Friday, October 31, 2008

Change of Plans

Unicorn is out for Halloween. A new, and arguably better plan, has been instituted. Plus, it's a partner costume. Speculate on the comments area if you are so inclined.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Said What?!?

Another new section I would like to introduce on "One Lost" is "You Said What!?!"

This segment will examine the vernacular, pronunciation, and idiom that are particular and often peculiar to the Midwest, and especially Wisconsin. It brings the other Golden Eagles of my dorm an endless source of delight hearing me pronounce words with the "Sarah Palin accent," as it has now been dubbed. Long time residents of the area will assert that they have no accent and speak the English language the way it is meant to be spoken. It is my humble and scientific opinion that clouds of beer froth, bratwurst grease, and cow stench have somehow interacted with their brain enzymes to adversely affect the speech centers of every person in Wisconsin. I maintain that by virtue of our isolation, Alaska's language has remained untainted by regional accent, except for Sarah Palin, who I think is secretly Canadian (or maybe just from Wasilla...).

And so, without further ado, your first few samples of "You Said What!?!"

Midwest: "A-bout"
Me: "A-boUt"
Analysis: Okay, I admit, I say about like a Canadian/Minnesotan. Its my flaw. Chris 0 Wisconsin 1

Midwest: "Ruf"
Chris: "Roof" (with long ooooooo sound)
Analysis: First of all, I know realize that I will never have a career as a dictionary phonetic speller...there is one less thing I can use that philosophy major for. Secondly, "roof" has two "o's," meaning they make an ooooo sound. No room for debate here. Chris 1 Milwaukee 1.

and your last one for now...
Midwest: "Or-e-gone"
Chris: "Or-e(this e is almost not pronounced)-gun"
Analysis: This one is up for debate. My defense is that I say it the same way all the people on the west coast, AND OREGON say it. No one tells other states how to say their name, so by siding with the residents of the state, I feel that I am in the right. And the judges say...Chris 2, Midwest 1

Well, this week's winner! (Pause for confetti, bells, and cheering) It's a good thing our judges or so impartial. Keep checking for the next "You Said What!?!"

(PS: I will be adding audio links to these of pronunciation once I figure out how.)

One Lost out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Obligatory Poltical Diatribe and more Fun!

Phew...Wednesday has come as a major relief. Spent the whole day yesterday either in class or cloistered in the library working on my sizable stack of reading and work to do. I never though I'd be so excited to go to crew today- it will be nice just to get outside and be active for a bit.

As a former Senator Stevens supporter, I feel the need to offer my two cents on the verdict in a forum that isn't moderated by facebook status comments. As many of you know, I interned with the Senator this summer, which only added to my tremendous respect for the man. He told me to my face that he was innocent; and I fully believed him. I had no reason not to and 50 years of public service that told me he was telling the truth. Unfortunately, sometimes people disappoint. I stood by him all through his trial, but told myself that if he was found guilty, I would not continue to support him. Well, that has happened now, and thus, I took my name off his campaign list.

Yes, I know. He is maintaining his innocence and appealing the verdict all while running for another Senate term. Perhaps he is right; perhaps the prosecution really did unfairly throw the trial (they certainly did a terrible job, regardless of the verdict) and maybe he was wrongly convicted. At this point however, the rational side of me says that he just got too powerful and thought he could get away with this. He was wrong. I am upset about this case, not only because he has disappointed me, but also because I think there were elements of a witch hunt going on. Plenty of politicians have inappropriate relationships with special interest (cough, Obama and McCain, cough) and yet, for some reason, they chose to go after one of the Senate's most controversial, but also respected, figures. I will continue to feel that he was unfairly, not unjustly, targeted until I see the Justice Department seriously investigate other high ranking members of Congress. Ted Stevens is not the only one DOJ...Alaska does not have a monopoly on corrupt politics.

In other news, Sarah Palin continues to be utterly embarrassing to the state. I honestly don't think McCain will be elected at this point and when Sarah comes back to Alaska, I think she will find that her approval ratings are down. She may not even be reelected as Governor, let alone to a higher political office. Long story short, Alaska politics are somewhat disappointing right least Ethan Burkowitz is there to keep me excited.

Tonight I get a break from politics when I go to the History Honor Society's screening and discussion of the historical classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Should be a really fun event. I will bring the camera just in case, but expect at least a text recap tomorrow.

To all you Free Spirits: COMMENT MORE! Read Kelley's blog and all the other ones linked into the little network and provide feedback. It makes our day to know that someone is reading all this.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Battles of Middle America: Bags v. Cornhole

I got the idea for a new section on "One Lost" the other day that I think all of you will enjoy. Every few days (or how ever often I am inspired) I will post a summery of the greatest issues and controversies of the Midwest. Now, these are issues that can't even be resolved within the peace-loving, friendly confines of America's Breadbaskets, and thus, I will make no attempt to judge or endorse one side or the other. These are just the facts, plain and simple.

Your first Battle is the controversy surrounding that ubiquitous tailgating game of bags/cornhole. For those of you unfamiliar with exciting game, it essentially involves throwing beanbags at a board with a hole in it. Points are scored by landing and sticking a beanbag on the board (1 point) or putting it through the hole (3 points). Teams of two compete in a game that runs to 21 or 25 points. The winner presumably gets to choose the first bratwurst off the grill or some other obscure Midwest honor.

Now, the issue, other than why this game is so popular (and admittedly, fun), is what to call it. Those from the Chicagoland (another silly Midwest idiom) insist that the game is "Bags," named for the beanbags being thrown. Another school of thought proports that the activity is called "Cornhole," named for the act of throwing the bag through the hole.

Early research suggest that the cornhole school exists primarily within Ohio and Wisconsin. I have it on good authority that "Cornhole" is the common term in Toledo, OH as well as parts of N. Wisconsin.

So long as Midwesterners are grilling sausages and going to sporting events, the "Bags v. Cornhole" issue will rage. Perhaps some sort of coalition could be formed to bring this issue to a resolution. Unfortunately, the result of such a meeting would most likely degrade into a shouting match.

So West Coasts, just be glad that you have Montana and the Dakotas to seperate you from the issue

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Banner in Upper-Right

Credit to Kelley Robinson for creating the HTML code for the "2008 Free Spirit Banner" on this page. What a great way to identify our blogs as part of a larger community. If all you people want to read some even more quality posting than mine, check out the CSU Fort Report and USC Transcribed on the right hand bar.

Wasting Away in Marquetteville

After such a productive Saturday (including a 2 pm wake up), I decided to take today easy and get NOTHING done. 12 pm wakeup, followed by volleyball, followed by a nap, dinner, and a TINY bit of homework that I am still trying to get through.

Now that the Basketball-induced haze has blown over, I remembered the brief anecdote I was hoping to share on Saturday. At Friday's crew practice we somehow managed to take out the boat that was rigged for a crew composed primarily of midgets. As Coach Mr. Jim Peters so articulately put it, "This Boat was made for a WAY smaller crew." After getting over the obvious knock on our weight, we tried to practice but it just wasn't happening. After deciding to come into the dock, we took a page out of Top Gun and tried to make a flyby at about 45 mph. The result was a near crash into the dock at hull-shattering speeds that was narrowly avoided with some quick thinking from crew and coxswain alike. Just a perfect way to cap off the world's worst week of practice (though at least this one was bad in a way we could laugh at).

Things happening this week that I am looking forward to:
1) Atmosphere concert on Saturday at the Pabst Riverside Theater
2) Halloween and the debut of my unicorn costume
3) Finding out what Dr. McMahon will dress as in History on Friday
4) The result of the Ted Stevens trial
5) Finding out the new levels of pettiness that both McCain and Obama will sink to in the days before the election.

That's two posts in two days...progress is being made on bringing this blog back up to speed.

Madness hits Marquette

Camera has arrived, pictures are now being displayed in full and amazing cyber-color for your enjoyment

Tonight was Marquette Madness--translation: high school basketball pep rally on crack.

Doors opened at 6- meaning we had to line up outside the Al McGuire Center at around 5:15 just to get a decent spot in line. After snagging a free poster (or two...or three) we got our T-Shirts (yep, another free T-Shirt) and then waited for 45 minutes and the wind and (semi)cold weather. The guys from my floor managed to grab seats in the bottom-middle of the upper deck, so we waited there for another 30 minutes before the actual festivities started.

In a somewhat surreal moment, all the lights dimmed and people in Halloween masks and zombie costumes came down from the stands and did a perfect rendition of the "Thriller" dance. Then, they all took off their masks and who was it? None other than the Marquette Lady Golden Eagles Basketball Team! Very creative and fun entrance. Formal introductions to the players and a 10 minute scrimmage followed.

After learning about the Men's team staff, we were introduced to the players one by one, complete with pillers that shot fire into the air and sm, smoke machine. The school debuted the new video that will play before games, viewable here, along with other info. The team then had a "Dunk Fest," highlighted by a Wes Matthews between-the-legs slam. I stayed for the first half of the scrimmage but bailed at halftime.

All in all, a great event, high production value, and plenty of free stuff. Enjoy the photos.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Another Week, Another Post

Yet another daily post delayed 6 days. This weekend was filled by crew obligations and in the bustle of midterm week, I guess I've just forgotten to archive my life and thoughts in digital form.

The Team competed at the Head of the Rock Regatta in Rockford, IL this weekend and the novice 8 took 5th out of 20 boats. No hardware to come home with, but considering how little time on the water we've all had, rowers and coaches alike were pleased with the results. For your pleasure, I've linked the results for the whole regatta here.

This race was really a big one and we left Saturday afternoon and spent the night in Illinois. After a delicious dinner at one Marquette alum's house, coach Jim drove us to another to spend the night (and also get breakfast the next morning!). It really made me realize how tied people stay to Marquette, since these people weren't even former rowers. Both families came to the race the next day to cheer and brought food. I couldn't even believe how nice and generous they were.

Monday was marked by yet another crushing defeat of the Strabbotsford Pro-Hoes and Joes (pause of anguished sighs). Luckily we secured our playoff birth 4 weeks ago when we registered so all thoughts (all 2 minutes worth of them) are turned toward next week's tournament. We will persevere.

I had my first and only midterm of the semester today in English class: 8 short essays worth of fun that went better than I expected them to. That means that I basically just have to coast for the next day and a half until I hit FALL BREAK!

On Thursday I am taking the train into Chicago with rower Tom and getting hauled around the city to all the best sites (and food stands). I will spend the night in the suburbs at his house, return to the big city on Friday, visit with a friend at U Chicago and then head over to Evanston for the rest of the weekend. Northwestern will be the site of my second 3-way Free Spirit Reunion of the year, during homecoming no less. I am, in a word, excited beyond all belief.

The rest of the night will be filled by Comm Studies (vomit) and a Battlestar Galatica viewing party sponsored by Dr. P for my Honor's Seminar. Not only do we get to watch the miniseries for class, he's buying pizza for the 12 of us!

A package from home came today that may have the cord I need for my camera, and if so, expect lots of pictures of Chicago in the coming days.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Qualified Success and New Seasonal Experiences

A brief update on the success of everyone's favorite collegiate crew team (that'd be Marquette).

This weekend we competed at the "Tail of the Fox" regatta in Depere, WI, which is just west of Green Bay, about 2 and a half hours from campus. The novice men's 8 (a boat with 8 rowers, all of whom are in their first year) took second in a 4 K race with a time of roughly 4:10. I rowed in the 5th seat of the boat (number one is in the visualize) which is two seats further up the boat than I usually sit. We beat a team called Qrew Chicago, which is a novice team of older people...we think. No one could quite figure out just what their deal was (college, professionals, community team, random collection of people found on a street corner?). Michigan Tech beat us, which engendered some good natured competitive anger. We'll see how that carries over to this week's race in Rockford, which will be a lot bigger (12 boats in our race...gasp).

In other sporting news, the Strabbotsford Pro-Hoes and Average Joes lost their second game of the Intramural Coed-C League soccer season by a crushing score of 3-1. We were worried about our playoff potential, but then we remembered that all the teams make the postseason tournament, so we just got ice cream instead of fretting.

(Note: the name of the team is derivative of the names of the two dorms represented- Straz Tower and Abbottsford Hall. "Pro-Hoes and Average Joes" comes from "Honors Program - Pro Hoes- and the rest of the team who are Average Joes).

Quote of the Day: "Mother-Son is not a good thing" -- Dr. Spargo's commentary on sexual pairings and their acceptability in society during our study of Oedipus Rex.

My digital camera now officially has a charger, but still no USB connection cable. That means that I could be taking pictures of Marquette, but you wouldn't be able to view them without coming down here. If you came down, you could just look at real life, making the camera still pretty useless.

To those of you in Alaska: Its still in the 40s and 50s down here...I've been watching the weather in Anchorage and the Schadenfreude is almost unbearable.

Lastly, they have fall here? Who knew? Apparently its a time when the leaves turn colors in between summer and winter. More updates on this "new" season to come.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Blog CPR


That was my not so terrific attempt at both humor and the revitalization of this blog.

So daily posts turned into bidaily posts, turned into weekly posts, turned into biweekly posts, turned into no posts and now I am in the awkward situation of realizing that it's been more than 20 days since I've done anything on "One Lost." But no more! Like Madonna, I will continue to reinvent the blog, coming back in new and exciting ways when you least expect it.

Basketball fever is starting to catch hold on campus; season tickets went on sale on Wednesday and seemed to jolt everyone out of their summertime stupor. "A big deal" would be a severe understatement on our feelings on basketball around these parts, more along the lines of "No I won't go to the hospital after my car wreck, Marquette is playing."

Just imagine my smugness when I found out that my friend and University of Pittsburgh has to not only pay more than me for his season tickets, but also isn't even guaranteed a ticket. $85 scored me admission to all men's homegames, and also a snazzy free T-Shirt (I'm just assuming it will be snazzy...I haven't actually seen it yet).

The weather is getting cold, down below 50 as I am writing this, even though the sun is shining and it is almost noon. Of course, at 55 everyone in Wisconsin starts breaking out the scarves, boots, gloves, and hats; but thusfar I have stuck to shorts and T-Shirt, using my thick coat of Alaskan fur to brave the "cold."

A note of Midwest idiosyncrasy yesterday. I was watching the VP debates in my room (shout out to Sarah (V)P...I know you read this) and my roommates would not get off her for her "accent." Now, I know she does sound a little funny ("There you go again Joe") but certainly she doesn't butcher the English language more than anyone here does. In fact, I think that the Wasilla accent sounds suspiciously like the northern Wisconsin one. It's not even as bad as the Chicago (pardon me, "Chicaaaaaaago") accent.

First crew regatta is on Sunday, so I get to leave campus at 4:45 am to go to Depere, WI. If you happen to be in the area come to St. Norbert's College and watch. I'm still not entirely sure the boat won't flip at some point, so if anything, it might be good for a laugh.

Out of hibernation, the grizzly bear is on the prowl, bringing you the best of Wisconsin from now on. Don't give up on him...he's trying.

(Homework takes a lot longer when you are constantly eating your roommates and trying to work with claws and no opposable thumbs)