You be the Judge

This is the picture that Ian, Charlie, and I were arguing about. What do you see?

Unexpected

Last night Gourlay, Jonny, and I tried to do something fun. We went bowling and decided that we were going to drink afterward. We had beer but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that it looked like it would be us three in my house drinking alone. As fun as that sounded, we wanted to do something different. Thanks to Emily we ended up going to a house that a girl from our high school was house sitting for. It was a group of maybe 7 girls from our high school + me, Jonny, and Gourlay. Out of the 7 girls that were there, I had talked to maybe 4 of them before in my entire life. The only one I ever had a conversation with outside of school was Emily so needless to say it was a bit of a strange situation but we had nothing better to do. Jonny and I made a point of getting really drunk before we got there so it wasn’t that awkward.

Surprisingly enough we didn’t get obliterated but I was on a level of drunk that made it not awkward. We brought drinks and everyone was having a good time. We played Catch Phrase which is always a blast and a good way to make friends. There was only one slightly awkward moment. Another girl was on her way over and I knew who she was but again I’d never spoken a word to her once despite going to high school together. When someone announced that she was coming I made a comment like “Oh great I don’t think I’ve talked to her once in my entire life.” The girl who was house sitting (also one that I’d never talked to prior to this night) replied with “Yeah well it’s not like we’ve ever talked before”. She didn’t say it in a mean way but it was true. There was a small silence and then I made some comment and it kind of just brushed over but it was still a little weird.

Jonny passed out early and people were going to bed. None of us could drive so we just slept over there. The night turned out to be way more fun than us three sitting in my basement getting drunk. It was also fun hanging out with people who I’d never actually talked to before. We all got along well and it was just an unexpected good time.

Tonight is Ames’ annual Christmas party but since I’m not 21 I will not be drinking there. It will be nice to see my old track coaches and fellow athletes again. If there’s one tradition I would like to keep alive, going to this get together would be up there. Happy Friday.

Forty Hands Again

Paul, Mike, Charlie, Jonny, Ian and I all hung out last night but there just wasn’t too much to do. It was 9 o’clock and we contemplated the idea of drinking. Eventually we all agreed and now that Jonny is 21 we didn’t have trouble getting drinks. Out of boredom Ian and I competed in Edward 40 Hands. This was my second time doing it so I sort of knew what I was doing more than the first time. I finished in 29 minutes my first time so that was the target time assuming Ian didn’t go faster than that.

I finished the first 40 in about 11 or 12 minutes which was well on pace. The first 40 usually isn’t the problem though. Paul said he wanted to see me break 20 but I told him that wasn’t happening. I was a little more than halfway through the 2nd one when I started for a ‘power chug’ as Paul liked to call it. I drank a lot but I was hurting. This was about 23-24 minutes and I had to get up and walk around to prevent puking. I was salivating like a mofo and could feel that puking was right around the corner. I had to take a few minutes to recompose myself. This was fine except for the fact that Ian was making a late charge for the W. I toughed it out and finished the 2nd 40 with 28:30 on the clock. I was pretty happy with the time and before I knew it I was really drunk. I didn’t black out but I was really close. I don’t how we got to talking about it but Earthlings came up and I showed it to everyone. It was terrible.

Jonny left along with Paul and Mike so Ian, Charlie, and I were on our own. They both went to Ian’s and I was going to meet them there because I had to clean stuff up and charge my phone. I left my phone at my house and when I got to Ian’s I couldn’t get in. It was maybe midnight and I’m outside of his house banging on his cellar door trying to get his attention to let me in. 5 minutes go by and he’s still not coming out. I’m foolishly outside in shorts freezing my ass off but thankfully he opened the garage door and I was in.

The highlight of the night was when Ian, Charlie, and I got into a huge argument about what this one painting was of. I can’t remember exactly but Charlie said it was a crab holding a snake. I said it was a bull headbutting a crab or something like that. But the funniest was Ian saying “It’s a Taurus strangling a pterodactyl.” The fact that he said a Taurus had me dying but even more ridiculous was the way he was pronouncing pterodactyl. Instead of the traditional DACTyl  he was saying DOCKTyl. Charlie and I were hysterically laughing because he was dead serious saying it like that. I don’t know how but it went on for like 10 minutes. Charlie video taped it so that’ll be entertaining to watch later. After all of this I was driven home by Charlie’s girlfriend and called it a night. If I can get a picture of the thing I’ll post it and we can see what you guys think.

I imagine that I won’t be doing much for the next 2 weeks. Nights like last night will easily be more entertaining than anything I do during the day. I started reading Catcher in the Rye but I can’t really see myself finishing it. I’ll watch another 15 episodes of Breaking Bad and play guitar and hang out with my cats but that’s about all I got. Gourlay, Dan Day, and I are going to the home opener for the Sixers so that will be fun. All in all that doesn’t sound too bad to me.

