Life Goals And Road Bumps

We are told from early childhood that we should set life goals and always strive for them. Celebrities that have been in the spotlight as of late have said quotes us normal people try to take to heart, telling us to never stop reaching for our goals because they are achievable.

What is my life goal? Aside from being on The Tonight Show and doing a lip-sync battle against Jimmy Fallon (no idea how I’ll ever pull that one off), my big goal for the last six years has been to become a best-selling author and own my own coffee shop to run the way I please.

The best-selling author is tough. You have to find a way to break into that scene, find an agent who strives to get your work to the best places. Factors play a part in every single aspect and if the factors don’t quite work out in your favor, you may never make it big.

The owning a coffee shop is tough, too. Small business start-ups become harder and harder with each passing day.

But I have had the taste in my mouth for the last month. Continue reading

The 20 ‘Simpsons’ Quotes You’re Most Likely To Hear In Everyday Conversation

I currently use, “Yeah, stuff sucks,” quite often. And when my fiancee was in Vegas with his dad in February, I constantly told him to keep gaming.

UPROXX

coming up milhouse

SEX. Now that I have your attention…It’s hard to go 24 hours without referencing The Simpsons at least once, even if you don’t realize you don’t realize you’re doing it. And it’s going to be damn near impossible once FXX’s Simpsons marathon begins and your life ends. “So I says to Mabel I says I can’t meet you, ‘Homer’s Barbershop Quartet’ is on in an hour.” To prepare for the upcoming quote-pocalypse, let’s look at some of the most referenced Simpsons quotes in everyday conversations. These are 20 I use all the time (I could have picked about 700 more, and I’m already furious at myself for not including “probably misses his old glasses”) — feel free to share your favorites, you cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

1. “I don’t know why; it’s a perfectly cromulent word.”

Everyday use: “Calling LeBron the best basketball player alive is a perfectly cromulent argument.”

2…

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I Have A Lot Of Feelings, Apparently

Top-detroit-red-wings-players-who-will-step-up-this-year-featuredIn the past two days, I have written two separate articles–one for Octopus Thrower, one for Bam Smack Pow–that involved my very passionate feelings.

They were feelings I never managed to put down in words. That is–until something pushed me to sort through whatever I was experiencing.

Yesterday, it was a coworker of mine handing me her Entertainment Weekly because I mentioned it to her last week. It’s the one with the main article about Chris Pratt and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. While I have been seriously anticipating this movie like no other, staring at the cover drove me crazy. So I wrote about my anticipation and why. Have a snippet if you don’t want to read the whole thing:

I remember trying to explain Guardians to my best friend after watching the credits scene in Thor: The Dark World. “Bradley Cooper is the voice of a talking raccoon!” I exclaimed as I laughed like a crazy person, earning a stare from her. How do you explain something like that to someone who isn’t as dedicated to the Marvel movies as you?

And my editor informed me yesterday that it was one of the hottest articles at the site. Good, people like my feelings! That or everyone is as crazy as me. I’m leaning towards the latter…

Today, different feelings threatened to burst. It’s free agency/the off-season for the National Hockey League and the Detroit Red Wings have done very little. As in, they have landed no one save two of their own free agents that fans didn’t want them to re-sign. Oh, and we lost both our assistant coaches and just signed a new one.

I did what I do best: I used The Simpsons to express myself. I basically told the hockey blogging world that I can’t bring myself to care anymore.

So I’m tired. I’m tired of the anger and the rage. I’m tired of attempting to explain this team and their faults and their decisions. I’m tired of being one of the few who tries to spin it in a positive light. You guys know me and my writing by now: I’m non-confrontational to a fault. I’m the one who tries to make you feel good after a tremendously horrible loss.

But I’m losing my will to do so.

Two very different sets of emotions, though both are lined with some amount of impatience. Do I feel better writing this down and airing my grievances to the Internet? I don’t know, maybe a little.

Keeping all my emotions bottled up is a little tiring.

