Monday, April 28, 2014

LDStorymakers 2014 and Annual Traditions

This past weekend was the awesome annual event of LDStorymakers (which I've attended for the last 5 years) and the Whitney awards (which I've never attended but have been near the last 2 years.)


Now the only person who seemed to really like the silly idea of framing oneself (besides Julie who created the 'trend') was me. This is the chair of the conference, Don Carey in his framed moment. (see mine below.)

So, there are a couple of annual traditions I have at Storymakers. The first is that I usually end up with one breakfast alone. Yep, I got to sit Friday morning at the restaurant like a friendless loser and listen to Spotify and eat my crepes. (Feeling sorry for me? You should!) Nah, I really didn't mind it that much. It's just funny how many people come up to me and say "Oh, I would've joined you." (Yes, Taffy, that's aimed at you.)


 Writerly friends #selfieday bomb? Storymakers14 @tbronley @juliedaines pic.twitter.com/0xcje37YKP
(I say I look pensive and awesome. Taffy said I looked concern. There is no vote here and Taffy's wrong. :P )

The other tradition I have is "how many classes do I ditch out on early?" We won't go into my brand of crazy, suffice it to say, sometimes, I just can't stay. But, I really did enjoy the classes I was in.

One of the ones I did not leave early, was taught by the ever awesome Julie Wright. Not only is she a great author (I've read one of her books based for women and would totally recommend it), she's got an awesome spirit about her. What did she teach? Well, the class was called "Taking the Suck out of Success." But really, the true theme I got was "DON'T QUIT!" And yes, that's in caps for a reason.

What made that class so awesome was that it rejuvenated my writing spirit. The previous day, I had another annual tradition of saying "I'm just gonna give up on writing." Yeah, didn't last long, but that's because of Julie. Also, I wouldn't have even had this great spiritual experience had it not been for Scott (Julie's husband) who suggested that Julie feared having no one show up (a common presenter fear) and that Julie and I could just hang out the entire time. So I publicly thank Julie and Scott the awesome Saturday morning experience. (And really, there are no notes I could share because it was just an experience.) And because it was a great experience, I tweeted the following:
 And my final "annual tradition" is getting a lesson no one else got. This year, while everyone was hubbubbing in preparation for the Whitneys, I ended up in a conversation with the Storymakers keynote: Orson Scott Card. Now, I know a lot of people (I'm gonna gauge at least 450) who were quite offended by his keynote. However, this conversation was a polar opposite to the hearsay I have of that keynote.


And since this was my only experience in hearing Mr. Card, I have to say that no matter what anyone will negatively state about him, the man has some wisdom to share. And wow, was it awesome. As LDS members, we refer to spiritual experiences. This was such a great spiritual experience between Mr. Card and the four other people in the room, that it made up for everything negative I've ever heard him say. And honestly, you can believe me or you can hold a keynote against him. If you do the latter, than I'll stand high on my soapbox and cry forgiveness. Because he earned it in my eyes.


But the lesson I really learned here is how much I truly let others' hearsay affect my opinion. I didn't stay for the keynote because I'd never heard anything positive of Mr. Card. After speaking to people during the keynote, I had an even lower opinion. That is until I spoke to Scott Wright who helped me understand that not everything said was judgmental and poor. There was a part at the end that was moving (and I don't mean the "moving people out of the room ASAP" parts).

So as much as I did not appreciate some things that he has said, I found a lot of peace and comfort in the lesson that only four friends got. There may not be an excuse for the things he said, but that doesn't give me the right to be offended either.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Report from Salt Lake Comic Con 2014 Fan Experience!

