Pie Time

If you have seen the American Pie movie (one of my favorites), you know that Jim’s “Pie Time” is… well, rather disgusting. I’m writing about a much cleaner version of Pie Time.

If you were born, you have seen Men in Black (stretched assumption I know). Tommy Lee Jones’ memorable role as Agent Kay is far from pleasant. He plays an old codger who constantly bickers about an obvious underlying issue. The audience doesn’t find out this issue until MIB 3, so I won’t spoil the ending. When Kay wants to “get away” from the world, he orders a slice of pie from his favorite diner. Anytime Kay gets around pie, he becomes vulnerable and seems to be at peace.

Pie has got to be my least thought about dessert. Milkshakes, Strawberry Sorbet Pints, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cones (to name a few) are my sweet-tooth satisfiers. I consume these desserts for instant gratification. The design of pie is far different than my other nasty cravings. You don’t normally take pie “on-the-go”, which is the beauty behind this dessert.

I had a privilege of sharing a slice of pie with a dear friend. We truly opened up about personal struggles and temptations. We went beyond “surface talk”. We just caught up. This intimate conversation resulted from our love and craving for pie.

The lack of “Pie Time” results with seasonal friendships. These are friends that you lose after a break-up. These are friends that you stop communicating with when you move off. These are the friends that don’t forgive you of your transgressions. You get the point. Pie Time requires effort. There is planning involved. I’ve always heard people say, “I’m friends with everyone.” That phrase is usually followed by, “But I can count my best friends on one hand.” I think that applies to a lot of people, but I think the definition of “best friend” is misused. The adjective, “best” has been inserted and is universally accepted. Proverbs 17:17 speaks about friends but not “best” friends. Hear the Word of The Lord: “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” Are there really different levels of friendship, or has society created another norm?

So I encourage you to find your “Pie Time” with your friends. It could be a cup of coffee, a glass of Scotch or a fine cigar. That’s between you and your inner circle.

Riley Blogging Off

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It Starts With An Earthquake

According to the Mayan calendar, the clock is ticking and I have until December 21, 2012 to complete my bucket list. I’ve stopped collecting cans, started preparing for the end of the world, and have surrendered to the inevitable, impending doom preparing to gash this world’s Titanic.

Since, I have no intentions of being a hero (remember what happened to Jack Dawson), I might as well have some fun living the American dream and completing my bucket list while everyone else is freezing their organic milk and stocking up on MRE’s.

1. Sit with President Clinton’s jazz band.

I was filtering through my list and found an easy starter: sit-in with President Clinton’s jazz band, the Three Kings. The legendary jazz trio claims they ”swing pretty hard with some cool jazz” and have been rocking high school auditoriums for years.

2. Break-up with Adele to inspire a new record.

The inspiration of Adele’s latest album, 21, followed a recent break-up. I doubt she can emotionally handle another, but the world is anxiously awaiting her next album. I’m going to set fire to the rain by breaking up with Adele. With only three weeks to inspire, write, and record, I’ve got to be smooth. #RileyStyle. Be on the lookout for Adele’s newest record, 24, to drop sometime before D-Day.

3. Teach an Indian Ringneck Parakeet to sing “Indian Outlaw” by Tim McGraw.

With my bewildered sense of humor, this would easily gain a few million hits and kill on YouTube. Why not make an easy buck?

4. Step in for a wasted Eddie Vedder to sing Yellow Ledbetter at a Pearl Jam concert.

My music taste varies, but I never get tired of grunge. It was a brief time in the history of music but unforgettable, to say the least. Pearl Jam has been labeled as “the most popular American Rock’n’Roll band of the ’90′s” (as mentioned in their documentary). There would be no greater accomplishment than to take the lead on stage while EMTs are working to pump the stomach of a rock legend. After my many years of impersonating Christian Bale as Batman, trying to emulate Eddie’s guttural noises should be a piece of cake.

5. Ask Bill Paxton for his belt and survive a Twister.

Bill Paxton is the only person in the world whose belt has a bigger following than the actual wearer. This isn’t technically tornado season, but it’s worth the adventure. Oklahoma, here I come! By the way, I’m more of a Jami Gertz kind of guy.

6. Eat Goldmouth’s cornbread.

I’m no “Can’t Get Right”, but I will sure perform any ludicrous act at the chance for copious amounts of cornbread. And yes Goldmouth, even if that means eating all of yours.

7. Finger-gun with Clint Eastwood.

Clint Eastwood is my favorite director, spaghetti Western star and political analyst. Not many people on this planet can make a ghost chair go viral on social media. Every time he shoots a gun, he hits his target. Let’s not forget his unbelievable role in “Gran Torino”. Clint Eastwood, a man older than the dirt under Moses’ fingernails, does not let his age affect the “Sudden Impact” of his memorable quotes. “Get off my lawn” became his signature phrase to the Millennials, and we are still talking about it. Finger-gunning with the old guy would “make my day.” After he kicked me off his lawn, that is.

This list does appear to be quite a feat to finish in less than a month, but if Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson can travel to Hong Kong and hire a “street professional,” then I should be able to cross off most of this list. 

Disconnection of Man

Veteran’s Day really opened my eyes to a new realization: I am disconnected from the American Founders. I saw many professors be acknowledged for their service in the military. Many of my predecessors had to fight to survive and did not have the luxury of sustainable living. I began to evaluate my merit, manhood and masculinity.

