’24’ Still Holds Up 21 Years Later

Currently watching 24 and realized, despite me rewatching the seasons off and on throughout the years, the series still holds up.

The show originally aired in November 2001. I hadn’t realized until now how close this show aired to the events of 911 and how the first season, or in 24 term, Day 1 could be a little nerve wrecking to viewers back then. Times may be different now, so I wonder how people would react to a show with a first season about terrorism airing so close after a tragedy. Back then, I remember people were welcoming of the show because the nation was angry and wanted to see terrorist get their butts kicked by Jack Bauer. I wish I could remember the reaction to the first season, but there was so much going on in the world at that time. I think was 24 was recognized right away, but didn’t start to generate mainstream attention until later seasons.

The iconic clock didn’t get it’s signature sound effect until Day 2 and I forgot Terry received the first silent clock at the end of Day 1. If you’re a 24 fan, you know what the silent clock means. The clock was so simple, but recognizable. If you see an image of the clock, you immediately know it’s the 24 clock. If you only hear the sound, you know what it is. Also want to point out the phone ringtone at CTU became a popular ringtone for cellphones. The fact that events happened in “real time” was always interesting to me as it provided a sense of urgency and a timeframe despite knowing the entire season was 24 hours.

The incorporation of the split-screens with the clock provided context as to what everyone was doing at that moment. Sometimes there was so much going on at any given point, we had to be reminded via split-screen of that particular storyline. It usually acted as a reminder before and after commercial breaks. Even an episode of The Simpsons used the 24 format.

24 left us with some wonderful meme moments. Whenever something was happening in the world, viewers of the series would respond, “We need Jack Bauer,” or “Where is Jack Bauer when we need him?” Bauer was known as the unorthodox protagonist who would get the job done in 24 hours. He was also known to tally quite the kill count per season. Fans noted Bauer killed 309 people during nine seasons with the highest kill count of 52 in Day 6.

Bauer was known for saying “damn it” so much that college students watched each episode weekly and took a shot each time the phrase was uttered. According to a tally, the phrase was said 145 times in the series with Day 4 and Day 7 pulling in the highest total of 20 each. Kiefer Sutherland became aware of the drinking game and would purposely add a few more “damn it” phrases to mess with the college kids. I’m tempted to play this game as I was under the legal drinking age to actively participate. All I need is a buddy.

I think Day 2, 4, and 5 were my favorites. Day 1 wasn’t bad, but viewing in retrospect, it was to establish the heart of Bauer and partially why he became so ruthless. Some of the character bickering in Day 1 comes off as petty, but I didn’t notice during first viewing. Despite 24 having an audience and mainstream media coverage, Day 5 is when I remember entertainment news checking in on 24 weekly. This is the same season that won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Dramatic Series. The talk at the time was the assassination of President David Palmer and Michelle Dessler. Two key characters from the start of the series and close allies to Bauer. To start the season premiere with a bang was shocking to many fans. Even my mother, who didn’t watch all of the shows, was shocked at how sudden the events happened, but laughed at the reaction of fans due to our disbelief. The only other shocker I can think of is Day 6 when Bauer shot Curtis in the neck and a nuke went off soon after. I swear, 24 was an action soap opera.

I can’t talk about Bauer without mentioning his ride or die people Chloe and Tony. Chloe was there for him to the end while Tony did snap slightly after losing Michelle. These two consistently broke the rules to allow Bauer to operate in the dark. They were confident he’d get the job done by any means to justify their choices. Realistically, Chloe and Tony should have been fired a few times.

Kim Bauer… dear gosh this character was stupid, annoying, and a waste of screen time. If you edit Kim out of each season she appeared, the story wouldn’t change. You’d make some minor tweaks, but she wasn’t needed at any point. Kim was that unwanted side character you had to deal with in order to get XP. Even when she worked at CTU for a season, anyone could have taken her place. Kim’s character wasn’t well written and overstayed her welcome. Eventually, she did vanish, but they could have cut her out after Day 1.

24: Legacy wasn’t horrible, but it struggled to find its identity in 12 episodes. It was riding on the back of the original series and had a lot of pressure to succeed. I think fans didn’t latch on because Kiefer Sutherland is 24 and that show is nothing without Jack Bauer. Bauer carried the world on his shoulders and we watched him make tough decisions to save the country, the president, his family, and friends countless times. I don’t think FOX was confident in 24: Legacy as it didn’t have the standard 24 episodes like it’s predecessor, but that also could have been a sign of the times when it came to shorter seasons.

