Christmas at the Stortz’s

It’s Christmas night and I must say the day was a success. Yesterday was a pretty lazy day as I watched football for a while. I had already done my shopping so there was nothing left to do except lounge around waiting for Christmas day (I suppose i could have gotten a Christmas tree for the family but whatever, what’s the tree got to do with it anyway?). Unfortunately the Eagles are no longer in playoff contention but it was fun while it lasted. Tom came over last night with the first season of Breaking Bad so him, my mom, and I watched that for a while. Afterward Tom and I played a good amount of ping-pong which is much more exciting than my normal nights.

I woke up at 10:00 this morning but the festivities didn’t begin until later. Chris and Bill Schmidt came over and I was quick to mention that I’m going to win Bill’s fantasy football league despite the fact that this is my first year in the league. Laura and Brookes showed up at 12:00ish which meant everyone was now present (excluding Jeff) and we could start the gift exchanging. I had Laura for the Pollyanna and I thought I did a pretty good job of getting her gifts. I like the idea of focusing on one person for the holidays because instead of getting everyone a relatively shitty gift, you just get one person a good gift that they will really appreciate. My aunt and uncle came over a little later as well and it was nice to see them too.

Did we have a Christmas tree? No. Did we put up Christmas lights? No. Did we watch A Christmas Story or listen to Christmas music? No. It doesn’t matter though because Christmas isn’t about the cosmetics. If putting up lights and having a tree helps you get into the Christmas spirit then so be it, but us Stortz’s don’t need anything to get us in the Christmas spirit. Just being together for one full day out of the year is good enough for us.

A Night on the Town

Tonight Gourlay, Jensen, and Jensen’s day Kelly went out to dinner for Jensen’s 21st. It wasn’t actually his 21st, he turned 21 a few days ago so this was a belated celebration. Anyway, we went to a Brazilian place in Philly called Fogo de Chao. You pretty much pay for unlimited food no matter what. You have a card with a red side and a green side. If it’s red everyone ignores you and if it’s green waiters are there in a heartbeat offering you different kinds of steak, chicken, lamb, etc. The service is absolutely incredible. There’s a constant flow of food, drinks are being refilled right away, and you’re never sitting there waiting for you food because it’s already made before you even walk in.

I was fortunate enough to order a few beers without being carded which was very nice. The only problem with the place is that you just eat until you’re full beyond comfort. By the time you’re done, the waiters are still walking around with pounds and pounds of meat that would normally look really appetizing but by the end it just makes you sick. Anyway, the meal was awesome and we all had a great time. Kelly was a beast of a runner back in his day so him and I talked about running a good deal. After that we moved onto stupid college drinking stories and Jensen had a good number of those. While the whole experience was a little chaotic it was a really good time and the food was delicious.

Afterward we cruised around Philly for a bit and tried to get into a couple of bars. The only problem is that I was the only non-21 so I kind of held back the whole crew. The first bar I pretty much darted in and tried to avoid the lady asking for IDs but she ran me down, cyalater. The next place I didn’t even bother trying to get in because there were two giant dudes at the door. Still, we walked around and semi-experienced Philly night life which was entertaining. After 4 or 5 hours we made our way home and the night was a success. I had a really good time and eating a meal with Jensen’s dad wasn’t awkward or strange at all. I feel like before it’s sort of the kids and the parent but this time it was like we were all on the same level. I could have a conversation about running or drinking with his dad as an adult and not feel strange that this guy is more than twice my age. He’s been in our spot before and if anything he’s envious of us.

I just had a really good time and it was a very nice change of pace from the normal days around here. Although I still managed to watch Pulp Fiction and The Cable Guy today which were both fantastic, the latter edging out the former by a slim margin.

SMH

Internet lingo is a pretty frequent occurrence in everyday life. The younger generations have taken to them with a lot of passion and the older generations just don’t understand what’s being said. The likes of “lol” and “wtf” are expressions that any English speaker under the age of 30 will know. While some have passed along the way (at least I haven’t seen them in ages) with the death of AIM such as “brb” and “g2g/gtg”, they probably won’t soon be forgotten. While I think some of these are practical, there’s one in particular that has been popping up a lot lately.

