My Review of The Wall Street Journal

I’m currently reading The Wall Street Journal Monday through Saturday. I’m reading more newspapers because of business school. This is my review of the newspaper.

The Wall Street Journal Review

Why I Picked Up The Wall Street Journal

For my Wall Street Journal review, I figured it would be best to walk you through why I tried it out in the first place. Starting business school is scary. At least it was scary for me. Most of my previous education experience was creativity related: creative writing, art, American literature, and literary theory. My job experience often fluctuates between retail and customer service. However, a few years ago I ended up working in an office in a professional setting. Now I’m in an MBA program, and we’ll just have to see what happens next. Recently, someone recommended that I try out some newspapers along with my business classes. That does make some sense. After all, I read literary journals and stuff while I was studying creative writing and literature.

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Sexy Research Tapes

I waited for him to sit down next to the cage before I hit enter. His face was droopy. His breathing steadied. He uncoiled his shirttail and smoothed it out over his belly. He picked up the recorder next to his hand and pushed a button. He sucked in his gut when he caught me looking. He called me Gonzo like he did when I did something stupid. I hit enter again.

The lights inside the cage in front of his face came on. I counted the freckles under his eyes and over his nose. When the catnip plant inside caught fire, he curved his lips. I hit enter again. He sighed. I said I was sorry. He said he knew. We can figure it out, I said. He said we would.

After he left the room, I picked up the recorder, still warm from his hand. I took it with me when I looked over the computer in the corner. I listened to our voices. His voice was always higher after I spoke than it was when he spoke alone. He used bigger words and said longer sentences than I did. Spectrum. Intensity. Fluorescent. I burned two bonsais, three figs, and a Pothos while listening to him recite the configurations of the switches that controlled the wattage.

When the doorknob turned, I ran away from the computer. He looked at the recorder I held at my side. He called me Gonzo and looked away quickly. He sighed and made faces at the smell of burnt chlorophyll as I walked the recorder back over to his table. My sweaty palm dried quickly. He told me he didn’t know what to say. I said he didn’t have to say anything.

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The Ending of LOST (Spoiler Alert)

This is random and I’m sorry. Look, I know LOST has been off the air forever and a day. I know that most people have moved on from it. Hell, even I have moved on. But every now and then, no actually all the time, people say something about the ending of LOST that sends my brain through a crushed ice machine. So, for the love of freaking Jacob, please listen to what I’m saying and know that I’m right because it’s in the actual freaking dialogue. (Spoiler alert) THEY WERE NOT DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!

Endings That People Pay For Don’t Discredit The Entire Story

It was a popular theory while the show was still on. But listen, no professional writer these days would write a story with that ending. The problem with endings like “it was all a dream” or “they were dead the whole time and none of it mattered” is that everything you’ve written before that loses all its credibility and it didn’t matter. There’s no way that would’ve survived an undergrad creative writing workshop, let alone a fafillion-dollar industry where people get thousands of thousands against hundreds of thousands of dollars for completed film scripts, and writers rooms that have to answer to show runners and executives.

So, I get that it was the ending everyone wanted, but it would’ve been a stupid ending. Also, everyone that wanted that ending complained about it when it seemingly actually happened anyway. But it didn’t actually happen because THEY WERE NOT DEAD THE WHOLE TIME!

I do not know how people seem to get the idea that they were dead the whole time. I think people didn’t pay attention. Maybe they were too busy live-tweeting the ending, or just clinging to the idea that they had for so long. It’s strange to me that people still to this day think that they were all dead the whole time. And not just people who heard about it, but people who actually watched the show.

Jack’s father explains everything!

Let me say this to you: if you actually watched the show through to the end and you still believe today that they were all dead the whole time, we can’t be friends. This is not a matter of individual interpretation. This is a matter of you literally just not wanting to care enough to pay freaking attention.

Here is the entire series on Blu-Ray on Amazon. Just so you know, I’m a member of the Amazon Associates Program and earn from qualifying purchases with the ad below.

You can also stream the series on Amazon Prime and some other streaming services, at least for now.

