Remembering DJ Henry

Dan Henry (DJ) was one of my best friends from the moment I met him at Easton Junior High School.

I met DJ on the very first day of school. He had just moved here and really didn’t know anyone yet. Dan sat in the first row of the class, right in the middle and in front of the teacher. After class, I went over and introduced myself and we both joked at strange observations we had silently made through an otherwise uneventful period. It was in that moment that I first heard DJ’s infectious laugh after agreeing that he had made a foolish mistake to sit where he did. I was instantly drawn to his sense of humor. Personally, I liked to hide in the back corner of the class where it’s safe, so I also admired his courage to sit where he sat on his first day in a brand new school.

A few months later and after getting to know each other better, I was hanging out with Dan at his house in Easton. 

The first time I came over his house he looked me in the eyes and said that I was the first friend he’s ever had over his home. What he said struck me as a refreshingly honest thing to admit. Had I been in his position I probably would’ve lied and acted like my house serves as a constant turnstile of friends, too insecure to blatantly admit the truth. That really wasn’t who Dan was. He was so honest and incredibly comfortable in his own skin that it really struck a chord with me. Between sitting where he sat on his first day, to admitting that I was his first-ever house guest, I quickly gathered that he wasn’t someone afraid to be vulnerable, and I loved that.

That first time I came over I noticed how filled with love his home was. There were two little siblings running around (who are now brave adults). Dan seemed to have a special bond with his younger brother and sister. He also had two loving parents who sat with us and had dinner together. It was clear to me that Dan’s courage to sit in the very front row of the class in a new school had been passed down from his parents. DJ’s character was a testament to their upbringing.

Over the years Dan continued to grow as an athlete and we would constantly play one on one basketball games (I guess I’ll use Dan as inspiration and not be afraid to admit that I always lost). Eventually, he was consumed by football and working out. I meanwhile was consumed with singing and dancing lol lol! So we didn’t see each other as often, but we ended up spending time together when we both took driver’s education a good two years after the rest of our grade had already completed it. My dad would often drive Dan and myself to class and we would all pretty much just laugh the entire time as we all made fun of one another. Then the two of us would both struggle to stay focused in class simply because we found too many mundane things to be funny, like pointlessly arguing over who could eat more. In an effort to put on muscle, Dan would eat two helpings of pretty much everything, but I didn’t want to admit that he was right. 

Toward the beginning of my Senior year, Dan and his family came over to me at my Dad’s funeral. I remember his mother giving me the most genuine and loving hug I’d ever received, as tears streamed down her face. The authenticity of that exchange will stay with me for the rest of my life.

After graduation, we both went off to college and somewhat continued to stay in touch. Dan was pursuing football where he was working his tail off as a wide receiver.

A couple years later after a Homecoming game, Dan went out to celebrate the victory with his teammates.

After pulling his car out of the fire lane, a police officer shot Dan to death through the windshield. Officers pulled DJ’s dying body out of the car, handcuffed him, and left him to lie on the ground as he bled out without any assistance whatsoever—there’s disturbing video evidence. 

Dan was someone who did the right thing his entire life. He was a polite, funny, and driven individual who pushed those around him to be better. Most importantly, he had an incredible heart. Any claim by the police on scene at the time can be directly contradicted by both witnesses who were there, and also every bit of Dan’s character that so many were lucky enough to have experienced over the years. 

His death was the result of unchecked, systematic racism that has inexcusably existed since America’s creation.

Plenty of my friends are police officers, and they are very good people doing a very important job. However, we owe it to ourselves to fight for a better society than the generation that came before us. It is our duty to demand change, and that starts with police reform. Those who are supposed to protect their country’s own citizens need to be held much more accountable for their actions. Dan’s death will not be in vain, and neither will countless others including George Floyd who have died at the hand of racism, and the privileged who turn a blind eye to its existence because its the path of least resistance.

The cop who shot my friend was named “Officer of the Year” one year later. 

I attended Dan’s funeral service with my Mom at the Boston Convention Center, on what would have been his 21st birthday. By then, his death had rightfully caused a stir and there might have been over a thousand people in attendance, including public figures. Jay-Z had even dedicated a song to him. There was a moment during the funeral where Dan’s mother was speaking, and she mentioned how special it was to see how many lives DJ had touched because at one point in his life he had told her that he felt like he didn’t have many friends at all. At that moment I thought back to my first visit to Dan’s house and him saying what he said to me, and I instantly broke down in tears. All those people in attendance were a testament to DJ’s unbreakable yet refreshingly vulnerable character. 

It’s great to see so many people finally speaking out against racism, even if they have not experienced it themselves. I know that many people fear ridicule from friends and family for being bold enough to challenge the simple phrase that “all lives matter” when they must understand that it’s clearly a shortsighted statement. Black lives clearly haven’t mattered as much as white lives, which is why we all need to especially shine a light on those who have suffered from oppression for hundreds of years in the United States. If you haven’t yet found the courage to stand up for what’s right, just try taking a page out of my friend DJ Henry’s book:

Don’t fear vulnerability–Embrace it. 

Skydiving Over Glacier National Park

Check out my YouTube Channel!


Sitting on the floor of a plane with my legs dangling outside of its open door is never a situation I ever thought I’d be in—not while flying at over two miles up.

Not for someone like me.

Turns out I’m actually pretty afraid of heights. I’m not sure if it’s more of being afraid, or if it’s just being overwhelmed by vertigo. Maybe it’s a combination of both, but I’m typically someone who can’t get too close to the end of an outdoor balcony without feeling dizzy.

Over twelve thousand feet above the ground, the exposed propellers and engine growled as the small plane jostled and shook. My body was in shock. My mind was in shock.

Immediately I looked down past my hanging feet, to the clouds that lay below, and the mountains of Glacier National Park stretching out as far as I could see. Preparing to freefall from the rickety plane, I sat there completely overcome by fear.

(Luckily, since I’m attaching the videos, you can all see what I looked like when I was the most terrified I’ve ever been. How wonderful).

This is the story of my skydiving experience above the Rocky Mountains of Montana.

(Above is a video I edited of all the best footage from our trip, including skydiving. Turn the volume up as it was all fit to match the song. Turn it up! Don’t half-ass things people!)

Skydiving Above Montana

If you have read some of my other blogs, you’re familiar with the couple of days that preceded skydiving. On Monday, my girlfriend and I had hiked to the top of Grinnell Glacier, in what I consider to be the greatest day of my life.

(Photo: Grinnell Glacier)

Tuesday, we braved eight hours of relentless and steep cliff walking along the High Line Trail until we came face to face with a rapidly approaching storm, forcing us to retreat through a dangerous forest at dusk that’s notoriously filled with Grizzly Bears, down to the bottom of the wrong side of the Continental Divide.

Both hikes were stunningly beautiful.

The High Line Hike while gorgeous, also made me fear for our lives.

At this point, it only seemed right that we would go skydiving the next morning.

(And if I look terrible in the video, it’s because we had just spent three days in the wilderness hiking over thirty miles, and barely survived the previous day. How would you look?! Leave your judgements at the door!)

First thing the next day, I woke up before sunrise to start my coffee over the fire. I was greeted by a Bull Moose just outside our campsite (moose life!!).

Sipping on a much needed warm drink, I listened to the distant sound of Elk bugling in the woods—truly a magical and haunting sound that echoed through the crisp early mornings of the Montana wilderness. My girlfriend shared in the excitement and it was an absolutely incredible morning.

After packing up, we departed the area and then drove over the Going to the Sun Road to the west side of the park, where my girlfriend had made reservations to jump out of a plane.

I was still caught up in the moment. Overwhelmed by the last couple days, I reflected on what seemed like the departing gestures of a Bull Moose and bugling Elk.

We then drove the aptly named Going to the Sun Road (some serious foreshadowing), which is far and away the most beautiful road I’ve ever seen (and that includes Alaska and Hawaii). Seriously, if you’re into gorgeous road trips, you can’t miss the famous Going to the Sun.

Everything I was experiencing was keeping me grounded in the moment.

Sheer mountain cliffs, rivers and heavenly aromas. Waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife.

The notion of jumping out of a plane was an idea still lying dormant somewhere deep in my subconscious. My brain was still trying its best to process these once in a lifetime experiences that were happening right in front of me, and for good reason.

However, once we got closer to the west side of the park and toward the end of the Going to the Sun, my heart started beating faster as it was now time to embrace a new fear that was slowly rising to the surface after patiently waiting for its turn in the spotlight.

It was almost as if this fear was so confident in itself that it had no rush to overwhelm me. It knew that soon enough, its time would be here, paralyzing every bone in my body with ice-cold fear. It could afford to be patient.

**For copywriting inquiries, feel free to email me at–Guest blogging, website copy, product descriptions, email, social media posts, and more**

Well the time had finally come to start actually thinking about the idea of jumping out of a plane.

Before our trip even began, my girlfriend told me that she wanted to take me skydiving. She had been before and loved it, because she’s an endless force of fearless energy.

I obviously replied “Of course not. Why the fuck would I jump out of a plane?” We both laughed it off and continued planning our trip.

Days later, she brought it up again. Realizing she wasn’t joking, I sort of shook my head in disbelief as I came to a terrible realization that this probably wasn’t going to go away. Angrily, I basically shrugged it off and sarcastically said “Sure, whatever why not”.

At the time I was busy getting intel on bear safety and what to do and what not to do while camping deep in their habitat. Logistics, time management and safety were at the forefront of my mind for weeks, as I was mostly worried about my girlfriend’s safety. She’s the perfect size meal for a hungry bear, but luckily she had a confident and good looking boyfriend who was in complete control. I ain’t afraid of nothing!!

Back to my fear of heights.

So basically, days before the trip she starts insisting that we go skydiving. So at this point I basically just said “Sure. Why the fuck not”

It can’t be worse than that tough mudder race she convinced me to do, right?

Well truth is, I knew exactly why not. I’m terrified of heights.

Just being high up on a balcony gets me nervous when a friend gets too close to the edge.

During our alpine hikes on the trip I couldn’t even take pictures because I would get vertigo soon as I looked out at the vast mountain ranges and immediate drop-offs below my feet.

Yet here we were, driving to “Skydive Whitefish” at the end of the Going to the Sun Road (A road I couldn’t even drive on because looking over the edge was too much to bare in the absence of guard rails).

But sure, lets jump out of a plane.

I had already braved extreme heights during our hikes along the Continental Divide. At this point I figured lets just face my fear in every possible way. We’ve braved cliff-walking, storms, and Grizzly Bears. Might as well jump out of a plane. Most importantly, I’ll look like a little bitch to my girlfriend who is apparently afraid of nothing (other than mice)….(I’m not. I’m not afraid of mice. You could probably say I’m a bit of a hero when it comes to braving mice problems NBD).

Soon, we were at Skydive Whitefish, and my heart rate was jacked. We first had to sign our life away in an absolutely terrifying contract that promises in NO way can anyone we’ve ever met in our lives sue the company, should we end up like splattered bugs on a windshield by the end of the day.

This contract was ridiculous. My girlfriend was dying laughing watching me freak out at the things I was reading. She wasn’t talking—just struggling to catch her breath in between belly laughs.

“If your parachute fails to open you cannot press charges”

“If you get sucked into the propeller and explode into a million pieces you and your family can’t do shit about it…in fact, we might sue you for breaking our propeller”

“If you get bit by a snake, you’re on your own” (this was really in the contract)

You get the idea.

The skydiving receptionist then wheeled in a TV for a video we then had to watch. Whispering to my girlfriend, “they’re really covering all their bases huh?”

The video began with an old man who looks like he just spent the past 322 years in Hell, and was granted a second chance at life as long as he warns others not to repeat his mistakes.

The man looks directly at you and basically says “you WILL die today”

He tells us every reason why our decision to skydive has been the absolute dumbest of our lives.

After the pep-talk and the contract from Hell, it was time to drive to the plane that was waiting for us.

We parked next to the plane, and we were stunned at how small it was. It looked to be no longer than fifteen feet and seemed to be made of tin foil.

(So bold of me to post such a sad and disgusting version of myself. That facial hair looks like it might be alive. Credit to me though for not caring).

They then told us that because of the size of the plane, we would have to go up one at a time. I was to go first, and alone.

I turned to my girlfriend and reassured her that if I die, it wouldn’t be her fault. I honestly meant it, but I think it was in this moment where she realized that maybe she had made a mistake bringing me here. She was realizing that I was honestly fearing for my life and that my quiet and calm body language was actually an extreme form of meditation to desperately keep myself from exploding.

We exited the car and walked toward the plane. Again, I was extremely quiet and calm, because inside my fear was overwhelming.

I was going first, so they started buckling me into the body harness and parachute in preparation. That’s when I met a man named Kale. He was the skydiving professional who was to be attached to me as we fell from the sky.

Kale, as his name might suggest, was a much needed calming influence. After all the threatening lines in the contract, to the old man in the video straight out of the gates of Hell, Kale reassured me that I had absolutely nothing to worry about.

I trusted Kale, and I might not have made it without his refreshing pep-talks.

My entire experience was to be videotaped, so I constantly had to put on a face and fake a smile for the camera. However, Kale’s demeanor was a constant calming influence.

We finished strapping up, and I kissed my girlfriend goodbye. She looked me in the eyes and said the perfect words of encouragement. What she said was an inside comment only we would understand, but what it essentially meant was: Just go for it. Just jump.

I then turned, and walked toward the miniature plane that was waiting for Kale and myself.

We hopped inside, the propellers started up and soon we were moving. Looking out through the open door at my waving girlfriend, all I could think about was that I really hoped to see her again. Waving goodbye, the plane started up the runway, (and by runway, I mean grass) and I was overcome by the idea that “this was it”.

Before I knew it, the plane was in the air. Quickly, we ascended, and I was hit with a brick wall of nerves as my fear continued to rise to the next level. I was overcome by the idea that it was too late. I was officially going to jump out of this plane and there was no going back.

The inside of the plane was minuscule. You couldn’t stand up. If I had lied out straight, I probably would’ve taken up the entire length of the space. Kale could sense my nerves, and he reassured me that I was going to have the most fun time of my life.

After he said that, I looked out the window and thought how this would be the perfect scene in an action movie: Nervous first time skydiver. Skydiving pro completely reassuring. And then disaster.

It wasn’t a good thing to be thinking about in that moment, but what can I say…my brain hates me sometimes.

Soon we were above the mountains and the views were incredible. I tried my best to take it all in, because just flying in a plane this small over the mountains of Glacier National Park is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Then we passed through the clouds and I was overcome with fear again. All I could think about was that every time I’ve ever been in a plane, we landed. I exited those planes by simply stepping outside and walking away.

Not this time.

The only way out, was to free-fall.


Just above the clouds we hit turbulence and the plane started shaking as it jumped up and down. The screaming of the engine mixed with the rattling sounds of aluminum had me so incredibly afraid. I thought to myself that just being in this plane is probably the most dangerous part. These tiny planes crash all the time, don’t they? (RIP James Horner—you magical man)

Wait a minute…I have a parachute on. I’ve actually probably never been safer in a plane. Sucks to be the pilot. Then I envisioned the plane diving straight down toward the ground as pure panic ensues inside: Me praying while Kale desperately struggles to tighten the straps so we can bail before the crash. Suddenly the pilot jumps on top of us aggressively trying to steal the shoot to avoid certain death. It’s a fight for our lives inside the crashing plane! Punches are thrown. Screaming. Crying!

*I then snapped back to reality as Kale put a camera in front of my face “Smile bro!”

I just had the worst possible vision in my head as we fly in a confined aluminum plane that we’re about to jump out of…but sure Kale, I’ll fake a smile for you.

We were high above the clouds now as the plane continued to shake and bounce. Kale told me that we were about half way up—almost there.

Half way?

I nearly shit my pants. We’re only half way up?!

Fear started to completely dominate my body as I tried my best to control my breathing. Just being so high up in a small, shaky plane was terrifying enough. Kale then told me that he soon would be opening the door, and to brace myself because it was probably going to be very cold. The idea shook me to my core. I was beyond consolable at this point.

Whether I liked it or not, it was time.

Kale swung the door open and the outside noise of the plane became incredibly loud. Blasted by cold air and wind, my mind began to go into shock.

This was it.

As we sat on the floor, Kale slid us to the very edge of the open door where he instructed me to swing my legs outside of the plane so that they were basically dangling below me.

