Posts Tagged ‘party’

Ten Signs That Facebook Is Taking Over Your Life

April 26, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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10.)      Whenever someone tells you good news, you immediately stick your thumb in the air and cheer, “Like!”

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9.)        You become frustrated when you realize you don’t immediately know what’s going on in the daily lives of your 350 closest friends.

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8.)        You have no qualms about raiding your friends’ real address books to find new friends.

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7.)        You feel personally slighted when someone tells you they went out to dinner and a show . . . but the “news” is over two days old!

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6.)        When someone shows you pictures of their family members, you can’t resist the urge to comment on each one.

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5.)        While you talk to folks you know, you find yourself glancing to the right a lot, waiting for ads to pop up.

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4.)        You feel a tremendous urge several times a day to announce to everyone you know how you feel, what you think, how you vote, what you did last weekend, what you’re doing next weekend, what foods you like and dislike, and your children’s latest bowel movements and other accomplishments.

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3.)        Discussing the latest activities of your acquaintances seems rather flat without 30 pictures to leaf through.

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2.)        It honestly bothers you when you don’t know your stepbrother’s and paperboy’s favorite bands and political views without actually asking.

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and

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1.)        When filling out official forms, you have to stop yourself from filling in your middle name as “KingOfHisDomain,” “DangerPuppy” or “PartyGurl.”

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An “MRS” Conundrum

March 23, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Today, I’ll address the ultimate curiosity: the opposite sex.  Long ago, I concluded that men will never understand women, and women will never understand men, so we should all do ourselves a tremendous favor by not trying to do so.  I do not post this as a complaint about women, but as an example of my personal head-scratchings over the fairer sex.

I attended homecoming and prom with friends that agreed to accompany me, but the first time I went on a real date, in which I asked a woman I had just met out and she accepted, was during my first year in college. We were introduced at a party during spring term, and I called her the next day.  Over the next two weeks, we saw quite a bit of each other.  She told me she was dating two other students, one a senior and one a junior.  This didn’t bother me.  I told her as long as she didn’t discuss me with them, or them with me, that was fine.  At one point, she told me that I was the most mature man she’d ever dated.

Then, she dropped me like a hot rock.

Listing her frustrations of the day to me over the phone, she quickly mentioned “I’m dating a freshman.”  I stopped and asked why that was a problem.  She invited me over that night, we watched a sitcom, then she ended the relationship.

Perplexed, I asked my friends Tracey and Kim, who I had gone to high school with and who lived on campus, what had just happened.  Without needing time to think, Tracey said, “She wants her MRS degree.”  Kim nodded.  Apparently, when some college coeds near graduation, their thoughts turn to marriage.  Being younger than this gal, I was not in the running to be a professional by the time she was ready to say “I do,” and so I was summarily fired.  The fact that I was more mature than my older counterparts was not relevant in this race.

I wasn’t so much angry as I was confused.  The woman knew I was a freshman the night we met.  Why agree to date someone you would not consider marrying, if your mind is already on the engagement ring?

Again, I have no answers and expect none.  It’s a “woman thing,” as there are many “men things.”  This is just a fine example of the ultimate “curiosities” that we engendered humans have to face and contemplate in our travels.

Good luck to us all!

One Perfect Day

February 10, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Freshman year at Michigan State was one of the greatest years of my life, full of new and rich experiences that I never would have encountered elsewhere.  I have many fond memories of that year.

And of that one day in April 1985. . . .

Spring term was fantastic.  After three months of shin- and knee-high snow, seeing my own breath day and night, and having to thaw out my nose after any simple walk, the mercury finally climbed, the coats disappeared . . . and the festivities began.  Most of my and my floormate cohorts’ winter festivities were limited to our dorm, so once the grass was revealed and growing, we hit campus!

One particular Friday morning, I awoke in a great mood.  I only had one early-morning class, and then it was officially the weekend.  My mood escalated when, exiting the shower, I heard a rarely-played favorite song on the radio.  This, I said to myself, is going to be a great day!

Upon my return, my fellow collegians who were smarter than I and didn’t have Friday classes were gathered in their traditional morning spot: Sitting on the floor outside of the dorm rooms at the end of the hall.  Here, cigarettes were smoked, beer was used as an awakening tool, and the mysteries of Life were discussed.  Ignoring the cigarettes and beer, I thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in the discussions.  From the basest human depravities to the deepest thoughts of holy men, the topics were a grab bag from the cosmos, and the sessions were never boring.

On this already good day, one of our floor demigods (meaning he was a sophomore!) sparked up in the middle of our musings.  Looking out the window at the bright spring day, he announced, “Let’s play whiffle ball!”

Being the deep-thinking scholars that we were, we instantly jumped up and got the tools for such a childish excursion together.  In under ten minutes, we were out in the courtyard between three dorms, divided into two teams, and enjoying our lives.  Our mannequin-torso mascot had been drafted into acting as our umpire, and with a Frisbee for a home plate, the game was on.  We played on and on for hours, until our stomachs told us it was time for lunch.

The early afternoon was spent plotting our adventures that evening, as there were plenty of gatherings that night being put on by the acquaintances of at least one of us.  As soon as day turned to near-dusk, we were off!  The first stop was at a higher floor in our 12-storey dormitory.

Here, we bumped into an adopted sister, “Holly with a Q.”  She mentioned that she had seen our whiffle ball World Series that morning, and produced a picture she had snapped out her window.  Past a bordering tree, home plate could clearly be seen.  There, our mannequin umpire viewed the game, my roommate Jeff was bent to retrieve a foul ball, and a stick-like figure stood in a half-shirt and shorts, celebrating his mock athletic prowess.  I still have this photo.  It is one of the best pictures of me in my skinniness, and a fond memento of the day!

