1/31/10

Playing Doctor.

So here's a little random video we took in a study lounge.
Male nurse K-Mart thought Pistol Pete looked a little dehydrated and under the weather after a rough and rowdy weekend, so he decided to juice him up with a little intravenous saline.
This may or may not be for the faint of heart.


video

1/30/10

My first post from another country...coool.



So after a chaotic trip into Rome, I have finally gotten the chance to write a post. My flight started in Sioux Falls, SD and dropped me off in Chicago, IL and Munich, Germany before finally arriving in Rome, Italy. Once to Rome, I took a cab to the Hotel Palatino where the students of International Study Abroad Program were staying. Once there, I met a bunch of my advisors (all of whom are wonderfully kind Italian ladies) and met the guys I was staying with while in Rome. After an informative meeting and greeting from ISA and students, a few of us grabbed a bite at a local panini shop and chatted, getting to know one another better. Of course, Kate Larcom my good friend from Creighton University is also studying in Florence this semester through the same program as me. I am glad to have her company on this trip.

The second day happened a little early for everyone as we were all recovering from jet lag and it was about 10:00 am in Rome while it would be about 3:00 am in both Omaha and Chamberlain. On our second day in Rome, we were getting a private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel. Once inside the vatican, we were all given head sets to help aid hearing our tour guide. Right away I noticed the amazingly beautiful artwork that was found throughout Rome and Vatican City. I am not what I would call a connoisseur of art history nor the rich ancient Catholic histories that are literally everywhere in the historic country, but I found I knew enough to make it much easier to understand appreciate the awesomeness that is Rome. The artwork inside the Sistine Chapel is simply beautiful. The paintings are so vivid and creative that when you look at them, the figures almost seem to jump off the wall into what are 3D images that left me standing in complete awe. I noticed very early on that throughout this trip, I can almost always be found near the tailing end of our tour groups as I am just fascinated by the amazing artwork and trying to capture these moments by working on my constantly improving photography skills. Though all of the artwork in the Vatican museum was spectacular, none of it came close to touching the gorgeous Sistine Chapel. I literally stood in the Sistine Chapel, hardly moving, for nearly an hour just admiring the details and intricacies of artists like Rafael and Michaelangelo. There is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world. I felt as though I was almost catapulted into something of a time capsule as the paintings I viewed recapped biblical events that I had learned about as 7 year old boy in CCD class, that at the time, seemed more like mythical fairy tales than actual religious historical beliefs.

After the extensive tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, we were given the afternoon and night to do with whatever we pleased. I broke off into a smaller group that wanted to explore the rest of Vatican City and eventually Rome. Our first stop was of course the vast, fantastical St. Peters Square and Basilica. St. Peters is actually how it looks in photos and tv x5. It was especially interesting coming to all these places after reading fictional novels like The DaVinci Code and Angels & Demons. Though both of those books helped form an image in my mind of what everything in the area looked like, once you get to these places the image is wiped clean and a new image is born that is burned into your retinas. For those who are Catholic, basically everywhere in Rome and Florence are an absolute must to see at some point in your life. Nothing has hit me quite as hard being inside St. Peters Basilica, the holiest of grounds. The beauty that is the Basilica is something that needs to be experienced by all those whose faith is important to them. My favorite piece of artwork that I have seen so far is most definitely the Pieta'. I viewed it for a good 15 minutes and it really struck a chord inside me. I don't think any piece of art has really ever had the same effect on me. I decided not to take a picture of this piece as I really feel as though a picture can do it no means of justice.

After leaving the Basillica, we finished exploring Vatican City and continued our expedition of Rome, eventually leading us to Mueseo Sant' Angelo. This museum was more like a historic castle, fortress of sorts. I found out that it actually was just that. The fortress was used as means of protection by ancient romans as well as protecting the Pope in the early days during some of the wars. Cool, huh? I think it costed roughly eight and a half euro to get in and I would have paid at least double that for the view of Rome it gave us once we reached the top. By this time it was dark and we looked for a nice little restaurant where we could enjoy some of the local cuisine. We at a nice little Italian restaurant and enjoyed a nice bottle of the house wine. I found myself becoming a little dehydrated while in Rome as the wine, while delicious, is sometimes cheaper than water, especially when you're in a group. I also found that when enough glasses are consumed, the long, cold walk back to the hotel goes a little quicker. On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at locations such as Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Quirinal Palace, and the Trevi Fountain. We stopped for a few more bottles of vino along the way as well. As I mentioned earlier, it helps keep you warm. As we stumbled back to our hotel, we walked right past the Coliseum and I just stood there staring in drunken awe. What an amazing building. I could have walked around it all night, but decided I could just wait till I got back in the morning.

