Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The First 100 Days

The first 100 days is a term that was first applied to my favorite president, Franklin D. Roosevelt. When FDR took office, the country was in financial ruins and he was tasked with pulling the country out of the Great Depression. Not only did he do so, but he did it all in the first 100 days of office. Fairly or not, all new presidents' first 100 days are graded against the spectacular things that FDR did with his. During this honeymoon period, new presidents try to harness the power of a successful campaign and use that political capital to implement their main programs and fulfill campaign promises. The first 100 days is often used as a yard stick for how the rest of a president's term will go, their ability flourish in their new roles, and sets the tone for the rest of their term.

Today marks the first 100 days I have lived in Vegas since the big move from Austin. While what I have done in the last 100 days is not shaping world politics or the US economy, I thought it rather fitting to see how my own First 100 days report card would read.

1) Artistic/creative - I must say I have defiantly improved in this area. While working 5 day week and having a hectic social life in Austin, I had little time to write. Since I now work nights and there is no one up at 4 am to chat with, I have been not only blogging more regularly, but also writing again. I am in the middle of writing two short stories and have been knocking around an idea for a third. In addition to the joy of actually putting pen to paper, I have also found that it has me paying closer attention to style and craft when I read and I now will find myself composing while I am doing nothing more than grocery shopping. Plus my graffiti habit has escalated since the move. That counts as creativity, right? Rating: Upgrade

2) Career - I love being a nurse. It is almost as much of who I am as being Mormon is. I know what a rarity it is to have found one's niche in life, but I was lucky enough to have done so. I learned to much while working in clinic, but as many of you know, I am and always was a hospital nurse. I crave the joy that comes after a crisis has passed and upon review, I knew exactly what to do. I love the stories I get to tell, I love seeing things normal people will never get to see, and I love, on the most human level, being there for people when they have nothing else. Even though this floor at this particular hospital was not what I had hoped for, the work is still essentially the same. Rating: Upgrade

3) Community - It is rather hard to say anything about this category because I am now working the night shift. No one holds political rallies, lets you walk shelter dogs, or judge toddler beauty contest in the middle of the night. Red was great at getting us out into our community and giving back, even if our service made it so I never want to ever paint another house as long as I live. Rating: Downgrade

4) Family - Last Sunday was Father's Day. Flip and I went out to my parent's house and had a feast fit for a Roman. Driving back home, I thought back to 10 years of holidays I spent at other people's houses, with their families. Christmas Eve and morning at Red's house with four rowdy brothers, birthday dinners at Frankie's with a dessert that was a well-deserved tradition, Thanksgiving at Princess' with the most tense football game of my life; all are priceless memories and made me feel so loved to have been part of that. The first time it was my awkward photos on the wall, my stories the parents told, the first time my parents got to meet a friend that was not from high school. It was the first time that I got to be on the giving side of the equation, and throughly enjoyed it. Rating: Upgrade

5) Financial - Well, while the move zapped all savings down to $60, my new job does pay more. The downside is that I work less, so the pay is only slightly better here. The bonuses I got for signing on to work for the company are what is going to push this category in a positive way. Also, I have been exposed to this whole 401K business which is supposed to make me a millionaire or something. I am not sure how that works, but assured it does. Rating: Upgrade

6) Fitness - I went down from going to the gym three times religiously to not even having a gym membership. While the sheer amount of dancing we do here has replaced my cardio, I have lost the definition I once had. I also strangely miss Frankie telling me to work for Kate arms, Megan Fox abs, and various other actresses body parts. Rating: Downgrade

7) Friends - I have been sitting here wondering what to say here. Austin has the advantage of ten years of my adult life, and the vast majority of my Mormon years. I could go to parties and see people who I had not seen forever and be right back where we were when we last saw each other, or I could see marrieds at Stake Conference with their three kids and remember when I went to their wedding. Here I am the new fish, the one who gets to meet everyone for the first time. I have met so many new people who are just as fun, and vivacious as my Austin friends. Trying to compare the two was nearly impossible, but in the end I realize just because I now live here and have made new friends, this does not mean I have lost my other friends, only added to them. Rating: Upgrade

