Friday, April 24, 2009

I like to ride my bicycle

Over a 2 hour period last weekend, I had eaten more than most eat in a few days. I had 3 granola bars, 2 full plates of spaghetti, a burrito the size of my face, a bowl of chips and salsa, beans and rice, a sleeve of ritz crackers topped with peanut butter, a glass of milk(2%!), a bottle of Gatorade, and a large milkshake. This is not an exaggeration. This is a meal that I had after an 80 mile bike ride. This is just one reason I enjoy biking.

This is one perk of being on a cycling team. I don’t regret picking up biking when I am able to enjoy a 4,000 calorie meal. My desire to bike is not based on my stomach though. Cycling comes with its ups and downs.

Riding 250 miles in one week gives you a sense of accomplishment that is hard to come across elsewhere. Spending hours every day outside, in the sun, in the woods, and on the hills makes your days much more enjoyable.

Competitive cycling is very good for your health. I know that my heart and lungs are healthy when my heart rate is 40 beats per minute (the average is 70 beats per minute). My legs are chiseled from miles of biking. Not to mention, it is very difficult to gain weight when you burn thousands of calories each day.

For me, the most enjoyable part of cycling is race weekends. This is a chance to test my hard work, fitness, pain tolerance, and strategy against fellow collegiate cyclists. This is where you cash in hours of pedaling. It makes all of the sacrifice worthwhile.

I’m far from in love with cycling though. It has its less enjoyable times. Last weekend I drove to Wisconsin for a 30 mile race. Not three miles in, I got a flat tire. I changed it and proceeded to race by myself hopelessly trying to catch the pack. With three miles left in the race, I got another flat tire. I almost literally crawled across the finish line for participant…last place. You are bound to have your off days.

No one likes spending money. This is especially true for me. And biking is very expensive. To start, a bike nice enough to be raced costs at least one thousand dollars. Race entries are anywhere from 10-40 dollars per race. Tires are replaced every few months, which costs about 50 dollars a pop. Cycling clothes cost an arm and a leg. When you pay, you realize you bought clothes for you arms and legs that you no longer have. And that’s a bummer.

And time is money. If this is the case then all cyclists must be poor from all of the time they spend riding. You must do a lot of riding to race competitively.

Bike racing, by nature, is inherently dangerous…” this is a line from a release form required in order to race. And it could not be stated more clearly. In the few months that I have been cycling, I have seen my share of accidents. I have gotten in a 10 bike pile-up requiring me to take a week off to recover from my injuries. I have even been hit by a car. I was traveling 25 mph one second and in a strangers windshield the next. And I have seen countless crashes at races.

But I keep on biking. Maybe because it is just something to do. It might be the friends that I make from biking. I might simply enjoy working out. Or maybe I just legitimately like biking. Or maybe I’m good at it. Either way, this blog entry is not at all controversial.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Please Don't Misinterpret This Also

I did not wake up last Thursday morning planning on pissing people off. But
things don’t always go according to plan.

I was going to be away from a computer all Friday, and I was busy Thursday
afternoon. And I had only completed one of my two required blog entries for my English class. I had to write my second one… and fast! Too add to my stress, I had no topics left in my very limited stash of topics. To find a topic, I started
thinking of things that left any possible impression in my mind… I didn’t need
to have strong feelings about anything to write about it, just enough info to rant about for a little while. I saw a booth at campus that was trading novels for peoples' religious texts with a sign that said, “fiction for fiction.”

Being a religious person, this caught my attention a little. Yes, I was a
little offended. A book that I base my morals and standards on was being
accused to be fiction. I didn’t get terribly offended because I didn’t care
enough. And If I had cared enough, I might have stopped by and heard what they
were about.

Anyway, this brief interaction did not make me too upset, however, it
inadvertently gave me a topic to write about. So I sat down at my computer and
cranked out 500 words bashing “fiction for fiction.” Not bashing anyone in
particular, just my opinion. But a stretched out, over exaggerated, unnecessarily
rude, rant. Like most of my blogs. I wanted to say I was a little offended by accusing my religion to be fiction. However add a whole lot more words and exaggerations, and the result is a lot more offensive.

I admit that I wrote it in a hurry and it was far from one of my better blogs. There were a quite a few holes in my logic to say the least.

