Month: December 2014

The Interview

Two of Hollywood’s finest, most provocative young actors have teamed up once again to thrill the worldwide audiences.  Seth Rogen and James Franco are a comedic duo who have provoked the minds and emotions of theatre goers everywhere with their pervasive talents.

In “Pineapple Express”, the pair play a directionless repo-man and a clueless pot dealer with a heart of gold.  Together, they take down a much larger drug ring, foiling a police cover-up in the process.  Franco and Rogen teamed up again for “This is the End”, an “end of the world” movie which explores such themes as friendship, acceptance, Godliness, and showing the Devil’s fully erect genitals as he forcibly rapes Jonah Hill.  Truly a timeless classic.

Anyway, these guys branched out from their typical stoner bro comedies to produce, and this is by no means hyperbole, one of the most controversial motion pictures in the history of history.  “The Interview” is a film about a television crew infiltrating North Korea and assassinating Kim Jung-Un, who you might recognize as the actual, for real leader of North Korea.  The same North Korea that’s been testing nuclear weapons and really isn’t a fan of America or any of our pals.

I’ve never been one to actually worry about a terrorist attack from North Korea, as I think Un’s regime is more about threatening rhetoric rather than actual invasive action, but my God, when I heard about this movie I thought they were kidding.

The depiction of the murder of a sitting world leader is almost entirely without precedent.  It’s simply never been done, and that’s according to film historians who actually know what they’re talking about.

I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud.  I really don’t.  I mean, I’ll probably end up watching the movie because I would watch Seth Rogen do anything for an hour and a half because he’s hilarious.  But, I’m just not sure if this film is really in good taste.

Imagine if (for the sake of argument) Belgium produced a film about the assassination of President Obama.  First of all, just me typing that sentence probably got me placed on a watch list somewhere, which goes to show how seriously governments can (and should) treat violent suggestions.  Second of all, Belgium, for all intents and purposes is just..well it’s just Belgium.  An unprovoked depiction of the assassination of our leader would be terrifying.

Now imagine again if North Korea produced a similar film as Belgium.  It would be less terrifying.  Unlike Belgium (or the United States) North Korea has a much more narrow audience, meaning less eyes will see it.  More importantly, we know North Korea doesn’t like us.  Odds are if they ever produced a movie where the assassination of the President was depicted, we would collectively say “mah, it’s just those crazy North Koreans and their propaganda” while we shrugged our shoulders and moved on.

Imagine one final time you are the North Korean government.  Obviously, your leader has some kinks, and if your society was allowed free speech it’s possible many of them wouldn’t have many nice things to say about Kim.  However, he is the acting Supreme Ruler, and even though the film is clearly a comedy, the depiction of his murder is offensive, tasteless, and infuriating.

So what am I saying?  As soon as “The Interview” hits theaters we might as well start building nuclear fallout shelters?  I don’t think the risk of a full-scale nuclear war is at all reasonable.  But smaller, lone-wolf acts of violence?  You never know.

The United States is a melting pot.  Included in this cultural melting pot are people who hate the idea of the United States.  I used to live in a town of 5,000 people, and there was a guy who was an al-Qaeda supporter who allegedly had blueprints to my town’s high school.  That’s a scary thought.  Now add in the several hundred thousand people this movie will offend.  Trim that down to the ones who are both offended AND hate America.  Frankly, it’s a pretty arrogant move to depict the assassination of any leader for comedy.  I’m sure this fact will rub some the wrong way.

Since the 2012 Aurora Shooting, people were up in arms about needing to keep theaters safe.  There was even a huge debate about how far violence in movies should go because it was suggested it desensitized viewers.  At the very least many supported major studios pulling violent films from movie theaters.  Then a few months later, Sandy Hook happened, and everyone forgot about Aurora.

Here we are, two years after one of the deadliest shootings in the history of this country, and we are actually making movies about killing other country’s leaders.  At the very least people will protest this film.  The worst possible outcome is violence, and that seems like it could be a possible scenario.

The studios have rights, too.  So do the theaters.  This film is going to make a TON of money, so it’s not fair to suggest the studios pull the film or theaters refuse to screen it.  I do, however, feel maybe making the film in the first place was in bad taste, and I’m hoping people actually take the joke.

