Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How to poop and pee in space

OK, this video is long (25 mins) but it is worth it. If you don't have time right now, come back and watch it later. It's a tour of the Space Station. May not sound that cool, but it's actually pretty cool.

PS. This video does produce side effects such as feeling like your floating for the first 5 minutes after watching it as well as mild loss of equilibrium. I know from experience.


We've all see them, at least those of us who have sold our souls to Pinterest. I'm talking about the quotes, you know... the ones where you've just broken up with your boyfriend/girlfriend and somehow you read, "The grass isn't always greener on the other side; you just need to spend more time watering your own," and somehow everything is magically going to be better. Newsflash Pinterest, your ex-significant other isn't going to come back no matter how long you spend watering your grass. In fact, I don't think he or she really cares a lick about how green your grass is. (Unless, of course, not green enough grass is the reason you broke up in the first place).

You see, I'm a realist. I tell it like it is, no sugar coating involved. And you, my friend Pinterest, are getting brainwashed! So, I've decided to make this post about enlightening you to the truths behind the quotes those liars are putting out there. Here, you will get the unmasked version of the quotes. Ready, go:

... unless, of course, he has broken wings or there was recently a plane crash nearby... then there's a possibility that he did fall.

False. The best way to cheer yourself up is to watch this on repeat!

Sometimes you need to FORGET what you FEEL and REMEMBER what you DESERVE...
Sometimes you need to forget what you remember.

Hatred is wasted energy
No. Trying to outrun a cheetah is wasted energy....     

People take different roads seeking happiness and fulfillment. Just because they are not on your road does not mean that they actually know what they are doing.

What the quote should read: You can never cross the ocean unless you have a boat, some oars, and the courage to lose sight of the shore.

the part no one ever quotes... "because if you focus on how far you've got to go, how far you've come doesn't make the darndest bit of difference."

I only hope that you'll start to look at quotes with a critical eye from now on. Take everything with a grain of salt. Because not everything you see is true. Except this next one. This one is true...


Monday, January 21, 2013

Cars... the Spices of Life

Why do people buy cars? The obvious answer is because they add so much excitement to life. Just think about it... you're driving home from work. It's 15 degrees outside (or in today's case, -9!!!) and snowing/sleeting and you get a flat tire. And the best part is, you left your coat at home today.

Now, normally, you would go home (wearing your nice warm, thick, wool coat) and cuddle up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and watch tv until sleepiness took over your eyes. But not today! Today your car has provided you with a SURPRISE ADVENTURE in which you get to spend the next hour outside on the shoulder of the highway burning calories, learning how to survive the elements, and working every muscle in your body as you try to chip away at the iceberg that has attached itself to your tire. And what's even better is that these surprise adventures always seem to come at the perfect time... just when you're thinking to yourself, "Man, I'm really not in the mood for any surprise adventures today"...


Your sunroof gets stuck open in the middle of a monsoon and there's nothing you can do about it, but change your attitude to one that's ready to tackle an adventure. Our cars only do it because they have our best interest in mind. They're trying to make us better people. Aren't cars great?! And the very best part is the return on investment. The more you pay for your car, the more SURPRISE ADVENTURES you are likely to get!

Jake's car actually came with a bonus feature he wasn't aware of at the time of purchase. You see, over time, his car has begun to make music for him. It first started when his muffler started clanging out a beat. (It's practicing to try out for the drumline). And then, after a while, the suspension came in with a nice squeek on every eigth note. Now all Jake has to do is learn how to sing and he's got a self-made concert every morning and evening on his way to and from work. What a deal!

Speaking of deals (don't tell the dealership this but...), I really got a good one. When I got in my car for a test run before I bought it, I immediately noticed that it was a 'limited edition'. You see, my car has themed dashboard lights!!! I have one that looks like the Tin Man's oil can (from the Wizard of Oz.)  

And I have this this one that is Superman themed (he's faster than a speeding bullet).  

File:17 route.jpg

And I haven't quite figured out what this one is from yet, but all I know is it comes on when my tire pressure gets low. It's as if the air particles in my tires are screaming, "Hey! We're getting lonely in here!"

I really pulled a fast one on the dealership getting this one off the lot.

For those of you who don't know, Jake and I live in St. Louis Park. The great thing about living in SLP is that cars never break down on Sundays, which is why not a single car shop is open on Sundays. We're just that good! I feel bad for all you "we're open even on Sunday" car shop people. Maybe come check out SLP if you get a chance.