That had to be the most terrifying instruction I’ve ever received in my life.

Cold wind raced by the now open door as I swung my legs outside as the plane continued to rattle. Kale was attached to my back.

As I sat on the edge of the open door with my feet hanging outside, I looked straight down to the world below. Paralyzing fear possessed my entire body in what might’ve been the single most terrifying moment of my life. It felt like all the scary things I had experienced in 30 years were compressed into a single, five second moment of unbearable fear. My heart completely sunk.

I sat there as the plane shook and screamed and cold air blasted me in the face, and then Kale forced us off the side of the plane, and that was it.

In a complete moment of purity, I was free-falling from a plane above Glacier National Park. My senses were turned up toward their maximum capacity as there was nothing below me.

Simply put—it felt like falling.

For a very long time.

It was also the greatest feeling of my life.

I was completely free and I had never felt more alive!

We were free-falling for over a minute, which if you think about it, is a VERY long time to be just falling. Think about falling for 10 seconds…that’s extreme. A minute of falling feels endless.

Before I knew it, the shoot opened and we were gliding above the stunning Rocky Mountains and epic fluorescent lakes of Montana.

It was heaven.


I ask a lot of people if they would ever go skydiving, and many of them unequivocally say “no”. Well, I used to give that same answer.

However, I know now what makes us feel most alive. The idea is cliche, but it’s about doing the things you were always terrified to do. Those are the moments you will remember for the rest of your life. Our time is limited, so why not go all in?

Make no mistake about it…if I had been completely clear with my girlfriend that I will NOT be going skydiving, we wouldn’t have gone. However, her constant fortitude and fearless attitude continues to push me to places I’m always happy I went.

Jumping out of a plane is one of the last things in this world I would ever want to do, and that is exactly the reason why I did it.

The fact that I was as thoroughly terrified as I was is what made the whole experience so incredible. The feeling of accomplishment was unparalleled.

We all know that running from your fears only lets them materialize and grow, and they tend to be relentless in their pursuit of you. Instead, turning around and facing them has helped me grow as an individual. Easier said than done though…but it’s more than doable and I’m going to try my best to continue to push my own limitations and face that which I fear. Daring to leave my own comfort zone has opened up a world of possibilities and experiences I never dreamed of.

If I took anything away from these moments, it’s that we should always dare ourselves to be uncomfortable.

“We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” -JFK

(Going to the moon is totally comparable to me jumping out of a plane, in case you’re wondering)

There’s few things harder than directly facing your fears.

My girlfriend jumped after me, and soon we embraced on the ground, reflecting on possibly the best single moment of my life.

I will never forget the feeling of sitting on the side of that plane.

I will never forget the feeling of free-falling toward the ground.

I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment in knowing that every inch of my being wanted nothing to do with jumping out of a plane, yet I did it anyway.


(And I highly recommend this company if you’re ever in Montana. If they were able to keep me calm, they can keep anyone calm. Also, Kale is incredible).

Never in my life had I felt more alive, than the day I went skydiving, and I can’t wait to do it again!

(Credit to “Skydive Whitefish” for the video)

Thanks for reading!

Check out my YouTube Channel!

**For copywriting inquiries, feel free to email me at**

Second Chance Rescue NYC

What was once a small dream, the non-profit organization Second Chance Rescue NYC  has now grown into an operation that successfully moves an average of one thousand animals from homelessness to safety, every year. Generous donations from caring supporters, coupled with an amazing team of volunteers have made it possible to connect thousands of cats and dogs with loving families.

Shelters can unfortunately be crowded, and Second Chance Rescue understands the importance of reducing animal overpopulation in such facilities. Properly rescuing and rehabilitating these loving and furry friends is something this caring organization does as well as anyone.

From saving a suffering animal’s life, to properly guiding the rehabilitation process, Second Chance Rescue is there every step of the way to ensure their rescued cats and dogs are placed in a loving home. Once they are secured, the animal is then delivered to a private veterinarian for medical treatment, and sometimes therapy. This organization has a proud history of refusing to give up on an animal in need of a loving family. There are countless success stories in which they have saved a pet from extreme suffering by finding it the appropriate care–whether it be physical and/or mental treatment.

Resilience defines this organization, and the success story of “Birdie” is a wonderful example. Birdie was rescued from a kill shelter, where multiple veterinarians had already recommended she be euthanized because of her paralysis. They said she would never walk again and that attempting to keep her alive would be inhumane. However, Second Chance Rescue refused to give up, and instead were responsible for her attending months of physical therapy. The organization is proud to announce that Birdie can now walk, run, and play with the lovely woman who adopted her in Massachusetts!

If you feel inclined to be part of such a moving and heroic organization, feel free to volunteer with Second Chance Rescue. They’ll be more than happy to have you. Click here to learn more.

At Club Pet NYC, we’re animal lovers. Just like you, we are plenty familiar with a pet’s ability to save us, and we truly appreciate Second Chance Rescue’s determination to save them.

Second Chance Rescue NYC

Mike Trout. Bryce Harper. Manny Machado. Baseball Organizations are Making a Massive Mistake.

It makes absolutely no logical sense whatsoever to give any one player a contract like what Philadelphia gave Bryce Harper, or what Los Angeles handed out to Mike Trout.

If your organization values winning in ANY way, you simply don’t give one player a deal like that.

If your organization considers it a good investment from a business standpoint–I.e. putting fans in the seats or selling merchandise, they’re wrong.

There was a period in baseball during the late 2000’s where the financial terms of a given contract seemed to be getting out of hand.

A-Rod signed a mega deal with the Yankees, only to eventually opt out, in pursuit of an even more lucrative deal.

Teams soon began handing out breathtaking contracts to anyone who had ever made an all star team (admittedly lead by the Red Sox and Yankees).

These two teams were known to overpay for talent, simply because they could. However, in fairness, dishing out a massive contract to one player when your team already has a load of talent is far less risky, but still incredibly reckless in my opinion.

Yet, in recent years, it appeared teams had about enough of agents like Scott Boras declaring his new client as the next Hank Aaron, and were shying away from these ridiculous contracts.

Sadly, not only was that trend short lived, but those contracts are back and teams are apparently dumber than ever.

I just don’t see any logical reason to give one guy a ten year, 300 million deal. I thought A-Rod had taught us to never make that mistake again!

Alex Rodriguez was widely considered to be the best player in the game at the time of his first signing with the Yankees in 2003. The thinking was that, if any player in the league was worth 30 million a year, it was him. Also, if anyone was going to still be producing at a high level ten years from now, it would be him.

Wrong on all accounts.

A-Rod limped to the end of his contracts’ finish line. The final years of that ten year deal basically saw him being paid 30 million to coach the younger players who were actually healthy enough to get on the field.

Injuries to players are simply too common to invest so heavily on one player. The longer they play, the more beat up their body becomes. There are some very rare and very special exceptions to the inevitable injury bug, but unless you have Nostradamus working as your GM, you’re in the same clueless boat as everyone else.

For the same reason a good investor diversifies his or her portfolio, wouldn’t it be wise to spread your chips around?

Ownership, the team, and the fans couldn’t wait for A-Rod’s contract to be over. So finally, 10 years later, it was. Baseball had learned its lesson. If the “best player in the game” couldn’t even come close to meeting the expectations of a 10 year, 300 million dollar deal, then no one was right?

Fast forward a few years, and baseball owners and GMs have apparently tripled in stupidity, ignoring every piece of historical evidence pointing toward their upcoming contract offer as a deadly mistake.

Forget giving 300 million to the best player in the game. A ten year 300 million deal is now the norm for any superstar on the market.

Manny Machado just signed one.

Bryce Harper just received a 13 year, 330 million dollar deal.

Mike Trout just signed a 12 year, 430 million contract.

These teams are burying themselves so deep into the ground, that even if they do eventually climb out, they will be so beaten and worn down by its anchors that they will be crippled for years to come.

Granted, I’m not too familiar with the opt-out terms of these mega contracts, but I would hope that they are very early options in the teams favor, and that little money is guaranteed.

So lets look at this from an owners perspective. Maybe they’re thinking that by signing one of the best players in the game, they’re giving their team a great shot at success.

To me, the logic just isn’t there.

With efficient player evaluation, you should be able to sign or draft about five eventual all-stars for the price of one, 300 million dollar guy.

So instead, invest in other great players.

Invest in scouting.

Invest in player development.

By doing this, you’re spreading your chips around instead of going all in on one potential disaster.

Okay, well maybe ownership is concerned with attendance, and is looking to put more fans in the seats. Sure that might work at first, but once your team starts tanking because it can’t afford to pay for any other great players, watch what happens to your stadiums’ attendance.

Maybe the teams focus is on selling merchandise, driven by your new superstar signing?

Once again, that’ll work at first. But having a great all around team is far more sustainable for long-term merchandise sales. In a winning atmosphere, fans are consistently more excited about the team, and far more likely to buy t-shirts and various other products.

Many people will reference Trout’s incredible WAR metric, otherwise known as “Wins Above Replacement”. In this statistical evaluation, a player’s complete contributions to his team are calculated and looked at in comparison to a possible minor league replacement in that same position.

Sure, Trout is obviously a night and day comparison when being looked at with mediocre players at the same position–that’s indisputable. He’s probably the best player in the game, and could one day possibly even be the best ever.

If your organization wants to be known for having the best player in the game, then go for it.

As a fan, I prefer championships.

What I’m saying is that id rather have around five incredible players on an MLB roster vs having only the single best player in the game. He’s not a quarterback that has enormous control over the outcome of a game, or one of five basketball players on a court who’s constantly playing both ends of the floor. Trout is one of 9 players, who aside from making the defensive plays he’s expected to make, can only affect the game about 4 different times during his daily at bats.

Every year we are reminded that pitching wins the World Series. A great bullpen can also be a massive difference maker, alongside timely hitting. Given that power hitting tends to be neutralized come October, I’d be leaning toward eyeing top-of-the-line pitching if I were an organization prioritizing winning championships.

Trout is set to be paid 36 million a year. For that annual price you could instead have a lights-out bullpen, as well as two aces on your starting rotation.

In addition, some of that money you saved could be redistributed toward player development. Great scouting and development should lead to some good young hitting–hitters who eventually could be promoted from your farm system to the team. And guess what? In a few years, those great young players who have been developing will be looking to get paid, and your team will be able to afford them.

Instead, the Angels signed Trout and said “screw all other options”.

Not only have the Angels chose Trout over other options, but they’ve decided this is going to be their philosophy for the next 12 years!

Things change. Injuries happen. Baseball happens.

History has proven time and time again, that teams dream of these insanely long contracts finally coming to an end.

Will the Angels feel the same way about this contract in 9, 10, or 11 years from now?

I don’t think it’s exactly going out on a limb to say “no”.

Because of the massive contracts teams are handing out, the market is obviously changing.

What’s the solution?

Shorten the years, and consider paying more annually.

Committing to any one player in baseball for 10-12 years is a mistake.

The Top 6 Christmas Movies You Must Watch This Holiday Season!

Throw on those festive holiday pajamas, sip on some hot chocolate (while probably burning your tongue in the process) and sit around the fireplace with friends and family to enjoy a classic Christmas movie.

If you don’t have a fireplace, break into your neighbors home and use theirs.

This is what the holiday season is all about!

I grew a little worried that maybe people were pacing back and forth in their homes, waiting for some handsome man to finally make a list of the top six Christmas movies…but worry no more.

Worry no more my friends.

You might be asking yourself, “Wait just a second Michael! What exactly makes certain Christmas movies better than others? And who are you to tell me that my favorites aren’t the best? It’s a matter of preference!”

Well the answer is simple.

In the words of the all-time cinematic hero of the last thousand years: “Trust me” -Jack Dawson, Titanic.

(I really just wanted to quote Jack Dawson. There’s at least a 50% chance that he never says “trust me” in Titanic. And YES…it’s from Titanic! Ugh is this amateur hour?! A good movie is a good movie, assholes. This is exactly why you need my top 5 top 6 list!!

What are the absolute musts that define an all-time Christmas classic?

  • Lasting power. I need to be able to watch this film every Christmas.
  • Quality. It needs to be a great movie in its own right.
  • Magic. The Christmas feels better be jumping out of the screen and punching you in the face!
  • Music. It needs to have some original, classic Christmas music that you might even be willing to listen to outside of the movie experience.

Without further ado, lets begin!

6. Home Alone

Do you want to know why this is a “top 6” list, instead of a “top 5” or even a “top 10”?

It’s because I refused to exclude Home Alone and I simply couldn’t kick The Muppet Christmas Carol off the list. Problem is, there simply aren’t enough deserving Christmas films to make a top 10 (there’s about 7 or 8).

But not 10! There’s a drop-off after 8.

At first, I was hesitant to include Home Alone, because I just didn’t think it was exclusively a “Christmas” movie. I always considered it a fabulous, family film in its own right. In my opinion, the reason why everyone else in the world was distracted into claiming this to be the “greatest Christmas film of them all” was because of the brilliance of the great John Williams (composer)((embarrassing if you didn’t already know this))

Ive seen this film a million times, but it wasn’t until I watched it THIS week, that I realized I was wrong.

A friend pointed out to me how nearly all of the set design was made up of green and red colors. Watch it and take note, people. I can’t believe that for all these years, I completely missed that. Foolish.

A true commitment to the Christmas feel. Huge points for Home Alone.

And then there’s the music.

I consider John Williams Home Alone score to be the greatest Christmas music of all time. It’s beyond magical.

For this very reason, I thought that viewers were being hypnotized into a magical Christmas feeling, without even realizing that the plot itself really doesn’t have much to do with Christmas. I understand that the entire premise of the film centers around Macauley Culkin being left alone during Christmas time…but big deal. Plenty of films take place during this time of year.

However, after being made aware of this decision to go all in on the Christmas aesthetic, coupled with the already existing magical music, and the whole family desperately trying to be together for the holidays, my stance has finally been swayed to the other side of the fence (Home Alone was obviously already very close to winning me over, and it just needed one last push).

And just like that, this is a top 6 list.

5. The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppets are incredible. That much, we can all agree on. Adding them to anything instantly makes that program infinitely better.

Example: “A Very Muppet Silence of the Lambs

You can’t tell me all that hilarious Muppet banter wouldn’t make the whole Hannibal Lecter situation a little less stressful.

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol is a classic story we’re all familiar with. You have Ebenezer Scrooge (wonderfully played by Michael Cain) dealing with some serious shit. Ghosts. Anger. Loneliness. Depression. Greed–and The Muppets.

Wonderful songs. Magical Christmas feelings. Great story + The Muppets make this movie a Christmas classic.

4. It’s a Wonderful Life

Oh, what’s that? You forgot about It’s a Wonderful Life?


This film is an all-time classic. Forget about the whole “Christmas feel” (that yes, this film very much has). Even without that, it’s still one of the better movies I’ve ever seen.

It’s about a man named George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) who considers taking his own life on Christmas Eve by jumping off a bridge. Suddenly he sees a man drowning in the waters beneath him, whom he then scrambles to rescue. Bailey soon finds out that the man he saved claims to be an angel.

The angel walks him through town showing him what the world would be like if he didn’t exist.

Now don’t tell me this film doesn’t sound meaty! You can just feel the juice! You can feel the juice on your fingertips and even plummeting down your chin!

(People say that)

I’m not going to tell you what else happens because I know you’re already sold (Also, if we can just be honest for a minute…I don’t really remember what else happens). But if you’re not sold based on what you’ve already heard, then I’m sure it’s probably because your soul is most likely beyond the point of salvation.

Anyways, go see the movie if you haven’t already. It’s a Christmas classic.

3. The Santa Clause

This film gets a lot of hate. I know that because every time I bring it up as a classic, someone usually yells at me.

For me personally, The Santa Clause might contain the most Christmas magic of any film. I’m sure my connection to this movie greatly has to do with the age in which I was when the film was released, but there’s no denying the magic that drives the experience:

Tim Allen is in his hilarious 90’s prime.

It’s the best film ever made about Santa Clause (who’s by far the most important part of Christmas)

(Just kidding, JC)

There’s that little cute kid who refuses to NOT believe in Santa.

The North Pole is magical as fuck.

The music was spot-on.

And of course, the classic nerdy step-dad who’s trying to be the mature father he thinks the kid needs… yet he’ll never be as cool as Tim Allen.

