You be the Judge

People always say that you shouldn’t judge others but I disagree. The term “judge” in that phrase always comes with such a negative connotation and I don’t totally understand why. When people say you shouldn’t judge others, they generally mean that you shouldn’t assume people are assholes or stupid because of something they did. But what about the opposite? If someone makes a really smart or noble move are we not supposed to think of them that way? Are we supposed to assume that it was a fluke or they were doing it out of character just to look good?

Most of the time if someone saves a kitten from a tree they’re seen as a good person. Why can we judge that act but not acts that reflect poorly on people? I don’t think you can or should have it both ways. If I see a guy save a cat, I’m going to judge him and assume he’s a good guy. If I see a girl help an old man/woman across the street, I’ll judge her and assume she’s a good girl. That’s reasonable right? Now, if I notice a guy tips $2 on a $50 meal, I’m going to judge him and assume he’s a dick. If I a see a girl slutting it up one weekend even though she has a boyfriend, I’m going to judge her and assume she’s a skank. That’s reasonable right?

Obviously these judgments can change. Everyone makes mistakes which is probably why they say we shouldn’t judge others in the first place. You may see an out-of-character action take place and judge but when you get to know them you feel the opposite way. This can work both ways. However, if the majority of your actions are in one way or the other, the majority of people who see you will judge you correctly which you can’t really be upset about.

Two Things

I’m watching Garden State at the moment. My dad sat down next to me in the middle of the movie and started telling me about quiche. For ~ a minute he explained the process of buying it, heating it up, and eating it while I attempted to watch the movie. I don’t care about quiche and I probably won’t eat any of it. If I was just sitting here doing literally nothing I wouldn’t mind talking about quiche, but I’m trying to watch this movie and I don’t want to try and focus on what he’s talking about. At the same time though I don’t want to be a dick so I glance over occasionally and make a small comment here and there to make it seem like I’m listening. However, I’m not listening. This is a recurring thing. I’m all for talking to my parents but this gets on my nerves a lot.

With that said, I’m going to make a somewhat contradictory statement. Electronic communication should never take priority over face to face communication. What I mean by this is that if I’m talking to someone in person and I get a text message, I’m going to wait to read the text. Nothing makes you feel like no one is listening to you more than when someone is texting and nodding to what you are saying at the same time. I understand the counter-argument of “but the person you’re actually talking to know that you received a text/call so you can respond/answer it whereas it’s rude if you don’t answer a text or a phone call because they don’t know” but I just disagree with it.

2012: A Year in Review

I’m stealing this format from my friend and fellow blogger Felix Etrain. Here’s a small summary of my 2012.

This was a disaster of a month. January 6th marked the start of a full 6 months off from running. That was cool. The rest of the month was spent getting being inactive and eating. This was the birth of Fat Sam. I also managed to lose iPod my fourth iPod. The biggest positive of the month was my trip to Penn State to visit Alex and company.

This brought really only two things. The Super Bowl and indoor conferences. It was a good Super Bowl and I’m generally rooting for Tom Brady but I don’t mind seeing Eli succeed just because people give him so much shit. Conferences had positives and negatives. Jatin scored a point in the mile which was incredible. I won’t specifically references the bad thing but it included the theft of something. I won’t even get into why it was bad or wrong but regardless, it was.

The highlight of this month was Laura and Brookes getting engaged. With less than 5 months to the wedding I’m slowly but surely getting excited for it. I also attempted the first and only gainer of my entire life this month. It ended in failure. Finally, this month was when I first opened my Twitter account. Since then I’ve tweeted 554 times with current stats of 103 following and 109 followers.

The biggest event in April was without a doubt failing my photography class. I generally don’t cheat on things ever and consider myself a relatively straight shooter. This was one of the times I strayed away from that and it bit me in the ass. As Jeff Centafont pointed out, I probably learned more from failing that class than I actually would have in the class. Another April highlight was the Tri-Sig formal. Mark and I went with Tetla and had a blast until I got kicked out for being too drunk and not being 21. I took the bus ride home alone that night and don’t remember much else.

