Saturday, November 25, 2006

I like my Fridays like my Women...Black.

Lets look at America from a foreigner's view for a moment. Let us view a single day of the year, say the third friday of November. Some of you may ask why I choose this day, of all days, thinking that I have some reason or another. Well the truth is that I do, this day is Black Friday.

To a foreigner it must seem crazy, getting up well before the break of dawn (and in some cases the break of dusk) to wait out in the freezing cold for hours before a shop opens. To a foreigner there is nothing special about this day, nor the day before it. Yet somehow, an entire nation knows this day for some reason. What a foreigner does not know is that this day signals the start of the Chirstmas shopping season. This is the day after Thanksgiving and it means SALES!

I too look forward to this day, but not for all the same reasons as everyone else. I do enjoy great deals on items that usually cost double what they go for on this day, but I do not shop for gifts. That is to say, I do not shop for gifts for other people. I shop for me. I find that this day is the perfect day to find myself a birthday present seeing as how my birthday is always in the same week. This tradition started maybe five years ago when my dad went out on Black Friday to buy christmas gifts for my brother, my sister and me. I wanted to tag along and natrually was denied the request. However, the year after I was brought with, I think to ensure getting double of an item (this is the result of limiting customers on the number of an item you can buy) the item I believe was a dirt cheap DVD player for my brother and sister to each have. Well, I figured if I was going to be there at the break of day, suffering in the cold, and it was right around my birthday, I deserved a treat. And so the tradition began, only me and my father brave the cold and crowds year after year, even if there is nothing to brave them for.

This year waiting in line was an expirience. After scoping out the sale papers for weeks online and the day before with a hard copy, my father and I realized there wasn't much worth getting, that is unless you are like me and want to have an enormous amount of storage space for your computer. So I treated myself to an external hard drive that was dirt cheap. My dad tagged along just for the fun of it, and in the process picked up some jewel cases and photo paper. We also managed to avoid the hellish lines at Best Buy (our usual place to go) and we defected to Staples (which is always the store we hit after we checkout at Best Buy). This seemed to be the right choice to make.

Here is the thing, my dad and I usually get up at 3:30 and get to the store between 4:00 and 4:30. We arrived at Staples at 4:23 and there were only twenty-five people in front of us. Well, I over heard the people infront of us saying to others around them that they arrived at 3:00. So my dad and I waited for almost an hour and a half an we got a slightly worse place in line...not bad if you ask me. This makes me wonder what time the people in front started waiting. By people in front I mean the five or so sitting in chairs bundled up, the large man in shorts and a long-sleeve shirt with his daughter in pajamas, and the person next to him wearing so many layers it was hard to tell if there was actually a person inside. I reiterate, how long were they there. Also, how in the world did that man survive the night in shorts and a shirt? Granted it was a warmer than usual Black Friday, but seriously?

Not much later in the waiting, and a few new-comers behind my dad and me, a man comes up and starts telling how he just walked over from Best Buy. Apparently this man got into the line at 11:00 the previous night...and was 103rd in line. Now Best Buy had a good deal on a so-so laptop, but if you get there at 11:00 and the line is immense already, I see no point in waiting. Well this guy did, and after he got his slip for his 32" LCD TV came over and waited for some deal or another at Staples. Idiot.

I must admit a lie. Before I said that my dad and I were 26th in line, well that isn't completely true. When I counted I was 26th, but when we got there we were farther back. about 5:15 the people that entered the line at 3:00 heard about some deal across town and left to go get it. They gave up a nice spot in line, a spot that could make or break waiting in line for other people, just to go across town and be last in line for something else. Well, I wasn't complaining because I moved on up.

