Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Few Post-Xmas Thoughts

Well, the Christmas season has come and gone with the subtlety of a rabid yak telling fart jokes, and all the cheer, good tidings, and togetherness...are gone. Thank god. But after all the eggnog had been dumped down the sink, the tree shredded, and the elf-slaves returned to their rightful homes, I could not help but notice some unusual aspects of this Christmas season. Alright, not THAT unusual...but what's really unusual anymore? I mean, Ozzie Osborne's clean and Arnold's the governor of California. Come on.

- Some families take decorating for Christmas very seriously, especially on the exterior of their homes. Unfortunately, the flavor of this year seemed to be the giant tacky inflatable Christmas figures. These ranged from giant snowmen to full working snow globes and merry-go-rounds (not even kidding). I half expected to see a giant inflatable baby Jesus holding a candycane and wearing a Santa hat.

- Those stations that play 24/7 Christmas music during the holiday season truly, truly have a limited playlist. Don't get me wrong, "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" and "Jingle Bell Rock" are great...the first 1245 times. However, the likes of "Dominic the Donkey" and "Granda Got Run Over by a Reindeer" make even the most doe-eyed child wish for July. And let's not even get into the always-incredible country-Christmas songs that pop up every now and then. My personal favorite is "Christmas Shoes", sung by probably Tim McGraw. It just has to be. The song deals with a seemingly poor kid wanting to buy shoes (awww, cute little fellow) for his mother (well that's just precious) who's dying (uh...) so she'll look nice when she meets Jesus tonight (WHAT?!?!). There's a jolly tune for the family to gather round the piano to kroon every year.

- On a side note, I'm getting very tired of the blused-up/funked-up/rocked-up/jazzed-up versions of Christmas carols. Did the world really need Twisted Sister to do a version of "O Holy Night"? Methinks not.

- Christmas cards are awesome for two reasons. 1) They can show what people you haven't seen in years currently look like, which can be either hilarious or strangely arousing 2) Some families still send out those "newsletter" Christmas cards that update the indifferent world on what their ice-cream shitting family has been up to that year. I thought those had been established as extremely pretentious, annoying, obnoxious, and out of style at least ten years ago. Still, I'm glad to know every role your son played in every college show he's been in, Mrs. Peterson. Also, it was a nice touch to add the exact moments where he made the audience laugh in each one. That was vital for my Christmas's success.

- Miniature nativity scenes have amazing potential as action figures, and its amazing they have not been marketed as such. I had an epic wise men vs. shepherds battle on my aunt's coffee table the other night, with baby Jesus doing back flips in the corner to the best of his young ability. Kung fu grip would have been very key on Joseph. You listening, Mattel?

- The annual Walt Disney World Christmas Day parade has become a more blatant advertisement for the theme parks as years have gone on. This year was just rediculous, with Ryan Seacrest, Regis Philbin, and Kelly Rippa repeating the phrase "dreams come true" no less than 103593948539203 times, since this year is Disney's "Year of 1 Million Dreams". A little more Christmas cheer, and a little less brainwashing would have been preferable. I guarentee Nazi recruitment videos were subtler than this.

- Yankee swaps are Satan's contribution to Christmas. I ended up with the same Red Sox Uno card game TWICE, after regifting it for the second one. Maybe I'll donate it to some more unfortunate children...or sell it on ebay for my own profit. Tis the season!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Daily One Act Plays: Part 1

Alright, this may require a bit of an explanation. You see, ever since freshman year of college, I have put an unhealthy amount of time into my AOL Instant Messanger profiles. Like, more than all courses and social time put together. Times eight. Of course, freshman year of college is the time when every adolescent realizes that they can be connected to the internet 24/7 and thus can be "away" instead of signed off. This allows for maximum exposure of your away message, profile, and if you're so inclined, livejournal. During this span, I developed an ongoing series that I called the Daily One Act Plays. They usually lasted about five lines, and made no sense whatsoever. In fact, I honestly don't know what was going through my head at the time of conception. It really worries me. Also, you may notice just how dated a lot of these are (the Taco Bell chihuahua?!). Anyway, here are a select few that I'd saved. ENJOY!

(Not-So) Daily One Act Play: Dude, Where's My Szars?
(setting: Detroit, yesterday)
Billy: What am I gonna do with all these turnips?
Old Prospector: Why dems turnips are evil I tells ya, they're built on an ancient Canadian Indian burial ground.
1920s Gangster: Now wait just a minute, see? Yoo bettah scram!
Tommy, the parapalegic half-man, half-mole who has a lisp and guest starred on an episode of "Dharma and Greg" but whose carreer didn't really go anywhere so now he's in this play. He also has crabs: Ok.

(Not-So) Daily One Act Play: The Never Ending Saga of Preperation H
(setting: Jerusalem, 3005)
Fair Maiden: My word, good sir, have you any meed?
Good Sir: Meed? Haw, haw, haw. Yes, meed for all the poor Ethiopians.
Your Mom: Can someone point me to the egg depository?
Rumplestiltskin: Yo cuiro Taco Bell!
The Yankees: (cry,...very homosexually)

(Not so) Daily One-Act Play: The Away Message Ball
(setting: The Ritz, Argentina - in seven minutes)
Boringazfuck34: I am away from my computer right now.
Ugligalwhowantsbf: From the depths of my soul/You came and took my heart/I sit here alone and desiring/For the eclipse of my being
ThinkImaPlayaButImaDouche45: chillaxin
Ntoriginal3563: "I don't believe in republican parties or democratic parties, I just believe in parties."
CoolRthnU52: around, cell
Animeizgr8jl: light + dreams = hope

(Not So) Daily One Act Play: Briget Jones 3: Because the First Two Were SO Great
(setting: Wellington, Asia)
James Belmar: Cheryl, there's something I must tell you. I don't have any genitles.
Mr. Travis: Who are you, and what are you doing in my bed?
Compuram: We're almost to the border! Freedom, Juan, freedom!
@:-) : I'm wearing a turban. PRAISE ALLAH!
Mad TV Sketch: (appeals to a retarded 12 year old)

(Not So) Daily One Act Play: Harry Potter and the Strange Tingly Sensation
(setting: inside the dark depths of Northern Delaware)
You: UPDATE YOUR ONE ACT PLAY! I'M BORED! ENTERTAIN ME! (drools and has a lisp)
Me: Alright, but I shall use it to humiliate you to the fullest extent of the law.
You: (pants fall down, revealing My Little Pony boxers)
The World, including many prominant presidents, celebrities, and hot people: (laughs at you)

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: Love to the 15th Power (Revisited)
(setting: A dark grey spring morn in Brockton, Mass. in the parking lot at the section of the Westgate mall that used to be Child World but is now I think like Marshalls or something, which makes no sense because the architecture had the signature Child World castle pillars and now Marshalls has them and it looks retarded)
Jimmy Smitts: FIRBY, NOOOO!

(Not so) Daily One Act Play: A Christmas Carol II: Tiny Tim's Sexy Revenge
(setting: Your lower intestine, New Jersey)
One of the Three Wise Men(the hip one): Yo kick it!
Virgin Mary: Look honey, you can feel him kick (to all nations). And I crave watermelon....holy watermelon.
Joseph: Ohh no. What, do you think kopecs grow on trees? Oy vey.
Jesus: I hate it when you guys fight! I'M GOING TO MY ROOM!
Santa (2004): Greetings. I've traveled from the future, am I necessary yet?
The Mayor of Bethlehem: 'Allo. I am ze mayer uv Bethlehem, jah! Eye vould just like to remind yoo all zat election zeazon is vastly approachingk. Eye 'ope yoo make ze right deceezion. Swing Heil!
P-Diddy: Yeah, vote or die for our sins!
The Jerry Maguire Kid: (hits puberty, smells a tad off)

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: Mo' Better Buddha (or What I Learned From Choir Tour)
(setting: Wrigley field, sometime between the last good Jennifer Love Hewitt movie and the first good 'guy-from-that-show-Simon-movie')
Philadelphia: Hey guys, I just realized that there's nothing distinguishing about myself as a city and I'm really thinking of changing my name to Cheesesteaksville.
Pittsburg: Hey, would you mind still tellin' your friends about me? I don't seem to attract to much attention on my own either.
DC: I didn't realize just how many crazy homeless people live in me.
Baltimore: (stabs DC, steals his wallet, and pees on his wounded body)
Bethesda, MD: (indifferent)
Jersey: (much worse than I expected)
Ron Artess: hey, propah.

