Friday, March 27, 2009

Semi apology

Ellie May has chastised me for not documenting my home made corned beef. My feelings were that it just wasn't that interesting. I wasn't sure it belonged in the Spork Hall of Cured Meats.

But I will assure you: it was awesome. If nothing else, next time the urge hits you, do not, I repeat: do not go buy one of those sad cryovac pre-packaged thingies. No, just do it your damn self. Sure, it takes 5 days, but there is almost no effort involved whatsoever.

If you really need documentation, just think pastrami... then simmer it instead of smoking it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Devil Wears Prada

I don't usually do movie reviews. And I the handful of times I have mentioned a movie it was because I liked it. Not this time.

Now, I don't get out much. And I really don't go to many movies at the movie theater. Ellie May doesn't let me -- but that's another story altogether. So forgive me when I mention a movie that's 3 years old. That's what happens when you only watch Netflix and your queue gets up around 200 flicks. But something about this movie really bothered me -- probably partly because it was well liked by critics and even nominated/received many awards.

The movie is predictable, but this might be a spoiler if you haven't seen it. You have been warned.

The premise of the movie is that being smart and working hard really isn't enough for a chick to succeed in a cut throat business world. In order for the fat girl[1] to succeed she not only needs to conform, but it's also very important to dress like one of Elliot Spitzer's $2000/hour call girls. Sure, as a red blooded stereotypical male, those outfits (with $100 unmentionables underneath) are appealing... for about one night -- then they can be stored away in the closet next to the catwoman outfit and the loincloth bikini. I'd also like to point out to all you gals that pay to dress like this every day that you're doing it to impress other women -- not to impress men. We wouldn't know a Jimmy Choo if you threw one at us. But, as I so often do, I'm weaving away from the point.

And of course, there is the subplot where you begin to disregard your homely boyfriend[2] and go for the smooth, slick guy.

Oh, and there's the additional implication that in order to be a successful woman business magnate you have to be an insensitive overbearing bitch. I mean: I'm not all touchy feely and I know whoever is in charge has to be a dickhead every now and then. But I have never seen a CEO that showed utter contempt for his or her administrative assistant. In fact, most of them owe a big part of their success to their "lowly secretary."

Movies are fantasy. I get that. But if you're going to portray a fantasy, have the main chick walk in and tell off the head bitch and walk out -- and let the main bitch realize her mistake. Otherwise it's just ... not recommended.


  1. By fat, I mean only 6 pounds underweight
  2. And by homely boyfriend I mean Adrian Grenier who looks like he stepped off the cover of GQ magazine. They don't try to dress him down at all, either.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do not read this post

That's right, I am asking you to ignore this post entirely. It's not really important. This post is just an anchor that I can refer to in the future when I say "I told you so." You can just file it away. I'll point out when you can read it later.

The lead in story on today's NBC Nightly News was that the government will team up with hedge funds to buy up bad debt.

This reveals the following predictions:

  • borrowing money to pay off bad debt is bad and is generally done by poorly educated people with little or nothing to lose. See payday loans.
  • when the government encourages stupid spending and it crashes the economy (and is blamed on money grubbing capitalists) then the answer to fix this is NOT to encourage stupid spending and investment by money grubbing capitalists.
  • when this fails, it will be blamed on evil money grubbing capitalists. It won't be the fault of the government or that it was a bad idea.
  • selling something that is worth less than nothing is a scam and a bad idea and is only legal if you are the government
  • no person will ever find a clause in the US Constitution that allows this to happen

Note that I have created a Nostradamus sporktag for this and similar future entries.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spork does hard time in prison

That's right... this spork comes straight from the state department of corrections. A gift for me from a friend.

I have half a mind to make a shiv out of it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Firefox plugin: nonchalant.xpi

Caution: proceed only if equipped with Dramamine

I wish I had captured firefox while he/she was in debug mode. I.e.: it was doing great playful leaps while catching bugs. But, alas, I did not. As usual, it is pretty much unafraid of us. It hung around for 5 minutes or so while I snapped pics.

AIG again. What is this? Part 4?

I repeat myself. A lot. But I've said that before.

AIG, America's favorite socialist whipping boy, is back in the news. Let's go over the particulars, shall we? I'll not use the names of presidents as there has been more than one involved and picking one or the other always seems divisive -- and they're both equally stupid on the matter. Let's use the name "Congress" where the real blame falls.

