How To Make Friends In A Brand New City

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15 : 33

I just moved to a brand new city and have exactly two friends here. I like them a lot, but I need more socializing. How is it that I’m supposed to make friends without student organizations or clubs or teams or classes? I have no idea. Here’s what I’m trying:

1. Randomly approach people at bars

This kind of works? I guess I can meet new people alright but about one in every five times it turns out really weird. So far this is my best strategy.

2. Join meetup.com

Everyone on there is a weirdo and lacks the ability to make friends. They also send me too many emails. I’ll never go to an event.

3. Buy a pack of cigarettes and have conversations with smokers outside bars

I did this and it’s really effective. Life tip: smoking is cool as shit. Problems: I don’t like smoking very much, I smell like smoke afterwards, my cigarette keeps going out because I’m probably smoking wrong, and it makes me feel awful. I’ll probably continue to do this. I imagine my pack will last me about 3 months. Or maybe I’ll get addicted and smoke a lot. Either way, I’ll have new friends or a dark personality trait. Win-win!

4. Join a church

Bible quote aside, I’m not religious. Like really not religious. I was president of an atheist group! I’d join an atheist group here but Brown doesn’t have one and adult atheist groups are full of weirdos (see: meetup.com).

5. Sell drugs

I’d get arrested or murdered almost immediately. Plus I’m not cool enough.

6. Join a Brown student humor newspaper

Yeah, I tried and they said no. Screw them.

7. Go to the gym, get really sweaty, and never talk to anyone or make eye contact

I do this every day and it’s somehow not working.

So yeah, that’s my list of ideas. Got any more? Please? Give me more ideas. Or just hang out with me. I should take a shower and wash this desperation off.

Things Every UW-Madison Undergrad Should Do (But I Didn’t)

I’m moving out of Madison for another state capital tomorrow. Here are all the things that any student just has to do (but not me):

1. Get wasted at The Kollege Klub

A degree at the UW isn’t worth jack-shit if you haven’t gotten totally sloshed at the KK, so I guess my degree isn’t worth much.

2. Enjoy the Farmer’s Market

How great would it be to have some fresh food early in the morning? I wouldn’t know. It’s too early.

3. Jump Around in the student section at a Badger Football game!

I just don’t enjoy watching football.

4. Wear striped overalls

Nope.

5. Party at The State Street Halloween Party!

I’ve never been sober enough to make it.

6. Sit on Abe Lincolns lap and tell him your dreams

This is the best I could do:

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Confessions, The Creator, and Me

The purpose of this post is for me to get all my thoughts out on paper. Now, I can stop telling you about my feelings on The Creator. Instead, I’ll just ask you to read this article.

Part I: Confessions

While Ezra was praying and Confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites – men, women, and children – gathered around him. They too wept bitterly.
Ezra 10 : 1-3

In job interviews, I’m frequently asked to explain my passions. I go through the usual: reading, writing, jeans, movies, and Breaking Bad. But secretly, I have an interest that I can’t talk about publicly. It’s weird, but it’s so fascinating. My friends are probably sick of me talking about it, so I’ll just express everything in a blog post here. My passion, by the way, is The Creator.

I’m going to avoid using his name. It’s probably more respectful to do that. I shouldn’t though; the UW Confessions page is increasingly retweeting his thoughts, so I think it’s fair to say that he’s thrust himself into the public eye. Oh well, let me tell you about this.

So, a facebook page and twitter account called UW Madison-Confessions was started up sometime during the Spring. This is normal. Not much to talk about. I mean, The UW-Memes page existed a while before that and I wasn’t interested at all. What interests me in this story is the man behind the Confessions.

The UW Madison-Confessions page began simply enough. People would write in anonymously to talk about their exciting college experiences. “I’m so proud to be a Badger!” or “I drank beer last night!”. Those sort of posts. Nothing worth looking into. But wait, gradually, the posts began to show the personality of editor of these confessions. I made a whole compilation of them here.  He made sure to publish quite a lot of confessions that really showcased his conservative attitude (and didn’t publish many with liberal leanings). I mean, nothing against that, but doing so at an overwhelmingly left leaning school is just dishonest.

