WHY SHOULD WE RECONSIDER…

I think there are a multitude of things we need to reconsider. Please note these are my opinions and mine alone. So if you do not agree with me, that’s ok. I am not here to argue with you; merely share my opinions.

The first thing I know is going to spark some controversy. I think we should reconsider taking religion seriously. In my opinion, I think religion tears people apart. I have to wonder if the world would be slightly better off without religion. I know there are people out there who wanna kill me right now…but at least try to hear me out. Stereotypically and somewhat historically, people of different religious beliefs hate each other. Romans waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back when, back in Ancient Rome, hated people who were subversive to their own religious and political beliefs. Of course, nowadays we have Donald Trump to uphold this. But Jews have always been seen as almost the butt of religion jokes. Early Christians, again, were persecuted by the Romans for believing in one God. Listen, I know religion is important to so many people in so many cultures but I do not think it should be force-fed down other peoples’ throats.

Another thing I know is going to be controversial, and more than likely make all my male readers cringe, is circumcision. If there is a male reader who didn’t get uncomfortable reading that, I applaud you. Yes, I know it is important to some religions and can be a cultural rite of passage, and I am semi-ok with that. I am not here to knock your beliefs. I merely think we need to maybe rethink making this the “norm” in the United States. Most males have it done it birth simply because it is the “normal” thing to do. Anatomically, there is nothing wrong with them. But parents just think it’d look better or whatever. I think this bullshit madness needs to stop. It is unnecessary and painful to go through…and I know that because I speak from personal experience. Now if it’s needed for a medical emergency, I get that. Jews do it as a Covenant with God. While I do not entirely agree with this, I am not speaking out against it.

Tattoos are the last thing I want to cover. I know this sounds hypocritical of me to say, seeing as I have multiple tattoos. But all my tattoos actually have meaning. I have never gotten a tattoo just because. All my tattoos have been thought out. And they aren’t offensive. If you have a tattoo of, say, a Swastika or something like that because you think it looks “cool” then I’m sorry. I have little to no respect for you. I have tattoos that look cool, sure, but they all have meaning. A skull and crossbones might seem like a cool idea now, but remember: skin sags with age. That skull and crossbones will probably turn into a frowny skull with white blobs. That cute rose is gonna be wilted. That dolphin will be a whale. So if you wanna get a tattoo, just consider the future.

So that’s it from me. What do you think of these points and topics? If you want to kill me, just do it in the comments section and not in person. Thanks for reading and sorry if I pissed you off.

-Tom

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AUTISM DIAGNOSIS IN “FAMOUS” PEOPLE

I heard this morning that Robin Williams might have been on the Autism Spectrum. While I can’t actually confirm Mr. Williams was on the Spectrum, the more I think about it…the more it makes sense. Having seen his stand up and his eccentricity in movies and how he flails around, to me, it seems legit.

Of course, when people think of Autism, they think of Temple Grandin. And while Temple does have Autism and is quite prevalent, I think she is maybe a little overhyped. Yes, she is the poster child of Autism, and is really successful, but people need to focus on other individuals who have also contributed to society.

Dan Aykroyd is another person who is on the Spectrum. He actually credited his Autism and Asperger’s diagnosis to helping him to come up with GhostBusters. I have to say, while it is a stereotype that people with Asperger’s can only focus on one thing at a time, it is partially true. Dan’s obsessions were on law enforcement and ghosts, which led to possibly the greatest ghost movie from the 1980s. “Who Ya Gonna Call? GHOSTBUSTERS!” is iconic in movie history.

I mentioned the stereotype of people with Asperger’s and Autism only focusing on one thing at a time. For me, it is a semi-truth. I focus intently on one thing from time to time. Writing is a prime example of this. I focus on my writing and trying to get through to people and, when focused, can seem distant if someone interrupts me.

Keep in mind while reading this: I AM NOT DIAGNOSING AUTISM!!!!!!!!! A lot of this is speculation, especially with the Robin Williams example. People seem to diagnose prolific people with Autism constantly. This, in my opinion, might seem damning to people who actually have the diagnosis. I think the more people are wrongly diagnosed, the more tarnished the Autism diagnosis becomes. People can be idiots…period. That’s it. Autistic or not, people can be very one-sided and not see other perspectives.

I think it is bullshit that people assume idiotic people have Autism or something “wrong” with them. People on the Spectrum are far from idiotic. They merely see things in a different light. I bring my perspective to people and try to get them to see my perspective. Whether that is a success is yet to be seen, but God knows I am trying.

Contrary to what some people believe, people on the Spectrum are not “dumb” or “stupid”. They actually, more often than not, have a higher IQ than the average person,

So what do you think of famous people being diagnosed with Autism or, antiquated as the diagnosis is, Asperger’s Syndrome? Thanks for reading!

