What I Believe: A New Annual Disclosure

At the beginning of each year, Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell writes an annual "Where I Stand, What I Believe" column to tell readers about his stance on certain issues, current events, and topics. However, I always use that first week to write about words we should stop using because other people think they're irritating. But I liked Scott's idea, so I'm going to try it too.

I believe Facebook is making us depressed, angry, and sad. It was meant to be a simple communication tool that let us share our thoughts and ideas. Instead, it has been a major contributor to social, racial, and religious discord around the world, and played a major role in disseminating fake and inflammatory news stories led by the Russian government.

Also, I've realized my high school classmates are staggeringly old. What the hell happened to them?

I believe toddlers should not be allowed to scream, shout, or run around and play at any restaurant that doesn't have a big clown and a purple poop emoji for mascots. You are the only person who thinks your child's antics are delightful.

I'm also suspicious when more than four teenagers gather in public.

I believe I'm much cooler than my kids think I am. I also think I'm much cooler than my kids are. I have friends who like me. I have hobbies that I enjoy and can share with other people. I go to social activities and public gatherings where I can share my work and my hobbies, and people enjoy it when I do. My kids have all that too, but at least I can drive.

I'm shifted my thinking and now I'm undecided on baseball's Designated Hitter rule. On the one hand, everyone should be able to dream. Even Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit six home runs over his 17-year career.

And every little boy who grows up playing baseball dreams of being able to do that one day, so why take that away from him? I bring my mitt whenever I go to the ballpark, because I've dreamed about catching a big league fly ball. If I can dream, there's no reason we should take a dream away from guys who make giant piles of money.

At the same time, you could just hand me a damn baseball, jerk! I'm not waiting around for you to hit a dinger once every three years.

Speaking of baseball, those of you who said "but baseball isn't very exciting," you people lack beauty in your souls. Baseball is calming and relaxing punctuated by bursts of activity. It's the bursts of activity that become the stories we tell later.

And we tell them to our kids during the slow times during the game. My hope is that the games my kids watch with me today become the stories they tell their own kids in 20 years. I have a feeling they'll all start with, "I remember this one game my dad made me watch or he was going to ground me."

I suffer from Impostor Syndrome, the belief that despite your success, it was really all just an oversight, and it's only a matter of time before you're found out and revealed to be a fraud.

It turns out this is something a lot of creative professionals have, even the most successful and famous of us.

And now I worry that I don't actually deserve to have Impostor Syndrome.

I miss The Battle of the Network Stars.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are a lie. Don't get me wrong, I love a good oatmeal raisin cookie, but I have to know what it is ahead of time. Otherwise, I'm expecting a chocolate chip cookie. Biting into a chocolate chip cookie and discovering it's oatmeal is one of the most disappointing feelings in the world. It's the Mom-just-told-me-about-Santa-Claus of cookies.

The letter 'T' is the second most frequently used letter in the alphabet, only behind the letter 'E.' There are several hundred thousand words with a 'T' in them, and there are 33 uses of that letter in this column.

I mention it because the 'T' key on my keyboard has stopped working, as has the number 5, and the dash key. The letter 'R' is not far behind. I often have to hit it repeatedly to make it work, and sometimes it stops working altogether.

Last night, I popped it off and tried to clean underneath it. It turns out it's a sealed keyboard, so I can't do the old "squirt a little WD-40 in the plunger" trick I used to do back in the 1990s. So instead, I copied a 't' from when I could get it to work, and I paste it by pressing Command-V.

I have done that throughout this entire column. I swear, the things I do to keep you people entertained.

So I believe I deserve some cookies for all my hard work. But I swear, if they're oatmeal raisin, I'm going to complain about it on Facebook.

Photo credit: KimberlyKV (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 2.0)

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