SMH. I didn’t know what this was at first. I would read it and then not really pay attention to it. As it grew more popular though, I took the time to figure out what it was. SMH or SMDH means shakin’ my (damn) head. It’ll be used with something like “omg Joepa got fired… smh.” It pretty much just expresses a feeling of disbelief or disappointment. I can’t stand this one. I’m not necessarily going to stereotype, but the large majority of users are black and the one white girl that ALWAYS uses it is dating a black guy. I don’t really know why exactly it pisses me off so much when people use this. For whatever reason I get this feeling that the people saying it think they’re better than everyone or superior or something. It’s like they’re looking at everyone else not involved in whatever situation saying “Hey, how wrong is this guy?” Like they’re so upset and they could do it so much better but they’re not actually going to do anything.

 

 

Documentary Analysis

I did some Christmas shopping last night. This was a good way to kill some time and get out of the house. However, by 9 o’clock I was by myself in my dining room trolling the forums like always. Then I decided to watch a documentary called Earthlings. Mark told me about it a while ago but I never watched it. Then the school offered anyone $5 to watch the whole thing. Again I didn’t watch it. I sort of planned on watching it but never got around to it. Last night I figured was a better time than ever. After that I decided to watch another documentary. This one was a 45 minute called Inside North Korea. I’ll talk about each one.

Earthlings was the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. While I didn’t sit down and watch the whole thing through, I pretty much skipped through the whole thing in 30 second intervals. I turned a one and half hour documentary into about a 40 minute documentary but I saw the worst of the worst and got the general gist. It’s about the human race and how we pretty much just pwn any and every animal. We breed animals and abuse the shit out of them for our personal gain. Generally I’ve taken the stance of science and preached survival of the fittest but the video is pretty compelling. I’ve never considered being a vegetarian but this obviously got me thinking. The enormous amount of animals, the horrible conditions, and the slow and painful deaths. It was just a horrifying video that makes you want to cry. I don’t know how to go about fixing the problem because there are 7 billion humans on the planet and a large majority of them rely on the mass production of food through these businesses but seriously, it’s brutal.

In all honesty, the main question that came to mind was, how can any human being actually walk up and slit the throat of a cow or a pig or a dolphin or whatever like that over and over again and have no moral qualms? In one instance it actually seemed like the guy was taking the anger of his real life and putting upon these innocent defenseless animals. It was just a really tough thing to sit through and watch. I recommend you watching it because it is pretty informational but if you do be prepared.

The second documentary was about North Korea. This eye doctor from another country goes into NK to perform 1000+ surgeries on people with cataracts to help them see again. A film crew goes along with him to document his success/failure but they’re really going to see what it’s like inside of NK. Not much is known about the place except for the fact that their recently deceased leader Kim Jung Il ruled absolutely everything and they’ve isolated themselves from the rest of the world. This documentary was made prior to his death. It was honestly amazing how one man could have that much power and praise. If I had to make a comparison, it would be like the most religious person you’ve ever met who always says Jesus this or god that, except replace Jesus and god with a real person named Kim Jung Il. His picture is everywhere, on city streets, in every house, he is at the forefront of every action that anyone makes.

After the doctor performed all of his surgeries, they took the bandages off the patients and filmed their reactions. Not a single person thanked the doctor. Instead, every single one walked up to a picture of Kim Jung Il and said essentially the same thing, “Thank you so much Leader. You have granted me the gift of vision and now I will work even harder to honor you. You are the best thing ever and I’m so lucky to be part of your country.” It’s incredible. It’s like the entire country of 32ish million is completely brainwashed. When the reporter asked “What would happen if the Master did something wrong?”, the Koreans literally couldn’t understand the question. Anything Kim Jung did was correct and it would never occur to anyone to actually question his actions. For any good thing that happened, they thanked him, and for any bad thing, they knew it was part of his plan. Basically he was a god but instead of being fictitious and having the people rely on faith, he was a tangible figure that the people could see and love knowing that he was real. It’s scary to think that one man could control people the way he could.

