Archive for August, 2010
My friend Kevin is a great guy. Kevin takes part in community service, opens doors for others, and believes that children are the future. Kevin is well-read, works hard and respects his elders. Another fact about Kevin is that he is incredibly fun to pull pranks on.
I am not sure of the reason why Kevin is so great as a recipient of these monkeyshines. (I look up prank in a thesaurus.) Maybe it is the high-pitched shriek he lets out when he has been wronged. Or maybe it is Kevin’s polite innocence that opens up so many great opportunities. Whatever the reason, whether it is as simple as a public de-pantsing or an elaborate “Home Alone” like setup in his room, Kevin is just fun to prank.
There has been one discovery that has helped immensely in the pranking of Kevin, or as I just decided we would call it — The Kevbot Assault 2k10©. The discovery is Kevin’s disgust and pure hatred of mayonnaise. Any time someone uses mayo at a meal Kevin gives a look of revulsion. The smell of mayo causes Kevin to tremble and gag. It is like Superman and Kryptonite, The Green Lantern and Yellow, Storm and tight spaces, Aquaman and umm land? I do not know, could Aquaman get out of the water?
The first mayo attack on Kevin was barbaric but effective; mayo was simply wiped on Kevin’s unsuspecting face. A disgusted freak out followed the attack. Recently my friends and I decided to get Kevin again on a more elaborate mayo trick. The setup was to hide some mayo in a bowl of ice cream.
The night of the trick everything was going according to plan. It was around Mike’s birthday, so the setup was that a few friends were coming over to enjoy cake and ice cream to celebrate. We squeezed three large tubes of Miracle Whip into the bottom of a bowl. As everyone arrived I handed them a bowl of ice cream and cake. When Kevin arrived his special bowl was brought out of hiding and it blended very nicely with two scoops of ice cream and cake. Everyone pretended to be going about their business all while keeping an eye on Kevin waiting for discovery of the unwanted ingredient. Remembering the results of the last mayo prank, I inched a trashcan closer and closer to Kevin with my foot. We anxiously waited and waited…and waited as Kevin finished the entire bowl even scraping the bottom. Funny faces were made a few times but that was only a response to the cheesy Steven Segal movie that was being viewed.
My jaw dropped, “um Kevin you just at an entire bowl of mayonnaise ice cream can you please explain yourself.” “What, that was mayonnaise? I thought the cake just tasted really bad but I did not want to hurt your feelings.” Kevin’s politeness ruined the prank. Thanks a lot Kevin, your politeness saved you … for now.
The next day I did a follow up interview with Kevin and he had this to say. “I’m a little sore about the whole thing.”
I am going on my fifth year of college, and the phrase “poor college student,” comes up constantly.
I hate, hate, hate this phrase. I am not sure why it irks me so badly. It has often come at opportune times like when the bill comes at a restaurant with a generous acquaintance, or as an understanding by folks when a tip is mediocre.
Maybe the problem lies with the high frequency “poor college student” is used, or maybe it just seems corny when I see the satisfied look of someone noticing that I am living up to the standard of “poor college student.”
“Oh you are eating Ramen Noodles, you are such a poor college student.” “Oh you are paying for laundry detergent with nickels and dimes, you are such a poor college student,” “Oh look at the little scamp, he dug through my trash and is reusing the toothbrush that I threw out last week because the tough bristles were causing my gums to recede.” (Or is that just me?)
The truth is, I do not even like Ramen Noodles, and I do not believe that I have eaten Ramen Noodles of any kind in the past four years. I apologize for eating things other than Ramen Noodles. If by admitting that fact I lose favor among those that take comfort in the familiarity of college students being broke, Ramen eating, dime counting, toothbrush reusing fools, then so be it.
Now that the whiney rant is out of the way, I am going to completely contradict myself and admit something: I am a poor college student. I scrimp, I have bought $4 worth of gas using change, and I do sometimes bring an empty jug to the cafeteria to fill with milk.