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Further, he made sure to publish way too many posts that were just plain racist and sexist.

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I haven’t even touched on his extreme jingoism and nationalism. Not that it isn’t good to have some pride in one’s own country, but The Creator frequently talks about wanting to kill terrorists and why other countries are so awful compared to America. I dunno, there’s just something about absolutes that puts me off.

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Finally, he began to cultivate an image for himself as a mythical figure at the university (which I suppose I’m feeding by writing this article) and how many of the students worshipped him. He even used a powerful, divine name: The Creator.

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Part II: The Creator

How long will your wrath burn like fire? Remember how fleeting is my life. For what futility you have Created all humanity.
Psalm 89 : 46-48

My interest is not in The Creator’s political or sexist or racist or extremist thoughts. There are many people who have those same beliefs who I see on facebook all the time. My fascination is his narcissism followed by fame. And for a college student, he sure did become famous. What an opportunity for someone who has such strong opinions. He suddenly found himself with 25 thousand people eagerly awaiting his posts. And then he tied his real name to the confessions.

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I just called him narcissistic. Wait, let’s scale back. Let’s say that he’s confident. I think that’s fair to say. In fact, he is unquestionably the most cocky person I follow on twitter. It’s unfair to use his confessions page to analyze him (because as editor, he doesn’t necessarily have to agree with everything posted). Instead, lets take a look at tweets from his own personal twitter.

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Now, I’ve always thought that people who concealed carry thought of themselves as low-level superheroes. It seems that The Creator actually thinks of himself in these terms.

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You know what I mean? Here’s some more:

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I don’t know what to think of these tweets. Are they supposed to be funny or are they serious? Is it reasonable to say that The Creator has delusions of grandeur? Or has he been developing whatever the opposite of self-deprecating humor is? Self-aggrandizing? I think it’s safe to say that they’re supposed be funny.

He is just so goddam cocky. He made a big deal about considering to run for student government (ASM)

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That at least can’t be construed as a joke.

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Here, he wasn’t even sure if he wanted to do it; all he knew was that he’d be a great fit. I mean, this guy is just dripping with self assurance.

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I really don’t believe that someone pledged money to him considering running for a college leadership position. Ugh. Luckily, he ended up not pursuing student government. Clearly, The Creator really, honestly loves himself.

Part III: Me

For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you
Matthew 7 : 1

Who am I? Why do I give a shit about this guy? I’m not even a fucking student at Wisconsin anymore. Not only do I complain and bitch and moan about The Creator, but I’m taking my time to write a blog post about it. I’m not a lonely person, I have friends. But instead, I’m spending a weekend pouring over tweets that a random student has made over the last year. What the fuck is wrong with me?

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Seriously, what makes me so interested in The Creator? Is it because we’re so unalike? He’s a staunch Republican who confidently expresses his beliefs with certainty, while I’m a liberal who doesn’t like to take strong stances. Is it his racism and sexism, where I remain open minded and it’s reasonable to say that he is bigoted? Probably not either of those. That’s not that interesting.

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Is it jealousy? The Creator is confident in ways that I couldn’t imagine myself. He’s so sure of himself.

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My gut instinct is that he made this up. But what if he’s telling the truth? Am I just jealous that he can get girls all across campus because of his relative fame? If it turned out this was true, that he really did have a following, I guess that I would be jealous. Maybe that’s why I’m so interested. I’m waiting for him to slip up, to admit that it’s all a facade and he isn’t so revered. I’m just afraid that it’s true.

One more possibility though: The Creator reminds me of myself. What’s more cocky and confident and egotistical than writing a blog? In all likelihood, my ego is just as big as his. Maybe I don’t have the following to back it up, but I sure as hell become self satisfied when I see likes on my facebook statuses or views on my blog posts. How many conversations have I had with friends asking if they think if my idea would make a good facebook status? How many posts and statuses have I deleted because they weren’t getting as many likes as I wanted?

