Monday, December 28, 2015

100 Facts About Me

100 Facts About Me!!

001. Real name:

002. Nickname:
Jerr, Jerr-Bear

003. Favorite color:
Green, especially neon green

004. Male or Female:

005. Elementary school:
Jenkins and McIntosh

006. Middle school:

007. High school:

008. College:

009. Hair color:

010. Tall or Short:
Tall, as in over six feet.

011. Sweats or jeans:
Well, I usually wear jeans, so...

012. Phone or camera:
Definitely phone.  I love talking to people, but I hate having my picture taken.

013. Health freak:
Never really have been one.

014. Orange or apple:
Definitely apple.

015. Do you have a crush on someone:
I think nobody would be surprised by this answer: Yes.

016. Guy friends or girl friends:
Female friends are awesome when it comes to giving advice and listening, but guys tend to know more about technology, superheroes, and other topics I'm interested in.

017. Piercings:
None, and there never will be any.

018. Pepsi or Coke:
I like pretty much all sodas.

019. Have you been in a airplane:
Never, but I've always wanted to try it, especially after having a computer game as a kid that let you take a virtual tour of an airport.  Maybe someday...

020. Have you been in a relationship:
No, and, as you probably know, I probably never will.

021. Have you been in a car accident:
I was in one before I was born.  I was also in another minor one, where nobody got hurt and the damage was minimal.

022. Have you been in a fist fight:
No way! I don't believe in violence!

023. First piercing:
See the answer to number seventeen above.

024. Best friend:
I currently don't have just one singular best friend, but, among my good friends are: Lorie, Laura and Krystal A., Tanya, Pat and Gary, and the Garcia and Johnson families.

025. First award:
Probably the one I got for speaking on the announcements in first or second grade.

026. First crush:
The Pink Power Ranger; yes, the very first one.

027. First word:
According to my mom, it was "cheese".

028. Any talent:
Writing, Mac OS X, putting things in alphabetical or numerical order, memorization, etc.

029. Last person you talked to:
My mom.

030. Last person you texted:
I haven't texted anyone in years.

031. Last person(s) you watched a movie with:
My parents.

032. Last thing you ate:
A Red Robin cheeseburger and fries.

033. Last movie/TV show you watched:
Austin & Ally.

034. Last song you listened to:
"You Drive, I'll Ride" by FFH.

035. Last thing you bought:
A CD/DVD drive for my Mac, and The Flash on DVD.

036. Last person you hugged:
My friend Tanya.

037. Food:

038. Drink:
Dr. Pepper.

039. Bottoms:

040. Flower:
Not really into flowers.

041. Animal(s):
Garfield, Scooby-Doo, and my cat Roberta.

042. Color:
See above.

043. Movie:
Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars.

044. Subject:
Math and science.

Have You Ever? (Put An X In The Brackets If YES.)
045. [X] Fallen in love with someone?
046. [X] Celebrated Halloween?
047. [X] Had your heart broken?
048. [] Went over the minutes/texts on your phone?
049. [] Had someone like you?
050. [X] Hated the way someone changed?
051. [] Broken a bone?
052. [X] Have/Had a phobia?
053. [X] Did something you regret?
054. [X] Broken a promise?
055. [X] Hide a secret?
056. [X] Pretend to be happy?
057. [X] Met someone who has changed your life?
058. [X]Pretended to be sick?
059. [] Left the country?
060. [X] Tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it?
061. [X] Cried over the silliest thing?
062. [X] Ran a mile?
063. [] Gone to the beach with your best friend?
064. [X] Gotten into an argument with your friends?
065. [X] Disliked someone?
066. [X] Stayed single for two years since the first time you had a bf/gf or been single forever?

067. Eating:
068. Drinking:
069. Listening to:
"I Won't Stay Long" by Sixpence None the Richer! (Wait, it just changed to "Why Did I Let You Go?" by V*Enna!)
070. Sitting or laying:
071. Plans for today:
Well, my plans for earlier today were to go to the bank, have lunch with a friend, buy my new disc drive, and make my lunch for work tomorrow.  Now that those are done, all I need to do is finish my laundry, and then I can fulfill my reading and TV watching quotient for the day.

