Saturday, December 22, 2007

I don't ever wanna have a daughter

Throughout the course of my life, I've only had two true fears: Heights and escalators. And they scare the shit out of me. My fear of heights stems back to the days where I would follow my dad to football practice every morning ("Oh god, here he goes talking about football again" - it'll be brief, bear with me). Even at a young age, whenever I was at practice, I had to have some form of a role. That was the rule - if you wanted to be around, you had to contribute. In my case, the "role" that was bestowed upon me was to film practice. Because of Division III funds, it was beyond the budget to hire a permanent camera guy, so they had to make due with the coach's 12-year old son. I can remember they'd get this giant gizmo, commonly known as a boom truck, and they'd launch me pretty high up in the air so I could get a good overview of the field. Now most of you construction gurus are familiar with this machinery, but for those of you who aren't, basically, if you've ever seen someone at considerable heights working on a telephone pole standing in what appears to be an oversized bucket -that's a boom truck. And I would always cry to my dad and say "Please, don't make me go up there. I'll do anything else but that!" No matter how much I begged for a different job, he still preached Set of Three that he still preaches to me today at the age of 21: "Don't whine, Don't complain, Don't make excuses." His philosophy was a little different from what Mott refers to as the Set of Three (See I told you I'd find a way to get you into the blog).

I knew there was no way of getting out of it, so it did it anyway. But I am still to this day terrified of heights. Want another example? Here's one that the "U Crew" can relate to and anyone else that is familiar with the Washington Bridge that merges the East and West Bank. If I am by myself, I will always walk on the inside part of that bridge - Always. It could be 85 degrees outside, and there could be hundreds of people walking on both of the outdoor sides of that bridge - All of them peering through the window and wondering to themselves:

"Why is that idiot walking in the indoor tunnel on such a beautiful day?"

It's because the mere sight of overlooking that river one hundred feet below makes my heart stop. The solitary humiliation of walking inside by yourself is nothing compared to the nauseous feeling I get when I look over that railing. If I am with people, I might walk outside, but I won't get within 15 feet of that railing - Hell no.

In case you were wondering, no, that is not a typo. I am equally, if not more, afraid of escalators than I am of heights. And it all dates back to one single incident during my younger years. When I was in grade school, I used to be on a travelling basketball team. In between games, we would usually kill time by going to the nearest mall. I believe we were in Grand Forks at the time, but I got on the escalator first, and my buddy Willie got on the next set of escalator steps behind me (Side note: What-up Dub, don't be a stranger, we gotta hang out more). Anyways, I have no idea how this happened, but somehow Willie's jeans got snagged and the escalator and absolutely tore them to shreds. His right pant leg had a tear from his ankle all the way up to his mid-thigh, and he had to walk around the mall like that for the rest of the day.

Even though this was a freak accident that had the odds of probably one out of ten million, I still and forever will be very cautious about getting onto an escalator. I often find the nearest stairway just to avoid them. But if that isn't possible, this is usually my procedure for making the transition from ground level to moving metal steps. The first thing I do is put my hands in both of my pockets and pull up on my pants like I'm walking through standing water. I then take my first step with very careful timing and precision. I cannot be rushed. It's kind of like double-dutch jump rope in the sense where you just gotta feel it. I have to be in a rhythm and sometimes it can take roughly 3-5 seconds for me to get on. This generally ends up being a problem with the person immediately behind me who's knee-jerk reaction is to throw up their hands and flash body language universally known as "WTF!" I may look certifiably insane to many people around me, but I refuse to take any chances. I'm scared to death of the escalator eating my pants.

I think this is officially the longest I've ever rambled on without focusing on the main topic. But you gotta understand that all of this is progressive, and what I am getting at is that I used to have only 2 real fears in life, but I've most recently added a knew one. I've always said to myself I want three children (I don't know why - I just think that's a good number) with at least one of them being a different gender. My thought process was 3 of the same thing would drive me nuts either way, and it would also contribute to a balance household. My mom often jokes with 3 other guys in the family, she has no allies, so that would at least alleviate that element of the equation. But the more and more I think about it, I've come to the realization that I don't think I ever wanna have a daughter. And this is stemming from a multitude of reasons.

Most specifically, because of the person I am, and because of the nature that young adult male's mind works. Whenver I see an attractive girl of my age, it's almost inevitable that at least one impure thought is going to cross my mind. I'm trying to shed away this mindset, but it's not that easy. And I know for a fact that there many guys out there much worse than me. If someone had the same thoughts about my daughter, as I do at the age of 21, I would definitely set a new standard for Meltdown Nitro Mode.

