Sunday, July 29, 2012

"I Loves the Ladies...and the Ladies Loves Me!"

During my high school years, my mom and I regularly watched the TLC show While You Were Out.  I wasn't a huge fan, but, since the TV in our living room was the only one hooked up to cable in the entire house, it definitely beat playing Nintendo GameCube for the umpteenth time.  There were many notable moments on the show, both good (beautifully redone rooms, special renovations for those who really deserved it, and even a humorous moment here and there) and bad (a designer storming out in the middle of an episode, which caused the host to go looking for him; a husband who was furious after coming home and finding a "redesign" that consisted of a huge hole in his deck, which made his wife cry; and, yes, even some terrible redesigns).  One memorable (at least, to me) occasional event on the show was when nearby ladies would find out that the show was taping in the area, and come on the set to see host and former boy band member Evan Farmer, as well as insanely buff carpenters Andrew Dan-Jumbo, who also sported a British accent, and Jason Cameron.  It didn't happen all that often--at least, not that the hour-long episodes showed--but, when it did happen, Evan Farmer said in a voice-over, "I loves the ladies, and the ladies loves...Andrew."  The joke was that Dan-Jumbo was getting more attention; still, "I loves the ladies, and the ladies loves me!" was a cute saying, and it has meaning for me as well.
It's no secret that I have plenty of female friends.  One look at how many women have "liked" and/or commented on my Facebook posts is proof enough.  Even ladies I don't know sometimes give me special attention; just today, I was eating out with my parents, and the waitress addressed me as "sweetie" more than once, which my mom called flirting.  Frankly, as long as it stays appropriate, I actually enjoy the attention; it's a way of embracing my singleness.  If I did have a significant other, she probably wouldn't appreciate other women interacting with me in such a way; however, since there's no one to be bothered by it, I'll just eat it up.
I've talked before about how, despite what society says, that's it's perfectly fine to not have a significant other, and even used Matthew 19:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 7:1,8 to back me up.  At first, I was using all that as a defense for being a hardcore Victoria Justice fan, but I think it has a bigger meaning: At the point I'm currently at in life, even if I were to purge my room and hard drives of everything Victoria-related, I still shouldn't have a girlfriend.  Why, you ask? Simply put: I have too many friends who are girls! Seriously, as much as I interact with those of the opposite gender, I think pretty much any woman would have a problem with it.
That may sound like a problem, but it isn't; in fact, I think that's how God wants it.  Despite society's message of "everyone was meant to find romance, and your day will come," maybe my Creator realizes that I wouldn't be happy with just one woman.  I'm not advocating polygamy or womanizers; hear me out here.  Instead of just one girlfriend, I think God knows what I really need is a bunch of friends who are girls.  Sure, people are going to see me talking with all the ladies and peg me as a big flirt, a womanizer, etc., but that's sinful according to Matthew 7:1-2 and Romans 14:13.
Here is the first of my usual two concluding points: I have no idea what it is that makes those of the female persuasion interact with me in such a way.  Is it because I make them smile and laugh? Is it because I'm smart? Is it because they've never met anyone else quite like me? Is it because I have knowledge about various topics? I honestly don't know; still, whatever it is, I hope I never lose it.
Now, for my absolute final point: Some years ago, I once heard a Father's Day sermon by a long-time local preacher that, believe it or not, made a very good point about gender interaction.  The minister said that he had gone through his notes for both Mother's Day and Father's Day sermons in years past, and found that the former was always praising and adoring moms, while the latter was always challenging dads to be better.  During the sermon, the preacher said to the church's many fathers, "We appreciate what you do."  What's my point? In most cases, you'll find that guys are harder on guys than they are on women; that sermon is perfect proof.  I prefer to have mostly female friends because many things that guys regularly say or do to each other is just bothersome to me, even if everyone else may think nothing of it.  Some people have suggested trying to interact more with the guys, but their usual behaviors--such as long discussions about sports--are something that I just never have been able to get used to at any point in my life.
