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I just saw the movie. Yeah I know I’m kinda late, but I was busy. Anyway, here’s some stuff I noted.

1.  Voldemort isn’t too smart with his whole “staying alive” strategy. If you’re the most dangerous dark wizard, why don’t you carry a horcrux on you? Can’t you stick one of them in your pocket or something? Wouldn’t that make you so much harder to kill?

Having Nagini as a horcrux didn’t make much sense either. If I knew the snake was my last horcrux, wouldn’t I teleport it away from the battlefield? Wouldn’t that make me invincible as I’m fighting at Hogwarts?

And if you HAD to imprint yourself on a living animal, why not choose something smart like a dolphin? Snakes are reptiles that lack a neocortial brain. Nagini’s logic (or lack thereof) was seen when she decided to go for Hermione and Ron (2 random kids that were throwing rocks at her) instead of Harry. All of a sudden she gets killed by Clive Owen 2.0.*

2. Wait, Harry had one of the Deathly Hallows the whole time? Why didn’t anyone say anything about it? If Ron knew the story of the Deathly Hallows and knew about the invisibility cloak, why didn’t he tell Harry in the first book that he had an ultimate weapon? Even when they (I think it was Snape) finds it near the beginning of the series, he’s like “oh cool, an invisibility cloak” instead of “oh shit, THE invisibility cloak”. He’s just like “oh yeah cool I have one of these. Is this one made in China too? Where’s the tag? Oh, Honduras. Nice. Where the hell is Honduras?”**

3. I can’t stop laughing at the hug. You know, when Voldemort hugs Draco. It’s so awkward. It’s obviously the first hug he’s ever given anyone in his life. Reminds me of our first kisses in high school (or for those of you who weren’t nerds, middle school).***

4. I think it’s safe to say that most people know who Helena Bonham Carter is. Anyone who has seen Fight Club, Sweeney Todd, The King’s Speech, Tim Burton movies in general, etc can agree that she has enhanced the movie to some degree. She’s a pretty big name, right? Hell, her name comes 4th in the credits (after Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, respectively).

Then why does she get 30 seconds of screen time? Did anyone see the logic in that? David Yates is not exactly a new director. He knows his stuff. Can you imagine getting a big American name like Tom Hanks and having him be one henchman in an action movie who appears on screen for 5 seconds before getting gunned down by the hero?

Weird to you? Weird to me too.

5. Why can’t we shoot Voldemort? I had wondered this as a kid and concluded that being a wizard meant you cast some spell on yourself protecting yourself from physical harm (I was 12, cut me some slack). I mean, why else would people use wands instead of guns to kill, right? Then Dobby dies…to a knife. So I’ve concluded that wizards are NOT immune to physical harm. Why no guns? I’m gonna assume a fast wizard can cast one avada kedavra per second. An AK-47 casts 10 per second. Just sayin…the last battle probably should have looked a little more like a round of Black Ops.

6. How exactly does Harry come back to life again? I don’t remember what the book said about it, since I read it 4 years ago. I was under the impression that avada kedavra killed you, not knock you out for a few seconds and exorcise you of demons. If anyone could clear this part out for me, that would be great.

7. I still chuckle at the notion: Snape dies as a 40 year old virgin. Yep.****

8. Why are parents still sending their kids to Hogwarts? Didn’t like a bajillion kids just get massacred there? Remember how deserted Columbine was after 15 people died? Now multiply that by a thousand. Why would you send your kids to a school where half the kids die? Isn’t that irresponsible? If my parents wanted to send me to Hogwarts after the Battle of Hogwarts, I’d call social services. Can’t you send them to Beauxbatons or Durmstang or something? There are other wizard schools with less death and ghosts.
“Mommy, there are ghosts here!”
“Don’t worry honey, ghosts are part of the Hogwarts experience. I’m sure they’ll be nice to you.”
“No, seriously. There are a FUCKLOAD of ghosts. I think there are more ghosts than living people. It’s seriously freaking me out.”

9. Speaking of ghosts, does Voldemort come back as a ghost too? Why not? Everyone else seems to. Because if Harry ruined my shot at ruling the world forever, I know who I would haunt for eternity.
“Trying to sleep, Harry? Want to get ready for work tomorrow? Well TOO BAD!”
“Dude, seriously. Can’t you go read a book or something?”
“NO! I’m gonna sing Bohemian Rhapsody in your ear ALL NIGHT LONG! And worse: I’m gonna screw up the lyrics! Beelzebub has a devil set aside for you!”



Maybe I’m just looking too deeply into it.


* No, seriously.