Eventually the employees come through the line and hand our our insurance slips, and I get the one I came for. My dad grabs one for something he didn't need or want, "Just in case". There is some more waiting around until they let us in early. Like five minutes early. 'Twas nice. In reality my dad and I could have been in and out of there by 6:07, but I switched lines for checkout because there was a misleading answer to one of my questions to an employee. Either way, I think we were out by 6:15 and no later than 6:20. My dad also handed his insurance slip to the people behind us who needed one.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ballroom Dancing

This past weekend I returned to my little old house in my little old town. Granted, I will be going home in three days time, but I wanted to go with my parents who were traveling up north to Green Bay to visit my sister. So I pounced on this escape. What I learned while I was gone amazed me.

Since I moved into the dorms I have noticed that something wasn't quite right with the people that are here. At the beginning I thought that I would be able to figure out what was wrong and take whatever steps were needed to make it seem right. But oh how time does pass. I think when we got here, people were more tolerant of other people, we all were more open to the idea of hanging out with whoever because we didn't know them. That is how I met a good majority of all my friends here. However, time has the effect of realization.

When I arrived here I knew maybe three people. All my good friends were left behind or went off in a different direction. Since most of my friends were a good distance away, and parking passes here are far too expensive, I was cut off from the people I have known for years. This severance is what forced me to reach out to others, to befriend those in the same situation, and a few who were not. Which, on a side note, those people who came to school with all their friends...I personally think that there is a bit of growing up that needs to be done. Moving on. So I now had friends and we did pretty much everything together. We just dove in and life seemed back to normal. It wasn't.

It seems that you cannot just dive into friendships. Let me make this clear. I am not saying that you should refuse to try and make new friends unless you take it at a very slow pace, I am saying that you cannot assume that you will instantly be the best of friends. I made this mistake. I thought that the people I was hanging out with could easily replace the ones that I left behind or the ones that left me behind. I even saw some of my old friends within my new friends. Which I think is a bad connection to make. More on this later. Friendships need to be built, not made. Friendships require years, not seconds. Friendships are a dance, not a leap. Friendships are learned, something you are not born with.

So you cannot make friendships in the seconds it takes to leap, because of this I believe it is obvious why you should not look for old friends within new ones. I, as I have stated, am guilty of this. A couple of my new friends I saw resemblances of the old in. But when you see someone you know in someone you don't, you start to think you actually do know the person. If the person you see, is someone you have known for years then you start to treat the new as the old. You attempt the fine-tuned dance of the waltz with someone that likes to tango. To put it simply, you act like you would with the old, and it isn't what the new is used to.

Now after three months of waltzing the tango, I have stepped on too many feet and now my partner is pissed. This in turn has made me stop dancing. I am sitting on the sidelines, watching others dance their dances.

When I was sitting in my friends dorm room back home, I came to this realization. I realized that you cannot replace old friends, nor can you ever forget them. The old friends are the ones that you spent the first eighteen years of your life with, building memories and learning to dance. Now I find myself attempting the fine-tuned humor with my new friends, only to realize that it is fine-tuned to another person. I think this is why my friendships here are not working, and if one of you reading this happens to be one of those people, I have two things to say to you. First, I am sorry. Second, be more open. If you are reading this and you are one of my age old dancers, I have this to say to you; remember that one time...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Why do we fight!?

For my sociology class we are required to view four movies throughout the semester. So far we have watched The Corporation, Bread and Roses and tonight we watched Why We Fight.

I am completely for this movie and what it conveys. I love the idea that the government goes to war just because we need to. It appears that since the end of WWII America has come up with reasons to fight and has backed it with the slogan: FREEDOM! President Eisenhower warned the country of this in his farewell adress. He said that the government is becoming war hungry in our post-war times. Eisenhower feared that this hunger will end up fueling the economy, which it seems that it has.

Now my qualm is not with this statement. I mean, I do not like the idea of America being war-hungry but in my heart I know it is true. My qualm is with another, less prominent, point made in the movie. The government knows that if they want to continue their war efforts in any war then they need to convince the American people that what they are doing is right, is just, is in the name of FREEDOM! What better way to do this than with the media.