So the next time you're wondering what you should do with your weekend or your day off of work, instead of going to the movies or cleaning the house, consider buying another car. Like I said, you'll get more entertainment out of it than you'd ever expect and it will last for years to come. This is one product that is sure to over-perform!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Why I'm Glad Lance Armstrong Was the One Who Won Those Tours

For those of you who didn't have a chance to see it, the first part of Oprah's Lance Armstrong interview was aired last night, in which Lance openly admitted to doping throughout the majority of his cycling career, including during each of his 7 Tour de France wins. Now, as neither a fan nor a foe of Lance himself, or of the sport of cycling, I like to think that I have a fairly objective viewpoint on the matter. These are my thoughts (for those of you who care).

Lance Armstrong did bad things, many, many times. That goes without question and Lance openly admitted this last night. He even went on the offensive at some points, accusing and even suing those who had come out and spoken the truth about Lance's actions. A lot of people feel very betrayed because of these actions and lies. And people have every right to feel this way. Lance deserves to feel that bitterness and hatred for a while.

However, the man showed genuine regret and remorse in the interview. He apologized (rightly) multiple times, admitted that he will spend his lifetime apologizing for his actions, and has even privately made steps to try to right his wrongs with those he specifically hurt. And I believed that he was genuine in all of this.

Now, obviously, things aren't just going to get better overnight for him. Like he said himself, this is something he'll deal with for the rest of his life. But this morning I heard on the radio several djs talking about the interview and how they still feel that everything he said was a load of crap. I completely disagree. As a person who studied nonverbal communication as part of my major in college, I was watching his every move last night, and I believe that he was telling the truth. Why would he lie at this point? Here's some of the nonverbal clues I picked up on:

- at the very beginning of the interview, he kept touching his lips and holding his chin with this hand. To me, this showed that he was feeling vulnerable and trying to hide himself a little bit. (Not an indication of lying or not, just an indication of his emotional status)

- When you watched the clips from the tapes in the past where he admitted he was lying, he raised his eyebrows a lot, and looked up and to the side a lot. This wasn't the case last night. Granted, he did raise his eyebrows a few times, but one isolated gesture doesn't mean much. It's when you put them together and notice patterns and rhythms that they become indicators of lying. But his eyes were focused on Oprah, not wandering.

- In the past clips where he was testifying, he got heated and even went on the offensive a little bit, saying things like, "I've already answered that question," "I can't make it any clearer to you," and "Why would I do that?" as if building up a wall to protect himself. His body language was also closed in on itself as if creating a shield and he leaned forward a bit, almost as if he was pointing the blame back to his accuser with his body. That was not the case last night. He was very humble last night, accepting every bit of blame Oprah could throw at him. His voice was calm and collected, he sat upright in his chair, with his body open. He did have his hands clasped together in his lap; this is often a sign of confidence or a way to keep your nervousness from showing (you jittery hands will be more stable if they can support each other).

- when he used hand signals (such as listing items and using each finger to signify a new item on the list), the beat of the words he was saying matched up with the rhythm in which he was using the gesture. When lying, usually one's nonverbal gestures won't happen on the same rhythm as the words that are coming out of the mouth because there is a discord and the gestures are having to be manufactured at the same time the words are being formulated.

This is just what I noticed as someone who was actually paying attention. By no means am I an expert, but I do know some of the key things to look for. So, I believe him.

Now, after all that being said, I'm glad Lance had as much success as he did. Lance said himself in the interview, that he didn't think it was possible to win the 7 Tours in a row without doping. This was to imply that doping is such a big part of the cycling culture, that in order to keep up, you have to dope. Those who don't start out greatly disadvantaged (this is not to say that some don't). So it seems to me that the winner of the Tour was inevitably going to be a doper, no matter if it was Lance or some other guy. The fact that Lance had gone through cancer allowed him to raise a lot of support for the Livestrong foundation with his cycling success. So, heck yes I would rather it have been him than some other doper. No, I don't agree with what he did. Yes, it was wrong. Yes, the sport needs to change. But it seems that doping is the unwritten standard in cycling and the only person it physically hurts is the actual dopers themselves. I can see how he felt like he had to do it. To me, Lance is the lesser of two evils and I'm glad that some good could come out of such an ugly situation.

That said, the man seems to be trying. I don't think that he should be allowed to cycle any more, and I don't think that he should be forgiven overnight, but as long as he's trying to right things, as long as he's saying he's willing to support the anti-doping cause if they would allow him, I think the man deserves a little slack and some time to build up a more positive reputation for himself. We all make mistakes. Lance's was a big one, magnified to be even bigger under public scrutiny. But I'm willing to forgive someone who's willing to try to do better. And I believe him when he says he will try. I know a lot of you won't agree, but those are my thoughts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Why K-Stew didn't get the role of the Third Pig

Did you know that Kristen Stewart (plays Bella in the Twilight series) actually tried out for the Three Little Pigs. Yes, the 'most hated woman in Hollywood' as reported by the Sun (true story) felt that she could do the part of the third pig justice; however, the casting crew decided to go with someone else... they felt Kristen just didn't quite fit the character. See below for details:

Once upon a time, there was an old sow with three little pigs. As she had not enough to keep them, she sent them out to seek their fortune.