The Fargo Embargo

I don’t know if Kurt Channick or Dan Mahony read my blog (I don’t think they do) but they are two of my friends and they started a band this summer and recorded a few songs. They’re called The Fargo Embargo. I’ve listened to each of their songs a good number of times and I must say I enjoy them. Since I’m not very well versed in musical instruments (I can sort of play guitar but I know practically zero music theory) I don’t know how difficult it is to come up with riffs, songs, etc. but I know what I like when I hear it. I like Ain’t Changing Me the most, Stop, Drop, Tonight I’m on a Roll is next, and finally Testify which is also good. They’re definitely worth listening to in my opinion.

Anyway, I imagine it’s also difficult trying to get people to listen to your music so I’ll do my part and try to help them out. Since millions read this blog it’s the least I can do. But really, even if only 1 or 2 people click the link and listen to a song or two I’m sure they’d appreciate it. If I can I’ll put one of the songs on this blog but at the moment I can’t download them so we’ll have to wait on that.

Liar Liar

Gourlay came over last night for a little bit just to hang out. We were flipping through the channels and came across the movie Liar Liar. In the movie, Jim Carrey’s character can’t lie for 24 hours and it significantly changes his life. Just 24 hours of not being able to lie. Then I asked Gourlay if he thought it would make that much of a difference if you couldn’t lie for one day. It just got me thinking, what would change if I could lie?

I thought about my week as an example. Just last week I thought of multiple situations where I lied. Now for the most part, these lies have no significance. Had I told the truth for the majority of those lies nothing would have really changed, these are pretty much fibs. There were some that would have had more serious effects but still not quite to the effect of Jim Carrey. When it comes down to it I consider myself a pretty honest person. The biggest lie I can think of is in 3rd grade when I told my parents that I didn’t tell the kid on AOL that I was going to kill him, when in fact I did. That’s a whole different story. In general my conscience keeps me from telling real lies instead of just little fibs.

It just got me thinking, if I lie a few times a day, even if the reason is stupid, how much do other people lie to me? How often do I ask a person a question and get a false answer? I have no idea. Maybe not at all or maybe all the time. I have no way of knowing (well lately, since I have limited social life, I’m probably not being lied to very often). If everyone had to tell the truth the world would be so incredibly different. Personal lives would be changed forever. Big and little secrets alike would be revealed to everyone and millions of friendships/relationships would probably end forever. As I’m writing this it reminds of the movie The Invention of Lying. That’s a little different because nobody could lie at all. What I’m saying is that everyone has been allowed to lie and hide their secrets up until now then all of a sudden they have to reveal them to anyone who’s asking. Sorry to reference Breaking Bad again but if Walt had to tell his family where he went all the time, the whole show would end and Walt would be in jail. Secrets and lies create drama and entertainment so it’s good that we can all lie and cheat and whatnot.

Breaking Bad

I’ve been on a Breaking Bad frenzy. I don’t have anything to do during the day since my running is still limited and I have little social life. I’ve watched 15 episodes in the past 4 days and each episode is 45 minutes long. It is a little bit slow at some points but I’m generally always interested. The characters are pretty well developed and they add new things frequently enough that you don’t get bored by the same dialogue/situations. With a little over 2 weeks until I go back to school I have a feeling that I’ll cruise through the 33 episodes that Netflix has to offer with plenty of time to spare.

One thing I noticed is that there’s a relationship strikingly similar to Dexter. In Dexter, the guy is a serial (I initially typed cereal, good thing I caught that) killer and the closest person in his life, his sister, is a cop who’s trying to catch him as well as other criminals, but she doesn’t know that. In Breaking Bad, Walt’s brother in law is in the DEA and is trying to catch the new drug lord, little does he know that Walt is this new drug lord. That type of relationship seems to breed very good television because I really enjoy both shows.

Also, Netflix really is an incredible deal. My dad gave me $40 to go buy the two newest seasons of Breaking Bad on DVD. I said “Don’t we have Netflix?” He said that we do. Well Netflx has every episode of breaking bad along with pretty much every other good show/movie worth watching and it’s under $10 a month. How can you compare that to anything. Being the stock genius that I am and after doing a 20+ page paper on Netflix with my managerial group, I say Netflix at ~$70 is a good buy. Do I have the balls to practice what I preach? Well, probably not, but still, if someone does have the balls then I say buy.

Materialistic

According to my mother, there’s pretty much zero religious relevance to Christmas. It is essentially a made up holiday created by people so they can give and receive gifts. This is just an example of the materialistic world we live in today. We love our fast cars and fancy appliances but don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people who put money and physical goods aside. This behavior however, not being materialistic, brings up one question for me.

Hypothetically, two people are in love. A materialistic guy would buy some giant ring for his love and that’s that.

