Tag Archives: college

Forgetting My Ex’s Number

23 Jul

gotyeSome day I’m going to forget my ex girlfriend’s phone number. I’m just going to wake up one morning and hit the alarm and in that moment realize that I’m not sure whether the last four digits were 7062 or 3062. This will be such an achievement, the only instance in my life where being forgetful actually helps me out.

Thanks to my iPhone, I never have to remember a goddamn thing. I only know four other peoples’ numbers off the top of my head: My mom, dad, brother, and sister. She’s the fifth. Not even family! We’re talking about some coveted brain space here which she has no right to occupy. I mean I deleted that girl off my phone over three years ago to make a statement – I want that coveted brain space back – a new number for that fifth spot. There are so many better numbers for me to have memorized: my license plate, my buddy Matt, 20 digits of pi, that bomb Ramen restaurant for takeout or how about ANY of my credit cards! I’d even settle for that stupid three digit security code on the back of my visa card that I can never ever ever trust myself to get right.

numbersHer phone number isn’t even easy to remember! It’s got no flow, no repetition, no character, no gravitas. It’s fucking boring, obnoxious really. As opposed to my number, which has a double repeat and closes with double zeros. My number rocks, tons of people know it. And yeah I know it’s sounding like I’m not over this girl, I know it appears to be leaning that way but I am. It’s just some of my brain synapses apparently aren’t and it’s pissing me off.

Seriously I can’t wait for that forgetful morning, and also for those dreams to go away. The dreams where I’m supposed to meet her *and* my current girlfriend in a restaurant then I start panicking because they’re going to know that I double booked them and then I wake up. Grow up brain! You’re supposed to help me out here, not offer up dreams with clear interpretations for my life. Stop pulling this crap.

ramenLast week I was filling out forms for my car insurance company – I had to walk all the way downstairs and out to my garage to double-check my license plate number. It was really hot outside. Look I don’t want to forget we were ever together, it’s just there’s more useful things for my brain to be focusing on. I know I can’t potentially fuck my credit card number when we both run into each other at a mutual friend’s birthday, but it’d be nice not to have to pull out my wallet to read off my security code every time I order delivery from Silverlake ramen.

Classes I Should Have Taken

4 Mar

college jeapordyRecently I watched a college edition of Jeopardy. Everyone knows College Jeopardy is for pussies, but we all need victories no matter how petty, so I made sure the idiot from Dartmouth heard my condescending screams thru the TV. I performed admirably, but as the three awkward students shook Trebek’s hand at the end of the game I was left to wonder; how smart am I? It’s a hard thing to measure in your adult life. I’m not in class anymore, there are no scantrons or blue books to test what knowledge I do have, and to be honest some days I wonder if the information I learn is really all that important.

am i smart?If I wanted to impress you I would sit you down and tell you all about the spread of Islam, specifically how it related to Spain’s early history and how there was a beautiful yet controversial period called the convivencia in which Jews, Muslims and Christians all lived together in relative harmony until the crusades, church and the reconquista squashed it all. I could confidently mumble my way through the definition of what a quasar is, and might even be able to tell you what Boo Radley really represents in To Kill a Mockingbird. These are facts and theories that are not my own that I can spit out at a moments notice. When repeated properly to a willing audience, they provide a thin veneer of what many of us consider to be education and intelligence. I, however, am not so sure of this.

college andyI graduated from a 4-year institution with modest accolades. I never pushed myself too hard, nor did I allow myself to fall behind. Let me be clear before I continue that I would not trade those 4 years for anything (maybe a jetpack with unlimited fuel) because I met the most amazing people and had unforgettable experiences. Some would argue that socialization, learning how to behave in a pack, and thus becoming a quality citizen is the true objective of College, and if that is the case then College was a great success for me. I am more concerned with the education we receive from 4-year institutions in the U.S. and specifically the classes we are offered.

