Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

Relationship woes; developing patience.

The problem with working on my dating issues is that I want them to be done NOW. I want to be free of insecurity and self-doubt TODAY! It, of course, doesn’t work that way – I have to take the time, figure out where all these issues come from, and the work through them in a healthy way. It’s goddamn frustrating – because I want to get out there and meet women and all this stuff. But I know that if I don’t work through my issues, then they will remain. Although it seems like meeting someone will solve everything, it won’t. It will just paper over the issues until they inevitably crop up again. So, alas, I will continue to do the work.

One issue of self-doubt was whether or not I really needed to break up with my ex. I think now it was probably a rash decision, and a better result could have come from simply talking to her, and then doing some work on my own. That’s a regret I’ll have to live with for a long time, I suspect. I haven’t heard from her – and I don’t know if that’s good or bad. It’s probably good – because if I heard from her, I’d probably cave and ask her to take me back.

One thing I keep reading about is how the people we attract are damaged in similar ways to us. This makes me think that I’m attracted to her because she was damaged in a way that I was damaged. Maybe, I ‘unno. I also think there’s probably a bit of one-itis going on there. It’s true that she was very sweet and thoughtful, kind, etc… But from what I’ve read, maybe I’m blind to all her faults because we had sex so early in the relationship. I hesitate to even call it a relationship – as we only went out on 6 dates. I think I’m almost certainly making more of it than it was.

Thus, in order to work through my issues, I must develop patience. Patience to live in the moment, and not keep fantasizing about some idealized future. One trick I’m using is the elastic band trick – I’ve got an elastic band wrapped around my wrist, and whenever I delve into future fantasies or worries, I snap the band against my wrist. The pain then tells me that I need to keep focused on the current moment I’m in.

That’s definitely a source of anxiety that I’ve never dealt with – imaginary conversations and worries about the future. All the self-help gurus tell us to focus on what we’re currently doing – to live in the moment – because what we worry about may never come true. So that’s what I’m focusing on now – trying to live in the moment and be productive instead of moping around.

But it’s pretty tough. For whatever reason, I’m still fixated on this girl I briefly dated. Plus, the self-help program I’m working through has me on a dating moratorium, so there’s no chance that I’ll be dating anyone else anytime soon. I think that’s probably also why I’m focusing on this girl so much. (Also, I still really like her, so there’s that.)

Given the prevelance of Tinder, online dating – the fact that I work on a University campus – means that I know for a fact, that I can easily meet and date a pretty girl. My rational mind KNOWS that I will not be alone forever, and I’ll meet a girl with a sweet personality who’s right for me. But my emotional mind seems to be running away with itself with self-doubt and self-pity. (And an insecure man is not an attractive one.) So I’m not even in the right headspace to date anyway. But since I’ve spent so long ignoring my feelings, I think my emotional brain is enjoying all the drama – no matter that it makes me feel sad. My emotional brain just wants to feel ANYTHING, since it’s been dormant for so long.

In the meantime, I will really have to focus on enjoying the moment. It’s funny, before I started dating, I was very happy to be by myself. I would relish a Saturday home alone where I could play a videogame and watch cartoons or a conspiracy documentary. But after dating this girl, now I’m all bummed because that’s likely exactly what I’m going to be doing tonight. Funny thing is – even if I hadn’t have broken up with this girl, it probably would’ve been what I would’ve been doing tonight anyway (since she’s out of town.)

It’s annoying when the only thing that will make me better is time – and there’s no way to hurry that along.

February 28, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More relationship drama: dealing with issues, taking steps to get better.

Well, I’ve found an online resource that should help me with my anxiety, trust and jealousy issues in relationships. So I’ll go through that program and see how it helps.

I sorta think that I have to move passed the slut who cheated on me, and not ascribe her characteristics to every girl I date. I think this will probably be hard, it will take some soul-searching, but I’ll come out of it a better man.

The letter I wrote on Tuesday is likely sitting in my ex’s mailbox as I write this. (Yeah, not using names makes things harder to figure out – so this is the most recent ex. The one I broke up with whom I still really, really like. Not the slut-bag from hell.) I keep fantasizing about how she’ll react. Ideally, she’ll call me and be all like, “Let’s get back together! I’ll work with you on whatever issues you have!” But somehow, I doubt this will happen. Life isn’t a tv show – relationships are messy, and once trust is broken, it’s not easily regained.