It does not help that I have the money management skills of MC Hammer. Often times when I come into some money, I go into some kind of blackout spending rage and when I come to I am laying in a pile of receipts from Best Buffet, Season 1 of Are You Afraid of the Dark, and an impressive, yet unnecessary fake moustache collection (Best Buy has a fake moustache machine outside of it, FYI, for those that need to go incognito for a few days.)
I am working on this spending problem. I went to Great Debate Books and skimmed the financial section, and I got a crayon shaped bank from Dollar Tree that is filling nicely. I am taking these positive steps toward cutting out overdraft fees altogether.
A great way Quincy is assisting in money saving techniques is by being home to several top-notch second hand stores. These thrift stores are my favorite places to shop. Sure we have a variety of department stores, but I doubt I am going to find a Bald Eagle statue that is filled with aftershave for a quarter at Kohls.
At the start of the school year, my friend and I had some necessary purchases. Mike needed a coffee table and a bookcase, I needed some new (to me) clothes and stuff to decorate my new apartment with.
Our first stop was to The Crossing Thrift Store located at 907 N. 36th Street. The Crossing has a great collection of second-hand furniture, clothing, and dishes.
It’s starting to get embarrassing sharing the one cup in my apartment with guests so I bought a couple of Smurf glasses I am extremely proud of. I also managed to find two pairs of pants and three shirts all for a total of $9.00. Beat that JCPenney.
Next we headed to the People’s Thrift Store located at 120 N. 5th Street. They have got all of the belt buckles and funny hats a person could ask for.
Our third stop was at the classic, always dependable, Salvation Army on Maine Street. Mike had to talk me out of buying a huge old rusty birdcage, I’m trying not to resent him for his levelheadedness.
Our last stop was at The Yard Sale Store located on Maine Street. The place is packed full of furniture in one room and random things in the other. Mike was able to find a really nice end table for $12. I got a WWE video game for $2.00.
Altogether the thrift store-shopping trip was a great experience. I spent $11.00 and now have clothing, something to drink out of and entertainment. Next stop financial freedom.
After spending too many hours on a Christopher Nolan movie marathon, I decided it was time to stand up and do something. So many people are out doing so many extraordinary things, and I just ate an entire box of Honey Combs.
According to The Ethnologue Organization (yeah, it’s a thing), there are 6,809 distinct languages in the world, and I only know one and I ain’t even that good at it (ask The Local Q editors). My lack of languages was very depressing, so I decided to buckle down and learn another one. After doing some research on Rosetta Stone’s website and seeing the price of the program, I decided being bi-lingual is overrated.
My next inspiration came while I was using stumbleupon.com and stumbled across a blog written by a guy who biked across America in memory of his deceased father. This was exactly the worthwhile event that I was looking for. I love riding bicycles and I love doing things in memory of stuff. The stars have aligned.
There were many steps I needed to take before I could start bicycling for a cause. First, I needed a bicycle. I have been living bike to bike since my Dino Comp ceased to exist in 5th grade due to too many extreme stunts (and by extreme stunts, I mean I forgot it at our previous house when we moved). This problem was easily solved thanks to a bike leasing program called Quincy Bikes. For the commitment of signing a waiver and paying a $10 deposit, I had my pick from a variety of different bikes from road bikes to mountain bikes to hybrids.
Once the bike situation was taken care of, the next step was to find a cause. That problem sort of worked itself out. The night before the revelation to ride, a friend and I were discussing over the phone our past affinity for a gangster rapper named Trick Daddy. Later that evening, I Googled Trick Daddy to see if Trick still loved the kids, and I found out that the beloved Trick Daddy had been diagnosed with Lupus. This is how the bike ride became a Trick Daddy Lupus Awareness ride.
As I geared up to ride, I put on my faded, pink shirt with a stretched out collar. This shirt had not seen the light of day since probably high school, but it was a laundry day. I recruited my friend Brian to join me on my bike ride for a cause, and he too showed up wearing a bright pink shirt. This is how the ride became Breast Cancer Awareness/ Trick Daddy has Lupus Awareness ride.