8) Fun - Entertainment Capital of the World. Sorry Austin. Rating: Upgrade

9) Health - With the death of the gym, that sneaky little monster called asthma has popped back into my life. Some of you might remember that the reason I joined the gym in the first place was on the recommendation of my doctor who told me that running can increase my lung capacity and decrease my need for medication. Running three times a week had me medication free. Since I have been here I have had one full blown asthma attack in Huntington Beach and a close call while out dancing last week. My lung have spoken. Rating: Downgrade

10) Learning/intellectual - Getting re-certified in BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, TNCC and the CCRN, not to mention all the drugs I have not used in years has me doing more studying than I have done in quite a while. Don't worry about what all those letters mean, all they mean is you are going to be very, very safe next time you hang out with me. Rating: Upgrade

11) Personal relationships - How can nothing be greater than nothing? I guess since Vegas has 12 YSA wards, and Austin has 4 then Vegas has to take it. Rating: Upgrade

12) Spiritual - We are going to save this category for a later post. Stay tuned.

After the votes were tallied, Vegas wins with an 8 out of 11. Somedays are hard, and I really do miss the ease and comfort of Austin. I had a hard time making the decision to move, but when all is said and done, I really am happy here. Thank you to all my friends (especially Princess and The Peacemaker) back in Austin who encouraged me to make such a huge leap when I was so scared to even think about the possibility.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Your Browser History As Embarrassing As Mine?

Being still relatively new to the whole Mac world, tonight I was scrolling over my menu bar and just looking over what my options were right there at the top of the page. I scrolled across the "History" drop down and pulled down the list of the the most recent websites I had been to. I was a touch embarrassed and instantly wanted to purge the whole thing in case I found myself at the Apple store trying to explain to the guy why I visited Failblog more times that I did CNN.com. The feeling quickly passed as realized they probably saw way more embarrassing histories from frat guys and well, just about any guy, and decided instead to see what I have been really spending my time doing.

1. Text From Last Night - Today Flip and I went to Urban Outfitters and I stubbed upon the book that came from this website and it was highly inappropriate but hilarious none the less. The entire website is comprised of things friends text messaged to each other that taken out of context or just read are down right ridiculous. I spent a good hour tonight reading page after page of this stuff. Just a warning, you might not want to read this at work, so I will paste in some funny, but clean entries.
  • How do you tell someone you stalk them in a non-creepy way - you don't
  • And when I say "complete whore" I mean I could possibly make a shameful profit by wearing this.
  • Told my mom happy mother's day then rubbed my belly and said "Oh, and happy grandmother's day too..." She started sobbing. You were right, that wasn't the best way to tell her.

2. Post Secret - This is a website that I only recently was introduced to. People take their darkest, most embarrassing secrets, place them on a postcard and mail them anonymously to this guy who lives somewhere back East. Every Sunday he post a fresh crop of them on the website for everyone to see their secret shame. If that sounds like to much work for you, but still want to share you deepest, darkest secret, please feel free to do so in the comment section.

3. Google Search: Phone backgrounds - I am sure you are all well aware I am picking up my new iPhone in a few hours. It will have the ability to have a background picture on the desktop, so I was browsing to see if there were any I liked. I wish it was only phone backgrounds, but on in the history there was also, superhero phone backgrounds, star trek phone backgrounds, Diet Coke with Lime phone backgrounds. Perhaps the last should have been, how to tell people I am a nerd backgrounds.

4. Facebook is on here more often than I would like to admit. If I tried to list every last time I was on there, this post would be nothing but Facebook visits. I may or may not have a problem.

5. Apple.com - After telling someone that their iPhone 3g would be able to have the new operating system and all the new amazing features, I logged on to see which features will be available with the update. Seriously, I should work for Apple.

6. Two episodes of "True Beauty" - I watched two episodes of "True Beauty", and all I could think was, really ABC, after Lost went off the air, this is the best you can do for me. Sure I sound condescending, but that did not stop me from watching the show, now did it?

7. Blog Spot - I seriously log on to the site everyday. Why have conversations with friends when you can just follow them. It is all the benefits of being friends in real life with out any of the downers. By the way, thanks for reading.