**I’ve narrowed it down to either Africa or South America.

***And to those of you that really like World of Warcraft, well…

**** “Yeah, I did her. She felt like…Floo powder. Bags of floo powder.”
“Severus, what are you talking about? Wait…are you…?”
“Shut up! Everybody shut up!” *disapparates*


I just went to EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival). It was my first rave ever, and I chose to go to the biggest event in the world. It’s like the rookie in the movies who has never seen combat getting dropped into a warzone on his first day on the job. Also, due to the sheer volume of drugs, this was as close to a Hunter S. Thompson experience I was ever going to get.

The Bro, who goes to raves every now and then, told me to go to EDC. We’re pretty similar in a lot of ways, except he’s cooler at the expense of not having a job or steady income. He’s your typical white stoner that just graduated, I guess. We’re pledge bros. I pick him up, along with his friends from high school and NYU. It was there that I met The Noom, The Fro, and The Ginger. They stuck a crapload of alcohol into my trunk and we floored it. We were going to the biggest rave ever in the desert of Sin City. What could possibly go wrong?

We checked into the Hampton Inn around 2 and started making some Kandi. It was pretty homo, but whatevs. One guy spent a few hours rolling joints and we waited for another group of people to arrive (a group I didn’t know). When they did arrive, I noticed that one person from the group was someone I went to high school with. This was especially weird because she met my group in New York and it had nothing to do with me. She made this face of utter disbelief when she saw me. “JAMES CAI? YOU’RE AT A RAVE? AND YOU’RE GONNA ROLL? THIS IS SUCH A MINDFUCK. YOU WERE SUCH A FUCKING BOY SCOUT IN HIGH SCHOOL!” I wanted to defend myself, but I realized that she was 100% correct. God, I’ve changed.

We met up with our dealer at The Orleans to get adderall (which I had only previously used once to write a paper in college). Then we decided to get in line. The last 6 miles between our hotel and the venue took more time than the entire 260 miles to get to Vegas. The line of cars was about 3 miles long, taking us an hour and a half. All this time people were blasting trance music from their cars. The Fro spent the time telling me about which drugs did what and how to counteract the effects. The Ginger talked about how hot every girl was (he was right). The Bro yelled “EDC!” to every car we passed. The Noom made hilarious jokes for the whole time. When we parked, we saw a huge sign that read “NO DRUGS ALLOWED. NARCOTIC DOGS ON PREMISES.” Suddenly I felt really scared for hiding a joint in my wallet. What if I go to jail? Don’t they check wallets? Should I have hidden it on my ballsack like the rest of the gang?

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful people. The guys were all ripped, and the girls were all ridiculously proportioned with little to no clothes (a number of them with just pieces of tape as clothes). This made me REALLY want to go to the gym. I was determined to get in shape. It also might have been a side effect of the adderall.

Anyway, you can’t roll more than once a month (max), because ecstasy breaks the barrier that holds the serotonin, which causes the serotonin to flood through your brain. It gives you the happy feeling. The thing is, if you do it like 2 nights in a row, the serotonin wouldn’t have time to regenerate, so your ecstasy high wouldn’t be nearly as great. You need AT LEAST a month to regenerate serotonin, but preferably like 3 months. And if you do it too much, your serotonin gets fucked up and you get depressed easily. This makes you an addict.

Moral of the story: don’t do E more than once every 3 months.

I dedicated the first night to just getting a feel of things. No real drugs, just alcohol, weed, and adderall. I met a lot of people from college, and just basically danced until the sun came up. I felt kind of out of place when everyone around me was rolling except for me. It was like being the only sober person in a group of people that were really drunk. If anything it wet my appetite. Right before we left some random girl went up to The Noom, hugged him, and told him that it was the happiest day of her life. I didn’t get what the FUCK was going on.

We got back to the hotel and I couldn’t sleep (fucking adderall) so I went across the street to gamble (but I told them I was taking a walk). It was the most ridiculous odds ever for blackjack. They had 3 dollar minimum for single deck that allowed you to surrender after a double down and to double down after you’ve already hit (it wasn’t Spanish. There were tens). I only made 50 bucks due to the large number of gamblers. Basically, the more gamblers there are, the worse it is for you. They tend to steal your cards when the deck is heating up and they tend to hit too much, causing the tens to run out once it is hot. To make money counting cards in blackjack, you kinda need to be antisocial. When I got back, the first thing they said was “how much did you win?” These guys met me yesterday and they already knew me. I am not a master at subtlety.