2. Elf

Any movie that features Will Ferrell’s A+ game is instantly going to be a classic. Combine that with an all-around, feel-good Christmas movie, and you have what easily could be the greatest Christmas film ever (if our #1 didn’t exist).

Elf is certainly one of Jon Favreau’s (the director) best films. It’s got all the feels, and most importantly, it has the brilliance of Will Ferrell’s “Buddy the Elf” innocence contrasted by the bitterness of his father, played by James Caan. Caan plays the definition of a harsh and cold-blooded New Yorker, and obviously “Buddy the Elf” couldn’t be any further from that.

Elf even has some great and original Christmas music, which if you haven’t learned by now, is an absolute Michael must!

(The requirements are written in stone!)

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t close well, and it’s a glaring misstep. It’s a perfect movie for so long, and then suddenly takes on a completely different feel in the third act. It also felt like it forgot that it was still a comedy. Maybe it was a classic and deadly decision to re-write or re-shoot the third act. Truth is, nobody knows. The true history of the making of Elf continues to baffle brilliant scholars and scientists to this very day.

If they could’ve successfully sealed the deal toward the end of the film, then Elf probably would have been #1.

1. A Christmas Story

If this isn’t your #1, are you even a real person?

It’s the movie played over and over for 24 hours straight, from Christmas Eve into Christmas Day (on some network I forget).

The film perfectly encapsulates the struggles of an average, middle class family trying to not only make it through the holiday season, but enjoy it. The character development is out of this world, with every person seemingly carrying such an extensive story arch of their own.

And yes, I’m big on character development.

I might even consider naming my first born, “character development” if there wasn’t already a long and elite list of names ready to go. (Colonel BlackTooth, Mustache Madness, Angry Emily, and Borris the Anteater…just to name a few).

(I regret writing that but I just simply can’t delete it)

There’s someone for all of us to connect to in this film. You have Ralphie who just wants his Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. His little brother who hates his boring food he’s forced to eat. The stay at home mom who works her ass off trying to please both her children and her loud and outspoken husband at the same time. And of course, the husband, who is one of the great all- time cinematic characters.

The leg lamp. The outspoken and dismissive father who truly loves his kids. The tongue sticking to a cold metal pole. The BB gun. Santa kicking Ralphie down the slide. The incredibly realistic family dynamic. The music. And of course, the Christmas magic.

It’s as good as it gets.

Fun facts (that yes, are fun):

  • Jack Nicolson was originally considered to play the role of the father
  • The actor who plays Ralphie was also in Elf (he’s a Christmas legend)

A Christmas Story personally reminds me of sitting around with my family when I was younger, with everyone laughing at various elements that we all connected with. Watching it at times feels like I’m watching a home video tape of my parents childhood, and I think part of the movie’s attractiveness is this ability to have a similar affect on most other people who watch it.

It is the ultimate, feel-good family Christmas movie that perfectly captures the magic of sitting around the sparkling tree, creating life’s precious moments with special people.

Happy Holidays!

Do you have any questions or disagreements?

Let me know in the comments!

For guest blogging inquiries, feel free to reach me at

You might just be hooked on the whole “list thing”…so here’s another: The Top 5 Christopher Nolan Films

Avengers: Endgame Teaser Trailer. It Makes You Cry. It Gives You Chills. And It Teases.

Check out my Youtube Channel!

It’s finally here. Not only does Avengers 4 have a name, but the trailer has also been released.

Avengers: Endgame is on its way.

If it isn’t obvious…I’m a fan.

I’ve been waiting for this moment since we were given that close up shot of Nick Fury’s pager at the very end of last years film. Actually, I’ve really been waiting since we were first introduced to the MCU.

I even resorted to desperate tactics to summon this trailer.

1,241 likes no big deal. My first viral tweet. I need to go on the record here and say that it’s very hard to get a viral tweet. I would know. I try every day and fail miserably. So the fact that I got one is an outstanding accomplishment of the highest degree-congratulations to me.

Also, before I really get into the trailer, I would like to take a moment to tell you all how much I hate my nerd friends who don’t like super hero movies. It’s called having an imagination. It’s called escapism. It’s called fun!! Ever fucking heard of it?!?

Back to the trailer.

My initial reaction is that, while it’s unique, it’s actually overwhelmingly depressing!

And you know what? I dig it.

I love it. I love every bit of it. Think about it. This is an absolutely massive blockbuster film. Yet, in the trailer there were no CGI shots. There were no explosions, or your classic money shot. (Also, the teaser SHOULD be depressing given what just happened to the entire universe).

This type of trailer is simply unheard of with a movie of this magnitude. There is without a doubt, TONS for Marvel to show us. However, all they manage to reveal are a few low-key shots of the surviving heroes looking understandably depressed.

It gives it edge. It sets the mood. The Avengers: Endgame teaser trailer is exactly what it should be….a big tease.

Avengers: Endgame Teaser Trailer Analysis

Watch the full trailer by clicking on the link below:

Start here–most importantly, the music is absolutely sensational. Maybe you were expecting the Avengers theme? Lol forget it. Instead, we get a slow and beautiful song to start out the trailer, that actually reminds me of some of Steve Jablonsky’s best work. You guys have no idea who that is though, so I hate you.

Then, the music suddenly hits us with some big time bangs while still keeping that slow and sad foundation. This comes once the trailer reminds us why we are all so sad in the first place, as a defeated Tony Stark mindlessly drifts through space in the Guardians of the Galaxy ship, and is quickly running out of oxygen. *Weeping

That reminder comes in the form of Thanos’ armor, which is apparently set up as a scarecrow on his farm where he has seemingly retired. This fucking purple bitch wiped out half the universe and is now frolicking through a beautiful field of flowers. I hate him so much I absolutely love it. Respect all the way.

But man, that opening sequence of Tony in space is absolutely gorgeous. They give us a shot looking up at his ship to the backdrop of the colors of the cosmos (and aided by some spine tingling music) It’s sensational. It’s a “what now?” shot. *Weeping

Then they show us Thanos walking through his farm…but wait…that son of a bitch is limping. Don’t you DARE forget who did that to you, you fucking bloated bastard! Thor messed you up and he’s coming back (in fairness, it seems the snap itself also did some damage to the left side of his body, as the gauntlet looks like it’s melted to his skin). But I don’t care. In my mind he’s struggling to tend to his farm because My Thor….My King….My hero, threw Stormbreaker into his chest.

Also, Thanos is totally letting his guard down. He’s farming. He’s frolicking. He’s wearing a white hipster shirt. We all have that phase we went through where you just want to be one with the earth and grow your hair long, am I right? No? Just me and Thanos? (We’re both dreamers–it’s a curse).

Look, this weird Thanos phase is bad timing. The Avengers are coming to hand you an emotional beat down for the ages.

Doctor Strange no doubt saw in that one possible victorious outcome that if Thanos were to win, he would go full hippie and totally let his guard down. Classic mistake.

I can’t wait until he turns his purple ass around, complete with his Urban Outfitters satchel and Phish t-shirt, and sees the full Avengers crew standing there behind him.

So then the trailer shows us Black Widow talking with Captain America as they both have tears in their eyes. Emotional stuff. *Weeping

Then we see Bruce Banner looking at displayed images of the heroes we lost. *Weeping

“We lost. All of us. We lost friends. We lost family”. *Still weeping

Then we’re given a backbreaking shot of Thor sitting in a room all alone, probably blaming himself for not going for Thanos’ head. *Weeping

“The sun will shine on us again” -Loki said in Infinity War, just before he died in front of his brother, who refused to ever give up on him.

So in the Endgame trailer they give us a quick shot of the sun rising, as it then cuts to Thor, who has lost absolutely everything and everyone, including his brother Loki. *Ugly scream crying (jk. I’m a very good looking crier)

So here’s my problem. Why the fuck is Thor sitting alone?! I would be RIGHT next to him (ass to ass) hand feeding him warm soup and singing “Into the West” by Annie Lenox, gently into his ear.

It is heartbreaking how much he has lost. Thor, the man who never lost his optimism, is currently incapable of even smiling.

After briefly seeing Nebula (who lost her sister to Thanos) we are given a shot of a really cool looking dude with an awesome outfit and a sword. Okay! Something to be excited about! Oh…it’s just Hawkeye who has apparently completely snapped after most likely losing his entire family, and is now slaying people in the streets. More sadness. *Weeping

And then, we finally are handed some hope; Captain America-the man with a plan to save the universe, as he looks down at a picture of the love of his life, just before doing whatever last great heroic thing he’s going to do. *Yes, weeping

Yas Cap yas!!

Obviously the quantum realm/time travel play into this movie in some way, because of Ant-Man showing up in that final scene of the trailer with all the much needed optimism in the world. So yes, there is hope. We just currently don’t know much about it, or really where to find it, other than apparently in the form of Ant-Man it seems.

All in all, the trailer is a perfect tease. It didn’t give us the money shot of all the Avengers fighting together, or anything even closely resembling that. Instead, it was a window into what the world has been like since the snap, and the ominous power of Thanos. These people lost everything. Everyone in the universe is emotionally destroyed, which is an immensely interesting concept. This film will be a battle of complete desperation–a last minute hail mary from the heroes we’ve fallen in love with over the last ten years.

Avengers: Endgame will be one last fight to undo the mass genocide of trillions and save the universe.

At long last, it will be our heroes moment to finally fulfill their destiny as “Avengers”.


Check out my Youtube Channel!

P.S. Here’s a link to my post on the Captain Marvel Trailer.

The Captain Marvel Trailer Just Debuted on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

For guest blogging inquiries, feel free to email me at

The Captain Marvel Trailer Just Debuted on ESPN’s Monday Night Football

The Captain Marvel trailer just made its big debut during halftime of the Monday Night Football game on ESPN.

Quick point: How is Mark Sanchez back in our lives?

Moving on…

This movie looks electric.

I’ve been as curious as anyone as to how Carol Danvers is going to ultimately fit into the final showdown against Thanos in the upcoming and highly anticipated Avengers 4. Finally getting to see her in action is at least a step in the right direction toward knowing SOMETHING. Honestly, I’m slightly hesitant to just embrace her as the “strongest hero” in the MCU (according to Marvel president, Kevin Feige).  I’ll come back to that idea though. First, lets just talk about the trailer and the prospects of this blockbuster film in its own right–Captain Marvel.

Apparently, its a film about Carol Danvers essentially getting caught in between the middle of a galactic war between two prominent alien races in the MCU; the Kree and the Skrulls. Okay, I still don’t really know much about how thats going to end up playing into the whole Thanos storyline, but it seems like the Black Order may in some way have a history with Danvers. Here’s what I DO know from watching the trailer:

Brie Larson actually looks incredible as Captain Marvel. I was originally worried about her casting, but have since found peace. Also, that final scene of her flying around was wild.

Jude Law is going to be sensational. His scenes steal the show for me in the trailer, as my eyes are always drawn to his presence in films. Speaking of eyes, his eyes in this film have me in a trance (in a good way).

I love me some Lee Pace. Ronin was one of my favorite characters and I’ve missed him greatly ever since he got distracted by Peter Quills wack dancing (first time I’ve ever said “wack”–Feels great, even if it’s 20 years too late).

We’re going to get to see the early stages of S.H.I.E.L.D. and essentially some more screen time for Agent Coulson. You miss him. I miss him. The Avengers miss him. If only he could see what they’ve become…man he’d be nerding out big time.

Samuel L. Jackson as a primary character in another Marvel movie is great news. He’s electric. And yeah, the special effects department did a great job turning back the clock on his looks.

The whole 90’s thing is incredible. From the second I saw that Blockbuster Video shot in the teaser, I was hooked. I miss Blockbuster so so much. I miss walking around the store not knowing what I was going to choose. I miss walking by the “new releases” section. I miss the fear of walking through the horror section. Remember when a big movie would be released and that one film would occupy like half the wall space? And then the hard copies were all empty! They were all taken–the movie was so hot!  Man that stuff gets you going…survival of the fittest. Now movie’s never run out on Netflix. Anyone can click and order it…you millennials are softer than a baby’s bottom (I think I might be a millennial, but I’m not sure). Point is, I might see this movie just to somehow attend Blockbuster Video one….last…time.

The Kree and Skrull thing looks pretty intense, but I honestly don’t know much about it, nor do I pretend to. I do know this…I can’t wait to see Xandar again. Thanos, you’re the worst.

So back to Captain Marvel being “as powerful a character as we’ve ever put in a movie”. Look, thats exciting and cool news. Like, we’re going to need it against that purple bastard….but my man Thor has EARNED that shit!

He earned his place among the stars! I’m not here to just let Carol stroll in, in the eleventh hour acting like she owns the place. Thor, the God of Thunder owns the place.

*Beautiful Thor soliloquy:

He worked his way to the top. He stood in front of the Destroyer as a mortal (yet still breathtakingly gorgeous) and was ready to sacrifice his life to let his friends live. Boom, he was deemed worthy again and got his powers back. He lost his mother to the Dark Elves. His father died shortly after his brother isolated him on Earth. His super villain sister returned from Hell and killed nearly everyone on Asgard and claimed the throne for herself while Thor was imprisoned on Sakaar. Somehow, escaped and returned knowing he was overmatched, lost his beautiful eye, and then was forced to destroy his home world in an effort to kill his evil sister and save whomever was left to save. He then watched as the remaining Asgardian refugees were slaughtered by Thanos and the Black Order JUST after escaping the destruction of Asgard. Heimdall, his best friend was killed right in front of him, followed by his brother Loki who he refused to ever give up on. Completely shattered to pieces in every way a man could emotionally be shattered, he refused to give up. Thor, having lost everything and everyone he cares about the most, then traveled to Nidavellir to develop a weapon capable of killing the most powerful being in the universe. While the machine was making his weapon, it broke. Without hesitation, Thor then held the machine open with his God-like strength while taking the FULL POWER OF A SUN shooting through his body. It worked. He got his weapon–Stormbreaker. He then turned the tide in the battle of Wakanda, single handedly wiping out the Outriders. Soon after, he accomplished the most impossible feat in human history by throwing his axe through the power of the entire infinity gauntlet, as Thanos shot the power of the collective universe his way. The axe landed in the middle of Thanos’ chest and would’ve won everything for the good guys, if Thanos didn’t have to just simply snap his fingers to do what he wanted. So! In conclusion. THOR HAS EARNED HIS STRIPES! Captain Marvel, you better do some damn spectacular shit to even come close to earning the respect that Thor has earned.

Okay, I forgot that this blog is not about Thor (but it should be).

Don’t get me wrong. I’m incredibly excited to welcome Captain Marvel to the crew. I hope she kills it, and I wish her the best….but don’t you DARE step on my man’s shoes.

In other words, I’m excited for Carol Danvers presence, but she kind of feels like the popular new kid at school. She walks in with full confidence, knowing that she’s better than us all (and she is), but I’m hesitant to just welcome her with open arms. Thor is still the coolest kid in my school until you prove your worth. If Thor admits you’re the one, then I’ll fall in line.

Ultimately, I can’t wait to see the film Captain Marvel, and how they’re going to end up fitting her into the bigger picture.

Disney’s The Lion King 2019 First Trailer Is Here

The sun rises for the next generation. The Lion King is coming.

While many of us were sitting around next to some of the people we love the most and sharing in the Thanksgiving holiday, Disney reminded us all who they are, and who they have been. In an absolutely brilliant marketing decision, Disney decided to drop the first teaser trailer for The Lion King–a remake of the 1994 classic–which is arguably their crown jewel of cinematic achievements.

Disney understood the importance of having family and friends catch their first glimpse of the euphoric masterpiece together. For me, it was an incredible moment to be sitting next to a younger cousin and share with him the importance of what we just saw. Obviously this is exactly what Disney wanted. They wanted us to look around and share stories of what this movie meant to us. Most importantly, they wanted us to then introduce this film to the younger generation, who would now be serving as the new demographic for the film.

For most people who grew up in the 90’s, The Lion King holds a special place in their heart, and they can probably tell you where they were when the sun first rose over the African Savanah, as Hans Zimmer hit us with Lebo’s iconic voice belting out the opening music in what would possibly be the greatest opening scene to any movie ever.