8. Cooks.com - homemade tortillas - Yup, this is what you get for watching Top Chef at 2 in the morning and thinking to yourself, yeah, that doesn't look that hard.

9. Luxor - Bodies exhibit - how cool is this place? It is an entire exhibit of dead people. It is just like being at work, except I have to pay them and I don't ever have to worry if I secretly did something to put them in that state.

10. Awkward Family Photos.com - Who does not love this page? Where else would I find out that it is always a bad idea to take pictures of your naked pregnant belly, with guns, or in one case with your naked pregnant belly and guns?

11. YouTube - What did people do before Youtube? I guess you just had to hear about some guy getting hit in the groin with a baseball bat, or racking himself trying to do a rail slide, or one drunk guy junk punching another. There is almost no way a guy can get hit in the good anymore without it ending up available for the general public to view. No in the market for a good laugh at men doubled over in pain, I spent the day looking at Radiohead videos, acoustic versions of "Nice Dream", and almost every video this kid David Day made. Day has a serious thing for Miley Cyrus.

12. Blog Spot - This was me writing my the last post I published. See, not everything I site I visit is a complete waste of time.

13. Myxer - This is a website where you can make your own ringtones. I could not get the fetching thing to work, despite it working for others. I tried sending it to my phone, downloading it, and sending it directly to my phone. I am not helpless, but if you want to send me a ringtone, I will use it. No matter what it is. Take this as a dare.

14. Bellagio - Art Museum - Apparently I need to get out more, instead of just looking at cool things to do on the internet. I really want to hit this exhibit before it rotates. They have a Picasso there right now. I bet it would look great over my couch.

15. Story name generator - I am the worst at coming up with names for my stories, so I cheat a little, but this website had the most outlandish suggestions. Magnus Brown? Peter Coffyn? I would be better served by just naming my characters boy 1, girl 2, and dog.

16. Google Search: What is a Bonjour list and how do I put my AIM friends on my iChat list? - I still could not figure it out. Why am I so retarded at this kind of stuff? I think that geeks secretly make it impossible for normal people to do it on their own so that they are always ensure jobs and that girls will desperately ask them for help.


18. Google Search: What does death smell like

21. Google Search: Appearance of urine in a cadaver - Please do not call the police, I can prove that this is all for a story.

23. Google Search: Weight of an airplane - Further proof that I am not psychotic and secretly learning how to dispose of your body. I will post the story when I am done.

24. Google Search: Brazilian fruits

25. Google Search: Ways to contract a virus - Seriously, how did writers ever research anything before the internet? The library. I would be to lazy to write a single word.

26. Facebook - It is embarrassing how much I am on this page. This was the only page I visited all day. I have visited it several times while actually typing this post. If I could put Facebook in the picture of picture on the TV, I would.

27. Rainbow cake recipe - This is the cake we made for The Black Widow's birthday. I was amazing I could actually pull this cake off. I was sure at several points in the process that we were going to have to chuck the whole thing and buy a cheap white sheet cake from Walmart.

28. Nothing Bunt Cakes - Okay, so maybe I don't know how to spell bundt.

29. Nothing Bundt Cake - This website looks like a bakery and a scrap-booking store had sex and this is their bastard child. No joke.

30. Blockbuster queue - I added True Blood: Season Two and Never Back Down. Judge me if you want.

31. Google Search: Matthew Fox Shirtless - Not sure how we go to this point, but if you did not judge me on the last one, you can feel free to do so now.

32. Google Search: Silk Spector - Awesome or creepy? Awesome because I am once again looking up superheroes or creepy because it was on the heels of Matthew Fox shirtless search? Do I ever Google fully clothed people?

33. Google Search: Lost Explained - Weird, it was just a blank page. Oh right, because there are no answers to be had

34. Anthropologie - It is like worshipping at the alter. I did not buy anything, but it sure is nice to look. I would love so much to decorate my whole house from there, but am a little gun shy after EVERYONE who sees my teapot lamp tells me how much they hate it.