In the end, I can rewatch 24 anytime. It’s one of few shows that can hold my attention despite viewing the episodes multiple times throughout the years. There has been talk of rebooting or brining the remaining cast back for a new 24 series. This is one of those franchises that is best left alone. In today’s world of hypersensitive people, I don’t think it would get away with half of what they showed years ago. 24 should remain untouched.

Forgot to mention, when you watch the earlier seasons of 24, the Los Angeles air quality was horrible. There as a constant fog. I’m not sure if the camera they used had an orange/yellowish filter on it or if Los Angeles simply looked like the dusty wild west.

Semi-rant: The Issue with Opinions

There’s something about opinions. It’s great to have one, but since when did opinions become the advice people have to immediately follow or automatic criticism?

I’ve noticed people will say or do things on social media and immediately get opinions of what they should and shouldn’t do. This morning, some celebrity was trending because people saw an image of her pushing her 6-year-old daughter in stroller. Comments ranged from saying make the kid walk, she’s too big to be in a stroller, bashing the woman’s mothering, calling the kid lazy and spoiled, etc.

There’s also an odd trend involving someone deciding to lose weight and comments include calling the person fatphobic, saying they have self-hatred, them losing weight is disgusting and triggering.

Like, what?

I know people are invested in what others do, for some reason, and get easily triggered by the most mundane thing. People take offense to what others do as if it was a stab to the gut and they feel it in their core. It’s as if some people malfunction because they’re so distracted by something irrelevant to their life on social media. Quite sure you’ve seen people fight in comment sections as if their life depended on their opinion being validated. These arguments are usually on the dumbest topics you’ve ever encountered.

Whatever happened to scrolling and living your life? The need for drama has always been an thing but it feels like the pettiness has amplified. Before taking the time to leave a thesis opinion on someone’s Instagram or taking the time to craft an angry tweet about someone else’s irrelevant business, people should ask themselves:

  1. Will this person impact my daily life or ruin my day?
  2. Is this going to impact my bank account?
  3. Is this worth caring about?

The point is, people should not be invested in what someone does in their life that will only impact them. If they are friends or family, it’s alright to be more invested, but even with them, it’s OK to toss your hands up in certain situations.

People need to reel their opinions in and stop acting like their opinion is the law. Is it hard to look at something mundane and think, “so”? After writing this, maybe the real question is why are some people so “passionate” about irrelevant non-topics but can’t form a complete sentence when it comes to something that matters?

You have the right to your opinion, but your opinion isn’t always needed.

I Remember…

Felt like writing today, but couldn’t figure out where to begin. Using the writing exercise of “I remember” to brain dump.

I remember when caller ID was a separate device and an extra charge on the phone bill. Now, caller ID is the standard.

I remember when landlines were dodgy and you could pick up your phone and hear another person’s partial conversation over the dial tone.

I remember when we had a dial tone.

I remember when the family size box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was $1.99.

I remember eating Kix, Rice Krispies, and corn flakes with a bunch of sugar that never dissolved at the bottom of the bowl. Each scoop had a nice portion of sugar to pair with my bland cereal.

I remember watching the Die Hard movie last Christmas, because it’s a Christmas movie, and noticed a scene revealing gas prices were 74¢ for regular and 77¢ for unleaded in LOS ANGELES.

I remember when I took my first sip of wine as a kid and thought it was the most disgusting thing ever. Now I love wine. The same happened when I first tried beer in my 20s. Disgusting! Now I can appreciate a good beer. Funny how our palate changes.

I remember when the internet was mailed to your home in the form of a free AOL trial CD. We had free internet for a while as we would cancel after 30-60 days and sign up with a new disk.

I remember when I was naïve of the foolery in the world. All I wanted to do was play outside, make mud pies, and sell them for five rocks to friends at my fake bakery.

I remember when I had an imaginary friend. Now I don’t have any friends. Just kidding, I have friends, but my imaginary friend, Stephanie, was better. 😀

I remember when I wanted to grow up, but once I grew up, I wished to be a kid. Let’s be honest, I never actually grew up. I have an adult body with the mind of a 15 year old who acts her age when she needs to. Actually, make that the mind of a 10 year old. I laugh at my own foolery sometimes.

I remember thinking coffee was disgusting. Now I drink it every morning and spike it with a little sumin’ sumin’ once in a while for no other reason than I’m grown and paid for everything in the fridge that sits under the roof I pay for. 😀

I remember BBQs with family lasting all day into the next morning. Great food, music, neighborhood friends would stop by for a plate, wonderful vibe. I remember and cherish those days.

What are some random things you remember that brings back good feelings or laughs?