I often wonder what it would be like if I had a younger sister. I'd more than likely re-define the concept of "overprotective." I don't envy my friends with younger sisters who take a lot of abuse for it, and this is the one form of comedy that I'm not quick to join in on. Aside from Benoit shots and the "C" word, I don't take offense to a whole lot of things. If you start talking politics, I automatically tune you out. If you put down my religion, I shrug my shoulders and ignore you because I know you're an idiot. But I would not put up with someone making jokes about my sister whatsoever. That's one situation in life for me where the gloves would come off. I do think however that it would be quite humorous for a young lad to come over to the Kostich household and introduce himself to my dad and say that he was taking his daughter out on a date tonight. That would be something else because "Hogan Knows Best" doesn't have nothing on him. He would put the fear of God in that kid - it kind of reminds me of the new country song that goes "Ya'll go out and have some fun. I'll see you when you get back, probably be here all night......still cleanin this here gun."

The biggest thing that gets me about this particular topic, is that in my eyes, young girls in the present era have absolutely zero role models. There I said - I've drawn the line pick your side. Sitting here right now I can't think of one single celebrity that can serve as a positive example. The one person that I'm kind of the fringe with is somebody like Angelina Jolie who's partaken in many humanitarian endeavors such as promoting adoption and what not, but then again, there's the satanistic side of her who's confessed to cutting herself many times throughout her life. A little hard to put her on the same pedestal as Mother Theresa. I shudder at the thought of my daughter one day looking up to the nuts and sluts that fill pages of US Weekly - Britney, Lindsay, Paris and the list goes on and on. As much as I like to subscribe to the philosophy that there's a lot of good apples out there, but we just don't hear about them, I'm convinced that they're non-existent.

At least in the case of younger boys, there's a great deal of professional athletes that can serve as a model. I can look a Peyton Manning, or a Kevin Garnett, or a LaDanian Tomlinson, and notice all of the qualities that make these guys innately good people. Athletes have an influence over young boys that is almost unparalleled, and when used in a positive manner it can be so powerful. But then you look at female athletics and I don't see a whole lot of women who young girls aspire to be like. And that brings up a whole separate issue that I think most girls are generally swayed away from athletics because of the thought that you have to undertake masculine qualities in order to be successful in sport. This isn't completely true, but it's not altogether false.

So when you're not interested in athletes and you're not interested in the movie/music stars of today, who do young girls look up to? Answer: They turn their tv's on to the MTV Hills and let the girls of this show serve as their guide and compass. Now the Northstar crew, you know I love all of you, but I'm starting to develop a permanent scar right above my ear from all the head-scratching I've done in an attempt to figure out why not just one of you - but all of you systemically got together and decided that each of you should put down "x" amount of dollars (I forget the figure, but I'm sure it was significant) to rent out a private little area in a downtown nightclub so you could take selfies with something called LC. And the guys are the ones who surprise me the most - especially the one that once told me (who by the way I'm trying, but I still don't know how to link your blog): "The biggest tools on the face of the Earth hang out at Spin." My favorite part of the story was looking at the photos afterwards and noticing that in terms of attractiveness - just out of all the girls in that album, I wouldn't rank her in the top five. So guys from that perspective, I don't see the appeal there either.

I don't watch the show - I'm not familiar with the characters or the premise. But my finals are officially over, and I had to watch a couple of the episodes (which by the way are all available on to see what the fuss was about. Here is the breakdown of Hills: LC is a college-age girl that works with her bimbo friends at the Teen Vogue headquarters. All of the girls on this show come from affluent families with living conditions that are unrealistic for the average college student. It's very Breck High School like. The conversations that take place on this show consist of exaggerated dialogue and drama that most rational people would deem un-watchable. Although Miss LC has a pretty high-profile internship, from the 2 episodes that I watched the show makes no reference to any schooling that she has while maintaining what one would think to be a highly competitive job. So apparently, she's the LeBron James of the fashion industry in the sense that she got drafted out of high school and went straight into the pros.

Now again, with all do respect, this show is without a doubt primarily geared towards young adults from the ages of 12-17. But then again, I guess so is professional wrestling (there I took a shot at myself, I'm an equal opportunity ripper). But unlike my form of entertainment, they'll actually come out admit that it's a work, while the latter will dub it "reality television." You're out of your mind if you think everything on this show is transpiring in the actual way that their lives progress. From the camera angles, to the facial expressions, to the odds of just happening to be in the right place at the right time - it's all a work. And they call wrestling "fake."