NIGHT TWO——————————————-

We decided that spending 4 hours in line was pretty much the epitome of bullshit, so we left super early and got in at 9 instead of 12. We first chilled for a bit and I bought a really expensive water bottle to refill over and over. We chilled with the group as we listened to Afrojack. I even saw some of my frat brothers. One of them, who is not exactly cool, told us that he and his girlfriend were going “go crazy” because she decided to take a whole pill instead of the usual half. He then showed us his super cool 3D glasses he stole from the new Star Tours ride. It was really difficult to not roll my eyes. The Bro took me to the port-a-potties to take our E around 11:45. Before we entered our respective shitholes, he put his arm on my shoulder, looked me in the eye, and said “James, by this time tomorrow, you will become a slightly different man.” I had no idea how correct he was at the time, but I agree 100% now that I’m writing this and looking back on it.

When we came out, we went to the grassy part of the stadium and went to watch Empire of the Sun. About 40 minutes later, we took our second dose. And about 10 minutes after that, it all hit me. Flood gates opened. Euphoria. Like no other. WHAT. IS. HAPPENING. I danced ten times harder than I normally would. The lights were like nourishment for my eyes. I turned to The Bro and said “I love everyone I’ve ever met in my life.”

And then I started to feel very dizzy. I ran out of the crowd and landed on the softest patch of grass ever.

A random girl came and gave me an empty cup to puke in. As the world was spinning around me, The Bro was patting my back to get me to throw up. After about 3 minutes of it, he whispered to me “Dude, man. Sorry. I wish I could take care of you, but I’m rolling too hard. Can’t stay in one place. Take care. I know you’ll be fine.” And then he left.

I then noticed how unusually soft the grass was. It was like a marshmallow. I finished throwing up and started making grass angels. Damn this was comfortable grass. Shiet. I was in love with this grass. It was the best grass in the world. I felt like I had all the love in the world in me. Like if love was a commodity, I had a monopoly on it. With all this love in me, there was only one thing I should do: share it. Everyone should have some of this love, because I would be evil not to share the wealth.

The first person I noticed was this girl with a ridiculous rack. Like, seriously. So I said hi to her and she told me her name. I think it was Liz or something. She told me she was Egyptian and from the OC and stuff, and we basically just talked while feeling over each other’s bodies. I love the feeling of touching stuff while on E. Goddamn it’s awesome. As she was laying in my arms telling me about her goal of being a helping disabled people, I escalated physically. She took off her shirt and her boobs were basically escaping from her cup. It was that glorious. I stuck my face in them. Then we talked some more and I tried going in for a kiss, but she wouldn’t let me. I found this really confusing, because I thought face in boobs came after kiss, but apparently I’m a noob. She then told me she was grabbing water and that I should stay there and wait for her for ten minutes. Unfortunately, I was still rolling hard and I tried staying still. I lasted for 3 minutes. I left my Egyptian princess. Fuck. Whatever. I had to spread my love with others, epic cleavage or not.

I then ran into a group of girls sitting under a tent. I talked to a girl with neon green hair and a nose ring. She told me that there’s no experience in life like rolling, and that I had just entered a world of beauty that I would never be able to forget. I can go back to my normal life as a real estate broker, but sooner or later the pull of living life like this would find me. Her friend, who heard that I threw up on my first trip, handed me a frozen cherry lemonade. These people truly are friendly. She gave me a full on kiss before I left.

I found a third group of people sitting on the grass and chilling. They told me that they were part of a “rave group”. They went from rave to rave just rolling and having fun. They must have as much love to share as I did! One of the girls told me she met her raver boyfriend at church, laughing as she noted the irony. I one upped her by telling her I met my fuckbuddy at church. I am truly number 1. They told me that in their world you’re given a rave name, and they introduced me to the liveliest of the group, someone named Inertia or something. Her rave mother was Phoenix. She proceeded to motion to another guy to give me a lightshow as she gave me an aggressive massage. It was a sensory overload. And it was better than sex. They told me to go to the Ferris wheel with them, but somehow I got lost again (what the FUCK?!).

I get a text from The Bro. “Dude I just found this phone on the floor”. I text back “where are you and when can we meet?” No response. I found a group of people that told me to “just feel this grass with my bare feet”. So I took off my shoes and socks and felt the grass. God. It was so amazing. It was even better than the first patch of grass. I fell in love with this grass, this inanimate object. I wanted to buy this grass off of the stadium. I just wanted to buy this 9 square feet of grass and have them fence it off for me. I would come back and water it every week so it stays fluffy. I then learned that this was not feasible.

I then met a group of people that were all aspiring writers. They told me to facebook them so I can read their notes on creative writing and give them some pointers. I still have their names saved into my phone, but I’m not sure if I want to request them. Wouldn’t it be kinda awkward?