My sophomore year I chose to take a class called Earth Science and the Cinema. Yes, you read that correctly. We would watch clips of popular disaster movies like Twister, Armageddon and Deep Impact and then do simple math problems to prove why these disasters as portrayed in the movies would never happen that way. It satisfied my quantitative requirement as well as my penchant for shitty disaster movies. It was all very funny back then, and in many ways still is, but it’s also very sad. It’s sad students had the option to waste 6 weeks like this, it’s sad the university wasn’t more creative or progressive in their offerings, and in times of intellectual doubt, and we all have those times, I can’t help but think back to Earth Science and the Cinema and wonder what the hell I was doing.

college burYou can point to many reasons why these problems exist. Institutional bureaucracy is hard to deal with. Things don’t change with the snap of a finger. For me, College came too early. I wasn’t ready to be smart and seek out my own education. Maybe I would have been better served taking time off and traveling or working, or completing my general education requirements at a community college for a fraction of the cost. I chose to major in history early on because it was the class I didn’t fall asleep in during high school. Many other students pick their classes based on their friends, sleep and or drinking schedules. These choices don’t matter a whole lot when you exist within the colligate bubble, but what problems do they potentially create once you graduate? I may not want to trade those 4 years I spent for anything, but if I were creating classes to best aid students in “the real world,” I would do things a little different. The following is a mock syllabus of a course I’d like to call #Realworldshit (You know, to appeal to the youth or whatever).

Week 1 – Graphic Design

• A skill that allows you to call yourself an artist while getting paid? Awesome. Sometimes the freelance life can be stressful, but as long as there are movies, concerts, companies, ads etc… Graphic designers will be in demand. Go torrent Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and lets get started.

Week 2- Web Design

• Similar to week 1, but this week will focus on HTML, basic coding and maybe some looks into Ruby design and app development. Kids are on their phone and apps all the time; let’s make their appsurd ideas a reality.

Week 3 – Tax Returns and The IRS

• These guys aren’t just bad guys and assholes in movies? What!? Yup, they exist and want your W-2’s, A-1’s, and G-6’s. I made up the last two, but maybe you don’t know that I did. Some basic financial knowledge goes a long way.

Week 4 – Car Maintenance

• You don’t need to be a grease monkey, but checking your own oil, jumping your car and changing a tire are all things you should have in your carsenal (sorry). Plus girls get super wet when you can do car things.

Week 5 – Actually Learn A Language

• Juan and Pablo sit at a café: Juan: Hola Pablo, como estas?—Eff this shit. You will never learn anything this way. I think studying abroad should be mandatory. It’s the best way to learn a language, learn about yourself and meet hot foreign people in the process.

Week 6 – Ping Pong

• It’s just a great game.

grad with debtMaybe one week for each of these is too short, maybe they deserve their own semesters, or even majors, but I can guarantee the world at large does not care how many times you can use the word ‘hegemony’ in a sentence. There is no premium placed on the general knowledge of anything, in fact, life can be quite specific and often rewards those who seek out its niches. We need to take responsibility for our education. I still don’t know whether I am smart, but I know damn well I don’t crush at Jeopardy because I took Earth Science and the Cinema.

Things You’ve Stopped Doing Since College

29 Jul

reggaeReggae- Wahhhhh Wahhhh (air horn) Bhuaaaa! Whether you had a bong toking, Buju Banton spinning roommate who selassied the selectahs, or hacked some sack with a chilled out loper listening to Sizzla sing about Batty Boys, you probably got your fair share of the Ragu during College. It was hard not to love Reggae, it just went so well with all your activities, like: Smoke then eat, smoke then go to class, smoke then study, smoke then listen to Reggae and smoke. While yours truly is still known to slap some Don Carlos on a Sunday morning, I’m willing to bet the majority of you have exchanged your favorite piece for a pack of American Spirits and a band nobody has heard of. Squares.

“Dude, do you want to come over after class and watch Naruto: Shippuden?”
“OK, well I’ve also got the first season of Cowboy Bebop. Its got really good jazz music—
“Please stop.”
I would rather have strep throat for the rest of my life than watch one more second of Anime. “But Princess Mononoke….” Enough! I don’t like it. You cannot force me to enjoy this nonsense. Thankfully, those who still enjoy Anime have been socially ridiculed to the point of hiding their DVD’s in some dark corner of shame.

acidAcid- Now this clearly does not apply to everyone. There are still a few situations in which dropping ass (Have I given away my age?) Is encouraged and welcomed. Music festivals, and long weekends are fine venues to trip balls, but I include Acid in the mix because of the time it takes to come down. In College one could theoretically be on acid until graduation. Oh, you have Intro to Cinema Monday morning? Who cares!? A five-paragraph essay where you quote books you barely read and couldn’t be bothered to write an original thought? Drop that ass. You’ll do just fine. Now compare that to reporting to your 9-5 Monday morning, how quickly would you be fired? 10 Am? Lunch? When is the next long weekend?