072. Waiting for:
2016! I'm curious to see what it brings.

073. Want kids:
No, and I never really have.

074. Want to get married:
It'd be nice, but, I don't see it happening.

075. Want to travel:
Yes, very much so.

076. Lips or eyes:

077. Shorter or taller:

078. Younger or older.
I've always liked older women, but, I could go for someone younger as well.

079. Romantic or spontaneous:
Depends on the person.

080. Trouble-maker or hesitant:
The last thing I need is to get involved with a troublemaker.

081. Hook up or relationship:
Definitely the latter.

082. Looks or personality:
Definitely the latter.

083. Lost glasses:
Yes, several times.

084. Snuck out of the house:
Once, when I was really little.

085. Held a gun/knife in self defense:
No; I don't believe in violence.
086. Killed somebody:
See the above answer.

087. Broke someone's heart:
I'm sure I have at some point.

088. Been in love:
Yes...but it wasn't reciprocated.

089. Cried when someone died:
Not in a long time; I grieve in other ways.

090. Yourself:
I believe I exist, but I also believe in a higher power.

091. Miracles:
Yes; I believe God still performs miracles to this day.

092. Love at first sight:
I used to...but, not anymore.

093. Heaven:
​Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

094. Santa Claus:
No, but movies featuring him can be fun.

095. Aliens:
I believe there must be intelligent life somewhere in the universe...because there isn't too much on Earth.

096. Ghosts/Angels:
Ghosts, no; angels, yes.

097. The one person you really want to be with right now:
No one, really.

098. Do you know who your real friends are:

099. Do you believe in God:

100. Music or art:
Music is art!
I will add a question, then you add one when you do it ((;

Added question by the previous poster:
101. What you do pray you can attain in this life?
To make this world a better place.

Added question by me:
102. What kind of device are you using to do this?
A flat-screen iMac.

I nominate anyone who reads this to do this challenge...and add a question of your own when you do! Thanks to Mary Kate for nominating me for this!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

All Of My Best Friends Are...Technological Devices?

As a Millennial growing up in America, I can't imagine a life without technology.  Between computers, video games, television, home video, telephones, Internet, and portable music, my life has been forever affected by the various devices I used, whether just once or a thousand times.  I also tended to show a bit of attachment to technology, whether mine or someone else's.  You probably know the story of the friend of mine who said of his family's Nintendo 64, "We wish we never got it, because people who don't have it would get addicted to it!" What you may not know is that, back in 1998, a fellow Apple guru was attempting to fix a problem with our Mac by installing a system upgrade...only for us to get an error message which broke my heart so much, my mom said I literally went pale.  While that guy did get our computer back to the way it was, that still stands as an example of how important my technology is to me.  My reaction to last year's incident with my Mac was a step in the right direction: Despite one setback after another, I didn't throw a temper tantrum, and I only slightly lost my cool once.  Still, I wasn't too happy about losing my Mac...but, then again, who would be? Those things are expensive!

Over the years, I've had various friends.  Many people my age or sometimes older that I enjoyed hanging out with ended up moving; that's just the way it is in a military neighborhood like mine.  Then again, sometimes losing contact with friends had nothing to do with any transfers or any branch of the armed forces; the guy I considered my best friend in the youth group from my old church abruptly moved in 2001, without any going away celebration by the congregation, because his parents were having marital issues.  Much to my chagrin, I haven't heard from the guy since; I can't even find him on Facebook because his name is way too common.  You probably also know that I've had some friends I lost thanks to my own dumb actions; I won't open up old wounds by rehashing those dark times in my life, which I seriously do regret.

Sometimes, I have to wonder: What exactly is a friend? Webster defines the word as: "One attached to another by affection or esteem." Some would venture to say that friends do things with each other; I remember an episode of Good Luck Charlie where the two older sons, inept P.J. and troublemaker Gabe, are trying to find a way out of the annual fishing trip their father always insists on taking with them.  Their first thought was to find a friend for Daddy-O to go with...only to realize that he has no friends; as Gabe told P.J., "When was the last time you answered the door and said, 'Dad, your friends are here'?" By that standard, I don't really have any friends; most of the time, if I'm out and about, it's either by myself or with family members.  Sometimes, fellow church members or other people I know will go somewhere with me--usually out to eat--but, even then, my parents almost always come along, and the people who I'm there with are usually much older; at least old enough to be my parents.  When it comes to folks that are around my age, my interaction is very limited.

