Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rally Crying

Today was the day for the famous (infamous?) Rustin High School fall pep-rally. After eight shortened periods of school, we all went down to the gym and were seated by class. Activities included the following:

--Making lots of noise
--The introduction of the Senior Homecoming Court
--A Tug of War competition by class
--Being loud
--Making obscene chants and gestures at the other classes
--A "spin around on a baseball bat five times until you get dizzy and then stumble around towards the general vicinity of the finish line" competition.
--Watching the Cheerleaders lead cheers.
--Lauding our innately superior athletic ability by clapping for a procession of sports team captains
--Watching the Dance Team gyrate
--Hooting and Hollering
--Watching the "Diamond Girls" stomp around
--Storming the court in competition for the heralded "spirit stick."
--Invoking the use of our vocal chords to produce a high quantity of decibels.

And get this: the seniors won the spirit stick! No way! I was so suprised...that NEVER happens! Ever!.......(rolls eyes)......

If you are not yet in high school, savor the days you don't have to go to pep rally's. If you are in high school, bring noise cancelling headphones and an iPod. If you have already graduated from high school, simply realize that some things never change!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Under the Weather

I've been a tad ill the past few days, thanks to a bad cold I caught at my cousin's wedding. It's ironic that the wedding was held on the beach in Ocean City, New Jersey, meaning I caught a "cold" in the quintessential summertime location. "Get in here right now young man!", my mom may soon begin to scold. "You'll catch a cold in this heat! Now put on some sunblock."

But what I noticed while forming this title is how silly the expression "under the weather" really is. I mean, the daily climate is determined by clouds and winds several thousand feet up in the air...aren't we ALWAYS under the weather? Unless you were to go on a mountain top or on an airplane, it is rather difficult to get out from under the weather. And if you were to go to such an elevation, it would likley be so frigid that you would catch a cold anyway, thus being "under the weather while you're over the weather". Since you might not have seen this ailment coming, your being under the weather while you're over the weather may come under the radar". And if you got high enough, and the weather we're referring to was a recently-passed rainstorm, you would be a) under the weather, b) under the radar, c) over the weather, and d) somewhere over the rainbow caused by that weather. But that would be such overkill that one could be come overwhelmed, making this post overly underappreciated.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Europe vs. America

I have been to Europe twice, once to England and once to Italy. Both were fantastic trips, beautiful countries with much to see, learn, and do. But Europe is certainly different from the US, in both good ways and bad. So I've set out to settle the score on the long-standing Northern-Hemisphere rivalry: which side of the Atlantic is better? I've broken up the contest into several categories, some serious, some comical, and others trivial, with each worth one point. Whichever side gets the more points wins.

History: Europe wins. In America, we think the freakin' Liberty Bell is old. In Rome, you can dine in a 2,000 year old bathhouse from the Roman Empire, then bike over to the colluseum or the Vatican. Of course, we'd probably have some pretty cool history too had the Native Americans discovered the written language and all, but since they didn't our schoolchildren are made to believe the world was created in 1492. Europe 1, USA 0

Sports: USA wins. Don't get me wrong, both are passionate. In America, sports fans are passionate in their support of their favorite teams. In Europe, sports fans are passionate in their support of their favorite team. Note the lack of an s. All they have is soccer! And don't give me cricket or rugby, those are and England-only thing. Besides, cricket is wannabee baseball, and rugby is wannabee football. In America we have a professional league for just about any sport you can fathom, and we're damn good at them. There's a reason the USA cleans up in the Olympics every year, and it's the same reason the best Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Hockey players in the world come to the American Leagues to play: we run sports. Besides, soccer is closer to acting than a real sport. Come to think of it, I am forgetting one true sport that the USA just can't compete with Europe in: diving. Europe 1, USA 1

Chocolate: Europe wins by far. Hershey is kinda cute for a candy bar. Nestle requires Rice Krispies to keep it's Crunch bar on the market. Now compare that to Toblerone (swedish)...or Ghiraldelli (italian)...not to mention the creme-de-la-creme: Belgian chocolate. That, folks, is chocolate. What we have is chocolate flavored. Europe 2, USA 1

Driving: Europe wins. Smaller cars. Smaller roads. Smaller gas consumption. Smaller dent on the environment. Smaller amount of money spent on all of it. Smaller amount of accidents, and smaller numbers of people who die from them. Smaller likelihood their car companies will need to be bailed out by the government. Europe 3, USA 1

Humility: Tie. At first I meant this to go to Europe, because many americans are brazen, arrogant, and obnoxious. Then I remembered France was in Europe. Tie. Nobody gets any points, still Europe 3, USA 1

Freedom: USA wins. Europe is totally socialist, and they're beginning to run out of other people's money. See Greece. See France. The "universal everything!" philosophy limits their economies and leaves individuals with virtually no economic freedom whatsoever. It kills innovation, and forces them to mooch off of us for technology. We really are the land of the free. Europe 3, USA 2

Military: USA wins. This is the only explanation you need:
Europe 3, USA 3

Frozen Treats: Europe wins. One word: Gelato. Creamier, tastier, more refreshing, less melty ice cream. It may be the 8th wonder of the world. Europe 4, USA 3

Bathroom Expenses: Get this--in Italy, they charge you 2 euro (like 3 bucks) to go use the restroom! Screw that! Im about to piss on your 2000 year old wall if you don't get the hell out my way and lemme use the freaking urinal! Europe 4, USA 4.

Measuring System: Europe wins. Metric system > english system by far. everything's in multiples of ten. They have the same prefixes for everything, irrespective of unit. We, on the other hand, pull numbers out of our ass, pulled words out of our ass, and randomly assembled them in a chain. 12 inches in a foot, 3 feet in a yard, 1760 yards in a mile. 8 ounces in a cup, 2 cups in a pint, 2 pints in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon...AHHHH! Even the English know better than to use the Enlgish system. Europe 5, USA 4

Geography: Tie. Europe has the Alps, we have the Rockies. Europe has the Mediterranean and Atlantic, we have the Atlantic and the Pacific. They have nicer beaches, we have nicer waves. Their beaches are topless, but that includes old folks. Both are beautiful in different ways, simply a matter of preference. Still Europe 5, USA 4.

Portion Sizes: USA wins. Yes, we're obese. Yes, we eat too much. Yes, the portion sizes are out of control. But I don't care. I'm a 6 feet tall high school senior and I don't yet weigh 150 pounds. My metabolism is fast and I plan to use it. Italian food is delicious, but a "bowl of pasta" is served in a teacup. The French have outstanding chef's, but their dinner plates are as big as CD's. I want a big mac value meal with an Extra-Large DQ Blizzard and a 7-Up Big Gulp to wash it all down. Not because I'll finish it all, not because I need that much food, but because I'm a red-blooded american and because I can. Europe 5, USA 5.

Which means, unless I come up with more categories, it's a draw. Both nice places. But I personally value the "Freedom/Government" one as worthy of 10 points on its own, so I'm happy to live here in the states.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

College Drudgery

As happy a time as Senior Year is, and as exciting as College will be, college applications are far less thrilling. Since I'm applying to 11 schools, I've been up to my neck in essays and forms and transcripts and letters of reccomendation and everything else since August first. Seven of the schools I'm applying to use the Common App, which makes it a little easier, but I'm also applying to West Point, which is like 5 applications in one because it requires 4 nomination applications to congressmen and the Vice President. And most college applications nowadays have like 3 essay questions to answer, and even the Common App schools have their own unique "supplements" to complete. So if I'm a while in between posts, it's most likely because I'm determining how to best describe myself in 500-800 words! Hopefully all this work will pay off in the long run.