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: The Seventeenth Movie About Scary Children Singing Nursery Rhymes In Two Months.
(setting: John's house)
Surfer dude: Tubular!
Gallagher: Oh that is so out of date.
Bitch in the audience at ICCA: It's called a pitch pipe! (eats a baby)
Sondheim: (unable to write a melody to save his life)
Keanu Reeves:.....woah.
The entire cast of 7th Heaven: Was Keanu Reeves really necessary to the plot of this play?

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: The Response To Those Who Say "Dude, Your One Act Plays Never Have Any Plot Anymore, They're Just Random Shit."
(setting: Vagania - land of the moose lords)
King: Here ye, here ye. From this day forward, all funk shall hereby be banned from Vagania, by order of the King.
Peasant: PICKLES! Oh where will we common folk get our funk fix?
Fair maiden (played by Rita Rutner): Will no one save us?
Mysterious Stranger (played by Christopher Walken): So, ye wish to recieve thine funk? First, ye must slay the evil dragon-slash-witch in the tower by the Mountains of Setzer. After that, ye must give up thine purity to the great moose king of...
Mel Gibson: Hey everyone, who wants fro-yo?

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: Kumaguchi - Wacky Japan Go-Go Super Fight Fun Time
(setting: an unemployed 30 year old's basement)
The Wolf King: (badly synched) Hel-lo, I am the wolf master.
Anime Girl With Giant Eyes/Rack: Ooh, you challenge me, mastah?
Iron Chef: (overdubbed) WE MUST BATTLE!
Giggly Puff: (nonsensical noises that give children siezures)
The Black Power Ranger: Why do I have to be the black ranger? Does anyone else find this offensive? Not to mention the fact that the Yellow Ranger's ASIAN!
All of them: (committ suicide artistically)
Misguided College Students: (buy the DvD of it all...between masturbations)

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: 10000 - The Year That Required Five Digits
(setting: the darkest depths of my soul)
The Head of Ben Afflek in a Jar: Come on guys, Pearl Harbor, Paycheck, and Gigli are now considered all time classics!
The Head of Oprah Winfrey in a Jar: You go girlfriend!
The Head of Woody Allen in a Jar: Does anyone even know what this liquid we're floating in is? It tastes like that soup Sun-Yi used to cook every Asian new year.
Joan Rivers: Has anyone seen my lower jaw? I think I dropped it during my interview with a wax model of myself from Madam Touseads.
The Head of Dan Quayle: P-O-T-A-T-O......W? DAMMIT! Hold on, hold on, I'll get it...
The Ending of "Mystic River": (still confuses the hell outta me)

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: The Sexostomy of Emily Rose
(setting: here. NOW. RUN!)
Michael Bay: Guys, of course there's fire in space! Didn't you ever watch Mr. Rogers Neighborhood?
Mr. McFeely: Speedy delivery, muthaf*$#%. (shoots a pimp)
The Children: YAAAAAAY!
Kanye West: President Bush doesn't care about black people!
Mike Myers: (uncomfortably turns his head)
George W. Bush: Heyyy, sure I do, Arsenio!

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: Get Justifyied - The Justification of Justin J. Justinson
(setting: Your sofa, you know, the one with the "yo"gurt stain)
FOX's Bones: Anyone wanna jump my name?
FOX's Reunion: Hey, we're kinda like the OC! People like the OC! You know, the gay/lonely ones!
CBS's Ghost Whisperer: Wow, even I wouldn't watch me...
UPN's Everybody Hates Chris: Ooo, black people talkin' jive on UPN? This I gotta see!...
FOX's Prisonbreak: (gets cancelled before the episode where they break out of the prison)

(Not So) Daily One-Act Play: Jesus Vs. Dr. Destructo Ray III: Revenge of the Destructo Ray (Part 4)
(setting: Me)
The black squirrels from around campus: Roll out, yo! Hollah baq!
The skunks from around campus: Hey baby, wanna get sprayed?
The geese from around campus: You know, it seems to me they were much more accepting of us shitting everywhere in Canada...
The lazy-eyed cat from around campus: The New Shanghai guy keeps trying to lure me into his van with promises of tuna and fortune cookies...
The ram from around campus: Does anyone else think I'm a really gay mascot? I make the Norte Dame irish guy look hip.
The fordham prep kids from around campus: SHWEET! (waits to hit puberty)
(they all get turned into "Euro Cuisine" at the UDM)

Occasional One-Act Play: Brakebroke Mountain: Deep Space Nyn
(setting: if you care, you need friends)
Buffalo Bill: There's a snake in my boots, by boots I mean...
Woody from Toy Story: Hey, I'm wayyy ahead of my time!
John Wayne: Who wants creme bruleeeeeeee?
The cowboy kid from D2: The Mighty Ducks: Aw, shoot honey, you know I does!
Sheryl Crow: (for the last 8 hours) IIIiiiIIIiiIIiiIIiiiii wanna soak up the sunnnnnn wanna tell everyonnnnnnnnnnnnne toooo liiiightennn upppppp...
Lance Armstrong: Man, I miss cancer.

Bi-Monthly (if you're lucky) One Act Play: Brokeback To The Schindler's List Part 1: Too Soon?
(setting: BEHIND YOU!)
Captain Polyester Pantses's: I say, all hands on deck!
Captain Morgan: Y'ar ye be walking the plank, savvy?
Captain Picard: According to nerds, I'm way better than captain kirk!
Captain and Tenille: LOOOOVE WILL KEEP US 2 GETHAHHHH!!!
Captain Crunch: They're grrrrrrrrrrrreat!
Tony the Tiger: (mauls Capt. Crunch for plagarism)

Bi-Monthly (if you're lucky) One Act Play: The Adventures of Little Billy and the Inventions No One Needs
(setting: Detroit, city of angels)
Little Billy: Someone's gotta stop Doctor Anarchy before he steals all of the orphans' AIDS medicine!
Underwater Toaster: Yeah, you're right little buddy!
Chocolate Hammer: But where will we find Doctor Anarchy?
Self-Destructing Hearing Aid: Why that's simple, my friend.
Exploding Violin: Yeah, you just follow his tracks!
SUV: Hey, he's right!
Scientology: I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS WOMAN!!!! BLARGHTH@(*$@@&%()*@!@)(!*!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bi-Monthly (if you're lucky) One Act Play: The Blind Man's Ugly Wife II: This Time...It's Personal!
(setting: Inside a prezel Combo)
Princess Hermaphrodite: Who enters my chamber?
Prince Fartswhenheeats: It is I, fair maiden!
Prince Hunglikeanelf: And I, to carry you away!
Price Secretly"hangsout"withpricehunglikeanelf: And I, as well!
King Alsohunglikeanelfbutwearsahugecrowntocompensate: Gentlemen, 'tis good to see you in my kingdom!
The castle they're all in: (eats them cuz its alive)

Bi-Monthly (if you're lucky) One Act Play: I Dream of Weinie
(setting: a Wendy's bathroom stall/time machine)
Old Facebook: Woot! Looks like I'm back on top, biznatchies!
EveryCollegeKidInAmerica: No...we don't really like you either.
Old Facebook: (jumps off a bridge)
New Facebook: "Old Facebook" has jumped off a bridge". "EveryCollegeKidInAmerica" created the group "DOWN WITH NEW FACEBOOK". "EveryCollegeKidInAmerica" added "hating the new facebook" to their Activities.

(I Can't Get No) Facilitation

It’s flooded. All of it. The window sill’s wetter than Heidi Flyce and the carpet is moldier than her career. I can’t walk two feet without soaking my current choice of footwear, and my sponge collection has seen better days. I get up in the morning thinking that I’m on the inside of a whale’s belly. Some may be intrigued by all of this but not Mike Hadge, no sir. You understand, last year I resided in the basement of Finlay hall, which is known for its frequent floods, easy sneak-through windows, and sassin’ good times. Fed up with paying forty grand a year to boogie board to bed every night, I chose this year to live on the thirteenth floor of Walsh Hall, thus essentially moving from the lowest point on campus to the highest. Unless of course you count the Keating clock tower, but Pigeon Man already lives there. So my natural expectation was that I would be miles away from any sort of floodage in my personal habitat. Not so fast, said Fordham (in bitchy conjunction with Mother Nature).
Maybe it was something in the smell of the rotting carpet and peeling wall plaster, but I was moved to call Fordham’s facilities and custodial services to get the chaos in my room restored to the dry kingdom it once was. However, mere telephonal communication proved fruitless, as I was constantly greeted by an automated voice message system or an extremely Jamaican sounding man who would always put me on hold to Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong” and leave me there. More drastic measures had to be taken. I headed down to the facilities office the other day in search of assistance, but found only a dark abandoned room with many broken liquor bottles and Frito wrappers on the ground. I picked up one of said wrappers and crushed it with all my strength in frustration before hurling it to the ground. However, before I left something else caught my eye: a pink feathery bound journal that looked like it had survived a shark attack. What I read within that journal left me shocked, awed, and shawed, a combination of “shocked” and “awed” that I made up just now. My people, I now present you with the horrific contents of this mystery journal found in facilities. The faint of heart should not proceed. Pregnant women welcome.

