Saturday, March 17, 2018

“Ready Player Two” thoughts...

I’ve recently finished “Ready Player One”, since a great friend of mine told me that I should read it... and she was very right about that (she knows me pretty well). I've always found it interesting, how futuristic US always seems to be a barren wasteland.  The book does a great job of bringing back the 1980's, and transporting the reader into a imaginary place though ... called the OASIS.  It also does a great job of having a group of friends, become very close and very trusting of each other, without ever meeting each other.  That means that a guy who's really a girl or someone self conscience about their image, can be accepted for who they are ... which is a grand concept in the world we're currently living in.

Now, I've always been a movie before book type of person.  I enjoy each genre for what they are, but seeing the movie (to me) allows me to read the book and have some context for where the author wants me to go.  This also allows me to not get sucked into the "book had this, or that, but the movie didn't" type of thought.  I've had this book for awhile now, but the trailers of the upcoming movie really got me interested in reading it... also they gave me some context.  I'm not really going to get much into the book, read it if you'd like.  There are some Ready Player One spoilers, in the remainder of this post, so you've been warned.

With the movie coming out soon, I’m going to drop some thoughts on where Ready Player Two could be going, since Ernest Cline has already confirmed this is going to happen, and why wouldn't it.  The hype train is rolling on in full effect right now.

The last time we see Sorrento, he's being hauled away, accused of murder.  This is where the genius of how this book was closed out, allows for so many holes that a second book could be made.  Sorrento isn't even mad that he's being accused of murder, or that any of this is happening... he just smiles.  It's almost like this is all part of his plan in the first place.  I have a feeling, during Parzival's rise to fame, his sponsorships, and his breaking into IOI ... there's a signed document that give Sorrento full control of the OASIS, if Parzival found the Easter Egg.  This is where Ready Player Two takes a turn for the worst.  Sorrento, now in control, places his plan in motion, and people are starting to get charged a monthly fee in order to use the OASIS.  Basically, everything that allowed the OASIS to be the escape, for some many people, has now become one more thing that people can no longer afford.  The OASIS quickly becomes a barren wasteland, where only the rich can still be a part of it.  Throughout the number of chapters, while the OASIS is starting to crumble under the greed of Sorrento, the real world is becoming more and more hostile.  Without the sanctuary that so many people use to escape their lives, go to school, or even make money through business ... the world is starting to break into the "haves" versus the "have nots".  Now, I have no idea where Parzival is, throughout this entire process, but I'm assuming that even Sorrento knows that he can't kill of Parzival.  Sorrento got out of murder charges once, but won't be so luck a second time.  Maybe everyone starts to turn on Parzival, since he's the one you ultimately gave Sorrento control of the OASIS.  Maybe even to the point where Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto turn on Parzival, and he's back to being a loner... without a dream in his heart, without a love of his own

Sorrento and IOI, goes directly to Castle Anorak, and tries to take over everything in the OASIS.  Sorrento gets extremely mad though, when nobody is able to enter Halladay's office, since it was hardcoded that Parzival is the only avatar that can get there.  IOI probably tries for years, to get into Halladay's office, and during this whole time ... Sorrento is getting more and more angry that he's not able to take full control, as more and more people are logging out of the OASIS and not paying for anything.  The entire OASIS is starting to crumble beneath Sorrento's reign.

The OASIS has hit a tipping point, and Parzival finds a way to get back in touch with Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto.  Aech probably never really left, as I feel like she completely trusts Wade (the only thing that might throw a wrench is this, is if Ernest Cline decides to keep the "girl breaking up friends" theme rolling and Art3mis actually gets in the middle of Aech and Parzival).  This is the moment where Parzival starts to tells his friends, and people that he trusts, that he's the only one that can get into Halladay's office, as that was part of time that nobody else could see.  Parzival comes up with a plan, to get himself back into Halladay's office, so they can take control of the OASIS.  The plan involves getting everyone to log in again.  This is no easy feat however, as everyone is starting to let the OASIS fall to the wayside.  But, like that last time the OASIS was going to be taken away from the people, everyone joins together to fight against Sorrento and IOI.

