My Experiment With Serial Fiction

I’ve recently repurposed a story I wrote in college and turned it into a serialized fiction story. I don’t know how many installments it will consist of, but I do know that the first two are available for you to read RIGHT NOW. (I’m currently working on the third episode, which will hopefully be ready next week.)

Please check them out and let me know what you think!


Dr. Jeremy | Episode 1: “Trust Me”

Dr. Jeremy | Episode 2: “Double Criminal”

Also, if you have an account on Medium and are not following me, please do so. I’d love to connect.
Ryan Hussey on Medium

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My Personal Guide to Tinder, Part 2

A solution to a problem that doesn’t exist

Maybe it’s time for me to swipe right on the concept of online dating.

-me, in My Personal Guide to Tinder, Part 1

The last time I checked in, I was just beginning my Tinder journey. After hearing a handful of success stories, I decided that I’d give the dating app another chance. Perhaps it could be the “solution to my perpetual loneliness” (direct quote from my last post). But what I neglected to realize is that “my perpetual loneliness” is a conscious decision I’ve made, and frankly it’s not much of a problem at all. So, instead of looking at Tinder as a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, I’m going to look at it as an opportunity — an opportunity to open doors that would remain closed otherwise.

My personal Tinder guidelines (cont.)

As I continue to use the app, I find myself developing more and more habits. One interesting observation I’ll make about these “rules” is that an overwhelming majority of them involve swiping left, effectively narrowing down (limiting?) my options. Like I said, I am the main reason those doors are closed in the first place.

Remember: Swipe left for NOPE, swipe right for LIKE.

  1. If I can’t pronounce her name, swipe left.
  2. Swipe left for girls whose names have stupid spellings (ie. Tayler, Elisabeth).
  3. *addendum to existing rule(s)* If there are two girls in the first photo and I can’t tell which one she is — BUT both girls are smoking hotswipe right. Swipe right immediately because it doesn’t matter which girl she is. Plus, she has gorgeous friends.
  4. If she has any more than zero (0) photos containing a horse, swipe left.
  5. If there is a glaring spelling/grammatical error in her About Me section, swipe left.
  6. If a girl is too New Jersey¹, swipe left.
  7. If she has something like If you _________, keep it moving! in her profile, swipe left.
  8. If she mentions faith and/or religion in her About Me section, swipe left because ain’t nobody got time for that.
  9. If her name is Dina, swipe left.
  10. Swipe left if her weight isn’t discernible. (I know this makes me sound like a shallow asshole, but what’s the point of swiping right on somebody I don’t really want to talk to? That’d be sacrificing the integrity of Tinder. <<<<< That was a funny sentence.)
  11. CrossFit? Swipe left.
  12. If she has bad teeth, swipe left. (If she doesn’t have her mouth open in any of her photos, there is no way to prove she even has teeth. Obviously swipe left.)
  13. If we have mutual friends, assess the situation. (But then probably swipe right to see if she did/does the same.)
  14. If we have mutual interests, refer to all preceding rules because literally nothing matters less than this. (Exception: Weezer — see Rule #6 in previous post.)

Another Tinder anecdote for you

I broke one of my own rules recently (Rule #21, if we’re keeping track²). I noticed that the girl actually had two photos with a horse — something that would normally have me scoffing and swiping any which way but right…

IMG_1813

I’m going to end up with one of those girls who’s super in love with her horse, aren’t I?

However, this girl happened to be very attractive and quite skinny. Perhaps this is a weakness of mine.

To be continued…?


Footnotes:

¹You know exactly what I mean.

²PUN ALERT.

25 Groundbreaking Movies

I’ve been on a kick lately, and I can’t seem to get this concept out of my head — this concept of the “low-hanging fruit.” Why go somewhere so many other people have gone when you can do just about anything else? Why try to mimic what everybody else is doing when you have the opportunity and ability to create something new?

Innovation is exciting. New products, new businesses, new ideas — they’re what makes the world go ’round. Stagnancy is horrifying, and we all know most ideas get stale rather quickly. So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most revolutionary films I’ve seen to honor those writers, directors, and actors who dared to try something that had never been done before. Here is my list of 25 groundbreaking movies that flipped the script on me (in no particular order), proving that taking a shot and creating something can go a long way. [WARNING: Some spoilers ahead…]

1. Toy Story

Memorable quote: “Reach for the sky!”

