Behavioral observations as a new Tesla driver

To cut to the chase, I bought a Tesla.  Okay, it’s really my wife’s car and she’ll be the one making the payments on it, but on paper, I’m the purchaser, since I don’t have student loans and my credit was more optimal to get the financing done.  But we have a Tesla, and I get to drive it around every now and then.

It hasn’t been long, but it’s definitely a fun new toy to drive around in.  There’s definitely an adjustment period getting used to regenerative braking, and how you can literally drive with your foot on a single pedal.  The feeling of there being no gears shifting at all as you accelerate, and the sheer lack of sound of motors or smells of exhaust definitely makes you feel like you’re driving a spaceship.

Without question, there’s still a treasure chest worth of experience yet to be tapped as far as diving deeper into ownership of our Tesla, and I’m sure weeks, months and maybe years down the line, there will be functions and features that we’ll still be discovering, and hopefully none that will have been gamechangers early in our ownership.

But the point of this post is about behavioral observations that I’ve had, now that I’ve been driving around in the Tesla myself for a few weeks now.  I didn’t really think much about it after experiencing some observations, I guess I can kind of understand what’s going on around me whenever I, or my wife are riding around in the Tesla.

  1. Surrounding drivers are more aggressive. This is really the big thing that I’ve noticed the most when driving around myself.  Turning on a turn signal to initiate a lane change, way more frequently than I’ve noticed in any other car I’ve been in or driven, results in adjacent drivers stepping on the gas to forcibly deny me entry.  If at a merge point, surrounding drivers are noticeably more aggressive and out to make sure they get ahead of me, regardless of our spatial positioning.  At stop lights, in just the last two weeks, I’ve had more people act like they’re Brian O’Connor on me, and turn a green light into an impromptu drag race, and seemingly make a point of getting in front of me like they just won the le Mans.  I’m all like, buddy, I’m still trying to learn the pedal of this car, I’m definitely not trying to get in any races here.  Plus, I’m 40 with kids, I’m long past caring about 95% of red light matchups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’ve pushed the pedal a few times, and the acceleration is staggering.  In most cases, I probably could smoke a lot of the cars that have gone Dom Toretto on me, but just because I could doesn’t mean that I am, especially where I’m still new to this and learning about the car.

    But I don’t know if it’s the color of the car, or the notion that all Tesla drivers must be rich assholes, but it’s pretty undeniable that drivers all around me, when I’m in the Tesla, have their aggression ramped up like that one cheat code in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City where you can make everyone super aggressive.

Continue reading “Behavioral observations as a new Tesla driver”

The Thanksgiving post, circa 2022

I am thankful for this photograph coming out pretty decently.  Through Facebook memories, I’ve seen pictures of past Thanksgivings where I remained home with my group of other vagabond friends who didn’t travel or have local family in town and we always got together for evenings of traditional Thanksgiving food, games and eventually Brack Friday shopping.

Then I got married, had kids, and it’s been a minute since we had a traditional Friendsgiving.

I called an audible this year, and made the choice to stay home for Thanksgiving this year.  With three adults and one child that no longer qualifies for lap travel, and no real place for us all to stay whilst up in Virginia, the idea of going up for Thanksgiving seemed like a colossal clusterfuck, so I made the call to forget the plan and just stay in Georgia in the comfort of our own home.  

I just didn’t want to sink a boatload of money on a trip that was going to stress me out when I could’ve gotten the same results staying at home.  Needless to say, the tone of this post is probably going to go downhill really fast now.

Because aside from the obvious things, like the health of my kids and having a better job than my old one, I can’t really think of anything that I’m thankful of this year.  I understand that putting such a sentiment in writing makes me sound like a bitter and miserable person, but at the same time all of the above isn’t really that inaccurate.

My job doesn’t burn me out on a daily basis, but the rigors and daily tribulations of parenthood more than makes up for it these days.  Even with an au pair that is like a gift from god, there’s still way more time than I want where I’m on double duty with both girls, and it’s just so tremendously difficult to manage a toddler and an infant at the same time.  It always makes me feel like a failure, because I can’t really give any one of my kids quality attention because I’ve always got to remain on defense that one doesn’t hurt herself while trying to man the other, and it fills me up with resentment when I logically should not be on double duty but I am anyway.