Now that the logistics were down, it was time for serious riding. I had often heard of and seen pictures of an old bridge outside of town, so we got directions from a friend and hit the road. I selected a hybrid bike that I named Grenadine and instantly fell in love. She handled hills exceptionally well and had quality breaks, making for a great ride.
Brian, on the other hand, had the only criteria of a comfortable seat and selected a Cruiser. This situation is a Goofus and Gallant Comic. While Brian might have been comfortable in the money maker, he struggled and paid dearly on every hill, on a bike built for sashaying around a beach with a picnic basket. Despite the struggle, Brian endured.
The ride started at Quincy University and headed south on 24th Street. I was feeling invincible. It was a beautiful sunny day, about 85 degrees, and problems did not exist. We pressed on all the way down 24th street down a gigantic hill and turned left to Marblehead. I was so determined to see this bridge at a place called Fall Creek. When we caught up at Marblehead, Brian tried to get me to settle for their bridge, but I knew I would be cheating myself if I settled for anything in Marblehead.
The ride continued until we finally reached our destination on a road toward Payson. The bridge was awesome, my shirt was soaked, and it was one of the few times I felt I had earned the trail mix. After heading back, we measured our distance. It was exactly 29.7 miles (expletive, we didn’t hit 30 miles).
The next bike ride will be taking place soon, and we will get 30 miles this time. If anyone would like to join, just e-mail me. If you do not have a bike, you can get hooked up through Quincy Bikes and pick up a bike at America’s Best Value Inn, The Salvation Army or contact Madison-Davis Bicycle shop to find out alternative locations. I would also appreciate suggestions for the next worthy cause of the bike ride.
It’s bright and sunny; the day is beautiful. I should be out enjoying it. I do enjoy the great outdoors; I do have fun; I even am supposed to be writing a blog about it. However my outdoor adventures have come to a screeching halt thanks to a man named Christopher Nolan, a director of moving pictures.
The other day — after months of anticipation — I went to see Inception and Sweet Marie, was it a glorious experience. It had great performances, action and a twisting plot complete with a dream within a dream within a dream … I lost count. About halfway through Inception, the large soda hit I was faced with the choice of just suffering through the pain or becoming lost in the compelling storyline. I chose to endure; hopefully it will build character or something positive rather than just stretch my bladder out leading to a UTI or one day maybe even incontinence as WebMD suggests.
The entire way home, the remainder of the evening, and next few days were completely devoted to discussing the movie, trying to answer questions and debating if Leo finally topped his Growing Pains performance. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjVYwaTRJI0)
It was pretty clear what had happened, my friends and I had developed “Ruptured Colon Nolan” (it’s like Bieber Fever but less socially taboo). The evenings after work following the Inception experience were filled with nothing but viewings of Nolan’s previous work. The first night was Memento — guy loses his short term memory, aspires to avenge his murdered wife, you know, the usual. The non-linear storyline is seen by some as a cheap trick to make the movie more interesting, I think it works brilliantly to show the tricks memory can play on all of us. Next up was the Prestige, followed by Insomnia, at this point my brain was slightly withering due to the mystery thrillers filled with plot twists, but I press on.
It was time to get to what made me love Nolan’s work in the first place. Batman Begins, and the Dark Knight. Batman is something I have aspired to be since I was a little kid. I do however have a few shortcomings. I am not a billionaire; I have no parents to avenge; and the word portly often comes up when describing my physical features. With these less than Batman worthy attributes, Nolan’s Batman films are the next best thing. The fight scenes are great, excellent pacing, and best of all no bat nipples like Joel Shumaker tried to pull on 1997’s “Batman and Robin” One you get past Christian Bale’s Batman sounding like he has been smoking for 60 years, the movies are incredible.
After viewing all of the Nolan movies, I was spent. I had a hard time focusing on other things, I wasn’t quite sure my legs worked anymore. I felt like Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when he tried to stand up after being in bed for some crazy amount of years. I opened a curtain and the sun started burning my pasty skin. The Nolan marathon was fun and the movies are great, but I recommend spreading them out over a few weeks span for the sake of your health.