The Toolbox Fallacy vs Being Unmotivated

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. 

Zig Ziglar

What does the toolbox fallacy mean? Well, you’ve probably fallen into this fallacy without realizing it had a name. The toolbox fallacy is when you disguise your procrastination with the excuse of having a lack of “tools” to get you started. A good example is, “I’ll start working out when I buy a Fitbit,” but you never buy that Fitbit and never workout. You use the excuse of not having that item to deceive yourself into believing you need the Fitbit “tool” in order to start your fitness journey. In reality, you can workout without the Fitbit.

The idea of “I need X in order to do Y,” is something I catch myself doing. This is easier for me to realize as I equate it to want vs need. When I hit a want vs need moment, I know to stop and think about whether or not I’m impulsively buying something or if I actually need it. Using this thought process for the toolbox fallacy has helped me realize how easy it is to make excuses for minimal things when I can easily complete. Another example of the toolbox fallacy is thinking once you have X, Y will come with ease. Just because you purchased acrylic paints and canvases doesn’t mean you’ll be an expert painter. The work still needs to be done once you get X. I have friends who deceived themselves due to thinking if they bought X, they’d become instant masters in Y. They either gave up or became uninterested as soon as the product arrived.

The toolbox fallacy and being unmotivated are, for me, two different feelings. “I need X in order to do Y” shifts to, “I’ll do it later.” When I’m unmotivated, I can’t gather the physical or mental energy to focus on one task. This results in not having the clarity to get started, knowing what I want to do, and the goal outcome. When I don’t have a clear vision, I become semi-frustrated and unmotivated. 10 percent of the time I complete a goal, whether it’s writing, painting, drawing, etc., I was able to visualize what I wanted to achieve and was physically and mentally ready to do it. It’s rare to have my mental and physical self align perfectly to feel beyond motivated. I usually have one or the other and enough partial focus to achieve my goal. This results in me becoming motivated as I go.

This post was sitting in my drafts for months with only the title and first sentence. Why? I wasn’t motivated to write it. Today, I had enough mental energy and focus to create this post. I had no idea what I was going to write, but the goal was to start typing and see where it went. The idea of starting is the easiest yet hardest thing for many to do. Quite sure everyone has their reasons. If you’re reading this and fell into the toolbox fallacy or simply unmotivated, I encourage you to just start. Grab that pen and paper and do a brain dump, Google search what you need to get motivated or inspired, play that song that gets you pumped, find your groove, and ride that energy wave.

Truths About Life That Goes Against Societal Norm

Not every woman wants to be a mother.
Why are people shocked when a woman says she doesn’t want to be a mother? Not every woman wants to have a child or raise one and that’s OK. A woman who admits to not wanting children receive the dirtiest confused looks I’ve ever seen. It’s usually followed up with the question “why” or “you’ll change your mind.”

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Squid Game Review: That Was Unexpected

I saw the Netflix trailer for Squid Game a month ago and figured I’d check it out. Initially thought it was a movie, but discovered it was a nine-episode season. First thought, “Ah man, I don’t feel like getting into a series. Pass!” Nine hours later… didn’t regret a thing, but I have so many questions.

Little backstory if you haven’t watched and please note, this post will contain major spoilers.

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Trying to be a Savior Can Do More Harm Than Good

We all know 2020 was a hot mess. The pandemic started, political tension, and racial tension with hundreds of protests denouncing police brutality. It was a year that, undoubtedly, stressed a lot of people out. In this particular post, I’m going to talk about an article I read about a UCLA professor being suspended for not giving black students an easier final exam in June 2020. This article displayed the savior complex, society’s newfound understanding of how stressed black people are when it comes to societal issues, and the audacity people had with this newfound information.

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Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

I usually exchange food gifts with a friend. She had one simple request. That simple request was to bake her some vegan cinnamon rolls.

I’ve made many things, but not once did I ever consider making cinnamon rolls, let alone vegan cinnamon rolls.

She gave me a recipe she thought I should try and realized the only thing vegan about the cinnamon rolls was the replacement of butter and milk. Luckily, I already consume a milk substitute, but I had to get introduced to vegan butter.

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The Perfect Day

I wake up at 6am and drink 2 cups of coffee.

I workout for 45 minutes then take a shower.

I prepare a light breakfast and eat while reading a book.

Do a DuoLingo lesson in Spanish for 30 minutes.

Listen to a podcast before I start my workday.

Video scripts get written and delivered to clients.

Play in Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro and create stuff I’m proud of.

Eat some more food while watching YouTube or Twitch.

Play video games with a glass of wine.

Read a book for an hour. 