The ironic part of this whole ordeal is that these girls have no concept of what "reality" actually is. Meanwhile, the rest of us outside the realm of "Laguna Land," are up to our eyebrows in college tuition debt, we're drinkin cheap liquor because we can't afford anything better, we don't go to fancy clubs unless there's a birthday because then we get free cover, and the majority of us are generally worried out about how we can maintain the cost-of-living during college and still work towards achieving our career goals. In comparison, LC's greatest stress is derived from fine-tuning the meticulous details and color schemes of an outfit that nobody cares about or even notices for that matter. The show portrays her character as someone who personifies effortless perfection, but truth be told, she is far from it. She works in a job that contributes absolutely nothing to society - she has zero talent, and has no idea what it's like to truly earn something. And somebody like LC is gonna be a role model for my little girl someday, give me a freaking break. God help us - everybody stop having daughters! Mothers and fathers of young girls, how do you possibly handle it? Those of you who can mold them into good people are nothing short of amazing.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Life is good at Breck

Give me a break you freaking weasels. It's Finals Week! I'm up to my eyebrows in assignments, papers, and test preparations. But without having the slightest bit of sympathy for me, all that people are concerned with is "why haven't you updated this thing yet." So in the midst of my busy week, I've found a free hour to write a blog in the form of one of my favorite and most interesting experiences this past year. Because that's the kind of person I am, I'll accommodate others first and myself second.

A small majority of people know this, but over the course of this fall semester, I've allocated a lot of my time to the Breck football program. I had the opportunity to work for the coaching staff on the varsity team. Now for you anti-football fans out there, don't be too quick to assume that this edition is not for you. As I've recanted many times before, and will continue to do in future issues, my whole life doesn't revolve around sports, sports, sports. And the last I wanna do is create writing where that is the sole topic of conversation. So don't pull the trigger and click the little "x" in the top right corner just yet, because I'm sure you'll enjoy the stories and experiences I have had.

I'd like to preface this by saying that I've never actually been to Beverly Hills, but through my experiences at Breck, I can't imagine that there is much disparity between the two. As I pulled into the campus at 3:00 pm every day, the scene most often resembled that of an exotic car expo. I have witnessed a middle schooler getting picked by dad in a Lamborghini. I have seen my kids carpool to practice in rides that are pushin six figures. Even one of our own - a member of the coaching staff who manages various restaurants in downtown Minneapolis drives a Maserati. As I was walking towards my less desirable car one night after a game, he asked if I wanted to ride with him to Chili's to share a drink with the rest of the coaches. Now I don't get off on cars like a lot of people do; automobiles have never really perked up my interest. But I am fully aware of how expensive this car is, so I subsequently jumped at the opportunity without hesitating - realizing that this is probably the first and last time I will ever ride in a Maserati.

For someone who grew up in what I consider a "blue-collar" smaller town setting, this was quite the culture shock for me. As a fifth grader, I don't have memories of whipping out my Sidekick to text friends in-between classes, and I certainly didn't have all the other luxuries that our varsity players are fortunate to have. The private school mentality above anything else was the hardest adjustment for me me personally. Forget about football - the primary reason I was there, but how do you possibly relate to kids that have lives completely foreign to the setting that you grew up in?

The school itself accommodates these kids in ways I could've never imagined at that age. Every student is issued there own personal Apple iBook, and the majority of them just take awful care of it. I can't count how many times a kid has come into the head coach's office and said "Hey did a janitor happen to pick up my computer? I left it in my 7th hour class." Not a big deal to them...just a laptop. Their dining hall is pretty impressive too. My favorite inside joke with one of the coaches who I share a similar background with is the comment: "Oh c'mon....salmon again!"

As far as the football specific amenities, we play all of our home games on state-of-the art field turf. The surface is unreal and it is completely weather resistant. So if it's been raining up until 3:30, the field will be dry by 3:45. Not only do we play on it, but we practice on it too. The school has two separate fields for games and practices. I couldn't believe all the Breck gear they shoveled at me when I first started. All of it was brand new Nike polos, t-shirts, windbreakers, pants, rain jackets, hats, shorts, and yes I am referring to all of these in the plural tense because I received them in the plural tense. I didn't get a coaching paycheck, but I think all of the free apparel, meals, and beverages more than compensated for my efforts. One of my favorite moments this year is when I invited my dad up into the press box with me during our game versus St. Anthony. It was turned momentarily humorous when during a timeout he asked me:
"Shawn what's that switch on your headset there?"
-My response: "It's a two-way communication deal where I can listen to both the offensive and defensive coordinator. Don't you have that?"
"No, we don't have that. I didn't even know that existed."

