I'll come out of hibernation to play this fun game.
SICK OF: Media Bias. I long for the grand old days of the inherent liberal bias that conservatives could see right through. Nowadays, you have FoxNews, which is so biased it proudly proclaims it, and CNN which is so convinced that it is unbiased that they waste my time in trying to constantly prove it. Conservatives used to talk about the media bias amongst themselves and we all understood, but we could see the real story behind the bias. Now, everybody's always bickering about media bias and the real story just gets lost in the noise. Debates are being cancelled, talking points are being repeated ad nauseam - bleck - I wish they would just report the news and let me filter out the bias on my own.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF: Tivo. Watching television used to be a soul-draining experience, but now it is much more like surfing the internet - an active experience. I can watch The Daily Show in ten minutes by fast-forwarding whenever I see Rob Riggle appear onscreen. I can watch poker tournaments at double speed if I am uninterested in the commentary, because I just want to see how the players play their cards. I can even watch a baseball game in the span of one beer. In a way, I am watching more TV than ever before, but the quality of my viewing has increased tenfold. Tivo knows I like The History Channel and it delivers an endless stream of interesting programming for me to decide if and when it is worth viewing. I've just begun recording Jeopardy, which Marci and I watch when she gets home from work - without that six-minutes of dead time between Double and Final Jeopardy. With Tivo, life is good.
SICK OF: Hype. We are all overloaded with information. It is difficult to tune out for any period of time without really missing something or at least perceiving that we are missing something. Our daily schedules are loaded with a myriad of downloads - headlines, boxscores, Tivo progams, emails, etc. There is so much information with which to interface, most of it ultimately meaningless, yet it fills our hours. I enjoy writing emails and perusing boxscores, and watching The History Channel, and keeping up on news, but what I wish would go away is the stuff that really doesn't matter to me. Everybody's got something to sell and we are bombarded with advertisement from dusk to dawn and some of it is now unrecognizable as advertisement so we take it in just in case it is important. I really don't care who's on Dancing with the Stars, I don't care what girl groups think of our president, I don't care if Oprah was duped by her book club, I don't care who fathered Anna Nicole's baby, I don't care that James Cameron found Jesus' tomb, unless he really did, then it's actually news.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF: Baseball Season. I am defined by my hobbies - poker, movies, ufology and baseball. 90% of my time is spent researching or actively engaging in these pursuits. Three of them can happen year round, but only baseball has a season, which allows me the ecstasy of March, when the season is in sight and the rotisserie drafts begin. I am not much of a sports fan like most guys. I only really care about baseball and I care about it enough that I would rather spend the off-season watching highlights of the winter meetings than any basketball game. To a sports fan, March means college basketball, but to me, it always means spring training. I love being involved with fantasy baseball which make the games even more meaningful to me as I track the players in whom I've vested my own success. After a four-year absence, Tom has come back into the fantasy baseball fold and his enthusiasm and excitement for the upcoming season increases mine. We are pals even without it, but now we are once again playing together in the same sandbox as pals should.
SICK OF: Primary Season. Isn't Bush still going to be president for a couple of more years? Who are these people making headlines every day as they hold conversations with America, engage in straight talk and whatever else they are doing? I couldn't care less about these people. The fact that they are on the nightly news this far in front of the election is just a daily reminder that money buys elections. Joe Schmo who listens to the radio in his car on the way to his bartending gig hears the same names over and over for months and months before it is time to cast a vote. He doesn't know what the heck the names represent, but he knows one guy is black, one guy is a woman, one guy served in Vietnam, and he will base his decision on which guy he wishes he was. For those of us who actually want to hear what these people think about things, we have to filter through all the nonsense about adultery and draft-dodging and quotes taken out of context and yada yada yada. I am perfectly happy if all these people just go away and appear only on stage for televised debates. Oh yeah, they can't even do that right.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF: Vegetables. I loathe exercise but I love eating. For what I lack in physical exertion, I have always tried to make up for in nutrition. Alas, I was not eating my fair share of vegetables. If you could wheedle all the nonsense in diet fads down to one word, they would all be reduced to "vegetables". If you could only eat one sector of the food pyramid for the rest of your days and you wanted a lot of days, you are best to go with vegetables. I was amazed when I moved to California and found the produce sections of supermarkets brimming with the freshest food I have ever laid eyes on. I am still intimidated by some of the offerings which I have never even heard of, but lately I've decided to just buy some random veggies and force myself to find ways to cook them once I get them home. Thanks to Google, I can instantly find half a dozen ways to prepare brussels sprouts as the oven preheats for dinner. I love the taste of nearly all vegetables and I hate wasting money, so buying a week's supply of veggies, then having them stare at me from the counter as they slowly decay goads me into action every day. I actually put a roasted pablano pepper on my turkey sandwich yesterday. Yum.
SICK OF: The GOP. I was born during Nixon and I remember Carter, but I only started half-way paying attention during Reagan. I loved that man enough to realize that Bush 41 was a disappointment but Bush 43 has me embarrassed to admit my affiliation. It's not even really Bush that I loathe but his administration as a whole and the party that rationalizes it. I was jubilant when the GOP took control of government, but in my mind, it was an extension of the Gingrich revolution. It took years for me to realize what a bad administration the current one is and now I just want it to go away. I don't agree with much of the Democratic agenda, but I recognize that our country needs a change and sadly they represent the only other possibility. I am hoping that Gingrich or somebody can come to the rescue but I fear that the Bush years have done such harm to the party that it won't be garnering the popular vote for some time to come, until it completely reinvents itself. The party is definitely growing away from me. In the previous state election cycle, I voted Republican for all the big ticket posts like governor and attorney general, but I voted straight Libertarian for all the jobs that represented a politician's first foray into public service. I figured if I did it, then maybe others did it, and over time, we might actually see some people in office who aren't beholden to the talking points.
CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF: Cosmology. It is the most fascinating subject in the known universe - the known universe itself. I know that all three of my Junto brethren believe in a personal God but I don't share this belief. I'm not saying there is no higher power, but I think most belief systems inject him into the improper place. The universe is a work of wonder and the emergence of life, while possibly random, seems more likely to be preordained by the very composition of the universe at the outset. Our universe is strangely conducive to the development of carbon-based life. As one cosmologist states, it is as if it knew we were coming. It is not simply that the universe is hospitable to us, it is more like it was designed with us in mind. There's really only two possibilities: either our universe is one of an inconceivably large array of mulitverses in which all the variables played out perfectly for the eventual emergence of intelligent life, or our universe was designed with the variables in place to eventually produce intelligent life. Whether the universe was designed by natural forces or a higher intelligence is really unprovable at this point, but in my opinion, if you are looking to inject a God into the equation, it is pre-Big Bang, since everything since then has been ticking along like clockwork with nary a divine intervention needed.
BONUS: I really can't say if it is good or bad, but I could watch this all day.