Any comments?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Funniest Woman Ever?

If you recognize the young lady in the photo to the right, no doubt you watched the early seasons of Nickelodeon's sketch comedy All That.  Lori Beth Denberg was one of the main performers, and she was hilarious.  In a time where bawdy sex comedies sell millions of movie tickets and DVDs, it's wonderful to see hilarious comedy that actually keeps it clean; such innocence is why I watch current Nickelodeon shows, such as iCarly and VICTORiOUS, instead of major trash such as Junk My Dad Says, The Fake Housewives of Sacramento, or Woof! The Real-Life Boba Fett.  I was really enjoying the reruns of old-school Nick shows such as All That and Kenan & Kel during the opening hour of Nick at Nite, but the executives decided to replace that with two episodes of VICTORiOUS, which makes me unhappy.  Yes, I love Victoria's show, but I can watch it on DVD any time I want; however, watching nineties Nick fare makes me wish I hadn't been so insistent back then that Disney Channel was better just because it had daily reruns of Growing Pains.
I know what most of my friends are thinking right now: "Lori Beth is your new celebrity crush, 'Siobhan'!"  Here's why: First off, I stopped crushing on classic television stars over a decade ago; when I saw Lizzie McGuire, and fell in love with Hilary Duff, I knew I was done living in the past.  Anne and Victoria made sure I stayed on that path.  Second off, I can't bring myself to have a "crush" on a female celebrity who has faded into obscurity, no matter how well-known she was at one point.  If I were to go around bandying Ms. Denberg's name about, I'd probably get quite a few eye-rolls and strange looks; I've been down that road before, and refuse to get back on it.  In addition, I don't really know that much about Ms. Denberg.  Sure, she starred in the first two seasons of All That and had a cameo in Good Burger...but other than that and trivial details such as her birth date, what's there to know? Who even knows where she currently is and what she is doing now? Lastly, as funny as Lori Beth may be, she still can't compare to Vic and Jennifer Stone.  Victoria Justice has a large body of work--two television shows, at least that many telefilms, numerous songs, commercials, etc.--and I've rarely seen something by her that I didn't at least somewhat like.  Ms. Stone was equally insanely funny as Lori Beth when she (Jen, that is) portrayed crazed Harper Finkle in Wizards of Waverly Place, and Ms. Stone's DCOM Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars is among my favorite movies of all-time.  So, though I like Ms. Denberg, she probably won't become my new profile picture.
Any comments?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sports and Me: The REAL Story

It's no question that the world loves sports.  Most Yankees, especially those with "Y" chromosomes, go nuts over football, baseball, car racing, and/or basketball; some Americans, as well as people of other nations, adore soccer, gymnastics, figure skating, ice hockey, cricket, fencing, and similar activities that are too numerous to name.  It's an industry that rakes in billions of dollars every year; sports fans, it seems, just can't get enough of whatever sport(s) they like.
That right there causes a problem for me: I'm not and never really have been a sports fan, so most references to whatever athlete(s)/team(s) would just be meaningless to me, even though the vast majority of my friends could easily understand them.  I could blame the fact that I wasn't really raised around sports, but that doesn't mean I couldn't enjoy them; I had little experience with video games until I began playing them regularly at my friends' house when I was about ten years old, and I couldn't stop talking about them after that.  In fact, I didn't even see a Star Wars movie until I was twelve, and do you know how many SW novels I've read in the past seven years?
Despite all that, I have realized that sports just aren't for me.  In the past, I accused sports fans of taking their devotion to whatever team and/or player too far, not realizing that I was doing essentially the same thing with Hilary Duff or Anne Hathaway.  Instead, I have just realized that, try as I might, I'm just unable to comprehend sports.  It's not the rules of the game, per se; on the rare occasion that I have watched a sporting event, or "participated" in one via a Nintendo console, I was able to grasp the scoring system and such well enough to understand them.  The problem is that, for most sports fans, such events are more than just a bunch of guys fighting over a ball in order to win points; there's all the rivalries and such that seem to make it more than just a game.  The same could apply to books; although I love reading, those who aren't literary fans would just take a look at some of my favorite novels and say, "That's nothing but a bunch of words on a page!", but, to me, a book is much more than that.
