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One year more. It's going fast. Am I taking advantage of every opportunity? You betcha.

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Archive: September 2012

An Indian Feast

Me and the Head Chef

Remember how I told you that I’d joined Sangam, the Indian Cultural Club on campus? Well, we finally did something. And can I just say, this culture ROCKS, as does its culinary tradition. Per my request, we agreed to meet up and take a stab at cooking Indian food. What I didn’t realize is that there would be a professional.

The entire clan came to my humble abode, as well as the mother of one of our members. With her came pots, pans, and enough food to feed 10 people (with enough leftovers for a week). She brought a curry (the secrets of which I still must unlock), the makings of a chick-pea soup, rice and cilantro, and yogurt–I didn’t get this last one, but it worked.

The big finish came when she busted out dough and the equipment necessary to make bread. Which we did! (See picture below). We had a number of botched attempts, but also some great ones. Overall it was a fantastic experience, and one that I hope can be repeated in the future. Unfortunately, this won’t be possible on my own, what with my spice rack being in the state that it is…nonexistent.

100 Years

It’s almost impossible to fathom that amount of time. Yet in history classes it is tossed around like a few drops in the pond. In the sciences, it is the leg of one microbe in the drop in the ocean. Despite these comparisons, when something lasts for a hundred years there’s bound to be something special about it.

This weekend I went home to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publishing company that employees my dad (for which I am very grateful). There were a number of talks from acclaimed apologists, theologians, and activists in the Church. My personal favorite came from Archbishop Celli, who had traveled all the way from Rimini, Italy to speak. Anyone who follows me should know how close that comes to my heart.

While 1912 was an important year for the Catholic publishing industry, I later learned that it was significant for on other reason. This year gave the world its first taste of Life-Savers! What a strange world we live in.

A Consumer Wonderland

After a while I got into a routine of shopping with my buddy. First we’d go to Aldi, a place that strives for cheapness at the expense of music in the aisles, bags at checkout, and motivated personnel. Then we’d head to Trader Joe’s for some great but pricey food.

We found ourselves at a crossroad when a mutual friend was accepted into the Super Special Sam’s Club (I’m not clear at the ceremony that took place, but I imagine an animal sacrifice and robes). In the interest of cashing in on these deals we went with him this morning for a chance to experience a hallmark of American society. What we found was beyond our wildest imagination.

Rows of flat screen TV’s sat side-by-side with huge tubs of ground coffee, one of the purest expressions of unconditional friendship I have ever witnessed. I could have bought spices by the five gallon bucket, enough frozen fish to populate the Pacific, and…and…Well, at about that point we realized we needed to get out of there while we still had money. So we called it quits (except wait, oh I do in fact need 14 pens) and headed out. Oh the joys of being a college student and bargain hunting!

This video represents another way that American consumer is aptly expressed: YouTube Preview Image

A Weekend of Frisbee

While most people look to the weekend for their parties, I find myself looking to the weekends for a chance to toss a disc around. That or studying. Although I’ll admit I didn’t study quite as much as I should have.

It started on Thursday. As President of the Club Frisbee Team, I wanted to find a chance to pit our squad against another school without having to travel miles for an entire weekend extravaganza against teams three times our size with way more work invested into their skills. I found the Wabash team, of similar size and skill, who agreed to come out and play us for a scrimmage match. After a hard fought battle in which each of us proved how well we can do (as well as how many mistakes we are capable of), we came out on top, 15-13.

Sometimes I ask myself "Why is that frisbee getting bigger?"

It was one of my proudest moments as a leader on this campus. Not just organizing, but also seeing all of our players get out there and do their best with everything we’ve taught and practiced.*sniff* They grow up so fast!

The next event was the Frisbee Fling, a philanthropy event but on by Alpha Chi Omega. More relaxed of an atmosphere, the fraternities and sororities got together to play some relaxed games in support of the Julian Center.

And then it hits me.

Taken…Again?

Finally, after years of hearing my friends and relatives rage about how fantastic the movie Taken is, I sat down and watched it with some friends this weekend. At the very least, I knew it was going to be a mildly enjoyable experience. Why is that? Because we took an entire roll of cookie dough and made one enormous cookie to cut up and share during the movie.

But then we got into the movie, and it was incredible from start to finish. I found myself hating his ex-wife, caring for the daughter, and feeling along with him the self-righteous fury that drove him across continents and through laws to save his daughter. The movie wasn’t ground breaking in any way, but for what it was, it performed exceptionally well. Here is the best line of the movie (in my humble opinion).