The first pig met a man with a bundle of straw and said to him, "Please, Man, may I have some straw to build a house?" The man gave him some straw and the first pig built a house of straw.

One day, the Big, Bad Wolf came by, knocked on the first pig's door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin," replied the first pig.

The wolf answered, "Well, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in." So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he blew his house in and he ate up the first little pig.

The second pig met a man with a bundle of sticks and said to him, "Please, Man, may I have some sticks to build a house?" The man gave him some sticks and the second pig built a house of sticks.

One day, the Big, Bad Wolf came by, knocked on the second pig's door and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

"Not by the hair on my chiny chin chin," replied the second pig.

The wolf answered, "Well, then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in." So the wolf huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed and he blew his house in and he ate up the second little pig.

The third little pig (played by Kristen Stewart) met a man with a load of bricks. "You know, I punched a werewolf in the face before," she said to the man with a stoic look on her face. When he looked at her scared, she continued, "Just give me the damn bricks." The man handed over the bricks and the third little pig was on her way. She built her house out of the bricks.

One day, the Big, Bad Wolf came, as he had with the other pigs, and said, "Little pig, little pig, let me come in."

The third little pig went to the door and looked through the peephole. "So you're a werewolf?" she asked, fist poised.

"No, not a werewolf, just a normal wolf. Now let me in!"

"You're not the first monster I've met, you know," her stoic face replied.

The wolf, frustrated by how long this was taking decided to just blow her house down. So he huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed  and he huffed and he puffed... but he couldn't blow her house down. It was just too strong.

Angry and starving, the wolf knocked on the front door even harder. "Little pig, little pig, let me come in! Either you unlock this door, or I'll climb down the chimney!"

"Please don't make me choose!" the third little pig responded, her voice slightly elevated, but her face remaining stoic.

The wolf was now enraged. How could one little pig cause so much difficulty?! He climbed to the top of the house and hopped in to the chimney. He slid down and landed in a hot bowl of soup the third pig had been cooking.

"Ouch!!!!" he yelled in pain.

The third little pig looked at the wolf very intently, watching him squirm from the heat of the fire as his fur was scorched and the smell of burnt hair filled the brick house. "Did you know, you're sort of beautiful?" she gave a hint of a smile to the wolf.

The third little pig couldn't believe it. Was she really falling in love with a wolf, something that could kill her in one bite?!

"Um, hello, I'm dying here. I'm being burnt alive. You know you'll never get into pig heaven if you kill me!"

"If this is about my soul, take it! I don't want it without you!" the pig exclaimed (face stoic as ever) as she hopped into the boiling cauldron, becoming hot and steamy with the wolf as they each cooked into eternity.

It's a tragedy really; She could have brought a lot to this story. But then again, she probably didn't get the part because she cheated on Rob. Is anyone ever going to want to watch her in anything ever again?! The Three Little Pigs directors sure don't think so. All I have to say about this is Rob doesn't deserve that. I would never do that to him.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Update: A Day in the Life

Many of you may remember the bathroom scandal mentioned in my previous post wherein our newly renovated bathroom stall had a rather revealing flaw. Yes, I'm talking about the crack where the stall wall meets the real wall that revealed your neighbor's rump if you were to take a peek. Well, I'm am happy to report that the problem has been fixed. Yes, where there once was a crack, there is now a lovely strip of blue painter's tape covering it up, keeping us from baring all to each other. I must say, after paying all of that money to have the bathroom renovated in the nice red and cream color scheme, I'm glad they footed the extra 30 cents for that blue accent strip. It really brightens the place up. I can now relieve myself in the peace and privacy of my own stall!

Hocus Pocus and All that Jazz

So, this weekend I discovered that I am actually a witch. I'm just now learning how to use my powers to perform an attraction spell which will make two very hot guys fall in love with me which will then leave me with the difficult decision of "which one should I pick?"

Ok, so that's not exactly true. Or really at all. But after watching the entire first season of The Secret Circle in a matter of about four days, you shouldn't be surprised if you see me uttering words in another language under my breath and things magically start levitating or lights magically come on. I mean, it's practically become my reality.