I talk to a guy. He tells me he is an engineer and he just graduated. His plans in life are now to go to grad school to learn more engineering. Fuck this. This is why talking to guys sucks. They’re intrinsically less interesting. Once in a while you’ll get a cool guy, but most of them are boring compared to women.

As everyone is planning to go, I call The Bro.

“Hey, this is the friend. Can we get the phone?”
“Hey man, I just found it on the floor.”
“That’s weird.”
“Why is that WEIRD, MAN?”
“Because it’s not something that he would do.”
“What are you SAYING, HUH?”
“Why don’t you just come out and SAY IT?”
I called back, but it went straight to voicemail. We got trolled AND ninja’ed. I walked back to the car, seeing The Bro and The Fro. The Ginger and The Noom were right behind me.
“Dude, The Bro, your phone-“
“Yeah, man. I know.”
He purses his lips in a way that showed that he was disappointed, but at the same time acknowledging that he can’t really blame anyone else.
“….well…guess what?”
“I’m a slightly different man that I was this time yesterday.”
He made a slow grin that spread across his entire face.

NIGHT THREE————————–

Guys: Never try acid. Period. I don’t care how cool Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro made it look. I don’t care if you’ve ever read Hunter S. Thompson’s work. Fuck acid. Anyway, For the last night, we decided to go on an acid trip. The thing is, Ecstasy has defined effects. You know what’s going to happen to you at what time. It’s a pretty consistent formula. Acid does not give these guarantees. It’s like reaching into the mystery box and pulling out a random item. Good fucking luck.

We take the strips around 9 and we start chilling until we feel the effects. I hung out with the Noom, while The Bro and The Ginger decided to just smoke weed and not be as adventurous as us. The Fro decided to combine his acid and start candy tripping. So I’m sitting with The Noom waiting for the music to get good when a Russian guy comes over.

“Hi I’m Stross.”
“Do you have any acid?”
“In my body right now? Yeah.”
“Do you have any outside of your body?”
“Aw man, I need some right now. Yesterday I had the best time ever. I took acid for the first time in my life. I was seeing colors and shit and it was amazing!”
“How many strips did you take?”
“1 man. 1 was fucking intense! How many do you have in you!?”

I know Russians are crazy. I know a Russian just called me crazy. Therefore, I know I’m in for a hell of a trip. I then start to feel pretty cool. The sense start blending together and I can experience sensory perception as a whole. All sounds hit me at once and the lights are accentuated.

I’m feeling pretty good at this point, so I decide to chat up another chick. This one complains to me that she just found her boyfriend of 2 years cheating on her. I told her that I just ended a 2 year relationship as well, and I can totally help her beat up her man. She looks at me and my size and tries her hardest to not laugh. She then tells me that she has been doing drugs since she was 9 and eventually wants to join the police force. I ask her if this is an issue, because, they do background checks, right? She tells me that as long as she has not been busted for possession for intent to sell, she’s fine. But here’s where it gets weird. She tells me that not only does shewant to be a cop, she wants to be an undercover cop to find people on drugs. Then she tells me she would go to raves and find people on drugs to bust them. She can’t seem to understand why I am looking so scared. “Oh, I’m sorry about that. No, I’m not a cop.” The Noom’s eyes were as open and dilated as a 12 year old boy seeing his first pair of tits. Needless to say, we boned out. Fuck cops.

I was still feeling really good at this time, and I told The Noom that drugs should not be illegal. Cops were everywhere just scouting for people to arrest for overdose. How ridiculous. The Noom concurred, but looked visibly distraught. I guess his trip didn’t start off so well. We then found ourselves in a cooling room. I looked at the floor and noticed that it was pulsating. It was breathing, up and down. And then I looked at my feet. My shoes were enveloping my legs. They were trying to eat me. And my legs were getting thinner and thinner as they were being consumed.

A girl and a guy came to borrow my phone because their reception sucked. She was rolling and he dropped like us (except he was 2 strips). She told us that she loved newbies because they were so cute when they were inexperienced. She then asked us if it was creepy for her to be 19 and dating a 24 year old. I did the magic formula in my head ( Age / 2 + 7) and decided it was alright.

I had to help The Noom up because he was still not having a good trip. He told me that the music was out of tune and this offended him. Whatever.

He told me his phone just ran out of batteries. He relied on me. And then….the situation reversed. I stopped wanting to move and he got all up into it.


He runs into the crowd and I never see him again for the night.


I am on an acid trip.


This is balls.