In my opinion, it’s actually a bad thing that he died. While he was an absolute dictator and had way too much power, he was a source of stability in a potentially dangerous country. The guy has had power for years but hasn’t really done anything too terrible, now we’re transferring power to a new person, his son, and who knows what he is capable of. A stable country could all of a sudden grow out of control and we’ll wish Kim Jung was still in power. I don’t think that will happen but it is a possibility.

Anyway, that’s my what my Wednesday night consisted of. I think watching documentaries, while not cool, is at least better than watching TV shows or movies. I’m learning something right?

Excuse me?

There’s a combination of drunkenness and tiredness that results in something very strange. I along with others I know have experienced this numerous times. Pretty much, when you’re half asleep and really drunk you say things that make absolutely no sense. The problem with this is that you don’t really experience it with you same-sex friends because if you’re really tired, you just go to your room and pass out so it can really only happen with boyfriends/girlfriends. However, a few nights ago I was watching the Sixers game with my father and this happened. As he would point, he was in a fierce battle with fatigue. He was dozing off which is normal but he was putting up a fight. Eventually it got to the point where every couple of minutes he would wake up and ask what the score was and then go back to bed.

At one point however he didn’t ask what the score was, instead he sort of mumbled “Man, it’s a shame about Barkley.” I looked at him and his eyes were pretty much closed. I responded with “What?” His eyes shot open, he looked right at me, and responded with “What?” I was laughing pretty hard at this point. He then asked “What did I say? Barkley?” I told him what he said and we talked for a minute about what he could have possibly been thinking, we came up empty. This situation was just hilarious to me. I’ve had this happen to me countless times and you pretty much have to throw in the towel and acknowledge that you’re too drunk and too tired.

Some other examples of this are “Man, she just looks so sad” and “Everyone knows you have a number, ya know?” These are not taken out of context or anything. Whenever I hit this point it’s impossible to tell what’s real and what’s in my head. I’m probably thinking about something specific in my head but I’m too drunk and tired to realize that it’s just in my head. Then out of nowhere my brain gets confused and verbally fires out an internal thought that has nothing to do with anything. Because I’m talking I kind of wake up and then when someone responds I really wake up and try to make sense of what just happened but it’s useless. You get laughed at and it’s time to cut your losses and go to bed. The more you try to stay awake, the dumber you will sound. This is yet another embarrassing yet hilarious side-effect of alcohol.

The Positive and the Negative

I went into work today for the first time in a while and I must say, it was probably my best day ever at Stortz Tools. I woke up at 6:45 and my dad and I were out the door by 7. We met Tom at some place for breakfast at 8. The food was good but it was a short meal and we were at work by 8:30. My day pretty much consisted of counting inventory, blasting a few ice choppers, and learning the ropes of the place in a business aspect. It was a really enjoyable day and the time absolutely flew by. On the ride home my dad was reading his favorite author, Joel Osteen. My impression of the guy is that he’s a religious psycho and probably doesn’t have much to offer other than “become one with jesus and everything will be okay.”

I was actually proved wrong today. While the guy is a religious psycho, my dad read off some interesting points. One thing my Joel asked (via my father) was “What do people respond more to, praise or criticism?” I thought about it for a sec and said “Praise, people get defensive if you tell them they’re doing a bad job.” Joel agreed and then posed the other question, “If people respond to praise more so than criticism why are people so critical all the time?” It’s a pretty good question. My answer was pretty much that everyone likes to hear how good they’re doing but likes to tell everyone else how bad they’re doing, essentially making yourself look better. Everyone likes to be told they are doing something well but you never go home and tell your wife what a great job your boss is doing. If he’s doing great you don’t say anything, but if he’s doing poorly, you’ll come home and tell your wife how stupid the guy is and how you should be in his position making the big bucks.

