14 April 2008
09 April 2008
It’s late right now, this column is eight or so hours late, I have a drawing due tomorrow at 8:30 am that I haven’t started, my bad spot is itching like crazy, and all I can think about is how sick I am of Pileated woodpeckers, especially those on our campus.
Here’s what I’m thinking about Pileated woodpeckers: First of all, are they paying tuition? That is, of course, a joke question, but they aren’t. They aren’t paying tuition. What do our tuition dollars go towards? Okay, fair. Sure they don’t go to class, nor do they eat is the dining hall. But guess what? A large portion of our payment goes towards maintenance, and residence. These freeloading mutts fly around our campus, living in our trees. Not only that, to live in these trees they have to peck out they trees’ insides (the trees’ soul). They do the same thing to eat. More holes! No, thanks. I would rather these turds eat at Dana than litter our lawns with wood chippings, ruining the trees in the process. We should work out a system where the peckers eat our scrap Dana food. I hope they don’t like Mac and Cheese triangles because of those I never have leftovers.
Then there’s the principal of what they are doing. Imagine this scenario: Me. Out next to a tree completely naked (birds don’t wear any clothing), with an axe chopping away at a tree day after day. To me that sounds illegal. So why are these birds not being prosecuted?! I’ll tell you why, because the burden of proof is on the prosecution and no one has enough gumption to stand up to these savages!
Here’s an idea… When I was younger my family had a fish tank full of brightly colored fish, and one day it and the fish were gone. My Dad told my brother and me that he put some in our pond and the brought the others to our town’s college for experiments. I thought this was really cool and my Dad said we could visit them in the laboratory anytime. We, St. Lawrence, just built a new science building that is huge and I’m sure somewhere in that building there is someone who thinks it might be fun to use the Pileated woodpeckers for experiments. And what do experiments do? They help people and birds. Couldn’t we just round up these creatures and bring them to the new science building for research and testing? Or we could just flush them down the toilet like my Dad actually did.
30 March 2008
Here’s what happened: A couple of days before spring break I came home from jai-alai practice and had a parcel waiting for me in front of my bedroom door from my friend, Pete. It wasn’t wrapped, nor was it in an envelope, so initially I was irritated by Pete’s lack of presentation. However, I then picked up a note that Pete had written and I forgot all about my annoyance. Here’s what the note said:
“Alex, I found these in the snow by the 24 hour room at ODY… either these are yours or you have a secret admirer. –Pete”
Now, besides letters that I’ve written to myself, I’ve never had a secret admirer, so these words gave me goosepimples. Along with Pete’s note was a pile of old newspaper clippings. I thought, “Boring,” but then something caught my eye. I noticed that the clippings were my very own Boot ‘n Paddles! Someone, not me or my parents, had cut out ten or so of my columns and collected then in a group! It’s not like they cut them out and put them in a drawer somewhere; they were carried around campus and as far as I can tell were taken out of a backpack outside of the library and admired to a point where they got so excited that they dropped them in fit of delight.
This is a pretty neat story and it makes me feel pretty good, but there’s a problem. Someone out there was/is seemingly very enthusiastic about Boot ‘n Paddle, and now they’ve lost their collection! (There is, of course, the possibility that there was a disgruntled fan that reached such a level of discontentment with my column that they took their Boot ‘n Paddle collection and ditched it by ODY… I’m just saying that because I’m trying not to sound arrogant but let’s face it, that scenario just isn’t plausible.)
So that’s my story. It was a great day.
Below is a little note that I wrote for the individual who lost his or her Boot ‘n Paddles. If you are not that individual, please respect our privacy and don’t read the following section. Thanks!