Not being a party animal myself, but a standard fixture at each gathering, I enjoyed tagging along to each venue. Such jaunts gave me my first exposures to fraternity houses (which reeked of stale and spilled beer) and campus apartments.  In one such apartment, I was introduced by one of the hosts to a quintet of coeds in one corner of the room.  Shaking hands all around, the fifth young lady started a conversation by asking me about my floor name “Spike” and its origin.  During this talk, she maintained possession of my hand.

Alcohol be damned.  Now I, the teetotalling freshman, was having fun, too!

Unfortunately, my compadres were not sensitive to my golden moment.  Mere minutes later, they were ready to converge on the next target, and they waved me to the door.  Figuring this would be our last moment together, I turned to the charming young lady and said, “They’re taking me away from you.”

“Call me!”

Another moment frozen in time.  A girl wanted me to call her!  I loved college.

The rest of the night is a bit less sharply remembered, as I was spending my time trying to keep that girl’s name in my head, despite all the outer noises and distractions.  Against the odds of my limping memorization capabilities, I did actually remember her name.  We ended up going out twice in the weeks that followed.

Collapsing on my bunk late that night — or rather, early the next morning — I realized that I had a bit of foresight in me.  It had turned out to be an even better “good day” than I had predicted!

Ten Things To Do In Georgia When It’s “Cold” (i.e., Below 50)

February 8, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

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10.)      Bless someone’s heart as they try to scrape their windshield with a credit card.

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9.)        Get outside and bask in the low humidity, while you still can!

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8.)        Start planning your first beach party of the season, because we’re likely only three weeks away from summer weather.

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7.)        Leave work ten minutes early (with management’s blessing, no less!) to warm up your car.

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6.)        Wear two NASCAR shirts to church instead of one.

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5.)        Go a-huntin’!

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4.)        Finish watching football, keep watching basketball, and look forward to watching baseball.

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3.)        Call in sick, so you don’t have to go out in the horrid weather and risk getting sick.

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2.)        Reminisce about this year’s one snowfall.

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and

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1.)        “Fix to” buy a sweater.

Winter Dorm Beach Blanket Bingo

January 13, 2011

by Thomas M. Pender

Put about ten 20ish-year-old men together in a snowed-in dorm for a few hours, and some very original ideas are going to emerge!  Some would be dangerous and death-defying, while others – like the brainchild that was conceived during winter term 1985 on North Hubbard Hall’s 4th floor at Michigan State – are outright genius!

When cold and bored young men get together in the winter, they complain about the weather.  This leads to reminiscing about nicer weather, wishing for nicer weather, the outfits that women wear in nicer weather . . . you see the progression.  Eventually, we were talking about summer and beaches, and one bright sophomore named Todd O. Pope perked up and chirped, “Let’s have a beach party!”

You simply can’t imagine the industry and energy that course through college men’s veins when they get a good (to them, anyway!) idea in their heads.  As a horde, we inquired with our resident assistant how to go about getting permission to turn our floor’s bike room into a beach, we filled out the necessary petition, we called around to price large amounts of sand, we purchased said sand, as well as certain amounts of beverages, we invited mass quantities of humans, and even dressed our floor’s mascot – a head-and-torso-only mannequin we named John Bigboote (pronounced, of course, “big-boo-TAY!”), after a character in Buckaroo Banzai – as our lifeguard, complete with nose cream and whistle!  You would think that it would take a crowd of lazy boys months to put this together.  We accomplished this in a matter of days!  In fact, at one point in the planning stages, with a room full of college men scribbling in legal pads, one of us chimed, “Gee, if we put half this much energy into studying, we’d all be making 4.0s!”  We laughed . . . then went back to planning the party.  The irony was not lost on us.

So it was that our soiree came together without a hitch.  Hours of Beach Boys and Jan and Dean hits, filling several blank cassettes, completed the atmosphere.  The plastic had been laid out in the now-empty bike room, the sand smuggled in and evenly spread with care, the corner “lake” had been configured and filled, with Lifeguard John on constant and emotionless watch. . . . it was an epic accomplishment that Cecil B. DeMille would envy!

We wore our finest beach attire, and encouraged our invited guests to do so, as well.  In fact, I think the attire was a requirement if the attendees wished to partake of the liquid refreshments . . . and they did!  In my usual spot, I drank my Cokes and watched the silly people get sillier.  As the “Virgin Mary of 4 North Hubbard,” untouched by female, alcoholic beverage or drug alike, it was my unofficial duty to document and retell all of our parties’ antics.  This column proves that I took my job seriously!

Many pictures were taken of the party’s preparations and progression, and there was no trouble to speak of.  I later learned that when one drop-in guest started to get out of line, he was told, “Cool it, man, or you’ll have to deal with Spike!”  Inquiring who this ominous “Spike” was, he was pointed in the direction of . . . me!  There I sat, all 6’3”, 140 pounds, wiry, muscleless, bespectacled, orange afroed me, calmly drinking a Coke.  This bulkier human, being told by bulkier humans than himself that they would sic me onto him, did the only logical thing he could do: he left . . . quickly!  Not hearing the story until the next day, I was quite flattered, and I understood his reaction.  If the scarier men used me as a threat, he must have imagined that I was a psychotic terror in sheep’s clothing.  Never having been in a fight myself, I was temporarily pumped with a dose of false machismo.  I scared a guy!

The cleanup was quick and efficient, and the party itself became the stuff of local legend.  Beer was swallowed, girls were kissed, laughter was shared, and fun was had by all.  For that one night, it was over 80 degrees outside . . . and the ocean was just a stone’s throw away.