Is Superstore a super hit?

I keep seeing commercials for the NBC show Superstore. My impression is the show isn’t very good. Does anyone reading this watch the show? The season premiere airs in a week or so, and it’s an Olympic-themed episode. The Olympics ended about a month ago. So I’m guessing they shot the episode during the Olympics and thought, “Perfect timing!” But then, oh yeah, it’s not airing during the Olympics. Seems like a glaring error to me on the part of the producers/writers, etc. maxresdefault
But in a more broad sense, it just doesn’t make me laugh. The setup reminds me of the office; a bunch of employees who work in a setting where stuff goes wrong, with a boss that is not qualified to have that position. Only thing is Steve Carrell as Michael Scott nailed it, and I’m not  sure Superstore matches up with that level of humor… at least pre-Michael-Scott-leaving-The-Office.

So do you think the show will make it, or will it suffer the same fate as shows like The Muppets, Extant, and Undateable? Feel free to chime in below!


Do you still like me?

It was somewhere around 6th or 7th grade and my girlfriend was a cute curly-headed girl named Wendy Binstead. In the early 90s when this relationship blossomed, there were 3 ways to talk to someone. Only 3. In person, on the telephone, or through mail. So for me, there was a certain excitement when the phone rang. Usually the call was for my parents, but for the few seconds before someone answered there was always a chance it could be her. There was an air of wonder when the mail came, as well. Oh, I got a Valentine’s card from her once and the front said, “For my special guy.” Wow. I was over the moon about that one. I was a guy. Not a boy. Not a 7th grader. A guy.

She and I talked on the phone a few times a week, I suppose. And to this day I remember asking her pretty much every phone call, “Do you still like me?” I’m not sure why I asked her that, but my suspicion is that I believed at some point her answer would be, “No.”

I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Thinking back to those conversations makes me laugh, but also a tiny bit sad that I was so shy and not so confident. Why can’t a good thing keep going? Why did I think it would come to an end sooner or later?

The 7th grade Ben is all grown up now. But even at age 37, I still want to be liked. That’s part of my personality. I’m still shy. I have more confidence, but I also still care about what people think of me. It affects how I think about myself, whether that’s totally healthy or not.

On these phone calls with Wendy, I also remember long periods of silence. It sounds awkward now, but it wasn’t awkward to me back then. Maybe there was comfort just knowing that I was “with” her, like that lone fact was enough, whether we talked or not. This common occurrence was an early sign that quality (or quantity) time was something I valued.

Someone wanted to be with me, and even today, that’s more valuable than gold… and words, too.

-Out of the Wilderness

The stop sign stopped me

How many people have been literally stopped by a stop sign? Well, now I can raise my hand as a response to that question.

It was a pretty predictable day until this happened! A little rain and low tread on the tires made this right turn more than I could negotiate. I’m so lame!

Light damage to the front bumper, light damage to my ego.

-Out of the Wilderness


A vegan diet and what I’m learning

When I changed my diet a couple years ago by cutting out dairy and meat altogether, the biggest catalyst was concerning my allergies. My friend challenged me by saying that if I cut out dairy, my allergy symptoms might diminish. I was so happy over the course of the next few months and year that it seemed to be working. I learned a lot along the way, other benefits from eating healthy that wasn’t even part of the plan.

So now that I’m currently sneezing and itching my eyes, I thought it might be a good time to talk about my vegan diet. I’m not afraid to admit that what I originally thought may not be true. Maybe I thought eating a lot healthier was a pot of gold, that it would solve all my allergy problems, that I’d avoid a heart attack like my grandfather and father both suffered, that I wouldn’t get older. Like being a vegan was a magic pill or something. But sorry Chainsmokers featuring Halsey, we are getting older. Fact of life. We are all getting older. And no one has all the answers.

I’m sure that song is some kind of metaphor that I just haven’t thought about, but anyway, back to the diet. I’m still so happy I woke up to the reality that what goes in my body is important. Good metabolism is awesome, but that was no way to excuse my careless habits. So where am I now?

-big fan of Amy’s brand (vegan and vegetarian meals), Healthy Life brand breads, Food for life frozen breads.

-love avocados, sweet potatoes, rice, cantaloupe, spinach, almond milk, orange juice, apples, mushrooms, bananas, peanuts, peanut butter, veggie burgers, and more.

-thinking of the future and avoiding the same fate as my dad and grandfather, no heart attacks!

-more aware of organic foods, dyes that are in snacks and food and how they relate to behavior (side note: there’s a school of thought that these dyes and other manufactured elements in food contribute directly to autistic characteristics and behaviors)

-if you’re thinking, “I could never give up _____,” but you know something needs to change, try an alternative food to the one you can’t give up. There are a lot of healthy choices out there, more now than ever.

-I have dreams where I eat meat, or drink milk, and it breaks my heart, then I wake up and feel so relieved. Better than my other dreams where I’m hanging with Taylor Swift and wake up disappointed it wasn’t real🙂

-I noticed the other day that I still wear my gym shorts from middle school. I say that because middle school was over 20 years ago. Please, no comments on my wardrobe choices, I know I have problems there🙂 but I think it’s pretty great that my body is still not gaining weight in undesirable areas.

-I believe in the power of medicine, haven’t given that up… but I like to think of alternatives too, when it’s possible.