Then again, it always has been, and for more than one reason: First off, "young adults" are still young, and, therefore, possibly immature.  I know I'm not exactly the paragon of maturity, but, I can't stand bratty or otherwise inappropriate behavior from others; if I know I would have gotten punished for it when I was younger, then, I won't tolerate it...yet, coeval folks, including Christians, act in such a way all the time.  I remember towards the end of my high school years when a homeschooling family place membership at my church.  They were nice kids, but, the problem was that they were the only homeschooling family in the group, which meant they weren't used to the other teens' rowdy behavior; the associate minister even sternly warned the rest of the group about that fact, but, I doubt they cared.  I was never really homeschooled, but, I feel the same way: I find the actions of many people I know disturbing...yet, they make no apologies for the way they act; if I have a problem with it, then, it's on me, not them.  Years ago, I was upset with the entire youth group at my old church because of an incident that I won't go into; what I will say is that it affected me so severely that I sent an angry e-mail to the youth leader, which said many things that I still agree with to this day.  One of them was: "Whatever happened to edification or spurring one another on to good works? [...] Maybe, if I was shown some love, I'd give some back." Instead of taking my words to heart, the leader simply turned the question back on me, saying, "[One guy] likes you and you don't even know it.  Your responses to him and [another guy] are as rude as anything I've heard from the young group." Well, Guy A said he didn't like me, so, what else was I supposed to think? Even beyond those two individuals, the only reason for my "rude" responses was because I had to stand up for myself because no one else would.  Instead of blaming the person who was being persecuted, the "leader" should have taken the ones to task who were knowingly attacking a handicapped person with their words...but, he never did, and the same thing happened in other scenarios as well: The people who wanted to do something couldn't, and those who could do something just wouldn't.  Now that I can't get an adult to intervene anymore--as if I ever could anyway--it's likely to be even worse.

Second off: People around my age are into things that I'm just not.  You probably have rules about what you will and won't do.  I've known numerous people who won't watch certain movies--ranging from Finding Nemo to the Mission: Impossible flicks--because of their disdain for one person who stars in them.  You also probably know about my content rules: no "R" films, no "PG-13" films unless they fall into the superhero, sci-fi/fantasy, or Christian genres, no television shows or books with excessive profanity, horrific violence, graphic sexual scenes/nudity, etc. The problem is: As far as I know, I'm the only one I know who has those rules.  Most people I know--of all ages, I should add--will watch anything that isn't outright pornography, if they even are that discerning...and that includes my Christian friends.

By now, most of you know that I spent thirteen months in Boy Scouting, which was not a very good experience for various reasons, some of which I still haven't divulged publicly.  Anyway, during my time in the troop, I made friends with a kid in my patrol who was a bit different, and was known as "the crazy man" of the troop.  I actually felt a connection to him because he resembled an old neighborhood friend who had moved to Florida a year prior to me joining the troop.  When my time in Scouting came to an end, I never heard from that guy again...but, a few years later, I found out something about him during a family dinner that shocked me.  It started out as a conversation about accents; in my high school English class, we were reading Pygmalion, which is about a girl with a speech impediment who seeks out what we'd call today a speech therapist to help her out.  (If that sounds familiar, it's because said play was the basis for My Fair Lady.) After I talked about how my English teacher had illustrated how people judge others by their manner of speech, I mentioned how said Scouting buddy and his mother--who, despite being a woman, was an active leader in the troop--were difficult to understand.  My brother-in-law, who knew pretty much all the same people from Scouting I did, said, "That's because they both had very thick Boston accents." When my sister heard that, she asked who I was talking about, to which my mom answered, "Remember that guy in Scouting who you didn't think he should be hanging out with?" Looking back, I kind of agree with my sibling; that guy wasn't the best of influences, so, maybe it was divine intervention that I got out of Scouting when I did.  However, I was also a bit surprised to hear her say that, for two reasons: Not only was she very instrumental in getting me into Scouting--and, believe me, she was very disappointed when I left--but, in all honesty, most of the people around my age I knew, including the entire youth group at the time, were into pretty much the same objectionable media he was.  It may not have been exactly the same stuff--for example, he liked hard rock music, whereas some other kids I knew detested that genre--but, to me, obscenity is obscenity; the genre or medium doesn't matter.

