’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.

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.”

Continue reading “Truths About Life That Goes Against Societal Norm”

Optimistic Carla Bishop | Short Story Generator

I haven’t written anything a while due to not being motivated and working crazy hours. I’m trying to get back into writing abut anything just to get me back in the groove. I feel I’ve been languishing. Simply not motivated, but can’t pinpoint what’s going on.

Decided to using a short story generator to get my brain pumping, but the outcome was more hilarious than I thought it would be. I didn’t put much thought into the generator’s options as I just wanted to see what would be produced. This story is a hot mess, but it has some qualities. Decided to share.

Generated story:

Carla Bishop had always loved dull New York with its cloudy, curly cold. It was a place where she felt happy.

She was an optimistic, articulate, whiskey drinker with handsome fingers and tall toes. Her friends saw her as a hot, heavy hero. Once, she had even saved a crispy toddler that was stuck in a drain. That’s the sort of woman she was.

Carla walked over to the window and reflected on her noisy surroundings. The clouds danced like shouting dog.

Then she saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Luke Barker. Luke was a stable teacher with curvy fingers and red toes.

Carla gulped. She was not prepared for Luke.

As Carla stepped outside and Luke came closer, she could see the unsteady smile on his face.

Luke glared with all the wrath of 4284 thoughtless silky squirrels. He said, in hushed tones, “I hate you and I want justice.”

Carla looked back, even more concerned and still fingering the warped ruler. “Luke, I don’t have the money,” she replied.

They looked at each other with stressed feelings, like two poised, panicky pigeons smiling at a very arrogant court, which had music playing in the background and two gracious uncles thinking to the beat.

Carla regarded Luke’s curvy fingers and red toes. “I feel the same way!” revealed Carla with a delighted grin.

Luke looked anxious, his emotions blushing like a putrid, proud piano.

Then Luke came inside for a nice glass of whiskey. THE END

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.

 

 

 

 

The History of the Fork

Random word of the day is “fork.”

Did you know the use of a fork was once seen as evil?

The origins of the fork date back to the Eastern Roman Empire of Byzantium but some of the earliest known table forks made their debut in Ancient Egypt. The Qijia, who resided in part of present-day China, also are known to have used forks. The utensil migrated west after Byzantine princess, Theodora Anna Doukaina married the Venetian doge in 1075, brought the utensil to Venice. God-fearing Venetians saw the fork as a monstrosity.

God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks – his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating. -St. Peter Damian

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In the 16th century during the Italian Renaissance, the popularity of forks began to grow when Catherine de Medici brought along a set of eating forks from her native Florence to France. People also became more aware of hygiene and didn’t want their food covered in filth. Men still preferred to use their fingers as forks were deemed too feminine.

By the 18th century, the upper-class began carrying forks as part of their utensils set. During the industrialization period, the middle and lower-class gained access to the “split spoon.”

In 1633, John Winthrop, a founding father of the Massachusetts Bay Colony received a case of utensils accompanied by a note stating, “for the useful application of which I leave to your discretion.” At this time, the proper use of a fork was still unknown. Once the Americans grew accustomed to the fork, their dining etiquette was critiqued by international users. Everything from how Americans held the fork and whether or not the tines should be facing up or down as you ate the food was a source of controversy.

The popularity of forks blossomed and several variations were created.

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So the next time you use your fork, take a closer look. It had a long journey to become a staple in our lives.

 

Answering Random Questions for Funsies

I’m using a random word generator for my word challenge and discovered the site also has a random question generator. I decided to answer some here for funsies.

What product would you seriously stockpile if you found out they weren’t going to sell it anymore?
Toilet tissue. Let’s be honest, being able to wipe your ass is important.

If you inherited a private jet from a stranger, what would you do with it?
This is a tough one. My first thought is to travel the world, but the cost of maintenance, paying the pilots, and fuel would be expensive. The question states I only inherit the jet. No money. The best option would be to sell the jet and take the money.

Would you rather be able to breathe underwater or have the agility of a cat?
I would rather breathe underwater. Why would I want the agility of a cat? I don’t plan on falling out of trees.

If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
Quenya. It’s the Elvish language from Lord of the Rings. Did you expect me to say a commonly used language? 😀

When scrolling through social media, do you prefer posts from celebrities or from your best friends?
Neither. I rather look at food and cats!

If you had unlimited resources, how would you live your life?
If this meant unlimited money, I would live stress-free. I wouldn’t have to worry about affording a quality level of health insurance. I would explore the world without worrying about running out of money.

What do people do too much of today?
Make everything political. If a cat is playing with a red ball of yarn on Instagram, the comments can get political. Can the cat just be a cat and play with a ball of yarn? Sheesh. It’s as if people these days are just looking to start an argument.

At what age did you become an adult?
Legally, 18. Mentally? It depends on the day.

 

Respect and Recognize Your Employees

Today’s word of the day is “employees.”

I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing people throughout my career. Everyone had diverse backgrounds, personalities, and specialty they could contribute to the job. I’m happy to say I’ve remained friends with many of them. The only problem, the employees weren’t appreciated by management and/or the CEOs.