How am I different from The Creator? Would I react any differently than him if people started giving me the attention that he did? How is my self-depricating humor different than his self-aggrandizing humor? Both are just ways to hide our insecurities.

Oh well, I could speculate on this for hours. I’ll give The Creator the last word:

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Well Met: A Podcast Review

My friends Rushabh and Kyle (sp?) started a video game podcast called Well Met. I would have loved to write a nice review to encourage everyone to read it. Instead, they made fun of me on their most recent podcast. So I went back and listened to Episode 2: Violent Games. Here is every negative thought that I had:

  • Even though I lived with Kyle for a year, I can’t tell the difference between his voice and Rushabh’s
  • Kyle kicks it off talking about video game news
  • Apparently there’s no news
  • I can hear the beer cans and eating/drinking in the background
  • 3rd banana Nick breaks his radio silence to yell at Kyle at how Kyle owes money
  • The theme song is the only part of the podcast that isn’t awful. They obviously had nothing to do with the production of this music and my only hope is that the actual artist forces the podcast off the internet due to copyright concerns
  • It’s possible that my review might be biased because I don’t actually like video games
  • Talking about Super Mario Galaxies, which would be interesting, but everyone is talking at the same time
  • It sounds like someone’s chair is about to break
  • Rushabh apparently doesn’t play video games? Why is he hosting this podcast then?
  • They’re talking about law school
  • A dog is barking
  • Nick is playing SuperHexagon while recording the podcast. Not exactly making a hard sell
  • Maybe I should be playing SuperHexagon instead of listening to this?
  • Humble Indie Bundle! I know this topic! Maybe they’ll talk about the interesting business model?
  • Nope, just name dropping the games that they’ve played
  • Someone is having a conversation in a nearby room. Maybe they’re talking about something more interesting!
  • Now, onto the topic of violence in video games! Alright!
  • Kyle and Nick are “ooooh”ing and Rushabh appears almost as annoyed as I am
  • Tip: don’t just bring up a video game and assume that the listener knows what it is. I don’t know what “Postal” or “Manhunt” are. Explain some of the history behind those!
  • Also, while I’m lecturing, try not to bring up memes. I know they’re easily recognizable, but it’s just weird to listen to people quote things
  • I can hear someone using a computer in the background and women laughing. Do they have doors in Minnesota?
  • They brought up BioShock, that’s a game I’ve played!
  • Alright, I’m into this discussion on violence and policy
  • Be sure to not talk over each other, it’s confusing
  • I find this very informative
  • I think Kyle and Rushabh are the same person
  • I don’t want to hear one person talking and the other just agreeing. Where is the sporting debate?
  • “A game is a series of conflicts” Good point, so should a podcast. Stop just agreeing with each other
  • Maybe the conflict could be racism?
  • Stop yawning Kyle!
  • Alright, we’ve got some minor disagreements going on! I love it
  • Wait, it’s settled
  • Yawnnnn
  • Alright, I’m going to the gym. 45 minutes is enough to get the flavor of the podcast, right?

Final hate notes:

I think this podcast has a lot of potential and I’m excited to listen to more of it! Just maybe consider getting new microphones, getting new hosts, getting new topics and content, getting new recording software, the intro song is fine, getting new hobbies, getting new personalities, and getting a pop filter.

I wish you guys the best and happy podcasting!

Poetry About Spirit Airlines

I’m on minute 25 of a call with Spirit Airlines and I still have yet to talk to a person. Here’s some poetry about Spirit:

If Spirit Airlines Had A Dick

If Spirit Airlines had a dick
I’d smash it with a 5 pound brick.
If Spirit Airlines had a member
I’d punch it until late December.
If Spirit Airlines had a dick
I’d punch it ’til my arm got sick.