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Ruining Christmas

Michelle Bachmann, a member of the United States House of Representatives serving the 6th congressional district of Minnesota recently announced her impending retirement from Senate, stating 2016 would be her final year.  She’s served the district since 2007, and sought the GOP nomination in the 2012 presidential race before eventually losing to John McCain and his wrinkly, old face.

She’s also what you might call “profoundly Republican”.  She like Minnesota, I think.  She hates taxes, immigrants, gays, abortions, and apparently, the EPA.  She considers diplomacy as “an option”, which is sort of a foreboding term when you realize the alternative plan of action involves eviscerating an entire country.

You see, Ms. Bachmann recently told President Obama “Mr. President, you need to bomb the Iranian nuclear facilities.”  It must have caught the poor guy off guard, because he answered her question with a more eloquent version of “lol wut.”  She then told him that he is in fact the president, and then walked away.  By the way, this whole exchange happened at the White House Christmas Party.

I’m not one to besmirch anyone’s political ideals, and far be it from me to criticize an acting member of the US House of Representatives, but I feel like her suggestion was a little…well to out it frankly her suggestion was “frank.”  I feel like the issue of “destroying nuclear plants with bombs” is a really good idea.

Really, whether your crazy uncle, crazy aunt, or crazy anything has ever suggested “bombing a nuclear plant”, have you ever stopped to consider the consequences.  Well I have.

Nuclear reactors and power plants, without an ounce of hyperbole, are some of the most unstable environments in the world, and this is despite the numerous, rigorous safety standards in place.  If a nuclear power plant were to have “an issue”, the consequences would be tremendously severe.

Right now, think of some notable incidents involving nuclear power plants.  Go ahead, take a second.  Okay, that’s one second.  If you picked three, I’m assuming they are the Chernobyl disaster, the Fukushima disaster, and the Three-Mile Island disaster.  The International Atomic Energy Agency and their super-group sounding name developed a scale for the sole purpose of rating disasters in the event of a nuclear meltdown, which are usually caused by accidents.  For example, the Three-Mile Island disaster was rated a 5 out of 7, defined as “an accident with wider consequences.”  This is an accurate statement because a partial meltdown occurred because of operator error (an accident) and an unknown amount of nuclear material and radioactive gas was released into the atmosphere (wider consequences).  No one died as a result of the Three Mile Island disaster, and any long-term health effects of the general population around Harrisburg (where the accident happened) haven’t been determined to have a causal relationship with the meltdown or not.

Okay, so Three-Mile Island was a five, so what’s a seven, also known as a “major accident”?  Well Chernobyl and Fukushima are certainly more insidious in nature.  During the Chernobyl disaster, a steam fired started as the result of an accident during a test, leading to a complete meltdown, release of material into the environment, 56 deaths at the site of the accident, and over 4,000 cancer-related deaths in the years that followed.  Fukushima melted down and released nuclear material as the result of a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, which isn’t so much an accident as a direct attempt by mother nature herself to destroy Godzilla.  nearly 1,600 people died as a result of Fukushima.

So if you’re keeping score, there have been two nuclear disasters in history which have registered a 7 out of 7 on the International Nuclear Event Scale, the most deadly of which killed around 4,000 people.  Remember way back when I was talking about Michelle Bachmann casually suggested we bomb a bunch of Iranian facilities?  Well, according to the Center for Research on Globalization, if we bombed several of the Iranian compounds, the death toll could reach nearly three million. We may not get along with Iran, but is eliminating nearly 4% of their population really necessary?

Just ponder that.  If an acting member of the Senate is advocating an attack that would kill as many people as 25 Hiroshima bombings or almost 1,000 9/11 attacks, then maybe it’s best she’s hanging it up to ride into the sunset.

The End of an Era

On December 9th, Mike Jeffries stepped down as CEO of Abercrombie and Fitch after posting nearly three consecutive years of losses and seeing his yearly pay drop from nearly $50 million in 2011 to just over $2 million this past year.

Jeffries has been one of the most controversial figures in the world of retail, consistently referred to as “The Worst CEO” of the week, year, millennium, etc.

In 1988, The Limited, owner of several independent clothing stores, specifically, Abercrombie and Fitch, hired Jeffries to reinvigorate the brand as they were only months away from declaring bankruptcy.