Congress is all bent out of shape that AIG is handing out bonuses "with the taxpayers hard earned money." Odd that they think it's our money now... and not so much when they were handing it out. So the fix? Tax the bonuses at 100%. Forget for a moment how stupid and convoluted our tax code is.... and how the complexity of it is generally what makes people mad and what makes people exploit the system. The real issue here is that the government is bent out of shape on the execution of contract law. These bonuses were put in writing BEFORE the Congress stupidly plopped down our hard earn cash for a failing business. Contract law is just a gentlemanly way of making an agreement -- putting it in writing we all understand so that the government will help us enforce it if one side backs out. Contract law is a byproduct of a civilized government. So why the hell would a "civilized government" want to stop it with an unconstitutional ex post facto law?

Before you answer, remember this: let's think about how "normal" businesses do big buyouts. In most business dealings where big sacks of cash are handed around, folks do a little research. Congress should have known (and most likely did) that these contracts were in place. So if there is outrage here, it is not AIG that deserves it, but the members of Congress themselves. They either knew these bonuses existed and are pretending to be outraged (which makes them hypocrites) or they didn't do their due diligence (which makes them incompetent).

And now they'll haul the CEO in and spank him for the mistakes they made. Oh, gee, we're all so impressed you're working so hard to save us. I'd rather see a Congressional hearing where they drag in the members of Congress and grill them. I'd like to see Nancy Pelosi tear into Nancy Pelosi.

Let me point it out in a singsong, I-told-you-so sort of voice. There was a way to avoid these outrageous bonuses. ('Was' is an important word as it denotes past tense. But don't get bogged down in that, because the trend here shows this will happen again. Learn from it.) Okay, I am going to give it to you -- a totally legal way these stupid damn bonuses wouldn't be paid: the bankruptcy and absolute total failure of AIG. That's right, if the company doesn't exist and the courts divvy up it's assets like a Christmas goose -- then they don't owe a dime under contract law. See -- simple. Now, when the next AIG or GM or Chrysler or Citigroup pops up -- you know how to handle it in a non-controversial, non-outrageous manner.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