So, why is there little chance I'll ever be a sports fan? For more than one reason.  First off: I'm just too compassionate for sports.  I can show you a perfect example of why: In December 1999, I went with a group I was involved in to a hockey game.  A team that most residents of my region would consider a "home team" was playing against a team from some city I'd never even heard of at a local venue.  Did I enjoy it? Moderately...but there was a feeling during the game that I just couldn't fight.  The home team started out in the lead, but then the visiting team overcame them, only to have the home team reclaim the lead with only about a minute or two left in the game.  When the latter event happened, the crowd went wild, and I even joined in, because I was happy for them...but, in the back of my mind, I was thinking: How does the other team feel, since no one seemed to care when they were in the lead.  Any sports fans who are reading this probably are sitting there rolling their eyes and saying, "There are no emotions like that in sports!" Oh, I know; that's why they're difficult for me to understand.
Second off: I have no idea how some people decide which teams they like or dislike.  Of course, it's natural to root for the "home team"; I even own some shirts with the logos of colleges within my home state, so I have no problem with that.  I also am not bothered by those who have a certain athlete they like for whatever reason, such as Christians who admire Tim Tebow for his faith or girls who have a crush on David Beckham; I don't see that as any different than me liking non-sporting famous people such as Victoria Justice, Kevin Max, or Steve Jobs.  What I do have a problem with is when people have an arbitrary rule about what team(s) they like, such as, "I don't like any team that uses the color green in its logo."  Sure, I've heard similar stories unrelated to sports; not only do people vote for political candidates without knowing where they stand on the issues, but a doctor I used to see once told my mom and I that a patient chose to see him because he (the doctor, that is) had the same name as the patient's dog, and that dog was a good dog, so, if the doctor shared the dog's name, he must be a good doctor.  Still, I can't understand the rationale behind such thinking, whether it has to do with sports or not.  Equally annoying is when people want to tell others what team they should like; when I was a kid, a neighborhood friend was very insistent that I like the football team that is largely considered a "home team" in my area, instead of the New York Jets, who I only liked because of the last word in their name.  This guy loved the Philadelphia Eagles, but was not from that area, so, I called him out on that...but he was still insistent.  How could he expect me to follow a rule that even he refused to submit to? Again, that's why I don't get sports.
My last point before my conclusion: I don't have the patience to be a sports fan.  It's no secret that most sporting events take a long time; between commercials, "time-outs," and everything else, they usually last for at least two or three hours.  However, I usually can't even sit and watch a movie or read a book for that long; I despised The Fellowship of the Ring when I saw it in the theater, because I just needed a break after an hour or so.  (Lord of the Rings fans, don't worry; I have the entire trilogy on my DVD shelf, and plan on watching it in its some point.)  So, I just can't sit through an entire NFL or NBA game; it wouldn't take long for me to lose interest and go find something else to do.
In conclusion, let me say this: Although I may come off as the kind of person who avoids anything sports-related at all costs, that really isn't true.  When I was in fifth grade, I willingly did a book report on a Matt Christopher novel about basketball, and I've even watched and enjoyed movies such as Facing the Giants, Hometown Legend, Hoosiers, and even the little-known flick Believe in Me. (Look it up; it's actually quite good!) Still, I consider myself to be largely outside the sports community, specifically for the reasons above.  Does that mean that I refuse to be friends with anyone who does enjoy sports? No!