After laying my surfing habits out for all the see, I wonder if yours is worse than mine. I can handle the furtive looks from the Apple store guy, but can you? Tell me, is your browser history even more embarrassing than mine?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

From Today to Yesterday

Tonight as I settled behind the wheel, I turned the on heater and as a blast of warm air bathed my face I caught a slight hint of that new car smell still hiding somewhere way back in the vents of my car. I had not smelled this smell in months. Slowly as I became accustomed to my car, climbing in and out everyday that smell faded from notice. But tonight I was falling back in time to the moment I opened my driver's side door for the first time on the car lot. The smell was so strong as it wafted out into the muggy night air. The memory is so sharp that the whole scene is laid out before me from the way the halogen lot lights changed the shade of my shirt, to the bite of my purse upon my shoulder, down to the way the bottom of my feet were slightly sticky against my plastic bottomed sandals.

Often one thing can be so associated with another that you don't even realize it is gone, or changed, or missing till something jolts you back to how it used to be. Long after the event has come or gone or the person has come in and left out of our lives the smell or taste of them is still sitting on your brain in intangible drops hidden beneath a tangled mass of years but when you come upon them they are poignant edifices of memory. Falling into one can conjure up a complex vision of the things you love, the things that make you who you are today, and the things you never want to lose.

This is how a song will come on my iPod and I will be insantly be transported back to an aisle of Target trying to decide between plum and purple nail polish. It is how I will almost be able to feel the warm beat of the sun upon the apple of my cheeks as I walked across campus towards home just by a the smell of freshly mowed grass. It is how a passages of a book will bring back the heaviness of heart from a time when the words were more than literature but reflected my own feelings. It is almost as if it was a short cut from today to then, from now to yesterday. A direct string that could pull me back to that very moment that my nose was full of a lover's perfumed skin or I felt the crackle beneath my hands of breaking ribs the first time I did CPR.

While some memories are vaulted to the front of our minds, most moments in our lives are ever so ephemeral; gone with a beat of a butterfly’s wings. Our lives are fluid and wash into the past second by second, lost forever. What is it that makes some moments go missing in the muck and mire of my memory, subject to the ravages of a corporeal vault, while others are so brilliant that they blaze when visited? I can tell you what Red will order at almost every restaurant in the greater Austin area, exactly where Flip left his flash drive, the very shade of deep azure blue The Preacher's eyes are, or the way Frankie clasps his hands and crinkles his left eye when he laughs, but cannot tell you how old I was when I learned to whistle, what my fourth grade teacher's name was, or a single pair of shoes I had before the age of 15. The mind chooses memories like a child collecting rocks. Some are chosen for their aesthetic value, some for their size, but most are chosen indiscriminately, plucked from obscurity and made special.

As calendar days flicker past, more of my life will slip between the thin pinch in the hourglass. Before I know it, most of my sand will have settled along the bottom. Reviewing my past, I will not be able to remember days, but will only be able to remember moments. My life available for recall at an instant when the most amount of memories will be at my disposal. While my mistakes and regrets will surely come to mind, I hope there will be memories that will warm the cockles of my heart, memories that I cannot even list here because the best is yet to come. Those memories will be the sum total of who I am, for good or bad because even at the end the past is never dead.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Day In The Life Of - Austin Edition

Tonight I had nothing to actively blog about. I came home and was content with the life I have in such a short time built for myself. I tried to remember the feelings of angst and stagnation that I had felt with life that caused me to flee Austin.

Unable to do so, I remembered I had written my friend an email an email back in November entitled, "A Day In The Life Of...". One Yahoo mail search later, I found it. Rereading it, I was agog to realize how different I feel tonight. Warm and satisfied with my choice in life, I am off to bed, but felt the need to show you how far I have come.

A Day In The Life Of...
November 30, 2009

7:17a.m. Consciousness slowly breaks over me. The pale blue light filtering in through the blinds can be seen through my lids. The alarm has not gone off yet, so I attempt to stave off the inevitable realization that I will have to leave my down cocoon. I can hear the dog’s soft snore near my ear and listen to the rhythmic rasp while I float back sleep. Before slumber is achieved, the jarring cry of the alarm snaps me back to reality. The light’s velvety quality was an ephemeral pleasure that has now slipped into a steely grey. Resigned to my fate, I roll over and luxuriously stretch; my quadriceps scream in protest after last night’s run. Pushing back the covers, the heat escapes, and my day starts.

