Of COURSE my life’s movie will be an indie hit about childbirth.


When Zach Braff was writing the movie Garden State, the soundtrack was one of the first things he figured out. So I hope you have Spotify, because I accidentally had mine ready (NSFW Language!).

I am the culmination of everything that has happened to me, as I will be 10 years from now. So any movie about me isn’t just about me doing things, it’s the story of how I met your mother I got to be that person. That being said, so many experiences are universally relatable- people respond to flashbacks because they have their own version of those memories. Anyways, this movie is about childbirth.

Specifically, it’s about Future Me in the days leading up to the birth of my first kid. As I think about the fact that this is a major landmark in my life, I immediately think about the fact that all through college, I separated my history into two parts: before and after my brother was born (I was 9 or 10). I think back to when I shouted on a plane that I wanted a brother, when I first held him, and when I accidentally helped him take his first steps. For so long, there was no dividing line bigger than his arrival, and yet here’s another one coming up. I’m terrified that I’m gonna screw things up somehow, I’m excited for snuggles, and at that point, I probably even don’t realize just how sick of diapers I’m about to get.

10 years from now, I’m working a desk job in the city, and I volunteer at a radio station (I couldn’t give it up!). I didn’t meet my wife there, but she thinks it’s awesome that I have that- she listens and texts me whenever I play a song that she loves/hates. So in these couple of days, I try for life as normal, all the while anticipating. Since I was young, it was my main “life goal” to be a great husband and father…

Flash back to a long montage of when I was a little kid. It alternates between joyous and depressing. Childhood was great sometimes, and awful others. I don’t want to think about me as a little kid trying to cope with my crazy and dysfunctional biological family, but with that are great memories with my adoptive mom. As many different versions of me across the years explain, family is what you make it, not what you’re born into.

It’ll flash back to all of the romances in my life, up through my wife. This starts with Kindergarten, when I got “married” to the teachers daughter(!), includes all that high school awkwardness, and lots of complaining about my city’s dating scene.

One night, I’ll have trouble sleeping. From here we see the development of my narcolepsy (in high school), and all the tests I went through before we figured out what it was. Emphasis on my stubborn refusal to accept that there may actually be something medically wrong, and it’s something that better self-control won’t actually fix. The movie goes back in time when I realize this is just like when I was convinced that there was no way in hell that I needed glasses.

At work, I have a great idea for an equation to fix the predictive model I’ve been trying to make work, and I catch myself almost getting too involved in that and losing track of everything else (like my pregnant  wife!). Flash back to last-minute overhauls of projects in elementary school, endless tinkering through high school, and the sleepless nights spent in the radio station in college. Continue on to a huge fight with my wife because I got lost in my work again. Back to the Future/Present where I save and close.

…And so on and so forth. This movie will really hit all of the highlights, up and down. Decorating nurseries, getting my grandfather’s tools, making dinner and remembering little smartass me “making egg drop soup” by dropping eggs, the whole shebang. My first encounters with life, death, love, and sorrow: the point is, it’s the highlights of my life, as they tie into these nerve-wracking couple of days. 

Anyways, before people get too bored of reminiscing, “Echoes of Mine” from the above playlist starts playing (SERIOUSLY PLAY IT NOW), and I’m rushing into/through the hospital and I’m there with my wife because it’s about that damn time. Here there are lots of disjointed clips of Future-Present me, and lots of the highlights of what we’ve just sat through, at least one clip from every major part of my life. Then, I have the baby and the entire focus is on right now. Everything has led to this moment, and that’s what there is to focus on.

Life moves on, though, and the Every-Award-winning ending shows it. As I’m standing there with our new baby, the circle of life happens, and I instantly picture him growing up, in [some] of those same scenes that I was remembering me in. The future is coming, and Future Me is trying to picture what it’ll be like for the next in line.

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Ahhh… My Day Off


Crazy… I actually don’t wake up to a sophisticated alarm embedded in the headboard of my bed.  Not because there isn’t one there, but because today is Sunday, my day off from work when I can finally play a round of golf.  I shouldn’t really call playing professional basketball ‘work’, though.  I play for the Mobile Frackers, a new NBA franchise that was started in 2018 by a group of oil barons.  Since all vehicles, planes, and boats became solar-powered (due to a breakthrough in research by Sonny Jacobson, a Bucknell grad), the need for oil is significantly lower than it was 10 years ago.  I guess the oil barons made a smart move by getting out of the oil industry and investing in hoops.