I blame Justin LaValle for this. It's all YOUR fault, Justin! I was doing just fine until he came along with his helpful recommendations of which shows I should become hooked on. But watching this show about witches got me thinking... when did vampires and werewolves and witches become so popular? Sure they've been around for a long time (in stories... I'm not actually delusional enough to believe that they actually exist... at least not in America), but I remember kids getting made fun of growing up for playing "Dungeons and Dragons". Since when did all that 'dark world' stuff become so main stream. The funny thing is it's so addicting.
Twilight began on a Saturday night at 10 pm. I was alone upstairs looking for a movie to watch, while Jake and his buds were downstairs praying to the Xbox NHL gods... in very loud curse words. I decided that this night was a good night to see what all the vampire hype was about since I knew I'd never convince Jake to watch it with me. So I began the first movie which we had recorded on TiVo. Little did I know, 6 hours later, Jake would come upstairs to find me drooling at a still frame of Taylor Lautner's abs. I'd watched the first three movies (all that had come out at the time) and had even resorted to desperate measures to find the second and third ones to stream online. I needed to see what happened....

Eventually, I convinced Jake to watch the series again with me (the next weekend, I'm pretty sure). After that, I read all the books and then watched the series again.And I was still thirsting for more... so we started watching the Vampire Diaries on Netflix, which for those of you who haven't seen it, is Twilight in tv form. Quite literally. As if the vampire-werewolf-girl-torn-between-them love triangle from Twlight hadn't been painful enough, the Vampire Diaries' love triangle involves two vampire brothers and a normal girl who can't decide between the good and the bad brother. My obsession with this show lead to a "sick day" at work in which I came home and proceeeded to watch a whole season of VD on Netflix.

I don't know what it is about all of this mythology stuff, but it's very intriguing. And combined with a thrilling plotline, you'll be begging for more. And you'll be able to find it because this stuff is all over the place. It seems like every show I go to watch has some kind of mythology built into it. Next thing we know, we'll be watching a show about hunting Sasquatch...

Oh, wait! That already exists.

But I wonder what it is about all these shows like this that has the audience so captivated. Is it really the mythology or is it simply the love triangle thing. Because all three of the above mentioned have it... The girl torn between 2 guys, one that's good for her and one that's mysterious and a little bit dangerous. Can we as a group of author's really not break out of this simple formula? Do we really have no other ideas for an intriguing storyline?

Oh! I've just thought of a 'novel' idea. Maybe my next book will be built about the following premise... so there's this guy. And then there are these two girls. One of them is your girl next door type... perfect for him in every way. And then there's this other girl... your typical badass type. And he loves them both, but he can't decide... But wait, that wouldn't work. Who am I kidding? The girls would never wait around, grovelling like the boys in the above-mentioned plotlines. What am I thinking? Guess, I'll stick with the traditional love triangle model.

But I've decided, next time I decide to start a new series that has some kind of witch, werewolf or vampire in it, I'm going to hire someone to sing the national anthem beforehand. Maybe Evanescence. A nice, haunting version of our nation's lullaby. Because an event of this magnitude should be commenced in such a way. And shortly thereafter, I will slowly fall into my engulfed, vegetative state and pray to the mythological gods that, whoever the new guy is, he has abs like Taylor Lautner.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Why you shouldn't buy things in stores

There are three kinds of people in the world:

1. Those who appreciate greatness.
2. Those who are inspired by greatness.
3. Those who don't recognize greatness. Of any kind. Ever.

First let me address group number one. These are the people who see something great and want one of their own. Your "right brains", so to speak. They know greatness when they see it. Often times they are willing to pay great amounts of money for this so-called "greatness". i.e. Apple consumers (I'm not hating... just saying).

And then of course, you've got the third group, those who couldn't recognize greatness if it stabbed them in the face with a fork and tried to eat them. These people are boring, so why talk about them?

And finally, there's the second group, the one of course that I fall into ***bats eyelashes***, the best group, which shall henceforth be known as "The Inspireds". Let me tell you why the Inspireds are the best group: When I see something great, rarely do I want to have that exact item. Usually, I want to make one of my own. And so do the rest of the Inspireds. Thus, we get YouTube, America. The Inspireds are not satisfied with greatness as is. No, we want more! We must create our own greatness. We want to make greatness better. We want... Greater Greatness!!!

Exhibit A: Charlie Bit Me

We've all seen it... numerous times (admit it already, you love it!... and if you by some account you live on a planet in which you have not been exposed to this greatness, here it is.). This video was probably created by a member of Group One... they shot the video and thought, "This is perfect. I'll post it just like this." Then, along came an Inspired. He watched it and thought to himself, "That's pretty good, but you know what... it could be better!" After days and days of sleepless nights and circling thoughts and several focus groups, the Inspired came up with a piece of Greater Greatness... Click Me!