You should have seen our Homecoming. It looked like a carnival, and I'm not making this up. We had a clown making balloons, we had a tent designated for games and face painting, we even had two of those giant inflatable playgrounds that kids could jump around in. In addition, they had also deemed the event "Respect your animal day," where fans and alumni had the opportunity to bring their pets to the game. It was about the most bizarre thing I've ever seen, there must have been hundreds of dogs surrounding the field. In the midst of all of this, all I could think about was how could anybody possibly focus on a football game? (which we subsequently lost in overtime by the way).

I think it was either Ben Franklin or Brad Childress that once said: "Too whom much is given, much is expected." This is definitely the case with Breck parents who pay a pretty high premium to give their children the best opportunities available. When they pay that $26,000 per year tuition, first and foremost they want to work towards getting their kid a good ACT score. It's my understanding, that 15% of the students at Breck end up in Ivy League schools. This is the case for our captain linebacker who will be attending Harvard next fall. I can remember a guy from Moorhead announcing he was going to Harvard when I was in high school. I believe he is still the only one in the history of the school to do that - quite a contrast.

I was a little discouraged that our season ended so early, but at the same time I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there. Looking back, I feel so fortunate that the other four metro schools I sent letters to didn't respond to me. I couldn't have picked a better place to kick off my coaching career. Going into this, I fully anticipated me having a limited role with the team, but I was as about as engaged as you can be - serving as the primary defensive backs and receivers coach. As foreign as the private school mentality was to me initially, I gradually gained a new found appreciation for the school and Breck community started to grow on me. I should clarify that the campus itself is consists of a high school, middle school, and lower school which are all connected together. So as I walked through the hallways not only would I see my players, but also all the Little Mustangs walking around. The thing I like about Breck is it just has such a big brother like feel to it. Most often you would see high schoolers dropping off their younger siblings at their respective section of the school. The thing I like about the football program in particular is that it's not like Moorhead where you have these little Pop Warner teams with team names like the Panthers or Cougars. At Breck, you're a Mustang the whole way through. So, by the time you get to our level, they're just chompin at the bit to wear that navy and gold and play under those bright lights. I think that's such a cool thing.

Looking back, the stories that made me scratch my head are the ones I enjoyed the most. In our last playoff game, our kick returner went down around the 50 and didn't get back up for the longest time. All of us feared injury, but it turns out he had lost one of his contacts. What transpired afterwards was on of the strangest things I've ever seen. I have never in my life witnessed a 7-minute contact find on a football field. The search party consisted of officials, trainers, our players, and even our opponents. That was the best part about it - the Rockford defense was literally on their hands and knees combing the field to help find it. Can anybody out there even attest to finding their contact after dropping it in the bathroom? Impossible. I stood up in the press box speechless. Even the phrase "you've got to be kidding me" doesn't do it justice. The irony of situation is that he never lost his contact in the first place. After the game he discovered that it just got pushed up into his eyelid. Although he was one of the best running backs in the state, sometimes the world just turned a little too fast for him.

We definitely had our share of thrills this year also. Most notably upsetting the top team in our conference DeLaSalle on their homecoming. We had the game pretty well in hand in the fourth quarter, and I'll never forget our defensive coordinator switching his headset over to offense and saying: "Miller time, Miller time, Miller time!" It is always more fun when you win - no doubt about it. You guys can keep your kick ass internships, I'll take Friday nights any day of the week. Life is more comfortable in sweats anyway

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The wonderful world of Facebook

What up, what up, what uppppppp Blog Nation. I have noticed that I've developed a reoccuring habit up "what up-ing" people and things. Walking into our apartment door and saying "what up" have now become commonplace at 2508 Delaware. I can't quite recall where this is stemming from, or who exactly came up with new innovative catch-phrase. I better go ahead and give the copyright to Eastview just to be safe (probably the last time I will ever credit this group). Although the phrase has played a prolific role in my vernacular, I would however like to make it very clear that I am NOT a proponent of what up-ing Zanatta.

That not withstanding, I would like to focus on the topic at hand. I am going to take a break from ripping those that I know personally this week, because I don't want mention any names (Dana), but some people thought that I went a little too far last blog. But I tell you what, if you think that was controversial, then you just stay tuned boys and girls.

