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

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Andrew

Pixar, King of Stories

One of my earliest memories of good story telling was the Pixar short with the old man playing chess. It was such a simple story, but so playful and enjoyable to watch that it’s stayed with me to this day. YouTube Preview Image

On top of that, there have been countless other short films that they’ve put out that are funny, energetic, and overall a pleasure to watch. And these are just the short films they put on before their main show! (Sad confession: I saw Wall-E four times in theaters.)

I was so pleased to see this article floating around my facebook newsfeed the other day.  Emma Coats, a “Story Artist” working at Pixar, tweeted a number of story writing tips that basically seemed like abbreviated examples of the courses that I have taken at Butler. I still enjoying getting an inside look to the creative process of others, especially those who have proved themselves successful.

 

A Tough Loss

How does one deal with heartbreak? I still can’t believe that we’re done. While I’m happy that the Bulldawgs made it to the second round, I would still have liked to make it to the next round. Did we have the ability to beat Marquette? I think so. Did we have the opportunity? Yes. Did the refs make some awful calls? Let’s not go there…

It had all the makings of a magical win. We were down four with less than a minute to go. I didn’t think that we would be able to make it. Then we had a full court pass, two points from goal tending, and a botched in pass. With maybe three seconds, we had the opportunity, the kind of opportunity that we had capitalized on time and time again. It got us past Marquette once before, it got us past IU, and it got us past Gonzaga.

At this point, my only goal is to distract my mind from the defeat. I really don’t find the other games that interesting. I don’t want to be a bad sport, but I think I’ve been spoiled with back-to-back championship game runs. I was too used to the magic happening. But life goes on, and I would bet anything that our men’s team is already looking forward to next year with the drive and determination that makes this program so phenomenal.

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If you ask me, I think we used all of our good luck here.

Butler vs. Marquette

Browsing my facebook at halftime, I can see Butler alumni are following the game from around the world. One is watching in Japan, and another is watching in between flights in Taiwan. That’s how us bulldogs do!

Bad grammar aside, it’s an exciting game, and at halftime we were up eight. I’m not confident to make assumptions, for as any Butler student knows, Butler never wins or loses a game by a wide margin. Especially during tournament time. It may be that their goal is to give everyone watching a heart attack.

Whatever their aim, I have made sure to make the “Smeathers” celebration a part of my routine. Whenever Butler makes a big three, all you have to do is put a goofy grin on your face, clap your hands, and throw up the three fingers. For a better instructional video, see this link.

Spring Break: Georgia

For a combined 25 hours of driving, going to Tybee Island, Georgia was well worth it. We were a five minute walk from the beach, and a thirty minute drive from historic Savannah Georgia.

Some highlights include:

1) Learning that when you find a cheap hotel, you get what you pay for.

2) Learning how misleading pictures on a website can be.

3) Decide that it only takes good friends and a few games of euchre to get through disappointment.

4) Laying out on the beach, confident that I have plenty of Aloe back in the hotel room.

5) Eating at Bojangles, getting some chicken and sweet tea. Gotta love sweet tea.

It’s all about the food down there, and I didn’t skimp on that. My favorite moment was cooking a pasta dish with scallops, chili pepper and parsley. Absolutely delicious (in my opinion). So now I’m back at home, burned, relaxed, and wondering if I forgot my motivation in the hotel room…

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya! While that isn’t an Irish accent so much as a Lucky Charm’s accent, I still think that it’s necessary to bring it up on St. Patty’s day, that day that has become so far removed from the original feast day of St. Patrick that few people still consider that connection as relevant.

What do little dancing leprechan's have to do with St. Patrick? No idea.

I didn’t do a lot to celebrate. I didn’t even wear green. But what I made sure to do was eat a potato. I baked some potatoes and at them while watching Selection Sunday. I didn’t go to any parties (it’s a Sunday for goodness sake!) and I didn’t watch my favorite Irish themed movie, Boondock Saints.

All I did for my St. Patrick’s day was to prepare for the coming week. It’s going to be a busy one, so I didn’t have time for superfluous celebrations. Plus, how can I top my St. Patrick’s celebration from two years ago, when I saw Flogging Molly in concert. That’s the best way to celebrate Irish-American culture.

A Bulldog At Heart

For spring break I road-tripped down to Savannah, Georgia to soak up some southern sun on the beaches of Tybee Island and appreciate the historical center of Savannah. At the same time,  the Men’s Basketball team was entering the beginning of the A-10 tournament.