If you attend high school between the years 1998-2010, you may recognize Abercrombie and Fitch as the store all the stuck up kids bought their clothes from, but you secretly wanted to get your hands on one of those colorful polos.  Abercrombie is known for having especially attractive employees, while also pumping a Dachau amount of gasses into their stores, the gas of course being fumes from their trademark cologne.

You see, in 1892 when Abercrombie and Fitch was founded, the company was set up to be an outdoor enthusiast’s clothier.  They sold tents, boots, warm jackets, and pants which obliterated mosquitoes and snakes, probably.  In fact, Teddy Roosevelt was known to be one of Abercrombie’s most notorious clients back in the day.  If Teddy Roosevelt, the man known for winning the Spanish-American War by single-handedly hate killing three trillion Spaniards with his bare hands on San Juan Hill and taking a bullet during a presidential address and then finishing the speech before seeking medical attention knew that in 100 years teenage boys in ripped skinny jeans and a t-shirt that declares “fashion diva” were donning the same label as him he would rise from his grave and murder every last one of us.  Horribly.

Anyway, the present-day, upscale apparel retailer you know and love is that way because of Mike Jeffries.  In the 90’s, Jeffries quickly realized that hyper-sexualization of young folks was a swell way to turn a profit, so he opted to turn A&F around, eloquently stating he wanted the company to “sizzle with sex.”  That phrase becomes way grosser when you realize it’s this guy saying it:

*shudders*

Despite initially turning the company into a powerhouse amongst teen and young adult retailers, Jeffries faced criticism almost from the beginning.  Most notably, Jeffries employs a strict “look policy” for his stores.  If you found it to be a tremendous coincidence that all employees in Abercrombie stores look like Zac Efron clones photoshopped on top of a pile of abs, don’t worry, it’s not.  You see, A&F has a policy where all employees must pass a “look test” before being hired.  In Jeffries’ own words, “we make clothes for young, good-looking people, so he have to hire good-looking people to get other cool, good-looking people into our stores.”  That Derek Zoolander-esque quote is verbatim, by the way.  You might recognize discriminating someone based on their looks as both “sexual harassment” and “extremely unethical”, to which Jeffries typically enforces a “it’s my store and if I only want cool people then that’s what I want” line of reasoning.

A&F, despite Jeffries’ instance on serving “cool” people, seem pretty set on only serving cool, upper-middle class white males, which you may recognize as being the single most spoiled, well-off demographic on the planet.  On numerous occasions Jeffries has marketed racist, sexist, bigoted, and mildly hilarious apparel to anyone dumb enough to laugh.  For example:

Get it?  Because Asian people are almost always monks or rice farmers.  Geopolitical inaccuracies aside, A&F is not one to forget the ladies, with shirts such as this:

“Who needs brains when you have these?” states the shirt I suspect was designed by Don Imus.  In addition to this shirt implying women need no intelligence of their own, it also sets kind of an unrealistic goal.  The shirt displayed appears to be about a small, maybe even an extra small.  What cup size does Jeffries think a 16 year-old, size 0 girl has?  At an age when many girls can’t even walk into Victoria’s Secret without breaking down into self-loathing tears, A&F is giving them a constant reminder of their own insecurities.  Thanks Mike Jeffries for employing a classic Southern frat boy “no fat chicks” mentality when branding your clothing.  Spot on work.

Abercrombie and Fitch, years ago, adopted a tagline which simply states, “Casual Luxury”, implying their products are superior to what you may find at Wal-Mart.  I will admit, in my later high school and early college years I was guilty of wearing Abercrombie clothing.  I can say with certainty there is some truth to this claim; their products are finely made, don’t break down easily, and are very comfortable.  However, as an adult with my own bills, I can say with even more certainty forcing my loving parents to pay $40 for a shirt with a moose on it was a little excessive.  I’m getting off track.  Oh, yeah, “Casual Luxury”.  Jeffries employed this slogan, presumably, as a way to allow himself to sleep at night.  His creative tagline implied quality, which in turn allowed the consumers to be more comfortable forking over $75 for a pair of cargo shorts.

In 2009, the United States suffered a bit of an “economic situation.”  Many retailers took this crisis to heart, realizing consumer spending is pretty much the only way they can stay in business.  A&F was not one.  Jeffries, against the advice of his advisors, opted to keep prices the same.  Unsurprisingly, A&F began posting losses, although Jeffries took home nearly $70 million that year.

