all of us in that moment.

21. There is always at least one comment under every song on the Song Meanings website, that says the lyrics are about a relationship. No, Romeo, it’s about the YMCA. Do the dance and move on.

22. 93 years from now, when movies are set in 2015, the wardrobe department is going to have so many pictures to look at to see how people dressed in 2015.

23. The best magazine ad I ever saw was for Imodium. It was a full-page picture of a house and groceries scattered across the front walkway and yard. The front door was wide open. Just brilliant.

24. I’ve started doing stretches before going to sleep, in an attempt to not wake up sore in the morning. I aged about 80 years just writing that.

25. It is incomprehensible to me that I have lost weight during this time at home. All I think about is my next meal. 

26. In last month’s edition of 50 Thoughts, I said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers uniform wasn’t good enough for someone like Tom Brady. They must’ve heard me because on April 7th, they unveiled new uniforms.

27. Back in my day, which feels like it was 240 BC, we used Skype and Oovoo. 

28. It is alarming how many people are uncomfortable by the word, “moist”. “Most” and “mist” are fine, but add the “oi” together and it’s “OH NO, DON’T SAY IT”.

29. If you’re looking for a show on Netflix to cleanse your viewing palate, may I suggest, The Big Show Show. It is a fun, little sitcom that I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would.

30. I’ve never liked doing push-ups, but since this social distancing thing started, I’ve done two (2) (deux) (dos) (due) push-ups. So, hear me roar, or whatever.

31. I’m assuming we all mastered the, “There’s a coin on the ground, let me step on it and drag it until I can pick it up” maneuver at a young age. 

32. You gotta think we’re only a few days away from a comic strip of a doctor calling a family asking if anyone is sick, to which they reply, “Only of each other.”

33. I have watched the Jose Bautista bat flip home run, no less than 63 times in the last 48 hours. I don’t think most people realize the bat didn’t even go that far.

33.5 Elvis Andrus should’ve left the building in that 7th inning. Fake a paper cut and get the hell out of there.

34. Socks are a scam. 

35. Ichiro Suzuki was the coolest visiting player I saw in-person as a kid. 

36. Being Italian is exhausting. I blame the carbs.

37. If you go back and watch episodes of The Newlywed Game from the 1970s, it’ll take you two seconds to feel uncomfortable by some of the things that are said.

38. Chloe Fineman is slowly turning into a breakout star on Saturday Night Live.

39. I’ve learned that rainy days do a better job keeping people inside, than the threat of contracting a deadly virus.

40. The contestants on Survivor can last up to 39 days without toilet paper.

41. I don’t like how the media rushed the court when the Raptors won the NBA Championship last year. The players couldn’t really celebrate with each other. I also didn’t like how the owner got the trophy first.

42. I follow about nine people on Instagram, who are currently doing the 30-day song challenge. I don’t think any of them are on the same day.

43. “Hey all you pool noodles and floaties!” – A lifeguard starts a vlog

44. You are the weakest link, goodbye.

45. My life goal is to lead a focus group of people who leave stupid comments on the internet, so I can ask them what they were thinking. They won’t get lunch until I’m satisfied with their answers.

45.5 Yes, their lunch is humble pie.

46. How we feel about each day of the week is dependent upon how we feel about the days that come immediately before and after.

47. Jason Bateman is always on the verge of screaming in Ozark, while Julia Garner makes you forget you’re even watching a fictional show.

48. Conspiracy Theory: Linda Cardellini from Freaks & Geeks (1999) and Jennifer Love Hewitt from I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997) are actually the same person and they grew up to be Monica in Cheer, after a brief stop as AJ Lee in WWE.

48.5 I’d draw a diagram to show how they’re all connected, but this is a blog, not pictionary.

49. You’re not living, if you’ve never cleaned a bathtub and almost fallen in.

50. Make your own kind of music, even if nobody else sings along.

Posted in 50 Thoughts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Paulo’s Kitchen: Home Cooking

Paulo’s Kitchen is normally filmed in front of a live studio audience. However, due to the current state of the world, this episode of Paulo’s Kitchen will be filmed from Chef Paulo’s home. Cameraman Sam will also be there, via video chat. 