I hate how the media is influenced by our government. It is true, we do have the freedom to write what we want, when we want and about who we want. But we, the media, can only write based on the 'facts' that are given to us. The film touched on how the government is structured so that when anyone makes a statement, they can only word things in a way that they are given by their superiors. This means if the government does not feel like telling us something, all they need to do is beat around the bush and word it differently so as to give us the truth, to a certain point of view.
"So what I have told you was true... from a certain point of view. "
"A certain point of view!"
If you ask me, this is a form of limiting the freedom of the press. Taking away one of our natrual born rights. And I, being a Journalism major, do not like it. No I do not like it one bit. Unfortunately, this little factoid is not news to me. I have heard it before and often I wonder if this is the reason that I chose to be a Journalism major. Thinking I could be the martyr that goes out and reports everything how it is, and in the end I will die for it. Or maybe thats just me being full of myself.

Either way, what the government is doing is wrong. If you feel the need to defy the government, please return here and read some more because the blog represents what every American citizen, even those who are not, wants to have...FREEDOM!

Monday, November 13, 2006

La Haine

This post has been in the works for a week or so now. I have been quite hesitant on posting it because of personal reasons. See the problem with living in a dorm is that you live with other people. Bind that together with a Facebook account that has a link to your blog, well pretty much anyone that you know can find what you say. This means no whining about them.

Well I changed my mind. I need to get this out for the world to hear. I need to say what is on my chest. Three hairs and a crucifix.

I am going to write things like they could have happened to anybody, because in fact most of these happened to me, and a bunch of them I observed happening too.

So here is a little problem that I have noticed. Someone will be watching TV, or rather listening to it while doing homework or sitting at the computer and their roomate will walk in and just change the channel. From what I have figured out, the roomate is the one who owns the TV. That somehow gives them the rights to it, no? Well I disagree. It is merely childish to think of it being theirs so they can watch what they want when they want.

Another thing that I have witnessed is someone walking into a room with the door closed. It really makes me wonder what is going through that person's head when they decide to open someones door. 'Hmm, maybe this one will be unlocked, empty and have some good loot.' Or possibly, 'Maybe this one will be unlocked and I can catch someone doing it.' Or finally, 'This seems like the best way to be an ass.'

I am hoping all of you know the Rules of Public Urination, or are familiar with my 'Shield' move. Well one of the rules is that you do not engage in conversation while you are going. Never. One video I saw detailed in the possible outcome and, well everyone ended up dead. Well, in relation to this rule and a few of the others, I think that they should also apply to public showering. There should be no conversation between two or more parties before, during, or after the act of showering in public. Nor should direct eye contact be made for obvious reasons. The spacing rule should also be taken into account. When possible take the stall on an end. Then you take one that is not adjacent to an occupied one. If one of those cases can't be found, you come back later.

In our dorm we observe curtessy hours at eleven o'clock on school days. That is patrolled and enforced by our House Fellows. Well it should also be enforced within a room. It makes no sense to have a rule saying that it has to be quiet outside of a room if your roomate cannot be quiet within.

People should also realize that their background when they moved here is now completely irrelevant to where they are now. I don't care if mommy and daddy are paying for your food, or housing, or tuition, or even the whole shebang. Some of us are making it through, but barely. There should be no flaunting of money, nor expressing that mommy or daddy needs to refill the food account cause sonny is hungry. I do think that scholarships are to be waved proudly. Every damn cent you earn from your hard work should be waved along with them. But the money that mommy and daddy hand you should not.
Also, I don't care if you had your own heirarchy back home where you were king, you no longer have that here. That is unless you earn it. But they way you are used to treating your friends won't fly here unless your new friends are the same as your old. I am tired of being told that my opinion is wrong. When has an opinion ever been wrong? When? I believe, if I am quoting word for word, then opinion means: a personal view, attitude, or appraisal. Therefore if I state my opinion on a subject it is in no way wrong. Deal with it you fallen kings.

So if you are reading this, and you live in my dorm please take not and try to avoid these situations.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Remember, remember, the 5th of November
The Gunpowder Treason and plot;
I know of no reason why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.