Sidenote: It’s important I quickly point out that I am not fan of this whole remake thing thats going on. In my mind, I believe that if you have created a masterpiece, you simply leave it. Its a 99% chance that it only goes downhill from here. However, you could also argue that some risks are worth taking, and the attempt to bring The Lion King into a new generation could be one thats worth it.

So lets just get right into it. How does this first look at the remake compare with the 1994 classic?

Well, the original Lion King had absolutely everything going for it. Disney was in the height of its powers. I’m talking Jordan in the mid to late 90’s, or like Michael Jackson in the 80s. It was a time when they were producing films like Aladdin, Beauty and The Beast, and Toy Story. The creative team at Disney during this time simply went unmatched.

Hollywood of today is simply not what it was in the 90s. Storytelling still took precedence over special effects. The good news, is that this film is just a remake, so the story is the same. Pump the breaks though, because this version features a different director and different production team.

The original film was as well cast as any I can think of. You had Jonathan Taylor Thomas (90s star) as young Simba, with Mathew Broderick playing his older self. James Earl Jones lent his voice for the iconic Mufasa. Nathan Lane (my dear, dear friend) was absolutely perfectly cast as Timon, and so too was the legendary Jeremy Irons as Scar.

So how does this compare with the new cast? Well, lets just say the point definitely goes to the original. Im sorry, but you can’t make this film without Jeremy Irons or Nathan Lane. However, there are a few instances where this remake seems to continually give me hope. For instance, James Earl Jones is back for 2019 version. In other words, Mufasa will be played by Mufasa. Also, it seems that Seth Rogen’s life destiny was to play Pumba.

So yes, there is hope.

Jon Favreau is directing the remake. He’s one of the better directors of high-budget films currently out there, yet I’m worried. Ive seen examples play out in some of his past films that give me cause for concern. I won’t get specific, but basically I’m most worried about his ability to close a film. Elf was sensational, yet fell off toward the end when for some reason they forgot it was a comedy and failed to produce a single joke in the final act of the film. Also, that final act just didn’t feel right. It was as if they made a separate movie all together. Also, Iron Man was another high budget, but well-directed film. Once again though, the film didn’t close. Iron Man‘s greatest weakness is that the end just wasn’t up to par with the rest of the film.

So why is Favreau’s struggle to properly close a film concerning for the new Lion King? It’s concerning because The Lion King features the ultimate closing act. The entire film builds up to Simba finally returning home and taking back his fallen kingdom from the evil Scar. So lets just hope that Favreau plays his cards right, because we all know the story is there. The ball is sitting there on the tee. All he needs to do is swing and make some solid contact.

Ive honestly been worried about the prospects of this film for some time. How could they ever possibly hope to duplicate the magic that was Hans Zimmer’s all time original score? How could they ever hope to replace the once in a lifetime talent of Elton John’s legendary music he too contributed for the film?

Well, they’re both returning for the 2019 version. So, The Lion King is back on!

There’s obviously a lot riding on this updated version. As I mentioned earlier, we as fans all remember what that movie meant to us and how it made us feel. The film was a perfect metaphor for the real struggles of maturity and overcoming obstacles and extreme loss. How do you deal with life when you just lost the one person who was holding your hand and showing you the path? Do you run? Maybe you find yourself in some way. Maybe new characters enter your life (Timon and Pumba) that you never expected, and in the process, show you a different way of viewing the world and becoming your own person. Simba realizes (just like in real life) that eventually your character will be determined by how you deal with the things that haunt you the most in life.

As we sat around this Thanksgiving with our family and friends–all representing different generations–we got our first look at the new version of the original film that has always perfectly represented life, past and present.

Its a film built on the notion of growing up, and staring down the challenges that adulthood inevitably offers. Just as in life, the film reminds us that you can only run from your problems for so long until you eventually have to turn around, and look them in the eye. Just as Mufasa shows his son the footprint that he is to eventually fill, we as a society are now given the task to lead that younger generation into a challenging, yet hopeful new world, not knowing for sure what the future may bring.

All we can do is enter it, or in the words of The Circle of Life, “blinking, step into the sun”.

Pilots see UFO off Irish Coast

If you don’t whistle the theme from X-Files while reading this blog, you’re really fucking up. Okay continue…

This could potentially be huge news.

My highly educated guess would be that several alien races are likely meeting for drinks in Ireland to discuss climate change here on Earth.

Earth is a gem, that much is obvious. Most of Space is made up of completely nothing, and once you finally find a solar system that contains one or two planets that are potentially suitable for life, the likely best you’re going to get is an empty and barren Mars-like planet that maybe ONCE carried some form of microscopic bacteria. Planets that resemble the riches of Earth just don’t come around that often. That’s just space travel 101.

Therefore, protecting Earth’s ecosystem should be at the top of the agenda of many of the nearby alien races.

The main topic of debate probably has something to do with to what degree should they interfere.

There’s impressive evidence that points to them preventing early testing of the hydrogen bomb. Claims of UFO interference were made by some of the most highly respected military personnel on site at the time. Surrounding planes ordered to serve as a barricade to the testing site, all reported seeing various forms of odd moving aircraft that seemed to be defying the basic physics of flight as we know it.

Soon after, the world class testing equipment was mysteriously shut down and they were unable to detonate at that time. Even some of the scientists on site had said that it felt like for the first time, we as humans were beginning down a path that seemed highly unnatural, and that it was something we didn’t fully understand in terms of its consequences on the planet.

Aliens probably stepped in and pulled the plug at the last minute, after foreseeing all the possible outcomes of the coming test – much like one Doctor Strange.

By the way, can you really get any useful information like this from any other blogger? No. You can’t. This is simply some exclusive, alien knowledge I’m dropping all over your lives.

Well, California is on fire, the polar caps are melting, every hurricane is a category 5, and pretty soon even White Tailed Deer will be on the endangered list….so I say interfere. Interfere away!

We’re obviously a dumpster fire. I know they probably had a lot of hope for us, and maybe still do, but half of the human race doesn’t even believe in climate change so maybe it’s best if the aliens just step in.

P.S. If I hear one more basic betch say that, “oh I believe in aliens”, I’m going to scream. We’re past that right?! Yeah you’re really going out on a limb to claim that the ENDLESS universe isn’t just made up of the life here on earth. Of all the trillions of galaxies that each house billions of solar systems made up of hundreds of planets (in many cases), just ONE of them needs to be the right orbital distance from their given star to display the main requirement for life as we know it. There are billions upon billions of civilizations of every varying evolutionary point.

Run the numbers people!

It is a mathematical certainty.

Breaking News! Loki is back!!

How could we be so foolish to fall for Loki’s tricks yet again?!

It’s what he does!

If Doctor Strange can supposedly fool Thanos into thinking he gave him the true time stone, then obviously the God of Mischief should be able to fool that fat purple dingus.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about with that whole time stone thing, just look it up – it’s one of the many conspiracy theories surrounding the upcoming Infinity War sequel. Be a true fan just one time for me!

I’ve been saying it from the beginning. There’s something weird going on with Loki and The Hulk. Maybe I’m right and maybe I’m wrong. It would be fantastic if I was right though so I could go back and reference this blog one day. So far, my theories have all been wrong. Example- “The Celtics are Going Undefeated” blog. Gotta start somewhere though.

Loki fakes his death like once a week, and he’s plenty familiar with the might of Thanos. Obviously he would know better than most than to think he could just walk up to the mad titan and stab him. His card is mischief, and mischief is the card he played.

Long live Loki.

Meeting Justin Timberlake

Check out my YouTube Page!

Look, we all have our heroes, and some mean more to us than others. Finding inspiration in someone is a basic characteristic we all possess. Where you find that inspiration depends on who you are and what you love.

Maybe you look up to a self made billionaire, an athlete, a humanitarian (very noble of you), a musician, or a family member. For me, I have many heroes. My mom, dad and my brother are my heroes. My grandparents, relatives, friends, and my girlfriend are all people I greatly look up to for various reasons.

I obviously have my sports heroes.

However, I was lucky enough to find someone at an early age that I could connect with on something that was central to my existence; creativity and imagination.

As a child I lived a good 3/4 of my life in my own head. My imagination always gave me the ability to create my own happiness (to a certain extent, obviously the people in my life GREATLY contribute as well). I would create worlds and keep myself endlessly entertained. As I grew older, that creativity took shape in the form of entertaining others. I found great joy in sharing the very thing that was keeping me internally happy with those around me.

I began dancing and singing for my mom in our living room from an early and tender age of probably around 3 years old (my prime. I peaked early AF). I would make up the song as I went and wouldn’t stop until I dropped dead from exhaustion, and my mother was more than supportive of these performances. She truthfully enjoyed them. So in turn, this creative side continued to be fed and nurtured, and eventually it found something to latch onto.

I remember watching the “Free Willy” music video that featured Michael Jackson performing “Will You Be There”, the greatest song in existence. I saw a man in all white, belting out this song as wind blew his hair in the most glorious way possible, like he was some superstar from another galaxy. The video was all set to the backdrop of orca whales gracefully breaching the waters of the pristine northwest coast, and I was hooked. There was no going back.

**For copywriting inquiries, feel free to reach me at**–Guest blogging, website copy, product descriptions, emails, social media posts and more**

Michael Jackson had entered my life. Now lets fast forward to the late 90s, when boy bands were becoming a big thing, and so too was a certain style of dancing. There was something about synchronized dancing that I latched on to. I remember being in 6th grade and seeing something called “Show Choir”. I was so jealous that they all knew these dance moves, and were doing them together. I never really stopped to think about whether or not something was socially acceptable or “cool”. If I liked it, I liked it. I played sports not to fit in, but because I truly loved them. The same goes for singing and dancing.

I always danced for fun, but I never really did it with other people. Around the same time, my older brother was dragged to an audition with a girl he was currently interested in. He basically just went to support her, and ended up auditioning himself. She didn’t make it, but he did.

Next thing you know, he starts showing me videos of this Show Choir he had just been accepted to, and I was like wtf?! How do they move like that?! I thought it was the coolest thing in the world, so I started attending all of their practices and watched them go through the steps. I was basically this creepy kid sitting in the back of the auditorium all by myself, staring at them without blinking. I was taking mental notes about what made the best performers the best, and studied their weaknesses and how I could exploit them (I didn’t do that. There would be no reason for this) Afterwards, I would go home and practice everything I saw.

Also, speaking of heroes, it’s worth noting that I looked up to my brother like a God (and still do). Anything he did was the coolest thing in the world to me, so to see him do these intense dance movements to the backdrop of a kick ass live band was making me sick with jealousy. For those of you who don’t know, Show Choir is basically a group of 20-40 individuals who dance and sing musical numbers on stage. I loved singing and dancing, so I was hooked.

My brother would come home from practice and teach me the moves, and he wouldn’t let me get away with doing it wrong. Simultaneously, the boy band NYSNC was huge, but really wasn’t socially acceptable to love if you weren’t a girl (its fucked up, but it’s how it was). So, I secretly admired everything they did without really sharing it with anyone other than my brother. We both loved them, and I particularly loved their dancing. So in turn, my brother and I did our best to learn their dances as well.

Soon after, the lead singer of NSYNC announced that he was going solo, which actually made me pretty upset. However, it strangely enough might have been the most important thing to ever happen to me.

I was in New Hampshire at the time looking for moose (again, another socially acceptable activity) when I got a call from my brother telling me that I HAD to watch Justin Timberlake’s debut performance. Wouldn’t you know, that I was looking for moose when JT was about to officially enter my life. God do you believe in magic or what, ugh!

He went on and on about it, describing to me how it featured “actual” dancing, unlike that of the boy bands. So once I was back at the hotel, I turned on a re-run of the Video Music Awards, and watched JT’s debut performance, and the rest is history.

It’s safe to say, that if this performance never happened, nearly everything about my life would be different.

I’m obviously someone who looks for various meanings in life, but at the same time I am more than aware that any random thing can happen to anyone at any time, for no reason whatsoever. However, if there appears to be meaning behind something, I don’t have to ignore it. In saying that, I have to point out that much of Justin Timberlake’s career has somehow coincided with extremely important moments in my life (maybe the most important moments).

So JT goes solo and performed “Like I Love You” at the Video Music Awards, and it was the most inspired I’ve ever felt while watching a musical performance. Once I returned home, I recorded both the performance and the music video, and studied it for hours on end. I learned the entire dance by pausing the video every two or three seconds until I had every step down. Part of my inspiration for doing this was to impress my brother, so I couldn’t wait to show him once it was perfected. However, it took forever.

At the time I wasn’t a very good dancer at all. For some strange reason, I’ve always been attracted to things I wasn’t good at, but others were. I wanted to be as good as they were, if not better. The jealousy inside me served as a burning drive to perfect it.

Singing always came naturally to me, but dancing was something that required a lot of work. Once JT had gone solo, I had more than enough material from which to practice and study. My brother still taught me his Show Choir moves every day, as I secretly continued to learn the “Like I Love You” choreography.

My brother was quickly becoming one of, if not the best dancer in his Show Choir, so impressing him became a top priority. Eventually I showed him the dance and he was blown away. His reaction gave me all the confidence I needed to take my dancing to the next level. I was obsessed.

On a more serious note, it was around that same time that my mom and dad had informed us that my father was diagnosed with cancer. It was a tough pill to swallow, but I was still able to find relief in my newfound passion. It gave me a distraction.

I loved every single song from Justin Timberlake’s debut album “Justified”. I learned every step of every dance he did. Just like young kids imitate the way Jordan moved on the basketball court, I imitated everything about JT. I idolized his songs, performances, and dance routines. Next thing you know, people were calling me Justin Timberlake and I really didn’t hate it. I would still sit in the empty auditorium watching my brothers Show Choir practice every day, but now I would start to show off my moves to some of the members, desperately seeking their approval.

By the time I was in 8th grade, Justin was on tour promoting his first album. I would literally have done anything in the world to attend one of the concerts, but my parents probably took my love for his music as hyperbole, and weren’t going to pay for a ticket. My dad definitely didn’t take it seriously. He always referred to him as “my friend Jason”. My friend Jason?? First of all, he’s not my friend. Second, his name is Justin. Please take my passions seriously! And don’t worryyyy…I’m still big into sports dad! Show Choir isn’t taking over my life (but it is).

Justin’s show in Boston was approaching as I sat in my bedroom dressed like him and practicing his moves, waiting for the radio to announce their ticket contests. I can’t believe I would do something like this, but I actually called in. Someone answered the phone and told me that I would have to speak by only using the names of his songs and various lyrics while they had me on the air. I said what the fuck does that mean! I hate you! So I understandably got freaked out and hung up. I sat there defeated, realizing that his biggest fan was going to miss the show. Getting my hands on a ticket would be similar to Charlie opening up that candy bar and finding the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The idea of seeing him in person was otherworldly to me, as he had taken on this mythical idea in my mind. His music was changing my life.

Soon after the radio debacle, my brothers girlfriend at the time told him that she had tickets for them to both go together and see his show. My brother was obviously thrilled as he was a HUGE fan as well. He then stopped, and told her he simply couldn’t do that to his younger brother. He couldn’t go without me, and turned it down.

The day before the show, my brothers girlfriend came over our house and my family stood by as if they knew something was going to happen. She walked up to me with a huge smile on her face, and told me I was going to the Justin Timberlake concert. She was giving me her ticket so that I could go with my brother. I fell to the floor in disbelief. Soon after, I lost all control and took off my clothes and went nuts, because for some reason, that’s a thing I do (this was the first time of many).

In one of the best days of my life, I got to somehow attend the concert side by side with my brother, and see my idol perform in person. My brothers girlfriend also found another ticket and was able to attend as well.

Fast forward a few years, and JT has not released an album in a while. In the meantime I’ve become a good dancer in my own right. I was taking hip hop dance classes and practicing as much as I possibly could in my free time. It was the summer going into my senior year, and I was to be the Dance Captain of our High School Show Choir. My dad had recently informed me that his cancer had returned, which was not good news at all given its newfound severity. This was all incredibly sad and overwhelming, yet I was able to find an outlet in dancing again. It gave me a reason to feel good when there was so much else going on. At the same time, JT announced that he was dropping his second album.

Here we go again. Video Music Award part 2. The announcement was that he was going to debut the first song from his next album in a performance for the show. The show began, and as a surprise, JT opened the show by coming out of the ground and onto the stage under a single spotlight, and performing a dance solo to open the show. BOOM! Michael is back.