I’m twenty-three and think you are really great. I’m worried about your lost B&Ps. I love breakfast foods but rarely eat breakfast. Would you like to eat corned beef hash with me sometime (for dinner)? I smelled the clippings that Pete gave to me and there was a trace of Vicks vapor rub… are you sick? Some of them smelled like bosco sticks. I’ve never had an email relationship before, but I think, I mean if you’re into it, that we should get one going? (email@example.com) Let me know. :-)
However, as a result of a constant battle to try to reinvent myself, I’ve now decided that being open and forthcoming should be valued and practiced on a daily–– no, hourly basis. So, I’m going to put myself out there; I’m going to show this campus (and my parents who read this is Arizona!) who Alex Eaton really is. What better way to introduce myself than to give a sample of what I was like as a child, the basis for who and what I am today? This should also interest my parents as for most of my childhood I was under the supervision of a drifter named Gary.
I have chosen to print a story that I wrote in Kindergarten for the Cornwall Elementary School’s annul literary magazine. This particular story is called the “The Slug” and was accompanied by an illustration, peanut-like, and labeled “Slug.”
Once upon a time there was a fat slug. And he snuck out of the house. Then a kid fell and landed on him on his slimiest part. Then Indiana Jones came to save him. Then he whipped the kid. Then the kid got out his pistol and shot him.
I was a cute little kid.
Okay, sure there’s a certain degree of ambiguity at work… like why was the slug in the house? Who did Indiana Jones really come to save? Whose pistol did the kid use to shoot Indiana? Most importantly, did Gary write this story and try to pass it off as mine? We can’t be sure because Gary was killed with a pair of toenail clippers when I was ten, but I think that he probably did. For those of you who know me (you, now), I am not a very violent person. In fact, I rarely think about whips and firearms; Gary was very passionate about them.
So really, this story doesn’t give you much insight into who Alex Eaton really is. But do you see what happened? In setting up the story and explaining its significance you learned a considerable amount about me. You learned that I am hesitant to divulge details about myself. You learned about my parent’s role in my upbringing. You learned about Gary and the regrettable (and illegal… he was wanted by the police for selling his pee as lemonade) influence on my childhood and presumably my adult life.
I’m really glad I did this. Thanks to everyone who emailed me!
Last year, I took a writing course during which the topic of daydreaming came up. People were self-conscious about the subjects of their daydreams, but there was no doubt that everybody did, in fact, daydream. However, there was one exception. A lowly, highly beauty shopped coed sitting in the front row. She expressed to the class that she didn’t really understand what we were talking about, that she had never “daydreamed” before and thought it sounded immature. I thought she sounded dumb.
Now I will say an opinion that I have and you will agree or disagree, but can’t argue with me because you’re reading a newspaper. Not daydreaming or fantasizing is indicative of a much larger characteristic of being a generally dull human being who will do little with their life. The individual I’m talking about has graduated already and I would try to imagine a day in her shoes but it’s tough imagining what it’s like not imagining.
What can we assume about the lackluster student? First of all, that she has no aspirations. You need to imagine something to aspire to it. Also, she has something very substantial on her mind constantly, probably gymnastics or sudoku, leaving absolutely no time for her mind to wander. Let’s also assume she is a horrible storyteller. And she is always very well kempt because she can’t imagine the right guy coming along and falling in love with her even though she’s just in her jammies. She’s awful and she’s out in society bringing other people down to her level of depressing nonbeing.
We need to steer clear of her approach to living. I fantasize on an hourly basis; it’s how I accomplish things. It’s how I will accomplish things. Plus, fanaticizing is fun. I don’t get that many chances to be a badass, but when I’m walking to class and I imagine a that I just got back to school after escaping a hostage situation in the Middle East, I am a badass. Then I go to class and feel way cooler than everyone else having not actually accomplished anything. There is, of course, a delicate balance between daydreaming and living in a fantasy world, but having real conversations with real people makes that issue futile.
You don’t have to daydream all of the time; it’s just a great way to stop taking yourself so seriously. Laughing, and joking are also good methods. All I am saying is we have a lot of cool kids on campus, kids that need to lighten up a little or they’re going to end up like my former classmate. If you ever need inspiration for fantasy, try going to Stewarts (see past Boot ‘n Paddle).