Roomate Reminiscings #2

31 07 2009

Sophomore year:  Brooks

Ever cross-eyed and spouting meaningless Greek, Brook s joined Micah and me in a triple room for sophomore year.  Horton Hall was being demolished, so they had to cram students in everywhere.  We volunteered to take one for the team (team fun) and shove three guys into a room roughly the size of most wealthy people’s closets.  Really.

Anyway, the year started off rather inauspiciously when Micah brought his drum set in.  Yeah, we knew we’d be having all of our beds lofted, but still.  Drums?  Really?  While I was fine with it (except for one very specific occasion where I had a huge paper worth most of my grade due at 5pm), there were times where it didn’t make a whole lot of sense.  Looking back on it, it’s actually a great thing that Brooks was only dating a girl for a few months of those two semesters.  I can’t imagine how insane we would all have been had all three of us been dating people while living in a prison cell with drums and dirty clothes.  Brook s was pretty well-known around the dorm for being sociable, affable, and nice to most everyone.  He was always one of the first guys to invite new people along on Cafe trips, card games, or birthday Molca Salsa runs.  What I didn’t realize, however, was how poorly this suited him for rooming with Micah and me.  Especially me.  I’m not a socialite by any means, and Micah doesn’t exactly emanate friendliness and joy.  It began to grow a little tough to distinguish how Brooks related to us from how he related to the random guy he met in the Cafe while in line for chicken parm.  There were those special moments, however, like when he and Norm and Aaron decided to perform a Mario Bros. music set for Punk ‘N Pie.  This only meant, however, that the three of them (with three guitars and an amp) would frequently decide to practice in our room.  Many times loudly, with the door open, so as to gain the interest and feedback of our peers.  Strangely, most of these times coincided with open hours.  Not that I blame them at all — I mean, I wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to flaunt my quasi-nerdy musical proclivities.

One of my favorite moments with Brooks was early on in the semester, when we both got warning slips from Campus Safety (the PIGS!) for skateboarding on campus.  I was convinced by brooks to ‘board with him to Eagle’s Nest at 11:50pm so that we could make it there before it closed, so we took off.  I’m sure that my suicidal attempts at riding a skateboard slowed me down immensely, but that made it even more fun.  We finally got back to the dorm, caloried up and cholesteroled for a week, when Officer Joel busted us.  It was one of the funnier things that happened all semester.  (Also destroying half the campus with my golf cart.  Ask Cory about that one.)  I remember feeling a little empty during the semester for a lot of reasons; girls were part of it, but it was the generally enhanced social atmosphere that comes from seeing your friends grow more comfortable with broadening their horizons.  I’m not a horizon-broadener at all.  This left me a little depleted of sympathy and Christian love, which only hurt the experience that much more.

It seems that I’m dwelling on a lot of negatives.  Brooks is still a good guy.  We’ve had a few talks since then, and we could probably hang out today at the drop of a hat, although he’s more to credit for that than I am.  Timing is what it came down to.  After spending my first year acclimating to the college atmosphere, I wanted to recline in my La-Z-Boy of friends and make some memories. (again, sounds a little butch…) Instead, I wound up in a group of people mostly looking to make their mark on campus.  Of these people, Brooks is one of the ones I’m glad I know and knew.  I’m ok with that.

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Cartas a Alguien

29 07 2009

My mom gave me a really great gift for my birthday.  Actually, she gave me a lot of great gifts.  Lots of people did.  My parents, grandparents and aunt all tend to spoil me (can you still be spoiled after growing up?) on holidays, but I digress.

She gave me a box of her homemade cards and envelopes, each tailored to exude a distinct vibe and address a particular situation.  Anyway, I just really love having the ability to express a nice thought to someone without appearing like I didn’t put any thought into it.  (The fact that I do not make these cards any more than I make an American Greetings card is not relevant)

Anyway, I just sent one of them out.  It was time, you know?

– – –

I’m going through all my old stuff, and I have lots of little sentimental things.  Receipts, photos, ticket stubs, photocopied letters, real letters, hilarious cards…they all mean something.  But I can’t help but thinking (see Dulce Domum) that I’ll someday have much stronger things to hold onto than these few leaves of my past.  For now, they hold up as significant tokens of my life.  There will come a day (I know and hope) when they are as significant to me as my childhood math books are to me now.  (And I even liked math back then…)





Roomate Reminiscings

28 07 2009

#1 — Freshman year: Micah

Micah and I knew (and know) each other longer than any other person we went to college with.  Upon discovering that we would both be attending the same school, rooming together was a natural choice.  We had acclimated to each others’ personality over years at the same summer camp, and we both had misgivings about being stuck with a random roommate.

Our first year together (we would go on to spend 18 more moths together in the future) was marked with candy binges, late nights, and distempered hostility towards our moon-faced classmates.  We began to collect a good group of “friends” that we could tolerate enough for meals, and I still maintain that that group would have looked a lot more dismal without us.  Not just because of how awesome we were, but because we both (perhaps Micah even more than I) attracted personality types that would normally be put off by the more social and group-dependent people.  What I’m basically saying is that we were the coolest people that no one will think of when someone asks them “who were the coolest people on your hall?”