Mercifully, Jeffries put an end to his fully priced items, allowing for sales, clearances, and overall reduction of cost.  This helped a bit, but over the years of questionable hiring practices, shady financial dealings, and employing a staff of man-servants to tend both his mansion and private jet, the damage had been done to Jeffries and Abercrombie.  The company went on to post 11 straight quarters of losses, ending this quarter, leading to Jeffries’ resignation.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from Jeffries’ ordeal, its to try to act like an actual human being.  For the entirely of his tenure as CEO of Abercrombie, Jeffries was basically a real-life MAD TV sketch portraying the sleazy business morals of a corrupt retail officer.  Jeffries offended a lot of nice people, hurt a lot of feelings, and probably even made some folks cry.

I think the most important piece of advice to keep in mind is this:  If you want to own a business that caters to only “cool, good-looking” people, that’s fine.  But when you look like this:

*AHHHHHHH!!!!!!*

Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your stance on who and who isn’t physically attractive.

The Grocery Store

“What’s your recipe for chocolate chip cookies?” I ask my mom via text message.

My mom makes awesome cookies, so I won’t be disclosing that recipe.  She describes the instructions in detail, to which I realize I don’t have several of the required ingredients, most notably chocolate chips.  Great.  Looks like I’m going to the store.

When it comes to grocery stores, you have your blue-chip, can’t-miss stores.  Top of the line products, great prices, clean stores, and a friendly staffs are enough to make you conduct your semi-monthly food stock ups at a specified locale.  Everyone has this first choice grocery store.  However, most people also have a backup.  The backup grocery store is kind of like the ugly girl in high school who is really good friends with everyone, but people usually only come to for favors.  She’s happy to comply, but she knows deep down no one can truly love her like the prettier, nicer, more fully stocked gir…I mean stores.

The first choice store is where you go when it’s time for a big grocery trip.  You know you’re going to walk out that door with two-weeks worth of groceries and $150 less dollars in your wallet.  The backup store is where you go when you need to get milk or bread quickly, or decide last-minute you randomly want to make chocolate chip cookies.

I embark to my backup store.  This store is unique for many reasons.  For one, they only stock one brand of milk, which I suspect comes from the utters of the junior varsity squad of dairy cows.  The store possess a “Wall of Values” which is exactly as depressing as it sounds and includes a separate aisle of items strictly priced at one dollar.  If you ever need to purchase motor oil and a chocolate bar made from the finest of Swiss chocolates and only those two items and spend not a dime over $2 then this is the place to be.  I also suspect the bathroom graffiti is done with spray paint, because even the vandalism at this store needs to be unique.

This store is also the type of store that enforces a dress code for its employees.  Typically, the dress code for any grocery store I’ve visited has been “wear this polo shirt or apron and please remember to wear pants.”  However, the dress code at this store has the employees required to wear black pants, a white shirt, and a tie.  That’s more dressed up than I got for my Homecoming Dance in high school.

So I park my car and embark into the store.  Within seconds, I feel bad about myself.  I crawl through this parking lot dressed in stained sweatpants, tennis shoes with no socks, and a hoodie I think I worked out in the day before.  Also, I hadn’t showered yet that day and probably haven’t shaved in three or four days.  Meanwhile, I see the cart pusher, donned in his stylish semi-formal grocery store wear, and I immediately realize I, who on multiple occasions has given fashion advice, now look like a homeless vagrant compared to this disgruntled 19-year-old cart caddy getting paid minimum wage to chase carts across a parking lot.

I push onward.  I’m here for chocolate chips, milk, margarine, and peanut butter.

I don’t come here often, so I panic and grab a cart.  Subconsciously, I think I got it as an extra layer of protection against the elements.  I locate the chocolate chips with relativeease.  Check.

Finding milk should be easy.  I head towards the refrigerated section of the store.  At the deli, two large men and their fat, stupid children stand in the middle of the aisle.  They don’t notice me at first.  I stand there like an idiot for about three seconds before I politely say, “excuse me.”

“Whoa, sorry there fella, I’ll git aughta yur way,” said the man, wearing a polyester Steelers jacket that I believe was team issue in 1994.

He then moves his cart out of the way, while his chubby daughter busts out a literal juke move that would cause Barry Sanders in his prime to crumple to the ground with two broken ankles.

I get to the dairy section.  An older-ish lady, maybe about 60 was standing in front of the milk display, mumbling to herself.

