Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love Actually is the greatest movie of all time

I just got finished watching the greatest movie of all time, Love Actually. Cynics will say it's too corny or that it's not "realistic". You know what I say to that? Who cares? I go to the movies to feel good and be happy. If I wanted to see realistic stuff I'd just go out my front door or turn on the latest horribly depressing news story.

Why is this the greatest movie of all time you may ask? It has all the elements that make a great movie. Comedy, romance, realistic issues in relationships, drama, great acting, great music. What else can you ask for? For me movies are all about the characters and the relationships they have with each other. It's not as much about clever endings or twists.  These people are people we can relate to. When I was a kid I had a crush on the girl down the street. I could definitely see myself running through the airport to find her. It's the romantic in me.

The relationship between Liam Neeson and his son is my favorite in the movie. The way Neeson manages to still believe in love and be there for his son despite the recent death of his wife is inspiring.  Or what about Hugh Grant and his secretary. That scene when the curtain goes up and shows them making out makes me tear up every time.There are just so many relationships in this movie that people from every situation can relate to. Whether it be heartbreak, new love, cheating, dealing with loss, jealousy. It has everything.

I never thought a movie would impact me as much as Forrest Gump but this has.   Whatever your favorite movie or movies are they should be movies that make an impact on you well after the final credits have rolled. Here are my top 5 movies of all time.

 1.Love Actually
2. Forrest Gump
3. The Fugitive
4. Office Space
5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Honorable Mention:

Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumber. Besides Office Space, the two funniest movies ever.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Notebook- Does Love Like That Exist?

This is a follow up to my friend Sarah Sheldon's incredible story of how her grandparents met, fell in love, and stayed in love until their last day's . Please read this at it is much more powerful than anything I could ever hope to write.

"So it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, for ever, you and me, every day." -The Notebook

I love "chick flicks" and I am happy to admit it. In fact, I don't understand why more guys don't like them or rather don't admit they do. Don't you go to the movies to feel happy? I do. That is what these movies do. But I digress....

Tuesday night I watched the Notebook for the first time in years. For anyone who hasn't seen it I won't go into details on the storyline, but it is basically the best love story ever this side of Love Actually. As I was watching the story of Allie and Noah I got to thinking, could this happen in today's world? Does the true love they had for each other still exist? Or has it ever existed? The answer to both of these questions is; Absolutely.

Let's talk about love for a second. Love makes no sense. The people that look best for us on paper often turn out to be totally wrong for us in the end. I've always thought my dream girl would be a 2pac loving, kayaker, that plays basketball and likes Dunkin Donuts, but we probably wouldn't get along. Chemistry is not something that can be explained, it just happens.

I disagree with the old adage that there is one person for everyone. That's simply not true. At the same time there probably are only about 100 people in the world that you truly belong with. Only a lucky few of us ever meet that one person, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop looking.

Back in the day there were less options. There were no phones or emails to communicate in between dates. You had your time with the girl or guy and then had to wait until the next time you saw them to continue  your courtship.  Yes, technology has changed love, but it hasn't changed its inner core. Sure, you can text, email, skype, and whatever else kids do these days, but you actually have to be with that person for love to grow. 

The culture of love has changed a lot as well. The divorce rate is 50% with another 20% probably only staying with each other out of comfort. With online dating people from all over the world can now get together. People are marrying at a later age and some choose not even to get married. We have grown into more of an independent culture, which is in itself is a good thing. However, where does that leave true love?

I've never felt about anyone like Noah felt for Allie, but I do believe she's out there. I think love conquers all. Life is unpredictable. You have bad days and good days. But if you find love nothing else really matters. If at the end of the day you can go home to your Allie or Noah everything is okay in this world. We should all strive for this kind of love because all of us deserve it. Remember, you never know when you'll meet that one person that you can't live without.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Beauty of Bromance

There is nothing quite like a good old-fashioned bromance. Guys often don't express their feelings to each other because it isn't masculine or accepted in society. Screw that. While romantic love with the opposite sex is full of ups and downs and usually ends up in heartbreak, your relationship with your "bro's" last a lifetime.