-Tom

THIS WEEKEND

I am so stoked for this weekend! Reason being? I get the chance to re-live my childhood. I am going to Saturday Morning Tunes through WTMD, a local radio station. They will have bands like Matt Hutchinson, Black Root Underground, and Kristen Toedtman. All will be playing songs from Aladdin and Lion King. I love these movies! Actually, Aladdin and Lion King are probably my favorite animated Disney movies. And the fact that the song Allie and I picked as “our” song is A Whole New World from Aladdin makes me anticipate this Saturday a lot more.
Plus you can’t go wrong with Lion King songs like Hakuna Matata. All those songs are just some of my favorite vintage childhood nostalgia songs. I grew up with these songs. I know this is technically classified as a “kids show” or a “family show” but I am wondering if it’ll be more people around my age who are purely there for nostalgia reasons.
And actually the fact that they are doing classic Disney movies as opposed to newer ones like Frozen and Moana, I think, says something. Not that Frozen and more “modern” Disney movies aren’t good movies—they are—but knowing the Disney movies I grew up with, this is perfect!
Apart from the nostalgia factor, as I stated, the song Allie and I picked for us is from Aladdin. So I am looking forward to hearing this song live and singing it with and to the love of my life! I love Disney and I love Allie even more, so combine those two and I’m a very happy person!
I am so incredible pumped for this show! If you are a Disney fan like me, feel free to comment. Thanks for reading!

-Tom

SHAMROGUES SHOW REVIEW

Last night, September 11, 2019, I saw my favorite local Irish band perform
in Timonium. The band in question? The ShamRogues! I absolutely love this band!
Jim Phelan, the band’s “leader” and banjo player is super nice and always cool to see and talk to. I told him my birthday was a few days ago and in return, the band played two songs for me and even let me sing with them on one of them! It was so much fun and such an honor to sing with one of my favorite local bands!

But last night’s show was a little different than what I am used to. I am used
to the ShamRogues doing all Irish music. Last night, they played a few Beatles
songs, which surprised me. They played Here Comes the Sun and I’ve Just Seen A
Face. You could tell they were all having such a great time performing! That’s
what I think I love about this band. It’s the fact they are just a bunch of guys and one Irish dancer just having a good time playing music. The fiddle player, Sarah, is an amazing fiddle player!

Speaking of the dancer…the Irish dancer in the band is Katie Fox. Katie is
actually a world-champion Irish dancer, and it shows! She is one Hell of a dancer!It makes me proud to know that a local girl is representing my hometown and kicking ass at it!

So to wrap up, I want to thank the ShamRogues and Jim Phelan in particular
for giving me the amazing opportunity to sing with them for my birthday! I cannot say enough about this amazing band! Don’t take my word for it…just go see them for yourselves! I’m going to leave it at that. Thanks for reading and as always, feel free to comment.

-Tom

MEMORIES

Knowing what day today is, it may sound cliché to go this route…but what the Hell? Today is the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. I remember where I was on that day. I was in school. If memory serves me correctly, it was math class…and I hate math. Our principal came over the intercom and said the whole school could go home because of an “accident”. As an 11 year old kid who had no idea what the Hell was going on, and who was border out of his adolescent mind stuck in math class, I was happy I got to leave early.
My mom picked me, my sister, and my best friend up and we went to my house. Again having no idea what had happened, my friend and I went up to my room and played ExciteBike 64 on Nintendo 64. My mom called us down and showed up the TV. I thought it was just a freak accident, until my mom explained what was going on. The United States are under attack. As an 11 year old kid, I didn’t fully understand what was happening.

Now, though, as a 29 year old, I am actually a little pissed at myself because I didn’t get it. I now know exactly what happened. I watch the footage and documentaries every anniversary and tear up at every one. I think they show it as a sign of mourning and respect to the deceased and their families. Although I also think that might be in poor taste to those who survived or lost loved ones in the attacks.
I think the attacks on 9/11 are kind of like my generation’s Kennedy assassination…except on a much larger scale. Everyone my age and older will remember that day for the rest of their lives. Actually, let me take that a step further. I think any history buff of any age are almost enamored by the events. As I said, I like watching documentary shows on the events. Not just September 11, but any historical event.

So I think it’d be insensitive of me not to bring up the events of 9/11 today. If you are reading this and are old enough to remember where you were and what you were doing, I suggest you take a minute to reflect on the events.

So where were you on that day? Feel free to comment and share your memories of that fateful day 18 years ago.

-Tom

ONE OF MY FAVORITE SHOWS

Hi all! I am EXTREMELY excited right now! I just found out one of my all-time absolute favorite TV shows from my youth is returning in 2020. The show in question? The one, the only…wacky, zany, cockamamie ANIMANIACS! As a kid, I loved the show because of the goofy voices done by Tress MacNeille, Rob Paulsen, and Jess Harnell. Now that I am older, I can really appreciate the satirical humor in the show. Like, for a kids’ show, this was actually pretty out there. It was educational but poked fun at current affairs and events. It almost makes me wish I was born in a different time period and older so I could get it when it aired.