Facebook, facebook, facebook. I have to give credit where credit is due and say facebook is probably the greatest invention ever. I'm often embarrassed to confess how often I'm actually on this site. The first thing I do in the morning is eat breakfast and log on. I then subsequently go onto the site roughly 3-4 more times per day. I check facebook at work, I check facebook during class, I even use the kiosks in university building to periodically check for updates. If you think I have a problem, you're right. But if you don't think you have the same problem, you're lying to yourself, because you're on this thing just as much as I am and you know it! Let's be honest with ourselves and say that if we all (and I'm not talking about every person on facebook, just my immediate group of friends) put the same amount of time into looking at facebook as we did elsewhere, we could have probably constructed TCF Bank stadium with our bare hands by now.

But why are we on this thing so much? Answer: Because it's the ultimate way procrastinate and lose track of time. I have a relatively big exam on Monday morning, and I can't concentrate on studying because I'm more interested in the newsflash that Alex Stael no longer lists Weezer in the category of "favorite music," or that Mal Nelson has added photos from the weekend with the album being creatively titled: (insert popular KDWB song here). I also like to read the wall-to-wall convos between my friends and try to analyze what some of the inside jokes could possibly mean. The verbal jousting that takes place in this area is by far my favorite, and when I see a hilarious posting that's just genius, it makes my day. Trash talking is one of the many simple pleasures of mine, and those who can do it a clever fashion are very talented. I was at a bar back home this weekend and a girl hit me with a zinger that damn near stole my heart. A shortened version of the conversation:

"Yeah, I go to school at MSU, but I'm originally from Winnipeg"
-"Really? So, is the bartender getting annoyed by you paying with loonies and toonies all night?" (me with a half-constructed and very feeble attempt to be funny)
"Well, when you're buying shots of Patrone, they'll take just about anything"
What a line, and closed-circuit to the females reading (probably zero): It's not all about looks, it's not all about style, but if you're quick enough to think of a line where a guy has no comeback, you've got something special.

Getting back on track here, like everything else that's good, facebook definitely has it's cons. The one thing that I wish I could really stress to the creators of this site is: Stop trying to improve it! There's nothing you could possibly do to make it better, and with every update you create, all you do is annoy people. The last update they made to facebook that was any good is the ability to upload your own pictures, since then everything has been awful. It ruined my day when they officially made the site exclusive to high school students. Since then, it's now my understanding that anybody can create an account, and this definitely erased the college novelty. The various applications absolutely drive me nuts and also make this site closer and closer to the creep-show world of MySpace. NO, I do not want to subscribe to the bumper sticker application and Lucas Wolford think of me what you will, but please don't ever again send me another Hotness Rating Scale invitation.

The one addition that I wish you guys would have never thought of is the "Status Bar." People treat this like all of us have facebook pagers and they're letting us know everyone of their actions throughout the course of the day. Example:
"Karen is at class from until 4 tonight, going out to eat Dinner at 5, I'll be having a garden salad with red vinegar, returning home later to watch Grey's, and then head downtown with the girls afterwards!"
I don't need to know all of this, correction, nobody needs to know any of this. And if you are going to put something in this space, at least express yourself as someone that has half a brain and make a complete sentence. Don't treat it like it's an AIM away message so it stands out as "Jack is 2 days!" or "Jack is Library!" It makes you look like such an idiot.

I was told once that when you're writing a paper, or write anything for that matter, that piece of paper serves as the sole representative of you. The person looking at that doesn't know what you're personality is like, or how smart you actually are, all they can conclude about you is what's in front of them. So, have awareness to realize how you're representing yourself when you are writing. If not, all of us have the fair right to assume that Karen is a douchebag. It even bothers me when I re-read this blog and see typos, and that's why for the first time ever I had someone preview this periodical. I have been told that this edition has been a little under par, but I tell you what, I'm gonna throw out the red flag and challenge this blog to see if it's really as bad as they say it is, and I'll catch you next time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A close analysis of each roommate

I've been mulling over this topic for quite a while, and I think it's time to finally put it into the blog. I live with a great group of guys, and it's honestly hard to sum all of them up in just a few words. When thinking about the things that really stand out about Rube Nation, the one word that keeps coming back to mind is non-conformist. That's not to say that we wear dark clothes and hate our fathers, but except for the drinking part, we're not your stereotypical college students. You won't find any "Beer-Pong" posters in our rooms and you're never gonna hear O.A.R. blasting from any one of our speakers. I think that each one my roommates brings a different dynamic to the group, and they're all unique in their own ways (insert Full House music). Let's take a look at each one of the Rubes:

Michael Patch:

Patch, or MJP as I frequently like to call him, is the most recent member that's entered into the Rube Nation covenant. We decided to have Patch live with us this year at Melrose because if you get 4 people in a room, the monthly rent drops from the 3-person rate of $680 per month to the 4-person rate of $629 per month....I'm kidding. We often rib him about the fourth roommate bit, but the truth is we hung out with him so much during summer that we decided it wouldn't be the same if he didn't live with us for our Senior year. While I'm on the topic of prices though, did anybody see the article in the Daily last Wednesday where Forbes listed Minneapolis as the most affordable metropolitan city to live in? Are you bleeping me?!?!? Ya along with my rent price, the $60 I spent on gas last week, and the $24 I spent on a case of beer was real affordable. If this affordable, then I don't ever wanna go on vacation. I really got sidetracked there for a second, but lets get back to the main topic...MJP!

I don't like to refer to it as drinking, but Patch and us did plenty of "pumping it up" in the old apartment last summer. My favorite story of MJP dates back to probably the second or third time I met him. He was over one night and I had the difficult task of avoiding peer pressure and letting them know I couldn't go out to the bars because I had work in the morning. After succeeding and going to bed around 11:30 pm, I remember getting waken up by loud pounding on our door at roughly 2:30 am. Now, the way our apartments are structured, you really have to be knocking hard for someone to hear you down that long hallway, and this night it definitely got my attention. After pretending that the sound would just go away after a few minutes, I reluctantly got out of bed and walked to the door. As I turned the living room light on, I noticed something very strange. There was a pair of jeans in our wastebasket and someones shoes were placed on the top of our refrigerator. Upon opening the door, I found out that the owner of these items was none other than MJP, as he stood out in the hallway wearing only his boxers and a wife beater. I remember just looking at him for an extended period of time not really knowing what to say, ask, or even think of the situation.

I then procedeed to ask him: "Patch what's going on?"
-Response: "Oh man...I got locked out of your place. Me and Dana (pointing behind him while talking) just went to go say hi to some of our friends downstairs real quick"

Now this kind of reminded me of the Will Ferrel scene from "Old School" where his wife drives by and catches him streaking and Ferrel replies that "there's more coming." Mostly, because there was nobody behind Patch, and I knew for a fact that Dana had come home earlier and was asleep in his room. Not wanting to confuse him, I nodded and agreed, and waited for him to fall asleep on the couch, not wanting him to trail off on anymore adventures that night.

I like this moment because it just gave me a hilarious story, and really set the tone for what it was going to be like living with him. Rest assured whenever we go out, there's always going to be something interesting happening. To be honest with you, other than the fact that he plays Bond like woman, I really don't have a lot of bad things to say about this guy. I've enjoyed the couple of times that I've hung with his extended friends, and his girlfriend Maria is a great person too. I've never met anybody that's nicer than my mom, but she might be close. They're by far my favorite couple in my group of friends. The thing I also like about Patch is that he kind of fancies himself as a quick thinker. He's got a million one-liners, and is definitely a guy that you don't wanna joust with, because he's got a comeback in an instant. We share a common interest of being Miami Hurricane fans, but the real head-scratcher that he takes a lot of grief for is that he is also a Detroit Lions fan. I think he's told me the connection there on a couple of different occasions, but I always forget. Additionally, he's by far the nicest roommate in apartment, and really shares a common interest of actually wanting the living area clean, unlike those other two clowns.

Dana Wessel:

Where do I even start with this one? Well in regards to Dana, the thing I keep coming back to is that there's never a dull moment when you're around him. With most people, there is clear and distinct period of their week when they like to "pump it up," with him that window is always is open. In fact you know what...yes, I'm going to go ahead and do this. I now pronounce Dana as "Mr. Pump it Up." He always tries to put the fun meter on high, but the downside of this is...thats not always a good thing. It's often very counterproductive and affects me from getting things accomplished. Just earlier today, he was needling me to go to Sallys and get it goin at 4:30 in the afternoon. Very often, you hear a lot of: "Oh cmon, just one more game" or "Guess what, I got a call from your professor and turns out your test is canceled tomorrow." Finishing up homework is never an easy thing around here.

One of my favorite stories about Dana is back when we first moved into Melrose last year. I was still at the point where I vaguely knew him, and I asked if he wanted to go downstairs to the gym to work out with me. At the time, we were the only ones in fitness area, until in walks a girl looking to use the treadmill. Dana immediately engaged her:

Dana: "Um, excuse me...what are you doing?"
-Girl: "What...huh?"
Dana: "Hey my name is Tommy Melrose, and my dad owns this building. We've got the gym rented out right now."
-Girl (almost crying): "Oh no! I'm so so sorry. Is there like a sign up sheet up something, I didn't know and I don't mean to bother you." (He's got her totally hooked)
Dana: "That's ok. But listen, to make you feel better...If you ever want any free light bulbs or want to use the tanning bed you can hit me up. But seriously need to leave right now."