It goes beyond just books, music, movies, and television, though.  If you know me, you know that I don't do sports, theme parks, or anything involving large bodies of water, which has caused much criticism.  While most of the people I know respect those preferences of mine, it means I can't usually do things with them, because what they like to do often involves one or more of those things...which everyone seems to like but me.  I also can't seem to get very many of my friends interested in bargain hunting or the Disney Channel; whereas those are among my favorite activities, most people I know just couldn't care less.  It's been years since I went to a garage sale with someone besides a family member.  My lack of common ground with others, which has always been present, has prevented close friendships from happening...which is why my technological devices seem to be my sole companions.

There are other issues as well--such as my lack of transportation--but, I won't go into those in detail; you probably already know all about them, anyway.  Instead, I'll say this: I'm generally a well-liked person.  Most of the people at my church or whom I work with seem to have a positive opinion of me.  Jesus even said, "Whoever is not against you is for you"...but, does everyone whose opinion of me is positive qualify as my friend? I may chit-chat with them, but, for someone to be more than just an acquaintance, there has to be a closeness there...and I just seem to lack that.  Then again, maybe I'm wrong; I've never been the best judge of, what do you think?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why I Am Making a New Year's Resolution...And You Should, Too!

When this time of year rolls around, much discussion is made regarding New Year's resolutions.  I can remember two different teachers who made that our journal topic upon returning to school after Christmas break.  The problem back then was: I was convinced that I was just fine the way I was, and that I didn't need to make any changes.  So, the first time, I told my teacher that I wasn't making any resolutions, and she said, "Then, make some up!", which I proceeded to do; I actually made some good ones--for example, "I resolve to be nicer to my cat"--but I had no intent on following through...because they were just made up.  The second time, I spent my required fifteen lines explaining why I wasn't going to make any resolutions, even alluding to what a cynical columnist had recently written on the same topic in the Daily Press.

That was a long time ago, and I have done much thinking about my ways since then, which has caused me to realize how wrong I have been about nearly everything pretty much my entire life.  While a lot of it may be due to my "condition," the sinful nature is something that is present in all of us.  Unfortunately, though, it seems that many people have the same mentality I used to; when talking about New Year's resolutions with someone a couple of years ago, he told me that he didn't make any because, to quote him, "I don't want to make promises I know I'm not going to keep." To me, that just sounds like a bad attitude, and it reminds me of the infamous saying attributed to Henry Ford: "If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." Still, it seems like nobody makes them anymore...which is just sad.  Seriously, you can make a change for the better if you just put your mind to it; I'm living proof of that!

I said a week or two ago on Facebook that my resolution for 2016 was to do away with the excess in all areas: eating, consumption of entertainment, spending of money, library checkouts, etc.  I actually came up with a set of rules, though I'm still working on them; they won't become official until 2016.  After the New Year starts, I won't modify them unless absolutely necessary.  I also won't be posting them on Facebook; so far, my mom is the only other one who has seen them, and she only saw an early draft, though I will show her the finished rules soon.  While I don't know what your home life is like, I'm sure you probably have some changes you need to make in your lifestyle; you're human just like the rest of us.  If you have trouble assessing your own ways, ask someone whom you live with, or see or talk to pretty much every day; they'll tell you what you should do.

Change is hard; it's true.  People are creatures of habit, which makes it difficult for us to change our ways.  Still, as Frederick Douglass once said, "If there is no struggle, there is no progress."  I would suggest not biting off more than you can chew when making a resolution; the aforementioned Daily Press column described how the writer would go to the Noland Trail and watch as all those who vowed to run a mile or two every day would sweat it out on January 1st...only to come back a few months later and see that most of them had called it quits.  Of course if you go from being a non-runner to trying a strenuous athletic feat every single day, it'll be too tough; I may not know much about physical health, but one thing I do know is that you have to work your way up to it.  That's why I'm preparing for next year's resolution right now: I can see what works, what doesn't, and how it will affect me in the near future.