The Baby Boomers’ dissolve couldn’t be more detrimental to our society. Their job of educating the men of my generation isn’t complete. We just don’t get it. (Millennials)

The disconnection of man was illustrated best by a presidential meme. The content listed the past presidents in their “uniforms”. I was astonished at how many presidents actually fought in the military, and when it came to Bill Clinton, he was in a band uniform. I’m not trying to dehumanize any former president who wasn’t in the military, but it added light to my perspective.

The 2012 election was a perfect example of having two disconnected individuals whose victory was determined by the flip of a coin. Regardless of the Electoral College numbers, half of the country wanted a new face in the Oval Office, and the other half desired the incumbent.

On the right-wing, they pose an issue with Obama: he isn’t a true American living the American Dream. On the left-wing, you have a billionaire with distinguished hair who may have had a small business, but cannot connect to the public.

I don’t think serving in the military nor owning a small business are the only indicators of being man, but there is a commonality between men: disconnection. I’m not sure if a true connection between men and society is attainable, but every man should want a new experience. That experience leads to relationships. Those relationships develop into connection. Most “men” are selfish and won’t adapt to a new concept because they become complacent in their activities.

A woman expects a man to be chivalrous, strong, faithful and motivated to name a few… Can a man be itemized? I think we are bigger than the amount of credit we receive. Our expectations tend to mold us into ourselves. If the expectations of men are low then a man has no room to grow.

I hope men do not allow this continuation to occur, but sometimes you have to get dirty to understand how people are wired.

Riley Blogging Off

A-where-NES

Pumping out another blog while traveling to San Francisco. Here’s a question I’ve been wrestling with: “Does being aware make you intelligent?” My professors drill me for not checking the news every day. They tell me that it is essential to be up-to-date with world-events. In the communications field, if you are not aware of current events, you are less knowledgable than you were in your birthday suit.

Let’s dive in the dictionary, shall we? Intelligence: “1 a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason”

I think it is extremely important to understand how different cultures operate; if we weren’t aware of those issues, then we could not function as a society. The question remains, Does being aware make you intelligent?

If media frames the message and filter what they want us to hear, I have a hard time believing that you are intelligent just because you were awake at 7am and caught the TODAY program. With that in mind, how do you achieve intelligence? I’ll reference the definition again, ‘skilled use of reason.’

I conclude that being aware could stem intelligence, but it depends on your discernment once you’re equipped with the news or knowledge. Watching the news while laying dormant on the couch does not help society. Media informs us in hopes that this knowledge will cause us to react, which makes the individual intelligent. This is the basic concept of the intellectual property.

Riley Blogging Off

Full Name Syndrome

MacGruber is a character on Saturday Night Live (SNL). He’s known as the handy-man that can fix anything. “This looks like a job for MacGruber” is a direct quote from an episode. How many of your friends state their name as a solution? I’m often caught between Will’s World and reality. I love when people call on me for assistance because I can fix anything. Oh wait… I am just a man. You may find me saying, “Of course I can do that, I’m Will Riley.” I justify that thought when my friends say I can do anything because it makes me feel less conceited. I have a case of Full Name Syndrome.

Indicators of Full Name Syndrome:

  • Someone states their Full Name, and it is the entire sentence. i.e. “I’m Will Riley.”
  • You ask a friend for advice; they respond with, “You’ll be fine! I mean… you’re Will Riley (insert your name).”
  • You never have doubt because you claim you can do anything.
  • You take Phillipians 4:13 to a new level, “I can do all things through myself because my name is my strength.”

Full Name Syndrome is very dangerous, and if you have this sickness, then I would advice you to visit your friends for therapy. You might not even realize you are sick. If you are oblivious to your illness, then ask them.  I’m sure they’ve noticed. This quote was said to me at a PR conference: “You are the average of your 5 closest friends,” so chances are, your friends think the same as you. Don’t be alarmed if you are asked for help because you might need to council and explain this syndrome to someone. All of this sounds foreign to you, right? It’s a schema that people don’t realize until it’s revealed. Who likes being told they are full of themselves? (rhetorical question)

Honesty fueled the publishing of this blog. My advice: stop thinking you can change the world because you will eventually fall. There have been several Hollywood icons as well as your own colleagues and friends that continue to fall flat on their faces — all caused from Full Name Syndrome.

Riley Blogging Off

Freshman Fun

At 18 years old, stupid decisions are often blamed on adolescence. At 21 years old, stupid decisions are placed on stupidity. I do not feel that I have peaked in my intelligence, but my constructs have been shaped quickly to not consider juvenile acts because of my roles in college as well as in the community. The realization struck me a few weeks ago when someone had asked, “Where is the old Will?” This phrase is far from foreign. This is a reoccurrence since I moved off to college or even when I became a believer in Christ — a new chapter is added, but I really enjoy this current “Florence State of Mind”. I will venture to say that I am one of the busiest persons at the University of North Alabama, and it is due to my freshman year decisions. Those decisions affected the trajectory of my collegiate career. I traded Freshman Fun for a serious approach to life. Jumping in the fountain or striding across the top of the student center used to be fun, but now it is viewed as illegal. What happened?

I am experiencing “Growing Pains” because I’m still adapting to having gained more responsibility. I discovered that it’s a privilege to have responsibility. Despite my duties, I need to nap… even Jesus napped. Setting time aside where I can freely think and have fun is crucial for my life.

Here I am in my final year in college; I have been reconnecting with my old freshman-self, and my brain is finally getting a rest.

Riley Blogging Off