Feeling amazing. That’s the perfect day.

Then go to bed.

This usually happens once or twice a week.

What usually happens…

Most days I wake up around 7am.

Turn on my computer and go to YouTube or Twitch and make a cup of coffee.

Each time I see an email notification, I brace myself for the generic job rejection email, but at least they didn’t ghost me.

I debate on whether or not I want to eat breakfast, skip it, or snack.

Open Google Drive to start writing video scripts, but I get distracted by who knows what.

No podcast. Just watching video game cutscenes to get me motivated to write. Yes, this works for me for some reason. 

Get the scripts done. Workout. Shower.

Scroll through Linkedin and Indeed looking for fulltime jobs during a pandemic when millions are now laid off.

Stress out that my unemployment is running low.

Try to figure out what I should have done and what I need to do with my life.

Debate if I want dinner. Odds are I skip it or snack.

Maybe watch a movie or play video games to calm my mind.

Hop into bed oddly feeling no regret about the day.

I still sleep well.

Every day doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to accomplish X, Y, and Z. Try your hardest to do what you can, but don’t beat yourself up if things remain on your list. The perfect day varies and that’s alright.

 

 

Answering Random Questions for Funsies Part 2

When I don’t have the urge to write, have writer’s block, or just want to get the mental juices flowing, I search for random internet questions to answer. You may view part one here

What will finally break the internet?
If people could log in to any website and receive $5,000 each time, I believe that would break the internet. Imagine simply logging in to WordPress and getting $5,000 deposited into your checking account. 

Does fate exist? If so, do we have free will?
No, I believe we have free will. What we work towards is what we accomplish. If you want to become a published author, you have to start writing. It isn’t going to appear out of thin air. If you want to be a pro athlete, you have to put in the work. There are things that happen for no complete reason. You may call it fate or a coincidence. It has to happen with no initiation of your own.

If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest positive impact on humanity?
I would teach people empathy. We’re all different and experience life differently. It hurts to see people express themselves only to get shut down by someone simply because they’ve never experienced the same thing. So many people will say, “I’ve never experienced anything like that, so it doesn’t exist,” “I went to the same place and didn’t experience anything bad, so maybe you’re overthinking,” and the list goes on. People tend to make things about themselves instead of listening, empathizing, and understanding that we’re all individuals and experience things differently. It’s not anyone’s right to dismiss someone’s feelings and experiences simply because they’ve never experienced it themselves. People also need to learn to talk about “uncomfortable” topics. “If we stop talking about it, it will go away” isn’t a valid solution.

What’s a weird smell you enjoy?
No idea why, but I love the faint rubber/burning smell of an underground train station. I can’t fully describe the smell, but you’ve probably smelled it before without paying attention to it. I also like the smell of raw ground beef. I don’t eat beef and haven’t purchased it in a while, but I still remember the smell.

Why do we dream?
Not sure of the scientific reason, but I’ve read it’s a way for our brains to process emotions, our day, etc. It’s amazing how I dream about people and places with great detail. I can remember facial features, clothing, the feel of the weather, and smells as if I’ve met these people or been to these places before. I often wonder how my mind creates these things. Yes, I have dreams of family and friends, but I would consider that common, but complete strangers and my feelings towards them are intriguing.

What’s the dumbest way you’ve been injured?
I was doing a kickboxing workout and punched myself in the lip. I was really into the workout and retracted my punch a bit too hard. I had a swollen lip for a week.At least my guard was up and my chin was down.

What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?
Any compliment that includes the words “for a.” Example, “You’re pretty for a [insert race, body type, hair color, etc.].” Any “compliment” mixed with “for a” is actually an insult. The person is basically saying based on your [insert race, body type, education, etc.] you’re an exception to whatever stereotype they have in their head of people who match your description.

What’s the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?
When I was in elementary school, my fifth-grade teacher and principal were competing for the attention and attraction of another teacher. I don’t remember if our parents pointed it out or if it was so obvious that we picked it up at 10-years-old.

If you could time travel, would you go to the past or future?
I’d go 1,000 years into the future. I’m curious about technology and how people have changed.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
Is there an afterlife? I know religions have their versions of an afterlife, but I would love to ask a dead person for a definitive answer. I don’t want an answer from someone who was dead then came back to life. 

What movie scared you as a kid?
I was terrified of the Terminator’s skeleton. In the first Terminator, the CGI made the skeletal frame look creepy at the end of the movie. I was also afraid of The Predator because he killed people in stealth mode while making that snarling sound.

What would be on the gag reel of your life?
My entire life is a gag reel.