Anyways… I get out of bed and go downstairs to see my personal chef, Cheyenne Peppers, making me breakfast.  “I’ve made your favorite!” she exclaims.  “Chilaquiles?” I ask with a smile on my face.  “You’re the best!”  I hastily sit down at the kitchen counter, grab my fork, and dig in.  “These are terrible,” I tell her.  “You’re fired.”  Of course I’m only kidding; Cheyenne and I are great friends.  She is the girlfriend of my manager, Petey Manavich.  They both live with me in my condo in Mobile, AL, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

MOBILE FRACKERS

MOBILE FRACKERS

As I eat my delicious Mexican dish, I pull up my computer on the kitchen counter.  First I check my U, the app I developed several years ago that has revolutionized how people across the WORLD manage their lives.  U is not a social media platform.  (I would tell you more about it, but this is something I’m actually working on.)  Finishing my last bite, I yell out to Petey, “you ready to get your ass kicked today?”

Petey and I hop in my solar-powered Range Hover.  We joke about how funny it was when I had that piece of shit ’02 Acura RSX two-door.

2002-2004 Acura RSX photographed in College Pa...

I really hated driving this car 10 years ago.

Pulling up to the valet parking at Moose Country Club, I am greeted by Parker, one of our younger employees.  “Good morning Mr. Muscala,” he says.  “Please…call me Mic,” I tell him.  I got a lot of crap for changing the spelling of my name a couple years ago, but it has helped my rap career immensely.  Despite my appearance, I have garnered a decent amount of respect in the rap industry with my two albums “Six Foot Eleven” and “Mic Jawz: Great White”.

After shooting a disappointing 78, I tell my caddy Jeff Greens to schedule me for another tee time next Sunday.  My golf game has really improved, but only being able to play once a week makes it difficult.  As Petey drives us back to the condo, we put on some instrumentals and start freestyling.  I’ve been so lucky to have him as my manager — we’ve been friends ever since 2nd grade.

Cheyenne has dinner ready for us when we get back.  Steaks from the grill and corn on the cob, lathered with butter and salt.  Sunday is when I pay less attention to the healthiness of the foods I eat – it keeps me sane throughout the grueling week of workouts as I prepare for the upcoming season with the Frackers.  I check my U one more time before bed and set my alarm that is, in fact, embedded into my headboard.  730 AM it reads.  Time for another week to get better.  As a 31 year-old professional basketball player in the final year of his contract, I need a big year if I want to remain in the NBA and get another contract as a free agent when the year is over.

Then again, when I first signed with my agent over 10 years ago, he mentioned it wouldn’t be terrible if I went to Spain to play ball for the final couple years of my career.  Guess we’ll just have to find out.  ¡Buenas noches!

 

Better Life in 2023


Dear Diary,

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It is now April 23, 2023. Time Flies. I still remember the day I sat in Bertrand Library to imagine ten years later. After a whole day working in PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia, finally I am laying in my bed in Beijing. When I was in college, I was thinking if I could invent a magic door in Doraemon. It is a door that able to bring you to any places you want within a second. I could study or work in United States and go back home after finishing a day. Luckily, the door has already been invented and allows me to go back home everyday. This is the most exciting invention among these ten years.

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When I was in college, I hoped that people could utilize technology to benefit lives without damage the environment. I also hope that globalization could be developed based on social justice and human rights. Now in 2023, clean energies are widely used. For example, my car is powered by electricity instead of fossil fuel. The roof of my house is covered half by solar panel and half by my cute roof garden. Besides the solar panel on the roof, the community I am living is powered by wind power. Wind power was more popular in developed countries in Europe and United States but within recent ten years, the wind power is getting popular in China. Wind turbines are settled in the farmlands or near the beach. Farmers can still use the farmlands with wind turbines stand in their lands. Government subsidizes the use of wind power in order to fulfill the sustainable development around the country. However, the use of wind power is limited geographically. For example, wind turbine could generate more power in Beijing than in Yangzhou, where my parents are living.