Why it’s noteworthy: Toy Story was Pixar’s first feature length film, so “reaching for the sky” is exactly what these animators and filmmakers were doing leading up to its 1995 release. This film pioneered the Pixar movement, paving the way for movies like Up and WALL-E, the two best Pixar films. (I will argue to the death about this assertion.)

2. The Wizard of Oz

Memorable quote: “I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Released in 1939, The Wizard of Oz was not the first movie to be made in color (though, it is commonly mistaken as being such). However, this film is groundbreaking in the way it had basically everything: music, and color, and midgets — oh my!

3. Psycho

Memorable quote: “We all go a little mad sometimes.”

Why it’s noteworthy: With Psycho, Alfred Hitchcock revolutionized the horror genre. Usually, the suspense in a movie comes before a woman removes her clothes, but Hitchcock found a way to generate suspense after a female character was already naked. Talk about groundbreaking! Also, he kills off an important character like twenty minutes into the film, which was unheard of at the time.

4. Before Sunrise

Memorable quote: “Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?”

Why it’s noteworthy: Everything Richard Linklater does makes me love him more. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy deliver phenomenal performances as the lead characters, and the best part about the super-long shots and heavy dialogue is that it makes the movie feel real. Plus, the entire trilogy is fucking delightful, especially Before Sunset, the second installment, which I personally enjoyed the most.

5. Boyhood

Memorable quote: “You don’t want the bumpers. Life doesn’t give you bumpers.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Linklater did it again with Boyhood, a movie that was literally shot with the same cast over the course of twelve years. “Normal” people don’t do that. And that’s why being “normal” is overrated.

6. Hocus Pocus

Memorable quote: “It’s a full moon tonight. That’s when all the weirdos are out.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Aside from this being the only Halloween movie I at least make an attempt to watch every year (because of nostalgia and stuff), Hocus Pocus remains the only film in which I’m kind-of-sort-of-maybe attracted to Sarah Jessica Parker.

7. the original Star Wars trilogy

Memorable quote: “The Force is strong with this one.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Chances are, if somebody hasn’t actually seen any of the Star Wars films, s/he has heard of them. George Lucas’ baby is widely considered the first film franchise to extend beyond the boundaries of the movie industry. The reason everybody has heard of Star Wars is because of all of the licensed merchandise and games and whatnot that stemmed from the books/films. Also, Han Solo and incest.

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Memorable quote: “Hold still. I’ve never done this before, and there will be blood.”

Why it’s noteworthy: To my knowledge, this is the only film in which you are actually rooting for a character as she is literally raping another character.

9. Avatar

Memorable quote: “I see you.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Blue people sex(?).

10. American Pie

Memorable quote: “I don’t want any of you boys thinking that you’re gonna score. You don’t score until you *score*!”

Why it’s noteworthy: American Pie is one of the most important movies of the 80s and 90s because it’s the only one about a bunch of high school kids trying to have sex. Also, Jason Biggs bangs a pie.

11. Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Memorable quote: “Ladies and gentlemen, that there is a naked woman!”

Why it’s noteworthy: The first Blair Witch is often recognized as an innovative film because of the way it employed “found footage” and earned its way to an unprecedented budget/box office ratio. I believe the second Blair Witch is just as important because it was the first time I saw a boob in theaters. (I have a really cool aunt who takes ten year olds to see R-rated horror movies.)

12. Reservoir Dogs

Memorable quote: “Shit… You shoot me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs is the only heist movie I can think of that doesn’t actually show the heist.

13. The Happening

Memorable quote: “It makes you kill yourself. Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more evil that can be invented.”

Why it’s noteworthy: I’ve seen this movie in its entirety and still have no idea what it’s about. I can’t say that about any other movies. Also, M. Night Shyamalan plot twist: it’s awful.

14. Just Go With It

Memorable quote: “Just go with it.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Every character just goes with it. This film has the most just-going-with-it I’ve ever seen in one movie.

15. 300

Memorable quote: “THIS IS SPARTA!”

Why it’s noteworthy: Without 300, it wouldn’t be cool to kick somebody into a giant hole while yelling something. So, there’s that.

16. 8 Mile

Memorable quote: “Yo, that ‘Leave it to Beaver’ line almost killed me.”

Why it’s noteworthy: It’s just nice to see a Caucasian from a poor area succeed and go on to make as much money as his African American counterpart for once.

17. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Why it’s noteworthy: I don’t know if this movie is “groundbreaking,” per se, but I’ve never seen Jesse Bradford on a bicycle while time is slowed down in any other films.

18. Marley & Me

Memorable quote: “Sometimes life has a better idea.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Marley & Me is the only film guaranteed to make me cry every time I watch it. The sad part is, I don’t even cry when Marley gets put down — I cry happy tears when they move to Pennsylvania and see snow for the first time and play outside as a family. Groundbreaking filmmaking right there.

19. The Usual Suspects

Memorable quote: “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Aside from being one of my all-time favorite films, my first reaction to this movie was, “WHAAAAAATTTTTTT???”

20. Memento

Memorable quote: “I have this condition.”

Why it’s noteworthy: I give credit to the Nolan brothers for the nonlinear storytelling technique used in Memento. It’s a rather simple plot that’s made all the more intriguing by the main character’s “condition” and the reverse order of the scenes in the one storyline.

21. WALL-E

Memorable quote: “Eeeee… va?”

Why it’s noteworthy: As aforementioned, I believe WALL-E is the best Pixar film. Simply put, it’s an animated futuristic robot love story that ends up being more charming than a heavy majority of the Notebook-type movies out there. I went to see it with a group of 4th graders as a summer camp field trip, and the kids were much more excited than I was going into the film. However, on the bus ride back, the kids were disappointed and saying things like, “That movie sucked,” and I was defensively responding, “You shut your whore mouth about WALL-E!”

22. Saving Private Ryan

Memorable quote: “I just know that every man I kill, the farther away from home I feel.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Saving Private Ryan‘s opening scene is more than enough reason to put it on this list.

23. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Memorable quote: “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

Why it’s noteworthy: If this Kubrick flick was released today, it would be considered strange. Imagine how weird it was back in 1968.

24. The Tree of Life

Memorable quote: “Tell us a story from before we can remember.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Speaking of weird, The Tree of Life takes the cake for experimental filmmaking.

25. Beginners

Memorable quote: “The chair is not gay, obviously.”

Why it’s noteworthy: Beginners is the best movie ever made — hands down, no doubt about it, all arguments against it are irrelevant. The end.


Check out some other movie lists I’ve compiled:

25 Inspirational Movies

25 Depressing Movies

10 Movies That Don’t Have Enough John Goodman

10 Movies That Don’t Have Enough John Goodman

We all need a little John Goodman every now and again. The only thing better than a little John Goodman is a lot of John Goodman. The man is an extremely talented actor, and frankly, a living legend in the entertainment business. He never fails to paint smiles on every audience member’s face in the movie theater, which is why I will go as far as to call him an artist. Also, he kills it whenever he makes a television appearance (whether it be as a recurring character or guest star); case in point: Roseanne.

So, to honor a man who is always honest with his acting and his interviews, I’ve compiled a list of ten movies that just don’t seem to contain enough John Goodman in them. [WARNING: Some spoilers ahead…]

 

1. Coyote Ugly

Explanation: In a movie Mr. Goodman admittedly did solely “for the money,” one would expect more of the likable father and less of the annoying, singing protagonist daughter who is kind of hot.

via angelfire.com

via angelfire.com

2. The Borrowers

Explanation: In a movie about little people (like, not midgets — actual tiny persons), John Goodman plays the “evil” real estate developer who wants to destroy the house in which they reside. If anything, Goodman is the hero in this film because these tiny people are basically just glorified rats and “borrowing” is just a PG-term for stealing.

Side noteI do enjoy the way John Goodman is both figuratively and literally a giant to these rodents. He truly is larger than life, isn’t he?

 

3. The Artist

Explanation: The Artist won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2011 (we can only assume because of Goodman’s performance), yet it still feels like something’s missing from the film. My best guess is John Goodman.

 

4. The Flintstones

Explanation: I know — “But didn’t John Goodman play Fred Flintstone, the lead role??” Yabba-dabba-DON’T be so naive. The time the film wasted trying to convince the audience Rosie O’Donnell would be married to a man could have been spent better developing Fred and Barney’s friendship.

Side note: I understand that Rosie didn’t come out until 2002, but it doesn’t make her lack of chemistry with Rick Moranis any less obvious.

via splitsider.com

via splitsider.com

5. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Explanation: Besides the fact that John Goodman is almost always both of the things mentioned in the title, how could a movie about 9/11 not include more of such an American hero? The Golden Globe-winning actor was instead reduced to the role of a doorman. Smh.