At this point, everyone is fighting for one purpose ... to take down Sorrento.  In order to coordinate this whole attack, the group is probably back at Og's Mansion together.  There's a massive fight, on all sides of the ledger ... everyone fighting against the massive forces of the IOI Corporation.  Through using new artifacts, the Parzival didn't even know were in his arsenal, Parzival is able to fight his way into Halladay's office.  Once in the office, Parzival takes some time to think through his decision, however ultimately decides that pressing the "Big Red Button" is the way to go.  As Sorrento realizes that everything he's worked for, is slipping from his grasp, he gets very desperate.  Ultimately, some past decisions come back to fall on Sorrento, and without something like "control of the OASIS", he's no longer able to get past them.  Samantha and Wade get back to being in love, and everyone lives happily ever after.

With all that being said, who knows where Ernest Cline will go with 'Ready Player Two' ... I don't know how a third book comes out of this, but I've been wrong in the past and I'll be wrong again in the future.  I think it'll be fun to see where this is all going though.  I'm looking forward to going and seeing the movie, once it's out.

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018... it’s my year of change

Well... 2018 started a lot like 2017 ended. Some uncertainty, as I was wondering if Carolyn had actually stopped talking to me or was just consumed with being at her parent’s (spoiler alert: she stopped talked to me), and wondering how people would take that I was getting a new job. This is only the third employer that I’ll have (full time and not including all the other jobs I’ve had), and the first time that I left on my terms. This job is what I should be, as I move to 40, and a big raise while I’m in my prime money making years. It’s an opportunity that I have to take, for me, but I’m leaving behind a bunch of people that I really like. This is possibly the biggest change the biggest change that I’ll have all year, and it’s happenjng in February.

Some other small changes, that I’ve already started are:

  • Getting a new mattress and upgrading to a queen sized bed
  • Bagging up a bunch of clothes and donating them
  • Cleaning out the basement, to get prepared to finish it
  • Upgrading  to iPhone X
  • Ending my refereeing career
Some other changes that are planned for this year:
  • Finishing the basement (bathroom, bar, studio space, etc.)
  • Buying a new car
  • Travel to see some soccer
What you won’t see here is finding someone to date. I’ve all but given up on that. If something happens, then great, but it seems like a waste of time to me... when I have some many changes planned to make me better, my house better, or just to make me happy. I’ve always seen myself as being single into my 40’s anyway, so now is just the time to bug a Porchse for myself... I guess.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What can happen in two weeks?

What can really occur within a fortnight ... it doesn't really seem like that long of a period of time, but in retrospect it could really be an eternity.  The myriad of emotions are interesting ... excitement, butterflies, fear, shock, being comfortable, open, disappointment, anger, sadness, etc.  Even though I felt prepared for the fall, I don't think I really was prepared for how it happened.

In a high level ... last couple weeks:

* Matching and talking to Leslie through Tinder
* Meeting Leslie in Boise for the day
* Talking and texting and facetime-ing Leslie once I got home
* Helping Leslie through interactions and a date with Zach, that seems to have kicked off their relationship

I'll start by saying that I don't even know why I matched with Leslie.  She's super cute, great smile, seemed like a good personality, active ... from her pictures and write up ... but has two children, and is very out going.  That's normally something I tend to stay away from.  Before I had even thought it all through though, we had matched.  I'm guessing my heart won out over my head this time or that I was in a different city and had nothing to lose or maybe it was just meant to be or maybe someone just knew that we would need each other for a little bit of time.  Our date in Boise was amazing, and that doesn't even explain it fully.  I'm pretty certain Leslie is the mayor of Boise, or is the President of the Tourism Board, she just knows everyone in that city.  When things started out, I was pretty nervous, which apparently seemed to show quickly, but ultimately I calmed down once we got to talking and walking and exploring and hiking and everything else we got into that day.  About 6 hours later, or so, I was walking back into my hotel ... room keys missing and all ... to reflect on the day, and head to sleep for a 3:30am wake up to fly home.  Part of me thought that was probably the end.  Much like other women, mostly ones in the area, I have a good time, she seems to have a good time, and I never hear from them again.  I don't remember who texted who first, but it wasn't the end ... it was most certainly not the end.