Before we get started, does anyone know what to call this thing? I've heard Comic Con, Fan Experience, Salt Lake Fan Experience, Comic Con Fan Experience... I went to the thing and I don't know what it's called except TWO DAYS OF AWESOME!!!
For this post I'm calling it Comic Con but just realize I'm referring to the name in the title.
So in the weeks leading up to Comic Con I was heeing and hawing as to weather or not I wanted to go or just sell my tickets. The event being a month away from my wedding and a week away from finals, spending a ton of time and money on the event seemed to be a little much.
And then they announced Nathan Fillian.
It was settled.
Fun little pirate band
I called my fellow geek Tyler up and told him I knew what we were dressing as. This was his first Comic Con so he wasn't too keen on dressing up, till I said Dr. Horrible. Joss Whedon's internet sensation starring the Fillian and Neil Patrick Harris was the logical conclusion for us was to dress up as Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer. I was especially into cosplaying as something that didn't require a ton of makeup, unlike my Harley Quinn from last year so this was a win-win.
Great Belle Cosplay (Color altered by me)
Night before though was when the excitement hit a new high when it was announced that the Con would feature none other than the legendary Patrick Stewart was going to show up, a prospect that sent my little heart pumping with glee. I grew up on Star Trek the Next Generation and X-Men, so this guy was probably the biggest name I could ever hope to see. Needless to say, we were excited.
So off we went.
We attended Friday and Saturday of Comic Con with the goal to interact with as many Star Trek: The Next Generation cast as we could, as well as our beloved Captain Reynolds. Our group ended up containing me, Tyler as Dr. Horrible, my roommate Adam, and fellow Mormongeek writer Stephen. Just walking in we were overwhelmed by the amount on display in the main halls. Double the size of last year, there were times we'd just stand in the middle of the aisle not sure where to go,and we could never get across the main floor without stopping for a photo op, seeing something amazing, or just squeeing at amazing cosplays.

Let me emphasize some highlights:

*Meeting Dr. Beverly Crusher, Commander Riker, and Lt Tasha Yar
Nathan and Adam on the main floor
It took a bit of waiting in line, and at for one $40, but I got to meet the actors who played some amazing characters from Star Trek. Johnathon Frakes couldn't chat for long but Gates McFadden and Denise Crosby were so sweet to us we fell in love all over again. Gates to me is the best TV mom out there, and to meet her in person was a real treat, especially finding out how nice she is. Crosby told us about how she loved Salt Lake and how she is now working on The Walking Dead, which makes my heart jump with glee knowing that she'll bring the same strength and passion she brought to Yar into a show I love.

*Seeing the panels
Tyler and I being excited
Last year I spent the entire Comic Con on the floor and never saw the famous people, but this time with so many of my faves I had to check out the panels. I attended six: Nathan Fillian, Patrick Stewart, a double with Michael Dorn (Worf) and Marina Sirtis(Troi), Brent Spiner(Data), and Johnathon Frakes(Riker). Each brought something new to their show. Spiner impersonated Picard and had us rolling in the aisles as well as some hysterical stories about Data and tips for budding actors. Frakes talked about directing and had some great fun with some of the female audience. Dorn and Sirtis told some incredible stories about their treatment by producers and Troi even kissed a fan in a wheelchair that made me tear up. Stewart talked about a new movie coming out that I'm seeing as soon as I can, as well as made me flat out bawl when he talked about his work with battered women's shelters in Great Britain. And Fillian... Well check the next highlight.

*Stephen stumping Nathan Fillian
My favorite Batmobile
So the audience had the opportunity to ask these folks some questions, and Mormongeeks own Stephen Larsen got to talk to his hero Captain Reynolds. First Stephen wanted him to run lines from Serenity with him, which sadly Nathan couldn't do because nobody in the world can do Firefly/Serenity lines as well as Stephen. But then Nathan told us a story about Firefly, and how he ate steaks with Adam Baldwin in the kitchen of the ship and how it felt for a split second that he was home. It made every Browncoat in the place just fall in love with the 'verse we love and miss all over again.

*EVERYTHING IS AWESOME (The Lego display)
The Lego display this year was amazing, and there's no way I could describe it, so here's my pics.







Adam even introduced me to one of the builders, a gentleman by the name of Quinn who helped put the sets together. I'm always eager to meet more Legomaniacs.

*Art
Let it go or Brand new day?
My suvieneers besides pics with my buddies this time around was art. I wanted art for my new home and I was able to pick up some great stuff. Out of respect to the artists I'm not going to show the art since I didn't think to get all their names so I don't want to not credit them, but I did pick up a Steampunk city,a drawing of Korra in the Avatar state, some Harley Quinns to add to my collection, and Calvin and Hobbs taking a nap in a tree. My house is going to look great.

*Meeting Ben Hansen from Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files
As I said in a post once, I love paranormal and cryptozoology stuff. Ben Hansen's show Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files is intriguing and definitely worth checking out. Plus, he graduated from University of Utah, so we're basically bros.