And now, here is the apple of your pie…Chef Paulo!

Ciao! Bonjour! And hello! I am Chef Paulo, welcome to my home kitchen! Wow, this is very exciting! You get to see where the magic happens today. I feel like David Blaine.

The name of the show should be, “Chef Paulo: Street Cooking”. Has a nice ring-a-ding-ding to it, doesn’t it?

Before we go any further, I want to apologize in advance if you see anyone walking around in the background. I know many people and have many friends living here.

Cameraman Sam: You live alone!

Oh yeah, Cameraman Sam is here too on my laptop. The executives at the network told me they wanted him here just so I am not lonely.

Paulo is never lonely! Paulo has many friends! Paulo lives with 17 people. So many people. So many friends. He’s not alone. Never alone.

Fine, Paulo has to come clean now. I hope you can accept this bath bomb.

There is no one else here, but that is only because I am in quarter chicken. I will say that again because people always get confused and think I’m trying to imitate Mr. Bean.

I am in quarter chicken. Let me spell it. Q-U-A-R-A-N-T-I-N-E. Quarter chicken.

Cameraman Sam: Quarantine.

Why do you say it so funny, Samsterdam?

Since I have been at home, everyone else has been at home. I said to the network executives that when we film the show in the studio and the audience is half empty, maybe people are just quarter-chickening, but they told me that’s not the case.

But can I trust them? Paulo does not know.

Cameraman Sam: What does Paulo know?

DON’T TAKE THAT TONE WITH ME! Just sit there and look petty.

Over the last few weeks, many people have been asking me for cooking tips. Womany people too. Many and Womany – you know, man and woman. Everyone has been asking Paulo for recipes!

I’ve been getting so many phone calls, I almost forgot to have dessert with every meal. Can you tell?

Cameraman Sam: No.

UP SHUT IT, SAMILTON!

Anyway, in future episodes from home, I will share more complex recipes, but for now, here are some simple things you can make for yourself.

Cameraman Sam: All your recipes are simple.

Don’t make me mute you! I will mute you so fast, you won’t know who muted you!

Numero One: Carrot Muffin with Beurre

Say it with me now…beurre. That is the french translation of butter, but it sounds like someone is cold. Beurre. Brrr. Same thing. So, since it’s still a bit nippy outside, we say beurre.

When it warms up, it is butter again. Think of it as Daylight Savings Time, but for Butter.

We call it, Butter Translation Time. BuTT, for short.

Step 1: Take a carrot muffin out of the container on your counter. Pretend your hand is a claw in an arcade game and the muffin is the toy you want.

Step 2: Using a knife, cut the carrot muffin in half. If any blood comes out, you did it wrong. Get it? Because muffins don’t have blood. Your fingers do!

Cameraman Sam: Did you seriously just make a kitchen accident joke?

NO, Samcouver. No. I made a food joke.

See, that is one of those jokes that a studio audience would eat up, so I just know you’re all  digesting it at home. Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all night for the next 7 minutes.

Step 3: Get a block of beurre from the fridge. It looks like a brick, but we don’t throw stones in this brick house.

Cameraman Sam: You mean, “glass house”.

A-ha, who’s making kitchen accident jokes now? Eating glass is nothing to joke about!

Step 4: Use your knife to slice off beurre from the top of the block.

Funny story – this is where the phrase, “Chip off the old block” comes from, actually. When beurre gets old, it gets really hard. So hard, that you can place it on the counter and throw potato chips at it from ten feet away, like they are a frisbee.

The goal is to get the chip to bounce off the old block. Hence, chip off the old block. Fun game. Try it at home.

Step 5: Spread the beurre on the inside of the carrot muffin.

And voila! You have yourself a carrot muffin with beurre. It is a perfect marriage. They live on the corner of Seventh Heaven and Fifth E-Harmony, with each other. You can announce it on Instagram Wive, if you want.

Cameraman Sam: It is Instagram Live.

I do not think so, Samurai. Have you never heard of a wedding announcement?

Do I have time for another recipe?

Cameraman Sam: No. Unless you make water.

Do not be silly, Sample! I cannot turn water into wine.

Okay, one last recipe.

Numero Two: Apple

Cameraman Sam: Surely, you mean, Apple Pie.