All in all, the last two weeks have been amazing. I’ve never met a woman that I’ve been that excited to talk to, to see, to "be around" (through the internet) however something was always a bit off... was it that she has two children? was it that she’s so far away? I don’t think that I’ll ever really know, since being really nice has turned a relationship into a friendship. Normally people try to do that the other way around... my way seems like pulling defeat from the jaws of victory. Like I said though, it was never really all together, right?!  Or maybe that's how I'm trying to spin this to myself, to not feel like I'm missing out on something.  Leslie felt more like I was always talking to someone I’d known forever ... not someone I just met on a random dating app.

I’m not really as open of a person, as I was with Leslie, and the distance has to work into that. I really had nothing to lose being open and showing myself... or did I? I acted like I had nothing to lose because I was helping her with Zach and she was helping me with Katie. I did have something to lost though... Leslie. Ultimately Katie has never been interested in me, something that I thought I saw pretty clearly, but when everyone else believed they saw something that I was missing then you start to wonder.  So, the entire time I wasn’t so much working toward Katie, but actually away from Leslie. Was I scared that it could be right ... that it could work out? Am I scared of being in a relationship... with the ability to let people down or have someone want to be with me when I just want to sleep or have someone that wants to talk to me when I really just want to be alone? Something has to be wrong with the way I connect the dots and how I think through everything.  I have to be getting in my own way somehow ... something has to be holding me back... but what, I don't see it?  (Edit: Here's the part where I say that I probably do see it, but have no idea how to change it)

In the end, the last two weeks have been amazing. I found someone that I could be completely me with... who didn’t judge me, who didn’t label me, and who didn’t try to change me (ok, Leslie tried to change me some). Plus, she knows radio! What a fantastic added plus, that could help out the hockey show and make us better in the future. Even after all this though, and even though I mention things not being completely right, and even so much that I had prepared for this ending.  I’m sad... not so much heartbroken, but more disappointed. Had I acted differently if she lived in DC? Would I have been more closed, and never gotten to this point?  Would I have fought more, instead of just helping her get someone else? I don’t know the answer to any of that... but maybe she can help me find someone for myself. I truly believe that I need all the help I can get.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year's Eve... the most alone time you can ever have within a group

I'm used to being alone, I mean... I even enjoy being by myself. For the most part, I'm an introverted person and recharge my batteries by sitting on the couch or sleeping. However, I'm never really alone since I have a lot of great friends that invite me to parties, gatherings, sporting events, etc.

That being said, the most alone time period, of every year, begins at 11:59pm on December 31st, and lasts as long as others forget that I'm even around. The reason for this stems from couples being together to "bring in the new year". This is one of the reasons that I really hate doing anything, with other people, on New Year's Eve. All I can hope and work toward, is to be one of those people that has someone on New Year's Eve... but I also won't forget how it feels to be alone. I was in a pretty big group this year, and with one minute left in the year all the couples started queuing up and kindof pushing me out of the way... leaving me behind if you will. I don't know how long I was actually sitting at the table completely alone, but it felt like 15 minutes or so. It's like the scene that starts off Garden State, where everyone is panicking because the plane is going down and Zach Braff is just sitting there numb to it all. After awhile everyone realized what had happened and I was included back into the group again for some drinking games. But the damage had really been done. I no longer wanted to be there and I had already tried to figure out how to make my grand escape. I was so desperate, during those moments of being alone, that I was even trying to use a dating app to find someone for the night, so I wouldn't be alone.

All in all, I didn't know the whole group and the self centered nature of most of the group probably wasn't conducive to adding a stranger. The two guys wearing "Wingman" and "3rd Wheel" tees really showed their lack of general knowledge or lack of caring on how to handle the situation, when both are there with their girlfriends. I know the couple friends I had in the group certainly didn't do this on purpose... it just happened, but is still the biggest reason that I hate New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

US Soccer...