As this blog is for my English class, I wrote it with the audience being by
classmates and teacher. I never thought that the person who set up that booth
would read it, just my class. However, the organizer for the event that I had
bashed had found the blog. I don’t know how. But I think that it must have
been not even half an hour before she had an entry on her blog ridiculing me
and my blog that I feel so strongly about. She told me to read it. I didn’t.
It was really long. I could tell that the blog was bashing people that bashed
her (bashing them in the same manner that they bash her). I also didn’t read
it because it was about something I didn’t even care about in the first place.
But when I got to class after the events had settled, a classmate told me that
the blog was about me. She had written 60 billion words about me! I was not serious about my opinion. I’m one of the most laid back people, and she was so upset about something I half-heartedly said.

Sorry If I have perpetuated everything, but I'm just writing an over exaggerated, unnecessarily rude, rant.

I pissed off a lot of cyber peeps.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fiction For Fiction

Not everyone is smart, but everyone has a strong stance on about every topic. Whether it’s evolution, global warming, or religion; you always have a stance on these topics. Listening to people talk, I hear people voicing their opinion on evolution; accusing it to be either true or false based on what little knowledge they have about it. Everyday civilians comment on how global warming is a conspiracy, despite professionals swearing to it. The worst of these is religion.

Religion is one thing that none of us seem to agree on, but we still have to make our voice heard. Even if you don’t believe anything, that must also be vocalized. I saw a quintessential example of this at campus yesterday. Some opinionated enthusiasts were sitting at a booth outside of the “class of ‘50” with a sign that read, “Fiction for Fiction; trade your religious texts for fictional novels.” That was probably the most useless and offensive table set up that I’ve ever seen.

What could these people’s point possibly be? Are they saying religion is fiction? I would have to dumber than them not to realize that that was their point. I’m not going to come down on them for voicing their opinion, except that the entire basis of their opinion is to oppose another. This “fiction for fiction” trade is the opposition to organized religion like, for example, pro-life opposes pro- choice. The opposing parties involved in that example believe different things, which happen to be the opposite. One party didn’t form due to an opinion they held and that being the sole cause of the other party’s formation.

What is this “fiction for fiction” table’s goal? Are they trying to spread the word that religion is fake? What would people’s reaction be if equally as zealous people went exclaiming their religion to the campus? These people are now on the same arrogance level as the bible thumpers that they oppose.

I don’t know if atheists have a holy book, but if they do, I’d like to bring it to that table. And see what fiction novel they give me in return for my fiction book.

I wonder why they didn’t just set up a table that said, “don’t talk to me, you won’t like me.” It would have gotten their point across better.

However, I wasn’t terribly offended. If some brainless college kids think that religion is a hoax, then I’m not at all surprised. College students are probably the least religious group of individuals in our nation. Think about it in this sense; these kids are enjoying their newfound freedom that comes along with leaving home and becoming an adult. They can do whatever they want, so why would they want some greater power in charge of them?

This is just how I perceive all of this in order to not get too upset about people claiming my religion is “fiction.”

Monday, April 13, 2009

I Hate It When People Complain!

You are reading this article becaue the title is a complaint. I think that we all appear so much more negative than we actually are. I’ve noticed that the majority of our conversations are composed of complaints.

Take a moment to reflect on your typical conversations with friends. Right now it is 10 am. I’ve had about four or five conversations that I can think of so far today. Three of which were started with negative statements. My roommate woke up and said, “It is way too early!” I walked into class, sat down, turned to my friend and sparked conversation with, “The weather is really crappy.” While eating breakfast with a friend, he started complaining about how bland his cereal was and how weak his feeble skim milk was. Life must be brutal!

If I were to take a guess, I would say that 75% of our conversations are negative. That is because so many people feel awkward by silence and need something to say. Negative conversation starters are more conducive to maintaining conversation. If there is a silence before class, someone is more likely to say, “that test was pretty tough!(regardless if the test was hard or not)” than “I think I did well on that test.” The first example brings up controversy-which leads to conversation. Someone might respond to the latter with something like, “yes, it sure was easy.” End of conversation. Or possibly, by saying that you did well on the test, you seem cocky, so you complain about it instead. This makes you feel and appear humble. It also starts conversation. Someone else might complain about how difficult the test was, and then you have a whole conversation full of meaningless and false statements. I guess that’s what conversations are mainly comprised of.

People feel uncomfortable with silence, so they consciously or unconsciously say something that sparks conversation. And a negative statement is much more likely to do so than something positive. I don’t believe that this is a problem, just something I noticed. People seem to say very negative things, but don’t seem very negative.

What would happen if we were all honest? I don’t know; I can’t imagine such a world.

Then, what would happen if we all stretched the truth? We would have the world that we live in.

What if we just complained all of the time? We would still have the world that we live in.

Haven’t you noticed that I’ve spent a lot this blog complaining about how often people complain? Kind of Ironic. But someone has to do it!

