Tag Archives: friends

State of the Season 12 – Rock and Roll, Reading, and Remembering

Hello and welcome to any and all who find themselves here! As is customary for my every 13th post I look back at the last 12 for a retrospective of the previous “season” of this blog. Let’s hop to it!

Back on May 8th, I tossed the second of my four-part inspection of the T-shirt worn by Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. This was followed by the final two parts over the next couple of weeks. Ament’s shirt contained a list of names of bands and artists he and his bandmates feel deserve inclusion into the Rock Hall. Some I know and agree with, others I was less familiar with. In an effort to educate myself further on all these acts, I listened to a cut of each act’s discography and sought the best (or my favorite) of the bunch to feature.

“Waiting in the Wings of Rock and Roll – Vol. 2”

“Waiting in the Wings of Rock and Roll – On Being the Third Part of Jeff Ament’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Shirt”

“Waiting in the Wings of Rock and Roll – The Final Chapter”

“Never Forget Our Heroes” is my Memorial Day post that attempts not to remember fallen soldiers and service members, but those translators who have been forgotten by the US government in the mire of political bureaucracy. This came from a featured segment on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that I include.

“With a Little Help from My Friends” – I was committed to sticking to my original plan to release a celebration of The Beatles for the anniversary of their most famous album. I did so even in the wake of Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Agreement, and I am pleased that so many cities, businesses, and communities have all stated that they will continue to honor the international agreement on climate change mitigation. With a little help from my friends indeed.

“Da na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na That Man!” is a eulogy of actor Adam West. Fox Animation recently churned out a video compilation of his best moments as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy:

“Paul! That’s a person’s name!”

Indeed it is, Mayor West, and it is Sir Paul McCartney who is the focus of “Happy Birthday Walrus Man!” where I listed some of the best songs written and performed by McCartney over his career with The Beatles and Wings and on his own. He’s referred to as Walrus Man because he was the walrus! Don’t believe me? Well check, check it:

“Rowling Along the Reading Rainbow” is my thanks to J.K. Rowling for writing the book (series) that got me jazzed about reading. I’ll send another shout out to her for today right here and now: Happy Birthday to you and Harry!

“The Magical Mystery Tour is Waiting to Take You Away” – There’s that Walrus again. Expanding upon my fantasy book series fandom like a literary Bran the Builder, I next turned my attention to the A Song of Ice and Fire series. The featured picture is artwork of my favorite sequence from the books, the wildling attack on the Wall. Fantastic fantasy.

While the show, Game of Thrones, does not always nail some scenes like that battle, it has put together some excellent moments, including some that did not occur in the books. You may even call these moments “Epic! Badass” as I did. Enjoy these 10 scenes that may have fallen off your radar from the first six seasons of the show.

“Astronauts Without Borders” is a celebration of the docking between Apollo 18 and Soyuz 19 that took place in 1975. It was the first time two countries planned and enacted a mission to connect spacecraft in flight and kicked off a grand partnership between the scientific communities within the USA and the USSR/Russia that continues today as it always has – separate from politics.

“Nobody Exists on Purpose. Nobody Belongs Anywhere. Everybody’s Going to Die. Come Watch TV.” – Game of Thrones isn’t the only anticipated show that’s back. Rick and Morty made their long awaited return last night on Adult Swim, and Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon and company keep finding humor in the existential dread that surrounds us all. Props especially to Chris Parnell who manages to make us pity and laugh hysterically at the plight of pathetic Jerry whose name is dragged through the mud by even the wind.

Since next Sunday is six long days away, check out the Non-Canonical Adventures of Rick and Morty to help hold you over.

In addition to this recap, I’d like to wish the best to the family of Sam Shepard, who died from ALS on July 27. An actor on the stage and screen best known for his roles in movies like The Right Stuff and Black Hawk Down, but his true passion was as a playwright. Shepard penned 44 plays and won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama with his work Buried Child. He also co-wrote some film screenplays, was nominated for an Oscar for The Right Stuff, and even played banjo on Patti Smith’s unique cover of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. R.I.P.

Thanks for reading, watching, listening, and enduring some bad jokes in all along the way. I hope that I provide quality entertainment and ideally some education along with it; if I do, I hope that continues, but if I don’t, I hope it begins. Most of all, I hope you’ll check back in here next week for more fun.