Tyler and I with Ecto 1
*Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog Sing-Along
At the end of the weekend we gathered in a room with about 200 other Dr. Horrible fans and watched the hour long show, singing all the songs at the top of our lungs. "Brand New Day" and "My Freeze Ray" never sounded so good as when they were being sung with friends.

Speaking of, last but not least:

*Spending a weekend geeking out with my buddies
Despite what many believe, I don't spend a ton of time with my friends playing games and watching movies. Between jobs, school, families, and for me wedding stuff, a chance to just be a geek has been rare for a little while. This was just what I needed to hang out with my bros, have some fun, and just be me.

Spider-Man and Deadpool
We had so much fun this year I was sad to see it end, but alas it did. The good news is that if I really need to go back the next one is in September.
Wonder who's coming then...
-JOE










Monday, April 21, 2014

Back to the Grind

Ah, FanX was this past weekend. Due to the fact that I had a weekend without kids with my wife the week before and that I will be attending LDStorymakers this weekend, I had to sadly decide not to go. Also, I have issues in a large crowd like that. So many people. Far too much awesome. It'd be overwhelming.

Instead, I spent a lot of time with my kids. And of course, my wife and I watched Dr. Who. Between me continuing the 4th Doctor's quest to find the third piece of The Key to Time and my wife an I finishing the 10th Doctor's run with Donna, I got to geek out plenty on my own.

(Geek Note: As a Whovian, I recognize Sylvester McCoy's final appearance as the 7th Doctor in 1989, Paul McGann's portrayal in the movie, and Christopher Eccleston's "regeneration" in 2005 are all one continual storyline. However, BBC terms 1963-1989's Doctor as seasons and the 2005-present in series. I refer to them as "classic" vs "modern", but maintain the numerology of 9th, 10th, and 11th for Eccleston, Tenant, and Smith's portrayals.)

I've written about my recent obsession about the Doctor. And as I've continued to watch the show, I've been learning to enjoy it more and more. Yeah, the classic Doctors can be a little cheesy. But when you look at the stories themselves, they're actually pretty decent.

For the 16th season of the classic Doctor Who, we see #4 joined by Romana in search of the six pieces of the Key to Time. Despite a lackluster opening serial, the 2nd and 3rd were really well done, in my opinion.

And you get a look at how the #4, despite being fairly arrogant, is also very quirky. The following scene takes place between the Doctor and Emilia (a professor in what was modern day England at the airing of this serial.) The Doctor has just explained to the professor what exactly is chasing them. She is incredulous to the situation.

Emilia: But Doctor, a silicon-based life form is unknown, unheard of, impossible.

Doctor: Maybe, it doesn't realize that.

Yes, I was alone in watching this classic moment. Yes, I was laughing. And yes, I'd do that again. It was that awesome.

Fast forward almost 30 years later, and you have the airing of the fourth series of modern Doctor Who with David Tenant. My wife and I really did like Christopher Eccleston. And in the second series, we were not fond of Tenant. Funny enough, in the end of that series, we were sick of Rose as his companion and were glad to get a new one for a small amount of time.

I personally really liked Martha. Although, I find it humorous that she wears heels in a few episodes and runs rather well in them. Surprisingly well. But when it's time to run in a pair of sneakers, she just doesn't have that speed.

However, what Doctor Who fan doesn't love Donna? If you don't, you're a fool. Donna is this awesome character full of spunk and charm. She's one of those people that the average person can connect to. There are similarities between Rose and Donna in being "average" and "unintelligent." Rose uses her social skills to her advantage in dealing with the strange worlds the Doctor takes her to. However, Donna uses her brilliance to figure things out.


The 4th series (which would be Tenant's last, not including his specials) ends with a big bang (figuratively and somewhat literally). As a viewer (and wannabe writer), the one thing I noticed is it seems that they did not know if the show would continue past this moment. You get a combination of characters from Torchwood and Sarah Jane Adventures, we see the return of former regular companions Rose and Martha, and not to mention the recurring characters of Mickey, Jackie, Captain Jack, and Mrs. Jones.