Anyway, the thing is, it’s actually in the dialogue that they were not dead the whole time. Jack’s father literally explains this shit to him in one of the lasts scenes in the show. Jack’s father tells Jack that some of them died on the island, some of them died long after. If you watch the last episode and actually pay attention, you’ll see.

Damon Lindelof Explains The Ending of Lost in an Interview

Here’s an interview on The Verge where Damon Lindelof actually explains this to yet another interviewer who didn’t actually pay attention to the ending of LOST. Check around the 11:00 minute mark.

No, Damon Lindelof. It was clear. Yes, there were problems with some of the other mysteries, but not this one. You did good. Everyone else that didn’t pay attention = bad.

A little later, Damon Lindelof also wrote this interesting piece on The Hollywood Reporter about why he’s super done with trying to explain the ending. However, I’m not there yet. Until people stop casually mentioning it to me as a conversation starter, I’m not done.

And to the people who watched this interview and still think they were all dead the whole time: don’t do that. I’m not kidding.

It’s 2020 and I know I need to move on. There are more important things, like the state of our democracy and the potential for our current president to not honor the system if he loses the presidential election, but when people mention the incorrect ending of LOST, I can’t help it. I try my hardest to shut down and go home, but I’m unable ignore the cataclysmic ridiculousness that has manifested itself. It’s extremely hard for me to let this go. I’ll work on it, I guess. Now I’ll have this blog post to point people to which might help keep my head from exploding as often.

And sorry about the “we can’t be friends” thing. We can be friends. I guess. But seriously, start paying attention, at least to the easy stuff. Please, for the love of Jacob, pay attention.

Did you pay attention to the ending of LOST? Do you still believe they were dead the whole time? You’re wrong, but you can leave me a comment at the bottom of this post anyway!

I suppose you can follow me on Twitter, like my page on Facebook, or use my contact page.

Eric Shay Howard and his Lost Season 6 Blu-Ray
Continue Reading The Ending of LOST (Spoiler Alert)

Writing A Friend In Prison After 13 Years

One of my best friends in high school is in prison for doing something awful. He was on the run for 2 years and has been in prison for 7 years. I haven’t spoken to him for longer than that – maybe 10 or 12 years? Let’s just say 13 years. I have been wanting to write him a letter but I don’t really know what to say. I’m not even sure if he wants to hear from me at all. We weren’t exactly on the best terms after high school. Here’s the story on why I’m writing a friend in prison.

I had a crush on my best friend in high school.

We met freshman year. I had just moved to a new school. He let me sit with him in math class. He was nice. We talked a little every day. We loved the Resident Evil video games. Eventually we started hanging out after school and at each others’ houses playing video games. We were really good friends for a few years. About a year or so into our friendship, I was crushing on him. Eventually I told him and it was not cool. Being gay in 2001 was sort of like awful. He stopped talking to me.

Here’s the thing: up until the point that he dropped me, he was really nice and cool. He was nice to other people, at least from what I remember. He wasn’t a bully. He liked X-Men and Super Smash Bros. He liked wrestling. He had a dog. He had values. His older brother was really important to him. If I needed him he was there. He fended off other bullies for me from time-to-time.

He bought me this X-Men 2 dvd for my birthday once:

Disclosure: I’m a member of the Amazon Associate Program and earn money from qualifying purchases with the ad below.

After high school we made up and talked a few times, then he did something awful and went to prison.

I want to write my friend in prison a letter.

I want to write him a letter, but I don’t know why. Here’s the other thing: our friendship was very short compared to other friendships I’ve had. I had friends in high school after he dropped me that were my friend much longer. I’m not entirely sure why I still think about the short friendship as if it was the best thing ever I had. I don’t have any romantic feelings for him anymore. To be completely honest I’ve seen his prison photos and I’m not attracted to him at all anymore either. But, I miss having his friendship. Or, maybe I miss feeling like one day we will be good friends again. I used to feel like that before he got charged for the awful thing.

So yeah, anyway, I’ve decided to write him a letter.