For my absolute final thought: If you know me, you should be glad I'm not a sports fan.  I was in a computer class once with a guy who was obsessed with Dragon Ball Z, and he ended up causing a female classmate, who was a fan of that Japanese cartoon, to not care for it anymore; his addiction to it just drove her away.  I think everyone reading this knows that obsessing is just my tendency; if I were obsessed with sports, that might make others not like them anymore, which would just ruin things for everyone.  So, my lack of interest in sports may be a great thing.
Any comments?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rebel With a Cause?

Although I am best known for being a die-hard fan of young actresses such as Hilary Duff, Christy (Carlson) Romano, Anne Hathaway, Ashley Tisdale, and, obviously, Victoria Justice and Jennifer Stone, during my first two years of middle school, at the age when most people are drooling over the opposite sex, my favorite celebrities were all guys.  Specifically, the three members of the old-school Christian band dc Talk--Michael Tait, Kevin "K-Max" Max, and Toby "TobyMac" McKeehan--were tops back then; they, along with anything Nintendo, were the inspiration for everything from school projects in classes ranging from art to computer science to even science, to the ever-changing images on my binder, to even most of what I did in my spare time.  I liked all three of the guys, and I still do to this day, but my favorite--at least, since I could tell the guys apart--has always been Kevin Max.  Sure, he has had his share of critics--a coeval Christian friend once called him "the guy from dc Talk that never really did anything"--but K-Max's music is amazing, in my opinion.  What I like even more about him is his willingness to be different, and refusal to fit the mold.  CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) Magazine even called him a "Rebel With a Cause" on a cover of their April 2001 issue, which featured him and his two fellow band members.  I find such a lack of conformity wonderful, since that's the way I've lived my life since I was quite young.
Unfortunately, people tend to consider being a rebel a bad thing.  Most folks consider rebels the people who flagrantly violate school rules, government laws, and Biblical commandments without another thought.  Webster defines a rebel as "one who rebels or participates in a rebellion," and it defines rebelling as "acting in or showing opposition or disobedience." Am I showing opposition and disobedience? You bet! However, it's not against Biblical teaching or the laws of the land; instead, it's against the people who won't get off my back about why I shouldn't watch this or should do that, just because it isn't "normal," "age-appropriate," or "what everyone else is doing."  You'd be surprised how many individuals, of all ages, won't lay off on such feelings.
If I had to guess why that is, I'd have to say that individuality--the only right kind of rebellion--has a negative connotation to some.  For example, take a look at this quotation:
I really represent individuality.  Kids should think for themselves.  Not to be like your friends who think they are individuals, but to be like you.
 That sounds like something I would say, but it's not.  So, who said it? Steve Jobs? Shigeru Miyamoto? Kevin Max? Lizzie McGuire? Victoria Justice? Siobhan Magnus? Nope, none of those are even close; the quotation was actually taken from a personal "ad" in the back of my sophomore yearbook.  I can't be sure who purchased it--it looks like one from a mom--but the student it was dedicated to was known both by pretty much everyone at my high school as the quintessential weirdo.  Why? Well, in short: This young lady--at least, back then--thought she was a vampire.  Her purse was in the shape of a coffin, and she wore powder on her face and had a black L. L. Bean backpack with the word "SPOOKY" embroidered on it.  I didn't hang out with her--in fact, most of what I know about her comes from my yearbooks--but it seemed like she had some issues.
To be frank, I was a lot like her prior to my high school years.  When I was in second grade, I told everyone I was a computer.  Of course, no one believed me, and I really knew that I wasn't; I just said it to see what kind of response I would get, and some people did play along.  In third and fourth grade, I loved The Magic School Bus, which would have been fine...if I hadn't believed it was real and been very vocal about it.  Such actions made me an outcast, which makes me glad to this day that I currently have as many friends as I do; if you'd asked me back then how many friends I thought I'd have in high school or later, I would have said few, if any.