I went back to the grass (I think I began to associate grass with safety and happiness due to last night) and started staring at a flame. For hours. The best part of the night was watching the fireworks. Acid + bright lights = cool.

Then I learned that acid isn’t as much about what it makes you see as much as what it makes you feel. I felt like I couldn’t believe that such a world existed. There were so many beautiful people all doing drugs and being complete sluts. I thought this was some image that Hollywood conjured up to get you to watch their movies (horror movies. Am I right, guys?). But for it to totally exist, was a mindfuck to me at that point.

The bass from the speakers hurt my heartThey were not friendly speakers. Evil speakers.

People are kicking dirt everywhere. They were trying to kick dirt in my eyes. They didn’t like me. The ecstasy people liked me. The acid people didn’t. They didn’t accept me.

I can’t feel my limbs.

Where is everyone?

Am I alone? Why am I alone?

This is the dark side. E was the light side. I can’t face my old friends anymore. They will think I went to the dark side. I am Anakin Skywalker. Can I at least be the cool Darth Vader?

Someone is saying hi to me.

Can I say hi back?

I can’t talk.

Why can’t I talk?


Cell phone. Shit. I haven’t talked in 5 hours. Jesus Christ. Chug water. It’ll help.

After what seemed like 20 years of silence, I slowly regained my ability for speech. I decided to do what I always do, talk to someone new. I found a girl sitting alone and asked her where her friends were. She told me that she got a bad pill and that her boyfriend and friends were rolling hard listening to music. So she was just sitting there on the grass on shrooms. She points to a patch of grass and asks me how beautiful the flower is. There is no flower. It’s just grass. Shiet. New drug to try for the future. She tells me that she knows Chinese and wants to go to Shanghai to teach Chinese. I inform her that it is a bad idea.

See, Shanghai is the most educated part of China, and they know it. It’s like they’re Harvard graduates and everyone else went to community college. They wouldn’t hang around you if they had a choice. There’s a saying in China: “The only people that like Shanghainese people are Shanghainese people.”

She asked me if I was single. It then occurred to me that the answer was yes. For the first time in forever. I had this sudden hatred for my ex. How dare she? I think I convinced her to change, because she is down to earth as hell.

The sun then came up and I went to the field to meet them. The Fro came and told me that it was the best time of his life. He had the perfect combination in his bloodstream. He gave 15 massages and got offered 3 pairs with hot girls. He just kept dancing and making hearts.

I was cold as fuck.

I wandered over to The Bro, who was lounging under the Pagoda in a state of semi consciousness.
“The Bro, never do acid.”
“Sounds like a plan.”

We get up and meet The Ginger outside the gate. He told us that we all look like the result of a zombie apocalypse. He was probably right. Goddamn computer people always being right. And making more money than us sales people at this point in life. I guess the part about us getting laid more than them kind of balances out though. The Fro and I are in sales and we have sales personalities. Then it occurred to us: The Noom’s phone is dead. I was his contact. What now?

We scoured the earth, and decided that if he didn’t call us in an hour from the hotel phone, he was dead. So we decided to wait at the car for the hour. He was there. I couldn’t describe the feeling of triumph seeing him there and reuniting all 5 of us. It was like finding Doug on the roof in The Hangover.

The Noom told us how his first 3 hours sucked, but then turned amazing. The opposite of me.

The Ginger told us about the third chick he “hooked up” (second base) with. One each night that wouldn’t let him “seal the deal”.

The Bro told us how many random people he outsmoked.

I then realized how sick I was from the drugs.

I passed out.

For 26 hours straight.

When I woke up I was in our hotel room. They told me that they had booked an extra day because they thought I was dying. Yet at no point did they consider taking me to the hospital. What the fuck, right?

I had a headache. And a cough. And phlegm. And diarrhea.

I check my phone and noticed 25 missed calls. My manager wanted to know why I wasn’t at work this week. It’s fucking Tuesday, man!

My business partner told me I missed an appointment for a $45,000 commission check. Wow. That was a pretty expensive acid trip.

My mom told me that she was filing a police report for a missing person. I called her back first to tell her to stop. She yelled a fuckload at me and hung up.

I needed a plan. I told her that I was in a nightclub drinking alcohol and that someone had slipped something into my drink, causing me to pass out. But my friends all took care of me and made sure I was alright. There. An explanation to why I’m sick and couldn’t pick up the phone.

She bought it and her fury turned to pure concern.

So here I am, still coughing up a storm as I’m writing this.

Moral of the story: don’t do acid. But I encourage everyone to do ecstasy.

Too weird to live, too rare to die.

