Beginning of AOR

Today I will be embarking on a journey known as the American Odyssey Relay. Essentially you gather 12 people to be on a team together and you take turns running until you cover 200 miles. It begins in Gettysburg and ends in Washington DC. Each person runs three separate legs for a total of 12-18 miles and someone is always running. From what I can tell, our team will be finishing between 28-29 hours. When you’re not running, you’re in a van with four or five other people also on the team and you just hang out? I’ve never done this before so I don’t really know. My van consists of me, Tom, Chad, Nikkii, and two other people that I don’t know. It’s a pretty good van from what I can tell. I know it doesn’t sound like fun, but from what I hear, it’s a blast.

From strictly running perspective, I’m in bad shape. My right leg has been hurt for almost a month now. I’ve been able to get in roughly 20 miles a week but my fitness is declining. I don’t care how fast I run my three legs, I just want to complete them and then begin my time off so I can actually recover and train like normal. The running part of this trip isn’t the fun part anyway, at least that’s what I’m told.

Anyway, I will return home on Sunday afternoon so I won’t be updating during that time. Until then, enjoy the nice weather, go Flyers (wat), and WATCH SOME KEVIN DURANT!!!!

The Lost Art of Proofreading

I get the feeling that the art of proofreading was lost on the younger generation. We grew up with Microsoft Word telling us if we used improper grammar or if we misspelled a word. *This also translated to test taking as well. Basically, I never double checked my answers on a test, ever. But we know that MS word can only take us so far.

The reality of the situation is that for even the most proficient typers, the brain and the fingers aren’t always in perfect harmony. The fingers might ignore a word or the brain might have a temporary lapse, and even though it’s only for a split second, there’s a mistake in your writing.

proofreadThe proof is in the pudding. Between my blog, Tom’s blog, and now Gourlay’s blog, you can generally find some sort of screw up in nearly every post. And that’s with any errors that we catch before publishing.

In my previous stages of life, what’s the worst that could happen if I didn’t proofread? I have an extra word in the sentence of a paper, I misuse a contraction in an email, I mess up a test question. None of these consequences are too dire. So who cares?

In my current job, I write a lot, and a lot of the material I write is sent out to people beyond just my organization. If I make a mistake and don’t proofread or don’t catch it while proofreading, that mistake is sent out to a lot of people which reflects poorly on us as a company, and me as an employee. Unfortunately I’ve made mistakes on countless occasions (BUT it’s all a learning process! (that’s what I’m told anyway (right before they fire me))).

Even internally, we’ve had meetings where I’m sharing a document I wrote and there are errors. People have no problem calling me out on them and it makes me feel stupid. When someone else points them out they seem so obvious, but at the time, it couldn’t be more hidden. Regardless, it doesn’t look good or feel good, and it’s embarrassing.

The moral of this post is this:

Mistake free work > Hassle of proofreading
Negative result due to lack of proofreading > Hassle of proofreading

It seems boring, time-consuming, and unnecessary, but the more and more my life goes on, the more and more I see the value in proofreading everything I do.

It would be ironic if there were a mistake in this post. So I’ll give a 100% guarantee that this post is mistake free.

Forgotten Songs

I could tell the story about what inspired this post, but it would be long and boring. Instead I’ll quickly explain it. There are some songs that become so incredibly popular for a period of time and are never heard from again. I don’t know why this happens, but it does. I was in bed last night thinking about this and thought “A song like Drive by Incubus will always be played and always be enjoyed, but other songs are played for a summer and are never heard from again.” When I turned my car on this morning, what do you know, Drive by Incubus was playing on Radio 104.5. I couldn’t believe it. Here’s a few songs that exploded onto the scene and then disappeared as quickly as they rose.

The Songs

Second Chance – Shinedown

In late 2008 Shinedown released this gem. For one summer, particularly when my family was on our traditional vacation to Avalon, this song was EVERYWHERE. From Wikipedia “It has reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, Hot Modern Rock Tracks, and Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks charts… It is only the third song to top all three of those charts” I don’t know why this happened. It’s a good song, but I don’t know what separated it from the other songs at the time. I’ve always hated the drum fill at 2:52. It’s not bad, but it could have been a lot better. I don’t think I’ve heard this song since that summer, and frankly, I don’t mind.