 

6. The Departed

Explanation: Okay, I know John Goodman wasn’t technically “in” The Departed to begin with, but I think everyone would agree that there could be more of him in it.

 

7. Flight

Explanation: 

 

8. Argo

Explanation: Like The ArtistArgo won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2012 (again, we can only assume because of Goodman’s character). In fact, John Goodman is one of a very limited number of actors who have appeared in Best Picture winners in consecutive years. While rare, this accomplishment isn’t completely unbelievable because he was in basically every movie released from 2011-2013.

That being said, you can “Argo-fuck-yourself” if you think there was enough John Goodman in this otherwise wonderful film. Oscar-worthy, I’m sure, but it also deserves to be on this list.

 

9. The Big Lebowski

Explanation: John Goodman’s Walter Sobchak may be one of the best characters in the history of film, and The Big Lebowski is a fantastic movie. It’s like really really really good, man. But just because it’s GOOD doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a little more GOOD, MAN. GOODMAN. [Further explanation: “GOOD, MAN” → drop the comma → “GOOD MAN” → delete the space → “GOODMAN.”]

via movieforums.com

via movieforums.com

 

10. literally every movie ever

Explanation: If there is anything we can learn from this discussion, my hope is that we all view movies a bit differently now. And if we’re ever watching a movie and we wonder: “Is there enough John Goodman in this…?”

The answer, in all likelihood, is no.


For Your Consideration

How do we know whether or not there is enough John Goodman in a movie?

The formula is a bit complex:

JG formula

This foolproof formula will help you calculate the value of the variable x, which will reveal whether or not there is enough John Goodman in the film. The closer the value of x is to 1, the closer the film is to having enough John Goodman. Or, as a shortcut, you can use this much simpler formula:

x   =   OF COURSE THE FUCKING FILM DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH JOHN GOODMAN.

25 Depressing Movies

Not too long ago, I compiled a list of 25 Inspirational Movies because, like I say in the post, “we all need a little inspiration every now and again.” Similarly, I believe that we all need to be able to feel sad every so often. Now, while I realize that compiling a list of sad movies is not necessarily fun or funny (and while I want to acknowledge the fact that I’m not even sad while writing this), I just feel like people need to be able to confront their feelings. Instead of putting on masks that hide our emotions, sometimes we need to pour ourselves some wine, sit back, and realize how shitty life can be.

So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most depressing movies I’ve seen to hopefully ruin somebody’s day at some point. While some of these movies might have uplifting undertones, I only want to discuss the sad stuff because hey, that’s life. [WARNING: Spoilers ahead…]

1. Beginners

Memorable quote: “You can stay in the same place and still find ways to leave people.”

Why it’s sadLove is never simple. Also, your hair is nothing like Ewan McGregor’s.

2. The Sessions

Memorable quote: “I believe in a God with a sense of humor. I would find it absolutely intolerable not to be to able blame someone for all this.”

Why it’s sadEven a dude with polio is getting more action than you.

3. The Mist

Memorable quote: “You can’t convince some people there’s a fire even when their hair is burning. Denial is a powerful thing.”

Why it’s sad: You can always wait a few more minutes.

4. Million Dollar Baby

Memorable quote: “Mo cuishle means ‘My darling, my blood.'”

Why it’s sad: Even Clint Eastwood cries.

5. Marley & Me

Memorable quote: “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.”

Why it’s sad: You probably need to pay more attention to your pooch.

6. Click

Memorable quote: “He’s always chasing the pot of gold, but when he gets there, at the end of the day, it’s just corn flakes.”

Why it’s sad: Plot details aside, it is inconceivable that a guy like Adam Sandler would end up with a girl like Kate Beckinsale.

7. Titanic

Memorable quote: “I’ll never let go, Jack.”

Why it’s sad: Watch anything for three hours and you’ll probably want to die.

8. The Road

Memorable quote: “I told the boy when you dream about bad things happening, it means you’re still fighting and you’re still alive. It’s when you start to dream about good things that you should start to worry.”

Why it’s sad: Cannibalism.

9. The Butterfly Effect

Memorable quote: “You can’t change who people are without destroying who they were.”

Why it’s sad: Even if you save everybody else, you’ll still end up on Two and a Half Men.

10. Hardball

Memorable quote: “What I’ve learned from you is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up.”