I mean, a large part of me still really, REALLY wants to get back together with her. But I know that, while I’ll be happy to see her again, I won’t have solved my issues. And if we were to go back to dating, these issues would almost instantly crop up again. Sadly, I think it’s over for good – and I’ll always have to look back on her and smile, as she was the one that made me deal headlong with my issues.

From this self-help book I read (No More Mr Nice Guy), I’ve been advised to let go of emotional attachments to romantic situations. I think I probably have plenty of emotional attachments, that when they go poorly, I react poorly. I know I certainly don’t approach many women for fear of a negative emotional reaction (i.e., getting rejected.) All these things I will have to deal with.

I think, basically, dealing with my issues means facing my fears. Since the slut-bag, I’m afraid that every woman I meet will act the way she did. In some way, when I was dating my latest ex (let’s just call her the paragon of cuteness), I was afraid of my feelings. She and I connected almost immediately, and I think I was scared of being hurt again. That’s probably certainly part of what happened.

Welp, the program I’m following has advised me to take a break from women until I’ve gotten to a certain step in the program. Not only a break from women, but a break from sex as well. As a result, I’ve un-installed Tinder from my phone, and un-followed all the hotties I was following on Instagram. Because another key component to this program is to not masturbate until you’ve reached a certain point in the program. Now, not to get into too many sticky details – but I’m a dude with a high sex drive. I’m used to visiting the spank bank on a regular occasion. But because I’m so goddamn angry at having to end my relationship with this great girl due to my issues, I’ll try any thing, no matter how hard it may be. (Or how hard I may get… heh heh heh.)

The other thing, is that whenever I’m faced with a problem, I want to solve it right away. I’m not looking forward to the fact that this program will take a couple months, maybe even longer. I’m pretty stubborn, so I think that I might be determined to stay a certain way, and necessary change will take longer than expected. I know that, in the end, I will move passed my issues, become a healthy, confident and secure man, and meet a wonderful girl.

I suppose I will also have to revisit my Love goals. Originally, my Love goals were all about living a life of sexual abundance. But now I’m questioning basically all my assumptions about love and sex. So I don’t even know what I really want anymore. It’s something I will have to sit down and think long and hard about. (Speaking of long and hard…. Oh Lord!)

Man – this used to be a fun blog about TV, goals and being tired? What the fuck happened? I go out with one chick and all of a sudden my life is in turmoil. Ridiculous.

February 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More relationship stuff: recognizing my issues and taking steps towards solving them

Jesus Christ. I cannot stop thinking about this girl I broke up with. I suspect it’s either because she’s the first girl I’ve liked as a person in a very long time – or I’m insecure about meeting new girls.

I don’t think it’s the latter. With tinder and online dating, meeting new girls is pretty goddamn easy. Put up a couple of flattering photos, have a brief, charming conversation, and set up a date for later in the week. Easy peasy.

But the other one – she is indeed the first girl I’ve liked in a long time. Since my last disastrous relationship (which ruined my confidence, and rendered me insecure and needy), I haven’t been in many relationships. Have I been in any? Yes, I was in one – where I ended it because she was too clingy, and I was in a bad headspace. All the other girls I’ve seen were hook-ups or one-night stands. I tell ya, for me, life is a lot easier when I’m alone.

But life is more fun when I’m with a compatible partner. Snuggling, in-jokes – taking on the world as a team – and sex, of course. All good stuff.

I don’t think she’ll get my letter until tomorrow – and even then, I know she’s going out of town Friday, so she may not get it until next week. Who gets snail mail nowadays, anyway? Regardless, part of me still really, REALLY wants to get back together with her. And then another part of me is thinking that’s probably not a healthy thing to do – not to mention, why would she want me back, after I broke up with her by text.

I was looking online for resources with help with anxiety. One thing I find myself doing is going over and over in my mind the possible conversations I would have with this girl, were I ever to see her again. Of course, this is not helpful, and is creating stress in my life. (My elevated cortisol levels are not helping in that dept. either.)

