End of the Line

Well, I guess I am graduating.  This blog was a commentary on the things important to me in College, but now as I move onto whatever is next, this blog must be closed, to make way for a new narrative: Urbane Focus.  This new one, I guess, is about what is important to me until the internet collapses or 2012 actually happens.  I think they are synonymous, so I guess the other alternative is that this new one will be about what is important to me until it falls onto stagnation and neglect.  I promise I won’t though!  I never forgot about you University Word.

RIP UNIVERSITY WORD

MAY 2009 to DECEMBER 2011

“WORD TO CAMPUS” no more.

PEACE.

Yo- I’m Good

A few months after a tragedy, it is good to be fine.  It is hard at the ripe age of 22 to be nominal, because the early twenties impetus is to speed like crazy, sprint towards goals, make things happen, and in the fine words of DJ ‘Ol Youngin’ of RAAAAAAAANDY, get cho’ shit.  The holiday seasons brings the question, “How are you doing, what are you up to?”, and it is definitely OK to say, “I am good”.  Leave it at that.  After a Summer when things just could not have gone worse, it is good to have an average Fall.  Anything sensational can wait for a bit.  Of course, at the ripe age of 22, “a bit” can mean as little as a couple of months.

For the time that has been very emotional and trying, social interactions may had been a bit straining, loaded even.  Now, social interactions are back to the normal stuff and that feels good.  Being “good” this holiday season takes on new meaning, because this means that things are better, on the up and up.

Remembrance months after a tragedy also takes on a different weight.  It is much easier to share stories about a person we love so much, because memories come back easier now that we see him everywhere, but not in a way which makes us want to find a quiet place to reflect, but in a way in which we want to be with the others who will, “just fucking love this story I just remembered!”  That kind of feeling is phenomenal.  Calling a friend and being able to laugh about a shared experience with that person allows us to not forget that we are still making our own experiences, which in a time of our own quiet reflection we can share with him.

“DUDE, BRAHH, turk season… it has started.  I think this is the boot season I finally exact my revenge on that vicious, and ill placed mind you, over-the-boards check from Sean Dineen junior year…”

UW on the Fantasy Life

As my college career comes to an end, there are a lot of retrospective fantasies I ultimately dip into walking across campus and seeing the different people around and what they have invested their time into.  I sit in a coffee shop I have sat in the past 3 years here in Dinkytown and I wonder, what if I had been here the whole time?  If I had lived in Comstock my freshmen year or if I had actually said hello to that one cute girl in class in Mankato.  Those are two unrelated forks in the road, as I had my choice to spend my entire college career at Minnesota State University, Mankato those many years back, but of course it represents a deeper question, what if I had stayed in Mankato or if I had gotten into the University of Minnesota right off the bat.  Maybe, my freshmen experience would have been just as dismal as it was in Mankato- just as alienating or un-inclusive.  These are the questions that happen at the end of anything, especially if different answers could have changed the entirety of my young adult life.

Fantasy, as it has been throughout my college career, is a- well, maybe the next time this situation happens again I will be more proactive or engage myself more.  Fantasy, as it is now, is a- damn, those situations are kind of out of my grasp now.  This is not a- damn, I made the wrong decisions- situation, but a- lets fantasize again, because without fantasy, we have the normal reality in front of us.  I articulate my fantasies, because the people who I know who are going into this phase of college and collegiate possibility, have a completely different sets of anxieties and what-ifs.  Of course, the connection can be made that I am embarking on the realness of life, actually confronting real life with a career and a salary, not tuition, but I am still moving to the unknown of the next set of compounding fantasies.  How exciting!

As a freshman, I imagined, a fantastical fantasy, that college would an intellectual melting pot.  Everyone who was in college had opinions, wanted to share them, and wanted to shape their lives with the help of others.  I was let down initially, because fantasies of college are manifested through experiences which may not actually exist, like sitting on the quad smoking a joint and discussing the peculiarities of our built environments.  No, these things are silly, but maybe something along those lines would have existed.  At least, the smoking a joint on the quad had to exist.  They did not.  It boiled down to having marginal classroom experiences stifled by judgmental students, shy students, and students which may not want to be there anyways, class was just an accessory to receiving money from their parents.  I was none different, class was just an accessory to receiving money from my parents.  Today, I answer the question.  Mankato was the problem.  That may still be cop out today as much as it was before, because I am sure that same shallow freshmen educational experience exists here at the U.  I have a fantasy that the U is different.

As a Sophomore, I imagined that the U was the intellectual melting pot and brain stimulate I needed to be whole again.  I got to the U and realized that I felt just as isolated as before.  As a Junior, I found what I was looking for.  And it was engagement on campus.  I was a campus tour guide.  I was the person who people (mostly high school students) fantasized about being, not specifically a campus tour guide, but in college, experiencing life independently, and being apart of the intellectual melting pot.