August 14, 2006 – It was a long day for Marty and me. Three foozeball tournaments in a row are enough to wipe out any guy, but we’d just finished five. Naturally, yours truly emerged the raining cham-peen. Still rubbing it in Marty’s face, you should see how mad he gets, its friggin hilarious. He’s got this vein on his forehead that’s like right between his eyes, you know? That thing just busts out and he gets all read and puffy, like his head’s gonna explode. Ah, priceless. Alright, it’s 2:40 – quittin’ time!

August 19, 2006 – Ah, the little ones are going to be arriving soon. I love this time of year, you know? Fresh new faces, fresh young bodies, all previous violations have been long forgotten. Me and Marty were in charge of mowing that lawn in front of Alpha house. I guess there’s gonna be some new statue of God or something. So we got our ride on mowers, right? We had already had a few since it was Fosters Friday at facilities. So we start taking bets as to who can get their side done the fastest, so naturally I gun it and am kicking Marty’s patute. Now this mower was going unusually fast, and when I was done (get this!) the brakes wouldn’t go. So I try a few levers, nothing’s working. At that point I decide the best move is to jump, so I get off that thing as fast as I can, but it keeps going. It broke through the fence and kept riding down the road. I still don’t know what happened to it. Awesome.

August 21, 2006 – Okay, get this! A kid in Finlay calls us up today saying his faucet isn’t working. I get up there and fiddle around with the thing and say “well duh, there’s no water coming out of it!” Jerk dragged me up there for that?

August 24, 2006 – Well its Wednesday so you know what that means – “Dance Dance Revolution” day! I thought it might be a little tight in the boiler room for my tube, but it fits in here fine, just had to move the Pac Man machine to the corner. I don’t mean to brag, but I got the moves all over Marty, who can’t move both feet at once for some reason. Ah, it’s funny watching him try though. That vein comes out again, friggin’ hilarious. By 1:00 PM we were both beat, so I make an executive decision and take the phone off the hook. Naptime will not be disturbed.

September 24, 2006 – Marty and I just got back from our paid vacation in Honolulu. Lemme tell ya, it’s as good as, no, better than the hype. They got these kick ass drinks in a coconut with a tiny umbrella sticking out, friggin’ great! When we got back there were “2536 messages” on our machine - nothing our little friend the “erase all” button can’t take care of.

September 25, 2006 – Jet lag. No calls.

October 10, 2006 – Jeez, it’s been raining all week. I feel like my one jumpsuit has been damp and soggy the whole freakin’ time, it’s ridiculous. Ah well, at least it gives me and Marty an excuse to break out our “rainy day kit”, which is mainly just some girlie magazines and beef jerky. Naturally, some kids keep calling in complainin’ that they want their heat to start working or their ceiling to stop leaking or their room to stop flooding. God, what do I look like, the friggin’ tooth fairy?

October 12, 2006 – Freekin’ balls, these kids won’t stop calling us. Aw, your room’s flooded, you’ve developed namoanya from the broken heat, your computer sparks every time you hit the spacebar because of water exposure…boo-frikin’-hoo! They’re starting to sound really pissed too! It’s freakin’ hilarious! Get this, earlier today some kid’s mother calls me yelling about how I should be doing a “decent job” and the “dangerous environment” for her kid and how “the Jesuits are going to hear about this”! Come on, lady. First of all, it sounds like you haven’t gotten a “decent job” in a long time. Second of all, loosen up for crying out loud, geez! I could really go for another beer.

October 13, 2006 – At this point we just stopped answering the damn phone, but it just keeps friggin’ ringing! Hangovers and touch tones do not freakin’ mix.

October 16, 2006 – So Marty and I were in the middle of a killer game of Jenga (I, of course, was mopping the floor with him), and our manager Jimenez comes in. Now he’s not even in uniform, he’s got a freakin’ Nets jersey on with a pair of mesh shorts. He’s down here telling us “there’s been complaints” and that we “gotta get moving on this stuff”, of course as he just starts breaking out the Game Cube, right? So Marty and I climb out of our bunk beds and head to Walsh, where apparently some kid’s room started flooding. After a stop at the deli to get some Klondike bars (friggin’ love these things), Marty and I finally get there – and the kid’s not even there! Of course, his room’s flooded as hell and it smells like moldy carpet. Friggin’ disgusting! So I go open the window to air out the smell. That should take care of that problem. On the way back, Marty and I stopped to get another Klondike bar. Freakin’ love these things.

October 17, 2006 – You’re not gonna freakin’ believe this! The same freakin’ kid who’s room we went to yesterday calls us again telling us the room’s still flooded! So I march down there (Marty was again at Pilates), and you’re not gonna friggin believe this- the kid’s window was open! So I shut the window and left. Some people man, un-freakin’-believable.

October 18, 2006 – So I get this call at like 1 PM, which pissed me off ‘cuz, of course, Days of Our Lives is on. So it’s this girl who tells me that there’s a leak in her ceiling and it’s landing on all of her electric equipment and it’s very dangerous, yadda yadda. So I get there at about 2:15, after finishing Days and getting sucked into watchin the first ten minutes of Passions. She’s freaking out and shows me the leak coming from her vent, a pretty common situation. One that’s easily fixed. Now this girl was smokin’, had some enormous ta-tas if you know what I’m saying, so I use all the charm that I got. “You’re the prettiest girl I’ve been called by today” I tell her. Then she started acting all weird and uncomfortable, like I’m a freakin’ bear or something. I told her there was nothing I could do about the leak, and managed to catch the last half hour of Passions.

October 19, 2006 – Ah, Friday. Man I tell ya, after a long week of coming into work, it’s beautiful being able to just take it easy for once. Man this is gonna be a nice weekend; I’m drinking beer. Not now, I mean, this weekend. Well, yeah, now too, but that ain’t what I was talking about.

October 23, 2006 – I’m getting freakin’ psyched. Marty and I are packing for our paid vacation to the Bahamas and we just keep talking about stuff we’re gonna do; streak on a beach; drink beers while we’re streaking; shower while drinking beers; drink; float on one of those rafty things with a beer; beer shop; look up at clouds and pretend they’re beer while drinking beer. Man it’s gonna be sweet. I love you, journal.

There you have it. I’ve since kept the journal safely in the confines of my room, where I let an old sea captain who as moved in read it from time to time. I guess I can’t say I’m too surprised with what I’ve found in this journal, it sure does explain a lot. As for me, I must go up for oxygen now. Why am I typing on a laptop under water anyway? THIS IS SUCH A BAD IDEA!