“Mur mah mur mur baba mur buttermilk,” the lady said.  I was thoroughly uncomfortable.  I’m not exactly sure what she is contemplating, since there’s only one brand of milk, which comes in three sizes, with the only choices being whole, 2%, or skim.

Seemingly overcome by the unlimited, infinite milk possibilities, the lady comments, “harmaana blabba mah murr $3.59.”

The milk was actually only $3.47, so I’m not entirely sure where she compiled that figure.  I quickly leave.

I need to find peanut butter.  I’m not sure where I go to accomplish this task.  I must have looked confused because an associate saw me and asked, “Lookin’ fer the bathroom?”

For a second I was confused.  What emotions could I possibly have been conveying non-verbally for this stranger to assume that was my problem.  Faced with an existential crisis involving the appearance of my “poop-face”, I respond with, “No, I’m good, thanks,” which must’ve satisfied the clerk.

I give up.  Peanut butter is gonna have to wait.

I approach the check out line and realize I’m still pushing a cart filled only with a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips and a gallon of milk.  I then remembered I needed margarine, so I pushed my cart back to the aisle to find butter.  Polyester jacket Steelers fan is there.  “That makes sense,” I thought to myself.

I am now ready to check out.  I push my cart with my three items to the 10 items or less lane.  The cashier was on break.  We made eye-contact, my expression saying, “Look, I only have three items.  I fulfill all the requirements for this service,” to which her look says, “That may be so but I’m eating a sandwich, so you will be getting in line with the commoners.”

I get in line behind a guy who only has a few items.  Our cashier is a young woman.  This guy sees this as his chance to chat this lady up with some classic sweet talk.

“You know,” he said to the cashier, “these candies here on this rack weren’t here this morning, and I would know because I was here in this line.”

He then turns around, looks at me and smiles, as if it say, “Take some notes, son, that right there is how it’s done.”

The cashier replies with, “Yeah, I didn’t notice that.”  This guy is getting a propane tank filled.  It’s 30 degrees outside.

“Yeah, I just had this here tank laying around, figured I would top it off and maybe do some grillin’,” said Casanova.

“It’s pretty cold outside,” said the visibly annoyed cashier.

“Yeah, well, I think I’m gonna do it anyway,” he said as he turns around again, as if to say, “Hook, line, and sinker.”

By now, an elderly woman in a motorized scooter had made her way behind me in line.  Casanova is blowing his chance and I can’t watch, so my eyes begin to wonder around the store.  I can see through my peripherals scooter lady is looking at me.  The judgment in her eyes says it all; she does not approve of my decision to use a cart on this day.  Whatever, I don’t need her validation.

Casanova mercifully completes his transaction with no number in hand.  He smells like motor oil.  Some guys just can’t win.  I don’t look at my cashier at all, knowing I would laugh if I did so.  I realized by intentionally avoiding eye contact the entire time I looked like I had Aspergers.  Scooter lady now looks like she feels bad for me.

“Do you want your milk in a bag?” the cashier asks.

“Uhhh,” I say, sincerely unsure of how to answer that question.  I was caught off guard.  “No thanks, it’s milk,” I finally say.

I pay for my items and carry my single bag and milk in one hand, while pushing a cart with another.  I put my cart back in the entrance of the store.  The cat-caddy kid looks offended, since I kind of just did his job for him.  He’ll get over it.  Probably.

I exit the store into the freezing cold.  Casanova is driving a giant Ford truck with a lift kid.  “Yeah, I figured,” I noted audibly.  I pull out and head home, and a lady in a giant Denali nearly hits my car as she failed to stop, or even slightly slow down at a stop sign.  She looked at me like I was eating a diaper, as if it’s my fault she couldn’t drop the phone her husband bought her.

I then remember I hate my backup store and reconsider finding a new one.  That’s a story for another day.

Graduate Finals – An Insider’s Look

For many college students around the country this is finals week, a week of sleepless nights, endless pots of coffee, and broken dreams.  This make or break week for some students is the difference between passing and failing, while others simply see finals week as either a way to boost their GPA or to shatter all their hard work in a glorious explosion of mediocrity.