 

The Reason – Hoobastank

The reason was released in 2004. A slow and simple song that you can’t help but enjoy which reached #1 on a variety of different charts. I’m not entirely sure what the song is about, but he seems sorry. Somehow the video has 81 million views on Youtube, so maybe it’s not as “gone” as I thought, but I haven’t heard this song in a really long time. It’s a shame because I think Hoobastank’s best song is actually Crawling in the Dark,which was featured in the video game Aggressive Inline.

 

All the Things She Said – Tatu

A huge hit internationally in 2003. This song reached #1 in 18 different countries when it was released. I remember hearing it and even seeing the music video on MTV. The video featured the singers in a very lesbian-esque atmosphere and showed them making out a bit as well. We were in probably 6th grade and Ben Landau hated the video because he didn’t like lesbians, and therefore hated the song. I don’t know why I remembered that, but I do. For a very bizarre reason this song occurred to me recently and I struggled to even remember the name. Eventually I found it. I haven’t heard this in 10+ years. I actually kind of like it though.

 

Headstrong – Trapt

An awesome pump-up song that hit #1 on multiple US charts. This was another early 2000s (2003) classic that was all the rage. I was in middle school and this was a great song to listen to before running I remember. I actually laugh now when I hear this song because it seems to fit the situation of Jared attacking Dan after a not-so-pleasant exchange of words at Tom’s house perfectly. Headstrong, I’ll take on anyone!

 

Paralyzer – Finger Eleven

This song has it’s finger prints all over the summer of 2007. I worked for Stortz Tools probably 1-2 days a week for a couple of months that summer and always listened to the radio while working. This song was on constantly. I specifically remember Jeff acting like he loved it, and I think he did a little bit, but over-acting simply because of how often the song was played. This hit number 1 on three different charts and top 10 in six others. It’s funny because I actually like the song, though I never hear it played on the radio anymore.

 

Recent songs at risk of the same fate

Two come to mind, though I’m sure there are more. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons and Pompeii by Bastille. Both are high quality songs in my opinion, but the amount they’ve been overplayed could be their demise. Fortunately for Imagine Dragons, their first album has four hits so they’ll likely continue a successful music career. I don’t know enough about Bastille to say the same.

MEB!!!

For the first time in 30 years, an American man has won the Boston Marathon: Meb Keflezighi

Meb is freakin’ 38 years old and ran a gutsy as balls race to take the win by 11 seconds. The field consisted of some of the best current marathoners, including the #1 and #2 ranked marathoners in the world last year (Desisa and Kimetto). Meb is a badass. Nike dropped him from sponsorship a few years ago because he was too old/not good enough. He then proceeded to get 4th in the Olympics and is now the Boston Marathon champ in what is likely the most media-covered marathon ever due to what happened last year. Go Meb.

 

Also, congrats to Ali Nolan who ran a 2:57:25. That would be significantly faster than what I could run right now.

Story: Sam, Gourlay, and Modest Mouse – 8 years later

My last post was explaining how I use Twitter and Facebook, two social media platforms, but I left out how I use this blog. I don’t think I’m taking full advantage of this blog, meaning I can use it in more ways than how I do now. One way that hit me like a brick wall is story telling. I never use this blog to tell stories. My competi, err, uh, fellow-bloggers Tom and Gourlay both wrote a post that told a story. Tom’s was about how he dropped a Gatorade in Wawa and it spilled everywhere, and Gourlay’s was his dramatic tale of texting and driving which likely saved lives. Coincidentally, before these two posts were written, I was texting Gourlay saying that I was going to write a story about us in 9th grade and post it. It doesn’t matter if the story is good or bad (this will be a bad story), it’s content that I can use and should up my count consistently. Here goes!