This month really only brought the end of my Junior year and the beginning of my summer internship. My Junior year was a moderate success. Running was good for XC but terrible for track and school was good for everything besides photography. My internship was as exciting as I would have expected, although me having a cube to myself for the last half was a pleasant surprise.

This month had three events. The first was my mono/rash (with pictures for those who don’t remember). This speaks for itself. Second was the least eventful Avalon trip in history. I spent the entire week sick with no friends and playing Diablo. However it did conclude with hilarity as JC spilled his red drink all over the nice carpet the day before we left. The final event was the return of running. 23 miles for that month.

This was a very uneventful month for me personally. There was the shooting in Aurora. Joe Paterno and Penn State were all over the news. And I visited Mark once with Wacker. I blogged about the things taking place and my opinions of them but I’m not going to talk about them again.

 The Olympics were in August and that was great to watch. Americans surprised which was awesome and inspiring. Shortly after UCXC camp started and I slowly returned to running normally. Unfortunately, it was also in August that Jatin announced he was leaving Ursinus. That was really sad. The final August event, or lack there of, was my 21st birthday. It was as uneventful as it gets but at least I’m a grown ass man now.

Becoming friends with the freshman was huge. It’s nice to say that a few of my very close friends at school are freshman. The other event of September was the XC case race. Me accompanied by four girls crushed the competition which consisted strongly of the shit-talking last place GAPINSKINATION as well as the humble second place competitors of Wacker, Slade, and company. Everyone wrote us off as last place so it was nice to give a big middle finger to everyone else. Also, Wacker lost the 10 in a row races bet and had to buzz his head. And of course not to be forgotten, I PLATINUMED INFERNO 3.

Hurricane Sandy stole the headlines in October. Ursinus was evacuated and seven of us fled to the Stortz house for safety. That weekend was memorable to say the least. October also brought conferences where Felix out-kicked me but I fortunately out-kicked Wacker as a nice 21st birthday present to him. Also, Midget passed this month which was very sad. She was a trooper through and through. Other than that October was a rather tame month.

No-shave was lack-luster as my mustache looked retarded. Thanksgiving was a success but that was to be expected. The biggest thing was likely the last XC race of my life. Regionals at Dickinson. It was an average race but the overarching theme of “I’m a senior and things are coming to an end” started to kick in. I’ve met that theme with mixed emotions.

Finally December. The month is not over but it can still be summed up. Academically I set a PR in terms of GPA which is certainly a positive. Running-wise however things started good but ended bad. My first two meets were moderately successful and gave me confidence going into break. However, after an innocent tempo run things spiraled out of control and I’ve been forced to take time off. Christmas was great however as described in the previous post. I don’t know what my plans are for New Year’s but I’m hoping for a good time.


Christmas Day; A Good One

Christmas is more or less over. It’s funny how this holiday develops. When you have little kids a lot more work goes into it. You have to sneak by the kids and plant the presents without being caught. This probably sounds easier than it is. As you grow older and everyone realizes Santa isn’t real you can just give presents the next morning, the stress simply becomes buying presents for everyone.

The Stortz family has adopted a few traditions over the years that are rather un-christian. First, we don’t get a Christmas tree anymore. This is no problem by me, what’s the point? That tree is going to rot in the family room and serve no purpose for three weeks. Who gives a shit? The other tradition we have adopted is doing polyanna where you just buy one person really nice gifts and don’t give a qua about everyone else. This has worked out well and not so well in the past. This year however it worked out well.]

I had Jeff for my Polyanna and in the Stortz family there appears to be four very avid beer drinkers (alcoholics) along with one other heavy drinker (alcoholic). For example, if I had to buy presents for Tom, Jeff, and Brookes, I would probably buy each of them a nice case a of beer and this would workout well because of three of them would appreciate the gift. By doing a Polyanna we eliminate the need to buy repetitive gifts.

This year I had Jeff. By default I bought him a relatively nice case of beer. But when you have just one person to buy gifts for you have to get a bit more personal than that. Jeff invited me to a Badfish concert months ago and I committed without second thought. Five days before the concert I had to cancel because I realized that the concert was the same day I planned to go to Ohio State. Therefore, I got him concert tickets to make up for the concert I did not go to. This would have been great had I bought the proper tickets. I decided to wait until today to make sure he could go before I bought them. When he confirmed I bought the wrong freakin’ tickets. I bought tickets for a day later in Virginia as opposed to the TLA in Philly. Anyway, hopefully ticket master is not a bunch of Jews (they took off for Christmas so I’m thinking they’re not) and they’ll exchange my tickets. Regardless, oopsies.