My father passed away a couple weeks later, and my life was forever changed. We also very nearly lost my mom at the same time due to a major medical emergency. It seemed like I was always either in the hospital, or I was dancing – two very different activities. Justin’s music always picked me up. While emotionally recovering from these events, I began my senior year of High School once again obsessed with his new album.

Later in my senior year, a student who was well known for being an extremely good dancer, had approached me about performing a dance number at the High School Pep Rally. However, we were not to discuss anything yet, because there were serious matters that needed to be addressed, ASAP. Before we could even speak to one another, we obviously had to have a traditional dance off. This is actually a true story. He sent someone else to request a dance off. I was in the middle of teaching an after school dancing program, and kind of just laughed it off. Turns out the kid was serious, so we did it. I don’t drop names, but after he sent his disciple to request the dance off, the man himself walked through the doors that seemingly opened by themselves as a purple fog poured into the room. He approached me, and without uttering a word, began dancing in a deliberate attack on my talents. So, we had a dance off for the ages. Afterwards we became friends and he asked me to perform with him during the Pep Rally. I said hell no. Also, I’m going to save most of the details of this story for another blog because it definitely contains some meaty stuff. I didn’t want to do the Pep Rally because no one really knew I was a dancer, and I wasn’t sure how over a thousand high school kids would react to me dancing in front of them. In fact, I thought it would be a disaster. What if I walked out there and shit my pants?

Long story short, I did it, and it was a big success. I opened the performance by dancing to the same music JT had danced to when he opened his VMA performance. I also listened to his music prior to walking out to center court in front of my entire high school, in order to muster up some much needed confidence. There I was, center court, solo dancing to JT in front of my entire high school.

(This is from a different high school performance. Not the Pep Rally)

At this point in my life I was head over heals obsessed with dancing, and decided that I wanted to pursue it in college. I knew I had to either be in LA or NYC, so I chose the latter so that I could be relatively close to home. This decision to go to school in New York would have major affects on my life. It lead me to my best friend (and other friends) whom I met at Manhattanville College. Not only did this person become my best friend, but I became extremely close with his entire family, which changed everything about my life. Meeting him was possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to me for so many reasons.

So I chose to minor in dance and major in something else in case dancing didn’t work out (which was a smart decision). I found so much inspiration in the work of Justin’s choreographer, Marty Kudelka, who would become one of my heroes in his own right. I watched every one of his videos that I could. I even like to think that I became a good choreographer myself. I started choreographing several dance numbers to be performed in various showcases during my undergraduate at Mville, some obviously better than others. One of them (that I did not choreograph) had me dressed up like a sad and sparkly Las Vegas prostitute, which is absolutely going to be blogged about one day.

After graduating college and living at home for a while, two of my best friends and I decided to move to Hawaii. About a month before this major move and subsequent major shift in my life, JT released his third studio album, and I was possessed yet again. Just before moving down there, I landed a job as a hip hop dance instructor in Honolulu. JTs music had once again served as a major guiding light in my path through life. His single “Mirrors” basically became the definitive song of my experience in Hawaii. One of my other friends who moved with me was a big time fan as well, and we were able to blast his new album throughout our time there. The other friend I was with ultimately proved not worthy of being a true Justin Timberlake fan. Shame.

He ended up getting severely injured while we were all having the time of our lives in the ocean. Did this happen because he talked right through one of our major debuts of a new Justin song? I’m not saying it didn’t, that’s for sure. You don’t interrupt the first listen of a JT song in Michaels presence. You just simply don’t do it!

A little more than a year later, I moved back to New York City once I felt Hawaii had run its course.

Soon after, my best friend who I met at Manhattanville had me over his house (one of the millions of times). It was then that his sister introduced me to her friend, a beautiful girl seemingly full of life. This girl would eventually become my girlfriend, and everything I could ever dream of.

Justin’s first album is what got me into dance. His second album came out just as my father passed away and somehow was able to save me with the distraction and determination to pursue dance. If I never pursued dance, I never would’ve moved to New York where I met my best friend, which ended up leading to my girlfriend of the past three years. His third album came before the biggest decision I would ever make; the decision to move to Hawaii, and served as the soundtrack to the most memorable year of my life.

Nearly a year after meeting my now girlfriend, Justin had released his latest album, Man of the Woods. Not only that, but it was announced that he was going to headline the Super Bowl halftime show…the same Super Bowl that my other hero, Tom Brady was playing in. In addition, he would be releasing the album the weekend of the game. JT was working his magic again.

For my birthday, my girlfriend surprised me by buying us both floor tickets to see his concert at Madison Square Garden on March 21st, 2018 (what would be my dad’s birthday). The serendipitous magic was back and it was better than ever. However, in a wicked twist of fate, the Patriots lost the Super Bowl as Tom Brady fumbled in the final play of the game.

Okay, well at least I still have the concert. The day finally came, and I was electric with life. I was like a boy in a real life musical, singing and dancing my way through the streets of NYC, blaring his music in my headphones. There was a bit of a snow storm that day, but all I could think about was the concert. It was then that I saw Justin had posted something to his Instagram page. It was an announcement saying that the performance wasn’t going to happen because of the snow.

I was ruined. My life felt over.

I thought to myself that up until now, everything had always made sense in terms of timing. I was so crushed that my hero had canceled the show on my dad’s birthday. Now what?! Doesn’t he care about my dad’s birthday?! I honestly texted things like that to my friends (Michael had gone off the deep end, and was in a dark place). I always use his concerts/albums for inspiration. I knew then that my summer was doomed. All was lost.

It would take me months to come to grips with the idea that maybe not all of these things that have happened really had as much meaning as I thought, and it was more of me just creating what I wanted to believe in my head. It was an absolutely crushing idea.

However, Justin did announce that the show would be postponed until October 22nd, but at the time, that felt like a lifetime away, and who even knew if I would live that long. I honestly feel like I cheat death monthly, just waiting for that fateful day when the bus of destiny comes out of no where and gloriously takes me out.

A few months later, my girlfriend and I started planning a trip to Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton. This was basically the greatest thing I could ever think of doing. Seeing these places would be a dream come true. After months of planning, it was finally the day before the trip. I was so unbelievably excited.

It was a really nice day in New York, as I was walking down the sidewalk thinking of nothing other than the trip of a lifetime. I thought to myself that I’m honestly more excited for this than I’ve ever been for anything in my life, even those epic JT concerts. And you know what? I’ll get to see Justin’s concert shortly after the trip is over.

So cool, I thought as I was walking down the street the day before my big trip. I’ll get to wear my “Montana” coat (that I obviously bought at JT’s pop-up store) in Montana, listening to “Montana” from JTs Man of the Woods. It doesn’t get any more super fan than that!! -or scary/worrisome to anyone else- but not this guy!

So I continued walking on the sidewalk, dreaming of tomorrow’s trip, when I looked to my left and saw none other than Justin Timberlake walking towards me!

This was it.

This was the moment I always feared my entire life. I always thought that if I ever saw him, I would sprint away in the opposite direction as fast as I could. I wouldn’t want him to see me. I’m simply not worthy. Not only that, but what if he makes fun of me? Or acts annoyed by something I say? Obviously I would completely fall apart even IF he was cool with me. There’s no chance in hell I would be able to formulate words and act even remotely normal. There’s so much I would want to say, but obviously wouldn’t be able to properly say it. Also, there’s no guarantee that I’ll be looking presentable that day, because way too often, I closely resemble Robin Hood, or Peter Pan (not in a good way). They also say to never meet your idols, and none would be more relevant than me meeting JT.

So I see Justin walking toward me, and I knew my plan was always to flee if I ever saw him, but it didn’t happen.

I saw him, and without hesitation, I turned so that I was facing him as he walked toward me. Just a few feet away, we immediately made eye contact, and the universe probably then exploded and all of this is now a figment of my imagination. I walked toward him and said, “hey man, I just have to tell you that I’m absolutely your biggest fan” (no statement has ever been more accurate).

The way he looked back at me was with complete sincerity. Now I understand that he’s heard this very statement over a thousand times in his life, but I honestly think he saw the authenticity in my eyes when I said that to him, because I said it with some serious meaning (and he’s probably not used to 6’4 men saying it). His eyes seemed to widen and focus as he looked back at me and replied, “hey thanks man”. I then told him that I was going to be attending his concert. It was then that he truly became interested and approached me closer as he asked me which show I was going to. I told him the October 22nd show, which he actually needed some reminding as to which show that was. I stuck out my hand and told him that he was the biggest inspiration in my life, and thanked him. He shook my hand as he looked me squarely in the eyes and thanked me for saying that. In the moment I was hyper aware of anything that would translate as annoyance or frustration in having to talk to another fan, but there was simply none of that. He was very present, and honestly interested in what I was saying to him, and it obviously meant the world to me. Just before we went our separate ways I told him to keep doing what he’s doing, keep pushing it, and killing it.

We split, and that was that.

For one moment of my life, I was standing eye to eye, talking to my life long hero, thanking him for what he’s given me.

I walked about a block away before everything hit me. I truly believe it all happened so fast that the nerves didn’t have time to catch up. I basically went into shock and acted before I could think, which was definitely for the best. Once I was a block away, my entire body started shaking and I was overwhelmed with the emotions of meeting my childhood idol.

It was the greatest moment of my life.

Somehow, someway, I had met my hero Justin Timberlake the day before the biggest trip of my life (a week that would become the best week of my life, by far, and deeply affect me. A week where it felt like I was in heaven at times, sharing a paradise in the memory of my father). I even was able to tell Justin that I would be attending his show. None of this would’ve happened if he hadn’t postponed that March 21st show. Instead, he had appeared at a pivotal moment in my life yet again, this time in person.

I immediately texted my brother, thinking about the time he gave up his ticket so that he wouldn’t see JTs show without me. My brother better than anyone, understood how important this was. He joked with me that the timing of all this made him think twice about whether or not there could be other forces of work at hand.

It felt as if my life had come full circle. I simply was in disbelief.

Picture yourself meeting your #1 hero or idol. This is what had just happened.

My girlfriend was in disbelief. One of my best friends from college came all the way down to see me so that he could hear the story in person. Most of the people in my life (especially from earlier on) understand what JT means to me. Many were just worried that now I might die, given that I just reached the pinnacle. Going into a major trip made up of epic hikes and skydiving, I too realized that my chances of not dying on this upcoming trip were now slim.

I always thought that if I were ever going to meet him, it would be on my death bed. He would come in just as I was dying, take my hand as he compliments my hair and tells me that I seem like an incredible person, and that he was a big fan of my dance videos on YouTube. I would say “thank you Justin Timberlake”, and then die.

I simply couldn’t believe how perfect our interaction had gone. He wasn’t on the phone. He wasn’t in a rush, and I was already in a fantastic mood. It was all so perfect.

I couldn’t help but think about everything I wanted to say to him, but realized it might have been too much had I told him that the only reason I’m standing here right now on this sidewalk in New York is because of him, or that he lead me to my life changing best friend who introduced me to the love of my life, or inspired me to become a dancer and that I also idolize his choreographer and watch his videos every day and that I also listen to his music whenever I’m looking for a confidence boost but also for any situation whatsoever in life and that I’ve modeled so much of my singing after him and know all his songs on guitar and piano and that his music helped get me through some of the toughest times in my life but also the best, and that if anyone talks through the debut of one of your songs in my presence that they are forever cursed and that his “Like I Love You” performance was the most inspired I’ve ever felt ahhhhh!

I get the feeling that he might’ve been freaked out had I told him too much.

So, instead it was perfect. And off into the sunset he went.

Somehow, through all the ripples and variations in my life, Justin Timberlake has remained a constant. For a single moment in both of our lives, fate intertwined, and I got to look my hero in the eyes as he looked back at me.

Check out my YouTube Page!

**For copywriting inquiries, feel free to email me at–Guest blogging, website copy, product descriptions, email, social media posts, and more**

The Celtics Are Going Undefeated

I’ll start by saying I’m somewhat known for jumping the gun.

However, this is not one of those times.

I’m here to tell you that it is scientifically impossible for the Boston Celtics to NOT go undefeated this year. Impossible.

I’m watching the highlights today and it has me laughing out loud. The talent on this team is ridiculous! Their bench alone is a legit NBA squad. Every player on the team is a star. Who the hell is supposed to actually walk out of here with a victory? The Warriors?? Sigh.

This is the same team that took Lebron to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals with a bunch of children in our starting lineup. Now, those same kids have a bunch of experience behind them that they developed in the absence of Hayward and Kyrie last year, and now they are taking a leap forward. Tatum is going to be one of the very best players in the league. Jaylen Brown can take over any game with pure athleticism, and is a star in his own right. Some even say he’s better than Tatum- I won’t drop names though (yet).

(Tatum dunking on Lebron)

(Jaylen being our 5th best player)

Now, Kyrie and Hayward have returned to an already stacked team with experience. Also, lets not forget they have the best coach in the league who can turn Kelly Olynyk into an unstoppable force of nature.

Scary Terry, Morris, and Smart coming off the bench is simply not fair. Oh yeah, the Celtics also have one of the best all around players in the game in Al Horford. How do you actually defend this team, or attack their league best defense?!

The 76ers just got blown to shreds on a night where Kyrie Irving was no better at basketball than Ryan Seacrest. Hayward basically had zero affect on the game as he will continue to ease into the season. Yet, the Celtics, lead by our 13 year old superstar Jayson Tatum, absolutely blew the doors off the next best team in the east.

Am I supposed to sit here and be afraid of the Warriors? Listen, I understand they might have the best squad ever. Well guess what, not anymore. The Celtics now have the best squad ever. The only way this thing wouldn’t work would be if we had a shitty coach who can’t get all the stars to play together and get their minutes. Buttttt Boston has the next Belichick of coaching so there goes that concern. Durant basically wants out of Golden State, and the rest of the team has already been outspoken in their admiration for this young team.

The Celtics haven’t shown the world anything yet.

They will.

I honestly believe that by the end of the year, Tatum will be the best player on the Celtics. Brown would be the go-to offensive force on 29 other teams, yet here, he is probably the 5th best starter. Kyrie is the best ball handler in league history and is notoriously clutch in closing out games. Hayward was one of the better all around players in the league before his injury.

The Celtics bench would probably go to the Eastern Conference Finals without their starters. The starters would go to the NBA finals if they only had my 6th grade travel team coming off the bench to relieve them. Fuck it, you could throw me into the starting rotation and they’d still grab the #1 seed. I actually used to make it rain (in the rec league only). The travel and school teams were a different story. On those teams I’d get the ball and everyone would give me that look that said, “if you even think about shooting that ball I’ll follow you to your house, climb into your attic, find your beloved stuffed humpty dumpty from childhood, and rip him to shreds (I feel sick to my stomach even joking about that).

(My prized possession. Not quite the same version as my vintage Humpty Dumpty though. His picture is never to be shared with the disgusting and ungrateful outside world)

By the way while we’re on the topic, what a learning curve those basketball days were. The Easton basketball teams featured a bunch of very happy and skinny white kids, no better defined than by yours truly. Now picture someone like me playing an away game in Brockton. Brockton was basically a city school so big that it featured 4 separate teams made up of a North, South, East, and West…and for whatever reason, we had to play them all. Brockton’s slogan is “city of champions”, so you do the math. It never went well for us. I’m talking a completely packed house featuring a DJ blasting music throughout the game. I’m talking fog machines and students screaming at you as you walk off the bus. It’s like take it easy guys. It’s a 6th grade basketball game and I’m going to have zero affect on the outcome anyway. Please stop saying mean things to me. I’d much rather be home drawing a picture of a dinosaur, or taking a nice bubble bath.

What I’m getting at is that these teams who now have to go play the Celtics are pretty much a modern day version of my 6th grade travel team. What chance do they have? They’re simply overmatched. They’ll soon feel the same way I felt when massive 6’7 two hundred pound men were dunking in my face while I was still ten years away from the start of puberty.

The Warriors are the only team that stand somewhat of a chance, but the Celtics run 10 deep and will just keep relentlessly coming at them like the rising storm surge of category 5 hurricane!

There’s still time for the NBA to cancel the season if they don’t want other teams to suffer the same fate as my 6th grade team. Should they decide against it, the Celtics will go undefeated.

Aladdin Teaser Trailer is out Bitches!

The new motion capture version of the Disney classic Aladdin has released its first teaser trailer and it looks fantastic.