So the next morning we woke up and toured the inside and outside of the Coliseum. It is crazy to think about all of the amazing events that had taken place in last hundreds of years. I could not help but imagine Russell Crowe in that badass gladiator mask out there fending himself against tigers and other enemy hordes. After the Coliseum, we went on a tour of the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum are a collection of beautiful ancient ruins. I got some great pictures of all of these stops and met someone that always seemed to be lagging behind the group taking photos as well. The rest of the day consisted of touring through other attractions of downtown Roma and finally led to dinner and an nice cool Pironi birra, the recommended Italian beer.

The next day we left for Florence in mid-morning and made our through the beautiful Umbria and Tuscany countryside. What a wonderful sight to view as we drove on a hazy, overcast day. Small villages built on the tops of treacherous cliffs, beautiful vineyards, and gaping valleys were a everywhere as we finally made our way into the ancient white city that I will be calling home for the next 4 months, Firenze. I plan on having a new post every few days on here and the next one should be tomorrow or Monday as I will write about my first few days in Florence and my new pal, Fr. Bruno! I have met some amazing people already and hope to continue to meet more. I already know that a couple of the problems I am going to have are money (europeans live crazy expensive lives) and narrowing down the places I am going to travel to on my list. Lastly, in some sort of godsend (arguable way of terming it), I have basically been given a South Carolinian/art history majoring/better bearded version of Pajamas/Pistol/Pedro Woolman to spend my time with over the next 4 months. A nice little slice of home. Fino al giorno...Arrivideci!

1/27/10

The Bulleted List, January 27

Things Hurrican Brien Has Promised to Bring This Weekend

  • the perfect storm
  • the thunder
  • a lightning bolt
  • a lot of wind
  • a cat meowing
  • a storm that is somehow more perfect than the perfect storm
  • a spinning motion with his index finger

1/21/10

Big Moments, Part 3


For awhile I debated about including this next Big Moment in the series because I feared it would make me seem like the degenerate, deadbeat drunk I've been trying to be less and less in the recent months. Then I realized you can't run from the past. Even if I'm not the sputtering, stumbledrunk of yestermonth, I was that person at some point and it helped making me the quietly muttering, sitdown drunk I am today. So, with personal reflection aside, I present Big Moment 3, 'The First Time I Drank Key Ice'

It was February 2008, a month many will remember for giving us such humanity-improvers such as, well, pretty much nothing. However, for one young college freshmen, the world was about to be rocked. I believe I was at a party, some type of mass bro-out, getting weird sort of thing. Lot's of beers were being crushed, raucous laughter filled the air and a general fratitude pervaded the air. There was enough testosterone in the air to sprout chest hair on even the lily whitest young lad. Amidst this jubiliant boisterousness, a friend of our we'll call Hurricane Brien walked, or moreso, drunkenly hobbled up to me.
Before I go any further, we should take a quick note on the life of Hurrican Brien. He is a disaster. He has been known to blackout on a whim and roar through an establishment with the kind of shouting, teeth-gnashing bravado reserved only for the much too drunk. He once took a TV--around which several people gathered, watching a movie--and thrown it unceremoniously out a 3rd floor window because someone said 'he was too big a pussy to do it'. He has thrown bricks at people, woken up in strange garages, and berated a bartender for not knowing how to mix the purely imaginational 'Strawberry'.
On this night, however, Hurrican Brien wasn't acting as agent of chaos, but as a bearer of good things. In his deep state of inebriation, Brien stumbled to me and held out a can of Key Ice, offering, 'You wanna beer?' I took the can in my hand, tossing my empty Natty Light can on the floor. What is this? I thought. The can was sleek and black, I thought it might be European. I cracked it open and sipped. It tasted different from regular Keystone. Something I couldn't put my finger on. On I drank. In my child-like wonder, I asked Brien what the difference between Key Ice and Key Light was. Hurrican Brien responded, a true scholar, 'Ice has more fuckin' booze in it, man!'
This shook my foundations. There was a beer out there with MORE booze in it? This is the best idea any one has ever had. I began lapping up Key Ice with gusto, and soon learned that while Key Ice has more booze than your average beer, it also posesses an unknown ingredient that can turn the mildest-mannered of men into a raving, semi-violent maniac. It brings out the beast in the best of guys, it is truly a substance that can make or break your night, week, month or life. Stupidity thrives in the grip of a Key Ice frenzy. On another semi-important note, the night I 'enjoyed' my first Key Ice was also one of my inaugural lessons in the science of Alcohol By Volume, or, ABV. Now, my knowledge of ABV is a curse and blessing, as I can be seen standing in a liquor store, seemingly endlessy, taking down bottles and reading the ABV, making sure I get enough bang for my buck.
The First Time I Drank Key Ice was indeed a big moment for me, as it closed the casual drinker chapter of my life and opened up the section on being a full fledged rageoholic.

1/20/10

Vampire Weekend - Contra

A little bit late on posting this, but oh well. Stream the new Vampire Weekend album Contra right here on 31st & Chi. Enjoy.

1/13/10

The Bulleted List, January 14

Alternatives to 'Gym, Tan, Laundry'

  • drink, puke, cry
  • eat, watch TV, eat
  • shower, shave, wait
  • Xbox, eHarmony, depression

1/4/10

The Bulleted List, January 4

Reasons Why My Sims Character is Cooler Than Me

  • rides his bike to work
  • gardens in his tuxedo
  • has six girlfriends
  • gets drunk with his robot butler
  • midnight swims in his pool
  • throws awesome dinner parties
  • does not live with parents

Big Moments, Part 2

This next tale of my formative years brings us to the winter of my 13th year. 7th grade, what a glorious time. The particular event on which we will dwell was a wellspring of the very essence that grips me to this day. Yes, dear reader, this big moment is 'The First Time I Bro-ed Out With the Boys".

This tale begins, unassumingly enough, on a church youth group ski trip. Before I go any further, it is imperative that the reader know that my hometown is on the cashing end of some sort of bizarre genetic jackpot where everyone had sons and no daughters. In my youth, there were four families all with four sons living within a ten mile radius of each other. Every now and then someone managed to have a girl, but these tend to look like boys anyways. So, I continue, this ski trip was set upon with my original crew of tween bros. There were 8 of us, I believe, on that fateful Saturday, and we set out in a convoy of Chevy Suburbans and Dodge Caravans, headed for Laramie, Wyoming. After a day of talentless and graceless skiing, we set to return home. But providence held something else in store. Yes, the winds were blowing that day, the winds of new discovery and burgeoning manhood. Oh, and they were blowing a bigass snow storm towards Laramie, too. As our noble drivers tried to navigate the perilous blizzard, their actions grew more and more futile. The storm was too bad. We were snowed in. We'd have to stay in Cheyenne.
This was the most momentous news of our young lives. Us? Stay in Cheyenne? Why, this gaggle of 8 very eligible bachelors would be staying--only semi-supervised--in the classy digs of the Cheyenne Holiday Inn? This was it. This was our chance to break our small town bonds of continual parental supervision, our chance to spread our wings, our chance to fly! Oh, and fly we did. We ran rampant--or at least what at 13 seems rampant--over that hotel. We jumped in the pool in our underwear. We filled our bathtub full of ice and tried to throw someone in. We jumped on the bed and watched the dirty late night shows on HBO! However, the Bedlam drew to a somber close around the unheard hour of 2 am when, amidst the disarray of frenzied juvenescence, a lamp was broken. This was very serious to us, and we spent the better part of the next hour concocting a fool proof alibi. One of us was a sleepwalker and had broken the lamp in an intrepid bout of nocturnal locomotion. This would surely convince them of our innocence!
The broken lamp certainly dampered the rest of the night, and some of us lay sleepless worrying of the broken lamps long term reprecussions. We walked out of that hotel to the cleared interstate the next day filled with a new emotion. This was the first time we had known a regrettable morning after a night of wanton mayhem. We were charged from our boisterous antics but leary of the consequences of our rough shenanigans. And while nothing ever became of the broken lamp, that day would always be remembered as 'The First Time I Bro-ed Out With the Boys'.