Now, with six weeks left on my college time clock, I am fantasizing about everything.  What if I just stuck around a little longer, took some more science classes, because it seems that people with science backgrounds are more employable.  What if…  careers, that girl that I was talking to last year came into the coffee shop and we actually hit it off this time, I actually found the time to become a freelance web designer…

Stop.  Fantasy, as I have known it over the long time I have spent doing it, neglects what has actually happened.  So, I look at all the things that I was like, “dude, just do it, just try it, just go, it might be super lame, but maybe this is the start of something”, and I realize how many times I lived fantasy.  I lived what I could have sat at home on the couch and thought about being there doing it.  Those times, I was outside my lame-duck self, and living my fantasy self.  College is literally this everyday.  

I know that this is a message that is out there all the time.  Take risks and try new things, but I propose a word change.  Take risks and live in fantasy land, fucking literally.  That makes it a bit more personable.  Next time a professor seems cooler than others, meet with them just to chat.  Next time a car honks at you on campus, flick them off and make a huge stink about it.  Next time that evangelist crazy man is helling at you, YOU ARE A SINNER, ask why?  And listen carefully.  The list literally stops there, because if I give you any more examples, you probably won’t do them, because goddamnit, live your fantasy, not mine.

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Amazing: Something I Just Accidentally Did

I just did something amazing.  Made a delicious dish from the dismal back corners of my cupboard.  Check it out.

So, for lunch I usually go for the quick and easy.  Every pun intended there.  I usually reach for the instant soups, fuck Campbells condensed, like, are you serious you are going to make me add ONE CUP OF WATER?  Progresso.  Amy’s.  They make it easy.  Dump with a satisfying squelch of the air being released from the can and a splat upon the gooey cold soup-like conglomerate hitting the bowl.   I don’t even know how long you are supposed to put it in for.  2 minutes?  Sure.  Nuke it!

I used to eat hot pockets.  Then I opened one up once after cooking it, because it looked weird, and it was black on the inside.  Just black.  I said no more to those things.  They probably have already given me a bouquet of cancer so I guess I already lost.

Anyways.  There I am.  Sitting on the 2 coming home from campus my stomach is growling.  The bus driver seems to have no idea where this bus is supposed to go, back tracking down Franklin, making everyone very upset.  Two guys in wheelchairs want to get on and it dawns on me.  I am going to be on this bus forever.  I will never get off.  On the off chance I do get off, I need something amazing to eat.

I know I have pasta, sauce, rice crispies, and coffee.  I have been putting off making that pasta, because I really just have had consistently unsatisfactory results.  I always make the pasta with too much haste, undercook it, and then not strain it long enough.  I get hard pasta sitting in a pool of luke warm water.  Awesome.

I am on a Pizza Lucé and Jimmy Johns hot streak, and if I order from them again I might become the majority shareholder.  As much as I would like to have an ownership stake in those companies, I am paying way over the share price, because I tip 30%.  I am a previous delivery driver with a serious case of the empathies.  Also turns out I do not know how the stock market works.

Ok, so I get home.  Get a grip Robbie, just boil some fucking water.

Here is the recipe for THE AMAZING THING I JUST ACCIDENTALLY DID.

Cook Time: ~20 Minutes

  1. Begrudgingly, take pot out of cupboard.  Do not bother to measure water, just fill up, or whatever.
  2. Turn on the burner.  TURN ON THE BURNER!  Oh, that’s right, this is the one that doesn’t work.
  3. Turn on the burner that works.  Boil Water.
  4. So, you know when those little bubblies start to form at the bottom of the pot and then start to rise up?  This will get them pasta noodles nice.
  5. Blindly pour pasta into pot not realizing how quickly those pasta buggers will come out.
  6. Get a pan.  Get the Prego.  Oh, don’t have Prego?  Stop here you can’t make this.
  7. Pour the Prego into the pan.  Get Cholula Hot Sauce.  Slap that in there too.
  8. Ok ok.  So everything is grooving, the pasta is cooking, the sauce is warming up, nice.  Nice.  Nice.  Nice.
  9. Ok, get the strainer and pour that pasta in there.  Get all that fucking water out of there.  ALL OF IT.  Not taking any chances here.
  10. Get a bowl, pour half the pasta in there.  Sauce on top.  Shredded cheese on top.
  11. Pour the rest of the pasta and repeat 10.
  12. This is when I got really into this cooking thing.
  13. Warm that oven up to 500, because 450 is weak.  Just not badass enough.  500 is also the highest setting on my oven.  TURN IT UP!
  14. Ok, now put the sweet bowl of pasta, sauce, and cholula in the oven.
  15. Give it 5 minutes.
  16. Bam.  Amazing.
The only thing is that you did it on purpose.  

Ronald Loved this Dish!

Ronald absolutely loved this dish.

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