skate fallSkateboarding- If you are sitting down right now, go ahead and fall off your chair. If you are past the age of 25, see how long it takes you to get back up. How many grunts did it take? You might even still be rolling around clutching your limp broken wrist on the floor. Now imagine you are moving at 20 MPH and eat shit face first on concrete. In College, you may just get up bloody, wipe off the gravel and keep carving, but at this age you are crumpled up in a twisted mess of brittle bones and thinking about the impending hospital bill and how Obama Care only covers up until 26. Obama!!!

pajama pantsDoing Shit in Your Pajamas- Getting up at 11 AM everyday can be hard, but don’t worry, now you can sleep right up until your class starts with the help of pajama pants. Pajamas are the perfect don’t give a fuck pant. Got a tough test? Pajamas will provide you with the comfort you need to keep calm and ace it. Party later tonight? No worries, its probably a pajamas party, and if its not everyone will be too drunk to notice or care that you are wearing your crusty flannel jammies. Try wearing that shit outside as an adult. Try getting a girlfriend and a job. Try not getting tears on the drawstrings of your sad excuse for a pant while you eat an overly salted cambells chicken and rice soup. The only time pajamas should be worn is by bananas, when they are coming down the stairs.

40'sDrinking 40’s- College Kid #1: “What are you doing tonight?”

College Kid#2: “Probably just drink a Mickey’s and smoke a blunt. Shit, maybe I’ll even get a second one and duct tape it to my hand so I get really wasted then go to Maggie’s party.”

College Kid # 1: “Dude, sounds like an awesome night.”

Adult #1: “What are you doing tonight?”

Adult #2: “I’m going to drink 40 ounces of terrible liquid and barf in a toilet for a few hours. Probably won’t make it to Maggie’s thing.

Adult#1: “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

8 Jobs That Exist on Craigslist

24 Jun

job searchPart Time Soccer Coach 3-6 Year Olds- Unless you are born in the favelas of Rio, you have no business playing soccer at three years old, which means no one has any business coaching either. I’ve never seen any 3-6 year old do anything coordinated, so the idea of coaching a group of misfits like this seems better suited for a terrible Adam Sandler comedy (is there any other kind at this point?). While yelling at a group of toddlers and watching them stumble around like a baby giraffe is amusing, it also seems like an incredible waste of time for almost no money.

Become a Dove Chocolatier! – Dove Chocolates is looking for Chocolatiers to join their growing community. A Chocolatier is someone who “earns extra income by hosting in-home chocolate tasting parties!” Or in other words, you allow strangers into your home to eat chocolate. Who is doing this? Has a single person ever signed up to host a chocolatier party Dove? I need answers. This sounds awful. I barely enjoy hosting a party for my close friends, so the thought of multiple strangers coming over to your house for the sole purposes of sampling Dove chocolate is extremely disturbing. How sketchy would it be if just one dude came over? One chocolate obsessed lunatic knocks on your door because for some reason he is incapable of buying his own chocolate and eating it at his own place. This is almost too bonkers to comprehend, and the fact that someone on Dove’s marketing team received a paycheck for suggesting this idea is very upsetting.

Overnight Kennel Attendant – Good lord this just sounds terrible. To be locked in a room with a bunch of sad and angry dogs contemplating their impeding execution, while at the same time pondering your own invariable life of mediocrity is just…terrible.

Musicians – Dust off your recorders and re-learn “Mary Had a Little Lamb” because you might be a rock star sooner than you think. There is no mention in the post whether the person wants to start a band or plays an instrument himself. Is he just curious how many people play instruments in the LA area, and based on responses he may or may not pursue a music career? Sketchballs written all over it. Or shitty Indie band audition.

Sperm Donor – Now this one is tempting, but it brings up a whole mess of moral questions, mostly dealing with how attractive the recipient of your sperm is. No one wants to ghost father with a haggard. Also, the potential for an awkward situation running into your offspring 20 years down the road is frightening. Jacking off for money is pretty boss though. I might look into this one.

Exciting New Opportunity in Marketing!!!– Psyche!! We’re a scam! Wasn’t that a fun waste of time?!

East Indian, Korean, or Chinese Egg Donor – East Indian Egg. Ha!

Social Media Whatever- Do you like the social medias!? Are you good at posting shit on Facebook!? You like Tweets and shit!? Are you tech savvy? Like, can you log onto the internets and CC people on emails!? Cool. Can you live in a large city on $25 k/year with no benefits?!! No? That’s ok your job is really important, cause metrics tell us that the internets is super important!!flip off

The Curse of Howie Mandel

17 May

Who are you really?