Why it’s sad: Keanu Reeves is so white that it’s sad. Also, G-Baby. *single tear*

11. My Girl

Memorable quote: “He can’t see without his glasses!”

Why it’s sad: Bees, man. They’ll kill you.

12. Sophie’s Choice

Memorable quote: “Don’t make me choose!”

Why it’s sad: Red wine or white. Paper or plastic. Windows down or air-conditioning. Everybody makes tough decisions. Such is life.

13. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Why it’s sad: I don’t know if this movie is “depressing” per se, but it definitely makes me think about what Jesse Bradford is doing now.

14. The Passion of the Christ

Memorable quote: “Forgive them, Father. They know not what they do.”

Why it’s sad: Basically everything you learned in Catholic school and church is wrong because Mel Gibson also believes it.

15. Zero Dark Thirty

Memorable quote: “You can’t run a global network of interconnected cells from a cave.”

Why it’s sad: You’re rooting for this one dude the entire movie, and then they just kill him like it’s nothing.

16. Edward Scissorhands

Memorable quote: “I am not complete.”

Why it’s sad: He can’t even sleep on a water bed, for Christ’s sake.

17. P.S. I Love You

Memorable quote: “Don’t be afraid to fall in love again. Watch out for that signal, when life as you know it ends.”

Why it’s sadThis film is depressing for obvious reasons, but mostly because I watched it alone.

18. Toy Story 3

Memorable quote: “Now Woody, he’s been my pal for as long as I can remember. He’s brave, like a cowboy should be.”

Why it’s sad: Holy shit, the part when you think they’re all going to die. Also, growing up kind of blows.

19. King Kong

Memorable quote: “It wasn’t the airplanes. It was beauty killed the beast.”

Why it’s sad: Even a giant ape is getting more action than you.

20. Donnie Darko

Memorable quote: “I hope that when the world comes to an end, I can breathe a sigh of relief, because there will be so much to look forward to.”

Why it’s sad: It’s confusing and makes you think you’re dumb and makes you want to cry.

21. Pitch Perfect

Memorable quote: [the part when they all sing and dance at the end]

Why it’s sad: Adam from Workaholics can sing and I can’t.

22. Fast & Furious 7

Memorable quote: [film not yet released]

Why it’s sad: I’m just assuming this film will be extremely depressing if it has any Paul Walker scenes in it.

23. The Cabin in the Woods

Memorable quote: “I’m sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the world.”

Why it’s sadNothing is important.

24. End of Watch

Memorable quote: “Let’s go fight crime or something.”

Why it’s sad: “Or something” means “and get killed.”

25. The Wolf of Wall Street

Memorable quote: “Was all this legal? Absolutely not!”

Why it’s sad: People who abandon all of their morals are allowed to “succeed” in this world. And then they’re allowed to write books about it. And then those books are turned into blockbuster movies. If that’s not depressing, I don’t know what is.

25 Inspirational Movies

We all need a little inspiration every now and again. Some people find intellectual and emotional stimulation in nature, while others find it in music or literature. Some of us even seek this creative motivation in other people. Many of us, however, turn to film to inspire us. The way a story can make us feel — whether it be true or fictional — is what gets the gears moving in our heads. It is with this stimulation that the most groundbreaking innovation is possible.

So, I’ve compiled a list of twenty-five of the most inspirational movies I’ve seen to hopefully inspire somebody else. Of course, my list is different than others. And that’s fine because trust me — it’s fine. [WARNING: Some spoilers ahead…]

1. Big Fish

Memorable quote: “A man tells his stories so many times that he becomes the stories. They live on after him, and in that way he becomes immortal.”

Message: Everybody has daddy issues. What makes you think yours are any worse than somebody else’s? Also, sometimes your dad’s a fish.

2. The Shawshank Redemption

Memorable quote: “Let me tell you something, my friend. Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.”

Message: Don’t have hope in anything. Except our justice system because clearly it works.

3. Life of Pi

Memorable quote: “If it happened, it happened. Why should it have to mean anything?”

Message: Sometimes, you need to live a lie to be happy.

4. Pay It Forward

Memorable quote: “I think some people are too scared, or something. I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are – even if they’re bad – to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.”

Message: If you ever try to change the world, you WILL get stabbed.

5. Forrest Gump

Memorable quote: “You have to do the best with what God gave you.”

Message: If you have sex with a mentally challenged person, you WILL get HIV and have a kid who sees ghosts. Also, sometimes that weird kid in your class grows up to do amazing things.