My best friend in the world Jim( Jimbutta) Gallant came into town last weekend from Medfa, MA. We had a blast playing beer pong, jamming out to 2pac, Tom Petty, and Billy Joel, and reminiscing about the college days. I miss him already. In college, we did everything together. Drinking beer, listening to Roxanne before a night out at Charlie's, talking about the girls or lack of girls in our life. It was bromance to the extreme.

I have the same thing with Pogo and Dan now (Milano is coming close into that category). I can shoot the shit with them and say anything. You don't worry about being late to something, or some petty BS fight you get into. You work things out as dudes.
Why don't guys express emotions to each other? Why can't we do the same things as girls (without the physical stuff because that would just be weird). Why can't we be that open? Who started this whole societal acceptance thing and why did it happen? I can tell you right now that if you get any guy drunk enough they will talk about how much they appreciate and love another person as their friend. They will do it because they mean it. Fortunately for me I was brought up with a family that encouraged me to be honest and open about everything.
My favorite bromance activity is kayaking on the Potomac. Pogo and I have had some of the best discussions ever out there on the water in the red canoe. Another favorite is watching Patriots games and eating Wings with Jimbo. We would sit for hours not saying a word and it would be perfectly awesome. Also, discussing girls and life with Dan. That's my boo! Milano(Tuna) and I have pretty much just met but I can tell there is a potential bromance down the road. At any rate the beautiful Filipino girl at Adams Corner will keep us coming back.

Bromance's last a lifetime. The best friendships are with people you don't see for years at a time but when you see them again it is like nothing changed. They are forever. On the other hand 50% or more romance's do not. I am a hopeless romantic. I believe in love more than anyone else I know probably. At the same time if I don't ever find that love at least I know I will have guy friends that will always be there for me. Wing men for life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Your Hero Should be Someone You Know

Who is your hero? Unfortunately for a great many of the people out there they would probably say a person they have never met. I always joke about Larry Bird, 2pac, or Indiana Jones being my heroes, but they are just people I'm in awe of. They haven't been there to listen to me on a bad day or help me with my homework.  I don't know know who they really are.

My hero has and always will be my dad. To me, he's the greatest person who ever lived.  He was there to help me with my homework in school. He's been on hundreds of kayak trips with me where we talk about stuff going on in the world and life in general.  He was there to cook dinner every night for the family after a hard day at work, and still find time to help me with my Spanish afterwards. I'm horrendous at Spanish by the way.  I remember the nights playing Parcheesi and listening to Oldies 100. I remember him driving me to Langley High School blasting "Hell 4 A Hustler" by 2pac. Ya, my dad even listens to 2pac, but only the hardcore songs. 

For all the great things my dad is, he's the most humble person I've ever met. He has a very successful career, yet you would never know it if you saw him on the weekend. In fact, I remember one day when he visited me at college he laid down under a tree and a cop came up and thought he was a homeless guy. He puts his family first, second, and third.  He's always there to talk to when I need him. He always supports me in all my endeavors. 

To me a hero is someone you know, someone you have spoken to, someone who has made an impact in you life. It doesn't have to be your parents or even someone in your family. Some people have crappy families. It could be a teacher, a coach, some random guy or girl you met at a party.  Everyone needs someone to look up to. Who is your hero?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What I've learned from writing a journal

Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of my daily journal chronicling events of my life. I began writing the journal in the summer of 2006 after a breakup with my first serious girlfriend. It was a cathartic experience, helping me get my thoughts out in a way that made sense. After that I was hooked. I only wish I had started sooner. I start out every entry with a thought of the day. Sometimes it involves work, sometimes a funny thing that happened, sometimes a girl.   There's always a topic and then I go from there.

It has been the best decision I've ever made. I read the ones from years ago and am amazed how much life has changed. The stuff I used to worry about in college seems ridiculous now. It's also incredible how much life in general is different. When I was with someone, almost every entry was about the ups and downs that is a serious relationship. Now most of my entries revolve work, partying, and the river.

If I've learned anything from this journal it's that no matter how bad of a day you have it will always get better. Just because you are going through a hard time at the moment, doesn't mean things will never be good again.  There will always be better days. 