I sometimes wonder... Am I the crazy one? Am I the one who was born on the wrong continent and grew up loving something that most people in the US couldn't give a fuck about?

But then I look around and I'm happy. I'm happy that I understand a sport that is generally regarded as "European". I'm happy that I'm not one of the bandwagon "ESPN sports fans" in the United States. I'm happy that I've taken the time to get it... to understand that you can lose to someone is just plain better than you... to understand that the United States of Entitlement doesn't translate past these borders and that we can't just win because we're the USA... to understand that on some days, the best team doesn't always win.

Do I think I'm better than you? Not a chance. Do I think you should get the fuck out of my way and allow me to follow my passion? Definitely. Now get the fuck out of my way.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Giving Up...

I always wondered how someone could get to the point where they decided that looking for love was no longer worth it... that they were giving up. Finding someone to love and live your life with is one of the fundamental blocks of living life to the fullest, right?

I've reached the point where I'm giving up, and I'll tell you why. I no longer enjoy the process... I no longer believe that I'm better off with someone else... I no longer believe that I will find someone that I can live my life with. I'm giving up.

It's sad and somewhat liberating. I was spending multiple hours on dating apps, and had 10 different apps on my phone at the same time. Many of which I would "match" with girls who never talked to me, or go out on a first date and never go anywhere farther than that. I've dated girls here and there throughout my life, but ultimately it was never anything really worth it. Fuck, I spent more time trying to get away from girls that thought I should be interested in them, not knowing that the whole time I felt like my energy was being sapped by their needy personalities.

So, I'm giving up on love and I'll live my life how I want to... hanging out with my friends, traveling the world, and playing golf. Oh, and I'll have a nice little 6-speed manual, dual exhaust sports car soon enough. Bye.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tinder... It's a joke, right?

So, I've been on Tinder for a little while now. I was having a hard time finding a girl that would actually give me a chance. I've had some girls that have used me in order to not be alone, and other girls that seemed pretty interested until someone better came along, but at the end of the day... nobody that I really connected with outside of the occasional hook up or a random sporting event. So I tried out three dating apps and maybe this is my own fault because they're all free. I can't even say that Tinder, or any online dating for that matter, is entirely bad. I know plenty of success stories from online dating... it must just be the girls that I meet or more than likely, it's just me.

Here are my experiences with online dating services:

1) Tara... cute enough and a nice smile. We went out for food and a drink or two, walked around for a bit, and even got ice cream together. I talked to her once afterward and never heard back from her again.

2) Courtney... cute too and was "working on herself". We had dinner at an Italian place and had great conversation. I guess working on herself meant she didn't have time to talk to me.

3) Michelle... cute but lived an hour and a half away. I'm not really sure how we even matched up, but we had some really fun text conversations over the draft weekend and set up going to a baseball game. The day of the game came though, and she never showed up. So I went by myself, took some pictures, and talked to some minor league scouts. All in all, this tuned into a great Minor League Baseball bit for the Face Off Hockey Show, so I'm not even that mad.

4) Trysten... really cute smile and great eyes, she seemed like she actually had her life together and we'd talked for 2 hours already on the phone. This "date" was probably over before it started though. We had fun at a dockside bar, talked for awhile, and at the end of the night got a handshake and a "thanks". I knew it wasn't going well when she referred to how she "lived with her ex" on multiple occasions.

Those were just the girls that I matched up with and set something up to meet in person. More times than not, I just never hear back from the girl or we talk for a bit and then she's gone. Since Trysten, it's actually gotten far worse. I've matched with some randomly cute girls and then never heard back from them at all. I figure that, if after a week, I haven't heard from you at all then you're probably not interested in me or your friends matched me when you were drunk at the bar. The topper was last night though, Nellie. She's a cute girl but nothing overly attractive and certainly not out of my league. I sent one message and got something back, however once I got up this morning it was gone and I had been unmatched. I guess this little girl really needed someone to talk to her last night. 

What a joke.