Congratulations graduates of 2007. It’s all down hill after the bagpipes. Ms. Veronica Dalton’s commencement speech is riddled with enigmatic phrases. It is not an interesting speech. Ms. Dalton drones on about worlds and oysters, babies and bathwater and other parabolic pearls that leave the sweaty audience prodding their temples and massaging their eye sockets.

My family sits with Cheshire cat smiles plastered across their faces, proud of their son for all of his accomplishments. They sit on the plot of land where I and forty other College Freshmen used to smoke copious amounts of marijuana on our well-deserved holiday of weed Wednesday. Several rows in front of my family sits Howie Mandel. Wait a second. One hundred degree heat and several shots of strong whiskey can make even a porch drinker delirious, but I’m fairly certain this is the guy. His bald dome drips sweat onto the lapel of his expensive shirt, most likely a shirt he uses when selling those briefcases of money on TV. Why is he here though? Why is he listening to Ms. Dalton’s dribble? Why isn’t he giving the commencement speech? Is Howie Mandel too good for Santa Cruz? “Screw him,” I utter out loud. A fellow social studies major tells me I seriously need to shut up and that he can’t hear Veronica’s speech over my mutterings. My apologies to Ms. Dalton.

I focus long enough to take my cue and toss my mortarboard to the sky. I purposefully fling mine in the direction of Mr. Mandel, but his chair is vacant. I look up at the hill, past the weed spot to where the bagpipes played and there he is. His head vibrates in the hot mess of the noon sun. He knows something I don’t. I want to run up there and confront him, but as the mortarboards fall back to earth, I am bombarded with fist bumps from bros I barely knew and hugs from girls I never got a chance to fuck.

“So what’s the next step?” asks my Aunt. “The right one” I reply. Uncomfortable chuckles all around. I swear when I’m around friends and immediate family I’m actually quite delightful, it’s extended family I haven’t gotten the hang of. They are like those acquaintances at school or work you always aim to avoid, but they always seem to find you. They have collected thousands of facts about you through casual conversation and so your social interactions begin to take the shape of a morning history lecture. In this case they are family, so I’m obligated to respond. “I’m seriously considering teaching English abroad, or maybe in some random ghetto of America.”

This is quickly becoming the popular pre-requisite for affluent graduates who don’t have a clue and don’t have loans to pay off. Middle-class family. Yes. Grandma’s education fund for me and my cousin. Check. Penchant for eating exotic food and canoodling with foreign members of the opposite sex. Indeed. So there we go by the thousands. Hordes of ill-equipped, undertrained white missionaries set out to have casual conversations with perverse businessmen about the benefits of fake breasts.

Upon my return, during the car ride back from the airport, I realize the great mistake we all make when we return home. Home is a comfort zone and nothing gets done when you are comfortable. When you are comfortable your blood slows, brain festers, that group of almost friends that never left still hasn’t and your parents (lovely as they may be) are always there to put things in perspective.

Minor failures and inconveniences have never been so frustrating. Struggling to twist off the top of a pickle jar or separating an icepack from its plastic casing become the ultimate test of manhood and maturity. To make matters worse, the injury that required ice was during a game of basketball with drunken bums. A bum collided into me at full speed with no intention of stealing the ball and inadvertently kicked the outside pad of my right foot under the little toe. My mother was naturally worried when I came home gimp and cursing the homeless. She called my Uncle who is a doctor and after a few questions informed me I most likely had a “dancer’s break.” Ballerinas get them while performing dainty hops and spins. I swear I heard my mother call me a bitch under her breath. I would have to inform my work of the unfortunate news.

After twenty years of formal education, it appears the only thing I’m technically qualified for is part-time yard duty official. I don’t mean to make light of the yard duty profession, but any job in which the description reads, “Must be able to eat absurd amounts of string cheese and know how to yell and blow a whistle,” should probably be under the ‘idiots’ section on craigslist rather than part-time jobs. Again, I’m exaggerating only slightly, but I put more kids on timeout, yelled at more toddlers for playground indiscretions and drank more milk mini-milk cartons then I ever will as a parent. Lactose intolerant need not apply. In this beastly economy, however, I’ll take my snack pack and meager hourly wage and shut my mouth.

I don’t watch much TV. I think it’s because we are one of the remaining families in the US to own a TV and not have cable. This affords me the neurotic luxury of memorizing every local news channel anchor and correspondent. KTVU Consumer Editor Tom Vacar. Political Correspondent Randy Shandobil. South Bay Correspondent Lloyd Lacuesta. Nightly news anchor Frank Somerville, who my parents always remind me went to high school with my older brother, and of course Meteorologist Bill Martin who my dad always curses for botching the report. His work has been waning as of late, and I think Gasia Mikalian is being eyed as a replacement. Sometimes when I watch television or I am in an equally dull situation in life, I fantasize about moving to Brazil and starting a youth hostel and surf camp, or living in Europe playing for a Division III soccer club, or better yet moving to Saudi Arabia and creating the first international giraffe racing league. All these things require money, which is something I don’t have and it makes me angry at times.