HOWEVER, Aladdin is not Aladdin, without Robin Williams. I’m immediately going to hate whomever it is they have playing the new genie, because it’s not my guy RW.

Moreover (at last! I finally remembered to use the all time under appreciated transitional word “moreover”!), this was only a teaser trailer, which means they don’t really have to show you anything, and they didn’t. Disney only showed us like 5 total shots, albeit (two transitional power houses in one paragraph. Did you ever think you’d see the day?) incredible shots at that, but still didn’t reveal much.

The character development, acting, directing, and editing could all still stink.

Maybe I’m just a little scarred from the recent adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. That movie stunk. The original was an all time classic while last years version was junk. The new prince was ugly as fuck while the cartoon version was a red hot hunk. God this trend of remaking movies has put me in a funk. Why even remake a sensational movie when the original has already solidified its place on the top bunk?

Those unnecessary rhymes just got way out of hand, and I promise you none of this was planned. What the fuck is happening to me, my soul is being sucked into Dr. Seuss Land!

Okay ENOUGH MICHAEL! Just breathe…

I apologize for all that. This is basically how my mind works I guess. This is just A.D.D. 101.

Back to whatever it was I was talking about.

Aladdin. Beauty and the Beast. Okay need to actually talk about Beauty and the Beast.

The original film was an absolute masterpiece. The music sweeps you off your feet and the looming showdown between the Beast and the legendary Gaston was drama city.

Gaston. Lets talk about him. A man’s man. The guy sings a beautiful, yet highly masculine song about eating five dozen eggs EVERY day. Stunning. You want to talk about an alpha? Look no further than Gaston. I’m all in.

(King alpha male Gaston who has no idea what a book is. Amazing)

I guess I’m only really going into detail about Beauty and the Beast when this is supposed to be a blog about Aladdin, because I need to reiterate how unnecessary it is to remake an already legendary film with characters we all love.

Just one final note about Beauty and the Beast. I skimmed over it while uncontrollably rhyming everything, but it needs to actually be addressed. The prince that the Beast turns back into in the original cartoon is an absolute drop dead, long blonde flowing hair, blue eyed steal your heart sex bomb. He’s the epitome of male perfection. So for the remake to have that already dumb wildebeest looking thing (supposed to be more like a Bison) turn into a legit nerd was an absolutely fucked up thing to do to both Belle and myself. She’s been holding out hope that this guy must be a hot prince, but no. I nearly vomited in the theater (yeah I saw it in theaters) when they first revealed him to my stunned and disgusted eyes. Ugly ass prince. Fuck that noise.

(This nerd is straight up disgusting. Please turn back into the beast ASAP)

(Gasp!! Consider my breath taken the fuck away!)

Also, it would be rude of me not to address Belle’s looks. Belle and Jasmine in their respective cartoons are the hottest characters Disney has ever given to the world. The original Beauty and the Beast featured a Belle who was basically the prince’s counterpart when it came to raw, physical perfection, with just the right pinch of innocence sprinkled in, coupled with a self reliant and fearless attitude. She looked like she was designed by none other than Dennis Reynolds from Always Sunny in Philadelphia (if you’re not familiar with his female designs, you should look into it), and Emma Watson is really more of the sweet girl next door.

Back to Aladdin!

As hot as Belle is, she’s no Jasmine. Jasmine is probably my number 1 in the Disney universe. What hope do they possibly have of casting someone who can do her justice? They would have to find someone with the body of a young Kim Kardashian combined with the heart and mind of a Gandhi.

Side note: One thing does worry me about Jasmine. I’ve always had a feeling that she doesn’t shave her armpits. Just a feeling, but if true, probably a deal breaker.

Disney is going to screw up the casting here just like they did with Beauty. The genie is probably going to suck ass, and it DEFINITELY doesn’t help that he’ll be constantly compared to the great Robin Williams, who actually leant his voice to like 27 characters in that film, not just the genie. This is why I’m worried. Robin Williams IS Aladdin. They can’t make it without him.

I really care about Aladdin because it was one of my favorite movies growing up. Loved the parade scene. At the tender age that I was when that movie came out, I just so happened to be obsessed with parades. Parade enthusiast. I would just go outside and start parading around with a sword in hand and screaming things that didn’t make sense, and before you knew it there would be 12 clueless neighborhood children marching behind me. Also, that movie made me want a pet tiger. Foolish, yet beautiful young Michael.

In conclusion, I couldn’t be more excited for this film, even though I know it’s going to be a big let down. I guess I’ll have more to say after they premier the actual trailer that shows us more than 5 quick shots. Speaking of quick shots, let’s close on the actor playing Aladdin. His eyebrows freak me out just a little, but I’ll remain optimistic that in the end they’ll win me over. I swear to God if he doesn’t have the voice of an angel I’ll scream as loud as I possibly can in the middle of the theater.


Decision Time on the Continental Divide

Check out my Youtube Channel!


Debating between two all time terrible scenarios to potentially save our lives over 9,000 feet up on a mountain pass, and running out of sunlight. Crossing over the top of the continental divide and staring fear in the face, we were forced to make a decision. It was a day that at its worst, I feared neither of us would survive. Together, my girlfriend and I set out to hike the world famous High Line trail. This is the story of one of the greatest and most terrifying challenges of my life.

~Decision Time on the Continental Divide~

Part I-Fear of Heights

My girlfriend and I went to sleep the night after the magical hike to Grinnell Glacier completely exhausted. I was under the mindset that I had accomplished far more than I had ever dreamed of within that one, 15 mile epic hike. We had even discussed the likelihood of just taking it easy the next day, maybe going for a short walk to a pond or something like that.

Yeah, right…

I woke up the morning after the Grinnell Glacier hike barely able to walk. Everything hurt. My girlfriend thought we should try hiking the High Line trail, and I honestly pretty much agreed. I will say, I was the one who originally proposed the idea of doing the hike while we were planning for our trip. However, things change. Even though my body was completely not ready to go out and do it again, my mind was telling me that I only had a few days here, and it wasn’t the time to take it easy.

Before our trip began, I noticed that two hikes in the park continuously stood out when it came to bucket list items while visiting Glacier. One was the Grinnell Hike, and the other was the High Line. In fact, the High Line is listed on nearly every top ten list of epic hikes in the country, and has become one of the most famous in the world. It was always mentioned for its second to none panoramic views of the entire park. The hike also ran alongside the continental divide that splits the National Park in two.

From my understanding, it seemed like I would just have to survive the first mile or so of the hike, and then it would be relatively smooth sailing from there.


The hike starts with a jaw dropping cliff walk along the Garden Wall near Logan Pass. The Garden Wall is literally a wall of mountain and rock that runs the length of the Continental Divide for much of Glacier National Park, with the trail sticking out of the side of its cliffs. It’s so jaw dropping and knee jerking that they provide a cable that is attached to the side of the cliff that you can hold on to in case you slip. This was obviously the part I feared going into the hike. Little did I know…

(Hiker photographed in front of the Garden Wall)

Foolish Michael.

I have to say, that going into this hike, I was uncharacteristically nervous. My girlfriend and I had to take a shuttle to be dropped off at the beginning of the hike, and we left our car down by our campsite in the Many Glacier area. For some reason, I really didn’t have good feelings going into this hike. I almost felt sick to my stomach, but I wrote it off as simply worrying about that opening cliff walk with the cable. Now, I realize I can give my sixth sense some big credit points because holy guacamole, shit got real.

The plan was to get dropped off via shuttle at Logan Pass along the breathtaking Going to the Sun Road (honestly breathtaking). Logan Pass sits at the highest point of the road, so the hike starts at an extremely high elevation of around 6,000 feet. So back to the plan. We get dropped off at Logan Pass, hike 8 miles on the High Line trail to the Granite Park Chalet, and then cross over the top of the Continental Divide and hike down Swiftcurrent Pass into a massive valley where our car was waiting for us at the very end of the hike, which was estimated to be anywhere from another 7-10 additional miles.

(Taken from the Logan Pass area. Pictured are two grizzly bears a little ways down on a slope, but distant)

Starting our hike by viewing two grizzly bears walking around probably didn’t help ease the nerves. However, my main concern was that cliff I was going to have to brave, and then it would be smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Before setting off, we talked to a ranger about our plan to hike to the chalet, and then up and over the beautiful Swiftcurrent Pass. She calmly told us that the hike would take us a good million hours to complete. Even if we left now, we would be pushing our luck with running out of sunlight by the very end of our hike that she estimated to potentially be an 18 mile trek. One of the main problems we faced was that my girlfriend and I didn’t have flashlights, so we would be risking hiking through grizzly habitat and mountainous terrain in the pitch black.

Also, I’m tired of referring to her as “my girlfriend, it gets exhausting. In order to protect her from my overwhelming and swarming fans this blog has created, Ive refused to use her real name. So, I’m going to give my girlfriend a code name. She shall be named “Bruce Willis”.

Of course, the Logan Pass visitor center didn’t sell flashlights, because that would be absurd. They can sell hundreds of stuffed squirrels, but flashlights are simply out of the question. While planning the stocking of this visitor center, the board had a very important meeting while going over the inventory. “My fear is, given the massive scale of the hikes that depart out of this area, we don’t have enough flashlights to supply the hikers with the potential life saving supplies they might need”, said one board member. At that moment, an ominous member of the board who usually keeps to himself, rotated around in his luxurious business chair to face his peers. “Investors are calling for more squirrels, and only squirrels. Your flashlights, are simply out of the question” he declared.

I was saddened by the visitor centers lack of important supplies. “Fine” I said. “I’ll take a stuffed squirrel. They’re fucking adorable”.

Anyway, we set out for our hike on the High Line trail. We planned to maybe go a little ways down the trail, and then turn around and catch the last shuttle to leave Logan Pass around 4:00 (it was now just after 1:00).

So it begins…

We were immediately greeted by this sign at the trailhead. “There is no guarantee of your safety”. Well, I understand you can’t guarantee my safety, but thanks for rubbing it in. I’m already shaking about falling off this cliff, but let’s do this!

We started walking and it immediately turned into the infamous cliff walk with the cable that’s offered for support. I kept telling myself one foot in front of the other. Bruce Willis was gently whispering behind me to “take it slow…take it slow, there is no rush”. Yeah unless a grizzly shows up!! God damn you Bruce Willis!

What she didn’t understand was that I had already seen several videos of massive grizzlies walking this very cliff that hikers dread falling off of. Grizzlies…on a one way cliff that seems to be about 2-3 feet in width. Perfect. If you don’t believe me then check out this picture of a hiker who had to greatly risk his life by climbing down the edge of the vertical cliff to avoid an approaching grizzly:

One step in front of the other, and eventually I would be past this terrifying section of the trail. I held onto the cable for dear life. Sweat dripped down my face that I didn’t dare wipe off as it would involve me taking a hand off either the cable or my trekking pole that was acting like a third leg on the outside of the ledge. Finally, for what seemed like forever, it had finally ended. After finishing that chilling cliff walk, I told myself that there’s no way I’m going back to catch that shuttle and having to brave that ledge again. No way. Bruce wanted to hike the entire length of the trail anyway, and thought it only made sense to do so because of where our car was, so I was in.

If only I had known…I would’ve turned back and hiked that ledge back to Logan Pass. I would’ve done a handstand on that cliff.

Sadly, the fear hadn’t even begun.

I’m talking fear that is so overwhelming, that you have to find a way to force your mind to believe that it’s not real-there’s nothing to be afraid of.


So we continued..

The whole cliff walking thing didn’t end, nor would it. I walked on the very edge of a cliff for 8 miles straight.

This is my greatest fear! Standing on the edge of a cliff!

I want you to picture your absolute worst fear. Now picture doing whatever it is, or being around whatever you may fear for about 5 hours straight with no break. Maybe you fear spiders. Not me- fearing spiders is irrational and childish. Buttttt if you were to fear them, it would be like lying in a tomb filled with millions of spiders for 5 hours straight. At least with spiders though, you know you’re not going to die. I never knew I wasn’t going to die on this ledge. It all relied on me constantly taking a dependable step forward and not tripping. Do. Not. Trip. One trip, and I’m dead. People fall off this trail all the time, and many of the other trails in Glacier. A man actually fell off this very trail earlier in the year. It is a very, very real threat.

8 miles of relentless fear. On the Grinnell Glacier Hike the day before, the cliff walking was here and there, and you were offered numerous relief from the edge, as the hike covered all different types of terrain. Also, that hike was equally gorgeous as it was terrifying at times. It was more than worth it. This hike, was different.

Soon the views on the left opened up…like really opened up. Suddenly, the entirety of Glacier National Park came into view. The massive snow covered peaks of the Rockies surrounded us, and most were below us. If I had been sitting in a chair I probably would’ve admitted that it was one of the best things I had ever seen.

These views only made my heart race faster though. They served as a constant reminder to how high up we were, and how terrifying a slip would be.

The difference between The High Line and the Grinnell Glacier Hike was that I was really able to document the hike to the glacier, whereas with this one, I dared not take out my phone. I tried a couple times to capture the view, but vertigo would immediately take hold as soon as I looked out and to my left. My knees would buckle and I would fall into the cliff on the right side of me. Bruce Willis was behind me, and I couldn’t even turn around to talk to her. I would have to look forward if we were to speak.

The ranger did warn me that the hike was rather frightening, but they downplay everything! They’ll be like “yeahhh you might make it, you might not. NEXT!”

She did tell me though to exclusively look down at my inside foot when I was afraid. Well, I was afraid the entire time, so for 8 miles I basically only looked down at that inside foot. I also learned that one mile up in these mountains feels like 5 miles down on the ground. They are mentally and physically exhausting miles.

One foot in front of the other, do not look down, only look at the inside foot. Now the trail got worse, much worse. The ledge became a bone chilling test of nerves. It was far more terrifying than that opening cliff walk, only now, there was no cable. WHERE THE FUCK IS THE CABLE?! This shit just got way worse than it ever was! I kid you not, at times the trail was no more than a foot in width, and featured a good 4,000 foot drop off. On the right was the cliff that featured overhanging rocks, as in it wasn’t just simply a straight wall. I constantly had to duck under all the jagged rocks that were sticking out of the cliff to avoid getting knocked out, and falling to my death. Even a slight shoulder bump could be the end of me.

(Notice how narrow the trail becomes as it rounds the corner ahead)

Every now and then I would make the mistake of looking over at my outside* foot, down toward the drop off. My body was drenched in sweat. Mountain air whistled through the valleys below the ledge we were on as I felt a burning fear of what would happen if one of us were to misstep. A mistake here, would be our last.

I kept picturing the horror of having Bruce Willis slip and fall behind me, only to grab onto an overhanging branch at last second. I’d have to run over, dive down to the ground and desperately grab her at the last minute as I would be forced to curl her body weight upwards (my shirt sleeve would probably be rolled back a bit, revealing my bicep in its biggest moment) as stunned spectators from afar gasped and took pictures of the entire ordeal. Soon after we’d be brought back to Logan Pass where the press would be waiting for us, flashing pictures and screaming my name.

Back to the story!

At times water was pouring down the edge of the rocky cliff on the right, over the trail and dropped down the side of the drop off. So now, we would have to quickly cross a foot wide path of slippery, mossy rocks.

Still, I only looked down at my inside foot as I led the path, daring not let my girlfriend walk in front of me in case we were to run into a grizzly. One foot in front of the other. This continued for hours of relentless focus with the constant fear of tripping.

We continued our hike endlessly in the 70 degree heat, completely dripping in sweat (almost entirely because of nerves). Every now and then a crisp mountain breeze would blow past my body and briefly calm me down. Still, I stared down at my inside foot.

Suddenly, the hair stood up on the back of my neck as chills ran down my spine.

I felt a presence standing in front of me.

Part II-Travel Delays

As I stared down at my foot, I suddenly felt a presence. The hair stood up on my neck as I slowly looked up.

There, standing in front of me was a ram, no more than 10 feet away, and walking towards me. He must’ve been the Dwayne Johnson of rams. This guy was ripped! The rams we saw on the Grinnell Glacier hike were mesmerizing. This was different, and felt life threatening. This was the last place in the world I would want to see something like this. Bruce Willis and I had seconds to react. We only had a foot wide trail on the very edge of a cliff and no where to go, and the ram wasn’t stopping. These things are MUCH bigger than you’d expect. They’re bigger than the biggest dog you’ve ever seen, and look like they spend their entire day in the weight room. He walked toward me with his massive and heavy curly horns, looking at me like I needed to get the fuck out of his way, or he was going to abruptly end my life in the most terrifying way possible.