7:37 a.m. Taking a bath brings such enjoyment. My feet are cold from the linoleum floor and they tingle with a million tiny pinpoints as I step into the enveloping heat. I stand ankle deep for a moment, waiting to acclimate so that I can slowly submerge my entire body. The heat suffuses over me and I lay in the warm embrace. Today it was harder to prod myself to action then most mornings. The actions are so rote that I can tune out and allow my mind to try to recover the shreds of last night’s dream. Unable to do so, I am out of the tub, and the now tepid water sheets off of me.

8:25 a.m. Dressed, fed, and freshly coifed, I am now preparing to leave for the day of work before me. I have to shut the door on the mournful look the dog gives me no matter if I am leaving him for the day or going as far as the end of the driveway. The cutting morning air tugs cruelly at my membrane thin scrubs and confirms my choice to drive my car the three blocks to work. I navigate the same route, park my car in the same spot, and walk the same route into the building. The fact I cannot actively recall a thing from puppy dog eyes to the downward swipe of my time clock may be indicative of a forming rut. I fear the grass is growing beneath my feet.

10:12 a.m. Well into the routine, and as I sit in the artificial cooled and dehumidified air, I press the plastic cup of the phone receiver closer to my ear, straining to hear a response to my question. My patient's need for privacy in her active attempt to achieve pregnancy has her whispering in a bathroom stall. Her voice reverberates off the industrial tile, to the brushed stainless-steal sink, off the three metal walls she sits behind and back into my ear. I listen, but I do not need to be fully engaged to pick up the reason she is calling . I can mentally see her perched on the commode in her tailored skirt and matching blazer; only her two and a half-inch heels visible below the truncated door. I catch a key word and just wait for the pause so I can provide her with the scripted answer.

12:00 p.m. The morning has slipped away, and as the very moment the phones click off for lunch, I am mentally out the door before I am physically. Stepping outside, the sun is now directly above me and giving a valiant effort to warm me but its heat is still being whipped away by winter's gusty blows. Back at the house, a wet nose greets me at the door. I warm a fillet of frozen fish in the oven and put on a pot of sushi rice, and sit down to watch inane daytime television while my food cooks. Despite the lacking choices in television, I adore the oasis of home mid-day. I do not want to move from desk to break room and have the same conversations to the same people just doing a different task.

1:15 p.m. After finishing lunch, my full stomach commandeers the blood my brain needs to stay alert and sluggishly I return to the office. Though my day is equally divided, the afternoons always seem to yawn out impossibly long. I return to my assigned space along a narrow counter that does not even have the dignity of being called a desk. I await the onslaught to commence.

3:55 I am in clinic with a patient who is scared and in desperate need of guidance. She fears the bright red blood she sees in the bathroom marks the demise of her hopes. For the first time all day, I am engaged. Presented with a problem that is outside my scripted responses, I am required to use high brain function and am reveling in it. These shining moments are havens for my active mind, and are the tiny spots that I look forward to every day. Excited by the opportunity to make a difference, my pace subconsciously quickens as does my pulse. Soon I am bidding her a good-bye as she leaves with reassurance, relief painted on her face, and fulfillment floods into me.

5:39 The close of business has finally come, and I am driving home. Rounding only one of two corners I need to complete my journey home, I am pleasantly caught unawares and awed by the fall foliage. Trees that normally serve as the backdrop to my neighborhood have caught the evening sun and are ablaze with color. Each leaf is undulating but each is doing so to its own rhythm and pace; like each is floating on a the surface of a different wave. The combination of the ruddy hues and the individually distinct movement makes the tree look like I had just missed someone igniting it in its entirety. The moment is quick and now gone as the car's forward motion changes my perspective. Moments later I am home, but am still trying to recreate the exact shade of orange in my mind's eye.