Tom bought my gifts and he did a great job. He got me a flask that had a built in shot glass as well as some very nice beer. As Tom put it perfectly, it’s a gift from one alcoholic from another. The only time I used a flask was when I got kicked out of the Tri Sig formal but that’s neither here nor there. The shot glass should be extremely useful because all of my shot glasses break at school since they’re glass. I’m trying to expand myself as a beer drinking which I’m doing alright at given my young age of 21 but this beer is probably a step above almost anything I’ve ever had which should be nice.

The whole day was spent with immediate family with a guest appearance from the Schmidt’s which is always a joy. It’s rare that you have all of the Stortz’s gathered together and it was certainly a pleasure. Last night Tom, Brookes, Jeff, and I stayed up late playing Yahtzee. Jeff eventually went to bed and Tom, Brookes, and I stayed up playing Gin Rummy and watching Youtube videos until 2:30 in the morning. This was an absolute blast. Brookes was certainly a part of the family before last night but the past 24 hours have surely solidified it. It was something that I couldn’t find at school or any bar around. It was great spending time with my family.

I also managed a four mile run without any serious pain in my back. There will be an entirely separate post dedicated to recent running but I have absolutely no idea what to make of this. It’s like I’m in love with someone and they keep telling me there’s a chance and then they keep shooting me down. I’m in love right now but who the hell knows what will happen in a week. I’m just glad that I’m able to run at all.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did. And to my Jewish friends, L’Chiam.


The Adventure is Over

After waking up in the church yesterday morning (Jensen’s birthday) with all of our limbs we decided to GTFO ASAP. We were on the road by 9:00 and made it to Columbus by ~12:00. The Ohio State Kansas game started at 4 but we were all exhausted so we napped until 2. I drank a few beers before we departed for the game but nothing major, just a slight buzz. The game itself was really cool actually. We had absolutely terrible seats the atmosphere for a college basketball game involving two top 10 teams was just awesome. Unfortunately it ended up not being close for the last 5 minutes but I’m sure the place would have been going crazy otherwise.

We ordered pizza and headed back to Jensen’s house to eat and pregame. We had about 15-20 beers left between the three of us and after a few games of Fifa (in which I lost every time) we headed off to Jonny’s house, Jonny and Jensen are two different people for the record. There were maybe 10 or 15 people there, most of which I didn’t know but I think I fit in pretty well. We continued drinking and around 10:30 or so we headed to the Garage Bar to watch midgets wrestle.
We walked into the bar and right off the bat a midget was on this little stage with a pitcher of yellow liquid claiming it was piss. He was about to drink it but wanted to verify that it was piss. Since I’m experienced in this area I volunteered to go up and smell the pitcher to make sure it was piss. It was piss. He drank it. Shortly after a girl we showed up with volunteered to make out with that very same midget for 3 seconds in front of everyone. It was weird.

Midget wrestling started and it was just a mini-version of WWE. It was entertaining to watch for sure but extremely weird and disturbing at the same time. Throughout the whole time I thought I was hitting it off with one girl that we showed up with. Before we left that bar Jensen and I got pictures with the winning midget. After that we headed to a different bar which seemed a little classier. There was a small dance stage in which  Jensen, the one girl, and I frequently visited but it never really got going. Gourlay and Jensen managed to get in a fight which resulted in Gourlay leaving the bar. Shortly after Jensen and I decided we would head back too but the people we were with really wanted us to come to another bar. We pulled a juke move and snuck off to a cab but the plan didn’t work exactly. One girl we were with followed us and neither of us really knew who she was.

Randomly we decided to go to her house but after only a few minutes we felt we had to leave. Unfortunately we didn’t know where we were. We tried to get a cab but some black guy and his white girlfriend pulled up in an SUV and asked us if we needed a ride. It was 2 in the morning, we were kind of lost, and figured what’s the worst that could happen? We hopped in and offered $10 for the ride. They didn’t rape or kill us. They dropped us off and Jensen’s street and thankfully we were back home.