Until next week,



Not quite Animal House, but it will serve

This weekend is an eventful one for me as a pair of my best friends from college are finally getting married. My friend, former roommate, and groom-to-be, Joe, was equal parts brilliant and unwise in his choice of best man, and now I am expected to give an amusing speech that sums up our relationship and shared memories over the years in a few minutes. The bride and groom, in an effort to have me share in their preparatory torment, have further added pressure by limiting me to only two stories. Two stories! It’s as if they don’t appreciate my penchant for story-telling and my tendency to be long-winded and belabor every meaningless detail within each rendition. Oh well, their loss.

Anyhow, as I have been considering what it is I will say in my upcoming speech, I have been reminiscing on enjoyable experiences with my friends from my final three years at university that I recorded in a journal. The entries were hardly extensive, and often few and far in between, but they serve as an additional reference to compliment my frequently poor memory of past events that I experienced. (It happened to someone in someone in eastern Europe 300 years ago? Got it. It happened to me in eastern Ohio three years ago? Are you sure that was me?) As I have been delving into this backlog of student shenanigans, I realized that many of these moments are quite entertaining even out of context. Today you get to experience some of my favorite passages of the S2S (Sutowski 2nd floor South) journal kept by yours truly. My favorite is in bold. Enjoy!

Joe drunkenly says “Fuck you Mike, you’re a Yankees fan,” followed by “You’re a great guy, Mike but fuck the Yankees.”

Steve abandons his family, leaving them in his room while goes to Arby’s with Joe, Samm, Greg, and Alex. At Arby’s Steve gets 6 for 5 when he orders 5 for 5. Joe later pulls the 6th sandwich out of his pocket when its whereabouts are questioned.

Mike and Greg go to pick up an order of 124 wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. After much waiting and confusion they realize that the order for “Jill” is really the order for “Joe.”

Samm and Alex join Steve for his night on duty and while doing rounds they overhear a report of a leg cramp in the IM gym on Steve’s walkie-talkie.

Kari the newbie RA comes by and tells the group that they should go somewhere else to give the hurt person privacy and so as not to stare. Alex leads the charge and says “Yeah, let’s go stare from the comfort of our own rooms.”

Angela [my crush at the time] wears green pants and Mike advises Alex to get a pair for himself so that they have something in common to talk about. Alex asks Jamie [Mike’s girlfriend] what she sees in him.

Greg asks what time it is, and Chris tells him. Almost immediately after, Greg asks what time it is again, so Chris says “I just told you, it’s -”  and Greg blurts out “TOOL TIME!”

Earlier in the day, Chris comes back with a case of IBC Root Beer (in the bottles that look like beer. When Alex brings Brittany back, he goes to Joe’s room to relieve Samm of drunk babysitting duty (DBD) so she can shuttle everyone else back to campus. He brings Dan, Joe, Steve and Greg a bottle of root beer. Steve passes on it, so Alex drinks it and later spills it on himself. He is still sober, and none of the drunks spilled any drinks.

Nick’s 21st birthday sends Steve, Chris, and Dan out shopping for birthday presents. They get him a Shaq jersey, a Hannah Montana poster, and a dildo.

Alex invites Angela over to his room to give her [a gift]. She receives it very enthusiastically, and later meets Chris [my roommate at the time]. Fortunately for Alex, Chris refrains from announcing that he has “balls of steel” [in Duke Nukem’s voice] when he entered the room because he heard Angela.

While walking to class, Joe overhears someone say, “Dude, I don’t care if I graduate, I just want to catch a squirrel.”

For the second day in a row, Kappa Kappa Gamma plays “Mmbop” continuously to try to annoy money out of people. Joe wonders how the workers feel. [They played it until they reached their charity fundraiser goal. Joe also wondered if it qualified as extortion.] Alex proposes getting Steve to let them onto the KKG floor above them when he is on duty so they can hide a music player that will continuously play “Mmbop”.

Alex’s Genetics teacher encourages everyone (meaning 8 people) to walk out of the room after one of the students leaves to go to the bathroom because he was so flustered after giving his genetic disorder presentation.  They hide in a side hallway that leads to storage closets next to the 3rd floor computer lab until he comes back from the bathroom.

Alex keeps Steve company in the duty office. Later on a rounds, the two of them stop at Steve’s room to get drinks. As they are standing outside Steve’s door they see Joey, one of his residents dancing in his underwear. They watch this spectacle for a minute or so until Joey turns around notices them, says “Damn it,” and walks into his room with his head down.

Joe gives his big marketing group project that he did most of the work for. He explains to Alex after their across-the-hall 10 AM classes how one of his group members wasn’t even there because he was in New York City. In response to this absence Joe’s teacher called the student as he was wandering the streets of New York so that he could hear the presentation he was supposed to be a part of. Alex calls the teacher’s action a douche` or a douche move made to counteract another douche move. In the ensuing days, Alex attempts to make the word catch on by using it whenever possible.

The three amigos go to Subway for dinner and each gets tomatoes on their subs. Greg drained the last of the tea from the drink dispenser so when he gets up to go to the bathroom Alex pours ¾ of what he had in his cup into his own empty cup. When Mike later gets up to go to the bathroom, Alex asks him what he is drinking, Mike laughs and Greg asks why. Alex notices that Subway’s sandwich wrapping paper has only tomatoes on it, so he keeps it and writes “Free our Tomatoes” on it and tapes it on his window. [At the time there was a ban on tomatoes in the dining hall for some reason.]

After successfully recruiting Holland, Indra’s friend, to play on the Coed Softball team, Brandon unwisely brags to Alex, “See? I get girls all the time!” and is immediately slapped by Nicole [his girlfriend]. Alex backs out of the way just in time and begins to laugh as Brandon is stunned.

At dinner, Alex tells Mosby about the idea for tampons ribbed for her pleasure. Mosby thinks it’s a hilarious idea and goes to tell his friends about it. Minutes later, Mosby returns and tells Alex that Sarris came up with a great tagline for them: “Turn your period into an exclamation point!” [They would later use this for an episode of their short web series  Chris and Chris.]

On his way to Dolan after work, Alex comes across a 20 yard stretch of path that is flooded. He picks up a stick, spreads his arms, and shouts, “Behold the power of God!” Nothing happens, so he throws the stick down and yells, “Damn it!”

Just before he goes to bed, Joe shows Alex and Samm the Spocker.

While brushing their teeth in the bathroom, Mike realizes that Alex is near the end of his toothpaste tube. Alex says that “It would be pretty impressive if I can make this last until Finals week.” Mike responds, “Or that could just be bad hygiene.”

On the ride back to Cleveland it rains relentlessly. Greg jokingly complains that he misses dry roads, so Alex promises him that he will have some soon right before they go under an overpass. As they go under the bridge Alex says, “See?” Later in the trip, Greg makes another comment about the rain’s effect on the car and Alex does the same thing with another overpass. TY knocks on Mark’s door just before the first episode ends asking for the Spectacular Bodies book because he needs it for an essay he is writing. Mark initially and futilely searches for it in his cluttered (to say the least) room as he recounts what was presented in the section TY needs. Mark then remembers that he left the book in his car, so the three guys head out to the lot beside Sutowski and Murphy. Alex reaches the car first and opens the front passenger door after Mark unlocks it. Alex discovers that the book is sopping wet because Mark left the sunroof open since yesterday (and it rained all day long) despite the fact that Mark’s dad warned him not to leave it open. TY laughs and sends his sympathies to Mark and then goes to bullshit his paper, and Alex helps Mark to mop up the water as best they can with towels, both cloth and paper. They even use an old paper coffee cup to bail water out of the cupholders in the middle counsel. The two of them go to BP to get gas (Mark couldn’t use his heat or vents because he was so low on gas), and naturally follow that trip with one to Cold Stone to get ice cream.

It should be noted that throughout the year Alex and Joe ate much of Jamie’s food from her room; perhaps most notably was a box of brownies Mike bought her that Alex, Joe, and occasionally David ate brownies out of one at a time and then replaced with truffles from a bag of truffles she had that were also bought by Mike. Also, on one occasion Alex drank an entire bottle of V8 Splash that was Jamie’s in under an hour.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed these wild and wacky pieces of my past. These moments all occurred during my junior year, so there are two more years-worth of experiences that I have to share for the future. Perhaps they reminded you of some of your own. Feel free to share any with me, as well as send any questions, comments, or praise (haha!) to monotrememadness@gmail.com. Be sure to circle back here next week for who knows exactly what!

Happy Birthday Jamie! but go Tigers anyway!