Unfortunately, there are still some people who take one look at me and decide I'm an idiot.  Case in point: Today, I randomly got a friend request on Facebook from a high school classmate, who I will call "Hadji".  I didn't really know her, but we had thirty-two mutual friends, and I've struck up great friendships with fellow alumni I barely talked to back then, so, I figured, why not? However, she removed me within less than three hours of my confirmation.  Do I know why? No, but I wouldn't be surprised if Hadji didn't do it for the same reason "Electricity" (remember her?) did what she did back in December 2010: taking one look at all my posts about young female celebrities and "juvenile" entertainment, thinking, "This guy is an IDIOT!", and clicking the "Remove" link as fast as she could.
That may sound bad, and it is, but I've seen it all before.  When people get to know me, whether online, in person, or any other way, they immediately either think I'm wonderful, hilarious, smart, and original...or they decide that I'm stupid, boring, weird, and creepy.  Can I control what they think? No; frankly, I feel that most of those negative feelings are rooted in others' immaturity, but convincing them of that is a lost cause.  Hadji is just one of several who have chosen to despise me...but there are many more who have chosen to be my friend, and, with them, I don't need Hadji.
In conclusion, let me say this: There was a commercial some years ago that featured a young mother who said to her infant daughter "baby talk" phrases such as, "Is Daddy Waddy home from worky jerky?", and "You must be hungry wungry; let's go get some breaky wecky!" When she and her husband get to see a play by themselves, the mother comments on it, "Nice use of iambic pentameter...wameter?"  That poor mom was so used to talking to her young daughter that she couldn't say anything without speaking in such a way.
I bring that up for one reason: I was raised in a home that was largely devoid of certain things that "everyone else" or "every guy" likes, such as sports, cars, and graphically violent and/or obscenely sexual entertainment, which makes it quite hard for me to understand why others find such joy in any of it.  However, when others were involved in such activities, I was pressured to "join in," and was criticized for not doing so.  The problem is: You can't expect someone who doesn't understand the appeal of that stuff to appreciate it, no matter who else is doing it.  In fact, attempting to "join in" would do nothing but give me an opportunity to make a fool of myself, just like Miss "Pentameter...wameter?" in that commercial.  I know; people will think I'm weird for refusing to participate...but that's judgmental on their part, and what does the Bible say about that? That, in my opinion, is truly being a rebel.
Any comments?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

No, Everybody Else Is NOT Doing It!

When I was a kid, I loved to complain about anything and everything.  My poor mother had to sit through hours of my rantings and ravings about people, places, and things that I didn't care for, and it was non-stop.  Usually, when I was complaining about something that I would like but couldn't have, or had to do but didn't want to, I'd say that "all the other kids" got whatever it is I wanted, or didn't have to do whatever task I was told to perform.  Of course, I didn't mean every other young person on the planet; that was just a shorter way of saying all of the people I knew who were roughly coeval to me: classmates, kids in my neighborhood, fellow Sunday school students, and the like.  Still, when I really stopped and thought about it, I realized that, in reality, "all the other kids" weren't getting the things I wanted but couldn't have, and had to do the tasks I didn't enjoy.
What's my point? Simply this: Even at my current age, people like to tell me what "everyone else" or "all the other young adults" are doing, and wonder why I'm not joining in.  My response is the old parenting adage: So, if "everyone else" and/or "all the other young adults" are jumping off a bridge, should I do it, too? If there's one thing I've learned about myself, it's that what works for "everybody else" usually doesn't do anything for me.
Besides which, when you actually stop and think about it, "everyone else" isn't doing what those individuals are saying they are.  I used to feel the same way about relationships: why was "everyone else" off getting engaged and/or married, when Anne Hathaway was the closest thing I'd ever had to a significant other? However, when I really stopped and thought about it, I realized that many coeval people were not in any sort of relationship, or had gotten into one(s) that they wished they never had.  Plus, Matthew 19:11-12 and 1 Corinthians 7:8 both say that romance is not for everyone.  The same is true of other things that "everybody else" is reportedly doing: when you actually think about it, you'll realize that quite a large chunk of the population isn't doing whatever.