6:17 Tonight I have a lull before I have to be at my night's prescribed event, and am delighted by the play in my schedule. The contemplation of what to do with my surplus time is almost as exciting as actually getting to enjoying it. In the end, I settle upon my favorite pastime, reading. Joining my current tome upstairs, I relish in the anticipation of rejoining the tale. I am soon immersed between the book's two covers, and time slips away unnoticed.

8:00 Family Home Evening begins with the mundane announcements and introductions we repeat every week. Though soon enough the true reason we have all gathered in an apartment to small to comfortably seat all present begins. The lesson's focuses is on being a member missionary with Alma and Amulek as the examples. The usage of my favorite, Amulek, makes the lesson especially poignant and I am enrapt during the entire lesson. The Spirit poured into me, awakening my spiritual half. Basking in the warm radiance, I now feel as if the world around me has been permeated with a vibrancy that was missing from the rest of my day. Sluffing off the drudgery, I could feel the my true self unfurl from its dormant state. Enlivened and whole from the lesson, FHE finally comes to a close and I head off to the gym.

10:45 I set about to record my day and in the process, miss the traditional implements of letter writing. A veteran letter writer of the pen and paper variety, I miss the bite the nib makes into the creamy paper as my familiar letters fill the page. There is something to be said for a handwritten letter. Individualized and personalized, it is a small work created just for you. Mechanically produced prose carries the same gist, but lacks the heart of an inked letter. Despite the cold format of the electronic offers, I attempt to set my mere words to the task of describing something so rich and complex as a day. Knowing they will fall short, I take the opportunity to spread my flowery wings and make my best attempt to make two dimensional words rich enough to express my three dimensional world.

12:19 Having reread my words with a critical eye, I am ready to send them out to you. The time is far spent, and must retire to prepare to repeat the same tomorrow with only slight substitutions. The drudgery yawns out before me. The fact I can see no end to the banality puts such an oppressiveness in my chest, that it makes it hard to force myself to do it every morning. The knowledge that if I skip today, the same will be waiting for me the day after breeds a depression that I know not how to get out of. Downcast by my own realization, I now will retire. As always, I hope my words find you well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Me, Mario!

Let's go on a trip (squiggly flash-back lines here). The year is 1990. Look around your house, but avoid that mirror over there, you are currently wearing a hyper-color, pegged jeans, BKs, and a side ponytail. It is not a pretty sight. What is that you see under the TV? Why it is your childhood best friend, The Nintendo. You and your siblings saw The Wizard in the theaters a couple of months ago and are now after much drooling and begging and maybe a little crying, you finally have the in your hot little hands the game of all games. Super Mario Brothers 3. Can you still hear the triumphant ditty it played at the end of the level when you get your card?

Flash forward to last night when Flip and I stumble upon the option to buy Super Mario Brothers 3 on the Wii. I was so happy, I nearly cried real tears. Five hours later we had successfully filled our evening for 1/4 of what it would have cost to go see a movie. I was transported to the fantasy land of my youth where I knew which blocks were coins, where to find Penny Heaven, and I how to really use a raccoon tail to my advantage. Turns out, I freaking love video games.

I can feel the judgment from many of you. Saying you love video games is akin to saying you love to watch TV. Everyone secretly does, it is just taboo to say. While everyone from Tipper Gore to your mother says that video games will rot your brain, during our extended button mashing fest last night, Flip and I discussed how video games really make your life better. I have decided to share this knowledge with all of you. Get ready to become a believer.

Video games make your life better because...

1. They gives us a common culture much in the same way that movies and TV does. Did you feel that nostalgic pull when you just saw the intro screen picture above. How long could we talk about Contra, Mike Tysen's Punch Out, or Super Pitfall? Next time you are on a date and there is a lull in the conversation, try discussing which Street Fighter character has the best moves. You guys will have enough to talk about to make it through at least dessert.

2. They teach us real life skills. I realized this while playing Grand Theft Auto. I would have never realized the best way to steal a car is to wait at the stop light until I played this game for hours. I mean, that is hard won knowledge I might need to use someday. Also I am pretty sure after playing Rock Band, I could sit in for most drummers.