We could’ve stayed on the beach, but we couldn’t resist the possibility of watching the Bulldogs play Dayton. We found a sports bar in downtown Savannah, and enjoyed the game against Dayton. It was a fantastic experience, enjoying a few pints while enjoying Clarke’s laser threes, or Dunham’s fantastic free throw shooting.

The loss against SLU was disappointing, but that hasn’t done anything to dampen our excitement for March Madness. Today I got together with some friends to watch Selection Sunday, where we learn that Butler received a sixth seed, and will be playing Bucknell first round. This Thursday, I know what I’ll be doing!

Are we gonna lose? BUCK-NO!

Bravest Warriors

From the creators of Adventure Time comes Bravest Warriors. The complete series of this shoe can be found on Youtube, and as I know that many students are looking for a way to blow a few hours online, here’s a perfect outlet.

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Here’s one way to explain it: it starts out weird, and then gets weirder.

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All of the episodes are about five and a half minutes. The plots are simple, kooky, and you’d have a tough time predicting what would happen next.

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Hopefully these episodes provided a good study break, or just enhanced the break you were already enjoying!

Spring Break Packing List

Shortly I will be departing Indiana for sunnier territory. Here are a few pointers on how to pack in order to have that trip you’ve always wanted.

1) GPS: If you’re driving like I will be, bring that beloved device that will rarely turn you wrong, and knows the politest way to say, “You’re going the wrong way, stupid.”

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2) Map: Because I don’t want a robot apocalypse any more than the next guy. When they turn, I want to still be self-sufficient.

3) Snacks: Teddy Grahams. Fruit By The Foot. Dunkeroos. They got us through the 90s, they’ll get us through a 12 hour car ride.

4) Playlists: No one enjoys riding through mountains, trying to find the stations that all seem to have disappeared, while simultaneously avoiding careening off the road. Plug in that playlist. Enjoy.

5) Fedora: It’s time to hit the town in style. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. (And remember, these people will never see you again.)

6) Flip-flops: it’s time to let those feet breathe!

7) Camera: Always make sure you’re prepared for a The Hangover situation. You won’t want to get through the stolen babies and tigers without some way of memorializing the experience.

8) Sunscreen: Derp.

9) Aloe Vera: Cause let’s get real, who remembers to reapply sunscreen every two hours? Aspiring dermatologists, maybe. For the others, this is sure to mollify the pain.

 

Downton Abbey

I’ll preface by saying that I went in skeptical. I was prepared to stop watching the very instant I became bored. I was just watching one episode, just to see what all of the hullabaloo was about.

Six episodes later, I realize that I’m rather fond of Downton Abbey. I do say, it is even changing how I speak! This fantastic TV series follows an aristocratic family in Britain in the early 20th century. It follows two sides of this aristocratic family, the upstairs, the family, and the downstairs, the wait staff. It’s a generally a quiet show, with the tension coming from the characters, a family that is struggling to navigate struggles among the family, between the family and the staff, among the staff, and between everyone on the estate and the outside world.

All of this occurs as the world is shifting into a new phase, where socialist and feminist rallies are becoming more common. The show does an incredible job of making me love and hate the same people. The daughters, for instance, are all as bratty as they come, but every once in a while they’ll shine with a bit of realness that helps break them out of the childish mold.YouTube Preview Image

I’m not saying that this show is a must watch, but it is gripping, portrays vivid characters, and is all set in an interesting historic time (the first episode opens on the sinking of the Titanic).

Evernote

It has revolutionized the way that I use information. It’s called Evernote. It’s free. And it places all of the internet under your command.

I've already got some great songs queued up to listen to the next time I'm looking for something new!

Have you ever been going through your favorite radio on Pandora and realized that you really like the song that is playing? Nine times out of ten you’ll probably forget to write it down, and then you’ll move onto another song and forget about the first forever. Then, when you’re on Spotify, you can’t think of any good new music to listen to! The way Evernote avoids this issue is that it allows you to save every bit of information that you want to remember and localizes it into one place.

You can save web pages, you can take screen shots, and you can put notes along with all of these. I have three key functions for it at the moment: research, music, and recipes. I often browse the internet for recipes, and instead of losing them forever in the virtual ether, now I can save them and always have them for reference. It’s a program I highly recommend! Plus if your phone has a high IQ (aka a smart phone) then you can sync that with Evernote to your computer.