Nope! Who is this, Shirley? Introduce me next time.

Step 1: Get an apple out of the fridge. I like Royal Gala, so…

Cameraman Sam: So you can take a bite and spit in the face of those who said you will never be a royal. We know.

What!? Pfft. Me? No! Never. I do not do that. No. Um.

Step 2: Bath time! Wash the apple under running water. Do not use soap, though.

Step 3: Using a knife, cut off the four sides of the apple. If blood comes out, you did it wrong!

Cameraman Sam: Are you really making the same kitchen accident joke as before?

Listen, Samanova, it is a food joke. Besides, comedians perform the same jokes all the time. Why can’t Chef Paulo?

Step 4: Slice the big pieces into smaller pieces. We don’t want anyone to choke. Safety first, here in Paulo’s kitchen!

Cameraman Sam: Oh, now we care about safety.

We always care!

Step 5 (optional): You can add some cinnamon and sugar to the apple slices, if you want.

And voila! You have yourself an apple!

Cameraman Sam: Tune in next time, when Chef Paulo teaches you to how to peel an orange!

Yeah! That’s the spirit! Wait, no. It always spritzes juice in my eye. I am not doing that. I do not have a snorkel. I do not snore.

Cameraman Sam: But now, how will people know how to peel an orange?

Hmm…you make a good point. I am in a pickle jar, aren’t I?

Anyway, we’ll figure it out and get back to you.

That is all for this special edition of Paulo’s Kitchen. Thank you for joining me inside my home. Please, come back any time.

Cameraman Sam: Just be sure to call ahead so Paulo can hide the foods he wants to save for himself.

WHAT!? Paulo would never.

Okay, Paulo would sometimes.

Eat well, be swell, and don’t ring my doorbell.

Goodnight!

Posted in Fiction, Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Unravelled

I am starting to think that humans are a lot like a ball of yarn. This either means I have had too many canned peaches in the last month, or I am on to something. Definitely the former, but maybe the latter, as well. We’ll see.

What makes you, you? Many things, right?

Picture a ball of yarn. That is us.

What started out so simple, is now a complex, layered being. Everything that makes us who we are is right there, all wrapped into one.

Now pull the loose end. That is also us.

Constantly pulled in every direction, undoing everything we knew and exploring everything we never did.

Sometimes, we give pieces of ourselves away and live on somewhere else. Sometimes, we venture off and come back to wrap ourselves in a different way.

And sometimes, we are a ball of yarn that gets kicked down the stairs and pulled around the house until we are wrapped around every table leg.

That is when we find ourselves completely unravelled.

At times during this pandemic, I have felt that way. Just an unravelled ball of yarn, trying to make itself whole again.

I know a lot of people are feeling the same way.

Everyone has something. Those three words have echoed in my head for the last few days and were my initial inspiration for this post.

In actuality, it should probably be four words: Everyone has many somethings.

What I mean by that is, we are all missing aspects of ourselves in this time of social distancing and staying home. Some of the things that make us who we are have not been apart of us for the last month.

Everyone has fewer somethings, right now.

There are so many nouns with which we cannot associate with. We can’t live with it; we can’t live without it. And as I said before, sometimes we give ourselves away.

You know where this is going.

We are stuck in a U2 song, basically. This is payback for the time people got mad that U2 uploaded their new album to everyone’s phone.

This is no secret, but I have felt completely lost without sports. They gave me so much purpose, joy, and comfort. For 28 years, they gave me an identity. And now they’ve been taken away like Charles Barkley’s skills in Space Jam.

While I can still consume sports in some capacity, it just feels like I’m a kid who got a Happy Meal, but they forgot to include the toy. The epitome of a sarcastic, whoop-de-doo.

It is a daily confrontation of, “If I can’t be this, then what am I?

This feeling is eerily similar to how I felt when I graduated from university. So much of my identity was linked to the people, the place, and the things. Who was I without all that? How do I fill the empty space?

If I am not a ball of yarn, then I am just yarn.

Maybe it is in these times of feeling unravelled, when I’ll surprise myself and discover something I never knew was there. I am not sure what that is yet.

Water polo in the bathtub? Somehow, this was the first idea that came to mind.