Monday, December 11, 2006

How Performance Art Killed My Buzz

DISCLAIMER: Lincoln Center, I’m sorry…but not that sorry.
Frequent Paper readers will know; I, Mike Hadge, do not often write about my individual experience, as I find it self-indulgent and pretentious. Nevertheless, I’m doing it now. However, in doing so, I hope to spread this good message to the world, thus saving a few (thousand) lives in the process. Heed this good word, and ye shall be rewarded. God, it occurs to me that this is my like 45th “Here’s What I Thinks Sucks and Why” article in a row. Is it just me? Am I the one with problems? Am I way too cynical and should just enjoy life and what it brings? Nah, it’s totally everyone else.
Anyway, our story begins last Friday night, after the Fordham Comedy Troupe took an enjoyable trip Dallas Barbeque (the “e” is silent…the second “e”), followed by catching an improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Basically, there was drinking involved, and it took many forms; green margarita, orange margarita,…I guess that’s it. Nevertheless, after the show, we were all looking to continue the night at a Manhattan bar or at least back in the Bronx. Hell, we were a bunch of delightfully buzzed improv kids, we were up for anything at that point. Or so we thought…
Our story continues at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus, where every Friday at midnight, an event called No Fear is staged. For those unfamiliar with it, No Fear is basically a performance art showcase, allowing anyone to submit and perform anything they’ve written. Anything. Now, I should preface this by stating that I like Lincoln Center kids, and some of my best friends are Lincoln Center kids. Also, don’t ask how we ended up at No Fear, that’ll just make me mad. That being said, I went into this with an open mind, a slightly buzzed mind, but an open mind. We sat down in the dark, cramped room, and waited to be entertained.
Then it happened.
An EMO-looking kid took the stage, acoustic guitar in hand. Now I don’t mean to generalize based on appearance. But you know, he had the thick rimmed glasses, stringy hair around his eyes, tight t-shirt with some band’s logo that no one’s ever heard of, and high tops. Dear God no, I think to myself. Then again, don’t make assumptions Michael, maybe he’ll surprise us all and play a country-twinged tasteful rock ballad. STRRRUMMMM!! Shit, that was a minor chord. He’s playing an EMO song. See? Sometimes you gotta go with your gut. Immediately, I look to my left, then to my right. The surrounding members of the improv troupe stared helpless, like children who’ve just been told there’s no Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, or God. Believe it or not, this song was about a girl…who didn’t like the singer, or something. It’s EMO, what else was it gonna be about?
Well, it can only go up from here, right? WRONG!
Next, we were treated to a monologue from a small, effeminate young man, wearing a sweater with a collared shirt under it. That right there should tell you how the monologue was. I swear to God, all “artsy” monologues have the same damn formula: Begin, talk about “rainy days in the Hampshires”, talk about “I remember the way she loved blue frosting”, talk about “the sigh of a winter’s kiss”, make a reference to your impending doubtfulness, throw in a sly reference to a late 80s product or television show, end. That pretty much covers it. This monologue was no different, only infuriating me further. My buzz was still there, but it wasn’t helping at all. Oh no. Rather, the fact that I had a buzz caused the aggravation to magnify ten times over, and I began to act irrationally, looking for a way out in the darkness, trying to dig out of the room through the wooden floorboards somehow with my bare hands. None of this worked. And in retrospect, I really wished it would have, for the night was just beginning. People around me were laughing and enjoying it, but just the Lincoln Center students, which makes sense, since they all drink and shower in the same water. Naturally, I do the only rational thing and express my intense frustration and confusion by writing on some old receipts I found in my wallet. The first receipt, a faded Hannaford groceries slip, I wrote on during this particular monologue. Here’s what I wrote on it: “Lincoln Center dude, I mean God damn!” – Yes, “God damn” was underlined in pen. Twice. That phrase pretty much sums it all up about this experience, I mean what was I watching? But wait, the receipt had more: “Jesus! Fuck! NOT FUNNY! NO! STOP! Artiness (equal sign crossed out) Funny! You just suck! WTF? Stop!!!!! I’ll bet this kid is w/o genitals!” Classy, Hadge.
Next up: another monologue. This time it was by a very liberal looking girl, a “free spirit”-type if you will, doing an original monologue about the wonders of innocence and childhood, all in the style of a five year old. Groaaaaaaaaaaan. Doing a funny voice, jumping around, and dancing are all well and good, but not when you’re buzzed and definitely not when I’m buzzed. If you’ve seen RENT (and this girl definitely has, trust me here), you can basically concoct in your head exactly what this act was like, and you’d probably be 100% accurate. I mean, this girl just screamed “theater kid”, and in the worst possible sense. Don’t get me wrong, I am a theater kid, a lot of my best friends are theater kids, but Christ, when taken too far, theater-ness can cause all inner organs to just lose control, explode, and eat themselves. At that point, I’d rather hang out with a diseased Nazi. But alas, I was amidst “performance artists”, not theater kids. There’s a difference. I guess.
Also, I’d like to apologize for my gratuitous judging-based-on-appearance, I swear I don’t commonly practice this practice. However, this night was different, and when you’re surrounded with “artsy free-thinking artsy artists”, they’re basically asking you to judge them by their appearance. To my credit, I was right every single time. Also, I continued doing it the rest of the night. Anyway, back to this monologue. Oh right, by the tenth minute of this monologue (all acts were supposed to have a “five minute time limit”, but all of them easily passed that by what seemed like a few hours), I had found another receipt in my wallet on which to express exactly how I was feeling: “Y do LC kids think they’re talented?!? THEY ALL SUCK!!! AHHHHH!!!” An ignorant blanket statement I agree, but put it in context. Would you have written anything different?
Alright, here comes Effeminate Kid in Sweater with Collared Shirt under It #2 to perform Pretentiously “Witty” Monologue #3 for the night. Things were getting ugly now. This monologue was designed as back and forth letters between two people, which was supposed to add to its individualism and uniquenessity. Under any other circumstances, it may have been pretty good, but these were not any other circumstances. In case you’ve forgotten, I was buzzed and incredibly antsy. Not a good recipe. Unless you’re cooking disaster. (SIDE NOTE: I just realized while writing this that I just inadvertently created a fantastic tagline for an action/thriller movie about a chef who secretly fights evil masterminds in his spare time. Coming this summer – Chef Boyar-D [for Death]. No one steal this idea please.) That being said, I searched for another receipt from my wallet to express my feelings somehow, and in lieu of another one, I wrote on the back of the Walgreen’s receipt: “JESUS! HOLY SHIT!” They were written pretty large, so there wasn’t really any room for anything else on the thing. Now, why did this monologue rile me up so damn much? Well, as I said, this kid was effeminate (nothing wrong with that, btw…despite what The Ram wants you to think), and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I’ve just always had an issue when effeminate men use their effemininity for laughs. The LC crowd was cracking up at this kid’s joke-less monologue, and it was all due to what I call “The Awww He’s Gay Factor” – when those around an effeminate male give him undeserved accolades and free passes in life purely because he’s like a sister, but a boy! Other repercussions of the AHGF include, but are not limited to; allowing a gay male to act like an absolute obnoxious bitch because he’s a boy so it’s cute and funny; girls kissing said gay male because “it doesn’t really count” (gimme a freakin’ break); girls going shopping with effeminate male in question and returning from Macy’s with the same scarves. Ok, un-PC rant over. I’m sure this kid was a nice guy. Oh, and by this point I was out of receipts to write on so I did the next logical thing and wrote on my right hand: “WTF? JESUS! Help! Awful awful! Y R they laughing? WTF is funny?!” I’m sure he was a nice guy, though.
After what seemed like the eighth hour of these proceedings, I was convinced that I had been through the worst. Wait for it…I hadn’t. As the lights went down again, who should come up to stage but THE EMO KID! AGAIN! Fear not though, he did not have his guitar. Rather, he brought a friend, and they were performing a comedy sketch, scripts in hand. The audience had that uncomfortable hum about it by this point too, like when they’ve stopped selling beer at a soccer game, or when the Rolling Stones announce they’re gonna play some material off their “new album” at a concert. You can just feel the animosity. The sketch began and it was, not even joking, the EMO kid jumping up and down, yelling “do you want to play”, and the other kid sitting there, making references to wizards. I really wish I was making this up. I’d delve further, but I’ll let the rest of what I wrote on myself do the talking:

Left hand: (unintelligible…but looks like) LatjkJill HOLY SHIT!!


Right Leg: AHHH! FUCK!!! GET ME OUT!!!!!

At this point I just blacked out from rage.
Oh, there were a few more acts, and they ended up being pretty good, but it didn’t matter by this point; my buzz was gone. Granted, this problem is very insignificant. After all, what kind of world do we pampered college kids live in where losing a buzz is considered a real problem? No, it’s not about the buzz. Rather, it’s about the principles. It’s about the “performance artists”; they must be stopped before it’s too late. I was unaware until that night, but Lincoln Center seems to be a breeding ground for kids who think they’re really good at this stuff, and maybe they are. Nevertheless, “performance art” should be preserved for coffee shops deep in the belly of the village, and more currently, on YouTube. That way, people who want to see it can actually seek it out and enjoy, instead of getting tricked into sitting through it while in the middle of a night of social drinking. As I took that long Ram Van ride back to campus, covered in my own script, I wondered if humanity would have any hope left; if soon, the performance artists would take over. All of the free world would be forced to wear matching scarves, write poetry about their favorite features of autumn, and memorize the entire score to Wicked. Bullshit would rain from the heavens.
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest, Lincoln Center. You’re still better than Marymount.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Would you like some dignity with those mozarella sticks?