I was sitting on the bench and I had to cover my face because I was laughing so hard. After he realized that he couldn't keep it going any longer, he told the girl that he was just b.s.-ing her. I think the stories I enjoy most about people are the ones upon first getting to know them, and this absolutely defines Dana's style of comedy. He likes to engage people he doesn't know, in often awkward situations and do things like this. One time we were driving in my car stopped at a light, and Dana (sitting passenger side) gave the circular hand motion to the car next to us universally known as: Roll down your window. As the girl puts her window down, thinking Dana's going to ask her for directions, he proceeds to ask her: "Will you be my Valentine?" Who does that? Answer: only Dana.

In terms of living preferences, there are a few things that bother me about him. Firstly, I'm convinced Dana was born in an igloo, because no matter what part of the year it is, he's always got thermostat set at freezing temperatures. I often wake up shivering, and I can even attest to one time seeing my own breath. I came home last night and he's got it set at 63 degrees with the air conditioning on, and it was 20 outside mind you. Even when I'm in DD situations and I drive him places in his car, he got the AC on in a season that's merging towards winter. I can also see that he depended on his mom in a lot of situations growing up. His cleaning ethic is certainly something to be desired. Most specifically he's never finished a glass of anything in this life, whether it's orange juice, milk, water, or beer, he always just leaves a little in the glass. He then leaves the glass wherever he was last situated in our apartment which a frequent nuisance. If you've ever cleaned out a glass of milk that's been sitting out for a while, you know how disgusting that is.

I can't rip somebody without saying something good about them though. I think the thing that most impresses me about Dana is the job he holds. He works at the number one sports radio station in state of Minnesota: KFAN. You can often hear him doing updates during commercial breaks and he's also co-hosted several segments. When I hear about one of my friends getting this new "internship," the first thing that comes to mind is how insignificant it really is. Yeah sure these jobs are great for experience, but they're mainly just gophers for some company holding jobs that are essentially non-essential. But Dana is in a definitely in a different situation. He actually works and talks on the radio with on-air talent to likes of PA and Dubay, Dan Barriero, and my personal favorite: The "Common Man" Dan Cole. He works in fast-paced job where you're best is required when it comes to sports knowledge, being prepared, and speaking flawlessly when the pressure is on. Anybody reading this blog right now (all 3-4 of you), there's actually a comment section and I'd like you to name one person you know personally that holds a more important "internship." My guess is this space will remain empty.

Nick Fee:

This is the last time in this blog I will refer to him Nick Fee, and I will now call him what everybody else does and that is Rick. I'm often confused on how this nickname emerged, but then again, where the hell did Johnny Nitro come from? I guess that's neither here or there and should be saved for another blog. How do I go about describing I guy like Rick? Well first off, I can say that he's the one I've known the longest, and unlike the other two roommates, we went to high school together. I often like my dad's description of Rick and it's the best I've heard to this day. He describes him as "a cow in a pasture." His tail waives from one side to the other, nothing ever bothers him and he doesn't get real worked up about anything, and he's just generally pretty easy going. Most people describe those who are "easy going" as people who are easy to get along with, and I definitely agree that this is a quality that Rick possesses. But at the same time, I often think of other qualities that can be closely paralleled with those who are "easy going" such as: Careless, messy, forgetful, and usually a challenged work ethic.

If you're looking for a Clydesdale, Rick isn't your guy. I still think that he is under the impression that "manual labor" is a center fielder for the Los Angelas Dodgers (insert rim shot). He's the messiest person I have ever seen. You could honestly tell me that Rick has tie-die carpet in his room and I wouldn't know any different because he has so much crap all over his floor. He's the only person I know who reaches down instead of horizontally to get dressed in the morning. Rick just simply picks a shirt off the floor. The forgetfulness is the thing that bothers me the most. One time I took him to get groceries, and upon getting to the register he realized that his debit card wasn't in his wallet. He had to leave his groceries at customer service, while I brought him home to go find his card. While driving home, he then remembered that he forgot to close at the bar last night, and said "Kostich can you drop me off at the Library?" This is small example of what's it's like to be around him on a daily basis.