Sam, Gourlay, and Modest Mouse – 8 years later

For those who don’t know, I hated Gourlay in 8th and 9th grade. Though most of the time it was a subtle hatred, it did hit some serious notes like us wrestling at a middle school track meet only to have Mrs. Merback catch us and Gourlay rubbing my shaved head a mile into the JV race at Lehigh for Districts our Freshman year.

It was XC season during my freshman year when Jeff purchased the Modest Mouse album Good News for People who Love Bad News. We would listen to the album when driving to and from school so I got to know it pretty well. One day, I was singing some lyrics to Ocean Breathes Salty when Gourlay overheard. He acknowledged it and said something like “You like Modest Mouse! WELL THAT IS THAT AND THIS IS THIS YA TELL ME WHATCHA WANT AND I’LL TELL YA WHATCHA GET” (lyrics to the song) in an obnoxious voice.

I was flabbergasted. Here was this great band that I had really come to like, and fuckin’ Gourlay liked them too. I had almost thrown in the towel on Modest Mouse. How could I like them if Gourlay did too? It seems stupid, but I remember that I was genuinely upset that he knew and enjoyed Modest Mouse.

Me and Gourlay
8 years later and we’re best friends!

Fast forward 8 years later: Gourlay and I will be going to a Modest Mouse concert next a month. I’m really looking forward to it and it should be a blast. Had you told me 8 years ago I would be friends with Gourlay, let alone going to a Modest Mouse concert, I would say no chance. What do ya know!

The End.

How I Use Facebook and Twitter

For whatever reason, talk of Facebook and Twitter in my life has been popular lately. I’ve upped my usage as of late. Here’s a breakdown of what I do and why.

Facebook

RUDY
Classic Rudy

My activity on Facebook has increased dramatically within the past few months. My go-to at the moment is liking (and commenting on) new friendships as long as the two that became friends are of the opposite sex. For example, Slade became friends with a girl, so I liked it and commented “Way to go David!”. There’s no real reason for this other than for other people to see it, like it, comment, or have a laugh. I laugh at almost everything I do on Facebook, or else I wouldn’t post it.

But I’m not limited to friendships. I’ve been liking and commenting on a lot of things. Another example would be Wismer (Ursinus dining hall) posted a picture of Eggs Benedict and said it was National Eggs Benedict Day. I commented on the picture and asked if Wismer would be serving Eggs Benedict that night. I thought this was hilarious.

I could continue to give examples, but I won’t. Here are two points about what I do:

benny
My Facebook encounter with Wismer. I’ve commented on three of their pictures the last three days to no avail.
  • I do things because I think they’re funny. Probably 90% of what I do is sarcastic, and I’m never entirely sure if other people will think it’s funny.
  • The more active you are, the more responses you see. Facebook is boring if there are never any notifications or updates. I do my best to give other people things to look at, and in return, I see an uptick in things that I can look at. It’s a win-win

Twitter

Personally, I use Twitter the way I think every non-celebrity should use Twitter. For celebrities and other people with thousands (or millions) of followers, tweets are different. People actually care about what you’re doing, or where they can get information, or where they can buy things. As a non-celebrity, Twitter use is different.

pick up carl
A picture I tweeted that received much positive feedback.
  • The overall objective, for me at least, is to tweet funny things. There are obvious exceptions, but the vast majority of my tweets are intended to be funny.
  • General tweets about how you feel or what you’re doing are stupid Again, there are exceptions, but no one cares that it’s difficult to get out of bed or that this class is boring)
  • Inside jokes should be kept to a minimum. If only a few people will get what you’re saying, it’s probably not tweet worthy.
  • Creativity, imagination, and hyperbole are all positives that can turn a “I’m bored in class” tweet to gold.
girl friend
A recent tweet that had 9 favorites!

Guys vs. Girls: Asking a Stranger for Sex

I’d like to show two videos. One is a “hot” guy going up to 100 different girls and asking them to have sex with him. The other is a “hot” girl going up to about 15 guys and asking them to have sex with her. Guess the results!

Guy asking girls:

Girl asking guys:

So, assuming you’ve watched the video, how can we explain these results?