It's not news

  • The tragic break-ups of a failed Vice Presidential candidate's daughter is not news -- even if she is pregnant. In fact, the private lives of the non-famous children of famous people just isn't news ever. And for the most part, winning Vice Presidents themselves are not even news unless they are running the country from the back seat or shooting someone in the face with a shotgun.
  • The whereabouts, happenings, rehab attendance, haircuts and pregnancies of Brittany Spears, Paris Hilton and Angelina Jolie are not news, regardless of how many photographers sit on their door steps. (This applies to other celebrities too. Don't expect me to list them all.)
  • If it is hot as hell in August in Texas, it is not worthy of the lead story on the national news. Furthermore, if you run it as the lead story in melodramatic fashion, be careful that when you do the weather segment later in the show that the map doesnt show "NORMAL" for the same region. If it is cold in the winter in Minnesota or wet in the ocean, it is also not news.
  • If your "news show" is 4 hours long there is a good chance that its not news.
  • What the President's wife wears is not news. It's a stretch, but it might be fashion news, but around here that means it is about 6 sections back in the Sunday paper and not on prime time TV.
  • If you have a 30 minute afternoon news show focusing on national news and you have to repeat stories (totally unedited and without updates) from the morning news show, then its not news.
  • If you got canned from being a big city weatherman and landed in a small religious town, it's probably not a good idea to berate the technical staff on air and drop the big F dash dash dash word. It's news, but it's probably not a good idea. If you did that in a major market, you'd be paying a half million dollars to the FCC.
  • It's not news if you are at the animal shelter talking about the bad temperament of pit bulls when the one behind you is playfully leaping and wagging like it was a 5 pound rat terrier.
  • "There was a wreck somewhere in town today" is not news. Furthermore, if you do this story every night and it wasn't some particularly memorable accident you are destined to be considered small town news no matter what the size of your viewing audience. 'Memorable' is a subjective term, but if flames are over 100 feet high or if a diaper delivery truck collides with a tanker and the spill is self cleaning -- that is memorable. "An SUV collided with a Buick, no injuries were reported" -- not news.
  • If it is about to snow for the first time of the season and you do an interview with the guy that drives the sand trucks -- that's not news. Neither is it news if you report on high traffic at the mall the day after thanksgiving. If, for some reason you find out the ice storm of the century is coming and we are entirely out of sand or if there is a huge sale after thanksgiving and no one shows -- that is news.
  • If you have a 2 hour news magazine (which is way too long) and you detail a true crime story from its inception all the way up to the trial, but do not include the verdict (because the trial is still in progress) then not only is it not news, you owe me $40 an hour for 2 hours -- which comes to $60. (I have TiVo and don't watch your stinking commercials.)
  • The above observation should be generalized to be "if you thought it was news, then the follow up is news." Don't give me 4 straight days of "there's a terrible wildfire burning in the West" and then never tell me that it was put out. For all I know there is one big ass fire still burning from 2001.
  • If you are reporting on intricacies of a foreign religion to help us understand why other folks act the way they do, then quite possibly that is news. However, if you have a 5 minute segment on the local 10 o'clock news about how much some random person loves Jesus, then its not news. Let them tell their story Sunday morning to someone that wants to hear it.
  • Furthermore, it's never news if you are a local TV station and do a 5 minute in depth study of one local person's religious beliefs. If you repeat that same story every day for a week, with 5 different people, each from the exact same religion, you have just insulted the integrity of your entire TV station, if not your entire network.
  • If you hired Kathy Lee Gifford then its not news.
  • If you own, operate or are news director of some small town piddley TV station and feel the urge to give a 2 minute editorial for everyone to hear, then this is assuredly not news. The criteria for if your opinion is even worth proclaiming is this: you must run one broadcast where you actually put the commercials in the right spot or don't broadcast dead air.
  • There is no journalistic reason to interview the friends and family of a tragically deceased person in the days immediately following their death. We all know the friends and family are going to say the deceased was a great person and will be missed. If you are attempting this tactic, its not news. If you actually do your best on a regular basis to try to make them cry, you are forever doomed to be called "not a journalist" even if you become the head of CBS news department someday.
  • If you made a taped piece and time has passed since you taped it... and nothing new has happened... then there is no reason to appear live at the scene 5 hours later. We saw the tape. We know you were there. You do not have to prove it to us. It is a waste of time and effort to set up the equipment a second time for the shot that offers nothing to the story.
  • It's not news if The Daily Show on Comedy Central has more news coverage than you do. While this is a sad thing for any "news" show, it is especially sad of the shows that are 2, 3 or even 4 hours long. A 30 minute comedy bit (23 minutes when the commercials are edited out) should never out-news a 4 hour show. Ever.
  • It's not news if there is a Bible quote on the front page of the paper. I would say this applies to a Quoran quote too, but if you actually did that around here, it might actually be news.
  • If your entire newscast is geared towards scaring the bejeezus out of me, then it isn't news.
  • Talking louder or faster doesn't make me listen and doesn't mean it's news.
  • Under no circumstances is it news if at any time you interview Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, James Carville, Mary Matalin, Chris Mathews, Geraldo Rivera or ______. (Use your damn head and fill in the blank yourself. If they are "insightful" then they might be news. If they are "inciteful" then it isn't.) Bill O'Reilly would be in that list but he gets a pass because one time in 15 he actually suddenly makes sense out of the blue and makes me do a double take. The fact that he suddenly is miraculously sane for 5 minutes is news, no matter what your political views are.
  • It's not medical news if Nancy Snyderman is reporting. In fact, anytime anyone tells you all your medical problems are caused by the fact you don't eat low fat, you are not only not getting news, you're getting diabetes, Alzheimer's and a host of other fun diseases. When the fat phobia found false in the '70s is actually reported as new news sometime in the future -- that will be news. (If only there was some sort of foodie zealot to bring this to light...)
  • A news show has an 'anchor'. If your show has 'personalities' then it is not news.
  • It's not news if the White House Press Secretary is talking. I don't care which political party you are backing or which Press Secretary you are referring to -- the job title for this weasel should be Liar in Chief.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Geek: The Origin of the Species

click to embiggenate
Click graph to embiggenate

As a self admitted Geek, I felt it was my job -- no, my responsibility -- to document the origins of my subspecies. Since Geeks have had historical difficulties meeting and mating with the opposite sex, there is the distinct possibility of the collapse of the species. Therefore, it needs to be written down in history for the ages. As I researched this complex piece, I found there to be distinct Eras in Geek History, each iconified by society. I also found that we have recently entered a new Era in Geek History. But before we reach my chilling conclusion, let us study the Eras that lead up to it.


It can be said that Geek History really starts with the availability of the average man to have access to computers. I say man, not in the general sense of the word but, in fact, the literal sense. I don't in any way, shape or form mean "mankind". No -- I mean man. For to be a Geek is almost essentially a male trait. Just as you look at a calico kitten and proudly proclaim it "female" -- you can look at a Geek and proudly say "male."