“Hey guys, how you doing today? That’s great, my name’s Mike and I’ll be your server tonight! Can I start you guys off with some drinks? Uh-huh. Did you want lemon in that? Mmmhmmm. Alright, well if you guys have any questions about the menu, let me know alright? Awesome!”

That just there was my spiel that I give to tables every time I greet them. After saying this I usually head to the kitchen, angrily grumbling to myself about the cheap bastards I’m currently waiting on. If there’s one thing that sends a waiter into a blinding rage, its water with lemon. That’s like coming into a whore house and telling the owner, “I’m just going to touch myself in the corner if that’s okay.” Alright, maybe it’s not like that. Anyway, after dropping off their free beverages, I usually am heard to remark:

“We all set to order over here guys or do you still need a few minutes?”

They usually need a few minutes. Fast forward four minutes later, let’s read on…

“We all set to order over here guys or do you still need a few minutes? Awesome, what can I get you? Uh-huh. Just the salad? You know you could always add on a…fine. Just salad for you sir. And for you ma’am? The same, great. Alright folks, I’ll put that right in for you. Let me know if I can get you anything else, alright? I can’t? Great.”

Let me just start by saying that everyone should have to wait tables at some point in their life. The more I come into contact with them, the more I realize that fellow or former waiters are truly the only human beings who “get it”. After, and only after, you’ve been a waiter, you’ve truly seen all that the human race has to offer; the pleasant ‘ribs-and-wine’ ups, the bland ‘burger-and-coke’ middles, and the unbearable ‘salad-and-ice-water-with-lemon’ lows. Now, this all may not sound so bad, you say? “I’m a big man, Mike, what’s wrong with you?” you ask. “You must be one of those pansy boys who doesn’t beat people up, play poker, ride motorcycles, and bench 350lb like me!” you continue. Consider this: you have to be nice to everybody. Not just like being a decent human being and ‘not peeing on their shoes’ nice, no sir. Since your income depends on it, you’ve got to put all your energy into constant smiling, high energy, and the dreaded awkward small talk. Above all, you’ve got to treat everybody like royalty, as if your whole world collapses around you if they’re not enjoying their Chicken and Cheese Mega-Ultra Queso Quesadilla. You want demeaning? You got demeaning…

I’ve been waiting tables for nearly three years, and I feel that I have most definitely changed as an individual in that span. Since clearly not everyone is able to become a waiter in their lifetime, I have attempted to compile a Power Point presentation that can reliably recreate the experience of waiting on tables, and the trials and tribulations that come with it all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem possible to adequately perform a Power Point presentation in front of all potential Paper readers (though they could possibly all fit in my room). I suppose I could try to project a presentation on a giant screen over Edward’s Parade, but that’s just silly.

Ah, hell, I’ll do my best here…

I. The Truth About Eating Out (lolololollo1lol)
· I worked at a Ruby Tuesday’s, I suppose that would have been good to throw in there previously. Of course, Ruby Tuesday’s in a giant evil corporate chain, who just wants your money. Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, UNO’s, the list goes on; they all basically follow the same principles. Why do you think your waiters constantly ask if “You guys would like some gooey, greasy nachos” instead of “an appetizer”? That’s called putting the image in your head. Of course, as a waiter, I know that this suggestive selling technique never, ever works, arousing only strange confused looks from a guest.
· Oh right, customers have to be called guests. It’s wack. They’re giving us their money, they want to buy food from us, and we want their money. They’re customers. I guess this attempts some kind of “welcome to our home, dear friend” atmosphere, but it just fails.
· Most chain restaurants are constantly tuned in to the same radio station that plays the same forty songs on a loop for hours until forever. Now, if you enjoy hearing “Soak Up the Sun” every fifty minutes, then this may not be a problem for you. For the rest of us, twitching will ensue, and your waitering performance will be affected adversely. Other fine tunes that I’ve been force fed this summer thanks to Ruby Tuesday Radio include: Jason Mraz’s “Wordplay” – an “aural jerkoff” in every sense of the term; Jack Johnson’s song about “when we used to laugh” or something, I’ve usually fallen fast asleep by this point in the song; “Punk Rock 101” – by who the hell knows. Now, this song is interesting in that it tries to make the point that punk is irritating and obnoxious by being irritating and obnoxious; and a million Counting Crows sound-alikes who I’m willing to bet no one outside of the food service business has ever heard.
· Yes, when they’re not talking to you at your table, waiters are in the back, complaining about you. I mean, with any job, the employees are bound to bitch about the work and the customers (fine, guests….guestomers?), but seeing as all of our pay is determined by the kind of people we wait on, waiters have very short fuses. I swear, if Jesus was a waiter, he’d complain about you.
II. Tips For Aspiring Customers
· Don’t order “ice water with lemon”. I swear to God, just don’t do it. If you like water, order a bottle of water, it’ll taste better anyway. I know it’s irrational, but I’ve had ice waters with lemon ruin my day. Some say I just have a deeper psychological issue, but whatever. If you insist on ordering this free beverage, at least make it clear that you’re ordering it because you’re cheap. Don’t skip around that issue, because trust me, its going through the waiter’s head. At least by bringing it to the forefront, you invite perhaps a good hardy chuckle. But mostly, just don’t order water.
· Your waiter may seem like a robot, and it’s because, as I typed above, they all have programmed themselves to the same exact routine for every table. To be honest, if someone threw me a curve and responded to my “Hey guys, how’s it going” greeting, I would not know how to respond. A simple “Good, how are you?” would cause my head to explode. Luckily, it hasn’t happened yet.
III. What Tables to Avoid – Yes, there are certain types of tables that, as a waiter, you will want to avoid like soap on a European. Here are but a few:
· The Elderly – Don’t be fooled by their friendly demeanor, or by the fact that they remind you of your grandparents. Old people are just out in between Matlock’s and do not intend on spending any money. Sure, they’re cute as a button on a midget, but they are also under the false impression, like so many others, that you as a waiter are being paid a decent salary. Not so. Your $2.62 salary (before taxes) amounts to absolutely nothing, though I suppose in 1935 it was a lot of money. Either way, senior citizens will rarely go for more than the soup and a cup of tea, or just hot water (?!?!), leaving you with an eleven dollar check, a whopping 0.42 tip, and an amazingly deflated sense of self-esteem. And I just looked it up, $2.62 still wasn’t a lot of money in 1935.
Total Bill: $10.88
Gratuity: $0.42
· Teenage Girls – As in any walk of life, teenage girls together in one place are a force to be reckoned with, and as a waiter they can lead to some discouraging experiences. However, unlike the elderly, this group is almost never pleasant or friendly, making the whole experience completely demoralizing and reminding you of those uncomfortable high school memories you thought you had buried through years of drug abuse (er,…therapy). Naturally, they all order water with lemon. Then, they usually ask for the one thing that’s not on the menu, whine when I say we don’t have it, and continuously whine that “TGI Friday’s made them for us!” Then, one or two things could happen; they either order lots of expensive food or next to nothing. Either way, you come out with a well earned 4% tip, after taking ten minutes to split their checks only to have them all pay in cash (?!).
Total Bill: $8.85, $12.89, $9.34, and $10.43
Gratuity: $1.15, $0.11, $0.66, and -$0.43
· Large Women – Well, they’re large, they like to eat then right? That should rake in a wad of cash, right? No! Wrong! Contrary to popular belief, not all fat people enjoy highly salted butter encrusted deep friend dinner meals, especially those of the plus-sized female division. More often than not, these women believe that they need to diet, resulting in (you guessed it) water with lemon and salad. Trust me, prior to this realization I had some genuine heartbreaks after greeting tables containing at least one large women, her mousy husband, and their crayon throwing child. The wife decides the two of them should go on a diet together, even though the husband has no real need to diet. As a result, their bill usually maxes out at two waters and two salads. Oh, and the kid shares with them while gnawing on some Saltines that end up in a million pieces on the floor. Enjoy ‘em, kid!
Total Bill: $15.25
Gratuity: $ 1.75 (just to make it an even $17.00)
· Thin People – self explanatory
· Women Who Are Old Friends and Haven’t Seen Each Other In Years – I know it sounds like a freak case, but it happens quite a lot, quite a lot. If you see two women hug before they sit down, after you’ve gotten over the erotic intrigue of the situation, run as fast as you can to give that table away. Sure, they might order a full meal and perhaps a glass of wine, but they will be there for at least eight hours. Now, if you have any desire to leave work that night, this greatly hinders your progress. Long after you’ve gotten any other tables as you sweep up for the night, they will still be chatting it up about old times and “How little Frank is doing at the trombone” or “How little Suzie is doing in karate” or “What whores we were in college”. Even long after they’ve finally gotten the hint, they will leave an hour after closing time, allowing you to leave two hours after closing.
Total Bill: $24.50
Gratuity: $4.25
Ten Hours You’ll Never Get Back: Priceless
· Guys who look like they’re in hard core bands – If they have a lot of facial piercing, tattoos, badass purple hair dye, and talk about their band a lot, beware. A) Their appearances show a lack of good judgment. B) The fact that they’re in a band shows they have no money. C) The fact that they’re in a hardcore metal band shows they have no talent, thus no hope for money. Combining all of these elements should leave no surprise when they do not pay for their meal, or “dine and ditch” as Generation X calls it, or “really, really shitty” as I call it.
Total Bill: Something high
Gratuity: Gratuity?
· People With Peanut or Shellfish Allergies – They’re hard to spot at first, but these people will cause you quite a bit of needless effort with little to no payoff. Usually, you will be required to look up the recipe for the macaroni and cheese to find out if it contains any peanut products. Sure, it’s to keep them “alive”, but come on. They usually end up just eating the Tic Tacs they had in their purse.
Total Bill: $0.00
Gratuity: An angry mother’s complaints to the manager
· Minorities – A worst I could go on for books on this one, but let’s just say that “water” is one of first English words that most foreigners learn and “tip” is one of the last.
Total Bill: 58 Francs
Gratuity: 2 Yen
IV. What Tables to Wait On
Your Family or Friends – Hey, if they know you, they’ll have to tip you well or hear about it from you later, right? It’s a win-win situation. Unfortunately, this is the only sort of reliable table. Enjoy!
V. Conclusion
It takes patience to be a waiter. Patience and a lot of ironed shirts. Patience, a lot of ironed shirts, and a hell of a high tolerance for all kinds of people. Unfortunately, in the wrong hands, a waitering job can break an individual down to a drooling, sneering, shadow of a man like the one who stands before you. Just remember kids, always tip you waiters and never order water with lemon. Your waiter just might remember you years later, your face popping up in the deepest of his worst nightmares as he prepares for you your water with lemon. He will wake up in the middle of the night screaming “Would you like bottled instead?!” much to the confusion of his roommate. To this day he will be plotting his sick, twisted revenge against those who have ordered water with lemon and/or under-tipped him. That moment will come, oh yes. But I mean, I’m not talking about myself.