Most college students carry a course load of 15 credits, which amounts to roughly five finals depending on the type of work.  Many universities allow students to only take two final exams per day, allowing them to defer other exams to later in the week.  An advantage of graduate school is the fact I only need to carry nine credits.  Not saying grad school has been a cake walk, since I’ve done tons of other assignments, projects, papers, and tests during the semester, but all that previous work has been advantageous since I only have to prepare for three finals.  Fortunately for me, I took them all the same day.  Here is an insider’s look at a graduate level finals week over the last two days.

Monday

9:15 am – Wake up and check phone.  Groan audibly.  “Babe, pancakes,” I mumble to Haley, who at this point has already been up for an hour, studying, because she’s better than me.

9:20 am – Finally get out of bed.  I don’t think pancakes are happening.  I opt for cereal instead.  It’s a disappointing decision.

9:30 am – Finish eating and join Haley on the couch.  “I don’t have anything to do today, and I have all day to study, I’ll just do some internet for a few minutes,” I tell myself.

10:30 am – Realize it has been longer than a few minutes.  Watch Wayne Brady give an overweight lady a $100 bill on television.  She is very excited.  Another lady wins a trip to Florida and a pool table, but then gambles it away and walks away with nothing.  She is not excited.

12:05 pm – Finally get some motivation.  Read through some material for my Law final.  I have exactly 30 hours to learn how to successfully defend against a defamation lawsuit.  Let’s do this.

12:45 pm – Done studying for now.  Eat an apple for lunch.  “We need groceries,” I say.

1:10 pm – Arrive at the grocery store.  A wreck on the main highway made traffic horrible.  I secretly hope that person was on their way to meet someone important and is now late.

1:25 pm – Complete the world’s fastest trip to the grocery store.  I make eye contact with a lady who was muttering insults under her breath to the cashier the last time I was at this store.  Make a mental note to plan my trips better next time.

1:35 pm – Finally check out my items.  I don’t think my cashier is interested in winning employee of the month this time around.

1:52 pm – Arrive home.  Carry two weeks worth of groceries up four flights of stairs in one trip.  I am all that is man.

1:54 pm – Catch my breath from carrying two weeks worth of groceries up the stairs.

2:00 pm – Decide I want pulled pork for dinner.  Put it in crock pot and set for six hours.

3-4pm – Go downstairs to use the rec center in my apartment.  And by rec center I mean two treadmills, an elliptical, a broken stationary bike, assorted free weights, and a poor man’s Bowflex.  Still cheaper than LA Fitness.

7:00 pm – Finish putting the finishing touches on that duck book I posted here the other day.  That was a surprisingly tedious assignment.  Mentally prepare for the ridiculous final in that class.

7:03 pm – Pork is done.  Not waiting for Haley.  Smell is too delicious.  She probably won’t care.

7:06 pm – Inhale an entire plate of pulled pork nachos, officially negating the effects of the previous workout.

8pm-9:00 – Study for Law final some more.  At a certain point, I tell myself, I either understand the material or I don’t.  Besides, I can study tomorrow.  I can now play Madden without guilt.

9:00 pm – 11:30 pm – Madden.  Set the game to its lowest difficulty for the Ravens game.  Le’veon Bell rushes for 354 yards and 5 touchdowns.  I really don’t like the Ravens.

12:00 am – 2:30 am – Miscellaneous internet stuff.  Mostly Cracked articles and memes.  Remember I have a final tomorrow so should probably get to bed.

Tuesday – Finals Day

9:03 am – Wake up.  Well, Haley wakes me up because I requested she wake me up at this time.  Grunt loudly, which she correctly interprets as “leave me be, woman.”

10:16 am – Wake up a second time.  Whoops.  Oh well, the day is young.

10:17 am – Quickly realize I actually have to shower before I leave the apartment today.  This depresses me.  I avoid looking in the mirror.  I don’t even wanna know.

10:24 am – Finish showering, brushing teeth, and dressing.  Being a guy is awesome.  Eat an apple.

12:13 pm – Head out the door.  I’ve got finals at 2, 6, and then an online final, and I’ve gotta go to a speciality printing shop downtown to get things printed.

12:24 pm – Arrive downtown.  I have a decision to make.  Attempt to locate a spot in a garage two blocks from my school, which could be difficult because it’s midday, or take the sure thing and park across the river, risking the chances of being mugged on my walk back that night.  Opt to gamble on the closer garage.

