Tag Archives: students

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?”

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.