Exhibit B: Taylor Swift's I Knew You Were Trouble

Here (start at 2:02) is a perfectly awesome (awesome awesome awesome) song. But I would never venture to say that Taylor Swift is a Group One member. I mean, this girl finds inspiration in everything from breaking up with her boyfriend to making up with her boyfriend. She definitely is an Inspired. But that's the thing about us Inspireds, making Greater Greatness isn't always enough for us. Sometimes, an Inspired makes Greater Greatness which inspires another Inspired to make even greater Greater Greatness. It's a never ending cycle of inspiration and new versions of the same thing. Here are two examples of Even Greater Greater Greatness. #1 and #2

But the Inspireds are inspired by greatness in many other places besides YouTube. For example...

Exhibit C: Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series

Now, I know this series takes a lot of flak, but seriously, it's awesome! I never would have read a book about vampires a few years ago. (In fact, I had a friend named Gina who tried over and over again to get me to read it to no avail.) But one night, I was sitting home alone and I found myself watching the first Twilight movie and from there I was sucked in. (Ha! Get it!) They're fantastic. Now a Group One member would read the series and say, "Yes, that was great. I would like to read it again." A Group Three member wouldn't give a damn about anything. But an Inspired, they would take it to a whole new level, which is exactly what this girl did... click here

See, I've been trying to tell you, we Inspireds bring a lot to the table. Can you even imagine what life would be like without us?! 

And you know what else can be attributed to us Inspireds? The competitive, Capitalistic, American way. That's right. The Inspireds are the reason America thrives. You see, when Henry Ford invented the automobile, if everyone had been Group One members, they would have all said, "Sweet! I want one just like that. You have achieved pure greatness, Mr. Ford." And we would still all be driving model t's around. But that's not what happened. Instead, a bunch of Inspireds came around and created their own versions and now it takes a year's worth of time and research and energy to pick out which car you would like to buy. You're welcome, world.

And take American Idol as another example. What was a seemingly great show at first, has now spawned practically it's own genre of tv shows. Simon Cowell looked over at his fellow judges to his right and said to himself, "You know, these people are great, but I can do better," and X Factor was born. And so was The Voice and Duets and Crossroads, etc. etc. etc. You see, everyone wants their piece of the fiscal pie. Everyone wants to prove that they can do it to, and that their version will be even better than yours. That's what we Inspireds bring to the table.

Do you remember the 2011 Superbowl National Anthem? Oh, don't lie, it's the one you lost $5 bucks on because you bet that Christina would hold out the last note for more than 30 seconds. And why did you bet that she would hold out that note for more than 30 seconds? Because you knew she'd be trying to outdo the person who sang it every year before her. Because she's an Inspired. And Inspireds strive for Even Greater Greater Greatness.

So the next time you go to a store and see a painting that you think is perfect, or hear a song on the radio that you like, or even watch a movie that you want to buy, Don't! Stop! Think! Ask... not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country. Maybe you, yes even YOU, could become and Inspired. Group Three is dull and pointless, Group One is fine, but it's the Inspireds that make this country what it is, teen heartthrobs, YouTube junkies and all. So don't buy that painting; paint your own version. Record your own song. Or make your own movie... (just as long as it's not a documentary about turning your boyfriend into a vampire).

Monday, January 7, 2013

Lies, Theft and Howie Mandell

Intense. Satisfying. Thrilling. Sometimes painful. Often makes you sweat. Gives you a rush. Lies. Cheating. Stealing. Yes, ladies and gentlemen... today's topic is about NBC's new game show Take It All. For those of you who haven't seen this show yet, here is a brief description of the game:

Basically, it's a version of the Christmas gift exchange game called Yankee Swap/White Elephant. The first player picks a prize. Each player thereafter has the option of stealing that prize or taking an unopened one from the "Dream Screen". If a player's prize is stolen from them, they can either steal from another player or go to the Dream Screen. Play continues until all players have a prize. The object is to not end up with the least valuable prize. There are five players in the beginning and each round, the person who ended up with the least valuable prize goes home, forfeiting all of their prizes. There are three rounds like this and once the field is narrowed down to 2 players, the "Prize Fight" begins. In the Prize Fight, each player has the option to either keep his own prizes or Take It All, which means taking his and his opponent's prizes. The catch is, if both players choose "Take It All", they both go home with nothing. If one chooses Take It All and the other chooses "Keep Mine", the player who chose "Take It All" gets everything and the other player goes home with nothing. If and only if both players choose "Keep Mine" do both players get to go home a winner. (Some of you may remember this concept from the show Friend or Foe). Simple enough, right?