We woke up today around 9:00 and hit the road at about 11. We stopped to eat at a very critically acclaimed diner where I ordered the eggs benedict. It was incredible. We were off after that. Around 2:30 we started playing the name game and the game continued for 5 straight hours. It killed time way quicker than normal. We stopped at another diner around 6:00 in Redding for dinner and made it home at about 7:30. The past 48 hours were extremely memorable. Friday and Saturday night were polar opposites but equally crazy in their own way. It is now Sunday night now and I just need a night or two off from everything. The adventure is over but once again, we made it out alive.

I look like a goober in this picture.

We’re Alive

Today was easily the weirdest and potentially most scary day of my life. I’m writing this before the story has concluded so I may have even more to write after this weekend but as of right now it’s absolutely necessary I write this blog due to the raw feelings/emotions that Jensen, Gourlay, and I are feeling right now.

It all started this morning. The three of us were headed off to Ohio State to celebrate Jensen’s birthday and go to the Ohio State/Kansas basketball game. It’s a ~7 hour drive and we left around 10. I drove for the first two hours and we were making incredible time. We stopped at a rest stop and Gourlay took over. At this point it started to snow a little bit but we weren’t too worried. As the ride went on our average speed was decreasing steadily and slowly the snow got worse. About 5 hours in there must have been an accident way up ahead that had traffic backed up for miles. We sat in bumper to bumper traffic for 20 or 30 minutes before deciding to be heroes.

We took Exit 1, right before the state line of PA and West Virginia and planned to rejoin route 70 way ahead of the traffic, we had our GPS’s and knew exactly where we were going. We make our way through West Alexander PA which has a total population of ~350 right as disaster strikes. The roads are snowy and the car we’re in is not the best in the snow. The route we were taking led us down a relatively steep hill. Gourlay proceeded slowly before losing control and heading to clash sides with a parked truck. Miraculously, the car stops right before we hit the truck, thank God. Fortunately there were two volunteer fire fighting kids right there who we yelled for to help us out. We all got on one side and pushed the car sideways as Gourlay slowly let off the break in order to avoid the truck. Then things got crazy.

We avoid the truck but the hill continued on and there was absolutely no stopping the car. All we can do was push the car in whatever direction possible to avoid contact. Gourlay has no control over what way the car is turning so shortly after the slide begins the car is turned completely sideways, meaning the front of the car is in one lane and the back of the car is in the other lane sliding down the way a car is not supposed to move. By some miracle we made it to the flat ground while waving all the cars back and avoiding any harmful obstacles. We get the car to a parking lot and are amazed that no damage was done.

Well, now what? We’re in this tiny town in southwestern PA 10 miles away from any hotel in a car that we can’t get up any hill because the roads are so bad. We start walking. There is a guy shoveling snow outside that we talk to asking for a church or a fire house or something we can stay in for a little bit until we figured everything out. He takes us to his house for a bit and tells us he may have a place for us to go. Some lady drives up and tells us to follow her, we’re heading to the church. She lets us in the basement nursery and we set up there for a bit. She then invites us to the pastor’s house for dinner and “God talk” at 7. We have no other options for food so we agreed.

Now, Jensen, Gourlay, and I are not the least bit religious so God talk promised to be interesting. We ate dinner with the Pastor and he seemed like a really cool guy. Gourlay manages to overflow the toilet with a piss so we were off to a fast start. People start showing up and God talk began. The three of us have adopted the nick names “the three wise men”. For three hours we listen to people talk about their lord and savior Jesus Christ. They didn’t necessarily pressure us to believe in God but they did. Jensen stupidly shares his story that he got in a car accident on the highway going 70 MPH and somehow walked away unscratched YESTERDAY. This is music to everyone’s ears. “You think that’s a coincidence?! You think you randomly bumped into Gary on the sidewalk the next day?! That God didn’t save you on purpose?! That, my brother, was an act of God. Wake up.” We were three lost souls sent from God to realize his existence and honor him in all his glory.

