Every once in a while I like to think about how I met the people I consider friends and acquaintances. William Butler Yeats, a famous Irish poet, once wrote, “There are no strangers here, only friends you haven’t yet met,” I love that quote because it perfectly represents any relationship before an acquaintance is made. I met a few interesting people this weekend, and as I sit and reminisce about the fun times I shared with my new friends, I am brought to the memory of first running into these “strangers.” I have blogged before about first impressions and their importance, but during everyday outings little attention is generally given to first impressions. Most people notice small things about others wherever they go, but overall I don’t believe people are always putting their best foot forward at every landing. A routine trip to the supermarket doesn’t often lead to meeting people but a simple conversation in any setting can trump a first impression. The most important step in meeting anyone is speaking to or interacting with the person, there doesn’t even need to be a formal introduction since, I honestly think that is a waste of time, but anything can turn into a lifelong relationship. It is too often an occurrence that people allow their own biases and preconceived notions to have control over their interactions with others, and many friendships never begin because of these cases. The best way to meet people and make friends is to converse, you may not become friends with everyone, but you will surely never miss out on some great conversations.
I love writing, and I have said before in this blog that it just might be my favorite hobby. I especially love creative writing since it is a fantastic avenue for expression and a path to creating my own world on a page. Creative writing gives me full control over every aspect of my stories, so I can make a dog talk or a penguin fly if it progresses the story. I don’t write because I am uncomfortable with how the world is, I write because I love to share a contrasting view from how things actually are in the world. Most of the things I write outside of this blog are works of fiction, I especially enjoy writing children’s stories, because children are still learning how the world works and stories geared towards them can have a more carefree tone while still sharing a serious message. I personally think it is easier to explain some of the more complex themes of life through stories told to children. Even before writing was widely used to tell tales, spoken fables and ancient proverbs were told to children in order to teach them important lessons in life. I like to condense as many important themes as a can into a story made for children because it may be a child’s only chance to form an understanding of the issues they will face in life. Writing is important, it is more than just a hobby or a subject taken in school, writing is a perfect way to share knowledge and express emotion. I may be repeating something I said on an earlier blog, but writing is necessary for the future and I would love to see a renewal of interest in reading in future generations.
In honor of my 151st post, I will write about my favorite childhood television show, Pokemon. Pokemon are those funny looking little Japanese critters with magical powers, who happen to resemble everyday creatures that inhabit our real world. I have been told that there are now over 600 of these little creatures on the show and in the video games, but when I was a child the number was limited to 151 creatures that needed to be captured and trained. The Pokemon franchise was huge in the late nineties, as the creatures graced almost every setting, when I look back on it I realize that Pokemon was more of a pop culture phenomenon than just a children’s game. I was just a kid when the series was first introduced in America so I only saw it as a fun game, but it was often referenced in comedy shows, and was also in the news for several different reasons. I have to admit, I was somewhat obsessed with these things as a child, I was always talking about the game, and looking for ways to “catch em all,” as the slogan stated, it is funny just how much I have grown out of something that I was so entrenched in as a child. The Pokemon series has lost much of its popularity in the years since its release, due to repetition, but it has shown the power marketing and visibility has on advancing a brand. Before Pokemon was introduced many product makers worked on selling their merchandise through television and radio advertisements, but Pokemon spread its footprint by being an advertisement. The television show was secondary to the games and products, which were already pushing sales by advertising the need to get all of the creatures. Pokemon changed the way people market products to children, and it was memorable enough to create a generation of adults who will never forget the hours of fun spent playing. I would love to see a new product make this kind of impact, but after Pokemon everything else seems like an imitation.
I am a Yankee fan so naturally, I despise the Mets, but I must say they have a pretty nice stadium. I try to make it out to at least two mets games each season, and today was as beautiful a day as any to get out and catch a game. I decided to head out and watch the Mets play against the Miami Marlins, since my favorite player plays for that team, and I must say I was pleased with the performance. Usually when marquee players come to New York they seem to shrink in the spotlight and play pedestrian games, but today Giancarlo Stanton showed up in a huge way as his team went on to defeat the Mets. Stanton showed off his famous power swing as he hit two HomeRuns, one of which went farther than any I’ve seen all year. I am always happy to go into Citi field and watch a great game, but I’m made happier by the fact that my favorite player played a great game and ended up beating the Mets. In the immortal words of rapper Ice Cube, “today was a good day.”