Alright, now that you have a little background on the show, let me fill you in on a little bit of the details. First of all, the prizes. The prizes on this show range anywhere from $5,000 to $120,000 approximately. Some of them are your typical game show prizes such as golf clubs or vacations or cars. But then there's the off the wall prizes, and when I say off the wall, I really mean off the wall. I have seen a personal submarine, a tree house, a sauna for your home, an log cabin looking office room that you put in your backyard, a water jetpack, etc. I mean... the sky is really the limit with these things. These are the prizes that throw the wrenches in the game. The traditional prizes are fairly easy to estimate the value of, but when you get these random ones thrown in, you have no idea what to think. I mean honestly, who know's how much a hot dog cart is worth?! (I do have to say, though, I did know that the water jet pack was around $99,000 because I read on the news earlier this year about the man trying to use one out in the bay to watch the SF Giants game.)

So let me describe to you a night of Jake and I watching the show together, pondering the depths and psyche behind the show. I mean, you can't just sit and enjoy the show... that wouldn't be enough. Every aspect of it must be analyzed:

Jake: I have a theory that I'm testing about the prizes on this show?
Cara: What's that?
Well, If you look at the pictures of the prizes that they show... some of the pictures look fake. They look like they're drawn on a computer. I think those are always going to be the least valuable prizes because I don't think they actually exist. That happened with the submarine last time and then that outdoor office acorn thing...
Yeah, maybe. They probably exist, but they're just prototypes or something that they can't actually give to someone yet, so they just make sure that it's always the cheapest prize in the round.


Howie Mandell is amazing. I mean seriously, that guy is good. I don't know how he does it. He's so good at just letting the contestants talk and just following their lead to reveal the results. He's really talented.
Yeah, he's really good at those cliff hangers.
Yeah, he's one of the biggest reasons why this show works. I mean, he just makes it look so effortless... it's a stroke of genius.


Oh, God... the Prize Fight is on. I hate this part... I get so nervous. What do you think they are going to do?
I don't know.
I think they will both Keep Mine.
Yeah maybe, although I could see the guy Taking It All maybe.

***Girl lies to guy and says she will give all of her money and prizes except her vacation to the guy's antibullying charity and then Takes It All while the guy Keeps Mine.***

I hate this show. What kind of a person does that... that was a really low blow! You can't just tell someone you're going to give their charity thousands of dollars and it all be a lie. What a B-Otch!
Seriously. That was bad.
Honestly, how do you live with yourself after doing that? I wouldn't be able to spend a dime of the money without thinking about that shameful moment. By the way, who named this the Prize Fight? They really couldn't have come up with a better name than the Prize Fight? What about the "I'm a lying bastard who will lie to your face, promise you the world and then rip your heart out of your chest and be happy about it" Fight. That would be more appropriate.

***1 hour later***

I can't believe she Took It All! She promised him she would donate everything to his charity. Wow, she sucks.

Of course, you can't watch this show and not think about what you would do in that situation. If you made it to the Prize Fight and you had say $400,000 worth of prizes on the line, what would you do? You're completely vulnerable with no way to protect what you've won up to this point and you have to trust a complete stranger to let you keep yours. Seriously, what would you do? The contestants get a minute to discuss and try to convince their opponent to Keep Mine before making their decision. This is what I would say.... right after the break... no just kidding.... here it is:

"Here's the deal. I'm going to choose Take It All. I want to split this evenly, but I can't trust you, because I don't know you. So I'm telling you up front that I will push Take It All, but I will split everything evenly with you if you. So you should push Keep Mine, because that's the only chance you have at getting anything. I'm not willing to give you the power, so your decision is either to screw us both over, or to let me Take It All in hopes that I will honor my word, which I will."

But then, I would secretly push the Keep Mine button. I honestly, just want to split everything. So if the person trusted me and pushed Keep Mine, then we would both be winners. But if they didn't trust me and they wanted to screw us both over so they pushed Take It All, then I just gave them thousands of dollars they will have to spend with a guilty conscience. Honestly, I'd rather someone get the money and maybe they'd give me some of the winnings for being so nice (yeah, right!).

At least that's what I say I would say. It's the total opposite of how I work and I take the more vulnerable angle way more often than I force myself into a position of power, but I just don't know what else would work better. No matter what you say, it all comes down to whether you and your partner trust each other and whether you each deserve that trust and will live up to it.