YouTube Preview Image

Now, I am aware that Taken 2 is set to release on October 5th, but I’m not yet convinced that it will be worth it. Lessons I’ve learned from Boondock Saints 2 and The Hangover 2: if you really want to see the sequel, just re-watch the first one and move on with your life. But we’ll see. Perhaps good reviews could sway me to see it. Perhaps my wallet will convince me otherwise.

Attaboy Atwood!

From the above photo, you’ll see a nice old lady having a conversation with an undergraduate Butler student. What is actually occurring is quite different. A Butler student is having a conversation with an author who is on the cutting edge of social media and marketing.

Margaret Atwood (who I recently met) is a published author. That doesn’t mean she’s stuck in the old way of doing things. She has a twitter account that she actively uses (Follow her @MargaretAtwood). This immediately places her ahead of millions of college age students, the supposed “Digital Natives.”

She also has a blog that she publishes regularly (this I hear is the coolest thing to be doing nowadays). And, like any well-to-do person these days, she has a website. The coolest bit of progress she is heading is the serial publishing of a novel online. I do not know yet where it is (or if it has been released yet), but if I do this blog will be the first to know. Authors are SO COOL!!! Alright…ahem…nerding finished.

Nightime Adventures

It was all set up to be a boring Saturday night. And then we realized #yolo.

A friend and I were bored. So what did we do? Found some friends who were watching a movie. The Proposal. Although I missed Sandra Bullock as a philanthropic empowered woman from the South, she held her own as an uptight, empowered woman from NYC. Also I now understand why people consider Ryan Reynolds is dreamy, and why he was never meant to be a comic book hero.

Then we went for a drive, getting some cookie-dough at the Marsh open 24/7. Warning labels aside, we split the doughy package and ate it open (Note: This blog does not endorse the intentional disregard of science). I even got a chance to try out driving a stick-shift. I quickly caught on to how you stall out a manual car. Later I figured out how to get the car moving.

Finally we dropped in to Moe and Johnny’s for a bite to eat. All these adventures had us hungry!

Meeting a Legend

Are you still meeting a legend if you don’t technically know who she is or what she’s done? Well, yeah. It just means you’re ignorant.

Photos courtesy of President Danko! Follow him on Twitter @ButlerPrez

I found myself in this very situation last Wednesday on the arrival of Margaret Atwood, internationally recognized novelist, poet, scholar, feminist, and thinker. And she’s Canadian to boot. Part of the Visiting Writer’s Series here at Butler University, I found myself invited to President Danko‘s house for a dinner, a reception of Atwood by professors and students.

Prior to the dinner, I did a bit of research into this visiting writer, and quickly discovered that she was a voice I wanted to be familiar with. Then I got the incredibly rare chance to meet her. Now I’m reading one of her books (it seems like at Butler, we do things backwards).

She was a pretty rad lady: all of the students were more timid around her than she was around us. Many were familiar with her fantastic novels (such as  The Handmaids Tale and Oryx and Crake, which I am currently reading). Science fiction is only one arena she spends her time in. She also has worked extensively writing poetry and non-fiction. And does everything with the same ingredient: awesomeness.

 

My Weekend

My weekend consisted of a number of events that, on their own didn’t seem that impressive, but upon remembering and recording them for the purposes of my blog, appears far busier than I remembered. I certainly recall sleeping in a lot. . .

We’ll start with the musical side of my weekend. I had the pleasure of seeing Smash Mouth in concert! This was followed by Chiddy Bang, a rapper/remix specialist who has reworked songs by MGMT and Ellie Goulding. If it doesn’t yet sound like I’m speaking another language, then you’ll understand how awesome all of this is.YouTube Preview Image

Planned to be outside in front of Atherton Union, the concert unfortunately had to be changed due to heavy storming. Instead it was inside of Clowes Hall where we could all enjoy the music nice and dry. Smash Mouth performed some of their classic hits which left me awash in 90’s nostalgia. They also promoted their new album entitled Magic. But let’s be honest, we were all there for the classics.

We Remember

I’ll be honest: on September 11th, 2001 I really had no idea what was going on. I’ve talked to people my age who lived in the New York City area. The event for them was as real as it could get. They knew family members, friends, and relatives who may have been in the buildings or the surrounding area.

For a ten year old in Indiana, all I had were the news reports and the gasps of my parents and teachers to try and grapple with an event that was far outside of my scope of knowledge. I was more used to reading about such events in fiction books than hearing about them in real life.

What can be certain now is that the event is so understood by me now that I hardly notice it. This 11th anniversary of the day marks the first year in which I have lived more of my life after than before. It has shaped the last decade, and will continue to be an influence far into the future. All we can do is keep it from effecting us negatively and keep the victims and those hurt by the attack in our thoughts and prayers.

Here are some commercials that have memorialized 9/11. The second one sticks out vividly in my memory. YouTube Preview Image