This is not to say there were not Geeks before the home computer. I am sure there were caveman Geeks. Thag was probably some geeky caveman -- out chiseling the first wheel with a pointy rock. But I am sure he got no credit for his precious wheel. A much larger and much burlier cavebubba clonked him on the head with a much larger and much pointier rock and stole his beloved invention. I cannot prove this, mind you, but I am pretty sure it is true. But for the purposes of this report, prehistory is only theory and conjecture. The prehistoric period is lost to us.

The Dark Ages

As I mentioned: before the computer, there is no good record of the Geek. I suspect Geek history could not be put on paper. It required a relational database or a wiki... or a wiki built on top of a relational database. Paper was so mainstream and has a poor search interface. The true history began in the mid '70s and ran through the '80s as the computer became accessible and available. And this was a dark, dark time. Geeks were reviled, spat upon, wedgied. Everyone knew they were smart. But they were to be utilized for their intelligence much like a domesticated animal -- the world's mental oxen yoked by their own total lack of social skills.

The iconified Geek of the day was a cartoonish character found in fiction: Spaz from the movie Meatballs, Stork from Animal House, Louis from Revenge of the Nerds, Bill Gates from the sitcom "Microsoft" or Urkel from "Family Matters."

The real working Geek heroes of this time were otherwise unknown: Larry Wall, Paul Vixie, Eric Allman (who was not one of the Allman Brothers). It was this geeky group and many others like them that built the flimsy foundations of the internet. Think of them as the plumbers that pieced together the original tubes we use today. It was their great service in a time of nerd torture that gave us the great gifts we have today. Just think what your life might be in a dark and twisted world without lolcats.

The Golden Years

As the mid 90's rolled around, suddenly real life humans (i.e. non-Geeks) became exposed to computing. Prior to this time the most difficult computing issues humans had encountered was figuring out how to make their VCRs stop flashing 12:00 all the time. Suddenly they were thrust unto a world that required actual computing experience. As the internet was born and began its adolescence it became obvious: Geek was chic.

Instead of being shunned or dunked head first in a toilet, Geeks now had a purpose. "Hey, Larry, can you replace my hard drive?" Or "Hey Poindexter. Can you show me again how to download that pornography?" It became common place in the work environment to assign bribe makers to bake brownies for the IT nerds, assuring preferred treatment for their boss.

Geek icons were no longer fictional characters, but were real life Hollywood-like stars: Mark Cuban, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Sergey Brin. These Super Geeks were now cool. They are allowed to drive their autos around town with no license plate requirements -- as long as the car they were driving costs as much as-a house. They own sports franchises. They own their own customized Boeing 767's. One day they were sucking on their asthma inhalers... and the next day they were sex symbols. In 1975, there was no documented case of anyone named Sergey ever getting laid. And by 2005 a Sergey pwnes the interwebs. No greater example could be found of the Dark Ages vs the Golden Years than the Mac ads -- where the slick cool Geek always one-ups the maligned pudgy Geek of yesteryear.

The New Economy

The sudden turn in the economy is quietly bringing an end to the Golden Age of the Geek. Baked goods no longer are a bribe for an IT economy that has been outsourced to India. And this new Era is still unknown... untested. And yet, as I examine the evidence I find it painstakingly obvious: I am the iconic Geek of this new economy. And I have been that Geek all along. The new Geek is the Geek that is also a cheap ass bastard -- in a sense a CABOFH. In true Geek fashion, the comparison can be seen on the following chart:

Golden Years New Economy
It was cool to fill your pockets with expensive gadgetry: Blackberries, iPods, iPhones, iTunes, iGadgets iQuit - Gimme the freebie phone
a house the size of an Ikea live in a metal tool shed
450 horsepower Mercedes AMG 1981 truck named Sally for which I traded a large pizza (with everything)
forget content: your web app needs spinny Macromedia flash applications that consume nothing but CPU and bandwidth a snarky blog page on freebie site that shows how to fix your defective Ford A/C using plumbing parts from ACE hardware gets 20% of your traffic
Monster home theater with stadium seating, drop down projector and a movie popcorn machine 10 year old dusty FrankenTivo... but I can tell you what the internal temperature was on almost any given day
In an effort to make a computer system move from 99.9999% uptime to 99.99999% uptime, you put in duplicate systems in duplicate computer rooms with duplicate power grid connections and wildly diverse routing. There is a realization that 9/100,000th of a percentage costs $3 million dollars and the additional complication of the configuration is actually the cause of most downtime and only one person in the entire universe understands it enough to fix it if it breaks
Geek Chic Geek Cheap
The latest in computer hardware: water cooled, quad cpu (with the OS probably only using one of them), gigabit connected, TCP stack tweaked for quicker gaming, all in a custom neon case that looks like the Millenium Falcon broken 10 year old computers built of stuff your old company was throwing away... with a server/client ratio of 1:1