Recently discovered Nickelodeon contract from 1998

Dear Parent and/or Guardian and/or Homosexual Adopted Look-er After-er,

We at Nickelodeon would like to thank you for choosing our network’s programs as your outlet to live through your child. Rest assured, a wild and wacky adventure awaits your son or daughter on one of our fine network programs. However, we at Nick care about your child’s safety above all else. As a result, we kindly ask you to sign this simple contract, for legal purposes, in case any mishap should take place. Again, we care very deeply about your child’s safety.

I_____________________, hereby do not hold Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, the Nicktoons Network, or any of its affiliates responsible if any of the following should occur.

If participating in GUTS:

- Your child breaks both his knees on the obstacle course.
- Your child is crushed by a boulder on the Agro Crag.
- Your child is beaten by a girl.
- Your child inhales unhealthy amounts of sparkly confetti while climbing “the Crag”
- Your child is impaled on “the Crag”.
- Your child crashes the Huffy bike that he wins.
- Your child unwittingly discovers that “Mo” is in fact not British, but a rather prominent member of the Austrian mafia working incognito.
- You child is taken out by the Austrian mafia.
- Your child befriends Mike O’Mally.


- Your child is molested by a temple guard.
- Your child drowns in the moat.
- Your child is attacked by the radioactive piranhas that for some reason inhabit the moat.
- Your child, a Blue Barracuda, falls in love with a Green Monkey player, and the two rival gangs have a “rumble” that night
- Your child is eaten by Olmec.
- Your child can’t figure out how to put together the Silver Monkey, and is deemed “retarded” by his peers forever.
- Your child crashes the Huffy bike that he wins.
- Your child trades the Melody Pop he won by being eliminated in the first round for crack in the studio parking lot after the show.
- Your child accidentally stumbles upon some mummified corpses of past child contestants in the basement of the Hidden Temple.

If participating in DOUBLE DARE:

- Your child’s skin, liver, or brain is infected by Gak™, which also goes by the name of Radon Glyciphonate III.
- Upon being “slimed” your child goes blind.
- Your child selects a “physical challenge”, and it turns out to be “Shave Mark Somer’s back”.
- Your child gets crushed by a giant cue tip while retrieving a red flag out of the giant ear.
- Your child gets lost in the giant peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and is eaten by Laurie Beth Dinberg (who just happened to be on set that day).

If participating in WHAT WOULD YOU DO:

- Your child receives a concussion from the pie machine.
- Your child is traumatized by Mark Somers’s raging OCD.
- If the card stuck on your child’s forehead reads “Take a bath with Mark Somers”, and your child misguidedly chooses it.
- Your child falls into the pie machine, and is accidentally eaten by Laurie Beth Dinberg (who just happened to be on set that day)

If participating in NICK ARCADE:

- Your child becomes indefinitely trapped in the final round video game.
- Your child loses his spirit because this show will only be on at 7 AM on a Sunday, and no one will ever see it.
- Your child becomes a nerd.
- Your child is eaten by Laurie Beth Dinberg, (who eats children).

If participating in FIGURE IT OUT:

- Your child has his mind boggled because of Danny Tambourelli’s query of “Does it wear purple pants?”
- Your child’s mind is boggled because of Danny Tambourelli’s query of “Can it drive…old…underpants?”
- Your child’s mind is boggled because of Danny Tambourelli’s query of “Is it a giant cookie maker…machine…dog?”
- Your child’s mind is boggled because of Danny Tambourelli’s query of “Did you invent a machine to save my career?”
- Your child has a really shitty accomplishment, like “Invented Toad Feader Hat”.
- Your child, upon receiving that fifty dollar gift certificate to Toys R Us, buys a Huffy bike.
- Your child’s only friend is his Huffy bike.
- Your child crashes his only friend.

Thank you, we know you have a choice in which outrageous, loud children’s network to choose to expose your offspring to fulfill your lost dreams of fame. Thank you for choosing Nickelodeon to do so. Sign below, and your child will be awaited by a fun magical world of magic, fun, and molestation…er, fun.

Sign here: ________________

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Fun with Nosejobs!

So this has been making me chuckle all day. Every Wednesday I have a class about mass media and national identity (yes, it's as concrete as it sounds), the latest in the long line of fluffy light communications classes. Now, during my long stretch of Comm and Med. Stud. classes, I have a few times been with this particular young woman who, as I noticed in September, got a nosejob over the summer. Of course, that's what you gotta do to make yourself happy. However, this girl has always been something of a pill, not the nicest bulb in the closet. Anyway, during this class she has spoken up a few times for reasons that have TOTALLY tickled me. Totally.

1) We had just watched a clip from "Do the Right Thing", Spike Lee's racial romp for the whole family, which featured Spike Lee's character Mookie talking with John Turtorro's racist Italian character, Pino (I think). After the clip, which presented both characters as somewhat racist towards each other - this girl raised her hand, about to completely miss the point. She stated that as a proud Italian, this clip offended her. Of course, this is the same girl who had just been surgically altered to look more Irish the past summer. I thought it was funny.

2) During the discussion about our final, after the professor had stated we need to write in pen (like...every test since 4th grade?), the girl raises her hand and states that she really feels strongly about writing in pencil, just in case it looks bad so she can clean it up. The parallells to the final and her face are many and hilarious. So she likes erasing and fixing, we know that much.