So, I'm curious to know... what you would do? Would you push Take It All or Keep Mine? What would you say to convince your opponent to push "Keep Mine"?  Would you be ok with Taking It All? Comments appreciated. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Day in the Life

So, what does Cara do at her job? This is a question I get quite often. And it's not really the easiest question to answer. First of all, I get confused trying to respond about myself in the 3rd person and on top of that I'm always at different sites and always doing different things. It's rare for one day to look like the day before it. So I figured, the easiest way to answer that is to walk you through one of my days. This is a real day that happened this week:

Normally, upon arrival at work at this site in particular, my first duty is to turn on the tvs to a certain national news station. This is very important! If I don't do this, 96% of the employees who walk through the door in the morning won't have anything to roll their eyes at or complain about. Of course, there are always going to be the 4% who can still find something to complain about, regardless of whether or not politcal debates are being broadcast throughout the lobby. Props to you guys!

On this particular day, the biggest news headline was about Hilary Clinton having a blood clot. I'm so glad it was, too, because how else would I have known about the personal health status of the Secretary of State?! This is vital information here, people! I need to know what to write on her Get Well Soon card. And luckily, since there were updates approximately every five minutes, every employee who walked through the door was well informed of the severity, or lackthereof, of Mrs. Clinton's clot. Unfortunately, I only sit at the desk for the first hour and fifteen minutes of my day, so after 9am, I had no idea what was going on inside Hilary's veins.

After that thrilling hour and fifteen minutes, during which I had worked up a thirst and therefore, finished my entire water bottle, I had to go to the bathroom. Now, the bathrooms at this site had just been newly renovated. This was the first time that I had entered them since the facelift. When I opened the door, I was... surprised. It looked exactly the same except for 2 things:

1. The wall paper was different.
2. The stall doors had been moved about a foot closer to the front of the toilets, leaving acres of space in the hallway outside of the stalls.

I'm actually quite thankful for the renovation; it renewed my fitness committment. Because as soon as I walked in the stall, I slid my legs into the cramped space between the sidewall and the toilet and swung the stall door closed, watching in anticipation to see if the door would actually touch the toilet, and I realized that if I don't keep working out and staying slim, I won't be able to use the restroom at work. I literally will not fit in the stall if I get any bigger! I mean seriously, these things are tiny. As I sat on the pot, doing my duty, I measured the distance between my knees and the door... 3 inches!!! I mean, I think this is a lawsuit waiting to happen. How are tall people going to survive the workday?!

And as if that wasn't bad enough already, I looked over my right shoulder and noticed a giant space between the real wall and the stall wall. If someone had been sitting on the throne next to me, there would have been a full moon for each of us! I mean, really?! What's the point of confining us to the fetal position in a stall the size of a mother's womb if we can see each other's cracks through the cracks anyways?! Why not just tear down all the walls and let us spread out as we answer nature's call?

The next step of my day involved going around to all of the printers in the building and making sure they were stocked, cleared of any paper jams, etc. As I was doing this, I couldn't help but notice, as I do every time I do this,  that each printer has a tray next to it with a note that reads, "Take your prints. You have until the end of the day." It's very apparent to me that when someone finds a copy on the printer, they place it in that bin and if no one comes to claim it by the end of the day, then it gets thrown away. But then I got to thinking... do they really hire someone to go around and enforce that? I mean, who's really going to go around and check?! Is there really nothing more important to be worrying about than if "lost" papers are "found" by the end of the day? And judging from the piles in the trays, no on does. Looking back at the dates, there are papers in there from months ago. So then I'm thinking, what kind of a company makes empty threats like that? I mean, if you imply that you're going to throw unclaimed papers away at the end of the day, and then you don't, what kind of a message are you sending to your employees? Don't expect your employees to recycle or wash their hands after they use the bathroom
(especially after they've touched every square inch of the stall door trying to maneuver around it), or even to meet their deadlines. 'Cause, heck!... if my papers don't get thrown away at the end of the day, I've got nothing to worry about.

And I've got another beef with the company owners while I'm at it... what kind of people are you hiring. I mean, obviously the purpose to the paper tray is pretty self-explanatory, but apparently not for your employees. Noooooo, you're employees like to shuffle the papers up and flip them around and lay them out on the table in front of the tray as if they are making a mosaic. What kind of a company hires people who don't know how to use a paper tray?! I tell you, I'm really worried about this company.

But anyways, so after that, then I wait for the accountable packages to be delivered. Now, once the pacakges are delivered to me, I write down the tracking information and deliver them to the appropriate person. If someone is out, I store the packages in the cubical next door that also couples as our storage closet. So keep in mind, this is a cubicle... about the size of 2 bathroom stalls... well 3 if you count the ones in our bathroom. So over the past couple of weeks, we've accumulated a lot of packages, it being the Holdiay Season and all and everyone's taking vacation days. So our storage closet Is pretty much jam packed. I mean, if I need to get to something other than the first box, it's a real life 3d puzzle. Seriously, I should get college credit for this stuff.