In conclusion, I will say this: While I want to be happy--and who doesn't?--one thing I don't want to be is complacent; I know that I'm not fine the way I am...because nobody is.  Motivational speaker and author Andy Andrews once decried the common belief that good friends accept you just the way you are; in his live performance of The Seven Decisions, he said, "Good friends challenge you to be better." Far too many people are complacent, because the culture tells us: "It's okay; you're just fine the way you are, no matter what you do." That's not true, though; I actually detest that mentality.  My hope is that my friends will challenge me to be better and do the right thing, always; isn't that what God would want all of us to do?

Any comments?

Friday, December 11, 2015

It's Time to Put a Rest to This...Once And For All

Ever since I started doing public online postings on places such as Facebook, Xanga, and, of course, here, relationships have often been the topic of discussion.  I've talked about my attempts at finding a date that went wrong; I've discussed the kind of relationship I hoped to have one day; I've described the attributes of certain women that made them more attractive, whether they be older ones or Disney actresses; I've made more than one hypothesis as to why my relationship status just won't seem to change; I've used television characters such as Lizzie McGuire or Mindy McConnell (the latter half of Mork & Mindy, that is) as archetypes of the wife I would like to have; and, I've gone back and forth about whether a relationship is or isn't in my future.  Well, after nearly a decade of this--seriously, I joined Facebook and got my first blog back in 2006!--I've simply had enough...and I think you have, too.  If a relationship is in my future, great; I'll enjoy the benefits whenever it happens.  If not, though, I can be perfectly happy without one; after all, if I've made it this far without a significant other...why do I need one now? She could end up holding me back or leading me astray, and I don't think any of us want that (unless you despise me, though I don't know why on earth you'd bother reading this if you did.)

There are some ideas I've had about relationships that I've shared with a couple of people, and I'd like to make them public...but, after this, that's it.  I may still write on this blog, but, unless I find myself in a relationship--which the writing on the wall deems unlikely--I'm not going to make such a post like this again.  If I'm going to make 2016 my best year yet--and I hope to--I don't need this baggage weighing me down. 

So, what are my ideas? First off: Why would an outlier of my generation such as myself believe that someone of my generation could be my mate for life? Let's face it: Most people of my generation--including Christians--have fallen under the spell of modern culture.  Instead of taking Peter's advice in Acts 2:40 ("Save yourselves from this corrupt generation") they embrace modern "values," many of which are staunchly against Biblical teachings.  You may think that this is about entertainment, and, to a degree, it is; far too often, Christians meet together and watch movies/shows, listen to songs, or play games that would cause Jesus to overturn some tables...but, they don't find it inconsistent with their faith.  Still, millenials in general--regardless of faith or lack thereof--often act in ways that even secular morality would deem wrong...but consider themselves innocent of any wrongdoing.  When they're confronted with their sin, they're quick to quote the verse that says, "Do not judge," not realizing--or are they?--that they're taking Jesus' words out of context.  It astounds me coeval Christians have taken such a lackadaisical attitude towards everything from immodest dress to extramarital affairs.  Sure, I'm a sinner as well, and I've messed up this year alone in ways that would shock you...but, I am not proud of what I did; in fact, I'm rather ashamed.  The more I think about my past mistakes, the lower and lower I feel.  While I know that Jesus' blood washes away all sins, those memories still hurt because of the other people I sinned against, such as family members or once-good friends.

When I was in seventh grade, I was rather frustrated with my classmates' behavior; it went against my moral code.  My mom told me that maybe I'd find someone who agreed with me...but, nobody did; even my Christian friends were find with such sinful acts.  It's the same way now: I'm very unhappy with the way my generation is...but, nobody else seems to care.  I'm reminded of an incident from several years ago: Long story short, a friend of my mom's said that her two-or-three-year-old son hit his older, disabled brother in the head with a chair, and ended up cracking his skull; the older brother was taken to the hospital as a result.  My mom, who had much more parenting experience under her belt, told her friend, "When he does things like this and you think it's cute, you're just encouraging him to keep doing these things." I have no idea how that kid turned out, but, I do know that many people of my generation had authority figures--maybe parents, maybe not--who were just the same way; instead of taking action when the kids they were responsible for acted out, they brushed it off and acted like it was nothing at all.  The high school youth group at my old church once did the unthinkable to me, and, when I complained to the youth leader/associate minister in an e-mail, all I got was defensiveness (such as calling the whole thing "good-natured fun," which is bullfunky if I've ever heard it) instead of forcing them to make it up to me or even apologizing on their behalf.  Unfortunately, things like this are commonplace, which is why my generation is in the sad state that it's in; nobody was willing to take them to task for their inappropriate behavior.

