Archive for October, 2010

The End

There will be no more posts to this blog.


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Surrendering Myself

If there is one thing that I feel simultaneously proud and sick about, it is my ability to act in a way that makes me accessible to whoever I am with. This chameleon aspect of my personality has often come to my aid when I am forced to make new friends. People generally like me wherever I am. This would be great, if I was really interested in making people like me.

Unfortunately, I am not. However, because of my wont to act in a way to avoid disrupting any sort of social relationship, I am hesitant to be very direct. This will lead to me blending in to avoid causing waves. It seems like this wouldn’t be too much of an issue. But when I find myself feeling drained and upset with myself after a conversation, it becomes dishearteningly clear that I should not be surrendering myself like that. It’s an unfortunate situation because I find it difficult to make my position clear without being offensive, but I really need to stop sustaining relationships in which I need to subdue a majority of my feelings. We’ll just see how this goes.

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On a Roll

First, literally. Eating at the Alumni Memorial Union is weird. There are uncontrolled lines and groups of people standing everywhere. There are lines that just lead into walls. Literally. I thought I was in line for some chicken, and then all of the sudden, the line dissipates, and I am left standing next to the wall by myself. Anyway, I went to get a salad today. A chicken caeser salad specifically. Also, the chicken is often frozen. Rock hard frozen. It’s gross. Apparently the lack of organization is not hindered by the barriers between the servers and the customers as behind the scenes seems to be just as big of a mess as it is out on the floor. So I finally manage to find the front of the line and am met with three different people asking what I want. Looking at each of them in turn, so as to not make anyone feel left out, I order a chicken caeser salad. The woman in the middle with a big, dirty (already been used, not like dirt dirty) mixing bowl began to scoop the fixin’s of my salad into the most readily available container. Not one to complain about the service I received (which I know isn’t necessary a good thing) I simply watch as some gross yellowish sauce begins to coat my romaine. Woman number one finishes mixing my salad with a flourish and sends the bowl sliding down the counter to a pseudo-cashier. I say pseudo because you don’t actually pay here, despite being given what looks very similar to a bill. And here is where it gets weird. The woman (I use the word loosely. It was some sort of Asian girl who looked about twelve) who looked at me and said, “You want salad on your roll?” Taken aback, I simply said yes, afraid that anything else that I said would lead to stranger combinations of food stacking. Although I am not one to stereotype, I am going to chalk this one up to a language barrier. I just can’t imagine so many people asking that their salad be specifically on top of their roll that it was adopted into the standard procedure for ordering in the AMU.

Secondly, figuratively. This is my 9th post in the great month of October. This means I have posted more in the past 21 days than I have in any single month prior. Obviously this blog business is largely going to be nonsense stories like the one above, and neato pictures and comics like the ones below. Just thought I would let you know how I was doing with keeping this thing going.

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In light of my recent posts, I have decided to outline the purpose of this blog.

Through these posts, I will explore my interests. While this blog cannot be taken as a true expression of who I am (though I may occasionally post personal works), I hope to be able to use it to gain a better understanding of what inspires me (i.e. my interests). This inspiration will hopefully lead to more things that I can truly ascribe to myself. So, for now, this blog is just anything I think is worth talking about (and probably some stuff that isn’t).

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The Sartorialist

I love this outfit
I love this outfit.


Specifically, I love these shoes. The outfit is great. But the shoes are amazing.

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Unique Things

People are dumb. And I will tell you why. They have this tendency to think that 1) They are one of the few to like something (band, clothing store, book, etc.) and 2) that it matters. At all.

The reason this particular habit of a lot of people I know is so frustrating is because of it’s absurdity. The internet is the greatest thing to happen to a lot of people. Your new band can get out there and have a million followers on youtube and twitter and tumblr before anything actually happens in real life to make you famous. This, however, means that locals bands very rarely have a limited following. I’ll give an example to make this clearer:

When I was in Arizona with a good friend, we were visiting my friend’s cousin. We were all listening to music, and a song by some local Chicago band came on. The following conversation ensued.

Sarah: Oh my God I love this band!!
Mike: What? No way! How? These guys are a local Chicago band!
Sarah: Haha yeah, I don’t know! I just love finding really obscure bands!

This demonstrates two things. Especially since it’s true.
1) Local bands aren’t local
2) People value obscurity over quality

The first point is self-explanatory. The second actually is also. Bands that make it big generally do for a reason (this is changing, but I’ll talk about that in a second). They are popular. They make good music (in the ears of their audience). However, people would much rather listen bands that they think no one will of heard of to up their “unique-factor” and to make it seem like their interests are unique.

I am all for discovering new things. With nothing new, obviously creativity would come to a standstill and it just wouldn’t be good for anyone. What I am asking is that you do not take so much pride in things you think only you like. It’s foolish and very very very unlikely.

I am one of….four friends that I know visit a specific fashion blog, but that blog has something like 500,000 daily viewers.
I am one of two friends that I know of who visit a personal blog of someone I don’t know. I am sure his following is larger than I imagine.
I am the only student at Marquette that I personally know has visited a certain cafe in the Third Ward of Milwaukee. It’s a public coffee house. I’m not stupid.
I am the only person I know who has ______(insert band here) in his iTunes. These are popular artists. I am well aware they have a large following.
I fully realize that by the time a band makes it to a blog on new music, they already have thousands of fans.
I am not unique in my interests.

And that is okay.

I am not my interests.

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Undue Credit

I am hard pressed to think of a truly unique interest. People should not be praised for their interest in a wide variety of music or books any more than they should be praised for the wide variety of friends they have. An love affair with fall or spring does not make you so cute. You like the newest indie alt-rock band? So does everyone else. And even if they didn’t, who cares. The fact that so many people seek to define themselves by the works of others that they enjoy shows a crippling need to justify oneself through common ground. Pop culture is a crutch.

Creativity, true creativity, is the most legitimate way of defining yourself. Fashion, music (as long as you make it), and writing all fall into these categories because they require personal application to the form. Obviously these aren’t pure. People can blindly mimic trends, produce the same music that everyone else is, or imitate their favorite writers to the point of plagiarism, but the point is that you need to be invested in your interests to have a valid stance on using them to describe yourself.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have my favorite writers, musicians, and I am starting to develop fashion icons. And this is okay. To disregard the innovations of others purely on the basis that it isn’t our own work is just as stupid. We just need to be careful to give credit where credit is due. Even I, when asked about myself, will occasionally fall into the trap of prattling off names and places like those are the things that truly speak to who I am. Just be careful. Remember to keep your interests and your characteristics separate.

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