Okay, now my fanboy has been turned on. I'll tone it back and say this: I was skeptical about Doctor Who because it was a British show. My cousin first mentioned that he watched it to me at our grandparents' funeral in 1999. I was interested in it but had no idea how to watch it. When I noticed it had returned, I was curious to watch it, and did so sometime in 2010, but just the first episode of the modern Doctor. Finally, this year, I've given it a fair chance and have found a new obsession to enjoy for as long as I can. (With 50 years of history, there's a lot to enjoy.)

If you don't watch it, I highly recommend it.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.







Thursday, April 10, 2014

Musings of an Extrovert

Being the social media butterfly I am, I read a lot of blog posts.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that social media such as blogging and facebook is a great way for introverts to have a voice and connect with a a lot of people in a way that works for them.  There have been a lot of great blog posts and what not that I’ve seen from introverts about the frustrations and joys of being introverted.

That is so great.

But why should introverts get all the fun?!  Here are some thoughts I wish more introverts understood.

I'm not allergic to books. I'm allergic to Stephanie
Meyere.  There's a difference.

1. We're deep people!

The assumption is often made that extroverts are shallow and not particularly intelligent people.  This is couldn’t be any further from the truth.  The excited extrovert at a party just likes high energy and likes to take a break from the realities of life.  We are great people to talk to about deep subjects depending on the environment and situation in our life.  Being silly/obnoxious for the sake of fun at a party doesn’t mean we don’t care about the relationship with your mother, important humanitarian efforts, or string theory--we just may get exhausted by that stuff and need a break.

Also, not all of us don't like books. I love books. I just finished one the other week about Steven Holcomb's inspiriting story of overcoming trials. Extroverts just tend to have a lot of interests. For me, I do like sports I just have so many interests beyond sports I don't really spend much time or energy on them.
Dang it, I read that wrong again. Can you just come over?

2. Talk to us face-to-face.

Yeah, we like texts, phone calls, and emails but nothing is better than face-to-face communication.  We get a lot out of it and it is important to us.  It’s easier for us to understand what is being communicated. Chats, emails, and texts are great but sometimes can be difficult to interpret. Like introverts, we can sometimes read too much into typed words and get the wrong idea.

3. We're not ignoring you.

If we get caught up spending a lot of time with friends and in groups, we are not ignoring you.  We haven’t forgotten you.  We haven’t abandoned you.  Where introverts can get drained from being in crowds we can actually get energy from it.  The other day I hosted ward prayer at my place for my singles ward and I got really excited about having people over.  I actually got a lot of energy out of it.  If you feel ditched at a party with a bunch of people you don’t know understand we’re just soaking up the buzz of what’s going on.  It says nothing about you.

In addition to that, many of us will be friends for life. Months can go by without us talking to you and we'll still be your friend. For some it may be awkward at first trying to pick things back up but even then it doesn't usually take long.

4. We need a little validation.

A lot of extroverts actually don’t mind reaching out or being the initiator.  We do it all the time and it’s natural for many of us to do.  I have a lot of close friends who I know love me even though I am always the one keeping in touch and reaching out.  Though we may be willing to be this friend we still need validation and responses from time to time.  If reaching out is too much for you please still do whatever you can to let your extrovert friend know that you care for them and that they are still important to you in your life.  Just like we need to learn your love languages we also really need you to learn ours.  

An introvert has his space invaded by his extrovert friend.

5. We're not (always) needy.

Extroverts can be really intense in relationships.  We can sometimes be the friend that always seems to have drama and the lover whose arguments somehow turn into make out sessions.  If it feels like we want to hang out all the time it doesn’t mean we’re emotionally needy.  It doesn’t mean we feel bad about ourselves and are clinging for love that we can’t find in ourselves.  (In some cases, this may actually be the case but not always.)  We thrive off of connection.  If you can’t give us your time when we ask for it, schedule it.  We are great schedulers!  Trust us, we have to figure out how to attend all those parties we love.  We won’t let anything get in the way of quality time and trust that you won’t.

6. We make great friends.

The dynamic of an intro/extro friendship.
Extroverts really know how to have fun.  Some of them are shallow and the kind of friends you get when you just need a break from the harsh realities of life.  Others are fiercely committed to your friendship and will stand by you in painful moments of life and help you find joy again.  They can help you make more friends and network when it feels so exhausting for you.  We make great wingmen too.  Yes, we can also be challenging and take you out of your comfort zone.  Communicate your boundaries and we’ll observe them.