In conclusion, let me say this: Over a decade ago, my mom had a daycare in our house, and one of the kids' favorite videos to watch was Lamb Chop's Sing-Along Play-Along.  Though I was well beyond the "target age" for it, there were some moments in it I found hilarious, but the kiddies just didn't seem to get the jokes.  Anyway, in one scene, Shari Lewis (Lamb Chop's friend, remember?) tells them to sing a song, and Lamb Chop begins singing "Jingle Bells".  The piano stops four words into it, and Ms. Lewis says, "Lamb Chop, you only sing 'Jingle Bells' at Christmas!" That puppet of a sheep replied, "Says who?", which makes her relent and allow him and the other animals to sing that Christmas carol.
My point? When people want to tell me what I "should" be doing, or that I "shouldn't" be doing whatever it is I am, they often don't have a very good reason as to why.  I've heard some ridiculous excuses for dumb "regulations" over the years:
  • When I was about seven, I was told by a "babysitter" (notice the quotes?) that I couldn't watch Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers because, and this is a direct quote, "That show makes you do weird things like wear your pants backwards!" (Since when did any of those villain-fighting teenagers wear anything backwards?)
  • My sixth grade math teacher refused to allow me to do a graph on a computer, saying, "I don't want you to just push a button and have it made for you!" (Did she even know how to use a spreadsheet program?)
  • Once, when I was explaining to someone why I am unable to drive, I told him/her that I had even lost concentration during video games, and that, though no one got hurt when that happened, it could if I did so behind the wheel of a car.  That individual replied, "But there's a lot of electricity involved in video games!" (When was the last time someone got electrocuted by just sitting there, playing a video game?)
So, before you tell anyone that they're wrong, think about why you feel that they are; maybe you'll realize that you're just falling prey to society's standards.  I've seen it happen quite a few times over the years, and it never gets any easier to deal with such people.
Any comments?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Driving and Me: The REAL Story

As usual, I'll start off with a story: In February 2008, I obtained an Associate's Degree in Web Design from a local college.  There were about fifteen or twenty same-year graduates who shared my major; however, according to my graduation ceremony program, I had the highest honors of any of them.  I graduated magna cum laude, which is with medium honors, and only one other Web student graduated with honors; hers were cum laude, which are the lowest, not that having graduated cum laude is anything to sneeze at.  So, you'd probably expect that I would end up having a wonderful job designing web sites and be rolling in the dough, right? That never happened; I am now happily working at a library, and have no plans to work within my major.
Some of you may be shocked; why would anyone choose not to work within a field in which he/she has a degree? Well, I'll tell you why: Finding a job in Web design was just one dead end after another.  After one website I never got paid for making, another I was asked to make but never heard anything from the individual who asked me to make it after our initial meeting, an "internship" that was largely a complete joke, several botched interviews and rejection letters, it became obvious that it just wasn't my calling, even if I did graduate magna cum laude.  A big part of that was simply because I just didn't know how to apply what I had learned.  Sure, I knew how to do the specific tasks that our textbooks led us through step-by-step, but, when it came to putting them into practice, even a 3.88 GPA couldn't stop me from failing miserably.  Upon volunteering at my local library, I found that it was more up my alley, and couldn't be happier about currently working at one.
What does that have to do with driving? Simple: Just like with my Web classes, I probably could do at least moderately well on the driver's tests and get my license.  However, when the rubber meets the road, and I have to make my way through the busy intersections and traffic-heavy highways that dominate my area, I'd most likely croak, possibly literally.  James 1:22-24 (NIV) says, "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."  The same is true with any sort of instruction (high school class, television manual, encyclopedia, reference book, etc.): If you hear or read what it says, but don't put it into practice, then it won't do you any good.  Unfortunately, I seem to have a knack for reading or hearing words, even to the point where I can quote them back to others, without comprehending their meaning.  In the Web field, the worst thing that would have happened was me getting fired; however, failing to abide by the "rules of the road" could kill or seriously injure me or someone else.  That right there is why I'm twenty-four years old and still don't have my driver's license; me behind the wheel of a car is just an accident waiting to happen.