The songs in the show are catchy as Hell as well as informative and educational. I mean, look at the Presidents Song as an example. It covered every single President up to Bill Clinton, the then-current President. Actually, truth be told, in High School we had a United States geography test. All the others students were cramming and studying their asses off by taking notes and looking in a textbook. Me? I prepared by listening to the US State Capitols song over and over again…and passed the test with flying colors! I LOVE THE SONGS! I mean, the Animaniacs theme song is iconic to kids from the 1990s.

Also the fact they poke fun at things in an irreverent manner is just funny! Wakko’s voice was actually inspired by Ringo Starr. And who could forget the famous “HELLO NURSE!”? Not me! Also the fact that Stephen Spielberg is the one who came up with the idea is, to me, pure brilliance!

So I am VERY excited to hear this beloved show from my youth is making a comeback. I have some questions, though. One: will it be the original voice actors? I hope so because I think the voices of Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner are just so iconic in a cartoon regard. Also will it be the same style of humor or will it be “toned down” for the more PC audience? I hope it is the same style of humor because I think people could use a laugh in an irreverent way like old times. I’d love to see them redo the Presidents Songs with Obama, Bush Jr. and Trump. Oh, dear God…PLEASE LET THEM SAY SOMETHING ABOUT TRUMP! In the Presidents Song, if you remember, they poked fun at the Presidents. “Ulysses Simpson Grant who would scream and rave and rant…while drinking whiskey ‘cause he spilled it on his pants” is an example of this. Also they warn people about being President or famous at all with their last line. The line is, “The next President to lead the way? It might just be yourself one day. Then the press with distort everything you say…so jump in your plane and fly away.” It’s funny and true.

Of course, it’s all in good taste. The humor in Animaniacs is almost a playful middle finger to some events and individuals. I don’t know about you, but I am really looking forward to this! Feel free to comment on this and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading and “Goodnight everybody!”
-Tom

 

UPCOMING TRIP

I am looking forward to a trip I have coming up in October. As a belated birthday gift, my godparents, grandmother, parents and I are going to Cleveland and Sandusky, Ohio. If you know anything about me, you know I love to travel. You might also know that I love roller coasters, and I am going to the “Roller Coaster Capitol of the World”, Cedar Point. I have been to Cedar Point twice before, and I absolutely love that place!

But more than Cedar Point, I am going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Again, I have been to the Hall of Fame before, but it is such a cool place, I’d happily go back there again and again. I love this place so much and I honestly could spend all day there…and have.
My Aunt and dad were born in Cleveland, so I am sure it’s almost like going home to them. I have only been to the downtown area of Cleveland, so I am looking forward to exploring the city.

So going back to Cedar Point, it will be an especially cool trip for me because I am going during Halloween Haunt. That is where the park redoes everything and revamps it for…duh!…Halloween. I love Halloween and stuff like that so I am so looking forward to this!
Cedar Point has an incredible eighteen roller coasters. Cedar Point is so big, there is no way in Holy Hell you can do it all in one day. That actually brings me to my next point: the hotel we are staying at. We are staying at Hotel Breakers. I have stayed here once before two years ago. Let me just say: OH MY GOD! This hotel is absolutely amazing! It is honestly one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed at, and I’ve been to the Atlantis in the Bahamas!

Probably my favorite roller coaster at Cedar Point is Millennium Force. This monster of a coaster is 310 feet tall and reaches speeds of 93 miles per hour. It’s not a short ride, either. It’s 2 ½ minutes long and over 6,500 feet long. It is one of the longest roller coasters in the world. Millennium Force isn’t that intense, but the “fun” element is legit! This ride is fast and fun.

However, I am sure that opinion will change with this visit. Because last year, Cedar Point redid their wooden roller coaster, Mean Streak. Mean Streak was a 162 foot wooden roller coaster that was braked to death! It was rough, bumpy, and not generally well received. Cue RMC, (Rocky Mountain Construction). They tore out the wooden track and replaced it with steel track, but kept the wood supports. Everyone who has ridden the product of that conversion, Steel Vengeance, is saying this is the greatest roller coaster ever made. I cannot say that for myself because I have not ridden it…yet. Steel Vengeance is 205 feet tall and has a 90 degree (straight down and completely vertical) drop. It has the most “airtime” in the world at 25 seconds’ worth in a 2 minute ride. That’s roughly ¼ of the ride you are out of your seat! For those of you who don’t know what airtime is, it’s the weightless feeling you get on rides, especially roller coasters. Adrenaline junkies like me live for this feeling! I can’t wait to experience this ride for myself!

So in closing, I am really looking forward to mixing my favorite holiday (excluding St. Patrick’s Day) and my favorite park! I want to thank my mom and Aunt for making this trip possible in the first place. Thank you for reading and as always, feel free to comment!

-Tom