7. We love (and need) introverts.

A funny thing about extroverts is that some of them actually feel like other extroverts are generally needy, shallow, and intense.  As much as we may love people and being out we may also find other extroverts uninteresting and not challenging enough.  (We like challenges, aren’t we nuts?)  Most of my friends are actually introverts!  I love introverts because they’re, generally speaking, aren’t shallow and some of the most compassionate people I know.  I love the process of becoming close to introverts because they tend to be vulnerable with very few people in their life.  It’s like climbing a mountain and finding the Shangri-La of quality friendship.  Being close to someone who is closed off to so many others is very affirming for an extrovert.

Introverts and extroverts can learn so much from one another.  You may find that we actually are not all that different after all.  Even extroverts like a small intimate gathering instead of a big exhausting party.  I’ve learned from some introverts it goes the other way too.  Yeah, maybe we can be exhausting and challenging sometimes but we’re totally worth it.  ;)
-Stephen



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Expert - Short Comedy Short from Youtube

Sometimes, I've had the fortune (or misfortune) of being called an 'expert' at something.  This video seems to capture exactly how frustrating it can be.

Enjoy!


Monday, April 7, 2014

How I Met Your Mother

First, let me start this post with stating that I have every intent of spoiling the finale to the TV show How I Met Your Mother. So if you're one of those people who are watching it on Netflix and are waiting until the 9th season gets added, then do yourself a favor and bookmark this post (cause it's gonna be legen-wait for it-dary!) (Or maybe not.)

Second, despite my renewed love for Batman from reading the Hush series (thanks to Joe for letting me borrow it along with the recommendations from my bishop and his first counselor) as well as having started playing Batman: Arkham Asylum finally, I will be going with this recently ended TV show.

Now...here's a picture to take up more space just in case you're reading this and need to stop because I may ruin the story for you...





Keep scrolling


Go on...


This is not the spot you are looking for...



Maybe now....

 

Okay, let's get to it. I know where I stand on the finale. And I know why I stand there. And like the show, I may confuse you until I state where I am. Let me start by saying I hated the first half of the finale. Holy crap! They broke up Ted and Robin? Meanest thing ever! And then for Robin to basically dump Lily's friendship in the trash because of Ted's "happily ever after"? Grr....


And then you hit the second half of the finale. Oh, so who was shocked that the mother was dead? *does not raise hand* If you were watching the show, it was pretty obvious. Especially in the episode "Vesuvius" when Ted and Tracy were at dinner in 2020. At the end of Ted's story, he refers to Robin's mother showing up to the wedding and how everybody was surprised. Tracy, in her very wise way, says, "What mother would miss her own daughter's wedding?" It doesn't take a genius to know why Ted starts crying. Even Tracy gets teary-eyed. Hello! Tracy's dying at this point! (Although not for four years, which makes me assume that she's dying of cancer.)

Okay, so we knew (by about the 5th season) that this story was not about Ted finding the mother. It's about Ted being okay with things not ending up the way he expected...only they do.

And here's why I feel like the ending was true to the story and I actually really like the way the show ends.

The show is about Robin. Yeah, I'm stealing this from a tv.com blog post. They make the point that the show is about Robin and how negative of a thing that is. Here's my simple question: DID YOU WATCH THE FREAKIN' SHOW, DUDE? Because the whole show was about Ted and Robin no matter what you say.

Let's look at some of the things throughout the 9 seasons of the show:

Season 1: Ted pines for Robin. Pretty simple. Barney, Lily, and Marshall do what they can to help Ted move on because it doesn't seem like Robin and Ted are going to work. And Ted does end up with Victoria (who is my all-time favorite despite what others may say). I also still wish Ted ended up with Victoria. But she'll come into play later.

Season 2: Ted and Robin date. Oh, what a nice season that is for the Ted/Robin fans. But in the end, Robin has too many things she wants to do with her life before settling down. (We'll come back to this.)

Season 3: Ah, the Have You Met Ted game has returned. And then we meet Stella. Oh Stella...she was my 2nd favorite. Partially because Sarah Chalke as Elliot on Scrubs was awesome. But I digress. Stella is that girl that you don't think you have a shot with, but you try anyway. And Ted did. And he did win. But let's look at the other important piece to this story: Barney sleeps with Robin. And how did Ted react? Oh, like a jealous ex-boyfriend despite dating someone else. Hmm....