3. They allow you to be competitive without the danger of throwing mini golf clubs, taking someone's eye out with a Risk piece after you flip the board, or nearly drown your friend trying to wrestle the ball back in pool basketball.

4. They teach you social skills. Now I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but think about all the World Of Warcraft players who have friends all over the world. Those guys would had zero friends before the game, but now they have a chance to talk and interact with others. That also cuts down on the friendless socio-path who are sitting at home, plotting to destroy the world.

5. They reenforces abstinence. Because come on, what girl plays World Of Warcraft?

6. They improve your hand eye coordination, which also reenforces abstinence. If you don't understand that reason, you can email me privately and I will explain it to you in small words. It's okay, I am a nurse, you can ask me.

7. They improve your memory. To this day if you ask my brother where the flute or big shield is in Legend of Zelda is, he can tell you from the other room. This reason is not full proof though, just ask him to recite the pythagorean theorem and I am not sure you would get the same results.

8. They can train you to have various careers. Call of Duty is a perfect example of this. I never considered a career as a professional bad ass until playing this game. I love to snipe from the buildings and severe jugular arteries like a lethal killing machine. That game also has me convinced I can almost speak German. While Call of Duty speaks to me personally, there are plenty of other games out there that could help people realize what they want to do in life. They could play F-Zero and want to be a race car driver, or belt it out with Sing Star and realize their dream is to be on American Idol, or play The Sims and realize they want to become makers of really boring video games.

9. In addition to helping you find your career path, it can also help you once you have the job. I am pretty sure playing hours of Halo and Gears of War slowly deaden you inside and give you a false sense of invincibility, which will make you a great soldier, lawyer, or DMV worker.

10. They teach you endurance. The older platforms were pretty good at this. When you first started playing your hand would cramp after a hour or two of playing, you kept having to stop the game to pee, got all fidgety when your lower extremities cried for circulation. Eventually you began to train your body to work through the developing carpal tunnel syndrome, to sit for long hours in a chair while paying attention, and stretch your bladder to the size of a gas tank. Coincidently, these are all skills you can use in a modern day office. Today we can also use the Wii for this. But be careful to used in moderation at first before the endurance is built up because nothing is more embarrassing than saying you are sore from playing Wii tennis and not regular tennis.

11. They teach you real problem solving. When in the history of the world have so many people been ready to deal with a full blown zombie attack?

12. They teach us morals. Unless you are playing Grand Theft Auto or Soul Reaver, you are most likely the hero in the game. Your goals are almost always good and noble. You are striving to rescue princesses mostly, but can also be trying to stop global destruction, take down a shadowy, semi-legitimate organization, return to a dolphin to it's pod, or save your village from a rampant dinosaur attack. An entire religion could be built upon these principals.

13. They build self confidence. You play enough and you might start to think that you actual look like Lara Croft, that you are so good that Steve Madden would hire you, or that you could really show Tony Hawk a thing or two. True the self confidence is as false as painted on vampire abs, but where do you think those idiots who made Jackass got all that bravado from?

14. They teach us how to assimilate. The games we have now are just prepping the human race for the eventual assimilate that is bound to occur when Terminator like robots take over the world. Gamers will be the only ones who know how to relate to our new overlords.

15. They teach you observational skills. Due to the intense amount of details you must catch in each level and the need to know how to function in each game, your observation skills become so honed that in real life you don't miss a thing.

16. They teach you observational skills. Due to the intense amount of details you must catch in each level and the need to know how to function in each game, your observation skills become so honed that in real life you don't miss a thing.

17. They teach us dedication, patience, and resolution. This is why every lady should look past the pasty skin obtained from hours of indoor play and indentation on the side of the face from the where the game mic has permanently made a place for itself and seriously consider dating a gamer. Even if you guys don't get end up together, just think, you now know someone who will fix your computer.

While it might be Tetris or Dr. Mario that gets your gaming juices flowing instead of Super Mario Brothers 3, I think you should seriously take a break from your book clubs and tea parties and spend a little quality time remembering all the great things that video games have done for you. Until next time, remember how cool you feel right now that when I say up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, select, start, that you knew what I was talking about. See video games just made your life a little bit better.