 

Furthermore, when I took a class called “Business, Society, Government” in Bucknell ten years ago, I wrote a paper about the dark sides of food industry, especially the food safety problems behind the meat industry. I hope people could have more organic foods instead of industrialized foods. Today, in both United States and China, governments start to subsidize the organic foods, like vegetables and fruits. The meat industry is also controlled strictly by government.  Schools start to educate the idea of healthy diet and the disadvantages of junk foods to kids. The rate of obesity has dropped more than 30% among these ten years.

 

Finally, the uneven development brought by globalization is getting prohibited with frequent social movements that occurred. Apple has settled complete supply chain that allow workers in China to corporate with robots. In this case, the workloads are much smaller than before. The banana industries in Costa Rica are focusing more about the rights of local residents. For example, American companies offer fair payments and subsidies to employees and local communities in Costa Rica. At the same time, those multi-national corporations are more focusing on sustainable development in other countries. There are less irrational exploration of natural resources and more sustainable energy use occur.

 

 

Cry Me a River


Fuck, this post goes against everything I stand for. I don’t know where I am going to be in 10 years, or 5 years, or even next year. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW EITHER. I don’t want to think about life goals and accomplishments. My goal is to go with the flow, be spontaneous, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and sounds interesting. Hence why I CURRENTLY HAVE SIX DIFFERENT JOBS/INTERNSHIPS while finishing this semester. Am I crazy? ABSOLUTELY. Do I love what I am doing? ABSOLUTELY. Do I have any idea where it will get me in 10 years? HELL NO.

One of my bosses that I have worked for on campus the last two years recently told me one of my best qualities is that I’m unpredictable and always on the go. She even said that she has no idea where I could possibly end up in just 5 years; something she can picture for just about all the students she interacts with. And she’s right! Cookie-cutter careers and lives don’t fit on me; I blaze my own trail!

I would love to go to a fortune teller or psychic to hear what they might say about my future and just laugh at the possibilities, but where’s the fun in actually knowing the future? That would take the adventure out of life. I can see myself having about 20 different jobs that diverge and converge in some general direction, forming the sort of career path that looks like this braided river system:

My Path ~ Braided River

I’ll probably be in some kind of sports/entertainment/events/management career in my early thirties, married at least once, chasing a couple of kids involved in a thousand activities like I always have been, and living in my sixth or seventh state or province (Canada would be nice). I’ll probably still be reffing hockey, seeing as that’s about the most consistent thing in my life thus far (going on seven years!) and still have an extremely short attention span and a love for country music and hatred for technology dependence.

Foggy River at Sunrise

Even though my future is about as clear as a river in the early
morning, I can tell you for sure what I won’t be doing in 10 years:

1. Rowing competitively

2. Regularly working 9-5

3. Living at home

4. Acting like I’m still in college

5. Doing anything creative

Imagination was never my strong suit. I learn the rules of the game and play them unconventionally well, but I’m not about to make up my own. I’ll find my own way to “success” and I’ll be happier than you. Guaranteed.

A day in my life (2023)


December 25, 2023.

3AM.

It is the early hours of Christmas morning. My alarm goes off – I know that I have to put the presents underneath the tree for the children. I turn to my husband and say in my cutest voice, “Honey, can you please do it? I will love you foreverrrrrr!” He grunts, gets out of bed, and starts bringing down the piles of presents. I turn over and quickly fall back asleep.

6AM.

“MOMMY, MOMMY!!,” my children scream as they burst into my bedroom, “WAKE UP IT’S CHRISTMAS!! SANTA WAS HERE!” My daughter is 6, and my son is 4.  I think to myself, “Wow, if only I still had that much energy. I can’t believe I am almost 32 years old.”

We are hosting my entire family at our new house in Charlotte, North Carolina. My husband was promoted a few years back, and we were finally able to buy our dream house. The one I had always imagined – red brick with black shutters. It has a large backyard for our two Labrador retrievers to run freely, and a giant swimming pool.

The pool is closed this time of year, of course. But even though it’s Christmas, there is no snow on the ground. I am starting to miss the snow. It always makes it feel a little more like Christmas when there is a blanket of white covering the yard.