Unfortunately, many people, including quite a few who may be reading this, don't get that.  They seem to think that I just have a bad attitude--or that I like having my parents drive me around everywhere--and that it is indeed possible for me to be a successful driver.  I've attempted to discuss it online before, and was met with severe criticism; part of that was the way that I handled it, which was essentially telling everyone, "I know better than you; don't do this!", as if I were their parents.  So, I'm going to try to handle this admittedly controversial topic in a better way than I ever have before.  Before any of you send an angry reply, think about what I'm saying in this post; maybe you'll realize that me driving is just a lost cause.
First off: My concentration is just not good enough to drive.  I don't know if it's my disorder, the medicine I take for it, a combination of the two, or something else entirely, but I can't concentrate worth a hill of beans.  I once got lost in thought, and ended up missing part of Attack of the Clones...while watching it in IMAX! Not only that, but I was once playing a variation of dominoes known as "chicken foot," and ended up making a terrible mistake that almost led to a serious penalty within the game.  In fact, I've unknowingly taken ridiculously long showers for no other reason than getting distracted by nothing but my own thoughts.  Of course, no one is going to get hurt if someone loses concentration during a board game or space opera movie, but that's not the case with driving; one wrong move could have serious consequences.
Now, some of you might be sitting there thinking, "Well, why don't you talk with your psychiatrist about taking additional medications to help you with your concentration?" The answer? I can't, because psychological meds have led to rather traumatic instances that I hope to never repeat.  Case in point: One weekend in mid-2007, I was with my parents at Lowe's, and they were shopping for a grill.  Sounds perfectly innocent, right? Well, something about it just set me off, and I wouldn't stop ranting and raving against it no matter what they said.  My problems with them getting a grill were twofold: One, my brother-in-law was the main "griller" in the family prior to that; couldn't my folks just leave well enough alone? Two, I remembered that, sometime in the late '90's, my mom bought a grill at J. C. Penney (seriously; they had them on sale there) and I only remembered her using it once, so it must not have lasted very long; therefore, why even bother with another one? Even my mom's perfectly reasonable responses wouldn't deter me, though; it was Seroquel, a new anti-psychotic medication I was trying out, that was solely responsible.
That's not even the worst of it; my second grade year was ruined because of me trying out Prozac, which I still cringe at the thought of to this day.  The bottom line is: It just isn't worth it.  Although there may be a psychiatric pill that could help me concentrate better, it just wouldn't worth the experimentation required to find it; the wrong prescription could cause my death, and not by car accident or heart failure.
Second off: No matter how much you don't like the fact that I don't have my driver's license, nobody hates it any more than I do.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but, I think some of you believe that I like not being able to drive, because it means everyone else has to haul me everywhere.  That used to be my attitude about everything, actually; I remember saying many years ago--that is, when I was much younger and much more immature--that my oldest sister, who was severely physically disabled and unable to do hardly anything, was "the lucky one" because she never had to do any hard work.  I even would ask friends to beat my own video games for me, because I just lacked the skill, coordination, and willpower to do it myself.  However, the accomplishments that I've made recently that did require serious time and effort gave me a feeling that having someone else do tasks for me never did.
I'll be frank here: I wish I could drive.  Having my own car; being able to go where I want, when I want; not having to rely on walking, getting a lift from others, or "public transportation"; it would be fabulous.  Yet, I came to terms years ago with the fact that it just isn't for me.  I refuse to take a "behind the wheel" test because I'm afraid I'd pass it, and I don't even want to think about what would happen next.  You may call that "a bad attitude"; I call that being realistic.