Well, anyways, on this day, we get 3 32" tvs. So I go to the IT guys and ask them what they want me to do with it... well, the guy who ordered them is out for the day... and they don't have any room to store it on their entire floor the size of Alaska. So where do the boxes end up?! Yup, there's little old me trying to hurl these boxes that are bigger than me up on top of Mt. Everest in our neighboring cubical. So that was fun. I closed the cubicle door as quickly as I could before I was crushed by the avalanche and had to deal with the hassles of filing for workers comp.

Finally, I was going around at the end of the day, turning off all of the ever-so-important tvs, and I couldn't help but notice the headline:

Hilary Clinton leaves the hospital
Seen walking down stairs and entering van

And with that, I left for the day, knowing that I could sleep well now knowing that Hilary Clinton safely declined the steps and got into a van.

I know, I know, it's tough work living the life I lead, but someone's got to do it, right?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A New Dawn, A New Day, A New Life

Well, I've been sitting on this blog for a few weeks now trying to think about what my first post should be about. Unfortunately, I haven't made much progress yet, but I've decided, in light of the new year, I'm just gonna do it. I'm just gonna whip something out there and let it fly. It won't be my greatest piece of writing (of that I am sure), but at least it will get the ball rolling. Heck, what better time to start a new blog than in a new year?!

So I suppose I should do the normal "reflect-on-2012-resolve-for-2013" thing that's taking over social media. 2012 has been an interesting year for me. I would say that the biggest, most beneficial thing that happened to me this year was quitting my old job and starting my new one. It was hard to do at the time, but I am in a much happier place now. In fact, although my new job has pretty much absolutely nothing to do with writing, it is the whole reason I started writing seriously. My new job gives me so much down time that I just figured, if I can make something productive out of it instead of just surfing the web all day every day, that would be awesome. And that's what I did. I started writing my first novel in May and I'm proud to say that today I will be submitting my story to a handful of agents in hopes that one of them will take it and run (not literally though, 'cause that's plaigerism).

As far as 2013 is concerned, I am very excited. Just like the title of this blog post describes, I feel that this year is the year for "new"s. Up until this point, I never really knew what I wanted to do with my life. I've always felt like a vagabond of sorts, having no real direction, just going with the flow and being happy in the moment. Maybe I was afraid to say where I wanted to go because I thought it meant that I was unhappy with my life as it is, or maybe I just really hadn't put the pieces together yet. But now, over the course of the last few months, it's become clearer and clearer to me that maybe writing was what I wanted to do all along. I've always said that I want to do something where I can be my own boss, I can create my own hours and I have the room to be creative. It's kind of incredible to think that writing never really occurred to me. It fits so perfectly. In fact, I can remember my dad saying to me in Junior High that he wouldn't be surprised if my job involved a lot of writing when I grew up. I've always been good at writing, and fast at it, too. An essay that my college classmates worked hours and hours and sometimes even days on, I could crank out in an hour or two.

So, I'm gonna do it. I'm going to try to become a writer. And that kind of scares me because writing doesn't generally produce a stable income and I'm not guaranteed to make it. But as Michael Jordan once said, "You miss 100% of the shots your don't take." If I fail, so what, at least I'll know that I gave it my best shot, but I'm resolving in 2013 to work on a career in writing. And the wonderful thing about it all, is I'm in a position right now where I don't have to go all or nothing. I've been blessed with a job that provides a decent enough income as well as numerous amounts of down time in which I can work on my writing at work. So I feel like this job is kind of the stepping stone and the support I need to give this writing thing a go...

...which brings me to the purpose of this blog. I'm not going to label this blog and say it's for one certain purpose. I'm just going to let it be whatever it becomes. I'll use it as a journal and a brainstorming space and a networking tool. Really, I just want to to become a catch-all for all types of thoughts and ideas. Thus the name. You probably won't see "professional", beautiful, well-put-together, Nobel Peace Prize winning articles here. This is the chicken scratch straight from my brain; raw, unsensored, chaotic at times, and hopefully not too mundane. I hope that over time, I will gain more readership and this can be a more interactive tool between me and any/all readers.

And now, reading back on everything I've just written, it's nothing like what I thought I was going to be writing my first blog post about. But that's ok. This blog is not about writing perfectly or even writing what you started out to write. It's just about writing, in all shapes, sizes, forms and ways. And I have to say that, after one post, it's easy to see that it's already a success.

So now, I will leave you once again, with the words of Nina Simone... "It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life... and I'm feelin' good."