5 “Stranger Things” Thoughts

The other title I had was “5 Things I Think about “Stranger Things,” but I kind of like the way my first one sounds. Anyway, last night my wife and I powered through the second half of Season One of Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it yet, it means you don’t have Netflix. If you don’t have Netflix, it’s 2016 and costs like $15/mo. Get it so we can move on…

Moving on…oh, and SPOILER ALERTS AND SPOILERS AND PROCEED WITH CAUTION’S are in order. I’m obviously going to be talking about the show, so if you don’t want it ruined, thanks for the site hit, but it’s best you move along.

Thing One: there isn’t a bad character on the show

I was laughing with my wife while we were watching it because, during the show, she noticed I was in a “deep-though gaze.” When asked what I was thinking about, I kind of laughed because it wasn’t like I was wading into the deep-end of my mind, rather I was thinking about a Facebook poll I saw called “which ST character are you?” I didn’t take the poll, but I wish I would have now that the series is over. But the thing is, I can see myself in just about every character. The characters are bold, extremely relatable, and each has depth beyond trying to find their friend or fight the monster. Even Brenner/Papa played his role well, and while his “death” was extremely underwhelming, I read that he’ll likely be rewritten into season two. Oh it’s happening!

Thing Two: the show keeps you guessing from start to finish

Remember the movie “Signs?” Remember how good the thing was all the way up until you see the alien, and then you kind of think “well that’s kind of stupid.” Stranger Things is like the best half of “Signs” through all eight episodes. Even after you see the monster, we really don’t know much about it. Is there only one monster? Did the fire/bear trap work (didn’t seem to, but then again…)? Does the gate move around and how does it move? Are El and the monster one in the same, or how are the connected? There is a lot going on, but never really grasping what is going on keeps you excited for what’s about to come.

Thing Three: something is always going on!

There are multiple subtle storylines that play into the show as a whole extremely well. Aside from Barbara (sorry, Barb) who kind of gets killed, semi-searched for, then “meh, we don’t need to really look for Barb anymore,” there is the mystery of the DOE building and the gate, there’s the search for Will, there is who/what is El, there’s the Other Side, Hopper might be my favorite character and we learn a whole lot about him (then get thrown a whole new “what’s his role next season” kind of loop at the end of the last episode). There’s the love triangle with the sister…

Side tangent – how is cocky boyfriend going to get beat up by Will’s brother in the street, then go total bad ass on the monster and save the day?

Anyway, at all times I am watching whatever is happening on screen and thinking about two things that either just happen or are about to happen. It’s a collection of great casting, writing, and actors that really get their characters and play them perfectly.

Thing Four: it’s not like anything else we’ve seen (in a long time)

I admit that when  I watch shows or movies, I have a big part of me that wants to cast it off because it’s too much like that show or basically the same thing at this show, only they changed X for Y. There really isn’t any of that with Stranger Things. The core group of friends are great heroes (brave, funny, unbreakable bond). They have to deal with social bullies, parents who won’t believe them, the government, and the monster, all while using their brains to figure out the things that the adult world can’t. The show is both nostalgic and original at the same time, and each character (and I mean EACH of the 20 or so characters that we see for more than 5 minutes during the show) is really, really fun and entertaining.

Thing Five: I still don’t want to play Dungeons and Dragons

I wanted to throw this in there because, there is a moment at the end when Mike is the narrator for a 10 hour game of D&D, he kind of makes up this story about a six headed hydra and I have the single (SINGLE) moment that thinks that could be fun. But, in the end, I’m much happier just catching the climax and waiting for Mike and the gang gear up for season two.

CAN’T WAIT!

 

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What’s New

So, I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like (in fact, the last time I had written just one post in a month was August 2015….until last month), but there has been a lot going on in the life….so what better way to catch the world up on little old me than with a post titled “what’s new?” It’s very clever in that, “I’m going to name my band The Dave Matthews Band” kind of way.

Actually, it might sound more official if I call it, “The Declaration of What’s New.”

Nope. Changing it back…

OK, so as you might (or might not) know, Kelly and I just put on Sweat Local Columbus, and it was a big hit! See below:

While the event is still fresh, we want to begin growing the SLC brand by doing monthly meet-up type of events around the city. We’ll be hosting different studios, trainers, and groups to have unique, one-of-a-kind workouts in unique locations that will also feature some kind of “extra vendor,” either a pop-up shop from one of Columbus’ local workout gear vendor or even local restaurants or breweries (we don’t discriminate… there is room for alcohol in healthy lifestyles!).