Anyhoo, one resource online suggested that I write down a list of my worries, and then create a specific time during the day to engage with these worries. Because when I tell myself “don’t think about her” or something along those lines, it just entrenches my thoughts about her. What the online resource says is that, I can acknowledge that I have these thoughts and worries, and rather than not think about them, I will postpone thinking about them until later. So I’m trying that now, but I’m still having a tough time about it.

I think perhaps one thing is that, because I liked this girl so much – and the last girl I liked this much cheated on me like a dumb party slut – that I’m scared of having these feelings. I think it’s possible that I’m scared that if I like this girl, the same thing will happen to me again. Hence, in order to protect my ego, I pre-preemptively broke up with her before such a thing could happen. In retrospect, I probably should’ve just talked to her about it. I ‘unno… I’m pretty bad at dating, as it happens.

I read a self-help book last night called, “No More Mr. Nice Guy” by Robert Glover, PhD. In it, he lists a certain number of traits that self-proclaimed “Nice Guys” have, and how that leads to problems in relationships. A key aspect of the Nice Guy is that he puts others needs before himself. While reading, I certainly recognized a lot of “Nice Guy” tendencies within myself. I think this is a good thing, because the book lists a number of strategies for dealing with my “Nice Guy”-ness, and how to overcome it. Paradoxically, I will become more attractive to women if I can learn to put my needs first.

Now that I think about it, I recognize that I didn’t put my needs first when I went on my date with that girl on Monday. She showed up, and was significantly fatter than her pictures suggested. Although I’m no fitness model, I do exercise 4-5 times a week at least, and I value physical fitness in my partner. What I should’ve done, was basically call “Lemon Law” and leave right then and there. But because I wasn’t feeling so great about myself, I stayed and went through with the date. Further, at the end of the date, when it was clear there was no chemistry, I still went in for a kiss, rather than just straight up tell her, “It’s clear there’s nothing here.”

Well, the first step on the road to recovery is recognizing I have a problem. Now that I’ve started to figure out the issues I need to work on, thanks to the internet, there’s a wealth of information on how to deal with my issues at my fingertips. Although I’m impatient by nature, I recognize that becoming a healthy, confident man is going to take some time. And guess what… you’re going to hear all about it!

February 25, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jesus! Another beta ramble about this relationship? Come on man!

Man O man am I still ever bummed about how things ended between me and this girl. I just wrote her a 3 page letter explaining my feelings behind the break up. Certainly not a very ‘alpha’ thing to do, but I need some kind of closure. I can’t stand all this anxiety that comes with relationships. From what I’ve read online, anxiety comes from low self-esteem. (In my case, I think the pills are helping that on a little bit.) In fact, it might be worthwhile to get some sort of low-grade benzodiazepine, as I’m having a difficult time managing my stress. We’ll see…

Anyhoo, now that the letter is written, the ball is in her court. If I were her, I’d never talk to me again. So I’m not really expecting anything – but it sure would be nice to hear from her. Although, I still don’t think we should get back together – we broke up because of my issues, and if we got back together, I’d still have to deal with those issues. I just hope that with my letter, she feels even the tiniest bit better. I’ve never broken up with someone while I still liked them – so I hate the thought of her being hurt by me. But I suppose as I make my way through the dating world, I will have to break up with many girls – and I will get broken up with many times. I guess I’ll just have to accept these feelings for what they are, and keep moving forward.

It’s tough though. The things that make me a great mathematician, make it tough for me to leave a relationship alone. I tend to think in “black and white” terms – AKA: all or nothing thinking. Honestly, I think my brain is a bit messed up. When I was dating this girl, it was very hard to focus on anything else unless I heard from her. That’s me being insecure. But then when I didn’t hear from her, I would become anxious – because I expected she was acting based on how my last relationship went. (And in my last relationship, if I didn’t hear from my girl, then she was probably out at the club, doing coke, blowing guys in bathrooms, and any number of other slutty activities.) This girl seemed different – from what I could tell she was a sweet, demure girl. Sadly, that’s not the way I was thinking when we were apart – and my insecurities drove me crazy!