Science is actually more fun than what is being taught in school theses days. I understand that students need the building blocks in order to fully grasp a topic, but science is much more than names of rocks and classifications of animals. As I was growing up I had the ability to discover science differently from my peers, since my mother is a science teacher everything I did had some base in science, and I was taught in a practical way. Many people see science as a chore or a task that has to be completed in order to graduate, but for me it was always presented as a chance to discover how things work. A big part in my love of science and in any person’s love of science is how it is presented. I remember when I was first taught physics, I was given the basics of the subject, pretty much just enough to bore me and keep me uninterested, but when I took it in college I really got a chance to put my studies in motion and learn the subject as more than just words on a page. I think science should be taught differently in elementary schools, since there is so much fun to be had in the subject. Recent statistics have shown that American schools are failing when it comes to the sciences, in my opinion, the best way to actually get kids interested in science is to show them the best practical uses of the subject to entice them into getting far enough to recreate the experiments. There are many teachers out there who use the approach to teaching that I endorse, and I applaud them and thank them for raising a generation of student who love science. I would love to see the educational system shift over to more practical studies, since science is very important to the future of any nation and students need a chance to be able to enjoy the subject.
Over the past couple of days my younger brother was home to visit, so we randomly decided to attend every Yankee game of their most recent home series. The proposition of attending a sporting event is always welcomed, but the fact that I find baseball games to be quite tedious made me apprehensive to the idea of watching three games in a row. While I did have plenty of fun watching the Yankees win the first couple of games, I was quickly burnt out while sitting in the heat of the third game and I had to leave early, a decision I am thankful I made since the game went into extra innings. I love the Yankees, but I am really not as big a fan of baseball as I was when I was a child. When I go to baseball games these days, I am only interested in two things, great pitching matchups, and fantastic hitters, I am more of a fan of the individual players’ talents than I am of the actual game. In this series the pitching matchups were not very strong, but the young pitchers on the scheduled did a great job at keeping me entertained and keeping the game competitive. The Yankees and the Rays are two teams that seem to be in a rebuilding phase, so they are not the most exciting teams to watch at the moment, but the ability to get out and watch some baseball reminded me why I love the summer. The Yankees won the first two games of the series, and lost the third in a dreadful extra inning game, but all things considered it was beautiful outside and perfect weather to enjoy spending time with family and friends. With summer on the way and ticket prices relatively low, I definitely recommend a nice baseball game to anyone who interested in “catching some Sun,” and cheering on the home team.
Today is just proof that this nation has way too many “national” days, it is National High Five Day. A day in which we celebrate the art of celebration. A high five is a congratulatory or a celebratory gesture, made by raising an open hand in the air and slapping it to another individual’s open hand. While the origin of the high five is regularly disputed, I can honestly say that it has been overused for at least the last 15 years. I love the high five, I gave someone a high five just last week, but I don’t think it deserves a day, even if we are just randomly giving reasons to celebrate every day. To be honest my favorite thing about high fives is when an athlete or celebrity goes for a high five and is “left hanging.” It never feels good when you don’t get a high five back, but it is always funny when it happens to someone else. Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, was heavily ridiculed over the past couple of years for his series of botched high five attempts, so much so that he began to make a running joke of it by exaggerating his outstretched hand in order to no longer be left hanging. The high five is serious business, and it is always fun to partake in the act after an amazing event, but I really don’t think it needs an entire day. Make sure to high five all of your friends today in honor of this pointless celebratory day, especially if they are serious about being left hanging.
Isn’t it strange how you could be physically sick, but your brain just won’t allow you to rest? I am dealing with that currently, I have a little cold that should keep me home, but I am just unable to deny myself the joys of Saturday. Getting sick on a weekend is a terrible tragedy, when all you want to do is relax, you have to deal with the fact that you are basically not allowed to. When you go against your body’s wishes and go out anyway, you are denied the joys that come with the weekend. I have been trying to take it easy today as I plan to go out and eat with friends, I know I should probably stay home, but I know I will just restlessly toss and turn in bed. I might as well start loading up on cold medicine and prepare to drink a lot of tea, since I refuse to let a cold take my Saturday away. I like to think, if professional athletes can play games with the flu and broken bones, I should be capable of sitting through a dinner with an “advanced case of the sniffles.” I just hope I don’t get anyone sick today, and that everyone has an enjoyable Saturday.