Whether or not God exists, there were an extremely large amount of coincidences that happened that all of the people at God talk would argue are absolutely not coincidences. I’m not going to explain all of them but it was a little bit ridiculous. The fact that this happened the day after Jensen should have died is a bit strange along with a bunch of other things. I can’t explain how nice these people were though. They took us in, gave us food, gave us a place to sleep as well as sleeping bags etc, so I don’t want to talk negatively about them at all. However…

They seemed a little bit (a lot) like a cult. I have no religious exposure at all so I don’t know if all religions are like this but it was truly insane. It’s like everyone was brainwashed. Everyone was saying the same thing type of thing. None of us openly said we don’t believe in God but none of us opened up to our lord and savior Jesus Christ. I wanted to ask them about evolution or other religions but I was convinced it would only lead to our death. For the record, I’m pretty sure none of them believe in evolution.

God talk ended and we all ate some food and casually talked. We decided we were going to take off and they prayed us off. The three of us walked away in shock. I wasn’t sure if Jensen and Gourlay were converted or not but I was more scared than anything. They shared my feelings. We’ve been talking for the past hour about how frightened the whole experience was and how we hope no one comes to murder us in this church basement nursery. It was so incredible similar to a Texas Chainsaw Massacre type deal that we were just freaked out. They invited us for breakfast tomorrow which we kind of have to accept because we need to return the bedding anyway. If we make it out of tonight alive it will be a blessing…

*It’s tomorrow, we’ve made it to Ohio State 26 hours after we departed. We’re alive and exhausted.


Short & Sweet

I wrote a post about Epic Songs a while back which was all songs over 8 minutes that I really liked. This is the opposite and more bearable I think. These are all songs under 3:00 (2:40 to be exact) that I thought were worth giving a listen. It was actually really difficult to do this because there were a lot that I thought were good. The Beatles alone had like 10. Anyway, here goes.

Neutral Milk Hotel – King of Carrot Flowers pt. 1 (2:01)

This is the song that inspired the post. I have to give Brookes credit for this one. It was on a CD he made along with a number of other goodies but this one always stuck out to me. The initial guitar draws me and keeps me listening. The guy’s voice is unique and he seems to talk about some fucked up family that his significant other has but he loves her anyway? I don’t understand what the king of carrot flowers is though.

Guster – So Long (2:37)

I’ve always liked this guy’s voice and I think this song highlights it pretty well. They add one instrument at a time it seems and make what looks to be a soft song a little more powerful than you would expect. He’s also pretty much saying fuck you to whoever the song is about which is always nice.

The Beatles – For no one (2:02)

There were so many great Beatles songs that were really short but I didn’t want to pick an easy one like Eleanor Rigby or Blackbird. This is actually my most played Beatles song and I just really like it for whatever reason. It’s really short and really simple and a little bit depressing. Paul is talking about broken love and I don’t know why I like this depressing song so much but I kind of do.

Buddy Holly – Everyday (2:09)

I know this song mostly from Stand By Me. I know very little about Buddy Holly but he was supposed to be the next huge thing until he died in a plane crash. This song is about as sweet as it gets in terms of lyrics and sound. He’s seems to be confessing his love and I imagine every girl in 1957 would have their panties off to this song. I don’t think the song is amazing but it’s interesting to look back to the 1950’s and see what people thought was good. I mean look at the picture, this guy?!

Foo Fighters – Big Me (2:14)

Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters step away from their traditional hard rock and settle down into this nice little piece. I don’t really know what the song is about, he’s constantly saying “I talked about it” in one way or another but in the end, it’s you he fell into which sounds nice. The video is also hilarious in my opinioin. Footos?

Slightly Stoopid – Closer to the Sun (2:26)

I don’t know why the video is 3:43 but the song only lasts ~2:30. The same quality guitar plays throughout the whole song which is pleasant to listen to. The guy is talking about companionship and a beautiful girl. It’s a basic song structure that gets the job done in my opinion. Also, the guitar solo that he does in the beginning and the end sounds really good, he’s a beast.

Worst Hangovers

I was incapacitated until now due to the second worst hangover of my life. Because of that, I’m going to blog about my three worst hangovers (because only three really stick out).