So that’s new in the life…

Kelly and I are also doing crossfit. I won’t get too deep into it because I feel like there is a negative stereotype with people who do crossfit only wanting to talk about their workouts. While I could go on, I’ll leave it at this to debunk that stereotype and just leave it at this…

I assume that sooner or later, the sore I feel will turn into strong…

As I’ve mentioned 100x on this blog, 2016 is both “The Year of Yes” and “The Year of Travel.” There’s been a hole lot of “yes” going on up until this point, and the travel half of 2016 is about to get going.

Vegas in two weeks…

Ireland in a month…

Pittsburgh in two months…

Canada in two and a half months…

It’s getting real, and it’s no longer something that we’re looking forward to, rather something that we have to actually start putting some things in motion so we have all our bases covered. With only having a dog and knowing how much work it is to make sure he’s taken care of, I can only imagine what it might be like to try to juggle any sort of traveling with a human puppy.

Not necessarily newsworthy, but aside from my blog game slacking, so too has my social media game. Since SLC, I haven’t really done much in the world of Instagram or Snapchat. I’m hoping with all these adventures coming up, I’ll get back on track and refocus on the things (you know, snaps with my Bitmoji’s) that are really important.

If these next three months go anywhere near what I think they will, there’s going to be a lot of exciting things coming out of the various “Ryn8985” accounts!

I’d also be excited to hear what everyone else has planned for the back-half of 2016!

 

I’m Over the Facebook Food Hacks

Dear Facebook friends who share food hack videos,

I want to start off by stating my love for food. I love food. I like eating it, smelling it, and looking at it. I bought a French Laundry coffee table book that had these high-end food recipes when I graduated college because I thought it would not only make me look cultured to people who came to my house, but because I genuinely liked just looking at the food and imagining how good it must have been to eat.

I also want to say I like “hacks.” Lifehacks are like little eureka nuggets that, even if I never use or think about again, give me a little “how ’bout that” moment in the day and makes me appreciate people’s creativity.

What I don’t like is scrolling through my Facebook feed and seeing 30 second food hacks about making pizza pretzels out of Pillsbury dough, jalapeno poppers in the microwave, soda-batter mini corn dogs, cheeseball dusted oreos, or whatever else kind of things you people post.

They all look the exact same and none of you actually make them. I feel like if you post one of those videos, you should be required to show proof that you ate that for dinner that night.

Remember when Twitter came out, and no one really knew what to do with it, so they just took pictures of their dinner? That is kind of what it feels like when I scroll through my FB feed and see a food hack video.

They all start with one of two things: someone whipping up eggs in a white bowl or unrolling pre-made dough. Quick hands pull it away from screen and heat/freeze. Add cheese. Again with the fast hands and dust with melted butter. Fast hands. 15-20 minutes and hey look, you have candy-corn homemade butterfinger balls. Do you know what would actually happen if you melted candy corn? It would take on some kind of mixture of toothpaste and wet cement. Add peanut butter? Now you have a poo-colored gluelike glob of mess that I guarantee you will look like a turd in the fridge. Seriously. Someone is going to come over, open your fridge looking for some La Croix or something like that, and see some little poo nuggets and never come over to your house again.

“Oh don’t mind those, they’re just candy corn and peanut butter butterfinger balls. The fun thing about those is that they look the exact same going in as they do coming out, and with as much -ucose that is in them, they probably won’t even digest at all!”

You know what would be a cool food hack? Take your white bowl, remove all eggs, candy corn, and sugar, take the bowl outside to your garden, and put some carrots in that bowl. Quick hands it inside, wash the carrots, and that’s it. Less heating, cooling, melting, and microwaving, and you won’t have to worry about the stomach ache that would come later with those other food hacks.

I just can’t people.