If I do find something new, when this pandemic is over and I am (almost) whole again, perhaps I’ll be able to bring these new interests, or skills, with me and can point to them and say, “they make me who I am.”

Am I being overly-optimistic, or did I just crack the code to the meaning of life?

The idea that, if you feel like the world is taking something away from your life and forcing you to replace the emptiness – it is not. It is, merely, creating more space so you can add to what is already there.

I do not know where this rush of self-proclaimed wisdom is coming from, so please do not let what I am saying come across as preachy because I am just discovering this stuff myself as I type it. Who is even controlling my fingers right now?

Today is Friday, but it does not feel like Friday because even the days of the week feel unravelled.

Just like me.

Just like a ball of yarn.

Yeah, it’s time to lay off the canned peaches.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

In 1999, I was in Grade 3, which only means one thing if you grew up in Toronto – a field trip to Pioneer Village. In the days leading up to the trip, we had Pioneer Day at school. This entailed a few things.

For starters, we had to sit in a dark classroom and not use electricity. We also had to stand up to address the teacher. And we had to dress in clothes that pioneers wore.

In other words, I wore an oversized plaid shirt from my dad’s closet, and tucked 3/4 of it into my pants.

At one point, I went to the washroom. On my way back to class, I found a $5 bill on the floor. It had been folded multiple times. I picked it up and put it in the front pocket of my shirt, which felt as big as an ocean.

Could’ve fit my lunch in there.

The only problem was, it was obvious I had $5 in my pocket. I didn’t have anywhere else to put it. I couldn’t put it in my backpack because I’d have to walk passed my classroom to do so and didn’t want to raise suspicion.

In my mind, I had a briefcase full of money that I was trying to discreetly sneak by security.

I don’t think my pants had pockets that day. My hand wasn’t big enough to palm it like David Blaine. I think I thought about putting it in my sock, but didn’t.

So you can see why I had no other choice but to put the $5 back on the floor where I found it, and walk back to class with nothing.

At that age, Dumb = Adorable, but if you put the words together you get, Dumbledore.

So, basically, I was wise.

But this post is not about five dollars. It is about one million dollars.

I never saw Austin Powers, so I’m not doing that weird thing with my pinky to my face, if you were wondering.

In the summer of 1999, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? debuted on ABC and the television game show genre took off like a seagull with McDonald’s.

The premise was simple – answer 15 multiple choice questions correctly and you win one million dollars.

This was no pricing game with Bob Barker. Who cares about the dinette set? This was real money! I was hooked.

The host of the show was Regis Philbin and he was the perfect person for the job.

If you want to learn how to make someone laugh by only using facial expressions as a response, go watch Regis Philbin. That is oddly specific, I know, but trust me.

No one gets more laughs from two raised eyebrows.

Regis is one of my favourite TV hosts ever. He knew how to give an abundance of life to small moments. You tuned in to see if anyone would win a million dollars, but you also tuned in to watch Regis.

I’m guessing the title, Who Wants To Sit Across Regis? wasn’t favourable among the focus group.

I still have a memory, where I was in one room playing, and my mom was in the other room and all of a sudden she says, “It’s on! Who Wants To Be A Millionaire is on!” And everyone in the house went running to the TV.

I think it was on at a different time that night and it caught us off guard. The adrenaline rush – oh man.

That doesn’t happen anymore. There is no urgency or fear I’m going to miss something. It’s recorded. I’ll watch it later.

Almost all of the questions on the show were too hard for me, even though the first five are supposed to be easy. That didn’t matter. As an almost 8-year-old, I didn’t feel left out.

I loved how the show looked and how it sounded. The set was dark and ominous. The music would intensify, the further the contestant went. Everything about it was great.

And let’s not forget the three lifelines that have crossed over and become apart of our daily vocabulary. I think most of us have said, “Can I phone a friend?” at some point in our life, when someone asks us a question we don’t know the answer to.

There was also, “Ask the Audience” and “50/50”.

Perfect lifelines. Whoever developed this show was brilliant.

Then there is the story of the first winner, John Carpenter. He made it to the million dollar question without using a single lifeline. Once there, he decided to “Phone a Friend”.

He called his parents to let them know he didn’t actually need their help; he was calling to let them know he was about to win one million dollars.