On the positive side, I will be seeing the Rifftrax of Sharknado this evening, and laughter is the third greatest gift ever. (And if you don’t know Rifftrax, it’s basically Mystery Science Theater 3000, except with the actual people who voice Tom Servo and Crow, not the robots themselves).

SiriusXM’s 40s on 4 Is Back And Life Is Good

A 78 of "My Sugar Is So Refined" by Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers

A 78 of “My Sugar Is So Refined” by Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers my oldest brother gave me last week

It has been three months since I have been able to go to channel 4 on my presets for SiriusXM and hear big band and swing pulse through my car’s speakers. Three long, painful months where the replacement for the soothing orchestral sounds and crooners from the “golden era” has been Billy Joel.

40s on 4 returned at 3am Thursday, June 26, 2014. I have never been happier for a drive into work in my life.

Maybe that sounds weird coming from a 24-year-old. Maybe you anticipated me being well into my fifties or sixties (I get that quite often).

I love Johnny Mercer to death. My favorite song of all time (which I have on an LP) is “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra from 1941. I listen to the 40s on my way home from work because it keeps me calm in rush hour traffic. And it’s awesome, let’s be honest.

So when SiriusXM announced a week beforehand in March that Channel 4 would become the “Billy Joel Channel” until June 25, I was livid and then heartbroken. I wanted to write complaint letters. I wanted to scream from the tops of buildings how unjust this was. I went through a phase of wanting to take a picture of my radio display every time I heard a Billy Joel song on a different channel and email them all to SiriusXM’s support email.

Scroll through the channels and you will hear Billy Joel on 70s on 7, 80s on 8, Classic Vinyl, Classic Rewind, and The Bridge, and that’s just on my personal presets. Scroll through the channels and you’ll hear big band and swing on… Siriusly Sinatra on channel 71, but it’s the more polished sounding songs and not the instrumental big band songs. And it’s not on my presets.

Look, I understand that there are people out there who love Billy Joel (my sister-in-law among them). I understand that SiriusXM has to do little things like this to spice up their lineup. But when they’ve done it in the past, they’ve picked an empty channel up in the 100s and done it for a weekend (Pink Floyd Channel at first, now that’s Sunday nights on Deep Tracks), several weeks (Tom Petty Channel), or a month (Led Zeppelin). But they never took away another channel for that long. I think that’s what’s infuriating about it.

1515517_220959271442990_108344533_nAnd I won’t lie, if they had replaced 40s on 4 with something like the Led Zeppelin channel (which I still want back), I probably wouldn’t have been so adamant in my anger. Billy Joel to me is just okay. He has five or six good songs, but they are overplayed everywhere else.

I’m not a complainer. I’m that customer that tries to be agreeable with everything. Everyone has their own battles in life and heck if I want to make someone’s life harder for the few minutes I’m in their life over something that doesn’t even matter ten minutes from now. It’s not worth it. So I never wrote an angry letter, though I may have made a few angry tweets.

So instead of writing a complaint letter about losing my favorite channel for a quarter of the year on a radio I pay a fair amount of money to subscribe to, I just sent off a “thank you” email to 40s on 4 for returning and making my day a little bit  brighter:

This is just a quick email to tell you guys how happy I am that 40s on 4 is back on my radio. I refused to go to channel 4 for the last three months and I can’t tell you how happy I was this morning when I could scroll down to it on my presets and hear Glenn Miller first thing in the morning.

I’m afraid to change the radio away because I feel like it will disappear.

So thank you for returning. And if you wanted to play “Yes Indeed” by Tommy Dorsey on loop for several hours, I would have no problem with that.

-Christina Roberts

The Ability To Nerd, Part III

X-Men_Days_Of_Future_Past_LargeRemember last post when I said it only updates once every six months? I lied.

Remember last post when I said I was super stoked for X-Men: Days of Future Past and then brushed that aside for Guardians of the Galaxy because I talked about DOFP in the first “Ability to Nerd” post?