I suppose that’s about all for now. If you have any questions, I don’t know a lot but I can try to steer you in the right direction, like my friend did for me a couple years ago.

-Out of the Wilderness


September allergies, and a few ways to fight them

September should be renamed Symptomber, amiright!? I’ve got sneezes, throat itchy, watery eyes, and a nose that should try out as an NFL running back. It runs and it can’t stop, won’t stop. All this due to seasonal allergies that seem to take me down every Symptomber.

I made it to the middle of the month, but the end of last week my defenses broke down. Well, actually my defenses ramped up (if I understand how histamines work) but we don’t gotta get all technical now, do we?

Typically I just try to endure. No medicine. No solutions. Just stubborn patience. My admirable tenacity never really seems to help, though, go figure. So yesterday, I said enough is enough of this bull crap! I researched and discovered I must be allergic to ragweed. Ragweed pollen count in middle Tennessee is currently high according to
Plus, are you seeing what I’m seeing? Thursday and Friday might kick all of our rear-ends! This will put my new Honeywell air purifier to the test, and I say…




OK, that’s my stubborn pride rearing it’s competitive head yet again. If I don’t figure out a way to cope with this, I might sneeze myself to death Thursday or Friday. That is possible you know? Just Google it.

So yeah, I have a new true-HEPA air purifier. I bought it last night and I’m using it all day today. Along with cleaning the house some, washing sheets, washing beagles, Zyrtec, and generally staying indoors, I’m hoping the next hours and days are better than the last few hours and days. I’ll post more once I know more. Until then, wish me luck as Sneezageddon gets here Thursday.

-Out of the Wilderness

Working from home as it relates to Bachelor in Paradise.

Being self-employed, working from home, whatever you want to call it, that’s what I’ve been doing since being laid off about 2 Bachelor in Paradise seasons ago. And speaking of reality, if you would have told me 2 years ago how my life would look now, I would not’ve believed you, although I would’ve definitely hoped you were right. The idea of foregoing a desk job to explore other ways of making an income was attractive to me because I seemed to be fitting less and less in a style of work that included cubicles, time sheets, and weekly meetings.
michael scott
Plus, in our economy, now more than ever, alternative forms of income are very possible and I’m proof. I’ve also got friends that are proof. In fact, one new friend started her own business as a massage therapist less than a year ago and it’s been so inspiring to hear about. She’s really smart, went about it the right way, and I think it’s pretty awesome to hear stories like that.

I wake up each day excited about what the day holds but I’ll be totally honest, it’s not always fun or easy or safe. That’s where faith in a higher power comes in. I believe God wants to take care of each and every person on this planet. Don’t ask me how He’s able to do that because I have no idea, I’ll leave all the logistics up to Him. Some things we just weren’t meant to know, else our brains would…
Maybe it’s a desk job. Maybe it’s professional sports. Maybe it’s working in a hospital, or inventing the next iPhone, or bagging groceries at Publix. We all can fit in somewhere.

Geez, I’m way off track.

I didn’t mean to go all Tony Robins on you.

I guess the moral of this post is that sometimes what might look like a devastating blow is actually the best thing that could ever happen. Take Bachelor in Paradise, for example.
The rose ceremony happens and you don’t get a rose. But instead of crying and your makeup smearing all over your cheeks, you skip out with a big smile on your face and hope in your heart that paradise is actually not televised.

The adventure might only be beginning! Here’s to your adventure, my adventure, and enjoying the journey…

-Out of the Wilderness

I’m engaged!

Those words mean so much, don’t they? Another couple has decided, for whatever reason, to go through life together. It’s pretty awesome, especially when it’s a perfect match.


“guy balances sun on knee, girl high fives herself”

OK, OK, I need to ask for your hand in marriage forgiveness because the title of this post is completely misleading. I, Ben, the writer, am not engaged.

*collective sigh*

*frown* (my parents)

*howl* (my dogs, knowing they still have my full attention)

I do hope to be engaged and married at some point in my future. In my past, though, you can count on one hand the relationships I’ve had that were even a possibility. Of those relationships, I wonder about one particular girl, and how she’s doing. We ended badly and I’ve had to sort through my own stuff because of that but we’ve both moved on and are hopefully better for it. But I know one day I’ll get the news she’s engaged.

“Hey, Ben. Did you hear about ***? She’s engaged!”

“May blessings rain down on her and her lovely finance,” I’d say.

I wasn’t always as wise, mature, enlightened, and kind as I am now *sarcasm* but there was a time hearing about her engagement would have probably devastated me.

I would’ve thought, “She won.”

But now, no. It’s not a competition. We weren’t, and aren’t, literally racing to the alter. Although the competitive side of me now wants to race someone. Hmmm. Before I get totally sidetracked, I’ll wrap this up.

I hope she finds the guy that’s a perfect fit for her. I hope she gets engaged. I hope she gets married. When I hear the news, I’m envisioning that my heart will be happy for her. That’s what I pray for anyway. That God has so changed my own heart that where I once was bitter and competitive, I’m now at peace.

One day a guy will balance the sun on his knee, and she’ll give herself a high five, and I’ll think, “Crap! She DID win!” “That’s pretty awesome.”


-Out of the Wilderness