On the other hand, he does have one of the strongest qualities I've ever seen in any person: Nothing offends him. Even though I haven't exactly ripped my roommates too bad, he's more than likely the one who won't say anything about it. Rick takes verbal abuse from basically everybody that's around him, and he simply shrugs his shoulders and doesn't take it personally. Think about how great life would be if you could bust anybody balls about anything, and it would never bother them. This the probably one and only example of where society needs to take a lesson from Rick.

I am honestly a little disappointed of when I heard Rick was going to take a different career path. For a while, he considered being a school counselor or being placed in some kind of advisement position. I see this as a great spot for him, and when he told me about this I said: "Finally a major change where he's got it right." I'm not going to say that I have a "best friend," because I've always thought that I just have a lot of close friends, and Rick is definitely one of them. I think that we get along so well because his qualities complement and contrast mine. We also think in a similar fashion as well. When thinking about my future, I often envision Rick in it, especially in the case of the "school adviser" position. I often see myself years from now coaching college football and Rick working at the same school where we can share lunch together on a daily basis, talk about our wives that are nagging us and other things that bother us. Just for that short period of time everyday we could solve the world's problems, similar to what we do on a daily basis now. I'm unsure as to what my future holds for me upon graduation, but one thing is for sure, it's going to be hard to adjust to life without Rick.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Vintage video games and romantic comedies

For the last couple of weeks or so, the two of these have become my primary choice of interest and have occupied my free time. I have always been a sucker for a romantic comedy, and it's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. When defining my type of humor, cheesy, corny, and awkward all rank right at the top of my list. And these types of movies certainly have all of these elements in play. Together, my roommates and I have adopted a new tradition of movie night, and I honestly can't remember the last time the movie on movie night has not been a romantic comedy, or RC's as we like to call them. If you believe watching these types of movies is un-manly, you couldn't be any farther than accurate, and you neglect to see the comedic potential that can be derived from them. Honestly what's funnier than the brother-sister switch in The Family Stone or the panties-on-the head-move pulled off in Serendipity. You can't top that. Conventional thinking suggests that males shouldn't watch these kind of movies, but if watching RC's is wrong then I don't want to be right. There's definitely are things that warrant surrendering your man-card, like playing Guitar Hero (and I'll get back to that later), but a harmless romantic movie shouldn't be considered on this list. Not one that includes sappy but adorable story plots, or the uncomfortable yet funny situations that exist between two people who are falling for each other, or the exaggerated moments that make you hard pressed to believe that Kate Beckinsale's mitten throwing precision is really that exceptional. There's nothing wrong with this guilty pleasure and simply put: Real men watch RC's.

Switching gears, I do have to admit that I'm gradually transitioning to the period of my life where I would rather read a book than play video games. It took me until Senior year in college to finally reach this point, but I'm there. I'm generally disinterested in most of today's video games, but as of recently I have taken an interest in some of the vintage ones. When taking a look at some of the greatest video games, or VG's as my buddy Fuxa likes to call them, without question the Bond for N64 is the gold standard. There has never, nor will there every be, a greater video game. Getting all 4 of my roommates together and playing on multi-player mode brings back old memories. Most notably ones of steering my bike with one hand, and holding my 64 controller with the other hand, riding over to a friend's house to play the neighborhood kids. I'm also often ridiculed for being a Sega instead of a Super Nintendo guy back in the day, which I'm not sure if you know this is but back in the day is a Wednesday by the way (Copyright Dane Cook), but I had to get a Sega so I could trade games with kids on the block. Other great games of my era included in VG immortality are Super Mario 3, Zombies at my Neighbors, and Road Rash 3. I think what made these games great were that they were so simplistic, I don't think the advanced game-play of today is really enhancing the product. Nobody wants to have to read a strategy guide or an instructional book for a half hour just to figures out how to play it. That creates work, and people play video games as a release for work, but maybe that's just the way I view it. The one game who's popularity I can't comprehend is Guitar Hero. Why? And that thing that bothers me the most about it is that people actually think there skill would translate into them being a good musician. All Guitar Hero fans really need to watch the latest episode of South Park, because that holds my exact opinion of it. That's it for now catch you next time.

Why am I blogging?

For the longest time now, I have wanted to start my own blog. I like the idea of an online journal where I can get what's ever on my mind out on the internet. I also think it's a great way to relieve stress and address things that bother me. November 10, 2007 marks the first day of my blogging career. I intend to update these entries on roughly a weekly basis. The blogs will controversial, possibly humerous, and definitely informative. My roommate Dana believes nobody cares what I have to say, and he's more than likely right. But rest assured the vast majority of you will be bored enough at one time or another to take a peek at it.