6. Slumdog Millionaire

Memorable quote: [the part when they all dance at the end]

Message: Every experience is meaningful in its own way. Also, dancing is fun.

7. Schindler’s List

Memorable quote: “Power is when we have every justification to kill, and we don’t.”

Message: Liam Neeson saved just as many people as he killed in those Taken movies. And you should always make lists so you don’t forget stuff. (I’ve never seen the whole movie.)

8. Field of Dreams

Memorable quote: “If you build it, he will come.”

Message: Commit to something and follow through with it.

9. 8 Mile

Memorable quote: “Do you ever wonder at what point you just got to say ‘fuck it,’ man? Like when you gotta stop living up here, and start living down here?”

Message: It’s just nice to see a Caucasian from a poor area succeed and go on to make as much money as his African American counterpart for once.

10. The Rookie

Memorable quote: “If you don’t have dreams, you don’t have anything.”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

11. Up

Memorable quote: “Adventure is out there!”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

12. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Memorable quote: “I need some poon! I need genital to genital connections!”

Message: You’re never too old to pursue a dream.

13. Clockstoppers

Memorable quote: [something about a watch, probably]

Message: I don’t know if this movie is “inspirational” per se, but it definitely makes me think about what I would do if I could slow down time.

14. Jurassic Park

Memorable quote: “Life, uh… finds a way.”

Message: Evolution is real but so is God. Nothing makes sense.

15. Good Will Hunting

Memorable quote: “You know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, ’cause I think, maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there.”

Message: Getting up and leaving solves everything.

16. The Graduate

Memorable quote: “It’s like I was playing some kind of game, but the rules don’t make any sense to me. They’re being made up by all the wrong people. I mean no one makes them up. They seem to make themselves up.”

Message: If you go through the trouble of breaking up a wedding, she almost HAS to choose you.

17. Fast & Furious 6

Memorable quote: “Ah! I’m driving at a dangerously high speed!”

Message: Never doubt yourself because you can always get faster and more furious. R.I.P., Paul — you lived fast and furiously, and we know you wouldn’t have left this world any other way.

18. Captain America: The First Avenger

Memorable quote: “OMG that little dude just jumped on top of a grenade!”

Message: Even the biggest underdog can be a hero when he’s genetically enhanced into a physical specimen with super strength and peak human conditioning. Basically — if you can’t beat ’em, cheat.

19. It’s A Wonderful Life

Memorable quote: “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

Message: If you want to do something, commit to it and be sure to follow through.

20. Finding Nemo

Memorable quote: “Just keep swimming.”

Message: Don’t give up. Also, a lot of fish look the same. So if you’re looking for a specific one, good luck. Better hope they have a fucked up fin or something.

21. Beauty and the Beast

Memorable quote: “As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?”

Message: When you’re attractive, people don’t ask questions about why you were a hideous beast. They just go with it… Oh, Just Go With It — now that’s a movie. (Memorable quote: “Just go with it.” Message: Just go with it.)

22. Love Actually

Memorable quote: “Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

Message: Love only exists when you have a British accent. Also, when you are in love with your best friend’s wife, that shit comes back to bite you in the ass when there’s a zombie apocalypse or something.

23. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Memorable quote: “What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger.”

Message: How well does anybody really know Kate Winslet?

24. Crash

Memorable quote: “I think we miss that touch so much that we crash into each other, just so we can feel something.”

Message: Everybody in LA is a little bit racist and don’t you forget that.

25. The Social Network

Memorable quote: “If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook.”

Message: Screw over your best friend and he WILL become Spider-Man. Also, what the fuck am I doing? I could be inventing Facebook or some shit.

Letter from My Future Child

Dear Daddy,

I forgive you for the name you gave me, but maybe it’s the last name you should be worried about. Is that why Mommy uses a hyphen?

A boy in my class named Alex told me Santa isn’t real, but my friend Jade said Alex’s parents just tell him that to make him feel better about being Jewish. At least that’s what Jade’s daddy told her. But then Samantha told me Jade‘s daddy only said that because he drinks.

I’m glad you don’t drink all the time. You seem happy. You and mommy fight sometimes, but I’m never afraid. You even wrestle once in awhile. Actually, the more often you wrestle, the less you guys fight. You should wrestle more.