The children run downstairs to find my parents already awake and sipping their coffee. Just like my mother had always done while I was growing up, I too have started the Christmas tradition of cooking a large Christmas breakfast for the family. My mom graciously helps me out. It is much easier to cook now then it was 10 years ago, considering my smart kitchen basically cooks the food for me. All we really need to do is press a couple of buttons indicating what we want, and in about 15 minutes, it is all ready.

Today, however, I was in the mood for some old-fashioned cooking. For the first time since my son was a baby I cooked from scratch! Aunt Jemima pancake mix, eggs, milk—mixed it all together and put it on the stove. My mom helped me flip the pancakes, since she has barely ever used her smart kitchen—the older generation is still stuck in their ways!!

Thank goodness for our housekeeper—we just got the new Nanny500! It is the first robot housekeeper on the market. Saves me so much hassle! I am just as lazy as I was back in college…

January 3, 2024.

8AM

Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2024! How time flies…back to work once again. I am the head exec of media relations for ESPNU. It is a sister network to ESPN dedicated to coverage of college athletics. Not only did I get a major pay raise when I switched to the company, but it is also headquartered in Charlotte (my dream town), which is one of the main reasons I took the job.

I pack my children their lunches, kiss my husband goodbye, and the three of us hop into my new Audi SUV. The great thing about this car is that it drives itself. I can’t believe that I actually used to have to pay attention when I was driving. Now I can catch up on work, sleep, or anything that I want really. Yep, the car handles the steering, gas, and brakes, with no input from the driver.

After a long day of work, I head on home to meet up with my personal trainer for a gym session over a new hologram interface system. It’s great! He can see me, and I can see him. It is exactly like being in the gym, except he can work with me from his house, and I can work out in the comfort of my own home. Life is so much easier now, I don’t know how it could ever get better than this!! Things really have changed since my college days.

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Dear Diary 4.23.23


Dear diary,

In a few minutes my family will be at my apartment to visit!  It’s been a few months since I last visited them, and I’m excited to see them for the next couple of days.  I already went shopping and checked off all of things on my to do list before they arrived: buy groceries, clean my apartment, and buy a new dress.  Here’s what my day looked like.

First I started with the groceries.  I had to wait in the car for over an hour, but at least I had the television on so I wasn’t bored.  The air conditioning is blasting since it is so hot outside.   I remember I kept looking at my watch, afraid I wouldn’t finish in time.  I love my new watch; it’s the apple one that is almost clear so it looks like you are not wearing anything on your wrist at all.  I slid my finger over the “slide to unlock” bar and play some music.

My car doesn’t have a radio since they are essentially obsolete.  Everything I could need, the news and my music is all in my watch, so I can take it anywhere.  It’s okay that I didn’t pay attention to the road, since my car is completely automatic.  When I enter my final location in the GPS it drives me to my destination without me having to use the steering wheel.

Once I arrived at the grocery store, I found a parking spot in front.  The minute I opened my car door, I was hit with a wave of heat.  It’s April, but its already 102 degrees.  I walked quickly into the grocery store, hoping to escape this extreme weather.  Once inside, I went over the mental list of grocery items in my head.  All of the food in sight organic, so I am able to find healthy options quickly.  I chose the food I know my family will enjoy, and then I went over to the pill section.

Although they are small, the meals as pills are a great way to get the nutrients I need.  Even better, I don’t have to prepare them and I don’t have to worry about calories.  The pills release different flavors that are close to the taste of real food.  I also don’t have to worry about preparing my meals or accidentally adding the wrong ingredient.  I have a great meal instantly that I know my parents will enjoy.  I purchased a few variations and paid in the front of the store.

After I got my meals in pill form, I drove to the clothing store to buy a new dress.  I didn’t have to worry about trying the clothing on, because there is an assimilated mirror that will show me what I will look like in the outfit without changing.  I picked out a few things, and saw how they look on me in the “mirror.”  It’s not exact, but it’s pretty similar to how I would look in the clothing if I had actually tried it on.  I chose the ones I liked best and paid automatically at the front desk.  There is no one there to ring me up, but one swipe with my credit card on the little machine is all it takes to purchase my dresses.

Since all my errands are done, I am now home.  I unpacked the pills and put on one of my new dresses.  I already cleaned my apartment and set up a guest room for when they arrive.

I just heard the doorbell!  I’ll write later.