What do you say to an ex-best-friend in prison?

I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. I can’t bring up the old crush because what if someone finds the letter and gives him a hard time about it? We haven’t spoken in like 13 years so I don’t even know if he’ll want to read the letter in the first place. I also don’t know anything about him anymore. I doubt he still enjoys playing Resident Evil. From what I can tell, this limits our conversation to something like:

“Hey, what’s up? Remember me? You’re in prison and that sucks. I’m not in prison and I’m in grad school. Okay ttyl.”

Yeah that’s pretty much all I’ve got. Writing a friend in prison you haven’t talked to in 13 years is hard.

I could just talk about what’s been going with me, but why would he care really? I could talk about some of the good unique and interesting times we had, but I really can’t think of anything crazy that happened. There were no super funny stories or anything. There’s just us playing Resident Evil 2 and Super Smash Bros.

I don’t know. I don’t know why I want to write him and I don’t know what I want to say. I don’t know why I’m blogging about this and I don’t know if best friends are even real anymore anyway.

Have you ever written a friend in prison?

Have you? What about an ex-friend who you sort of made up with before they went to prison, but not really and you’re not super sure about it and it’s awkward? I suppose I could ask him that in the letter. So far that’s:

“Hey, what’s up? Remember me? You’re in prison and that sucks. I’m not in prison and I’m in grad school. I remember we weren’t speaking for a long time in high school and then I remember we talked after high school and sort of made up. Did we? Are we friends again or not? Okay ttyl.”

Well, at least I’ve got somewhat of a paragraph. Writing a friend in prison who you’re not sure is a friend anymore is awkward.

Have you ever written a stranger in prison?

Don’t they have things like pen-pal services for prisoners? Aren’t there people who write prisoners because it’s nice and it helps them feel less lonely? Are those real or am I just making them up? Maybe I heard about them in a movie or something. If they are real, maybe I should start with writing strangers first?

I used this app called Slowly a few times to write people from other countries. I was kind of cool because it simulated real mail. It took days for the mail to arrive to their inbox and more days for you to get your response back. But like most things in my life I didn’t keep up with it and I haven’t used it since like May. I guess I should respond to some letters on there.

Anyway, I can’t write him like I don’t know him at all because that would be really weird. I know him, or at least used to, and we have a history.

What he was charged for doing was really awful.

I’ve said this a few times, but it is a factor in how I approach my letter. What he did (at least according to the system) was super bad. Like, really bad. I know that there are secretive groups of people in prisons who watch the mail and watch for people who write certain people. These people have people who check up on these people to try to figure out how they’re associated with them. I’ve heard of them causing trouble for some of these people. I definitely don’t want that. I also don’t want someone giving him a hard time when they find out a gay dude is writing him.

I just want to write him because I used to know him and I miss having a friend like him. Well, the cool him. He really was very nice before.

At some point after he dropped me, he joined the military and got really buff which was nice, but then he got into drugs and stuff. I didn’t know him during those times. I only knew him when he was skinny and played video games and watched X-Men. We shared Nintendo Power and Game Informer magazines. We called each other all the time to help each other get through sections in video games because you couldn’t just look up a let’s-play on YouTube back then.

Anyway, I’m not sure if I should bring up what he did or not in the letter. Probably not.

So I’m writing a friend in prison a letter but I don’t know what I’ll say.

I’m going to write him because if I don’t I’ll always feel like I should have. The letter will probably be short and awful and stupid, but I’m going to do it anyway. It might cause trouble, it might not. I hope it doesn’t. Seriously, have any of you ever written a letter to a friend in prison after a long time? How did you approach it? Why did you write them after so long? Please comment below and let me know because I’m kind of needlessly stressing about it. Am I crazy for writing a friend in prison after 13 years? I mean ex-friend or a maybe friend?

Me having my coffee this morning. When I’m done with my coffee I’ll get started on the letter.

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Update: I wrote the letter. Now I just have to figure out how to address it. I doubt he’ll actually write back, but at least I got this out of my system.

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