What an iconic moment in television history.

What a guy.

The Regis Era only lasted until 2002, when Meredith Vieira took over for the syndicated version of the show.

She was a good host, but when you’re not the first one, you’re always compared to who came before you. See: Drew Carey on The Price is Right.

The show transitioned into an afternoon timeslot and it didn’t feel special, or “must-see” anymore.

In 2019, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? was cancelled. Chris Harrison had been the host since 2015, and I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that.

I didn’t think a show hosted by Chris Harrison could ever get cancelled. If anything, they just add a bunch of spin-offs.

Millionaire in Paradise, hosted by Chris Harrison. Book it.

Tonight, a new Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? returns. This time, with celebrities.

Yeah, I get the winnings are going to charity which is always admirable, but as a viewer, I’d rather see a regular person play. I want the drama of that situation to play out.

The celebrity version of Family Feud is always rigged so each show ends with a winner. They ask the simplest questions in the Fast Money round and I don’t like it.

Game shows are supposed to be difficult.

I’m sure there are a bunch of people who enjoy seeing their favourite celebrities in a game show setting. It probably does good ratings. I just don’t care.

That being said, I will definitely be tuning in because they’ve gone back to the original format of the show, and Jimmy Kimmel is hosting.

If you flip through the pages of your life over the last 21 years, very few things will have stayed the same. You are different. The people around you are different. The world is different.

Meanwhile, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is the Michael Myers of game shows. Heck, the first winner even shares the same name as the creator of Halloween.

It is a show that may never die because, for as long as we live, there will always be someone who wants to be a millionaire.

Don’t you?

Posted in TV | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

This Stinks

The other night, my entire family was woken up at 3AM because there was a cat outside, screaming and, we assume, fighting another animal. We couldn’t see anything from the window, but the fracas sounded like it was happening in front of my neighbour’s house.

By 3:17AM, my bedroom was full of skunk funk. By 3:36AM, the smell was starting to make my head hurt, so I decided to roll out of bed and flap my arms around like a bird, trying to move the odour somewhere else, because what else do I have to do at that hour?

I just wanted to scream out the window, “NOT NOW, PEPE!”

Do animals not understand we’re going through hell right now? We do not need this. I do not need this.

I am over this whole thing. It is Day 23 without sports and I am losing it.

Sorry, if you wanted a blog post to provide you with some hope, this isn’t the one. I cannot be your ray of sunshine today. Everything stinks.

I’m just annoyed. Of course we get a pandemic during an era in which people are at their most defiant. Of course.

A lot of people want to talk about how this entire situation will make us appreciate each other and all the things we’re able to do. Yeah, that’s true.

But I also think this whole thing needs to knock some people down a peg, and make them realize they aren’t as smart, or invincible, as they think they are. Enough with the stupidity.

We saw this coming for two months and did nothing. I mean, did we have to look up on Google Maps how long a virus takes to travel from one side of the world to another? Where is the leadership in this world?

We don’t eat a meal and put our glass on the edge of the table. Why? WE’RE PROACTIVE AND DON’T WANT TO MAKE A MESS.

Can we not apply that same level of thinking to real-life situations?

God bless everyone in the healthcare industry. Where would we be without them? When all of this is over, they better get the same red carpet treatment at sporting events that other heroes and celebrities have received.

We look up to the wrong people in this world. We really do.

By the way, it’s about time people finally realized how hard being a teacher is. All this talk over the last few years of increasing class sizes, and other measures to make a teacher’s life difficult, were all ridiculous.

Finally, we have parents understanding how hard it is to get children to sit still and learn how to multiply.

I am not a teacher, but I have worked with kids before in a camp setting. I never liked the idea that a camp counsellor is just a glorified babysitter. It is not true.

You have no idea how hard it is to give every single kid the same amount of time, attention, and energy. You have no idea how hard it is to get all of them to do the same thing at the same time.

And all I wanted to do was divide them into teams and play a game. Imagine getting them to sit at a desk and learn all day, while ensuring they grasp the material. That is virtually impossible.

So, yeah, teachers are superheroes. I don’t know why people haven’t seen it sooner.

