Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Preaching to the Choir

I always walk by the fanatical preacher folk at the wrong time, usually when I'm late for class on a day right before a test.

By preacher folk I mean those cool dudes that stand outside in the higher traffic areas of campus and expound on the true message of Jesus which is, of course, obey God or spend eternity in Hell. They point at people and scream about the evils of the gays, or the damnation that abortion will bring, or some such fun stuff.

It always brightens my day for some reason. Those guys always bring a smile to my face in a way that raving lunatics only can. Oddly enough I'm a bit jealous of them. They make so many people smile and that's always something I aspire to do. One guy that I saw today was particularly animated and even more entertaining than normal because he was reacting to the students passing him. He would yell about how fornication leads to burning when a student walking by would chime in with "don't forget about alcohol," and off he would go about that.

Like usual I was off to a class which was extra unfortunate today because I had a strong urge to do one of two things. First, since it's a nice day today, I was tempted (sinner!) to go get some popcorn form the union building and enjoy the rest of the show. I feel like loud Christian gibberish on a fairly liberal campus is enough to keep me entertained for at least a solid half hour.

My other idea was a little more involved. I thought it might be fun to try and make him look normal by comparison. I was convinced that I could make his crazy accusations and fault finding look bland if I really tried hard enough. By the time I reached class I had a solid half dozen sin-taunts that I could have used. Some of the gems: "You! Wearing orange! Don't you know that orange is Satan's color! Burn!" or "Blonds are the devils work! You Jezebel, you'd best repent you hair color or face eternal suffering!" or "Sinners! Jesus will come and use unstoppable karate on you if you don't accept him into your heart immediately!"

Those were that best of them. After that I kind of just took Chuck Norris jokes and replaced his name with Jesus. Less original, but still pretty funny.

Anyway, what I would hope for was that the dude would say something like "Jesus Christ you're psychotic," in a twice-over, extremely ironic statement. Hopefully he's around tomorrow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Biology Experiments

I think my brother says on the site somewhere that I'm an aspiring doctor. That's a debatable statement at best. Apparently doctors have to go through an extra 4 years of medical school after college. I only recently found that out. For a long time I thought all you had to do was beat a guy up and steal his white coat in a challenge-for-dominance kind of thing. It was supposed to be a challenge because the defending doctor is allowed to use the stethoscope as a mace.

I am definitely studying Biology though. I guess I don't come off as a pro-science kind of guy because people give me weird looks when I tell them what I'm in school for. I don't really know why. Maybe it was my involvement in the local witch trials last month. You burn one person at the stake and people make assumptions about you for the rest of your life. It's really unfair.

I really like Biology. Most people ask if I'm on a med school track because that's what most Biology majors go into. I usually tell them that "No; I'm studying Biology so I can figure out Nature's weaknesses and kill her in a scientific battle royale," or sometimes "I don't know why I'm in Biology. I guess I've just always been interested in puppets." Obviously these reasons are jokes. I have no interest in puppets (because they're like midgets but rarely as funny) and Nature is already my filthy mistress--she need not be destroyed.

The actual reason that I study Biology is because it has to be the softest hard science ever to be created. Naturally I'm not counting Psychology or Political Science as real sciences (no arguments from anyone, those fields are both entirely made up). I barely even count Biology as science right now.

I still have to do a lot of core classes so the Bio course I'm in is a fairly low level. At the same time I take a low level chemistry to fill degree requirements. Both classes are large lectures. Both have a lab. Both of them are academically set up the same way (4 tests, little homework). But otherwise they're not really very similar. In Chem we're supposed to show up to the lab sections with pre-labs, post-labs, lab manuals, lab notebooks, lab equipment key, and an understanding of that day's experimental procedures. In the Bio lab we show up. Hopefully you have a lab manual--if not, whatevs. The Chemistry experiments take around 2 hours or more, with diligent data recording. The Biology "experiments" take about 10 minutes. They usually involved looking at something pretty in a microscope. And don't bother writing anything down, there's not going to be anything due, ever. We're just looking at the colorful slides.

The first week in Biology we learned what the scientific method is. I would punch myself in the crotch if any 7th grader, randomly approached, could not explain to me what a hypothesis is.