I recommend everyone write a journal. It doesn't have to be every day, but a couple times a week. 20 years from now when you are married with 3 kids and your memory isn't what it used to be, you can pick up the journal and it will all come back. In the end memories are all we have.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The little moments are what matter

Drinking and grilling with my college buddies. These are the moments that matter

I don't really remember my high school graduation, my senior prom, my first time driving. I remember nights like last Sunday night on the beach drinking Natty Light, talking about life. I remember flashlight tag games with my friends as a kid. I remember playing Parcheesi and listening to Oldies 100 with my dad every night after school. I remember walking to the bars with my best friend Jimbo after drinking and jamming out to Roxanne at my apartment. It's not the big moments that make up your life, but rather the small ones that make us who we are.

A lot of my fondest memories are when I was young. Maybe it's because those are the years I'll never get back. The times my neighbor and I would spend all day building a dam on the Potomac to catch fish, or floating down on an old air mattress. I remember jumping on the trampoline with my cousins from California listening to Great Balls of Fire. I remember the countless scrabble games with my grandma at Fallen Leaf Lake. I remember the basketball games at Village Green, all the parties Jim and I went to at Umass, Billy D's famous dance moves.

It's funny how we are all raised to think certain major events will be the ones we remember. But when you look back I think you'll realize it's the little ones that are embedded in your mind forever.

This is a question for the girls

"This is the opposite of what I am talking about"

I was standing around tonight at a party. Two great guys who are very nice were chillin but the girls went to the guys that pretty much sucked. I'm facsinated by this. Do girls want deuchebags? Are they afraid if they commit to a good guy and get hurt? It actually is really interesting to me. If you are a girl what attracts you to another guy? This is fascinating to me. Guys like girls for what they look like at first but girls don't think the same. Is this biological? I truly am fascinated.

Right now you think I'm some sad, pathetic, resentful guy. I'm really not. I got laid last week but I'd still say this. This fascinates me but I want to know why. Do they want a guy that makes an ass of himself so later they can say that and control the situation? The funny thing is these questions will never be answered because similar to guys girls would never admit any of this. This is a scientific experiment much more interesting than anything I could think of in Science class. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My trip to Japan

I never knew that choosing my CACI mentor, former Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) and Executive Director of the CACI Leadership Program Joe Campa, would lead me to Japan. Mr. Campa asked me to accompany him on his trip to learn first-hand what it’s like to be a leader.

I want to thank him and the Navy Hospital Corpsmen in Yokosuka for making my trip so amazing. I not only got to experience the great country of Japan, but also got to meet some of our US Navy sailors who all treated me with great courtesy. I have such admiration for our Navy servicemen and women around the world.

The flight to Japan was long, but the people around me were very nice. The woman sitting beside me actually brought her dog with her in her carry-on bag. When we arrived at the Narita Airport and got through customs we were greeted by Master Chief Randy Pringle, Chief Mack, and 1st Class Petty Officer Ramirez. On our drive to the Gateway hotel in Yokosuka I got to experience driving on the left side of the road for the first time. Definitely something I’d have to get used to!

Friday was jam packed with Navy events. We started off the day with breakfast with some junior hospital corpsmen. The Navy Hospital Corpsmen are a vital part of the Navy and have helped save numerous soldiers' lives. At the end of the breakfast Mr. Campa gave out military coins to each of the young sailors to thank them for their great work. Afterward, we met with the Captain and Commanding officer of the Navy Hospital, Captain Pachuca and Master Chief Pringle. We then attended a birthday ceremony celebrating 113 years of the Navy Hospital Corpsmen.

Following that I was given a tour of the Blue Ridge Navy ship which was an amazing experience. We met the captain, and Joe gave the All Hands call to the entire crew congratulating them for their excellent service and answering questions about his time with the Navy.

That night we went out to an authentic Japanese Restaurant called Wan Restaurant. It was a unique experience for me. Before going in everyone had to take off their shoes and put them in a small drawer. We then sat on the ground with pillows and had a delicious meal. I even was able to use chop sticks without looking completely incompetent. Afterwards a few Navy sailors and I explored the city and the night life. There is no tipping in Japan. In fact, if you leave a tip some people will chase after you to give you your money back!