12:27 pm – Thank god for lunchtime.  Garage has spots available, but not many.  I park on the top level of a parking garage taller than any building I’ve ever been in.  Take the stairs, because I feel like being healthy today.

12:40 pm – Walk however many blocks it is to the printing shop.  The guy seems confused by my requests.  “You want this all printed on one page?” asked the associate, displaying an unbelievalbe disregard and misunderstanding of the term “book.”

12:42 pm – Two lawyers enter the printing shop.  One is talking loudly on his phone.  I suspect he is doing this to appear “more lawyer-ly”.  I am very happy I chose to not go to law school.

12:47 pm – My print job is finally done.  I asked this guy to print my job double-sided on thin paper.  He went ahead and did it single sided on 80 pound weighted paper, which if you aren’t familiar is kind of similar to printing on a cinder block.  I finish paying and leave.

12:52 pm – I walk around the block to go to CVS. I need a ruler and some tape.  The checkout lady comments on how nice the mailman is.  I’m not sure if she’s talking to me so I ignore her, and she comments a second time on the goodwill of the mailman.  I say, “yeah, world-class dude.”

1:00 pm – I enter my building.  I need to cut this stupid kid’s book down to size.  No one questions why I have an exact-o knife in the library.  I feel less safe.

1:35 pm – Finally finish trimming and taping the book.  The heavy paper made it like folding and taping phone books together.  I feel like I’m gonna get some points docked for that.

1:58 pm – Arrive at classroom for final.  Someone asks me how my book turned out.  I said “swimmingly”, which isn’t the correct way to answer that question.

2:00 – 3:47 – Take final.  It’s a “design” final.  We had to design an invitation to a “Ladies Benefit Dinner”.  I feel like mine would smell like roses and baby powder.  This invitation would not do well if it was posted on Pinterest.  I turn it in and leave.

4:00 pm – Realize I’ve only eaten an apple today.  Subway sounds good.  The kid working there does not speak great english.  The only words I think he understands are “club”, “the brown colored bread”, and “yes, American cheese, please.”

4:03 pm – Sandwich is subpar, at best.  I’m disappointed in non-English speaking kid.

4:25 pm – Arrive back at library.  Decide I will study for the Law Final now.

4:55 pm – Decide I’ve studied enough.  Write a blog entry about why Roger Goodell sucks.  I feel like that’s a point that doesn’t need to be explicitly stated.  Oh well.

6:00 pm – In classroom for final.  So, so happy annoying kid in my class will never be seen my me again (hopefully).  To demonstrate my disdain, he once brought in a newspaper where he was on the front page as he was crossing the finish line for some 5k in Beaver Falls.  This is not the type of person you become friends with.

7:00 pm – Finish a final the professor stated would take us at least an hour and a half to finish.  He looks surprised.  I give him a thumbs up and say “later”.  I instantly regret how ridiculous I probably booked and sounded.

7:20 pm – Arrive home.  I love not rush hour.  Eat some cereal.

7:22 pm – Ready to take my online final.  It’s comprehensive, but I’m not really worried.

7:55 pm – Finish online final.  I am officially done with finals.

7:58 pm – Begin mocking Haley because I’m done with finals and she isn’t.

8:07 pm – Finish mocking Haley.

8:10 pm – 9:55 pm – More Madden.  I’ve got the Steelers sitting pretty at 8-0.  Just resigned Andrew Luck to a 6 year/132 mil contract.  He wanted $145 mil.  Sucker.

10:00 pm – Haley asks me to turn on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Realize I’m currently living “the good life”.

10:13 pm – Taylor Swift finishes performing her first song.  Mike and I text each other and gossip like school girls.  Nate, in the same text, repeatedly says “Taylor Swift can get it.”  I suspect he finds her attractive.

11:00 pm – 3 am – More Madden.  Being done with finals is awesome.

Person of the Year

Quick, what do Adolf Hitler, Jimmy Carter, and Ben Bernanke have in common?  If you said “they all have four syllables in their names” that’s an oddly specific, borderline OCD answer.  Get that checked out.  If you said “because they all were involved in the systematic execution of several million people” that’s wrong because only one of them did that.  What these three men have in common, as well as Mark Zuckerberg, Charles Lindberg, and YOU is they were all named “Person of the Year” by Time magazine.