If Spirit Airlines had a face
I’d spray it many times with mace.
If Spirit Airlines had two eyes
I’d poke them ’til that bastard cries.
If Spirit Airlines had a face
I’d punch it into outer space.

If Spirit Airlines wasn’t so shitty
I’d be ready to go to Atlantic City.
If Spirit Airlines had a soul,
It would mostly be made of coal.
If Spirit Airlines wasn’t cursed,
but wait, they are the worst.

UW-Madison Confessions Creator Threatened

A student who completely represents the UW student body was violently threatened with death today.

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This is awful and should be taken completely seriously. Hopefully the matter resolves itself soon.

It really bothers me that people would say inflammatory things over the internet. I am offended and know that the Creator would never do anything of the sort.

If you aren’t familiar with UW-Confessions, here’s a few examples of the warmth and joy that has been spread around campus due to the Creator. First, some thoughts on race, gender, sexuality, and diversity:

Here are some confessions about the humility of the Creator himself:

Now some confessions about Madison’s very diverse political atmosphere:

7 Worst Prime Numbers

I have a minor in math and this is what I used it for. Prime numbers are numbers that have no integer factors. 6 is divisible by 2 and 3 so it can’t be prime. 53 is prime because you can’t divide it by any integers. 53 is a perfectly nice prime number. Here are the prime numbers I hate.

5

So fucking obvious. Why don’t you try to be more interesting? I guess you’re the only prime that ends with a 5, but you’re skating on thin ice.

51

Not actually prime! You try to look prime, but you’re obviously a multiple of 17.

17

Way to help out 51 you piece of shit.

41

You act like you’re so sexy (and while technically there is another prime number which differs from 41 by 6, making you a sexy prime), but you’re no where near as sexy as 73 (who is in veritable gangbang with 61, 67, and 79).

Fermat Primes

Way to find a difficult way to blow up numbers. Only 12 Fermat Numbers can be confirmed to be prime or nonprime and only five of them are actually prime! Yeesh. Also Fermat, your prime test fails for Carmichael Numbers. Get a new profession, Fermat.

69691

Yeah, real mature. Grow up.

1999

The same year that Lou Bega released Mambo No. 5 (a song about another hatable prime).

7 Rules For A Successful Double Date

I like my dates like I like my tea: with two honeys. Whatever. You probably already knew this, but Val and I are huge fans of double dates.

Val, Chris, and myself on a double date [my date not pictured]

Myself, Chris, and Val on a double date [my date not pictured]

You name the place, and we’ve been there on a double date. Giordano’s? Double date! Museum of Science and Industry? Double date! Simply put: we’re pros, so I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you if you ever go on a double date. Good luck!

A double date that didn't go great (I felt kind of excluded)

A double date that didn’t go great (I felt kind of excluded)

1. Dress The Part

A double date isn’t just a chance to have a good time, it’s also an opportunity to show the other couple that you’re in a happier/healthier relationship. The best way to show this is obviously by coordinating with your date to make sure you two are wearing matching outfits. So go out and buy a pair of matching overalls or maybe just wear the same colors. Either way, the other couple will be beside themselves with jealousy.

2. Conversation Cards

Whether one of the couples is meeting for the first time, or you’ve all known each other all your lives, a lull in the conversation can bring a double date into a dangerous boredom. To combat this, bring a set of (laminated) conversation cards to help move the conversation along onto a more interesting topic! Here’s a few that I bring to every double date:

  • What is your favorite color/are you colorblind?
  • Which areas of politics are you the most passionate about?
  • Roe or Wade?
  • Sports?
  • What’s the deal with laundromats?

3. Alcohol

There’s no social lubricant like alcohol (well, possibly ecstasy), so be sure to grab some brewskis for your double date! If one of the members of the group doesn’t drink/is an alcoholic, just try to convince them just to have the one drink. You’ll be saying hello to fun in no time! I’d strongly advise getting the Margaritas at Chili’s.