Saturday Joe and I went to a Japanese restaurant for lunch and had a delicious meal. The waitress did not speak any English so we had to point to the pictures of the food to order. Afterwards we checked out the Navy Exchange shop and bought some souvenirs. Joe was asked twice for his photo by Navy sailors. He really is a rock star here. That evening we attended the Navy Corpsmen ball at the Mercur hotel in Yokosuka to celebrate its 113th birthday. Mr. Campa was the guest speaker and gave a great speech honoring the corpsemen. It was an outstanding event and a great experience.

Sunday Joe and I attended the barbecue of Command Master Chief of the Blue Ridge Navy ship. Mr. Campa’s old shipmates were there as we the first ever MCPOC of the Japanese Navy which was quite an honor. The next day we were taken to the airport and back to America.

I experienced so much on my trip. One my favorite things about Japan were definitely Chu-Hi's, a vodka flavored drink that tastes like soda. The food was outstanding as well though I have to admit at times I didn't know what I was eating. The Japanese people were so nice and polite. We in America could learn a few things. I was also amazed at how efficient everything was in Japan. It took us about 5 minutes to get through security and customs there. They also told me the DMV takes under 30 minutes in Japan. Can you believe that?

 Everyone treated me with the utmost respect. I also want to state how impressed I was with all of the Navy sailors and Chiefs I met. They were gracious hosts and I feel blessed that they are protecting our country.

The respect Joe Campa received was tremendous. He is famous on base and you can tell how much admiration they all have for him. We were stopped almost everywhere we went for photos. He gave several great speeches to sailors about the importance of their service and how it can develop them as leaders in the future. You could tell everyone was ecstatic about his visit.

If you had told me a month ago I would have the opportunity to go to Japan with Joe Campa I would not have believed you. I feel truly honored that Mr. Campa gave me the opportunity to travel to Japan. I look forward to my next trip there. It was truly an experience I will never forget.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's hard to start over

A couple years ago I blogged about the "comfort zone." The place we all find ourselves at some point in time.  This blog encompasses the same idea. Starting over is hard. Whether it be in a new job, a new relationship, a new hobby.  It takes a lot of courage to start from scratch. 

I like my job a lot, but even if I didn't it would be hard for me to change careers.  You spend so much time becoming skilled in one thing it seems like you've gone too far along to change.  We're all told that your 20's are the time to change jobs, to take chances. But no one mentions the cost of a cable bill, groceries, drinks, Dunkin Donuts.  It's easier said than done.

It's even hard to start a new hobby. I've still never ice skated, never played golf, never snowboarded. Not necessarily because I'm not interested, but because I don't want to fail. I want to stick with what I know I'm good at.

Relationships are probably the best example of how hard it is to start over. We invest so much time with another person.  So many memories are created. Photos are posted on Facebook. Common friends are made. Families are formed.  Sometimes it seems people stay with each other out of comfort rather than love.

I guess starting over is so hard because we are, at the core, creatures of habit.  Though we all have different priorities, most follow the same general routine. We all brush our teeth , go to work or school, and go to sleep.  But is that such a bad thing? Is it so bad being comfortable? Maybe not. Maybe a so called boring life is a good thing. What do you think?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How do douchebags not realize it?

I've always been fascinated by douchebags. The definition of douchebag according to Wikipedia is "a person, usually male, with a variety of negative qualities, specifically arrogance and engaging in obnoxious and/or irritating actions, most often without malicious intent. Who writes these Wikipedia entries anyway?

For me it's simply a person that is just not chill. I don't get how people don't realize they are douchebags. The lack of self awareness in people is pretty shocking.

Douchebags can take on many different faces. The number one sign you are a douche is arrogance. Usually these people actually have very low self esteem so overcompensate and try to act like they are the shit. These people are the worst. The second is loudness. Okay, some people can't help it, but don't you hate that dude at the bar that just screams and shouts about everything. It's all about attention. That is what these people want.