Since 1927, Time has done a yearly profile of the most newsworthy person or people who has done the most to influence the year’s events, be it for better or for worse.  That last part is important because it might alarm you to known an American publication has awarded “Person of the Year” to Hitler, Josef Stalin, Richard Nixon (twice), and ehhhcckk…Ted Turner.

This week, Time announced their finalists for 2014.  Among the names is a mixture of prominent politicians, influential leaders, and those who lobby for reform.  Also, Taylor Swift is a finalist, and that makes me super excited.

Among the names, in addition to T-swizzle, are Russian President Vladimir Putin, Apple CEO Tim Cook, the president of Iraqi Kurdistan Masoud Barzani, and, I kid you not, the Ferguson protesters.

As you can see, there’s definitely some provocative names among this list.  Putin is always in the news, this time because he wanted to kick a bunch of Ukrainians in the throat for coming too close to his yard.  Tim Cook is a notable figure, not only because this year he’s launched the new iPhone, as well as the Apple Watch and Apple Pay, but because he is openly gay.  Barzani is the president of a region of a country that is bent on destroying ISIS, while also advocating for independence.  And the Ferguson protestors, depending on your views of things, are either a symbol of the “struggle”, spitting in the faces of the police who brutalize them, who are still breaking laws, destroying property, putting lives in danger, and looting tv’s, or a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the lower-class communities, who are still breaking laws, destroying property, putting lives in danger, and looting tv’s.

But those aren’t the only names in addition to T-sweezy.  Because lo and behold, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell somehow found his name on the list.  With Goodell, they could say “his relentless marketing, financial know-how, and business savvy decisions have further distanced the National Football League as the most premier, lucrative sports league on earth.”  Or, you could say “his insistence on clouding the effects of trauma sustained by his employees, coupled with his shady ‘breast-cancer awareness’ month and his very loose and erroneous system of punishment where he serves as judge, jury, and executioner are an absolute laugh-riot joke in the realm of American business ventures.”

You see, it’s been a busy season for Goodell.  First, star wide receiver Josh Gordon had a rough offseason, in which he tested positive for marijuana use, his first positive test in an alleged 50 attempts.  Despite only registering enough THC comparable to the contact high one might receive from making eye contact with Wiz Khalifa, Goodell hit Gordon with a season-long suspension.  A few months later, Ray Rice was videotaped knocking his wife out like a confused Rocky Balboa, to which Goodell swiftly issued a harsh, stern two-game suspension.  Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald, two other players accused of domestic violence were quickly suspended for zero games, and McDonald has played in every game this season (edit: He wasn’t convicted, but still).

The player’s union have said the current discipline system is “not fair” and “kinda sucks” while also claiming Goodell “isn’t qualified to be the only one dealing out punishments” and “he needs to go eat a big, soggy bag of rotten horse urine.”  Goodell has responded by saying “too bad”, “deal with it, nerds”, and presumably “#YOLO.”

Goodell is the commissioner of a league that earned over $9 billion in revenue last season.  If the NFL were a country, it’s GDP would rank 137th in the world.  The current 137, Laos, has less stringent marijuana laws, while maintaining an equally impressive record of human rights violations.  Obviously, this makes Goodell a very powerful man, but the Person of the Year?

I’m not a writer for Time.  But from my understanding, it seems as if past recipients of Person of the Year have done something that’s…eh hem..mattered.  I love the NFL, but NOTHING that league does is worthy of worldwide praise, and the NFL has done NOTHING to influence society.  Not to say the players haven’t.  Ndamakong Suh, arguably the dirtiest, meanest player in the NFL still goes to visit sick kids in the hospital and plants tree in front of churches.  That’s more than someone like Goodell could ever claim.

So it kind of sucks that a guy who’s main jobs are “how long should I suspend this guy” or “how do I lie about this scientific, imperial evidence to make sure people keep thinking this league is safe” is mentioned as one of the most influential and important people in the world.  Even when Hitler won person of the year in 1938 it was just after he finished up unifying Germany and Austria.  Yeah, it was part of his trademark cartoonish villainy, but at least it mattered on a grand scale.  Even Taylor Swift, whose place on the finalists of Person of the Year seems satirical, at best, has been fighting for artists to receive more royalties from Spotify, a digital music service.  So little, innocent, “Teardrops on My Guitar” Taylor Swift is fighting for the rights of entertainers.

And what’s Goodell doing?  Figuring out how exactly to punish someone for taking too much Adderal.