Second off: When people interact with me, whether for good or for ill, they don't see somebody like me.  Some years ago, I made a rather long post that described how, because of my interests, my female friends subconsciously see me as another girl instead of a guy.  That's partially true, but, upon some thinking, I realize that my favorite things are all over the map when it comes to the usual interest demographic.  Disney Channel shows and superhero cartoons appeal to younger kids; shopping aka "bargain hunting" appeals more to the fairer sex; garage sales appeal more to retired people and other older folks; most people think of an older woman when they think of a "librarian" (which, despite popular belief, is not simply someone who works at a library); the old-school shows are more popular with the people who grew up with them, which is usually older folks; many people of my generation read as little as possible; and, much of the music I listen to is largely "out of style" with pretty much everyone.  So, I'm a weird hodgepodge of a "tween" and someone much older than myself, both of which would be unappealing to a potential significant other.  (Seriously, what twenty-something girl would want to date a twelve-year-old or a guy old enough to be her father? It's creepy either way!)  Still, my interests are what they are, and I'm not going to change them just to make someone else happy.

My last point before my conclusion: While I have my convictions, I can't let them ruin things for someone else...including a significant other.  Let's say--and this is purely hypothetical--that your spouse or other significant other wants to see something on TV; he/she was talking about it a week in advance.  So, you sit down together, turn on your television set and cable box or whatever...and your TV service is completely out, which means you can't watch it or record it.  It ends up staying out for a while, so, you call your provider, and it turns out that the outage was caused by something you did; that is, you inadvertently caused your spouse/significant other to miss that big event he/she was really looking forward to watching.  You'd probably feel terrible, right?

Well, that's how I would feel if I caused someone--anyone, really--to miss out on something like that they wanted to see because I wasn't comfortable with its content.  While my spectrum of entertainment is rather broad, it still doesn't include what's popular with most people, especially those around my age.  Still, for most folks, their favorite shows and movies are as important to them as the Disney Channel and superhero cartoons are to me; they just don't want to do without them.  Some people have serious rules about what they will and won't watch; I remember an incident where a usually easy-going friend got rather upset when I mentioned Finding Nemo, which he refused to watch because of Ellen DeGeneres' voice role as Dory.  Other people won't watch anything with Tom Cruise in it because of the whole "jumping the couch"/Katie Holmes thing.  I really have no room to talk, because my rules are just as strict...but, nobody else has those rules.  So, if my significant other wanted to watch something, and I wasn't comfortable with it...what would I do? Of course, one would hope she would respect my convictions...but, there's no guarantees there; with the whole "female superiority" thing going on right now, she'd probably tell me that I was going to watch it with her whether I liked it or not.  I can't have that...which likely means no relationship for me.

Here's my conclusion: Ever since joining Facebook in 2006--and, to a degree, even before that--I've been bombarded with relationship news from my friends and even friends of friends: engagement announcements, wedding photos, mushy statuses, breakups, divorces, etc.  Most of the posts fall into the category of the former three, especially back in the early days, when most of my friends were still in the dating or newlywed phase.  I know their intent was for their friends to share in their happiness...but, those posts actually served as advertisements for a relationship, which made me all the more frustrated that I didn't have one.  Recent developments, however, have shown that they're not all they're cracked up to be; right now, I have two different friends around my age who are in the midst of filing for divorce, which is just heartbreaking.  Still, back in the day--that is, before all this relationship madness--I was perfectly happy being single; in fact, when I was much younger, I didn't even want to get married...and I still kind of don't.  However, that would be easier to accept if people weren't constantly gushing about how great their significant others are; too much of that gives me a big jolt in the other direction...which is not what I need.

All right, that's it; no more on this topic.  I will not be replying to any comments on this post; be warned.