The third is maintenance. If you spend 45 minutes gelling your hair and spraying cologne all of over yourself you probably are a douche. Also, people that lie about how much action they get are douches. If you have to lie about that stuff the chances are you barely get any.  Even if you do its from a girl that likes douche bags so there's nothing to brag about. Though I will say some girls seem to really be attracted to the douchebag race but that is for another blog.

Anyone who pops their collar is usually a douche. I know that is generic to say but why do people actually do that? Don't give me the BS excuse that you didn't know you were doing it. It takes effort to pop a collar. In my opinion, the reason is for attention and to get girls. That's another thing, anytime a person sacrifices who they are to attract a girl it is being a douche. Look, we all want to look good in front of the ladies, but don't sell your soul. Girls can usually pick up on this anyway.

I always wonder how people like this can wake up in the morning and not realize they are a douche. Do they just not care? What goes on in their head? It's truly amazing to me how many of these people populate the world. I wonder if it is something in a person's DNA or just how they are raised or maybe just who they surround themselves with. Is this something that can be cured? The sad thing is douchebags usually don't know even know they have the disease. There are probably a few douche's reading this article. Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Things I don't like

Life is awesome for the most part. There are a lot of terrible things going in the world, but at the end of the day I still get to listen to 2pac and Phil Collins and watch the Celtics.  However, some things I really dislike. Hate is a strong word and there is too much of it in this world already. But these things below, as the great Peter Griffin would say, "really grind my gears."

People who can't merge: This happens everyday on my way home on 66.  Without fail at least one idiot driver will totally disregard all the signs, and the fact that they are somehow the only car driving in the farthest left lane. Then they will swerve in at the last second causing traffic to be backed up. If you don't know how to merge correctly stay off the roads or move to Nebraska where there is so merging.

People at work who put everything on speaker phone: I can't go into specifics here, but seriously why can't you at least close the door when you are on speaker? Why do we need to hear everything you say? This isn't even for conference calls either. Some people put their hairstylist on speaker. Unless you have some kind of hearing problem show some respect for those around you. It's just amazing how many people in this world are oblivious to common decency. Also, put your damn cell phone on vibrate. I don't need to hear the latest Kesha hit from your cell phone 4 times a day.

Ryan Seacrest: One of my rules is to not hate people I don't know. However, I almost have to break this rule for Ryan Seacrest. Look, the guy is more successful than I will ever be, but there is a 0 percent chance he is a genuine human being and would be chill to hang out with.  It is sad we will be bringing in the New Year with him for the next 50 years. By the way, I love Dick Clark but take him off the air. It is ruining his legacy.

The New York Jets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Duke: I hate all these teams. The order depends on the season. Notice I said hate here because we are talking about a team rather than a person. I think it's fine to hate a team but not an individual.  Anyway, the Jets suck at life. Sure, they beat the Patriots, but with people like Cromartie and Bart Scott how do Jets fans sleep at night? I used to hate Rex Ryan but his wife does foot fetish videos so I almost feel bad for him.. The Lakers? Let's just say without being gift wrapped Pau, Kobe would still have 3 rings. Is he a great player? Yes. Is he Michael Jordan? That's like saying is Lil Wayne, 2pac. It's just foolish. As for Duke, well they are Duke. I have no real reason to hate them besides the fact that I'm a UNC fan which yes makes me a sports hater. We all are in some ways whether you want to admit it or not.

711 Hot Dogs: You may think I love 711 Hot Dogs but the reality is I hate them with all my heart. I hope the inventor of the 711 Hot Dog did not live a good life.  It's a terrible addiction that I hope to break completely someday. There is nothing worse for you in the world besides maybe Taco Bell.

The term FML: One of my biggest pet peeves is people who complain about meaningless stuff. FML, my coffee wasn't hot enough. FML my hair dryer broke. There are people starving in Africa. Shut up and gain some perspective. The fact that you are posting on Facebook means you have a computer which means you are probably more fortunate than 95% of the world.

Reality TV: I know,  this must mean I'm a hater right? No, the reason I watch TV is to get away from reality. I don't want to watch stuff I could do on my own. I could bring some of my friends in on a Friday night and be more entertaining than 90 percent of these reality shows. It's not the reality shows fault, it's the consumers for being too bored with their lives that they have to watch others. I miss the days of Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Step by Step.