The Illusion of Potential

Some of you that like reading the New York Times bestseller lists will call me out on this, so I’ll go ahead and beat you to the punch. I give Chris Chabris and Daniel Simons credit for writing such awesome books on human intuition and why it sucks. Anyway…

There seems to be a lot of people who believe that we have some untapped potential in our brains. There’s some giant reservoir of mental energy that can cause us to be a combination of Professor X and Jean Grey if we could only use 100% of it.

Why does this not make sense?

1. If we had brains that were disproportionately large and mostly unusable, natural selection would have eliminated such idiots thousands of years ago. A larger brain not only risks more injury, it takes more nutrients. Science wouldn’t allow it.

2. By definition, parts of your brain that are not used, that are not showing neural activity over prolonged periods of time, are “dead”. Go bury a corpse for 20 years and pull it out. I’ll give you as many shots with the defibrillator as you want. It’s not going to “come back to life” and be useful.

The reason we believed this was because only 10% of the brain area was lighting up to maximum brightness during analysis (don’t call it an MRI. The theory predates magnetic resonance). The other cells, since they were “inactive”, were a waste, right?

Can you imagine applying this logic to other aspects of life?

Kobe makes the points on the Lakers. He is 1/5 of the team (on the court at once). Therefore Bynum, Gasol, Fisher, Artest etc are a “waste”. The Lakers are only operating at 20% efficiency. The Lakers would win 5 times more games if they had 5 shooting guards…right?*

These scientists didn’t (don’t) understand what a “support” role is. A brain cell is a brain cell, right? And what the hell is a glial cell?

Seeing as how Bradley Cooper’s recent film “Limitless” did pretty well, even by critics, I’m assuming this misconception still permeates society. I personally think it was a pretty retarded movie even without the 10% myth.


Hold up, what about subliminal messaging? Surely our brains operate at a level beyond our consciousness! We know there’s a subconscious!

I’m sure you’ve heard of those subliminal messages in movie theaters that cause people to go buy Coke and popcorn. Studies show that sales rose 23% or something!**

Guess what? The experiment didn’t happen. The guy who conducted the experiment needed some money so he made some crazy stuff up and sold it. Numerous trials proved that the increased sales were not a replicable result and he finally confessed to being a fraud. Of course, the confession never goes down in history or the hearts of the public. Only the claim. Kind of like the black peppered moths demonstrating natural selection in the face of industrialization (spoiler alert: the moths were dead and pinned onto the trees. Your Bio AP textbook lied to you.)

Flashing an image for a split second made no difference with soda and popcorn sales.

I’m still going to assume that Tyler Durden got a kick out of his job at the movie theater though.


But surely I can train my brain, right? There’s Brain Age on the DS and Sudoku!

Have you ever tried measuring your success before playing Brain Age and then after? I’m sure you haven’t. But smart people in white labcoats did. And there’s no difference.***

Same with Sudoku. The only thing they do is make you better at playing Brain Age and Sudoku. You can call it “cognitive growth”, but it’s so specialized for one task that I don’t believe that was the intent of the makers. Imagine benching when the only benefit was being able to bench more. Screw that, right?

You can train your brain to be more effective, but don’t imagine superpowers, at least not overnight. It takes years of practice to be slightly better at something very specialized. Of course, in this level of societal development, specialization is a good thing. It means our society is advanced. All you need to do is be really good at one thing and you’ll be fine.

* Of course, if you multiply the games that I saw the Lakers win this season by 5, the number will still be zero.

**I’m not sure of the actual number and I am not going to grab books and cite sources for something I’m not getting paid to do.

***Want a citation? The answer is still no.

James, who can I Blame for the Economy?

This happens to me about once a week.

Person: “James, you’re a realtor? Screw you guys for causing the recession.”
Me: “How did real estate agents cause the recession?”
Person: “By selling us overpriced houses.”
Me: “Did we tell you that you had to buy said houses?”
Person: “No…”
Me: “Who can you blame then?”
Person: “The government? I don’t know.”

Aside from the fact that I couldn’t have possibly been responsible for the economy because I WAS STILL IN FREAKIN HIGH SCHOOL DURING THE HOUSING BUBBLE, here’s a metaphor for comprehension.

Al works in 7-11. He’s just sitting there at the register, doing his job like Al always does.

Bill is the richest guy in town. One day he walks past a hobo and gives his first dollar to charity. The hobo is so grateful that Bill decides to give more money away, because why the hell not? Let’s make everyone richer. He starts throwing money in the street because he thinks that everyone is entitled to some more money.

This attracts significant attention, including that of Al. He deserts his post as 7-11 cashier to grab the money in the street.