Are they unaware of what a classroom in 2020 looks like? Are they looking at their school experience from 1982 and thinking because their teacher had complete control, that teachers nowadays should have no problem?

We live in a very, “Well back in my day, it was like this, so why don’t they just do that now?” world, and it’s ridiculous.

Millennials have been shamed for how they grew up, as if they had any say in the matter. What did you want millennials to do? Did you want them to band together and make the conscious decision at 8 years of age to reject technology?

Come on, now.

I really hope “forward-thinking” and “common sense” are two of the many things people get out of all this time in isolation. The world needs more of it.

It is still crazy to me that so many people never knew how to properly wash their hands.

Where have you been, that you do not know? Maybe washing our hands should’ve been an entire 45-minute lesson at school.

You know how many people have said, or thought, at one point in their life that school should have a “Life Skills” class? Probably millions.

I’ve always thought that when you graduate from high school, or university, students should fill out a form, and basically say, “Hey, these are the things I wish I learned at some point over the last 12-16 years, but didn’t. They would have been beneficial to me.”

And those suggestions should go directly to whoever puts the curriculum together.

For instance, why wasn’t Health class used to teach us proper nutrition? We sat there labelling body parts.

Yeah, great. Thanks for telling me where my liver is.

It’s fine, though, because we can all follow a bunch of fitness influencers on Instagram and tell ourselves we’re educated.

I just want a portion of the school curriculum to be about how to live with ourselves. Teach people how to cook, at least. I’m sure some schools have stuff like that – mine didn’t.

We put kids through such gruelling math lessons and force feed them formulas that are so complex, that they become overwhelmed by them.

Why can’t you teach them to make french toast, as well? At least they’ll be able to go home and immediately apply something they learned. Students constantly think, “When will I ever use this in real life?”

Give them something to use and lessen their future reliance on Google.

I don’t know how this post went from skunks, to making french toast at school, but I’m not going to question it.

I’m just airing my grievances. For all I know, today is Festivus.

Anyway, this pandemic isn’t ending any time soon.

I mean, we probably have to wait until there are no more known cases, and then we probably have to wait another 2-4 weeks after that, before getting back to normal life.

I am sorry I can’t be more positive right now. Maybe tomorrow.

Venting is good, though. I think too many of us are trying to pretend that playing board games and watching DVDs from 2003 is something we enjoy, when deep down we’re just frustrated and mad it has come to this.

But we can’t show that part of us. Have to be strong! Have to be positive!

Screw that. You can be mad, I promise.

Maybe don’t be mad for an extended period of time, but if you want to write a blog post, laying out a bunch of frustrations that aren’t really connected to each other, you should be able to do it without feeling like you also have to provide words of hope.

Not everything we write has to be worthy of hanging on the wall in the living room. Sometimes, the best thing to do is share how we’re actually feeling.

Alright?

This felt good. It felt right.

Thanks for reading.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Good Reading Habits

I almost feel like I’m walking into a room I don’t belong in. Nevertheless, I have the paperwork to prove my attendance is necessary. Let me just get that out for you. Alright, here it is. Should I read it like it’s an old-timey scroll? Sure, why not.

On this day, I, The Paul, have been nominated by The Becky at Strikeouts and Sprinkles to participate in a “Good Reading Habits Tag”, thus, my presence at this Book Nook Society social is of utmost importance.

See, told you I was meant to be here. Do I get a Book Nook Society jacket now? Take me to your leader.

Also, be sure to check out Becky’s blog! I’ve only been telling you to do so for over two years, so if you haven’t listened to me by now, MAYBE I’LL SAY IT A LITTLE LOUDER.

By the way, as I was reading that scroll (of parchment?), I pronounced the word “Good” as if I was Dracula. Just a minor detail. Go back and read it in that voice, if you must.

Now then, someone hand me a small paper plate, so I can fill it with cubes of warm cheese and giant strawberries.

Before I started this, I warned Becky that I may not have any “Good” (Dracula voice, like you’re saying Gouda, but ignore the “a”) reading habits.

So, this is my official warning to all of you. These might not be “Good”, but they’re Gouda-nuff for me.

Who brought me here? Why am I like this? Can I still be in the secret society?

Let’s begin before I pour myself a drink and am forced to carry a styrofoam cup around all night.