The notes I took in class today was the most awful waste of paper. And yes, they will be put online when I can figure out how to work a scanner. One huge upside to Biology (which will make sense when I scan my notes) is that a lot of cute girls take Biology. I think it's a save the furry little animal kind of thing.

Anyway, that's why Biology rocks my world.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

College Booths

At any given time there are several events being held on a university campus. Recruiting, advertising, celebrating, and organizing are all common themes to the little stands trying to vie for attention as we walk between classes. I currently have two favorite booths.

My second favorite are the "free stuff" guys. Guess what they do? They give away free stuff. I'm sure they do it for some reason like campaigning for their favorite political candidate or AIDS awareness or some craziness like that. I don't know, I've never gone near them. They hand out crap. I mean, I don't want to sound ungrateful to the guys that give away free stuff, but all they're pitching at me is Ramen noodles and toilet paper.

I'm a poor college student; those are the only things I can afford. Oh gee, now that I have free noodles I can takes that 29 cents I just saved and go buy a new iPod. I'll take "Things That Aren't True" for 300, Alex. The time it takes me to change my path and walk 6 feet out of my way is not worth one roll of gravel-textured toilet paper.

Also, when I walk by them, I get these weird flashbacks of my mom telling me not to take candy (and she may have mentioned Ramen) from creepy strangers.

Finally, it would probably help if they didn't bring the free things to campus in a heavily tinted, rust-covered pedo-van.

My new all time, never to be topped favorite booth was one I saw today. (Note: I always get weirded out when I use was and saw in the same sentence. A palindrome once ran over my dog.) I was walking to class and saw a pro-choice stand, which in itself wasn't really out of place: there's political propaganda all over the school. After I'd gone by it, I stopped, turned around and went back to catch the name of the club so I could mention it here (which I failed at because it turns out I didn't care enough).

The weird thing that struck me was that they were luring people to the stand with a piñata. A stand advocating abortion rights was publicizing with a piñata. Think about it. The piñata was in the shape of a little gnome or something, but all I could see when I saw it was a pregnant girl. I asked a friend of mine who happened to be standing there if she thought it inappropriate that a pro-choice stand was using a bat to hit a humanoid effigy in the stomach in order to make the contents spill out the bottom. The irony was lost on her, so maybe I'm over analyzing, but I really felt like it wasn't the most well thought out advertising tool.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Something New

Hello everyone. Just an update into my life (which, for all you new faces out there is that of a 23 year old freshman who is questionably employed and lives off checks that the government forgot to stop sending him). I started school again. And that’s… the end of the sentence. Maybe I’m just a naturally critical person because as much as I missed school when I was forced to stay away from it, I still feel a pretty strong sense of disappointment when I’m there. Kind of like the way our parents felt when our generation grew up.

I do like some stuff. I guess my classes are pretty decent. And I like puppies, but the people at UNM are ridiculous. Some of the stuff I hear the students say is just absurd, and not in the Andy Kaufman sort of way, more like the way in which the Iraq War Budget is absurd. Sometimes I can’t talk for a good 5 minutes because someone makes a really dumb comment and I’m so shocked that I just sit there with my mouth hanging open and stare at them and think “Seriously? No, seriously?” I actually think some of my classmates think I’m slow because of the blank stare I adopt when I do this. Maybe it’s the drooling.

To be fair though, it’s not just the questions people ask and the stupid things they think up and decide to share with the class. I’m not shallow enough to just judge people on their minds and personalities. I also hate they way everyone is dressed. I’m not saying that I’m the height of fashion. After all, I still wear aviator sunglasses, second hand shirts, cargo pants (I use the freaking pockets, alright?), and running shoes everywhere I go, so I don’t feel all upper class but some of the stuff my peers walk around in is just criminal. The one that really irks me the most is the large glasses that girls wear. These have to be the worst fashion craze ever in the history of mankind (I’m talking to you Paris). How am I supposed to adequately objectify a woman if half of her face is covered? In a society that uses a female’s physical attractiveness as an advancement criterion, why do we allow them to mask 60 percent of their face under huge lenses? You know, I’m pretty sure Iranian women were into this trend a couple of centuries ago. Sure they had equal pay, but look how they dress now. Slippery slope my friends, slippery slope.