I am so burned out on a daily basis that people in HR would probably be willing to extend me a little leniency.  I haven’t had a proper or adequate break from being in this stage of dad mode, and I think I might be headed towards a breakdown if I don’t.  I love my kids more than anything in the world, but the day-in and day-out responsibilities that they are, and the fact that I get less than 2-3 hours a day to unwind unless I want to jeopardize sleep and being even a shittier dad the following day never helps.

Even trying to be introspective and analytical, I genuinely don’t feel anything to be thankful of otherwise this year.  I’m just so perpetually full of piss and vinegar that I have no thanks to give.  I am on an island where maybe one or two other people I know probably understands what I’m going through, and my mood swings are becoming more scathing and bitter the longer this continues.

I probably need therapy, a solo vacation wouldn’t hurt, and maybe stopping saying I’m fine when I’m actually filled with anger is a good idea too.   Maybe a Fight Club-like cry session would help.  But none of these seem particularly feasible without clashing objectives and wants, so I’m just left in this bitter mass of existence within myself where I can only hope to find solace in the little things and try to convince myself that they’ll make everything alright.

H-Mart* is where people act like the pandemic never ended

The other day, I took my au pair to H-Mart.  She could see what an Asian market was like, we could take the girls out of the house to stave off their boredom, and I could introduce her to some of the more unique foods in the food court.  Plus, ever since I discovered Bibigo’s ez-Korean stews, I wanted to get some more to stash for a rainy day where I’m jonesing for some Korean stew.

We get there, and while we’re walking into the store, I couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the customers headed inside, were all masked up.  This was confusing to me, because usually when I’m out and about, I’m usually the only one who still wears a mask in public places.

Sure, it’s finally gotten cold in Georgia, which means it’s the usual cold and flu season on top of the fact that COVID is still all over the fucking place, but that’s never really stopped anyone from arrogantly going into Publix or Target without a mask on these days.  The news can literally mention a new variant or a spike in infections, and people still parade around like it’s 2019 again.  White people, black people, men and women, young and especially old people, just can’t be bothered to mask up anymore these days.

Inside H-Mart, it looked like it was March of 2020 again, with everyone masked up, except there were way more people packed into the store, which was a colossal pain in the ass considering I had a shopping cart and a double stroller for the girls.  But make no mistake, the vast majority of shoppers in the store were masked up, and it wasn’t lost on me the ones that were rocking the heavy duty KN95s instead of more casual cloth or surgical masks.

It didn’t take long to consider what the outlier was, which was the fact that we were at an Asian grocery store.  Sure, forget that H-Mart corporate is based out of New Jersey, and most of the produce they procure is from the same suppliers as most commercial grocery chains in America.  The narrative now begins to feel like the fact that it’s an Asian business with a bunch of chinks and gooks all over the place means that China Virus is clearly wafting around in the air, and all the non-Asian folk will be damned if they are going to risk getting it.

I mean, they could just, not shop at H-Mart, but I suppose their low-priced produce and Korean fried chicken are far too tantalizing to resist, and for these people, it’s worth risking their lives and looking like passive racists.

But hey, if you’re exasperated with people arrogantly not masking up, start going to H-Mart to shop for your groceries instead of Publix or Kroger.  If you’re not Asian you’ll look like a racist, but at least you can shop somewhere where most everyone is finally being careful for a change.

*and presumably any other Asian-run business that non-Asian people like to patronize

Kairi, and the long overdue IWGP Women’s Championship

When I heard the news that KAIRI (FKA. Sane) had become the first-ever IWGP Women’s Champion, I was both pleased and disappointed.

I liked Kairi Sane when she was a part of the WWE; she really captured the imaginations of those who watched her rise in NXT through the Mae Young Classic (which they really should consider doing again), and I enjoyed her development into the main roster where she formed an entertaining team with Asuka.  She could work and had charisma, and I was disappointed when it was revealed that she did not re-sign with the WWE, but understandable given the circumstances of her wanting to go back to Japan.