4. Don’t hit on the other persons date

With all that alcohol in your system, you may be tempted to hit on your friend’s date in order to “upgrade” date partners. This is generally frowned upon and rarely works. This is (one of) the reasons why I’m not allowed back in the chemistry fraternity on campus.

5. Choose the right movie

A film just might be the perfect way to spend a double date, but make sure it’s going to work well for everyone. While Passion of the ChristShawshank Redemption, A Clockwork Orange, and There Will Be Blood are excellent movies (and I’d recommend them for  experienced couples going on a double date), I’d stick with something easy to digest such as Napoleon Dynamite or Wayne’s World 2. The movie should be relaxing enough to snuggle up to your date, but also interesting enough to have a good conversation about over drinks after!

6. Ecstasy

If you feel like the date isn’t going as well as you’d hoped, why don’t you offer the group some ecstasy? It’ll help lower your inhibitions and let the happiness flow through you like the red sun. Sit back and enjoy the flowing, mysterious waters of your mind ebb into the cosmos and just live it. (Note: be sure to drink enough water so you don’t die of dehydration)

7. Foursome?

Who says the date has to end after you leave the bar? Keep the momentum going and take a cab back to your place. Be sure to lay down a large tarp and have some fun!

Double Crossed: A Screenplay

INT. CHURCH

Two priests quietly talk in the back of the church while a few people sit in the pews, silently praying. One priest is named JOHN CROSS and the other is his partner MARCUS KELLY. KELLY and CROSS are both in their early 30′s or whatever. They wear simple priestly clothes (you know, black shirt and pants with the clerical collar). I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to describe in this part, but I think I’ve set the scene. My ex-girlfriend Sam always told me that there are really strict rules about writing a script and what you can and can’t include, but seriously who cares?

CROSS

Which one is he?

KELLY

The guy in the cheap suit with the sunglasses. You sure you’re alright today?

CROSS

Of course I am, why wouldn’t you think so?

KELLY

I know you say you’ve got those Irish genes Cross, but last night you were too messed up even for my tastes.

CROSS

Thanks for the concern Mom, but I’m fine. How about I’ll get a handle on my drinking as soon as you lay off those cigarettes?

KELLY

Still, I didn’t want you to embarrass yourself in front of those nuns we were with. It sure seemed like you had eyes for that brunette, eh?

CROSS

(sarcastically)

Yeah, she’s the girl for me once I break my vow.

kelly

You’re joking, but even though the priesthood is for life, in our line of work, half of us wash out in the first three years…

CROSS

(interrupting)

I’m in my ninth year serving, so?

kelly

…and the other half are end up growing lemons in a monastery in France after fifteen. I can’t see you doing that, Cross.

cross

And miss out on all the fun you’ll be having? No thanks Kelly.

Kelly

It’s only fun when you’re around buddy. Alright, it’s showtime.

The man that they’ve spotted is in the first row of pews. He looks around nervously before standing up and walking to the back of the church with his briefcase in hand, smiling to KELLY and CROSS. They pretend to look away as he slips into a door marked OFFICE, closing the door behind him.

KELLY

He seems spooked. Either he’s new or they know we’re watching.

CROSS

Check. Let’s go.

They make the sign of the cross and bump fists.

int. church Office

It’s a small office, probably about the same size as my bedroom. Am I supposed to describe the room like that? I hope I’m being sufficiently detailed. If not, use your imagination. Make the walls whatever color you like. The man, let’s call him BAD GUY is looking through the drawers of the sole desk in the room with his briefcase open on top. KELLY and CROSS enter. BAD GUY hurriedly slams his briefcase shut.

BAD GUY

Hi there! I’m just waiting for Father Stephen. He told me over the phone to wait in his office. I was just looking for… a pen.

KELLY

(nodding towards the mug of pens already on the desk)

Stephen is out of town this week, unfortunately. Is there anything we can help you with?