The other fashionable thing these days that makes me want to karate chop a baby penguin in the face is the way some guys will cant their hats up and to the side. Why do you people do that? Maybe just the top of your head gets sunburned and you like a wide field of view. Maybe it’s some sort of secret signal that only other super-cool white hip-hop douchebag guys can interpret that signifies some sort of membership in a selective club. Some sort of brotherhood… hmmm.

So yeah. College is good I suppose. My brother is trying the get me to report more of my life and feelings. It’s hard to find the time though since I’m taking a full load of courses, working (that should be in quote marks probably), and also starting some extracurricular programs (Straightening Hat Brims National, etc). I’ll try though. Try like… um. Shoot I thought a cool metaphor would end this nicely. Try like a squid?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Conversation With Automated Scholarship Help

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Selected Excerpts From Scholarship Essays

Why are you majoring in your chosen field of science, and what are your career goals?

I am majoring in biology because I'm extremely selfish. For the past ten years there has been a cacophonous outcry to denounce something I believe is called “Global Warming.” From what I understand this Global Warming thing is bad. It’s so bad that it may actually destroy the world. And not just the bad parts of the world: the whole thing.

According to environmentaldefense.org Global Warming could displace 200 million people by 2080. This is awful because in 2080 I’ll be looking to retire in Miami or Palm Beach and that little tidbit’o’doom implies my future beach-side condo may be somewhat underwater. Or worse, teeming with 200 million displaced persons!

According to the US National Academy of Sciences, the Earth’s surface temperature has risen by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century, with accelerated warming during the past two decades. To many, that’s not a whole lot, but those people have likely never spent a summer in Albuquerque, NM. After your fifth Popsicle of the day, or a dip in the inflatable kiddie pool that you stole from your neighbor’s kids, you’ll be cursing every single degree of that heat.

According to Wikipedia.org, the undeniable authority on all information, ever, “Global Warming effects may include changes in agricultural yields, addition of new trade routes, reduced summer streamflows, species extinctions, and increases in the range of disease vectors.” This factoid scares me most of all. Summer streamflows provide me with a very important resource. Fishing. And that is just not something I am willing to yield to this universal terrorist.

That said, my career goals are as follows: First I will study this “Global Warming.” I will learn as much as I can including but not limited to it’s habits, it’s daily activities, where it sleeps at night, and, maybe most importantly, it’s weaknesses. And then I will kill it.

How will a StraightForward Media Science Scholarship help you meet your educational and professional goals?

It has recently come to my attention that science, in general, does not pay well. Unfortunately, that shatters my plan “A” to slow the destruction of the world, which was to bribe everyone on the planet to stop polluting. This also means that I may be a bit strapped for sweet, sweet cash in the future years of my education.

This scholarship would help in many ways. I would be freer to pursue voluntary research opportunities. I would be able to spend time on schoolwork. I would be able to see said schoolwork because I would be able to pay the electric bill. I would have said electric bill because I could afford to live in a house instead of a cave in Los Alamos. I would also be able to acquire items that are supposed to be the bee’s knees as far as school is concerned. I hear pencils and pens, folders, books, and writing paper (all recycled, of course) are really helpful in a higher education setting.

And maybe towards the end of my studies, if I have left over funds, I would construct a giant net in which to catch Global Warming, alive if possible, so I could interrogate it about it’s known associates: Poverty, Disease, and Osama Bin Laden.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Letters From Travels: Taking Orders

hello lots of people that i know.

i'm currently in south america, which is my excuse for poor punctuation and spelling. stupid latin keyboards. anyway, i've done heaps of cool stuff. in peru i sandboarded down some giant sand dunes, hiked to the bottom of the world's second deepest canyon (twice the depth of the grand and twice as fantastico), and island hopped in lake titicaca (yes it's a real lake, not just a dirty sounding word).

i'm in bolivia now. it's ecomony is a bit worse than peru and i hope to exploit that to the max. today i went biking down "the death road," the world's most dangerous road. don't worry, it was worth the risk because i got a t-shirt. i'm currently staying next to the witches market in la paz, so if anyone wants a llama fetus or love potion, now's the time to place orders.

el pocket lint