Let’s talk about Days of Future Past. (I’ll give a spoiler warning when it comes time.)

In my first “Ability to Nerd,” I pretty much talked about my love of comic book movies, which focuses a lot on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a bit on X-Men, and slightly less on Spider-Man. I mentioned my writing over at Bam Smack Pow and how I was loving it. I still am.

I saw Days of Future Past over the weekend. The movie ended and I really wasn’t expecting it. It didn’t feel like the movie was over two hours long; it felt like it had just started. I wasn’t bored, I wanted to know what would happen next. And being the veteran comic-book-movie-goer, I knew not to leave before the credits were done rolling–quite a few people left mid-credits because there wasn’t that mid-credits scene that Marvel Studios likes to throw in to keep people around.

Oh man, was that end-credits scene a doozy.

If you don’t want ANY SPOILERS WHATSOEVER, I insist you click elsewhere and return once you’ve seen the movie.

Continue reading

The Ability To Nerd, Part II

GOTG_Payoff_1-Sht_v4b_Lg-610x903[This is my recurring series post that apparently only gets an update once every five months.]

In my first installment of this, I discussed my love of Marvel, my blogging job at Bam Smack Pow!, and my excitement for X-Men: Days of Future Past.

My excitement is at peak levels for DOFP since it comes out on Friday, though I won’t be able to see it until Monday (both brothers want to see it with me and I can’t see it without them because it was one of our favorite storylines in the 90s cartoon). I’ve held off checking Rotten Tomatoes since last week because the bulk of reviews aren’t in, and that 93% isn’t going to hold and I can’t get my hopes up.

But let’s take a step away from the X-Men side of things (because let’s not even get me started on Channing Tatum cast as the love of my life, Gambit, or you’ll get sick of me angrily ranting) and focus on the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Namely, Guardians of the Galaxy.

I have said on many, many occasions that I know nothing about this section of the universe, but the teaser trailer back in February has me over the moon about it.

With the official trailer release today, I’m in too deep, guys. My review of it for BSP is right over here.

Why am I so hooked? Continue reading

In The Aftermath of Camp NaNoWriMo

It’s May 1, which means that yes, my birthday is in four days, but also that Camp NaNoWriMo ended at midnight last night.

Camp NaNoWriMo is an offshoot of NaNoWriMo where you set your own word count goal. It’s a way to keep everyone writing throughout the year. In the past, I’ve used it to continue on with things like On The Border and also its companion novel, After You. But I wanted to take a break from Cassidy Sundance entirely (even though she’s still technically in my Camp NaNo story.

I set a goal of 20,000 words, which is on par with what my goal to write every month is.

I made it just over 12,000. Granted, if you include my Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reviews into that and my handful of articles for Octopus Thrower, I would have been well over 25,000.

But it’s 12,000 words more for Day After Day than I had before April 1.

“Freddy’s Story” as I dubbed it for the longest time, has been something I’ve held close to my chest for a while. It’s my fictionalized version of my Caribou Coffee shop. I always thought it was a little tacky, but I wanted to challenge myself this Camp and I did just that.

Freddy calls to me in ways I never realized. While I buried myself in Cassidy’s storyline for three years now (including the After You section), everything else went on a back burner. Sitting in my old coffee shop Sunday morning with my friend Steve, I took the place in. No longer does it look like a Caribou Coffee. No longer does it have that warm, cozy feeling, but I could still picture it. I could see Freddy sitting in what becomes his “usual spot” and I could almost imagine all of the Old Guys in the front corner, arguing up a storm over something political, no longer hanging at the Panera down the street, now back where they belong.

That place still has a hold over me. I don’t think I can write a memoir like I wanted (though excerpts may get posted here from time to time because some of my stories are hilarious), but if I could channel my life and love of that place into something, Freddy is the best way to go.

There’s a fun excerpt from one of the opening chapters over here. But I can’t leave you with just that, so also have this!

Continue reading