Charlie, who was passing by the 7-11, sees that the store has no guard and tells the nearest group of people, who happen to be the guys who just got back from Bill’s “Share the Wealth” campaign.  They each steal a bag of Doritos.

Each guy with the Doritos takes it home and leaves it there for 3 years. When they open the bags, the chips are black. But the expiration date was misprinted so they figured, what the hell the printing says it’s safe. Let’s do it.

They eat the tainted chips and die.

Who’s to blame? Al for abandoning his post and letting them take the chips? Bill for his lack of common sense despite the good intentions? Charlie for alerting everyone of the “good deal”? The guy who misprinted the expiration date? The guys with the chips for not eating them in a timely manner and using their common sense when they were obviously tainted?

If you can narrow it down to one person, you have powers of blame that I do not possess.

5. Pain/Discomfort
On a small scale: running hot water over an open wound. Putting a little extra  pressure on a twisted joint. Going into a tub of water that’s just a little too hot.
On a large scale: watching and analyzing a movie and understanding it from an artistic point of view. Why does Michael Coreleone end up as he does? What does this say about the society we live in? Also, hearing a particularly touching song  and relating to it on a personal level. I still get shivers whenever I hear “Sometime Around Midnight.”

4. Sex.
Not only does it feel great, it’s biologically programmed to feel great. In the ancestral environment, kids sucked. You gotta take care of them or else they die. It was lame. We needed sex to be awesome, for millions of years, to make us. It’s as deeply ingrained on a  level as sweets are enjoyable or steak is more enjoyable than salad. Anything biological is a bajillion times harder to overcome than sociological.

3. When everything falls together (in your favor)
You just have a great freakin day. There were a lot of bad things that could have happened, but you only got the good parts. There’s a smaller version of this, when you do something good you didn’t expect. It can range from randomly shooting the ball when you’re guarded just…..just cause and swishing it to writing a piece of shit paper not caring about the grade and getting an A.

2. Ephiphany
“Ooooooohhhhhhh fuck! Of course!”

1. Cosmic destiny
Knowing that you are who you are  because your experiences shaped you, and that the universe could have done anything, but it triggered this specific set of events to mold you into you. All your family, friends, and even enemies have served some role into making you the best you that you can be. And it could have been a lot worse, because they say that the universe conspires to get you what you want.

I am a master psychologist. Trust me here. =)

How to make her happy:

1. Listen.
I know girls talk a lot. A lot about things that aren’t really important at all. This is because they think differently than guys. Guys like the end result, cuz want something to lead somewhere.
Girls are different. They are all about the process. Screw the result. Girls can call each other to see how they’re doing, because they like communication for the sake of communication. If a guy called another guy “just to talk”, he gets labeled a “homo”.

No, seriously.
Girl: “I’m going to go to the dry cleaning today. Do you want me to wash that blazer you like? The one that looks like Dr. House’s blazer? Hugh Laurie is really cool. I like British guys. Not to say I don’t like you. I wonder how good of a doctor he would be in real life. Oh, right! Nurses! We need to get Betty something for her anniversary coming up. Let’s go shopping! I need your help!”
Guy: “Yo, get up.”
See, the girl is really hard to follow, right? The thing is, our train of thought isn’t all that different. One thing links to another. The difference is that they think aloud and we just vocalize the end result.

Anyway, listen to her (not in a submissive way, but just to acknowledge what she’s saying).

(This “Female way” of talking used to really irritate me until I found out they were just thinking aloud.)

2.  Go out. A lot.
When a guy treats a girl well, she fucks him. Or blows him.
However, when the girl is being really good, you don’t just go up to her as she’s working and start fucking her. Or even going down on her.
Go somewhere. Not just a restaurant so you can stare at food and stare at the decorations and go home. Do something fun. Go to Disneyland or something.
She likes it as much as you like fucking.

*Side note: Expensive doesn’t mean good. A hot dog from a street vendor at a park is a million times better than a 3 course meal if you’re a fun guy. Expensive experiences are like sticking talented actors in a movie. If the movie (your personality) is great, it will be freaking amazing. If the movie sucks (you’re lame), no amount of Christian Bale is gonna save your shitfest (yeah, he’s a good actor. Fuck you too.)

3.  Talk about everything.
If you notice something, mention it to her. If she looks at you like you’re a weirdo and calls you out of being awkward, then….why are you with/courting her?
I found a really cool thing: dumb stuff. Mention a lot of dumb stuff. It won’t matter if it’s dumb, as long as you deliver the line well (remember: stand up comedians are funny for the way they say things and the character they create. The lines themselves aren’t all that funny. Craziest mindfuck ever when you start to learn how professional entertainers perceive the world).
And if you’re gonna stick to a few topics, use the safety topics every girl likes. The Community calls this “Chick Crack”. If you have any questions or discussions about relationships (especially romantic), the supernatural, psychology tests, or anything of that sort, fire away. They always love it.