You help me with my homework when you can, but Mommy says I need to make mistakes so I can learn from them. You don’t like seeing me make mistakes. I know you love me. You and Mommy do everything you can to make sure of that. You play with me, buy me toys, take me places, take care of me when I’m sick, and tuck me in every night. You’re even buying me a new baby brother or sister in a few months.

I don’t know if I like boys or girls yet, so I’ll get back to you on that one. I don’t think you are too involved in my life because you and Mommy show a lot of interest, but you also let me wipe all by myself sometimes. And I’m sorry that you caught me, Daddy. I do sneak juice boxes from the pantry when you aren’t paying attention. As for the basement, I had to Google “sex dungeon.” I’m not sure it’s what you meant because most of the pictures look like the Halloween costumes in your closet. I guess I’ll just ask my teacher about it tomorrow.

You forgive me for a lot of the trouble I cause. Whenever I break something around the house, your first question is always: “Are you okay?” You yell a lot more than Mommy does, but I think you’re just a loud man. Whenever I do something wrong, I hear you in the back of my head even if you’re not around.

You promised not to use “because I said so” to justify anything, but you used it last weekend when you wouldn’t get me ice cream on the way home from the movies. I think you and Mommy were fighting because the movie wasn’t very good. Also, you hadn’t wrestled in three weeks. So, I forgive you.

Love,

[Ryan Jr./Ryneesha]

P.S. Sorry the movie wasn’t very good. Maybe Smurfs 11 will be better.

My Sit-Down Comedy Set, With the Help of Twitter (Part 2)

[Walk out onto stage like a boss, but carry myself as if I’m kind of nervous because confidence is often viewed as arrogance and I don’t want to start this set off with people thinking I’m a douche. Grab the microphone.]

How’s everybody doing tonight? [Pause for cheers.] Yes, yes. Thank you. I can’t believe this many of you decided to come back for more. This is only my second comedy set, so I appreciate the love. I’m gonna be honest with you: making people laugh is one of my favorite things to do.

I’m just so god damn lazy sometimes.

Do I need a haircut? Yeah I probably should get a haircut… Ah, what’s one more week?

Do I need to do laundry? Yeah I probably should do laundry… Ah, what’s one more week?

Do I need to pick up Plan B for my girlfriend? Yeah I probably should pick up that Plan B…

Do I work out? Yes, of course I work out. I work out the number of episodes of Arrested Development I can watch on Netflix before I go to bed.

[pause for laughter]

I don’t even have a girlfriend. That’s the slightly depressing ending to that joke. I would enjoy the company of a girlfriend. It’s not like I’m not looking for a girlfriend. I’m open to meeting new people; it’s just that most people suck. My problem is that when I meet a new girl, the situation can progress in one of two ways: Either she doesn’t appreciate who I am and isn’t interested, or she’s really interested and I don’t care about anything she has to say.

You know what I’m saying? I don’t want her to be gullible, but oblivious enough to at least think I’m cool.

Another problem I run into is that the girls who think I’m cool end up being younger or extremely immature. I don’t mind a girl being younger than me (believe me: I definitely don’t mind a girl being younger than me), but immaturity is something I can’t deal with.

That’s my perfect girl right there. The best of both worlds – looks young but acts old. That’s basically how I am, so why can’t I find this woman of my dreams? Is she out there? She better not be just a fantasy. I mean…

That’s ridiculous. Oh, be patient, Ryan. You’ll find somebody sooner or later. Yeah, and when I find her, I have to keep being patient. How do you expect me to put up with someone for the rest of my life when I can barely put up with a girl for five minutes at a time?

I don’t want to get old, man. Sometimes, aging can be a beautiful thing. You get wiser, and sometimes you even get better looking… And then there are women.

[Reach for water bottle. Fade out to audience clapping.]

COMMERCIAL BREAK:

[Fade in from audience clapping.]

Nah, that’s a joke. I would never hit a woman. I would hit a child or a dog or whatever, though. [Chuckle.] Okay, I’m kidding… I would hit a woman. [Look directly at attractive woman in front row.] Don’t you worry, Kelly. I wouldn’t ever touch you like that.

Is her name Kelly? I don’t know; I just had a gut feeling and I went with it.

She’s my “Kelly Bean” because that sounds like “jelly bean” and jelly beans are delicious. Come on, look at her! [Camera focuses on “Kelly,” who is blushing and laughing hysterically at the same time.]

I’m a nice guy, though – I swear. Otherwise, how would I know so much about female rejection?