So clean up your act world! Start conversations with positive statements. Say things like, “nice outifit today,” or “I really enjoy this class.” This is twofold; when someone says something positive. Have a conversation with them. Give them positive reinforcement for their rare, nice comment. Even if the world is not actually positive, it would not appear quite so negative.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mindless Article Complaining About Another Mindless Article

“Gum placed under table sticks to student’s pants.” This was a headline in the Exponent the other day. I was talking to a friend about how uninformative the Exponent was. We started thumbing through the pages and pointing out headlines of stories that we wouldn’t ever want to read, just complaining about the newspaper. It was the perfect time to run across that article.

To their credit, the article was in the opinion section, where stupid articles should be. The article was Alexandra Holliday writing in, she was complaining that someone placed gum under a desk. She then had the (sarcastic) joy of pealing it off with a piece of paper. I guess it must have really upset her. In her rage, she immediately wrote a letter to the Exponent- the new form of self expression.

The letter she wrote to the Exponent was just sarcastically thanking whoever placed the gum under her desk. She then continued to bash that young person’s maturity. The letter was for one person. Good thing it was published in the newspaper for the whole campus to read (That was a taste of the sarcasim that I learned from Alexandra Holliday's article).

Here is some more sarcasm that Holliday taught me:
Her article was well-written. It had a solid beginning, middle, and end. It flowed very well. She got her point across. The sarcasm was funny and appropriate.

Another thing that bothered me about this article was the Exponent is not a place for self expression, or a place to let your anger out. It should be a place to bring light to the news. That article that Holliday wrote has its place… maybe in a blog like this one, or a diary; not the newspaper. There is an ongoing argument in the opinion section about evolution- an issue with actual opinions. I would like to write back, causing this also to be an ongoing opinion section argument, and tell her that this is no place for an article like that. But doing so would contradict what I’m trying to tell her. Now that would just be hypocritical of me.

(Just a side note: I am in a lab writing this and there is a girl over to my left who keeps trying to read over my shoulder. My message to her: Can you read this? This part is to you! Maybe you are Alexandra Holliday, or are friends with her, and are offended by this paper that I’m writing. Either way, mind your own business.)

Now back to the matter at hand; my rage. I’m not entirely mad at Holliday for writing in with such an unamusing article. I am upset at how the Exponent, a “news”paper, would let this letter in the opinion section when it isn’t really even an opinion. There is a reason the Exponent does not have a “complaint” section.

My rage is not at all justified. In fact, I’m not terribly upset. I just rant sometimes, and it often gets out of hand and extremely boring. I appreciate you sticking it out to the end of this entry.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure... The Most Adventurous Blog On Blogger

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this blog… By design, you don’t have to read all of it. It’s a “choose your own adventure;” in blog form. I was going to write about the dismal state of our economy, but if you didn’t know that our economy was in the crapper, then you have been living in a shell for the past life time. If you have never read a “choose your own adventure,” It’s easy to play. You have two options. Pick one, and follow the directions. Now do you feel adventurous?

Start here:
1.) It’s a gloomy weekday afternoon. The rain has just recently subsided. You step outside your room and see a magnificently gay rainbow. You…
Feel adventurous and decide to follow it in hopes of a pot of gold at the end. (proceed to step 4)
Go back inside because you are a vampire. (Proceed to step 7)

2.) You wake up and realize that it was all just a dream. Duh! Dragons don’t exist! But I had you going right?!?!?!

3.) You walk into the Chinese restaurant and have an absolutely satisfying buffet. You…
Grab a fortune cookie to top off the meal. (Proceed to step 9)
Leave and continue on towards the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. (Proceed to step 4)

4.) It seems as if you never reach the rainbow. Nearing the end of a tiring journey, you see what appears to be a pot of gold a quarter of a mile ahead of you and a Chinese restaurant just to your left. You decide to…
Venture on to the pot of gold. (Proceed to step 12)
Go to the Chinese restaurant. (Proceed to step 3)

5.)Lucky numbers are 2, 5, 19, 21, and 13. You decide to…
Try your luck with the lottery with your lucky numbers. (proceed to step 11)
Head back to the dorm and sleep off the enormous buffet of fried rice and general tso’s chicken you just enjoyed. (proceed to step 10)

6.) Your friend notices a magnificently gay rainbow and suggests that you both follow it. You…
Decide that it is futile to attempt to chase fate any longer and follow the rainbow. (proceed to step 4)
Ditch your friend at try your luck at the lottery. (proceed to step 11)

7.) Someone had placed garlic in your room. People ridicule you endlessly for being a vampire. You can’t return to your room so you go to…
A Chinese restaurant (proceed to step 3)
A friend’s room to avoid the garlic and have someone to hang out with. (proceed to step 6)

8.) That it terribly sad. That person was perfect for you. You live alone. With only your pet cats to keep you company.