A particularly obnoxious commercial usually rousts me from my wanderings. ‘Coming up next. Howie Mandel’s Deal or No Deal.’ We meet again Mr. Mandel. Your digitally enhanced baldhead is even more impressive on TV. I watch silently as all the questions on that fateful graduation day churn about. What is his profession really? Is he a game show host, briefcase salesmen or mind meddler? Why can’t I have this cushy job? I try to place myself in the dank flats of the delightfully plump Ms. Carnie Packard who is playing for the million. Howie changes cameras and turns his glance to me. He seems to be offering me a choice. Given my present circumstances, would I blindly choose one briefcase from a group of 30 briefcases, ranging in value from one cent to one million dollars, in exchange for not having to figure out what to do with the rest of my life? Although it’s hard to imagine living off one cent, I honestly don’t have an answer to Howie’s hypothetical. There is a certain warped quality to my generation and me. We tend to put in the least amount of effort and expect the greatest rewards. We are spoiled. I am not willing to give up yet, but as I sit and watch another friend dragged off to law school, my eye cannot help but think that briefcase number seven looks especially shiny.

Spring Break Throwback: Willits Edition

11 Apr

...and also lots of weed

While most College Seniors are planning their epic trip to Cabo, I was convinced to spend four wild days in Willits. For those unfamiliar, Willits is a small town in Northern California that is notable for being small and full of weed (to be fair this can aptly describe any town north of the Bay Area, CA). I like to compare it to the shire from Lord of the Rings, but instead of Hobbits, its inhabitants include ganja farmers and Woody Harrelson type dealers.
With the appropriate iPod playlist at the ready, two friends and I hopped in the whip and reggae free-styled our way up state. We arrived at our destination in high spirits, and pretty much kept those spirits for the next four days. It’s difficult to be a Debbie downer when you’re a guest on a weed farm. The next 96 hours were admittedly a blur, but I remember four things that were way more awesome than anything I could have done in Cabo.

Shooting AK-47: Shooting an AK is like playing a video game. I honestly felt like I was just pressing R2 the entire time. I stood on top of a bluff overlooking the Eel River, and shot the crap out of boulders while laughing softly. It’s creepy how powerful you feel with one of those tucked under your armpit. I pretended I was a Russian guard who finally got the best of Bond and Natalia in the Stacks. It was glorious.

Rafting down the Eel River: Looking back this was pretty sketch. My friend and I literally took turns blowing air into a tiny children’s raft that clearly wasn’t meant for two grown men. With our compromised lung capacity, we failed to properly inflate the raft, but that didn’t stop us. Like a couple of veteran Oregon trailers with no Indians in sight, we chose to cock the raft and float it. We started sinking immediately, the currents were wild and the water freezing, but somehow we navigated that river for 5 minutes with our friends Cyborg dog paddling by our side. Just one of those “I can’t believe this is working moments.”

Racing Through the Woods: Weedy McGee (farm owner) wanted to show us how beautiful the sunset was from the ridge. We were losing light quick, so clearly a dirt bike/ATV race was in order. I was tripping the hardest so I sat bitch on the ATV. Unbeknownst to me, Weedy McGee was born on a dirt bike because he smashed through the woods like Bigfoot on a bender. My friend valiantly tried to keep up, but we hit a steep uphill and ended up flipping the ATV and had to use our Zeus like quads to flip it behind us. Normally, a near fatal ATV crash would stop me in my tracks, but we had a sunset to catch and Weedy McGee was right, it was beautiful.

Playing Every Instrument Ever: Apparently when you run a weed farm you get lonely, and when you get lonely you buy every instrument imaginable. I played no less than 32 instruments in a circular room for 9 hours. I thought I was the shit. Gamelans, Djembes, Obos, it didn’t matter, I awkwardly played them all, high as shit in a dimly lit room.

I have never been back to Willits, and I will never go again. I want to keep my epic senior spring break enshrined in its proper haze of AK’s and questionable river rafting. So if you are off to some sun burnt slosh fest this spring break, kudos my friend, but everyone should have their Willits. Get weird.

Let's avoid being this guy