Or should I not be doing that? Am I doing something wrong? GIVE ME ANSWERS.

Being this cynical at the age of 22 is not exactly socially acceptable. I’m supposed to be young and motivated to succeed because I have my whole life ahead of me.

The way I look at strangers is the way actors look at Daniel Day-Lewis when he beats them at the Oscars. What, I have to fake a smile just because it’s “nice” to see other people happy?

Life is just a lot easier when you don’t care about things. My goal at any given moment is to make people think I care, but in reality I don’t care about anything. Does that make me a liar? Yeah, probably. But so be it. Sometimes, you have to lie to be happy.

That probably makes me a bad person because it’s like a double lie. I’m going out of my way to tell people that I’m being honest and then I lie straight to their faces. But that doesn’t make me feel bad. I feel much worse when I lie to myself. Like, what am I doing with my free time right now?

But that’s the truth, man. Sometimes, you have to lie to yourself to be happy, too.

Now, I’m not the type of person who necessarily likes lying to himself, so I’ll admit that I often don’t know when to shut up. Or better yet…

In this case, I turned that sentence into an entire set(/blog post).

Thank you guys for your undivided attention tonight, except for that drunk chick in the fourth row who was playing Fall Down on her phone the entire time. Goodnight!

[Walk away from mic while waving to audience. Take a bow. Realize bows are weird. Wave a little more. Turn around and disappear into the curtains like a mother-effing ninja.]

10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Read Lists

We all crave information, but we are too lazy and/or impatient to obtain it ourselves. We skim articles for the main points, we skip to the last pages of books, and we formulate judgments prior to examining all of the facts about a subject. Resources such as SparkNotes, CliffsNotes, and Wikipedia are useful tools, but have they taken away one of the best aspects of reading and discovering? When all of the important details are spelled out for us, our ability to separate the essential parts of a story from the superfluous parts becomes duller than a majority of the posts on Thought Catalog.

Not to take shots at sites like those, but – you know what, yes – I’m going to take shots at sites like those. Go onto Thought Catalog or BuzzFeed or Flavorwire or Cracked (oh god, Cracked) right now. I am willing to bet that roughly 50% of the posts featured on their main pages consist of lists – lists that require no talent or effort to write, and likewise, no talent or effort to read. These lists often contain information that is beyond unnecessary, and they are usually meant to be diversions from whatever mundane task we are completing at work.

I’m here to explain why these lists are damaging to the integrity of writing as a profession, as well as degrading to the hobby of reading as a means of learning.

1. They rarely stay on topic.

Most of the time, the author fails to think of x number of points and begins to let his/her mind wander. Sometimes, the author will even fill in the last few points with ridiculous memes and GIFs.

2. The information is useless.

I would say that roughly 95% of the information in the lists on those websites has no value – educational, comedic, nor entertainment.

3. They are wrong.

So many articles try to show things you won’t believe or things that are going to blow your mind. I do believe some of those things, and they don’t blow my mind. Sorry.

4. They contradict each other.

Why would any site want to simultaneously destroy my faith in humanity and restore my faith in humanity? The only thing destroying my faith in humanity is the fact that these types of articles consume the Interwebs and people eat that shit up. And the only thing restoring my faith in humanity is the fact that I can look at cute puppies and kittens instead.*

5. What’s with the cats and puppies?

Okay, I’m kidding. I actually love those sometimes.

6. They purposely make you paranoid.

Telltale signs that you are _________  /  Ways to tell if you are __________

I’ll make it a whole lot easier for you: If you click on whatever the article is, then it’s a safe bet that you are _________. And if you laughed and blew air out of your nose while reading that last sentence, then you are definitely ________.

7. They like to dwell on the past.

Things you probably forgot existed

That’s like bringing up a friend’s ex when he/she is trying to have a good time. There is probably a good reason we all forgot those things existed. Those things suck.

8. They are completely subjective but disguise themselves as objective.

That’s lying, babe. Nobody should be distinguishing the best from the worst, regardless of the topic and regardless of how condescendingly the author writes. You aren’t an “expert” on anything just because your aunt got you a job at Flavorwire.

9. Because.

10. They try to tell you what you should/shouldn’t do.

Why are you going to listen to somebody who writes for Thought Catalog or BuzzFeed? All that you need to write one of those list articles is access to Google and the absence of a soul. Why are you even listening to me? You shouldn’t be.

*I never had much faith in humanity to begin with.