I ended things in order to end the stress and anxiety I was feeling. To some degree it worked, but now it’s been replaced by remorse and sadness. In retrospect, there were so many things I could’ve done just a little bit differently. Instead, I made a rash and foolhardy decision, and now I have to live with it.

I just hope that with this letter written, I can finally let things lay. I sorta hope to hear from her and I sorta don’t at the same time. I think all this was brought about because I went on a date last night – and it was awful. I spent the whole time comparing my date to this girl I just broke up with! Needless to say, she didn’t measure up at all.

Ah, what a mess I’ve made of things.

I ‘unno – I might also be feeling this way because I so rarely go out on ‘dates’. Usually I’m just content with hook-ups and one-night stands. It could very well be that I’ve put this girl up on a pedestal, simply because she was sweet, funny and easy to get along with.

Life was much easier when I wasn’t dating. I was content being alone – and aside from a lack of sex, life was a lot easier. Now that I’ve begun dating again, life is messy. Complicated. I don’t know how I’m going to get past my insecurities and issues without dating, however. It’s true that I was happy when I was alone, but every time I was with this girl I had a lot of fun. (Not even counting the sex, although that’s part of it – she was just such a joy to be around.)

Christ, another melodramatic ramble! These will continue until it’s all outta my system. Then back to rants about how much I hate Stana Katic!

February 24, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about relationships

Another freezing cold Monday here in the nation’s capital.

Well, the Oscars were last night and I managed not to watch a single moment! Huzzah! I hear Birdman won best picture. Good for it.

What else? Still feeling pretty bummed about my actions. As I reintroduce myself back into the dating world, I realize I’ll make mistakes. It’s unfortunate that my mistakes will end up hurting other people. I can only hope that she’s not too hurt and she’s easily able to get on with her life. I had a notion of writing her a card – but I figure she doesn’t need any more reminders of my assholery. If she contacts me, I’ll offer her a face-to-face meeting, but I suspect the damage is done and that’s too little, too late.

On the other hand, I do have a date tonight and one for Saturday. Maybe I didn’t need to break up with her – but the anxiety I was having was so unbelievably draining, that I had to do something. Unfortunate, but I’ll stand by my decision and get on with it. This time, I’m coming into the date with a frame of, “Are you good enough for me?” I will resist immediately putting this girl into a role that she’s not necessarily qualified for.

I think my problem is that I suffer from “black or white” thinking. Admittedly, this makes me a hell of a mathematician, but it’s pretty disastrous for modern relationships. I’m either 100% committed to a girl, or not seeing her at all. The idea of casual dating is confusing to me – upsetting in a way. Either you like someone or you don’t, and you see what you have with that person. I don’t like the idea of keeping your options open – especially in a sexual relationship. To my way of thinking, sex is the most intimate bond between a man and a woman – if we’re dating and having sex, then I think that implies a certain level of exclusivity already. Sadly, most women don’t think like this.

Anyhoo, I will take the lessons I’ve learned and keep on moving forward. (Most important lesson; don’t break up with anyone by text.) Moreover, I will try and be up front with my feelings and what I expect. That way, if the girl thinks differently, I can just not see her anymore. What happened with this first girl, was I kept my feelings and expectations to myself. Naturally, it ended in disaster.

My ultimate goal is to meet an 18 year old virgin who is dedicated to motherhood and starting a family. Maybe 18 years old is a bit ambitious, but I doubt I’d marry a non-virgin. There’s an article on the internet which details the likelihood of a married couple divorcing based on the number of previous partners the woman had. It shows that the more partners a woman had, the more likely that marriage is to end in divorce. The safest marriages are when the woman had no previous partners.

That’s my ultimate goal. For now, I will settle for improving my game, and getting better at dating. I would prefer an exclusive relationship to anything casual, but I will have to wait until I meet a worthy woman. My attitude now is that I will have to be on my toes, and relentlessly root out any problems that may occur later. I think I will have to go on many more dates before I find a girl worthy of getting into a relationship with.

Welp, this girl tonight seems pretty down to earth. And she’s very pretty too, so fingers crossed!