I think I'm going to continue with updates: 

1) Jessica... Beautiful smile and a 35 year old IT Project Manager from Virginia. We talked for about 5 messages before I'm guessing that she decided 1 hour was way too far away for her to travel. I'm guessing because Jessica didn't even have the courtesy to tell me what happened. She asked what I did over the weekend and once I mentioned Baltimore then I was unmatched before I got back into the app.

2) Tally of Girls that never even respond is up to 15 now, since I started the updates section. It's actually worse on Hinge, where I'm not sure I've ever had a girl respond to me. At least there's a "match" though, right.

3) Jennifer... Cute girl and seemed like she could've been fun. I wasn't overly attracted to her, but she was certainly cute. Well Jennifer wanted to meet up but didn't want to give me her phone number... instead it was a good old email address. I emailed her and never heard back.

4) Now I'm starting to get spam on Tinder too. Glad that I've gotten at least 5 porn sites that want to match up with me. That's good for the confidence.

5) Mary... Interesting, cute, amazing smile and stepped right up with the confidence to start the conversation. We had a good conversation about music and concerts, but like everything else... it fizzled out and she stopped talking to me.

Who sees a trend here? Since I'm the only constant in this equation, I can only assume it's me... right? I do understand though, most (if not all of these girls) are out of my league, but I'll keep trying until I get a chance with one of those "out of my league" girls. I feel like once I get a chance, then maybe... just maybe... I can get someone to stick around.

6) Tiffany... Darn, is all I can say. She's my age, attractive, really smart and I thought our hour and half conversation over brunch was pretty nice. Tiffany was certainly out of my league, but our time together ended with her mentioning that she'd like to meet up again. Come to find out that just isn't the case, and she's not interested in me. She was very truthful about it though, actually texted me to tell me this, and I kindof appreciated this girl. She's amazing, but just ending up being too far out of my league.

7) Tiffany might be the last match I get... it's been over a month since I marched with any girls online.

8) My new experiment has turned Tinder into a collection of the cute girls that are still available in the area. It's becoming an optimistic view at the app. The most interesting piece is actually matching. I've tried this with every girl recently, and it continues to work... we talk for maybe a day or two, and then I get busy and don't send anything back. I've yet to have a girl send me anything without me initiating the conversation. There are plenty of cute girls out there however this "online dating" bit just confirms that I'm quite comfortable being by myself.

9) Ok... I'll say that Hinge worked this time. Erin was amazingly cute and we actually dated for 3 months. All in all, things didn't work out past the summer... Be it soccer season and my lack of time, or that we were two very different people, or that the only things we really ever did involved drinking and sex... it just didn't keep going. Erin changed pretty quickly and even accused me of "playing games". Oh well, I can say this time, online dating actually worked out.

10) Since Erin, I'm back in the rut of girls that match on a dating site and then never talk to me. It seems like it's back to being the same old shit.

11) Jennifer... Another girl on Hinge, which is far better at finding real people and girls that I find attractive than Tinder. I was insanely nervous as soon as she walked in... Jennifer might be the first girl in the history of online dating who was more attractive in real life than in the profile pictures. Awesome personality, likes sports, country music, lived in the city, owned her own house... the list goes on and on. I tried a text or so after the date, with no response back, but Jennifer is a super cool girl that was maybe a bit too far out of my league.

12) As an aside now, I've found a new dating app called Happn... it uses you phone gps, which tracks you anyway, you see if you cross paths with cute girls on a day to day basis. No real interactions have occurred yet, but it seems promising and the girls there are real people. I'll try this out, and maybe it'll get me out of the house to find people.

13) I don't believe 13 is an unlucky number, but this time it is. Kelli is super cute, smart, and is pretty much what I'd look for in someone to date. I thought we even had a really good date... trying each other's food and the beers that was got. 90 minutes went by without even thinking about it, but when I asked her out again... we quickly became "friends". I really don't have a clue what happened here and I'm actually kind of hurt some. I'm starting to believe that I'm closer and closer to just buying a sports car and calling it a day. I do find it very weird that I've never really had any girl interested in me that I was also interested in.