We went through some some ups and downs with girls, classes and friends.  We got on each others’ nerves on multiple occasions, and we laughed together more than with anyone else (that I know of).  One of my lasting memories (unnecessary redundancy) will always be the Monday or Wednesday morning when Micah had a morning class, and he responded to his alarm by hopping out of the top bunk right onto the open spikes of his three ring binder.

He was limping for a week.

He kept his fridge stocked with Coke and Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers (until Costco stopped carrying them) and he borrowed my suit to go to Spring Banquet.  I still have the ticket stub he left in one of the pockets.

He was more cynical than I, less selfish, and more spontaneous.  Neither of us had a car, but we would walk down to the grocery store together on Sunday afternoons and talk about college, camp, food, stupid people, or nothing.  We started both of the projects for MCOM 202 the night before they were due, and they are still funny.  Not as funny to our professor, who worked on such films as Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius. I guess he mistook our slapdash creativity for laziness.  Probably because Micah fell asleep in class once or twice.

After living with him for a while ,I can certainly enumerate all the things about him that drive me bonkers.  He eats loudly, embarrasses me in public and private, and is as verbally truculent as anyone I know.  However, just because this isn’t quite gay enough yet, that stuff was just part of an experience that I’ll always look fondly upon.  We respect each other, and know exactly where we stood at any given moment.  We didn’t feel the need to have dozens of heart-to-hearts because our thought processes were similar enough to render those superfluous on most occasions.  And when we did talk about important things, the conversation was always interesting.

An end-of-the-year video recap session still exists somewhere, and I can hear it vividly right now.  I’m trying to carry some semblance of form and wit along in a description of the past two semesters, and Micah is throwing overtly sarcastic comments in at will.  I try to respond in kind, and he just goes down one more level (eg “Uh, yeah, that’s because I grew up locked in the basement…”), rendering me hapless, and happy.  Had girls and classes not interfered, the year’s bliss would have rendered our upcoming addition of a third roommate completely unconscionable.  Instead, we figured this chemistry was immutable, and sought to create “The Party Zone.”

More like the part-ing zone.  BAM!





Zooey Deschanel vs. SWPL

27 07 2009

Let’s see which Stuff White People Like (see link on sidebar) criteria are found in Zooey Deschanel’s character from Yes Man.  I know I noticed more than a couple…

– – –

126: Vespa Scooters

111: Pea Coats

104: Girls with Bangs

77: Musical Comedy

70: Difficult Breakups

67: Standing Still at Concerts

55: Apologies

49: Vintage

41: Indie Music

27: Marathons (well, she has that jogging/photo class.  Close!)

19: Traveling (this might seem like a broad category, but read the entry and you’ll see how well it matches up.)

11: Asian Girls.  (Actually, it’s Jim Carrey’s character that hooks up an Asian girl with his friend, but you get the gist of it.)

9: Making you feel bad about not going outside

– – – – –

So there you have it.  And to top it all off, she’s marrying a guy from a cool indie band in real life!  Talk about perfect!





MC Defenseless

26 07 2009

Micah and I were in charge of “running the show” for Thatcher & Laura’s wedding reception this weekend.

I know, I know.

Nothing major went awry, but my favorite moment was this:

The wedding coordinator’s husband comes up to me after the reception has started, and asks if we have any karaoke planned.  I told him no, we do not, sorry.  He then asks if there is a keyboard or something like that.  I say, a little more hesitantly, that I know of no musical implements other than the sanctuary piano.  I then ask him if I can help him with something, and he informs me that, oh, it’s no big deal, but he figured he could sing a number for the bride and groom for them on this special day.

What.

I actually considered, for the briefest instant, suggesting to him some other way of honoring my friends.  The look on their faces when this random guy started to serenade them would have been better than any gift.  Any gift for me, at least.  They probably would’ve been really annoyed.

Made a 90s playlist today.  All is well.





Say Yes

25 07 2009

I don’t really like Zooey Deschanel (I don’t think that’s how you spell her name, but if I look it up, the terrorists win).

I enjoyed watching Yes Man because it was funny.   I think I am often too quick to say “no” to people, but I don’t think saying “yes” to a lot of stuff is always good either.

Actually, I just think the whole dichotomy is pretty stupid.  But I definitely have been trying to be more spontaneous lately.  We could all stand to do that.  At least, most of us.





Romanian mayor’s Nazi uniform provokes outrage

21 07 2009

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/07/21/romania.nazi.uniform.mayor/index.html

The best quote in the article has to be this:

“I checked it before I put it on, but the swastika was very small and I didn’t see it,” he said. “I really liked the look of the uniform after seeing it in the Tom Cruise film ‘Valkyrie.’ I bought it from a costume hire shop in Germany.”