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.