Season 4: Ted and Stella are engaged. Yay! They're gonna get married. Yay! They invite their exes...Ya...wait what? And there were two options here: disinvite each other's ex. Or disinvite their own ex. The latter option led to Ted being left at the alter. And look at who that ex was....Robin. By the end of the season, you see Ted deciding he needs to move on with his life.




Season 5: Barney and Robin attempt to date for the first part of this season. They end up with one of the worst relationships either has been in. And because Ted cares about them both (they are his friends) he and Marshall enlist Lily's help to break them up. Oh thank goodness. Of course, Robin ends up dating Don for a bit. Ted and Barney both want Robin back. Hey look, they both want Robin. (Anyone else fighting replacing Ted with Ross, Barney with Joey, and Robin with Rachel and season 5 with season 8/9?)

Season 6: Other than some of the most emotional episodes (Count Down) as well Ted's awkward relationship with Emma Swan...no wait...Zoey...(meh, same actress), this season is about Ted having moved on from Robin. There's very little in their relationship (that I recall). The season where the writers (and series) make you forget about Ted and Robin. Did they do this intentionally? Meh, who cares. But Ted is just trying to live his life. Also, what's so awesome about a season with Katy Perry (other than playing the personality so many of her haters expect to see.)

Season 7: So, the previous season ends with Barney and Nora. You are to assume that Barney is marrying Nora in the future. And you get Robin dating Kevin, her therapist. But more than anything, you get the most important moment in the past few years: Ted still loves Robin. What? He's still in love with her? Yep. He really is. But he needs to find a way to move on. Oh and look who's back....Victoria!!!!! Yeah, you get to see the end of the season moment when Barney's bride (who you're assuming is Quinn) wants to see Ted, only to find out it's Robin!

Season 8: Yes, if I were Ted, I'd marry Victoria and ditch Robin. That's what Victoria wants. But Victoria has a strong point: Ted is not over her. Robin was the reason Ted broke up with Victoria before. She's the reason Victoria breaks up with Ted. :( But really, you have Ted thinking he's over Robin...until you get to the locket. This locket is actually so important, it's not even funny. But despite it, Ted convinces Robin to marry Barney still.

Oh but wait....Ted, in the very beginning, states he is a believer of signs and omens. And Robin, is not. Let me tell you this, when a couple stays together long enough, they will start to adapt some of the things that they see makes the other person as quirky. Robin looks at the lost locket as a sign. And what does Ted do? He does the one thing any man in love would do: give her what she wants.

Season 9: The theme of the locket is there. It's in the opening episode of the season. It's in the ending episode. It's been buried in an illegal spot and shocking that no cops did anything about all the digging they were doing. Sorry, I digress. The 9th season is about this locket. It almost causes Barney and Ted to split as friends. It's an argument between Lily and Ted. Season 9, though, is about Ted moving on completely from Robin. He does not to be suffering any longer. By the end of the season, he is over her.

Ted is absolutely and completely over Robin. So when he meets Tracy, there is room for him to love her. And not like he loved Victoria or Stella or Zoey. No, he really is in love with Tracy. And he has completely moved on from Robin.

Which is why he is telling this story to his kids in 2030. Yeah, he did move on from Robin. But as a dad, it makes perfect sense for Ted to try to talk Robin up (for a REALLY long time) and explain how he really did love these kids' mother. But there's nothing wrong with Ted not wanting to be alone, as it has been six years.

And yeah, I also predicted Ted stealing the blue french horn for Robin again. It was actually something cheesy I would've written, to be honest. That's why I knew, when he was buzzing for her, that he had the horn in his hand.

My mom was diagnosed with cancer in 1995. My dad stood by her through this illness. All the way until she passed in 2002. Yeah, my dad will always love my mom. But her loss made him miserable. In 2010, my dad got remarried. Finding his new wife a few years ago, my dad is a lot happier than he has been in a long time. There's nothing wrong with him not wanting to be alone in this world any more.

As Mormons, we believe that marriage can be eternal. And I know my parents' marriage is. But there is nothing wrong with having a companion to be with for the rest of our days. Sometimes, that person is someone we have not met yet and sometimes, it's someone from our past.

Okay, that's my ten cents on this.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.