February 23, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Requiem for a brief relationship

Well, that was a tumultuous affair. I ended things with the girl I was seeing. I’m just too insecure at the moment to deal with a serious relationship. Because of the last relationship I was in, I have issues with trust and fidelity. So when I started caring about this current girl, I became very insecure very fast. I was having anxiety every night that she didn’t text me – and that was only after a few dates. Relationships can be stressful, but if the girl was right for me, I doubt I would’ve been that anxious all the time.

Anyhoo, I broke up with her by text. I realize now this was a scumbag move – but I kept having this obsessive thoughts and it was seriously stressing me out. She was hurt by the way I broke up with her – but by text was the fastest way to solve my problem. In retrospect, I should’ve seen her today and broke up with her in person. I feel really low for how this ended.

But it’s too late now – what’s done is done. In retrospect, I didn’t handle any aspect of the relationship all that well. I was too needy, I was too emotionally invested, I didn’t challenge her views, I didn’t put my priorities ahead of hers (which is ridiculous for knowing someone for such a short time).

Most of all, I feel really bad because I did like her a lot. She had many admirable qualities: pretty, smart, funny, liked the Simpsons, easy to get along with. Ultimately, she had some negative qualities that made her not right for me in the long run.

However, I know that despite my poor actions in breaking up with her, that feeling will eventually go away. I can deal with regret – it’s ongoing anxiety that I can’t deal with.

The anxiety is likely caused by a couple factors: low self-esteem, and the pills I’m on. I’m currently on prednisone, which is a corticosteroid, which means I have abnormally high cortisol levels in my body. This causes undue stress and anxiety. Low self-esteem – well, I’m not too sure I have low self-esteem. I think I’m pretty awesome – but judging by the way I became so needy so quickly, there’s probably something to it. The only thing I can do there is keep working on my fitness and progressing towards my goals.

Yup. Feeling pretty low right now. The feeling will pass, but for now, not feeling great about myself.

February 22, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about goals and enjoying the moment

Here we go with another Friday funsies!

Well, as stated yesterday, I did end up doing my workout. So… hooray for me! And today’s leg day – which isn’t terribly thrilling, since it’s the hardest of the workouts – but I will save it for last and do it! Rrragh!

Psssssshhhhh – what to write about? Not much going on – it’s the weekend, but this whole week I’ve had off, so it’s been one long weekend to me. I managed to get up early today – and that was key to my productivity. I got a good jump to the day by getting up early. So I think I will probably go back to going to bed super-early, so I can get up super-early and get going. Nothing makes me feel better about myself then spending my time being productive and working on my goals.

Well, I ‘unno about that. Sometimes working on my goals is a chore. However, I always feel good about myself when I’m done. The key to goals, is to just tell yourself you’re going to do a little bit – and then get started. More often than not, you’ll do the whole thing.

Any job is simple enough if you break it down into tiny, manageable steps. It’s hard though – because we like to focus on the end result, and when there’s a mountain in front of you, you’re thinking, “I’ll never make it to the top!” Well then, don’t worry about making it to the top! Just worry about making it a little more up the mountain – as long as you keep going, then inch by inch, you will eventually get there.

Ohhh snap – I was just thinking about how this mountain metaphor is perfect for my PhD thesis. But then I just realized I made a mistake in today’s work. Crap! That means I’ll have to go back fix things. Ahhhh, squigglebottom!

But hey – it’s Friday. TGIF! I’m seeing a girl tonight – I’ve been seeing her for a couple weeks now. I really like her, and I’m pretty confident she likes me (I mean, who wouldn’t?!) – but man… My last long term relationship was… unhealthy. So I’m working through some of my own issues. As a result, I’m having a hard trouble calibrating how I’m supposed to act. All the blogs online talk about playing it cool and taking things casual. Well… i’m not cool! I’m super intense – and I hate being in a relationship where our status isn’t nailed down in explicit details. Naturally, this is not the way things work in the modern world – so I will just keep my feelings to myself and try and enjoy our time together.

That’s definitely one problem I have – enjoying the moment. For example, just hanging out with my friends and/or family, relaxing and talking. That’s fine for a little while – but after a couple hours, I’m like, “Ok. Talking is great, but goddamn I gotta go do something constructive!” I think ever since I’ve discovered goals, I realize how precious my time is – and I don’t generally want to waste it socializing when I could be doing something to help me reach my many goals.