I’ve worked with two teams that were dedicated to their job and wanted to see the company thrive. We came up with amazing ideas and presented them to management only to get shot down. Both of these jobs had managements that would outright call your idea stupid in front of everyone. Even when we all agreed how great the idea was, the managers would go into a full-on rant as to why we’re all wrong. Sometimes the debates would go way off topic, get personal, and become a shouting match. It was ridiculous. Then lo and behold, another company had the same idea, ran with it, and it was a success for them. Then management yelled at us for not thinking of that idea when they were the ones who shot it down three months prior.

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One job, if they had listened to its employees, could have been elevated to the virality of Buzzfeed. Instead, the CEOs were oblivious to trends and had other money goals that had nothing to do with us. They were failing so much, they were losing money. By the time they actually did listen to us, it was too late. We were laid off. Not only were we laid off for financial reasons, but we also discovered the CEOs hadn’t paid the rent in months and they were getting evicted.  I think this is possibly one of the biggest company fails I’ve experienced. We could have been great.

Management needs to respect and recognize their employees. A well-rounded group of talent doesn’t come that often. When you have a group that is visibly dedicated to their work, take note of those employees. Don’t dismiss them or their ideas. Let employees know they’re valued. They were hired for their expertise. Utilize it. Listen, absorb, and implement their ideas when it can add to the success of the team and company.

Random Word Challenge: Chapters

It’s day three of my random word challenge. If you’re a bit confused, I’m using a random word generator to generate words in alphabetical order. Each day is a new letter and whatever word is generated is the word I write about.

Today’s word is “chapters.”

When I first saw this word, I couldn’t help but think of the chapters of life. I’ve met so many amazing people who have come and gone throughout my life. Whether through death or we drifted apart due to growing older. I’ve also met people who put on the facade of being good but they were narcissists, sociopaths, and downright disgusting people. There are some people I wish I’ve never met, but thinking back, they’ve only helped me get through the following chapters of my life.

Each person I’ve encountered in life is different and I’ve learned from them in some way. I’ve learned what real friendship is, what a user looks like, the subtle art of manipulation, how love feels, how love shouldn’t feel, and how my own personal values, morals, and worth plays a roll in all of my relationships.

I’ve known my closest friends for over 10 years. Although we’re still going strong as friends, we’ve had several chapters come to a close. These chapters include transitioning from teenagers to adults, going through our 20’s, helping each other through intimate relationships, arguing and disconnecting because of a disagreement, and reconnecting.

It’s amazing how we go through chapters in life learning little things, but we get the true ah-ha moment once we start reflecting. We may feel as though we ended a chapter, but sometimes we go back to it through memories and realize we’re still learning. After deep reflection, we end the chapter and feel more relief than when we first thought our minds were settled. Amazing how that works.

I’ve done some deep thinking over the past few years. Although I’m continuing with my life, my previous chapters are still there. Some more than others. Those chapters are the ones that are constant reminders to never put myself through something similar. One should never repeat a chapter of their life. Create new ones, but always remember the valuable lessons learned in previous chapters.

5 Simple (But Important) Things To Remember About Blogging

Maintaining a blog isn’t always easy. Sometimes the ideas flow like water and other times your ideas are as dry as a desert. When the ideas are no longer flowing, you stop writing and your blog is forgotten until you come up with new content. Here are some simple but important tips I remind myself of when it’s time to write.

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Search the Web for Topics

If you find yourself experiencing writer’s block, search the web for blog topics. There are several websites that list hundreds of topics to dive into. Some websites offer blog topic generators. They aren’t the best, but they may help stimulate your mind.

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Brain Dump

We’ve all heard it before, but brain dumping is wonderful. Writing random words, thoughts, things you need to get done, just anything and everything can be therapeutic.  You can place items in order or scribble randomly on paper or in a program similar to Microsoft Word, but I highly recommend paper. If you still can’t figure out what to write, walk away from your brain dump and revisit it later. The more you do it, those random words become phrases, full sentences, and the next thing you know, you’re writing a full blog.

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Don’t Worry About Order

This is an interesting habit I’ve discovered about myself. When I write for clients, I tend to write things out of order then rearrange it before submission. For clients, I follow the inverted pyramid format. If you’re unfamiliar with that, it’s a writing style that features the most important information at the beginning of the article and filters down to the least important. The goal is to retain readers from beginning to end.

When I write for my blog, I don’t pay attention to the order… all the time. My only goal is to write. When you worry about the order, the structure may not come to you right away causing you to not want to write at all. When you have an idea, write about what comes to mind first. If you’re writing a story and you have a clear vision of how it ends, write the ending. Don’t wait until you write the beginning and middle. If you have to, write the story backward.

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It Doesn’t Have to be Deep

You don’t have to write a thesis. A blog can be as little as 300 words or images of your favorite quotes. This is called microblogging. Creating short and quick posts to stay active or to keep your community updated on life events, your brand, etc. works just as well as full-length content.

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Hit Publish

I won’t go into whether or not your grammar is correct, if your writing has flow, or if your blog is SEO friendly. There are other articles on the web for that. I’m here to encourage you to simply start writing.

Once your blog is complete, read over to see if you missed anything, and hit publish. Release it into the world wide web and feel the accomplishment of publishing content. There are amazing writers in the world, but it doesn’t come easy to everyone. Don’t doubt yourself. The more content your produce, the more hitting “publish” will be an afterthought. Just keep writing and have fun doing it!