The guy went Oh-fer. Granted some of the situations are not conducive to getting the desired results. Walking to up a group of four girls and asking will almost certainly result in four nos. Even if she wanted to, one of the girls isn’t going to say yes and leave her friends after they all said no. It would not only be mean to her friends, but sleezy and embarrassing. Also, going up to a girl who’s with her boyfriend and asking is a certain no. Take out all of those and the guy still goes 0-50ish. 0% success.

Now the girl, she bats about .500 and that’s including obvious nos such as asking a guy who’s with her girlfriend and asking a dad who’s with his daughter. So realistically, the girl could bat above .500 whereas, no matter what the guy tried, he’s batting .000.

First things first: I doubt this surprised anyone. But why was this result so predictable? In a world where we’re trying to make such strides towards equality (half serious), how could this simple result be so skewed towards women getting what they want and men NOT getting what they want?

The obvious answer is culture. Women have been made out to be sex symbols and it’s every guys dream to bang a hot girl. When a perfect example of this American sex symbol (skinny, hot, low cut shirt, tight short shorts) comes up and offers sex, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Of course you’re going to say yes!!! Sure it may be slutty, but who hasn’t been slutty every once in a while. Essentially every guy was skeptical, yet willing, at first, but after she confirmed being serious, they lost their skepticism and became 100% willing.

The flip side of the coin. No matter what, the guy was losing. While about an equal amount of girls thought it was funny and a joke (but still declined), some were offended, and the one even threw her drink in the guys face. How come the guy couldn’t get even one? Culture? Guys are supposed to be nice and romantic and impress a girl before they get intimate. I buy that a little bit.

What I think it comes down to is this: If a girl wanted to go out and have sex with a guy, they could do so much easier than a guy going out and having sex with a girl. In nature, guys are the pursuers, and girls are the pursuees. That’s just how it is. A guy is always looking to spread his seed, and girls need to be more selective. I’m not saying this guy is trying to knock up these girls, and the girls are declining because they don’t want to get pregnant. But historically, the male is chasing and the girl is running.

So when a girl approaches these guys, who can’t get sex with a girl (let alone a smokin’ hot girl), they seize the opportunity. When a girl is approached by a guy, even a hot guy, they aren’t missing much because if they want to, they can go out that night and have sex with a guy.

Another theory could be that girls aren’t supposed to sleep around. It makes them look bad. Girls are sluts, but guys are pimps. Sleeping with guys is frowned upon, but sleeping with girls is awesome. This is semi-related to the previous theory, but more tied into culture and what others will think of you if you had sex with a stranger.

Other theories?

Music Mystery

Gourlay recently wrote a post about his favorite radio station in Philly (88.5). Something he wrote, coupled with a recent experience has sparked this post.

In his post, he wrote “No one person’s music is better than any other person’s music. You like your music, I like mine… Arguing whether one artist is better than another or one type of music is better than another is stupid.”

This weekend, as my last post said, I was in Avalon with Gourlay and other people. We were playing a game when I turned to Todd and said “We need to put some tunes on”. Todd left briefly and returned with his speakers to play music. Gourlay synced his phone to the speakers and finally some music was playing.

However, this wasn’t a one-size-fits-all matter. At some point, someone made a reference to a song that I had never heard before. The song is called Let Me Take a Selfie. We listened to the song and I was appalled. But I knew this song in particular was a joke.

Snappin’ a quick #selfie

A few other songs played and there were mixed reviews. When Valerie by the Zutons came on, I immediately reacted in a positive way. Eventually Gourlay said something like “I can’t please everyone!” acknowledging that we all had different music tastes. Some people in the room preferred rap and country while others preferred rock and etc. etc.

I sort of knew this was the case, but this was a wake-up call. When a rap/pop song comes on, I have trouble believing that people would voluntarily enjoy that music. When Valerie came on, I thought it was obvious that everyone there would have a good time and enjoy the song.

Sex appeal? I don’t think so.