Needless to say, I’m happy for her that she’s the inaugural IWGP Women’s Champion because I always liked KAIRI, and I think she deserves it.

However, at the same time, I’m perplexed and mostly disappointed in the fact that in 2022, is when New Japan Pro Wrestling had finally decided to create an IWGP Women’s Championship.

Sure, NJPW never really had a women’s division at all, often outsourcing their need for women talent mostly to Stardom, but as the rest of the world continued turning, NJPW remained in the Bronze Age as far as gender equality went.  Which is doubly ironic, because Japan is home to such a deep well of female talent, both Japanese and foreigner alike, with most of the latter ex-pats coming to Japan on their own fruition as it’s known to be such a robust scene to grow as performers.

For as much of the weebs of the world think that Japan is this magical culture that can do no wrong, the fact that there’s never been an IWGP Women’s Championship until now is just a little microcosm of where they as a culture truly are behind the times.  And it’s not even just about wrestling, it’s the simple fact that as culture, Japan is still extremely misogynistic.  Sure, they’re no draconian Sharia law country, but they’re still a hundred years behind the United States, and we frankly are mediocre at just about everything.

Either way, I’m pleased with KAIRI becoming a champion once again, but it really is kind of pathetic that it’s taken this long for NJPW to even have something of a women’s championship in the first place.

Re: Argentina vs. Saudi Arabia

I’m pretty sure these guys were the officiating crew in Lusail this morning.

Obviously, I didn’t watch because fuck getting up at 5 a.m. to watch a game I have no interest in, but I was curious enough to check the score while I was preparing the girls’ breakfast, because frankly I thought Argentina was a strong contender to win it all.  Lo and behold, the crooked number was next to Saudi Arabia, and I’m just like wtf?

Naturally, the red flags start popping up in my head, because on paper there was absolutely no way in hell’s hell that Saudi Arabia should have any business defeating Argentina, much less competing with them in the first place.  But being in Qatar, the Islamaphobic conspiracy is that the royal family or something must clearly be paying off the refs or something in order to buy wins for the Saudis.  Sure, they still had to get the ball into the net a few times to equalize the great Messi and then take the lead, but some outside interference could help with that.

The game summary was especially interesting, because after the Saudis took the lead early in the second half, the six yellow cards that were issued to them throughout the rest of the game clearly says that they were not being shy about physically defending their side of the field, and took it too far multiple times.  The ten offside penalties by Argentina probably says they were pressing, and bad officiating will call offsides if someone farts on the pitch.

My favorite though is the fact that Saudi Arabia only took two shots on goal, and they both happened to go in.  That truly is some Game Genie-like luck and accuracy, that I’m hard pressed to believe that even the greatest teams in futbol history have ever achieved.

Regardless of all the skepticism and bad jokes, the reality is that Argentina still shit the bed and suffered probably one of the most humiliating upsets in World Cup history.  Whether they were completely looking beyond the team in front of them, or maybe some of their 900 kilos of imported meat to circumvent Islamic restrictions went bad on them, but the fact of the matter is that no matter the interference and impartiality of the officiating, they still let a tremendously inferior team get the ball into the back of their net twice.  

They’re in one of the weaker groups, and on paper, should by any right still make it out, but they’ve got no more breathing room at this point, but historically some powerhouse always gets owned in groups, and based on this clown car performance, it might just be Argentina, regardless of they were tampered with or not.

Thoughts on The Walking Dead “Finale”

Although I can’t promise that what words come from my fingers in ensuing paragraphs might not be blatant spoilers, don’t read too much into the quotation marks in the title.  S11E24 of The Walking Dead was most definitely the finale to the series, but there’s a lot of nonsense in the final eight minutes of the runtime that very much implies otherwise, and that’s all I’ll say about that, at least not without a tastefully placed cut.

Honestly, leading up to the long-coming series finale, I actually did not have any high expectations that it was going to be any good.  Frankly, I still maintain that the series still peaked with Negan and the Saviors, which I think was season 7 or 8, so that means the last 3-4 seasons have definitely been on a downhill trajectory.