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Universal Health Scare

Okay, this rant is accidental. I'll try to keep it short. I'll not attack the entire topic, but at least this will keep me from yelling it at Ellie May or scribbling it on someone else's facebook profile.

First, my qualifications:

  • I have lived very close to and somewhat inside the medical profession all my life, though I have no actual medical training. I just know a little of what goes on behind the scenes.
  • I have been out of work for (at the time of this writing) 30 months.
  • I pay my own insurance and have for the last 30 months.

Universal health care is for those that cannot afford health care coverage.

No, actually, it isn't. Medicaid is for people that cannot afford health insurance. This system is already in place and has been for a long long time.

Normal folks cannot afford health insurance.

See my "qualifications." Yes, they can. Sensible people with a fair amount of forethought can and do succeed at doing it. The real issue here is that people have unrealistic expectations. They have worked somewhere that provided ridiculously high coverage and never saw the bill for it. It was "free." Decent coverage with a very high deductible is pretty inexpensive. This gives you enough skin in the game that you do not go to the ER for a skinned knee, but gives you coverage when you get hit by a Mack Truck.

Health care is too expensive

It is expensive. And there are reasons for that:

  • As I mentioned: we have unrealistic expectations.
  • We (Americans) are a high risk pool. We are overweight and just not a terribly healthy society. Much of this is directly attributable to the very government we want to put in charge of our health care... But that is another rant altogether.
  • We (Americans) are too litigious. Bad things happen. Good folks sometimes can't stop them from happening. A lawsuit won't fix it. Use some frigging common sense. When doctors quit just because they cannot afford to pay for their malpractice insurance, something is wrong.
  • Medicare and Medicaid. Whether you know it or not, these are probably the 2 biggest contributors to the cost of medicine. It's almost a double tax. You get taxed to pay for them. Then these programs pay less than cost for the services they take. The medical professionals get what they get and not a penny more. Period. Result? Well, if they charge one group of people at a rate that is 60% of the market rate, the remaining folks may have to be billed at 140% of the market rate to make up the difference. (I'm pulling those percentages out of my ass. You get the idea though.) Now, if you give the same coverage to the middle folks (that were already paying for the programs both through taxes and increased medical costs) how do you think that will affect medicine?

The government will be able to do this more efficiently and more cost effectively

On what planet? Where in the world has this ever happened and had a good result? Compare this to the federal insurance that covers folks in known flood plains (and subsequently gives people an incentive to live in a disaster prone area). How well has that worked out? Do you really want to be in a hospital bed dying of cancer and hear someone at the end of the bed say "Heckuva job Brownie"? (Yes, I know Brownie was FEMA and I am mixing metaphors, but it just sounds so poetic.)

Something needs to be done to fix the system.

No, it doesn't. Something needs to be undone. Having the government step in and "fix" medicine is about like having them step in and "fix" the housing market in the Clinton/Bush years -- because that has turned out so well.


Just a quick blurb to note that we have brave, proud Sporksters now in Moscow. I have now penetrated the iron curtain. I wonder if I need to start putting some backwards letters in here so they can fully understand my Яaиty truth.

(In reality, I expect my Rooskie hits are from some funny sailor hat wearing Swede.)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Move over Dr. Phil. Dr. Spork is in the house

[Editorial Note: Forgive me here for being a little esoteric. It's how my brain works. And while I might categorize this as a rant, it is almost (but not quite) a ramble. But if I have to start making in-between categories (rantble? ramblant?) I will just end up with too many SporkTags]

I was sitting there innocently listening to one of the Octomom's interviews and she said something that infuriated me. No, it is probably not what you are thinking. Sure, I am bothered by the fact that she has 4 times as many mouths as she does nipples. And gosh darn it, it also bothers me that it appears she can spend an almost countless amount of money on conception (and quite probably plastic surgery) when she doesn't have money to spend on living. And, yeah, I guess it also bothers me that the only real money she has is from a worker's comp claim. (I mean, really: your back hurts enough for worker's comp, but not so much as to refrain you from viral pregnancy?). No, the thing that really stuck in my throat was her reasoning for massive reproduction: her desire for unconditional love.