9. ) The fortune cookie says…
“you are an inspiration to many” (proceed to step 5)
“the only thing you fear is your own inability to climb the mountain.” (proceed to step 6)

10.) You have an enjoyable nap. This is where your journey ends. Hope you had fun. Hope this was better than what you could have been doing in reality.

11.) You won the lottery big time! Ten Billion dollars! You…
Invest it in helping the homeless (proceed to step 14)
You hoard it. (proceed to step 15)

12.) You have finally found the pot of gold! Congratulations! Only it isn’t gold. It’s a magic Jeanie. You have one wish. You wish for….
Ten billion dollars. (proceed to step 15)
Love (proceed to step 13)

13.) You meet the woman/man or your dreams. You…
Fall asleep in their arms (proceed to step 10)
There is a tangible distance between you. It eats at you. You can’t take it any longer. Maybe there is someone else out there for you… (proceed to step 17)

14.) Your sojourn volunteering at the homeless shelter is abruptly interrupted by a dragon. You…
Pick up a sword that a hobo bought on the black market and accept the dragon as a worthy opponent (proceed to step 18)
Run for your life and return to your room. (proceed to step 1)

15.) You have 10 billion dollars. Good for you, but money can’t buy you love. This is the end of your journey. Hope you enjoyed the footsteps of fate.

16.) I forgot step 16… Opps!

17.) You find end it off with them. As you leave them, you find someone better… someone perfect for you. You…
Take a chance on them (proceed to step 13)
Are too distraught after a brutal breakup and can’t but your heart on the line. (proceed to step 8)

18. The dragon is a fierce competitor. The battle abides throughout the day. You tire and but take on last swing at the dragon. It was more than he could take. The dragon falls at your feet. In your state of immesureable exhaustion, you…
Fall asleep. (proceed to step 2)
Brew a strong cup of coffee and venture on to see what is at the end of the rainbow. (proceed to step 4)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Haven't Never Not Learned Nothing About Nothing From Nobody, Never.

“You learn something new every day.” I’ve heard this too many times, and every time I hear it I get upset. It’s so obvious. Of course you learn something everyday.

Yesterday, I only had one class (COMM 114, we just listened to speeches). I thought that this would be a good chance to attempt to disprove this over-used phrase. I started my day by going to class and listened to speeches, but not paying too much attention- I don’t want to accidently learn something. I came home after class equally as brain dead as when I left to class. So far so good.

I spent the rest of the day doing nothing. I am now regretting how much homework I have to do today. Regardless, I managed to go the rest of the day without thinking about a thing. Using advanced deductive reasoning, you can conclude that I didn’t learn anything since I didn’t think about anything.

I went to bed reflecting upon the day. What a good day; I did nothing! Learned nothing! But a distressful realization reached me in my meditative state:

“I learned that you don’t learn something everyday.” At first it was just a thought, then I realized that I had learned something afterall.

Was my day a waste? I mean, I spent all day trying to prove that you can learn nothing. There was a lot I could have done that required learning; homework, movies, reading, etc.. I guess it wasn’t a waste because I learned something. I learned that you do learn something everyday.

In an attempt to justify myself wasting the day away, I meditated on the saying in question:

“You learn something new each day. Yesterday I learned that this isn’t true”

This is a bold statement. This says that I learned something (that that phrase isn’t true). “You learn something each day.” You learn something. Not me. This statement might still be true. It just depends on who you’re talking to. If you say this statement to someone in a coma, you’re lying. If you say this to a doctor, you’re telling the truth. At least I hope so.

There are so many meaningless sayings out there.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single
step. – Confucius

That’s very specific… why not say “ a really long journey” instead of “A journey of a thousand miles?” What do all of the journeys of differing lengths start with. And if I were to travel a thousand miles by foot, It would not be the first step that I would worry about. I would be more concerned about the billion of steps that followed.

“Early bird gets the worm.”

First off, I'm not a bird... not applicable to me! And, that’s what the early bird gets, what about the late risers? They saying implies that if you are the opposite of the early bird, you get the opposite of a worm to eat. Like a steak dinner? Pizza? Ice cream? All of which are better than a worm. Moral: “Early to bed early to rise, makes a man eat worms.”

I feel like this is all I have to learn from inspirational proverbs today. I wonder what I will learn tomorrow. Surely I learn something…just like everyday.