 

Predicting the Top 5 Fads of 2016

A quick Google search of trendy words in 2015 will populate your browser with words like bae, dadbod, on fleek, turn(t) up/down, #WCW, #FridayFail, #mindthegap, basic b*tch (usually followed by emoji with girl holding an invisible serving tray), and all sorts of other goofy words and terms that we like to occasionally use with our friends and pretend that we’re super-trendy. Ellen (my wife DVR’s her show, I watch when we’re out of our main lineup of shows, #SINS <— trendy!) even did a piece this month about some of these words and asked her 35-50 MWF audience if they knew what a lot of these words meant. I think she used “bae,” “on fleek,” and “netflix and chill” and asked audience members to use each phrase in a sentence. A lot of the audience laughed when she said the words, as if saying “oh yea, Ellen, we know what THAT word means,” but a quick read of their faces suggested they might have just been pretending to know so to appear like they’re more “with it” than they all know themselves to be. dr-evil-air-quotes-laser

In a world where eggplant emoji’s are penis’ and drinking isn’t drinking unless you snap yo drank, we all need to “Netflix and chill” out over this age of talking in hashtags and answering each other by mimicking little yellow people in our text bars.

But allow me to digress. The point of this post is not to bash this generation of new-slang-slinging communicators, but rather look ahead to 2016 at what might be trending in terms of how we talk to one another, what it is we talk about, and what will captivate our lives for the next 365 days (provided it’s not a leap year… too lazy to check).

smiling-face-with-sunglasses

  1. Evolved Emojis – In 2015, we could hold entire conversations by texting tiny pictures. Taco – fork and knife – Mexican flag – two beer mugs – question mark, to which a reply of face with hearts for eyes – thumbs up – girl waving – clock face showing 5:00 pm. We have embraced emojis because it allows us to be hilarious and also save time in using those annoying letters all the time to communicate our thoughts, but who has time to scroll our eyes from left to right reading 5-10 emojies at a time? That is why to stay current, emojis will evolve into tiny GIF-like animations of sunglasses face morphing into two girls holding hands morphing into beach scene morphing into a cocktail glass. We can stare at one emoji and let it do all the work instead of us having to remember the last two emojis in a linear row…
  2. Craft Vaping – I don’t know where the idea of “Craft things” came about — maybe it was literally crafting, which allowed us to personalize things in the 80’s like bird houses or Christmas cards and make them unique. While we don’t know where it came from, we certainly can recognize where crafting is in the form of craft beer, craft cheese, and a whole slew of other food and drinks that just weren’t good enough before so we had to make them better. With vaping picking up steam around the country, I can see craft vaping making a charge into mainstream America in 2016.

    Hipster 1: This vape has a little kush, a little kettle one, and some rosemary that really mellows your buzz. Hipster 2: Crafty, bud. 

  3. Camo-Flannel (aka Flamo) – If I see someone wearing a flannel shirt in 2015, I think, “cool.” If I see someone wearing camo (and they’re not hunting) in 2015, I think, “cool.” 2016 will blend these two mega-trends into one, and 2016 will be covered in “Flamo.” I can just see it now, flamo shirts at all the coolest parties. “Check out the lining of my jacket…flamo for days!” Of course, flamo will be locally sourced, cruelty-free, and for every flamo you buy, a pair of Warby Parker glasses will be sent to someone in a third world country.
  4. The Beginning of the Ban on Red Meat – Two years ago, pink slime was a trending word thanks to fast food joints stuffing this disgusting joke they called “meat” in between piece of bread and calling it a sandwich. 2015 taught us that bacon causes cancer and that we would solve a lot of this country’s food issues with we lessened our dependence on animal products. There is a feeling that red meat is this generation’s cigarette. We will fight the idea that we shouldn’t eat red meat because it tastes good, but ultimately something needs to happen to lessen people’s dependence on it for our health and for our planet. 2016 will be the year we see taxes on red meat that will lead to price hikes and ultimately a ban on certain red meat.
  5. Our spending will go up SIGNIFICANTLY – With the trend of “one-click buying,” it is becoming easier and easier to see something you want and buy it. In 2016, we won’t be able to help ourselves. We will see a hat on one of our friends on FB, and we will tap their hat and it will pop up a price and one-click buy button and it’ll be at our door in 36 hours. Amazon already makes it too easy to find literally (figuratively) anything on the planet you could possibly want and have a buy it now price. With how attached we are to our phones, we will be spending machines in 2016 and we won’t know why we are struggling paycheck to paycheck!