To continue being honest: It stinks not being able to drive.  Between late and/or crowded city buses, missing out on certain activities due to being unable to get to them, being stuck in the house sometimes...yeah, it's not all that fun.  If things were different, then I'd definitely have my driver's license by now...but they aren't, so, I don't.
However, not having a driver's license isn't all bad.  I'm reminded of my school days; specifically, from fifth grade until the end of high school, when I was given a device by the school system to type my work on.  The main reason I had it was because my handwriting was terrible--it still is--and my teachers didn't have the time or energy to attempt to read what I had written.  Sure, it made some things more difficult: my classmates were jealous of me, some assignments had to be specially adapted just for me, I had to leave class and miss lectures in order to print my work, etc.  Still, there were some occasions where it made things easier, and the teachers probably wished that all of their students had such devices.  For example, in eighth grade, we had to do a series of writing assignments that required much revising and editing.  My classmates--aside from one who had the same device I did--had to rewrite their whole assignments, whereas I could just go into the file and change whatever needed to be changed.  Unfair? Some might say so, but I used it to my advantage.
The same is true of being unable to drive; it may have its negative aspects, but it isn't all bad.  Think about it this way: I don't have to worry about high gas prices; I'm reducing pollution and going "green" by riding the bus; and, walking places has helped me stay physically fit.  Is any of that bad? I don't think so at all.
My last point before my conclusion: No matter whoever you know that can drive, it doesn't mean that I can.  Here's a story I'll use as an example: Over a decade ago, an adolescent acquaintance of mine from church went up to an older church member and asked him about some computer games.  The older member immediately said, "No. I'm a Christian; I don't play those games," to which the young guy replied, "Well, [another adult church member] is a Christian, and he plays those games!"
Here's my point: As a Christian, I can tell you that we don't all like or do the same things.  We all have own preferences; we all have our own convictions; we are all different.  Some Christians are perfectly okay with doing some things that others will avoid like the plague.  The same is true of disabled people, or even people with my disorder: We're not all alike, and it's wrong for anyone to lump us all together.  For example, I'm a long-time fan of Disney and Nickelodeon shows such as Lizzie McGuire, Drake & Josh, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and, obviously, VICTORiOUS.  However, when I've met other people with my condition, they usually couldn't care less about such television programming; I can't think of one person I've met with Asperger's who was a fan of even half of the things that I was.  So, just because Austin Aspie over there has his driver's license doesn't mean I should get mine; we're not all the same, and, even if whoever is a wonderful driver, that means nothing to me, because that person isn't me.
Here's my conclusion: When I was in high school, I had a teacher who was very insistent that I go to a theme park; when she found out that I didn't like it and hadn't been in years, she felt something was seriously wrong.  I tried to politely refuse, and explain to her that I just didn't care for such places, I had no interest in going, and the like, but she refused to take no for an answer.  What started out as a kind suggestion turned into an annoyance that bordered on harassment.
You probably know where this is going: When people are equally insistent with their "you can drive" messages, it's just as bad if not worse.  Seriously, people who are my friends should just respect the fact that I feel that I don't belong behind the wheel of a car, whether they like it or even understand it.  I've had to do the same thing; since joining Facebook almost six years ago, I've found out all sorts of things I didn't really want to know about my friends.  I felt it was wrong, but I knew that condemning their actions wasn't going to stop anything except for our friendship, so, I just let it go.  Do I agree with everything all my 480+ Facebook friends are doing? No. Do I feel that some of it is wrong? Yes. Am I going to badger them about it? No; what they do is their choice, and it's not for me to say whether it's wrong or right.  I know some of you think I can drive; you've been saying it since I was in high school, but, it's obvious that badgering me about it isn't going to change anything.  If I've been facing such "encouragement" for almost a decade, don't you think things would have changed if they could have?
Any comments?

P. S. Before you quote Philippians 4:13 to me, take a look at the context of that often-quoted verse, and compare what it's really saying alongside what I said in this post