Another example – on Sundays, I used to be able to plop myself down on the couch and watch football all day. Now, I will refrain from watching the NFL on tv – too many commercials! I’ll watch RedZone on the internet – but rest assured I will also be doing something else. (Mostly just surfing the internet.)

Anyhoo, I will do my best to enjoy my time out with this girl tonight. We’re going for tea – and then maybe some food, or we go back to her place or mine to watch a movie. Because it’s minus-fucking-30 outside and that’s perfect cozy snuggling weather.

Welp – that’s it for today! Hope you enjoyed the ramble… just typing randomly to fill up the last part of my 15 daily minutes of writing…. Any second now… Screw Flanders!

February 20, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about my unproductive morning

Man O man has I been unproductive today. Didn’t do any math this morning, spent most of the morning surfing the internet and playing on my phone. I was thinking about skipping my workout, but now that I’m writing I think I’ll probably do it.

Here’s what I’ve done today so far goal wise: did my goals and visualizations this morning, did my journal and Zen reading, did the dishes, took my pills and vitamins… and 30 minutes of piano. And that’s about it. I should be spending the majority of my time doing my thesis.

Oh well, i think I will try and start doing 60 solid minutes of thesis first thing in the morning. That way I don’t have to worry about getting up early, I can just do my hour as soon as I wake up, and then the rest of the day is mine.

This thesis will likely take, oh, I ‘unno, 100 hours? 200 hours? The proof is all done, it’s just a matter of writing it up.

When it comes to goals, it’s all about daily consistency. So I won’t even worry about completing the thing. Instead, I’m going to focus on doing my math every day, first thing in the morning. And by doing just a little each day, before I know it I’ll be done.

And yeah! I will go do my workout after this. Even though I don’t want to, I know I’ll enjoy it after I get started. I can listen to the greatest song in the world, “Dopesmoker” by Sleep, and watch some sporting event on tv. Then a few circuits of core and that’s it.

I should say, I flexed in the mirror the other day, and I was looking a lot better than I did. I still have a steroid belly, but my chest and back and shoulders are all a lot more defined than they used to be. So my regular exercise is paying off. But more important than that, my diet is paying off. I previously did a 2-week diet challenge with my dad – where each of us sticks to our diet or owes the other guy $100 – so my weight is down. In fact, if I check my goal book – I see that on Jan 5 I weighed in at 169lbs at 17.5% body fat. And yesterday, I weighed in at 168lbs, at 16.7% bodyfat. Oh, so maybe my weight isn’t down so much – but I’m looking a lot better’n’d I did.

Anyhoo, that’s a sloppy 15 minute ramble. Time to get back on the horse and go exercise!

I’m sure that after I do my workout, I will attempt to continue on and work on my goals. Because that’s the way it goes with goals. Fail some. Get up, keep going.

February 19, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A ramble about stories – Parks and Rec’s related

Writing a thesis is sooooo boring. It’s overwhelming, I think – because there’s so much work to do. Right now, it seems like a mountain, so I’m going to focus everyday on chipping away at it. I’m going to try to break it up into a series of smaller tasks, then working everyday to complete one task. I think that’s the “chunking down” method that Brian Tracy talks about.

It’s just that faced with such a tedious task, thinking about completing the whole thing will slow me down, as I’ll get bogged down with the specifics and such. Instead, if I focus on completing little tasks everyday, I’ll get done a lot faster.

Anyhoo – what else is going on? I’m having trouble keeping a regular schedule. I felt tired this morning when I woke up, so I slept in until 7:30. I really think I need to focus on turning off the computer at 8:00 and going to bed. I stayed up late yesterday watching Parks & Rec’s (aside; OMG Parks and Rec’s is the greatest show ever!). Today I’m done my math for the day, done my piano – after this writing I’ll go do my workout, then maybe a quick Let’s Play – 30 minutes of reading and back to binge-watching P&R.

I ‘unno – binge-anything is probably bad for you. Especially when it’s such a waste of time as watching tv. But man, is that show ever great!