Normally I'd wait for a third instance, but after two, I couldn't hold it in any longer. Nosejob girl, if you read this, I'm sorry. But next time make sure you say things that can't be directly tied to the fact that you just got a nosejob. It's just too awesome to ignore. Thank you.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Fordham College at Rose Hill Student's Guide to Job Hunting

If you’re a Fordham College At Rose Hill senior right now, you probably have one thing on your mind: where’s the beef? Whether you mean this in a literal or figurative sense can really only be determined on a case by case basis, as the Ultimate Dining Marketplace patties are anything but beef. (RIIIIIIIIIING! That’s the sound of the “Inevitable Fordham Cafeteria Being Not Good Reference” Alarm – keep on chiming, Fordham! Now back to our article…) However, the ‘beef’ to which I refer to is a predetermined life after these final months of drinking, boozing, alcohol consumption, kegging, beer ingestion, wine ingestion, fruity-chick-drink-that-I-still-enjoy-every-once-in-awhile-don’t-laugh-at-me-jerk ingestion, and boozing. Indeed, the road seemingly leads to a giant Godzilla-sized question mark for us Liberal Arts types. The only real question is – can we bust through it with an equally Godzilla-sized level of determination?
Probably not, especially if it’s made of titanium (which it will be), but let’s pretend. For a Rose Hill student, life after college is one of those “if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist” things; we can’t in our right mind fathom what comes next. Of course I only speak for myself, but if someone told me I was going to prison in May, I don’t think I’d be that upset about it. Free shelter, provided food and plumbing, guaranteed companionship every night, showers, soap to drop – it’s all basically what Fordham provided us with. God knows the food’s probably better (RIIIIIIIING!). Nevertheless, my situation would be set and determined, with no looming “parent’s basement” possibility, and I’m okay with that. Sure, some students have their plans to go to graduate school, but these are the doctors, lawyers and teachers of Fordham College at Rose Hill; in other words, two people. The rest of us; Political Science majors, Communications majors, and Philosophy majors (God forbid…Music majors), are already scrambling for Best Buy job applications. I hear the employee discount’s pretty damn good.
Sure, Fordham tells us that “Fordham” looks good on a resume. Sure, if your potential employer likes words that start with the letter F. Back before Freshman year, I attended the Incoming Freshman Weekend, which I’m sure many of you remember; the positive attitude, the Long Island girls dressed up like Orientation took place on a yacht, the over zealous attempts to make friends immediately since you’re going to be with these people for four years. Of course during that weekend, several Fordham speakers made one point abundantly clear: Fordham has connections to big companies and networks in Manhattan. Well, as it turns out, they meant via subway only. To this day, a visit to the Career Planning Office will result in either a) a tutorial on “how to write a cover letter” b) someone telling you to look on c) a tutorial on “how to write a cover letter and post it on d) a free tote bag e) a song-and-dance number from the staff hailing the merits of f) a fist fight with a representative. In other words, they know just as much as we do. Oh sure, they host career fairs at McGinley center, but unless you’re a banker or an ROTC kid, the pickins are slim. I mean think about it, the Career Planning center employees have their job, and let’s face it, not a very glamorous one. Why then, would they have any desire to help a bunch of snotty Fordham philosophy majors get better jobs then the ones they have?! The concept inherently makes no sense. Wouldn’t they just take those jobs themselves if they knew about them? These are questions that should really be brought up at Incoming Freshman Weekend.
In an attempt to take my life by the horns, I actually attended my first real-life job interview at a marketing firm to get my feet wet for the future. For education purposes, I recorded the proceedings, and it came out looking something like this.
Interviewer: So, Fordham, huh?
Me: Yeah.
Interviewer: Oh-ho. So do you live near the Magic Kingdom? Bet you go there all the time.
Me: No, you’re thinking of Florida. It’s way different.
Interviewer: Oh-ho. So, “Michael”, what do you think you could bring to Johnson-Presley’s Marketing Firm and Pickle Brewery?
Me: Well, um…I’ve analyzed Socrates’ “Apology”. I could do that if you guys need.
Interviewer: I see. What else?
Me: Do you have a deli? I can buy stuff from there with flex dollars. You guys use flex dollars, I assume.
Interviewer: I don’t know what that is. Okay, next question: Why did you leave your last job?
Me: Last job?
Interviewer: Next question, what special skills do you possess?
Me: Oh man, I can totally tell you what almost every story in James Joyce’s Dubliners means. Thank you, Professor Kerins! I mean, every company needs that, right?
Interviewer: We already have a guy who does that actually. Any other special skills?
Me: Is showering a special skill?
Interviewer: No.
Me: Then no.
Interviewer: Alright moving on, what do you think are your best qualities?
Me: Oh geez, well I know when I don’t feel like working and stick to my gut on it, I know how to get by with as little effort as possible, oh and I don’t like to brag but I’m really good at going to Pugsley’s!
Interviewer: Geez, is this all you learned at Florida?
Me: Fordham. No of course not! You haven’t even asked how many Film and Society classes I’ve taken yet!
Interviewer: Alright, you should hear something by next week. But in general, don’t tell any of your friends to apply here please.
Me: …because they got no chance against me?
Interviewer: ….Right.
As it turned out, a CBA kid got the job. This brings me to my next point, CBA kids are the luckiest sons of bitches in the world. Not only because they are guaranteed a seven-figure salary right out of college, but because they actually enjoy some of the most boring jobs on the planet. Honestly, CBA may as well be called “Fordham’s College of Shattered Dreams”. As a child, my friends and I would fantasize about becoming firemen, police officers, astronauts, cowboys, movie stars, action heroes, star baseball players, and time travelers. Not one kid has ever, ever, EVER played “accountant” with their playground chums. No psychologically correct child would claim to want to grow up to be an investment banker! With this in mind, it seems then that CBA’s entire student body consists of young men and women who have given up on their dreams. It’s tragic really, where dreams of “cowboy” and “astronaut” become replaced with ones of “stock broker” and “rich husband”. Alas, CBA students have sold their soul to the corporate machine, and I am convinced are being hard wired by Fordham faculty to fill the world’s dullest jobs, just to keep the gears moving. I’m sorry, it just kills me that these people will have pools and I won’t.
I admit openly that the future for Fordham College at Rose Hill students looks a bit grim and terrifying, like alternate endings included on The Lake House DVD. However, the solutions are there, we as Liberal Arts students just need to be willing to find them. That being said, here are a few sure-fire options for financial and social success and prosperity during life after Fordham College at Rose Hill.
- Discover a new species – Science and intellectuals alike go apeshit over new discoveries in nature. Sure, some people may think that every animal that exists in the world has been discovered already. But to them I say two things; the ocean’s pretty big, and it’s amazing what you can do with some paper mace, glitter, Elmer’s glue, duct tape, Slinkees, and a snapping turtle.
- Rescue a Celebrity’s Life – Sure, you’re a nobody now, but just think what media attention you’ll get after “Fordham student (your name) rescues Renee Zellwegger from burning building” scrolls at the bottom of the screen during the morning edition of E! News. People will be knocking down your door trying to book you for talk show appearances, GQ photo shoots, and celebrity judge appearances at high school talent shows. You may even get made fun of on MAD TV! Of course, above all, Renee Zellwegger would owe you. Big time.
- Cure Cancer – Has anyone actually really tried to do this? It’s one of those extremely daunting tasks that society has just deemed impossible after years without a TylenolCancer pill available. Sure, there are charities around to help cure cancer, but you know they’re just using that money to upgrade the products in the snack machines. (Utz chips?) So my advice is this: grab a chemistry set, just start mixing combinations of things you have around the house – some concoction must cure cancer. After you’ve finally matched up the Bengay and ketchup, or whatever, just patent it and wait for the cash to start rolling in. You may even get a Nobel prize out of it, or at least a Golden Globe.
- Rob a Bank – Probably not a good idea, but hey, you know you’ve thought about it.
- Become President – You know, I don’t care what everyone in the world says, getting into office is just as easy as saying “Hey Dad, can I borrow the car tonight?” these days. I hear this job pays pretty well and best of all; barely any CBA kids will be competing with you for it.
- Sell Everything You Own on Ebay – If you’re strapped for cash, Ebay is always a fine way to create a second income, or in some cases, a first. You know that you really don’t need all that stuff you own anyway, so why not sell it all for a pretty profit on Ebay? When you run out of stuff, you can just buy more to sell with the money you’ve made or buy back some of your own stuff at a slightly increased price. Either way, you can’t lose. That much.
- Two words: Pyramid scheme. As the Fordham College at Rose Hill Class of 2007 receive our diplomas in May, shake the hands of those who run the place, and listen to countless speeches from anonymous prestigious figures about “new beginnings” “fresh beginnings” and “this is not an end, but a beginning”, the whole thing will no doubt appear a bit shallow and horrifying. If the diplomas contained a hiring letter to a high paying job that would be one thing, but I don’t think they do. Rather, coming out at the other end of Fordham with no job and no money makes me wonder – did that Intro to New Testament class really make me a better rounded person? Is Intermediate French II going to help me land that high paying job someday? How many career paths rely on individuals who’ve taken Close Reading and Critical Writing? Truly, it seems a better core requirement for Fordham should be Intro to Finding the Beef, though I’m not sure who they’d find to teach it. (Definitely not a cafeteria employee [RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING

Personal Goals for Senior Year, Pt. 1

Just the other day I woke up, stuffed Alf doll in arm. Wiping my eyes and turning off my Hello Kitty alarm clock with a swift pound of the fist I realized “Woah man, it’s my senior year”. I know, I know – “That’s what your article’s about? Who gives two shits about you, Hadge?” Well Mom, I’ll tell you who. The entire senior class is in the exact same boat right now, and we’re all thinking the same thing: we’ve wasted our time. Sure, booze and Family Guy marathons are all well and good, but in the end, what have we really accomplished in our four years at Fordham? Maybe this all boils down to the fact that Fordham is, in concept and execution, a “B-’’ school. The faculty, the staff, and especially the students, myself obviously included, just seem to want to do the bare minimum so there’s more time for getting shitfaced, assfaced, I know that I for one have been feeling that my better days at Fordham are yet to come, and that most of my unfinished business will take place this year. The time is now. The place is here. This is the moment. Don’t stop me, don’t stop me, don’t stop me. And so on.

Operation: Don’t Waste Senior Year begins immediately. That being said, here are just a few of my goals for this upcoming senior year of mine:

Figure out just what makes the Dining Marketplace so Ultimate
Discover what makes the squirrels so black
Try that weird scraped ice coconut stuff they sell every five feet on Fordham Road.
Walk through the underground cross campus tunnels
Put some cheese in the underground cross campus tunnels, and just let it sit
Pull a senior prank for the ages, something clever like putting Father McShane’s car on the roof of Keating, or kidnapping a rival school’s mascot. Look out, NYU Violet!
Hijack a tour, leading the group of unsuspecting high schoolers and their parents into the cheese-stinking underground tunnels.
Protest the volunteer fair, for union purposes
Protest the club fair, for laziness purposes
Protest the career fair, for unemployment purposes
Protest the protestors at The Vagina Monologues, because they need to be slapped
Have a special named after me at Pugsley’s, preferably containing free pizza for life, and carrying a price tag of eighty-six thousand dollars
Find out what kind of meat they actually use for the cafeteria burgers (Rumor: Remember those kids who “transferred”?)
Have the statue of Ignatius eliminated and replaced with a statue of Steve Irwin
Successfully have the new parking garage dubbed “The Optimus Prime Memorial Automobile Containment Center of Justice”
Understand Sal Pugsley as a man…and just what he’s saying
Bring the “golden Ram” statue to life, utilizing magic of course. Then, I’d ride it around campus, and people will discover just how “cool” it is to have a ram as a school mascot when you’re scraping its excrement off your shoes.
Drop out and reregister as a mysterious freshman named John Jacob Jingleheimer Shmidt, just so some bastard can claim that it’s his name too.
Pass a new law that requires the Young Democrats and Young Republicans to merge as one and dammit, just get along
Accuse The Ram of sexual harassment, and thus end its hundred year reign of terror
Raise an army of misguided Fordham Prep kids to rise up and help me overthrow
Overthrow the United Student Government with a United Student Coup
Discover a remote third world country named Nads, just so I can round up a group of eager young students to throw a bakesale to support !Go! Nads.
Build Alphalpha House, a haven for painfully mediocre students, on Alpha House lawn
Sneak into the library without swiping my ID, and then run like hell. By the time they catch me, it will be too late. I will have already stolen knowledge.
Expand the yearly production of The Vagina Monologues into a month long affair, culminating in an extravagant parade around campus containing floats that look like vaginas and balloons…that look like vaginas. The debate over whether or not the parade is appropriate for Fordham’s campus will be broadcast live on Fordham Nightly News with full twenty-four hour coverage.
Form the B-tards, Fordham’s first all physically challenged a cappella group.
Attend a Fordham sporting event, and then leave after the first quarter because it’s a Fordham sporting event
Convince Hughes Hall residents that coked-up seven-way orgies are not the best way to meet people
Become a Jesuit, because I haven’t been able to bring them down from the outside.
Convince a Queen’s Court resident to perform a striptease as their “Knight Court”.
Convince a Queen’s Court resident to perform a “Knight Court” about the show, Night Court.
Join the Fordham basketball team, because I want a free iPod and PSP. Hello again, tuition money.
Meet the crazy religious preacher man with the loud speaker on Fordham Road. I’ll invite him over for Bagel Bites and Tang, while we discuss the political hot topics of the day. Of course, all of his talking will be through his bullhorn. I suppose those two big black guys who always stand behind him will have to come too. If all goes well, a game of Scrabble will commence.
Sneak into Keating tower and replace the “bell” CD (yes, it is a recording) with Styx’s Greatest Hits, leading to a one o’clock toll of “Laaaadaaay when I’m with you I’m smiiiiiiiliiing”, a two o’clock “I’mmmmmmm sailinggggg awayyyyyyyy, set an open course for the virgin seaaaaaaas”, and a three o’clock “Domo aragato Miiiisterrr Robotooooo”. It will be glorious.
Ride a bike onto campus while holding a paper bag without flashing my ID to a guard, proving my long held theory that all you need to enter campus is a bike and a bag full of drugs.
Take a Ramvan ride that doesn’t contain the following: traffic; a driver who speeds up really fast and stops really fast in traffic; loud rap music; freshmen who haven’t yet learned how to act in public; someone talking in Spanish on their cell phone; never getting my change back; a conversation about “this guy who didn’t last that long”; a large man who pushes you into the middle seat of the bench despite the availability of every other seat on the van; someone turning around and saying “she’s my roommate” in response to my “That Sally Stevens – what a bitch!”
Eliminate the “randomness” of the housing lottery number distribution, instead giving out the best numbers based on a calculated list of the richest, smartest, prettiest students. Then, they shall all be placed in a singular Martyr’s room, allowing me to jump out of the closet and yell “Psych!”
Add a neon “Hughes” sign and valet parking to the front of Hughes Hall, giving off a suggestion of class and cleanliness. Of course, the insides will remain urine stained and roach infested.
Convert Rodrigue’s Coffee House into a full out 1920’s speak-easy by night. By day, it shall remain a haven for society’s misfits. (I’m typing this from there, btw)
Dress up as an EMS staff member for Halloween
Through a grave misunderstanding, end up taking care of thirty-five alcohol poisoned Fordham students on Halloween
Somehow get Oasis to be open after 9 PM, and to not completely suck, like that band.
Go out for dinner at the Howl at the Moon Restaurant around 1 AM on a Friday, and complain to our waiter about the drunk overly tanned girl with blonde streaks puking on my mozzarella sticks, while a kid with a popped collar holds her hair back, and her shorter, far-less-attractive roommate keeps saying “Hang on Megan, it’s gonna be alright! You’re beautiful!”
Successfully transform the basement of Finlay Hall back into a morgue.
Assemble several out of work musicians to join the Fordham University Choir, giving the group some much needed real star power. Like Jesus Jones, Right Said Fred, Milli, Ronnie James Dio, Kris Kross, the guys from Chumbawumba, Sebastian Bach, Axl Rose, Reuben Studdard, Taylor Hansen, and Sir Mix-A-Lot have anything better to do.
Start a civil war between Alumni Court North and Alumni Court South
Rock and roll all night and party ev-ah-ry day

If all goes well:

First blog posting EVER!

Man, I'm not sure if anyone will ever read this (read this {read this}), but this is my blog, entitled the Sunny Side of Good Taste. I have no idea what exactly the title means, but with any luck, I'll make up a decent-sounding meaning someday. But not today. Anyway, this blog may as well be titled Mike Hadge's Self Indulgent Depository For Stuff He's Done. But that's just not as catchy. Be sure to leave your comments, donations, and links to your favorite midget-on-horse sites!