BAD GUY

Oh, how unfortunate! I guess I’ll just be leaving then. Have a nice day.

CROSS

Why don’t you stick around? What is it that you were meeting with Stephen about?

BAD GUY

Oh, it was just about some personal issues I needed counseling on. I’m trying to help become a better Catholic, you know? And I don’t think I can stick around actually, I’ve got a… er, plans.

CROSS forcefully pushes BAD GUY down into a chair.

kelly

I’m sure any decent Catholic would know not to plant documents in the desk of a priest.

Cross

And what would these documents be, Kelly?

Kelly

I have a guess Cross, but how about we just take a look.

CROSS snatches the briefcase from BAD GUY and opens it up.

KELLY

Well, it looks like it is exactly what I thought it was.

BAD GUY

What’s that?

Cross

A church time sheet.

BAD GUY

What? So what? Who cares?

kelly

Drop the act, new kid. We know exactly who you’re working for and what you’re doing.

bad guy

I’m not working for nobody! I’d like to go home please.

CROSS

We’ve seen this in diocese after diocese: a congregation blown apart after a sex abuse scandal.

kelly

You and your kind need to put it to rest with this boy-fucking business. Leave it up to the Atheists to accuse the Catholic church of this garbage and turn the public against us.

cross

No priest would ever do anything like that. You scum just need to ruin us in the worst way you can.

kelly

Listen kid, it’s not too late. You don’t need to ruin another life just to win this stupid holy war. You atheists say that you’re moral too. Do the right thing.

BAD GUY

I didn’t come here to set Father Stephen up for anything! Honest!

BAD GUY’s wimpers stop and he looks at them with a crazed smile.

BAD GUY

I’m just here as bait.

The door is kicked open by BAD GUY #2 and BAD GUY pulls out a gun and points it at KELLY. Pulling a gun from his shoulder holster, CROSS shoots both BAD GUY and BAD GUY #2 without hesitation.

cross

Let’s get the hell out of here.

INT. CHURCH

KELLY and CROSS come running out of the office and duck behind the first row of pews. All while avoiding gunfire from the 3 men at the front of the church. I’m really not sure how to write an action scene. I really doubt this can be very exciting to read about when described so clinically, but I’ll do my best.

cross

(checking his ammo)

A set up for Second Orders? These atheists are getting crazier every day.

KELLY

(pulling out his gun)

Yeah, this is the first time they’ve brought firepower to a church.

The pew they’re hiding behind is becoming increasingly weak due to the gunfire. KELLY looks over and takes a shot at one of the BAD GUYS, missing.

Kelly

Such a beautiful church. Goddam monsters.

KELLY hides behind the pew again, noticing that CROSS is gone.

BAD GUYS

(yelling)

No need for you to die, fellas! We’ve got plenty to ask you back at the lab.

CROSS is sneaking up the side of the pews, keeping very low to the ground. The men continue to shoot at KELLY, unaware of CROSS.

KELLY

(to BAD GUYS)

At least we’ve got an afterlife to look forward to.

KELLY stands up again and fires away right as CROSS comes running at them from their side. Completely blindsided, he kills them before they have time to turn his direction.

CROSS

Got ‘em! Alright Kelly, after we get this locked down,we need to get to the station and make sense of this mess.

CROSS pulls out a RADIO from his pocket

CROSS

Cross, we need a cleanup crew at Local 249. Five bodies, no witnesses, but neighbors may have heard shots.

(to KELLY)

Kelly! Get your ass over here. We need to barricade those doors before some old lady tries to come in. Kelly?

KELLY is on the ground, blood pooling around his body. CROSS runs over to him

KELLY

I… think… they got a lung. I should… pull through. Just need…

CROSS

Oh Jesus. You’ll be fine buddy.

(to RADIO)

Code 9! Second Order has been shot. I repeat, a Second Order has been shot. We need a med crew here now!

KELLY

I’ll… be…

(faints)

CROSS

God please help him. God please!