The reason why people like television, I’m guessing, is because people like stories. Everyone loves a good story. Why is that? I ‘unno – but anyone at a party who can tell a good story is always a hit.

On top of stories, people enjoy seeing relationships between characters develop. Well, most people, I would guess. If a character is well created, people want to know more about him. For example, look at Hannibal Lecter. In “The Silence of the Lambs”, Hannibal Lecter was onscreen for about 15 minutes. But because he was such an interesting character, Hopkins won the Oscar, and 3 more movies were made just so we could learn a bit more about Dr. Lecter. (Not to mention the TV show called “Hannibal.”)

And P&R is a character driven show. The show gets most of its humour from the interaction of the characters. Even though it’s a sit-com – it’s not really the situations that they get into that are funny, but the way each character handles what’s happening.

There’s also a spirit of hope about the show. I think that probably stems from the character of Leslie, but I just get a sense of optimism and happiness from the characters in the show. That’s refreshing! Most shows nowadays are cynical and morose. (I remember binge-watching the last season of Breaking Bad and just being so emotionally drained.)

Anyhoo, that’s a tight 15! Day’s almost over! Weekend’s almost here! Let’s go workout!

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Parks & Rec. God I love that Leslie Knope! PLUCKY!!!

Oh! Em! Gee! I just can’t get enough of Parks and Recreation!

I’m noticing it take various comedy elements from other shows. There’s one of the cast members – who’s not one of the main cast – who’s this perfectly nice guy called Jerry. But each and every person in the show sees fit to dump on Jerry whenever possible. I think this borrows some elements from the Meg character on Family Guy. The key difference being that Jerry is a very likable, inwardly sensitive and talented person – whereas Meg is pretty disgusting and messed up.

I’m only on Season 2 still, but my favourite character so far has gotta be Leslie. It’s the combination of wide-eyed enthusiasm versus the non-stop government oppression. Leslie is naive and believes in the system, so at about every turn, she’s shut down by bureaucratic nonsense. Not to mention it’s standard sitcom fare to get involved in wacky situations due to lack of communication – and this happens to Leslie quite a lot.

The show is actually very smart about it’s gender politics. It’s clear that Leslie is a gal trying to make it in a man’s world, but instead of having everything she do wonderful, and everything men do harmful, the show manages to bring subtlety and nuance to the discussion.

For example, there was a recent episode wherein Ron Swanson (Leslie’s boss) wins a “Woman of the Year” award from a woman’s political group. This crushes Leslie, who desperately yearns to be recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of the city of Pawnee. Ron, being the bureaucratic master that his is, recognizes the award is political and tries to refuse it. This sets up an amusing dialogue between Ron, Leslie and the chairwoman of the women’s group. Both Ron and Leslie have argued that Leslie should get the award, but the chairwoman answer’s with

No. Leslie doesn’t get the award. We’re giving it to Ron, a man. Frankly, when the award goes to a woman, no one gives a rats ass. But if we award it to a masculine, mustachioed man like Ron, then the press will pay attention.

That is an undeniably hilarious thing for a leader of a woman’s group to say.

I was supposed to really focus in and write my thesis this morning, but the lure of P&R kept calling back to me!

Not to mention it’s an interpersonal comedy, so there’s lots of relationship drama, and people having crushes on other people, heartbreak, emotion, that part of the show where the music goes soft and a man talks about his feelings to a woman. Yeah, some of it is a bit ridiculous – but all the characters are supremely likable, which goes a long way towards making the formulaic parts of the show tolerable.

I suppose because this is Amy Poehler’s show, I will eventually have to compare and contrast it with Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. When I watched 30 rock, I found it really smart. Not terrifically laugh-out-loud funny, but very very clever. I’m sure the majority of writer’s were from Harvard and Yale.

However, with Poehler’s show, I find myself laughing out loud a lot more! Because it’s a formulaic show, it can never be as smart as 30 rock – as they were all about turning the formula on its head. But I would argue that so far, P&R has the funnier jokes.

Anyhoo, this has been another blog entry about Parks and Rec’s! I’m sorta deliriously happy that I’ve got this new comedy to watch with at least 5 more 20+ episode seasons ahead of me! I’ll never graduate!!!

February 17, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment