Category Archives: Column

Why Everyone Should Have To Work a Thankless Job

So, originally I was going to write this post about beer.

However, that changed when I was driving home last week.

Many people had gathered to protest for a living wage for service industry workers. I wasn’t mad that my commute was slightly disrupted, although I’m sure many people were. Instead, I just kinda thought “right on!” and went about the end of my day.

After I got home, I started thinking about the people I saw. The scene reminded me of one of my favorite Sherman Alexie tweets, and that’s saying something because he’s pretty great on Twitter.

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15 Struggles Only People Who Aren’t an Extrovert or Introvert Will Understand

I guess I should get this out of the way upfront. This isn’t actually a listicle. I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve been baited AND switched.

The idea for this post started with a tweet that I laughed at way too hard.

TwitterBuzzfeed has mastered the art (using a loose definition of that term) of creating quizzes and listicles that provide little or no actual content except gifs that make people go: I remember that or that has happened to me.

One type of article (again using the loose definition of that term) I often see shared on Facebook or Twitter is “XX struggles of an introvert” or “XX reasons you might be an introvert.” Here’s the thing, I’m not saying my friends and family are lying…I’m just saying.

I’ve seen people post an article about being an introvert, but I’ve seen the very same person drunker than an Irish pirate, singing “Piano Man” off-key at a crowded bar with a group of strangers. (It should be noted that’s not exactly something I’ve seen, but a close facsimile as not to put any of my friends on blast).

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I Don’t Carry a Gun; I Drive

Another column I wrote recently:

I love the film “Drive.” There’s a lot to love about it: The synthesizer-heavy soundtrack, Albert Brooks playing a heavy, Ryan Gosling (ladies), Gosling’s satin baseball jacket, the cinematography, etc…

I like all that, but the title says it all. Deep down, I know I love “Drive” because of the cars, the chase scenes, the stunts, the act of driving. It’s precisely why I will tolerate, even secretly enjoy, ridiculously over-the-top movies such as “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “Death Race.”

I’ve always enjoyed driving, and I suspect it’s due to childhood road trips with my family. In a country whose identity is so tied to Manifest Destiny and rugged individualism, a car, driving, represents independence. It represents potential and opportunity.

There’s something unmistakeably American about a road trip. One only has to look at American classics like “Easy Rider” or “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac where the road trip is raised to an almost mythical status.

That sort of reverence is possible because this country has the luxury of space. The great expanse of land we call home allows one to make a several-hour, or several-day, trip without running into the border of another nation. We can travel 3,000 miles, coast to coast, and still call where we end up home.

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Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This is a column I wrote for the paper earlier this month. Enjoy!

For years Mr. Rogers opened his PBS show, “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” with the phrase, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Well, Mr. Rogers, I’m not entirely sure you would want me as your neighbor.

It’s not that I’m a terribly inconsiderate person to live next to, above or under. Occasionally, I am known to listen to music and to shout at the TV when the Bears are playing, but I never throw wild parties, well, not since I left college. For the most part, I just go about my business. I can hear you now, saying “Well, what’s so bad about that?”

What’s so bad about it is that I typically don’t go out of my way to meet my neighbors. Like I said, I just go about my business. I’ve lived in the same apartment for two years and only know the name of one of my neighbors.

She’s a very quiet grad student who lives above me. I only happen to know her name because she was moving in one day last year as I came home for lunch. But, other than that one moment, our paths have rarely crossed. I have no idea of what she does all day, although I gather it involves a lot of reading—being a grad student and all.

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Band of Brothers

Memorial Day is coming up, and I wrote a military themed column for today’s paper:

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother; be never so vile. This day shall gentle his condition. And gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks that fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.”

That quote is from the Shakespeare play King Henry V. It is also where the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” took its name. The series is based on a book by the same name written by historian Stephen E. Ambrose. It follows “Easy Company,” the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division of the Army through World War II.

I have always loved Band of Brothers, and I’m not alone in this. Many people my age are fans of the series. However, not everyone understands this fascination. Once my dad asked why I like World War II stuff, Band of Brothers, “Saving Private Ryan,” etc…

I’ve never been able to answer that question well. Oh, it would be much easier if I were a young boy; I could just say “I like tanks!” But somehow that doesn’t cut it at 25.

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