We quickly dropped our trekking poles and used our hands and feet to climb the jagged rocks above us. Rocks slipped from beneath our feet and hands as this was obviously not a safe thing to be doing. It’s odd what you’re capable of when you’re doing something to protect your life.

Also, this was all happening on a blind corner. We hung on and waited for the ram to pass. Of course now, he took his time and stopped. Other hikers showed up behind us and were forced to do the same climb up the rocks. The four of us now anxiously waited. One hiker recommended us climbing around the blind corner on the rocks above the ram, but I mentioned how I did NOT like our chances of these rocks not giving way beneath us, and that we should instead wait it out. The ram then passed beneath us on the trail. We climbed back down and continued around the blind corner. As we looked up we discovered that if we had continued on those rocks around the corner, we would have come face to face with four more rams that were standing just above the one we saw, but up on the same rocks we were clinging to. They were just feet away from us while we were up there.

That whole thing ended up being a good 30 minute delay. Even though I needed the breather, we really couldn’t afford to delay if we wanted to make it down to our car before dark. The trail eventually became a little less intimidating with meadows on our right, but still a very steep hill on the left. It wasn’t like you were safe or anything. If you fell to the left, you still had about a 50% chance you weren’t going to be able to stop yourself and you would just keep falling until you hit a drop off.

Farther up the trail we now faced mountain goats that were blocking the path. I will say, seeing them was pretty beautiful. They’re completely white and look like magic. However, I was just too stressed out and exhausted to take it in. They also had a baby with them so we couldn’t get too close, because they had horns of their own and could easily knock you off the mountain. We would have to wait for them to leave the trail as well. This added on another 30 minute delay, and stress turned into serious worry regarding the time.

The hikers we met at the ram jam sort of became our hiking buddies. Their presence was much needed and calmed me. The guy told us that when we get to the chalet, there were two ways you could go. One option was Swiftcurrent Pass. The alternative trail was where they were going. Thing is, this path would involve hiking down through the infamous grizzly bear forest. Now, obviously grizzlies are present in all areas of the park, but this forest in particular is one you do not fuck around with.

The Granite Park Chalet at the end of the 8 mile trek offers a potential reprieve from the mountain. It serves as a safe haven for hikers who can even spend the night if they need to. For me, I was thinking about making it to this chalet for some time now and had built it up in my mind as a glorious place of milk and honey. A place rich with goods and smiling people, closely resembling Santa’s glorious and spectacular underground North Pole sanctuary in Tim Allen’s “The Santa Clause”. I couldn’t wait to get there.

Suddenly, the chalet came into view, and you could see it on a nearby slope. It was a beacon of hope. I swear I saw people dancing and children holding hands and singing songs.

We continued toward it, as it was still a couple miles away. The light hearted banter kept my spirits up as my body ached, my backpack felt heavier, and I grew tired of the constant worry of falling off a cliff.

Our hiker friends continued to lighten the mood. We all laughed about how dangerous this hike was, whether it was fearing a single trip on a rock, or avoiding a ram that benches 500 pounds and roams the cliffside looking for trouble. We learned about their backstory, and they learned about ours. They were understandably very impressed to hear that I was one of the most respected doctors in my field.

Hikers continued to walk by us in the opposite direction, warning us of the grizzlies in the forest that lay just south of the chalet.

One problem at a time bro.

Eventually, we made it. Bruce Willis and I rejoiced along with our two new hiking friends that finally we were off the cliff and in an area where we could actually walk around. Walking toward the chalet, I couldn’t wait for little elf children to open the doors for me, granting me my first vision of free flowing beer, songs being sung, and deer walking around playing trumpets.

It was closed. The chalet was closed.

However, we at least were off the cliff and in an open area. There were other hikers around who were just wrapping up their own personal lunch breaks, and about to embark on the rest of their journeys. I talked to a couple of the other hikers outside the chalet about various things that were of importance to us. The first thing they told me, was that we would need to get going immediately if we wanted to make it down through Swiftcurrent Pass before nightfall. Still, they didn’t like our chances. They informed me that it could potentially take us 4 hours to complete, and it was already getting late. Also, if you are alternatively to hike down through the grizzly forest, you’ll need to hike in groups of 4 or more, as this is a very dangerous area with a history of brutal attacks on humans, and there have been several recent sightings.

Some of these attacks are more famous than others. One such attack was made famous in the book “Night of the Grizzlies” where it is described that a young girl was dragged screaming into the night down into these woods and away from her boyfriend. Hikers went after her and could only hear her haunting screams echoing through the trees. One man looked down and found an ear lying on a rock. He described the human ear as having no blood on it, but rather looked like it had been sliced clean off her face. They eventually found her dying form and brought her back up to the chalet where she could not be saved, and she died. That same night, and just a few miles away, another grizzly bear killed a young woman.

The history of viscous mauling’s in the forest gave me great reason to believe that hiking Swiftcurrent down to where our car was parked was definitely our best bet. However, it was getting late and we needed to get going. The hikers reiterated that if we were going to hike down through the grizzly forest, we would need to leave with the last group, as no one else was left on the mountain.

We took a 15 minute break at the chalet to rest, eat and drink water. The main problem was that we really didn’t have time to stop, but my body absolutely had to. On the Grinnell Glacier hike, we stopped at the glacier to rest for probably an hour or two, which gave us the right amount of energy to hike back. We simply didn’t have that luxury this time.

(Taken from the Granite Park Chalet)

Our friends we met during the ram jam waited for us as I talked to a man who was doing work on the outside of the chalet. I asked him to describe the hike down through Swiftcurrent. He told me that it featured cliff walking that was far more intense than what we had already done, and the entire thing could be up to 10 miles (2 more than the 8 we already hiked to get here). This was incredibly crushing for me to hear, but Bruce and I knew it was our only way. We hesitantly said goodbye to our friends. They honestly looked very nervous for us, and they wished us good luck. They departed with a few additional hikers down through the grizzly forest, as it is recommended.

Separating from them was not an easy choice, nor was it a wise one.

Part III-Decision Time

My girlfriend and I took a last sip of water, threw our packs on, and continued our hike. We climbed a few hundred feet in elevation in a relatively short amount of time. Already, we had gained 2,000 feet in elevation since the start of the hike, so continuing to climb when I was feeling dead was extremely difficult.

It was then that I started to experience something I’ve never felt before. My body felt like it was shutting down. It was similar to that feeling you get when driving a car on empty, right as you realize this is it, and its time to pull over because things are turning off.

Every ten seconds I would need to stop, and was essentially doubled over, desperately struggling to catch my breath. Ten seconds of walking felt like minutes of sprinting, and then trying to get your breath back as someone sits on top of you. I figured it had to be because of the elevation and the worsening air quality, mixed with my body’s complete physical and mental exhaustion. It worried me, because we had JUST taken our break, and I should be feeling slightly rejuvenated. Nonetheless, we climbed in elevation.

I looked at my girlfriend with a worried expression, not sure what was happening to me. All I knew was, it wasn’t ideal. Also, absolutely no part of me thought that at this point should we still be hiking higher.

Soaking wet and barely able to breathe, we did just that, and we hiked higher, and the feeling of solitude continued to creep in. Finally, we were nearing the highest point, which was the very top of the continental divide. Rain water that falls here either flows directly toward the Pacific or to the Atlantic Ocean depending on which direction it decides to flow down the hill that we now approached. Exhausted, we had at last made it to the very top. Drenched in sweat while struggling to breathe, and completely alone on the mountain, my girlfriend and I looked out over the top of the mountain pass and into the Swiftcurrent valley and saw something so unbelievably terrifying and heart wrenching, that it didn’t feel real. There, right in front of us and quickly approaching, was an absolutely petrifying storm. Like a 5,000 foot wall of darkness, it sped directly toward where we were and was already uncomfortably close. I couldn’t believe it.

We had come so far. We had hiked so high and had said goodbye to our friends and to our options. Now, right in front of us was a wall of dark clouds that you could see was covering miles in minutes and coming right for us.

In general, it’s typically a mesmerizing and sometimes intimidating sight to see the front wall of a big storm approaching you while you’re down on the ground, and maybe near your house of your car. Seeing the front wall of this storm rapidly approaching us while we were alone and at the very top of the Continental Divide was a whole different thing entirely.

Soon, we were being hit by powerful, gusting winds that brought absolutely freezing temperatures. On the High Line side of the Garden Wall, temperatures sat in the 70s. After standing on the east side for a few minutes and looking out into the belly of the beast, temperatures must not have been higher than the mid 20s. I was completely wet, freezing cold, and still struggling to breathe. Terrified, I watched as the front of the storm ate up everything in its path, and soon, it’s winds were upon us.

I looked at Bruce Willis who then looked back at me. We had come so far and had already committed to hiking Swiftcurrent Pass. Our car was waiting for us on the other end. However, we had some problems. Big, big problems.

It was now 5:00 and it gets dark at 7:30. The man down at the chalet told me that it would take us 4 hours to hike it, and that’s IF I were to be breathing normally. Of course, we didn’t have flashlights. Buttttt we did just so happen to have one, adorable stuffed squirrel. I took it out, looked at it, and put it back in my bag where it was taking up half the total space. The squirrel didn’t do much for us. In addition to the lack of sunlight, we also had a lack of company.

Our other option was to turn around and hike down through the infamous grizzly bear forest just south of the Chalet. It’s the same forest that everyone before us had been hiking down in with groups of 5 or 6 so that they would greatly reduce their risk of an attack. It was the same forest where a young girl was mauled and viscously killed, among others. It was getting late, and I wasn’t sure if hiking through that terrifying forest with just the two of us at dusk was that appealing of an option. Also, we had no car at the bottom of that side of the mountain. Even if we got through and past the forest, we would be standing at the bottom of the mountain in the dark, with no car, and about 50 miles from where we needed to be, and no way of heating up my rapidly dropping body temperature. I already had the chills (probably for more reasons than one).

Suddenly, dread began to possess my body and my bones. I had never felt so alone. There was a storm blasting us in the face with freezing cold winds at an elevation of around 9,000 feet, and our only company consisted of man eating grizzly bears who were just waiting for us to enter their domain.

We looked at each other, realizing that a decision had to be made. It was….decision time on the Continental Divide, if you will…

Seriously though, this was an absolutely terrifying and desperate moment. Desperately willing myself to the top of that mountain with every last bit of my strength, only to come face to face with one of Glacier’s legendary storms was easily one of the scarier moments of my life. I honestly began to fear for our lives. I asked Bruce Willis what we should do. She looked at me like she had forgotten every word in the human language. I had actually seen this behavior once before, when I was trying to drive a boat out of a narrow inlet, and all we did was spin around in circles over and over and crash into other docked boats while a group of people watched and judged from the shoreline. In that moment, she looked at me and turned to stone…she didn’t make a peep..not even a flinch, for the entire experience (by the way, this story should be blogged about some day).

So as my girlfriend tried to remember human words, I spoke out loud, running through our options, as freezing cold wind continued to blast us from the valley. The prospect of our car waiting for us was so incredibly tempting. Also, I began thinking that if I only came out of this with hypothermia, but am somehow alive, then it’s a win. We needed to make a decision fast, as the sun continued its descent over the western mountains.

Finally, she spoke. She described in detail the terrible options of both trails off the mountain. It was clear that she was as unsure as I was. However, I needed her to volunteer the grizzly forest route. I simply couldn’t be the one to push for it. If I pushed for it, and something were to happen to her, I would be so emotionally disturbed that I’d probably run away to join the circus and change my name to Penny Cupcakes, never to be heard from again.

It was then that I looked down toward the Garden Wall. I noticed that further away, the storm was now pouring over the top of the ridge line, and racing downwards toward the High Line and beyond. It honestly looked like an avalanche, and was truly one of the scarier things I’ve seen, given the unique situation we were in.

We had to hurry up and commit to a plan , when both options were terrifying. Even if we hiked down through the forest at dusk with just the two of us, we would still be trying to outrun the storm, and be stranded once we got down. Bruce didn’t volunteer the forest, so I hesitantly lead our hike directly into the storm.

Every instinct in my body was screaming for me to turn around. I was wet, cold, struggling to breathe, and worrying about cliff walking on ledges that were apparently worse than what we had already done, but this time through extreme winds and white out conditions, and eventually darkness. Storms up here also tend to carry hail and lightening with them as well.

My girlfriend told me to listen to my instincts and what they were telling me. I turned around to face her, and told her that we were hiking back, and down through the forest.

So we did.

We turned around, and hesitantly hiked down toward the infamous grizzly forest of Glacier National Park.

Part IV-Familiar Faces

Bruce Willis and I quickly hiked down the mountain and back to the chalet. I actually felt a good amount of relief given that we were hiking away from the storm, but I told myself not to take the bait. I knew what lied ahead.

Sure, there were many ways in which we could’ve died if we had continued our trek right into the heart of the storm, but I can think of none scarier, than death via grizzly.

Glacier averages around 3 deaths every year. Ever since those two girls were killed in the area we now entered, human behavior around bears has changed. Yet, in that timeframe, grizzlies have still killed 10 people within the boundaries of the park, and many, many more have been attacked. Hiking in groups of two is not allowed, and if you choose to do it anyway, you’re putting your life at risk. Hiking down through this particular forest at dusk (when bears are most active) with just the two of us was borderline psychotic. However, we had no choice.

Leaving the chalet, we hiked down and reluctantly entered the forest.

It was disturbingly quiet.

We had hiked through grizzly habitat before, and had even been warned of a grizzly that was on the Grinnell Glacier trail while we were on it just the day before, but this felt different. There was no one around to even hear us scream. It was simply terrifying.

During that particular section of the Grinnell Hike, I held out my bear spray in front of me for around 15 minutes, ready to spray it on a moments notice. While hiking through the current forest, I held it out in front of me for two hours straight.

Tall lonely trees surrounded by golden brush and lush grasslands filled our surroundings. The trail would take you through blind corners in which you couldn’t see what was in front of you until you actually turned the corner.

Soon after entering the forest we saw bear scat right in the middle of the path, and it was unfortunately fresh. Looking around I noticed massive grizzly paw prints filling the area. It didn’t feel like they were around, we knew they were around.

While I tried to stay sharp and focused, I also did what I could to think of other things that could potentially get me through this moment. Just as a false sense of security would take hold, I would notice grizzly claw marks on trees that ran alongside the narrow trail. They would serve as a harsh reminder that not only am I terrified of one of the most dangerous animals on the planet running out of no where and ripping my pristine and pure body to shreds, but that I also felt responsible for the life of the person whom I love most in the world. Someone who represents nothing but kindness and all that is good in humanity (aside from her cheering for the Yankees), so the thought of having her here in this place was making me sick to my stomach. Clinging on to a can of spray, I’ve never felt so defenseless in my life.

(Grizzly claw marks on the tree)

Also, lets not forget that the entire time my girlfriend and I are trying to outrun a massive storm that has now breached the top of the Continental Divide and looks to be heading after us.

The good news was, it was much warmer on this side of the mountain and my body temperature was returning to normal. I think the threat of a grizzly mauling also helped raise the temp.

Blind corner after blind corner. Shouting “Hey bear!” every ten seconds for two hours straight. Sweaty palms and internal praying, and eventually, we were out of the woods.

Technically, we were very much still in the woods and mountainous terrain. We now were actually entering an area that had been wiped out because of a massive forest fire, but in its wake of devastation grew absolutely beautiful shrubs that were peaking all over our lives with fall colors. Most of all, we were thankfully out of that terrifying forest, which meant-picture time!!



Of course I didn’t feel like posting to instagram that we had just escaped death several different times and that various parts of this day had me proud that I hadn’t peed my pants.

About 45 minutes later, my girlfriend and I had hiked down the very steep trail and off the mountain. We had escaped! The storm seemed like it was lying dormant near the top of the pass. Apparently it came over the top of the ridge line, and decided to just hang out where it was.

So we looked at each other, happy to be alive, and said, “now what?”

We walked to the nearest and only road, which was the Going to the Sun Road. Our plan was to hitchhike the length of the world famous road to the eastern entrance of the park, and take it from there if we could manage to get that far. That’s when we met a nice woman who just so happened to be on an adventure of her own.