I still have trouble believing that people actually want to listen to a song like Dark Horse (200+ million Youtube views! Are you serious!!!). Honestly, start listening from 2:20, and tell me you didn’t think it was a joke at first. I’d rather listen to nothing than this song.

Can someone explain this? What about this type of music is appealing? I’m not trying to judge, I’m genuinely curious as to how that song gets 225 million Youtube views. Is it strictly a culture thing? That this is the new cool song as deemed by no one but everyone follows? Is it because Katy Perry is hot? Is it actually the music? What am I missing that makes this type of music so incredibly popular while bands like Young the Giant or Modest Mouse or countless others are lucky to hit 1 million Youtube views on their songs and are almost never in the mainstream spotlight?

4/12-4/13 Weekend Update

Here’s a recap of my weekend.

The Race

Tom and I woke up around 7:00 on Saturday and headed over to Wissahickon high school for the “Get the Lead Out 10k”. As seen in my previous post, both of us have been having injury issues so we didn’t have super high expectations. Also in the last post, I thought I might be able to win if no one very good shows up. Before the race Tom and I were talking to a former Upper Dublin runner who was training for Broad Street and I knew my chances to win were gone when he said he was trying to break 34.

The race started and after 400 meters I was alone, kind of. The former UD guy, as well as another guy, had pulled away and Tom was about ~20 meters behind. I wasn’t totally alone because the 5k and 10k run on the same course, so for the first two miles, I was passing all of the 5k people. After 2 miles, I was in no-mans land. All in all the race was extremely difficult. Though it was a nice day outside, I’m just not in very good shape. The last mile was uphill which was killer and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I finished in 3rd with a 36:52 and splits of 5:46, 5:53 (though some bro directed me the wrong way so that was ~5 seconds), 5:59, 6:05, 5:50, 6:03, then the final .2. Tom finished about a minute behind for fourth overall and a similar experience to mine.

I received a nice surprise at the end with a $75 payday for third place. I’ll post a picture once they’re up on the site.

Avalon

After the race I headed home to prepare for my drive to Avalon. The Reilly’s birthday was Friday and were in Avalon celebrating for the weekend. I drove down (without the help of a GPS!) and arrived in the early afternoon for some extremely uneventful fishing in the bay. We sipped beers then headed to the beach for more fishing, some frisbee, and perhaps the highlight of the entire trip, we saw a seal! I’m not an ocean man but apparently it’s pretty rare to see a seal so we all went bananas for the seal.

boxersAfter the seal was a nice cookout. The long day of sipping beer and fishing, we were all pretty much pooped after dinner, and nap time ensued. I’ll explain this picture now, I was napping under the table and awoke to the line of “Did you guys see Sam’s boxers? They’re like, red and have hearts on them.” So I pulled down my pants to their surprise so everyone could see.

Eventually we sprung to life and began drinking. There were 10 of us, including 2 girls! We played baseball for a while followed by Chandelier and around 11, decided to head out. We went to a bar in Avalon that was pretty low key and the crowd was about 10 years older than ideal. After a beer or two, Gourlay, Jonny, and I decided to go to Wawa. Wawa was closed, so we headed home and went to bed.

The three of us slept in the same room and woke up early. We headed to the Pudgie Pelican for a quick breakfast and then headed home.

Sunday (Morning Brunch)

I drove home early to make it in time for our annual Sunday brunch with the Schmidts. As usual the conversation was quality and the food was as well. There was talk of old memories (good and bad), being old and injured, current events, Twitter, and even Tom and I’s blog, among other things. This is a tradition that will likely continue for years to come.

After brunch the family headed back to Salt Kettle Circle and hung out for a bit. Eventually I decided to go on a run despite saying I would take off after the race. It was simply too nice NOT to run. I came home and crashed with the Master’s on in the background. I woke up to Bubba Watson being crowned champion. I’m a Bubba fan so I was glad he won.

It’s Sunday night now and I feel about the same as a normal weekend. There was less drinking but more intense running, and I’m pretty beat. Tonight will end early and the upcoming work week will be standard.

A big moment was signing the lease for Alex’s dad to move into the Manayunk house. The official move in date is July 1.