Oh, too late

A Page A Day Keeps The Dust Away

I find that if I keep a book next to my laptop, it gives me the chance to read a few pages, while my laptop is starting up. If the chapter is short enough, I’ll complete it, even if my laptop is ready.

Not only does this technique help prevent books from sitting too long without being opened, but it allows me to subtly let the laptop know who’s boss and that technology will never win.

Muha haha ha ha ha ha.

That was my “normal human laugh”.

All About Angles

If you were to fall asleep while sitting, chances are your head would drop and put strain on your neck, while your drool introduces itself to your shirt.

That is to say, if you’re reading a book at an angle that causes your head to be in the same position it would be if you had fallen asleep while sitting, you might get tired, faster.

Body see, body do.

Reading is an activity that must be done while you are awake. Unfair, I know.

So, switch it up. Hold the book out in your lap a bit, so the angle between your eyes and the words is a bit more obtuse, even if it is still an acute angle.

Or, lay on your back, prop a pillow up for your head, and read your book out in front of you. You could also do this while lounging on the couch.

Or, lay entirely on your back and hold the book above you like it’s a baby mobile. This position may also give your arms an unintentional workout, so be sure to move them around so your blood doesn’t coagulate and kill you.

Play A Song In The Background

Sometimes, a room can be too quiet. I know, that’s why it’s called “Quiet Reading” in school, but sometimes the stillness can make me feel bored, or dread reading for a long period of time.

The key is to pick one song and play it on repeat, while you read. Don’t put it too loud and eventually it’ll turn into background noise. You won’t even hear the words. You’ll be more focussed on the ones in the book.

I read most of Ronda Rousey’s book while doing this. I think the song was “Colors” by Halsey. I have no idea why, but it worked. Not that her book wouldn’t have been a joy to read without music; it just added to the experience.

I guess it’s like when people pair a wine with food. Every book has a song it goes with, too.

This may not work for you. It might just be a Paul Thing. Many things are just a Paul Thing, I’m discovering. But if you want to give it a try, then give it a try!

Set Chapter Checkpoints

I enjoy reading, and God knows I still have a bunch of new books in my room, still in their bags, but I’m not someone who will sit down and read for two hours. I have too many sporting events to watch. (Let’s just imagine the world is normal for a second).

So, when I do find time to read, I’ll look ahead and see how long the chapters are and set some checkpoints for myself. I’ll normally stop reading if I’ve been doing so for a while, and have arrived at a chapter that is over 20 pages long.

I don’t like putting the bookmark back in when I’m in the middle of a chapter, so I’ll just stop and pick back up there the next time.

Read What You Need

As I mentioned before, I have a bunch (maybe a baker’s dozen?) of new books waiting for me. Some have been screaming from their bags for over a year. Sorry, guys, I’ll get to you later. NOW KEEP IT DOWN.

When I’m picking my next book to read, I try and pick one that not only interests me, but one that will, hopefully, tell me something I currently need to hear.

I’d say 98% of the books I read are non-fiction, so I’m usually reading about someone’s life, in their own words. I’ll try and pick the one I think I need to read. This may sound weird, or maybe it’s just another Paul Thing.

Hopefully, at least one of you understands what I mean.

I’m currently reading a book called, “Ego Is The Enemy”. I got it and it quickly jumped to the front of the (orderly) queue of new books I have because I felt like it I had to read it. I think I was right.

I’ve been saying “Ego is the enemy” to myself a lot, and I think it’s helped me see a few situations a bit differently. Or maybe I’m just hypnotized. If so, send help.

So, read what you need. No idea how that applies to fiction novels, but maybe it can?

That’s All

Hopefully, I said at least one thing that was semi-useful in this post. I think I’m supposed to nominate people to do this tag, but I don’t think I have the authority to do that yet. You’ll have to take it up with a higher-ranking member of the Book Nook Society.

I totally just created the Book Nook Society because I wanted to entertain myself while writing this, but I guess if you’ve already done this tag, that means you’re in the society.

I don’t make the rules. Everyone gets a jacket!

I’m going to stop typing now and ditch this styrofoam cup at the large table everyone else has been ditching their styrofoam cup at.

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