She was traveling alone from Spokane, Washington to a destination she had not yet determined. All she knew was that she wanted to travel the Going to the Sun Road (its honestly that beautiful. Most scenic road I’ve ever seen). We looked dirty and exhausted. After talking to her at a scenic pull off for a while, she agreed to take us to where we wanted to go.

We tried to tell her what we had just been through, but it was nearly impossible, so we kind of didn’t really get much into it. One of the things that took me by surprise and filled me with an unexpected joy was hearing the stories of other travelers. She owned her own coffee shop in Washington and was greatly looking forward to getting in some fly fishing while visiting Montana. She couldn’t have been nicer.

(Ultra HD picture of a bear we saw while traveling the Going to the Sun Road)

After driving the scenic road for a while and climbing in elevation, we entered some world-class fog. It became clear that the storm had dropped further onto this side of the divide, and was now filling the area with complete whiteout conditions. I’m talking the worst fog I’ve ever seen by a long, long shot. You couldn’t see one foot in front of the car. Every other car pulled over until the fog passed, but she just kept going, and I loved it. At this point, I said fuck it. If I die now I die now.

It was then that I looked over at Bruce Willis and reminded her that we would have been cliff walking for up to 10 miles in these complete whiteout conditions, and back up at that elevation there was extreme wind. These unpredictable Glacier storms also tend to carry lightning and hail. I honestly don’t think we would’ve made it.

Still, our driver pressed on through the thick and ominous fog. Eventually, we arrived on the east side of the Going to the Sun, and it was time to part ways. We thanked her, grabbed our stuff, and wished her safe travels as we departed the car.

At this point we really didn’t have a plan. Rather, we were just taking things as they came. We decided to enter one of the many hotels that operate by the east entrance to the park, and to see if we could use the bathrooms and get something to eat.

Once inside, I immediately limped downstairs to the bathroom where I could change into whatever else I might have in my bag. I remember standing inside one of the narrow stalls, moaning with every movement my sore body made, when I heard excited shouting coming from outside the bathroom. I thought to myself “whatever. I don’t care about anything right now”.

After changing I walked out of the bathroom and Bruce Willis looked at me and said, “look who it is!”

Somehow, someway, we had reunited with our hiker friends from way back up on the High Line. At first, it was just the woman. Then, her husband saw us and couldn’t seem to believe his eyes. We were incredibly surprised to see them, but they were in disbelief. The guy told us that he thought we were dead! Also, how the hell did we get here??

It was a serendipitous experience. Out of all the hotels we could’ve entered, and all the places we could’ve gone, the chances of ever seeing them again was next to none. There was excited screaming, shouting and story telling. We then all sat down for a beer to reflect on what was a truly wild day.

They told us that they saw the same storm coming over the ridge line once they were hiking down through the forest (which we all agreed was incredibly sketchy) and became deeply concerned. After over hearing the conversation I had with that man at the chalet who explained to me the difficulty of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, he told me he honestly thought we probably weren’t going to make it. They said they were both praying for us as they hiked down. They even joked that they were planning on reading the paper the following morning to see if any hikers had gone missing.

After we all had experienced the deep fog that blanketed the landscape, they told me we very much made the right decision, and probably a life saving one at that. Joking and reflecting on our experiences together over a beer was really an all time experience. We met each other about 6,000 feet up while desperately clinging to rocks on the side of a terrifying cliff to avoid an approaching ram, and here we were now looking back on it all, reunited by pure chance.We had a great time, but it was now time for my girlfriend and I to continue our trek back to our car. We said our goodbyes, left the hotel, and stood out by the main road hitchhiking once again.

It was pitch black, and there weren’t nearly as many cars as I thought there would be. Car after car passed us, and I didn’t blame them. I was planning on murdering whoever picked us up anyway.

Then, one car came over to us and pulled over. “Get in!” It was our hiker friends.

We hopped into their car and they took us the remaining 25 or so miles to our campsite. They kept reiterating that they really thought we were going to die up there, which was good because it reassured me that I wasn’t crazy for fearing the same thing. We even discovered that the woman basically has the same exact job as my girlfriend. Obviously, I was also being showered with compliments for being the most brave and handsome man they had ever seen.

We finally entered our campground, and said goodbye to our friends. It was a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. I’ve never felt so many varying emotions to the backdrop of such an incredibly beautiful day, while also being dominated by terrifying moments and the fear of death. We hiked 8 miles straight on the edges of cliffs that featured straight down drops for thousands of feet. We made friends while climbing rocks with our hands and feet in an attempt to not be rammed off the mountain (if you will). My body was pushed to its absolute limit, and so was my mind. Seeing that storm directly in front of us after using every last bit of energy to climb over the top of the Continental Divide, was a gut wrenching feeling of fear that I’ve never felt before. Hiking 5 miles down through the grizzly forest at dusk, completely overcome with fear as a storm stalks us from behind was something I hope to not repeat any time soon.

Last but not least, what might have been most unique to this day were the people we met, and whose lives we learned about. I loved our ride with that nice woman from Washington. She was so kind and was exactly what we needed in that moment. It might have been one of the most challenging and terrifying days of my life, but I got through it because of my girlfriend and the people whose words kept my head afloat.

My girlfriend and I limped to our tent at the end of one of the most dramatic days of my life, and lucky to be alive.

So obviously at this point, the only thing left to do would be to sleep, wake up, and go skydiving.

The End

Check out my Youtube Channel!

My First Ever Trip to Old Yankee Stadium

Baseball season is here!

It’s actually been here for a while. It’s sort of half over actually. Anyways, the Red Sox and the Yankees are back on top of the baseball world this year. The two best teams in the league are once again battling it out in the A.L. East. The two rival franchises return to form has me reflecting on the golden years of these two heavyweight teams battling it out. Story time!

So I first came to New York City back in 2007 during my freshman year at Manhattanville College. Going into my first semester I had one priority, and that was to somehow attend the pivotal Sunday Night Baseball matchup between the Sox and the Yanks that was shaping up to be the game of the year. Both teams were tied for first place in the division, and the pitching matchup was leaning toward Roger Clemens vs Josh Beckett.

Most young college students probably go into their freshman year with various priorities, some more common than others. My top priority to see a baseball game probably wasn’t the most common. However, I’m a baseball nut and this game felt like it was for all the marbles. Also, it was one of my last chances to ever take in a ball game at the original Yankee Stadium before they tore it down.

After being in college for no more than a week, I ventured down toward the old Yankee Stadium (which was far superior to the new stadium, given its history). I wanted to go alone so that I could truly experience all the idiosyncrasies the historical stadium had to offer. Just kidding, I couldn’t find anyone to go with.

Off I went, to the Bronx all alone to find the Evil Empire. I should also mention that this was my first time ever riding a New York subway-the first of many magical experiences! 😒. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. My only plan was to ask the warm and kind citizens of New York City for directions as I went. I was literally a baby gazelle venturing into the jungle all alone and completely vulnerable. I was there for the taking.

There I am ^. Happy, hopeful, and delicious. I somehow found my way to the stadium, and pranced out of the subway doors and down the stairs to the beautiful and fruitful streets of the Bronx.

I had about $150 with me, and no ticket. My only plan was to scalp one off the street. There were literally signs every 20 feet about NOT scalping tickets, as 90% of the time they are fake. I looked around for someone selling tickets-someone who seemed honest and dependable. After not much luck, I heard a deep voice behind me ominously whisper “you need tickets?” I turned around, and slowly out of a dark corner came a man who very much resembled a real life version of Cobra Bubbles from Lilo and Stitch.

(Cobra Bubbles)

Lilo and Stitch is a fantastic and highly unappreciated movie, so I looked at this guy in his pitch black sunglasses and said to myself, “that’s my guy”. A match made in heaven. I told him I would love tickets if he were to be so kind. He then once again ominously whispered in his deep voice, “meet me inside the deli in 5 minutes”. I couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Venturing into the deli, I found Bubbles and gave him a friendly wave. He didn’t wave back. He walked over to me and stood by my side. Then, without looking at me, he slowly put out his hand that had the ticket in it. I asked him how much, and he replied “$100”. Without hesitation, I gave him his well deserved money and off I went!

Feeling like a million bucks I pranced through the streets toward the stadium. Looking down at the single ticket I noticed the face value was $12. Not to worry. Even though I just paid $100 for a $12 bleacher seat, all I could think about was the fact that I was going to finally step foot in one of the most historical stadiums in the world. A stadium that had played a pivotal role in my childhood. This stadium basically represented the birthplace of evil in my mind, and it was something I needed to experience before it was gone forever. The smell of sausages on the grill and vendors yelling out to pick up your program. Manny Ramirez, Roger Clemens, David Ortiz, Jeter, Beckett, Rivera! All the legendary players flying through my mind, filling me with anticipation.

I finally got to the gate to hand the stadium employee my ticket. Reaching out, I handed it over. Bending over, the employee scanned the ticket, and the scanner made a worrisome “beep beep” noise. Fake. It was a fake! Cobra Bubbles how could you?! How could Bubbles do this to me? I thought we had something special! Leaving the line, I walked away completely defeated.

For some reason I only had cash with me, and now Cobra Bubbles had pretty much all of it. I simply didn’t have enough to buy another ticket. Walking in no specific direction, all I could think about was how close I came. Peering inside the small openings of the stadium from the outside, I now looked at the field as an unattainable dream. I was so sad.

I even considered finding Bubbles, tapping him on the shoulder, and saying “excuse me sir, but you sold me a fake and I’m not pleased!”

As I walked around aimlessly, I noticed something peculiar. The scanners being used to admit fans into the game began making odd noises. After investigating, I learned that for some miraculous reason, all the scanners were suddenly having issues, and the stadium employees were now instead forced to simply rip fans tickets in half. There IS a God! I quickly ran to a different gate so that I wouldn’t be recognized and handed the man my fake ticket. He ripped it, and I walked through the gate and into Yankee Stadium.

I felt like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music as she sprints up the picturesque foothills of the Alps, spinning in circles and belting out a beautiful song.

Hearing the roar of the crowd upon looking down on the the same field that has served as the site of some of the most legendary moments in the history of sports was something I’ll never forget. However, I soon discovered first hand why this place had so long served as a modern day Mordor (LOTR reference. The films are a masterpiece and I hate you if consider them “nerdy”).

There were literally fights in every section of the entire stadium at all times throughout the game, and that is no exaggeration. I saw about ten police officers in the upper deck barreling down the steep stairs uncontrollably in the midst of an all out brawl. Fans getting carried out on stretchers became commonplace as unbelievably disturbing verbal abuse served as a soundtrack to the game. I did get to see Clemens pitch in one of his last games ever, along with all the other legends on both sides of the rivalry, so that was pretty special.

All in all though, it was actually kind of a nightmare. Cheering for your favorite team in its most hated rival’s stadium is never a good idea. Also, sitting amongst the classy individuals of the bleachers in the most heated game of the year probably amplified the whole experience. In saying that, my main takeaway from the trip to Yankee Stadium was actually about something else:

Against all odds, I overcame Cobra Bubbles.

Dogs Providing Comfort in a Time of Uncertainty

“One day my human friends will never leave the house again!!” – Every dog in the world

The Coronavirus has turned the entire world upside down, reshaping the livelihood of billions of people. An overwhelming sense of sadness and uncertainty blankets our world as countless people struggle with health, jobs, and mental well-being.

However, there’s a silver lining to be found in almost any scenario, and sometimes it just requires a little extra digging to find it.

With the exception of essential workers, the pandemic requires us to almost entirely stay home. We miss our friends and family. We miss our jobs. We miss our lives. But if there is a silver lining to be found, look no further than your furry best friend who’s wildest dreams have finally come true.

At the very least, it’s a great time to be a dog, and it’s a great time to have a dog!

It’s not just current dog families who are benefiting—animal shelters have also reached an unprecedented level of demand they never dreamed possible.

Some animal organizations average around 140 applications per month. That number has now risen to as high as 3,000 applicants at times during this pandemic.

As covered by NBC New York, the founder and executive director of Foster Dogs inc mentions how the demand for dogs is at an all time high. Several shelters have been completely cleared out and emptied for the first time in their existence!

That same article describes how New York resident Emily Lowe adopted two dogs after her roomate had to move out of New York City over Coronavirus concerns.

To many Americans there’s never been a better time to adopt, and the empty cages are a testament to that. People are currently looking for that extra comfort, and our dog friends will always be there to provide their families with love and laughter.

Covid-19 has terribly impacted our livelihood in so many ways, but if we need to find a source of positivity in such a troubling time, just think about the empty animal cages in shelters across America, or take a look at the furry friend sitting by your feet who’s finally getting to spend all the time in the world with you.

“The Seeing Eye”, America’s Oldest Nonprofit Seeing Eye Dog Breeder

Operating since 1929, The Seeing Eye has created over 17,000 partnerships between individuals and their highly trained and trusted dog companions. At the world’s oldest guide dog school, 260 people who are visually impaired are treated each year. This wonderful nonprofit has committed to enhancing the livelihood of those who are blind by providing them with a higher sense of dignity and self-confidence by greatly developing and enhancing their independence.

The Seeing Eye’s campus in Morristown, New Jersey is dedicated to housing as many as 24 students at a time, where they will spend just over three weeks training with their new Seeing Eye dogs. Whether you’re 16 years old, or a senior citizen, students have continuously found the campus to be more than just a source of hope, but also a place where you can begin to gain a critical edge toward personal success. This historical nonprofit has been enhancing thousands of lives for roughly 90 years because of its dedication to providing the best guide dogs possible through the appropriate breeding, caretaking, socializing, and training of these loving animals. After the Seeing Eye’s students graduate, they are armed with the proper knowledge and understanding of the true purpose, handling, and caretaking of the dogs who are to be their guides in life.

According to Carlos Taylor, “having a Seeing Eye dog is a very rewarding experience, and not only for the guide work. By having dogs, I learn about myself and how to handle tough situations”

The bond between people and dogs has always been one to captivate and uplift the spirit through love and friendship, but the Seeing Eye’s commitment to enhancing the livelihood of the visually impaired has provided thousands of individuals with incalculable assistance and confidence to achieve his or her own’s version of success, all while alongside the companionship of a friend.

The Humane Society of New York

The Humane Society of New York has been saving animals for over one hundred years! Founded in 1904, the Society began by protecting the city’s horses against all forms of abuse. Over the years, The Humane Society of New York has grown wonderfully into a larger operation, but their ambitions to protect the livelihood of animals always remained a constant.

Currently, both their hospital and the Vladimir Horowitz and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz Adoption Center combine to help over thirty-eight thousand cats and dogs annually.

Some of the exceptional care the animals receive here include things like;

  • cats enjoying daily play sessions outside their kennels
  • dogs receiving daily exercise by getting to spread their legs out on the rooftop run, as well as regularly walking outdoors with staff and volunteers

The Society understands that this type of care is just as important as the inoculations, spray/neutering and various other types of critical veterinary care that is provided during the animal’s time at the center.

Countless animal lives have been saved because of the work being done by The Humane Society. In addition to saving the animal’s life, it’s understandable that the owners who’ve generously adopted these cuddly friends have also improved their own livelihood. Various success stories can be found on their website’s blog which goes into greater detail.

One such example is the story of the dog, Radar. The owner writes, “I wanted to show you how special Radar is. My mom has Alzheimer’s. My mom only smiles when Radar is on her lap. She loves him and Radar loves her. She has been the best therapy for my mom. Thank you again for allowing me to adopt this special pup”

Another such story comes in the form of two friendly cats adopted together, named Catsby and Miso. The owner describes how “well they are adjusting to the apartment and have already gotten comfortable enough to eat and use the litter box”. The new and jubilant owner then went on to explain how “Catsby was out exploring and looking for attention” and describes how much she loves to follow the owner all around the house, while Miso has developed an irresistible passion for all the cat toys.

You see, The Humane Society of New York has long been not only pioneering the path toward proper animal care and awareness, but has also successfully connected loving pets with caring owners and families. The Society’s individualized approach to animal care has grown and evolved over the last century as new technologies and medical advances become more available. It is because of their pioneering attitude and general love and determination to protect the animals that most need protecting, that we here at Club Pet NYC applaud the services of The Humane Society of New York.