3. It was a random night at Ursinus that I’m sure I blogged about but simply cannot find the entry. I know Jonny and Gourlay came to visit but I don’t know what we drank or what we did. My head didn’t bother me too much I remember but if I rolled over while sleeping I would have to get up and puke. This happened three times and what’s worse is that I went to lower and ate a shitload of popcorn the night before. Because of this, my mouth was coated in the little kernel’s shells or whatever and that whole morning was miserable.

2. Last night Jared and I went to Jamie Morris’ house to hang out. When I hang out with people that I don’t know all that well I feel obligated to get drunker quicker to ease the social interactions. I got the job done but I am paying the price. I woke up at 8:00 today which was out of my control. I immediately chugged two bottles of water and laid down on the coach with Happy Gilmore on. My head was absolutely killing me. I dozed in and out during the movie until I puked my brains out around 10:00. After that I took a couple sips of power-aid, laid down for an hour, and then puked my brains out again. After that I planned on laying on the couch under the blanket for the rest of the day but Trooper beat me to the punch. I laid curled up in a ball next to him for a bit until I decided to get my own blanket. I laid on the couch next to Trooper for two hours. Jared is coming over in a bit and this hangover is almost gone but this morning was a battle and I was a complete waste of space.

1. This one is similar to the previous scenario, Sophomore year I went to Katie’s friends house to drink and didn’t know the people that well. I didn’t even get that drunk there but something different must have happened. I had a combo of shots and beer and was really drunk but not even blacked out. I slept at her house so the next morning I was reluctant to make a scene about my hangover. However, it hit a point where that just didn’t matter. I got up and immediately diarrhea’d. Afterward I paced around the house for a bit because I couldn’t lay down. I diarrhea’d again and shortly after that I started puking in the toilet. I still couldn’t lay down so I walked around a bit before diarrhea’ing one final time. I eventually was able to lay down but the hangover ensued late into the day. The drive home was miserable and had accident written all over it. I made it to my home alive but that was without a doubt the worst hangover of my life.

Please share some bad hangover stories if you have them.

Better than nothing

Winter break is starting off exactly how I would have expected. I’ve been awake for 6 hours and I’ve watched two movies.  I play a lot of guitar and play with the cats as well. I don’t have a car so I can’t leave the house during the day either. I needed a few days completely off after my recent drinking binge to recover so I have no problem with my current daily agenda. This is one reason that I have not updated lately. The other reason is that my competitive running career is likely over but there will be more on that later. There’s not too much else to say and my creative juices are at an all-time low right now. Believe it or not though I’m not too upset about it. I figure this tiny update was better than nothing. I’ll try to have some good for tomorrow where I’ll have all day once again to think of something.

Newtown Shootings

It’s hard for me to understand what happened with the shootings on Friday. I mean, I know what happened but to understand it seems impossible. I’ve had points in my life where I was pretty upset or things seemed pretty bad (even though they weren’t, but obviously in these cases it’s about what the shooter thinks in his head not reality) and doing something like this is just unfathomable. You could guarantee me a trip to heaven and I still don’t think I could look an adult in the eyes, let alone 20 children , and shoot them. I just wonder how someone gets to the point where they actually decide they’re going to go through with it. You brain has to be wired significantly to rationalize doing something like that.

So how can you stop something like this? Can you stop something like this? I don’t really know. Everyone is pointing to gun controls as the primary problem but I don’t know. I mean, it would obviously help but even with stricter gun controls I have the feeling that if someone wants to get a gun or an assault rifle they’ll be able to do it. People also point to mental health care and how that’s not doing enough. I really can’t speak on that subject because I have absolutely no knowledge of it but I assume if people are crazy and we don’t help them, well that’s a problem.

The other thing, and I assume a lot of you have already read Morgan Freeman’s response, but the glorifying of the shooters seems to be a problem. When someone decides to take their own life that should be the end of it. But when they see the opportunity to become someone and get their 15 minutes, even if it’s someone terrible, they probably figure “Why not? I don’t care if 20 kids die, I won’t be here anymore anyway.” At this point they probably hate the world, why not go ahead and piss everyone in the world off if you hate them, right? Hopefully most people say wrong but the fucked up ones don’t.

I feel terrible for the families of everyone involved and the whole situation is really shitty. There’s not much to say other than that.