Modern Music: There is some good stuff out there, and it is better than it was 5 years ago. but the stuff on the "hit" music stations is pretty much crap.  Kesha? Do people seriously like her. I heard a song from her and thought it was a joke but apparently she's the number 1 artist in the country. The only reason these songs are "good" is because of the beats which are made by the producers. The producers are better than ever now because of the technology. Makes me even sadder that 2pac wasn't alive now. Who knows the amazing stuff he could've done(tear).

People that like to hate stuff for no apparent reason: I know, didn't I just write about 10 things I hated? Yes, but I could back each of these up with 15 examples. A lot of people like to hate stuff because something is popular. For example, saying  they hate Leonardo Dicrapio in the Titanic. Really, well why? The guy played his role perfectly and if you didn't shed a tear when Kate let him go at the end you probably don't have a soul.   Or Facebook is so lame? Really, actually Facebook is freaking awesome and is one of the best inventions of the last decade. How else would I post my Beer Pong Tournament invites?

At the end of the day life is awesome but you can't like stuff without disliking stuff too. That's life in a nutshell.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Things I love

A lot of people like to hate stuff in life.  I'm not sure why they are so angry, but obviously they must not listen to enough Phil Collins or do enough kayaking.  Anyway, I thought I'd write a few things about stuff I like. The world is a messed up place but it's important to remember that all in all life can be pretty great.

Kayaking on the Potomac: Everyone should have a place in life they can go to relax and contemplate the meaning of life.  For me it is the Potomac River. Sure, the water is dirty,and there are now supposedly Bull Sharks roaming around, but I'll be going kayaking on that river until I'm 97.

Sam Adams Cherry Wheat and Sam Adams White Ale. I love all Sam Adam's beers(except the Chocolate one) but these are the best. If I could have one drink for the rest of my life it would be ice cold lemonade. My second choice, Sam Adams Cherry Wheat though you can really only drink like 3 of those. Sam Adams White Ale is one of the most underrated drinks ever made. It's only out for about 4 weeks in the spring so check it out.  The Blueberry Beer at Boston Beer Works is outstanding as well.

Dunkin Donuts Coffee: My love for Dunkin Donuts is hard to explain in words. If I ever become rich I will buy the franchise. Every Saturday and Sunday morning you can find me at the Cherrydale Dunkin Donuts buying an extra large coffee cream and sugaaa with a sesame bagel. It is like clockwork. Starbucks can suck it.

The Boston Celtics: I like everything about this team and franchise. Larry Bird can walk on water in my book.  The current squad is just so damn likeable. From Big Baby taking charges, to Kevin Garnett scowling at people, to Rajon Rondo being awesome at everything. Frankly not liking Rondo is similar to not liking Santa Clause or not liking free pizza. You are crazy if you don't.  I love them and am so proud to be a fan.

Baths: I always get a strange look when I tell people I take bath's. I don't understand why it is weird. It's relaxing and feels good and there are few things better in life better than drinking a cold beer, with a good book, in the bath tub. It must be one of those things people don't like because they think it's not cool to do it. Just do whatever feels good and who gives a crap.

2pac, Phil Collins, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, and Tom Petty: An eclectic mix I know, but each one brings something different to the table. I listened to only 2pac for four straight years in high school and while he is still the best music artist ever, these other four are close.  The important thing in life is to love music whether it be crazy emo stuff, country, rap or classical. Music makes everything better. Except Justin Beiber, he doesn't make anything better. Though his song with Ludacris is kind of catchy.

Honest people: I like people that don't beat around the bush. Say what you mean.  Screw manners and tell me the truth to my face. Except if you don't like bald people, then just lie to me.

Office Space: For my money the greatest comedy of all time with Dumb and Dumber and Ace Ventura a close second. This movie is a comedy but also a documentary on office life. Should be required viewing for anyone about to enter the Corporate World.

There are a lot more things I like, but this article is getting Bill Simmons lengthy (love Bill Simmons by the way). The important thing in life is to be passionate about stuff. Don't like stuff, love it. That's what life is all about.