4. Don’t get too “into” her.
This creates neediness. Don’t be afraid to go a day without calling her if you’re busy.
And if you see a hot girl wearing basically nothing on the street, feel free to sneak a peak through your peripheral vision (you’re allowed to completely tilt your head if she’s not there). You’re not her slave. You can check her out. Just don’t point to her ass and go “Honey, look at that smoking ass! Can you work out more so your ass can look like that? God she’s so hot! I wanna fuck her! Let’s go ask her to partake in a threesome with us!”
Besides, with just the right amount of subtlety, you can make her jealous. (WARNING: This is of questionable morality to some. I have a Greene-esque perspective on game theory, so make your own choice).

5. Understand why chicks like chick stuff.
You don’t have to watch Twilight. Just understand why  THEY would like it.
I’m gonna end this here before I start describing Twilight, leading to my opinions on it, leading to me looking like a misogynist.
And if you’re a dude who likes Twilight or Bruno Mars, go eat a dick.

How to make him happy:

1. Never challenge them in public.
Maybe he said something that wasn’t exactly 100% accurate. Don’t just stand up at the dinner table and go “YOU FUCKING IDIOT! A MILE IS LONGER THAN A KILOMETER! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?”
Just as women like connecting for the sake of connecting, men live in a stratified society full of ranks. To “call him out” will belittle him and make him shrink in front of his peers. I’m not going into the evolutionary psychology of it all, because it should be fairly obvious.

2. Fuck. A lot. Passionately. Everywhere.

3. Don’t probe too deeply if you meet resistance.
Women share everything amongst each others. Men don’t. They are taught from a young age to shut the fuck up if you can’t contribute to anything.
I remember a period of time where Trisha would ask me every day about my innermost fears and my greatest vulnerabilities. At the time, I wasn’t comfortable talking about that shit, because men cannot show weakness to anyone, right? Well eventually I told her, but it made me feel highly uncomfortable when she probed a lot. If he doesn’t wanna talk, he doesn’t wanna talk. Especially about things that make him weak.

4. Don’t make him work like a detective.
If you say “nothing’s wrong”, there better be nothing wrong. I don’t wanna have to read your microexpressions and see your lips purse to one side for a fourth of a second followed by a smile to see that you’re upset and hiding it. I have to do enough people reading at work and I don’t want to have to bring Ekman’s findings home with me.

5. Propose places to go and general plans.
Guys don’t like going out as much as girls. If you wanna go somewhere, let us know. Better yet, tell us which place you would like to go to (since there’s a chance that the guy will guess wrong and take you to a bar when you wanted to just go grab froyo and look at stars).
Don’t be too specific, though. If you have every detail planned out, you’ll look controlling and he’ll be scared away. I know it’s female instinct to fill in all gaps and voids, but guys like emptiness.
Good: “Let’s go to an amusement park!”
Bad: “Let’s go out…. somewhere.”
Bad:  “Let’s go to Disneyland and ride the Matterhorn at 10:53 to get the best angle with the sun. Make sure we’ are there at exactly 10:00, because I’ll be pissed if we miss it due to the line. Then we have to ride Space Mountain at 11:34. Don’t ask why. I’m telling you anyway! Cuz last summer…”

6. Get to the point.
You see the observation of female communication versus male communication in part 3 of the previous section? Do that. Go from A to B. All that A2, A3, stuff that goes on in your head? We don’t need to hear that.

Feel free to add anything here in the comments.

Assholes Finish First

Unstoppable (2010)

Let me know if you guys prefer randomness, lessons, book reviews, or movie reviews.

The Mechanic (2011)

You might know who the Nostalgia Critic is, or who Spoony is.

If you do, I don’t know whether to high five you or to stay away from you due to your nerdiness and virginity (only 90% sure on the second accusation).

Anyway, I recently learned that they make around $60k or something a year off reviewing movies full time.

I’m not trying to make money off this, because if I do then I am the worst real estate broker known to man.

I just thought it would be cool to review a movie.

I apologize for my shitty computer editing skills. I am a fail Asian.


PS. Thanks guys, the last 24 hours has been the highest traffic this blog has ever had. I knew transferring to video was a good idea.

Session 3: NLP States

I know, it’s technically a repost of an earlier entry, but this one is important and if I can expand it to more people via Youtube, let’s go ahead and do it.