And that just sets me off. It seems as if love is the thing.... the One Big Thing™... that we all seek in our lives. And there is just so much wrong with how we see it. The concept of unconditional love always seems to pop up. But there is really nothing desirable about unconditional love. It is a false concept to begin with... and certainly isn't something to be desired. And it's about as damaging as the stupid ideas of the rescuing prince or destiny's soul mate.

Think about it for a minute. Do you want to love a child unconditionally? Really? If one of your unconditionally loved children kills another one of your unconditionally loved children, are you still unconditionally in love with the first? If they work hard to hurt you or scam you or steal from you... does your love for them not change somehow? At least a little? Isn't the fulfilling of conditions exactly what makes love desirable? Don't you want a child that loves you back and tries to please you? Don't you want a kid to become something? Don't you want to sit around the old folks home and talk about little Johnny the doctor with 2 vacation homes and his own airplane? (Don't get me wrong here... it's pretty unlikely that your goals for them will actually be their own goals... it's just that you want them to have goals and succeed at them.) The whole unconditional love for the child thing is some icky offshoot of the story of the Prodigal Son... another concept I have serious issues with, but won't get into for the moment.

Worse still is this concept of unconditional love as applied to romantic love. And that is even more common for me to hear -- the desire for a spouse that loves unconditionally. Really? So you can screw around, gamble away all the money, drink yourself to a stupor every day and still want the person to love you like that hot young thing you once were? I don't think that is the least bit desirable. And the only reason I can possibly imagine for desiring love with no conditions is the expectation that you yourself will be an utter and complete shit. And if you really think that, you're probably already on the wrong track.

It is, in fact, conditions that we fall into (and out of) love with. It is the condition that there is trust and respect that makes us love. It's the condition that your partner brings home a steady pay check or makes dinner or mows the lawn or takes out the trash. Its the condition that he goes to the titty bar with $20 in his pocket and comes back home with change and no venereal diseases. Love is full of conditions. Love is conditions.

And I cannot tell you how many times I have heard it: a good marriage is hard work. I also cannot tell you just how much this irritates me. It comes from everyday folks, from friends and family and even from the "experts" on TV.

If a good relationship is hard work, that is a subtle hint to me that it just isn't as good as you think it is. That's like me claiming my 1975 British sports car is a great car that just needs a lot of work. (Why don't I divorce it? There aren't enough shrinks in the world to determine that.)

Isn't some measure of "good" synonymous with "how much maintenance is required"?

I am an expert in marriage... as I have done it more than once, so listen to me here. If you are in a relationship and constantly are thinking how hard it is, then it might just be time to think about something else. If you dread seeing your significant other and look for excuses to get away, then it might just be time to quit. And, oddly enough, if you really feel this way, there is a good damn chance someone else in this relationship feels this way, too.

Now I am not saying that every single day of your life should include champagne at breakfast, caviar at noon and your own starring role in your own personal porn flick. That would be unreasonable expectations. As long as you don't marry your own identical twin (which is probably illegal even in Massachusetts) there will always be differences. There may even be arguments. But these just shouldn't be the norm. If you can remember your last 3 arguments then you might have a problem. (Or you are a woman.)

And ask yourself: do you like the person? Not love, like. It seems like we are able to fool ourselves when it comes to the word love. We can rationalize and justify and say its love when gosh darn it, we don't even like them. (And if you don't like them, I dare say, you don't love them.) But it might just be important to like them... be friends even. Is this someone you would want to sit down with in front of the TV with a large pepperoni pizza and a 6 pack? No? Then they aren't your friend and they probably aren't your lover. If you don't want to spend an evening with them then consider you might not want to spend a lifetime with them either.

You should want to hang out. Not that you don't want/need time apart, but you should look forward to time together. You should also sometimes have to suppress that stupid smile when you see them. You know the one... the one you had back during the first week when all you felt was lusty sunshine.

The smartest person I have ever read once put it somewhat like this (and forgive me if I mis-paraphrase): The person you love should reflect your own highest values. In other words, if you are a bright, smart, funny, tremendously attractive person and you are dating a scum of the earth low life -- you have issues. You don't much care for yourself -- and you probably don't really care for the scumbag either. You are going to find out that one day -- either in the near term or in the distant future.

It's much better to look back and think about all the good times you've had than to think about the time you've wasted.