Another guy (non-materialistic) wants to show how much he loves the girl. He doesn’t care about money. Would he go out and spend thousands on a huge diamond ring to show that his love is much more important that the sum of money that he spends. Meaning, he doesn’t care that he spent 5k or 10k on a ring, and he shows that by buying a really big, expensive ring. It’s a symbol that money isn’t everything but his love is.

OR does he buy something much less extravagant knowing that in his heart no sum of money could ever express the amount of love he has and therefore he doesn’t even bother. He knows material goods are not what’s important and doesn’t waste the money (that he doesn’t care about) to show his love.

I Love Basketball

Sometimes you just can’t explain when you feel a certain way. You can’t control it, it just happens even when it doesn’t make sense. Well tonight the Philadelphia 76ers are playing their first game of the season and I can’t help the fact that I’m more excited to watch this season opener more than any Eagles or Phillies game all year. I love the Sixers. It goes past just that though. I love basketball, both playing it and watching it. It was the first sport I ever took seriously. I still remember my dad trying to teach me the ‘big step’ right handed lay up in the driveway over 10 years ago. We tried over and over and over until I finally got it. I would cry like a poon but eventually I got it. By 4th grade intramural basketball was the only sport I still played. I played every year until senior year when I decided to fully commit to running (I did happen to run a 9:05 3k that season so it wasn’t a total waste).

Even though I stopped playing organized basketball I still play frequently. The past two summers have been filled with sets of 10 free throws at a time. I get bored beyond belief when I’m at home with nothing to do so I go outside and shoot around. I could go out and shoot around, weather permitting, for hours and not be bored doing it. I just really enjoy playing basketball. Am I even that good? Not really, I mean I can play the game but my size has always been a bit of a limiting factor. I can shoot decently well, handle the ball pretty good, defend decent assuming the guy I’m guarding is my size, and I’m generally in better aerobic shape than anyone on the court.

Regardless, I’ll always enjoy playing basketball and I think that directly translates to why I like watching the NBA so much. When I was 10 years old or so I’d never seen a Phillies or Flyers game and only watched the Eagles occasionally, but if the Sixers were on I was watching them. I’m probably in the huge minority of Philadelphia sports fans that say they like the Sixers over any of the other teams but that’s just a feeling I can’t help. Even the NBA Finals last year, I watched pretty much every game and watched them closely. I was going ape-shit when Dirk would make circus shots and led the Mavs over the Heat. It was just awesome basketball to watch and I loved watching it. Lets go Sixers.

Making the Switch

I finally caved. Today I made the switch from normal flip phone to a smart phone. I upgraded my NV3 to a Droid Revolution. It has 4g internet, email, turn by turn Google maps stuff, pretty much everything that my old phone didn’t. From this day forward I will forever wonder about how I lived my life before I had my smart phone. It came down to a Droid or an IPhone. IPhone’s have longer battery life but slower internet. I figured I’d take the fast internet because I’ll be able to charge my phone pretty frequently. In all honesty though both the IPhone and Droid last less than 24 hours or so. My old phone literally lasted an entire week without having to be charged. I suppose that’s because I never used it but still, going from charging once a week to multiple times a day will be an adjustment. I figured it was time though to make the switch. In 5-10 years everyone is going to have one so I might as well get started. It’s pretty confusing and I’m probably doing a lot of things wrong at the moment but it’s all a learning experience. In a month or so I’ll have it figured out and be good to go.

Christmas at the Stortz’s

It’s Christmas night and I must say the day was a success. Yesterday was a pretty lazy day as I watched football for a while. I had already done my shopping so there was nothing left to do except lounge around waiting for Christmas day (I suppose i could have gotten a Christmas tree for the family but whatever, what’s the tree got to do with it anyway?). Unfortunately the Eagles are no longer in playoff contention but it was fun while it lasted. Tom came over last night with the first season of Breaking Bad so him, my mom, and I watched that for a while. Afterward Tom and I played a good amount of ping-pong which is much more exciting than my normal nights.

I woke up at 10:00 this morning but the festivities didn’t begin until later. Chris and Bill Schmidt came over and I was quick to mention that I’m going to win Bill’s fantasy football league despite the fact that this is my first year in the league. Laura and Brookes showed up at 12:00ish which meant everyone was now present (excluding Jeff) and we could start the gift exchanging. I had Laura for the Pollyanna and I thought I did a pretty good job of getting her gifts. I like the idea of focusing on one person for the holidays because instead of getting everyone a relatively shitty gift, you just get one person a good gift that they will really appreciate. My aunt and uncle came over a little later as well and it was nice to see them too.

Did we have a Christmas tree? No. Did we put up Christmas lights? No. Did we watch A Christmas Story or listen to Christmas music? No. It doesn’t matter though because Christmas isn’t about the cosmetics. If putting up lights and having a tree helps you get into the Christmas spirit then so be it, but us Stortz’s don’t need anything to get us in the Christmas spirit. Just being together for one full day out of the year is good enough for us.