However, all things considered, in spite of the low bar I had set, the final episode was actually better than I had anticipated.  Without giving anything away, the episode resolves the supposed final conflict fairly early on, so the rest of the episode was actually allowed to breathe and methodically wind things down, instead of a mad dash of trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible in a sloppy manner /coughGameo Thrones.

I make the analogy a lot, but The Walking Dead also feels like the Rurouni Kenshin bell curve, where the television series peaked hard with Shishio and the Kyoto arc, but then went downhill until the series was mercifully ended.  TWD’s surprisingly positive finale still doesn’t save it from a similar fate, and much like Breaking Bad ended with generic Jack the White Supremacist when Gus Fring was so good, Pamela Milton and the Commonwealth seems like such a weak antagonist to end with, especially after Negan.

Alright, enough with the eggshells.  Continue reading “Thoughts on The Walking Dead “Finale””

I don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever be with AEW

I was perusing through my YouTube recommendations, and I came across this clip of Kenny Omega challenging Will Osperay, and what caught my attention was the fact that it was dated just a day ago.  Perplexed, I bit, and I watched this not just impressive for Kenny Omega, but a very impressive promo in general, where yep, Kenny Omega was challenging Will Osperay, at WrestleKingdom, New Japan’s version of Wrestlemania.

It was a very thoughtful, impassioned, and good promo, that doesn’t just flex Omega’s fluency in Japanese, but just the whole package of delivery, context and dialogue were fantastic.  It was without question one of the best promos he’s cut in ages, and without any doubt, better than any promo in English he’s ever cut for AEW; that company he helped found, and is an EVP for, regardless of what kayfabe stripping of titles Tony Khan might have declared.

What I’m really getting to is exactly what the title of the post is; no matter what he accomplishes in AEW or the role he plays in AEW, I just can’t believe that at any point, his heart will ever truly be in AEW, because Kenny Omega is such a monumental weeb that has already given his heart to Japan, and by proxy, NJPW.

Forbidden doors and all those buzzwords that love to be thrown around in the current era of the business, but it’s just silly to me that AEW’s (arguably) biggest star is loaning himself to NJPW, and if I’m a betting man, will probably put on the greatest match he’ll have had over the last 3-4 years.  Dave Meltzer will jizz out 7+ stars to describe the match, and international buy rates of the show will probably benefit from this match being announced. 

And it will all be under the umbrella of another promotion.

NJPW will own all the footage of the match, and AEW won’t be able to show any clips of it.  Omega will go from having a mega Broadway of a match against Will Osperay in the Tokyo Dome, and then two weeks later be selling for Orange Cassidy and the Best Friends in Nassau Coliseum with the Young Bucks, whom I also don’t think they really care nearly as much about AEW as much as they do their YouTube channel.

The Oracle (me) says that Omega does the job, because he’s still kind of on the mend, on the later stages of his career, while Osperay is still very much rising to his prime, and logic dictates that another promotion’s guy shouldn’t beat the house talent, but when it comes to AEW and their relationships with other promotions, it always seems like they usually win out, even if it means Omega absconds with the IWGP United States championship.  It’s not like they haven’t done it before.

But I also think that there’s the possibility that this booking was reactionary to the WWE loaning out Shinsuke Nakamura to Pro Wrestling NOAH to have a match against the Great Muta who is kind of a (endless) retirement tour, since both events are on New Year’s, and if that’s the case then Osperay wins, with probably there being a fuckton of interference in order to keep heat strong for the future.

I could expound on a variety of opinions, but ultimately, it all boils down to this hunch, this feeling, that I just don’t think Kenny Omega’s heart will ever really be with AEW, no matter what Tony Khan pays or does for him to try and win it. 

I’d love to see the outtakes of the promo, because it probably took 28 takes at the part where he said he was surprised to have gotten the call from NJPW, because in reality he probably reacted like Stewie Griffin finding out he was going to Disney World at the opportunity to perform for NJPW again.  Frankly it’s like the best of both worlds for him, because he gets to keep his AEW paycheck going, but he gets to go to Mecca and perform at the Tokyo Dome against an incredible talent like Osperay.