To take this a step further, he applies it to personal relationships/friendships. Instead of being critical and focusing on the negative aspects of the people you are with, try to focus on the positive. Seeing the good things in other people instead of the bad will pretty much make life seem much more enjoyable. This is a good point. There are some people I know that are just never as happy as other people. They’re pessimistic about everything and no matter what, they look for the bad in every situation. I can’t stand these people because they drag everyone else down with them. Others however, only look for the good and it seems as though nothing gets them down. These people bring everyone else around them up (sometimes, other times people get pissed off because they’re so happy all the time even when they have no reason to be).

I think this applies to romantic relationships a lot. When you’re with someone you are seeking the good. You realize good things about them that most people don’t and that’s what makes you like them so much. This can even end poorly because some people become so attached that even when the relationship is in shambles and they need to get out, they focus on the positive even though there’s not much there. However, when you’re no longer with that person you begin to only focus on the bad because you see them in a negative light (not all the time but sometimes). Because you’re only focusing on the bad you’ll say something like “I can’t believe I ever liked that person” when really not that much has changed except the fact that you’re not together anymore and the way you view this person. I don’t think many people change that much in the span of a say 1 year. When someone is telling you that they can’t imagine how they were ever with someone, they probably haven’t changed that much, they’re just looking for the negative in someone. I think this is probably what happens in marriage. In the beginning you’re so focused on the good but when you spend that much time together you begin to forget the good and see the bad.

Not that I was consciously searching for the positive or negative before (as far as I can tell) but when it’s presented like that it does put an interesting twist on any type of relationship or friendship. Perhaps I’ll start looking for the good in everyone and go to church every Sunday. Yeah, I’ll do that right when I get back from Wellness.

Elementary School Journal

Out of extreme boredom, I’ve decided to go back and read all of my things from elementary school. I’ll share any good things I find in the post. All the pieces are typed exactly as written, aka the spelling/grammar errors was tard Sam from elementary school not tard Sam in college.

Journal Entry: Untitled (5th grade)
“If I ruled afganastan I would pretend to be a citizen. First I would make all the men go to america unarmed and try to fight. Then I would all the women get into a train that leads of a cliff. For the kids I would make them get REALLY FAT and then they would have to work it off. They do this FOR EVER”

Journal Entry: The clueless little fat boy and the missing stuffed lamb (5th grade)
“As the clueless little fat boy woke up his mom was making pork chops for breakfast. His favorite. After he ate breakfast he went to school. It was a normal day at school. He got a 41% on his math test! (that is really good for him) he didn’t know any of the answers to any of the questions the teacher asked. He didn’t even know what the questions were. At art he drew on the table instead of a piece of paper. When he came home the light bulb burned out in his room. Some how he managed to buy one and put it in the socket. He sat on his bed a noticed his stuffed lamb was gone. AAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He went to his mom and asked her where he was. She didn’t know where it was. He looked all around. After 2 hours of searching he gave up and decided to look for him tomorrow. When he woke up he started looking around for his lamb. His mom decided to help. She couldn’t stand that annoying little runt any more. She found him in less than 30 seconds. It was in his pocket. He was so happy. His mom asked him if he had learned a lesson. He said nope for a situation like this there is no lesson. No lesson at all”

Ode to Brownies (3rd grade)
“Oh brownies! You look as yummy as melting milk chocolate. You feel as smushy as a gummy bear. You smell like rich delicious chocolate. You taste as good as an Easter Bunny. You sound as great as ice cream. You are like a vision of tastiness. You make me feel like I want to eat all day at a brownie buffet. You are so special because you are so delicious I’d rather eat you than a bunch of fishes. SamStortz”

For the Portfolio!
Name: Sam
Date: 1/19/98
Title of Piece: Science Report
I chose this piece because: my techer made me.
This piece’s strengths are: The Colering
In this piece I learned to: the Horn to’d gets water form its food
If I wanted to improve this piece, I would: by ahding more

Journal Entry: Song I made with my Friend (5th grade)
Monkey banana, really didn’t like watermelon, so they kicked him out the window and they hurt their foot and they went to Jamaica. They did the disco for over 30 years, then they hit him with a hammer and he blew to bits and then they ate a cracker.”

Living the Life

It’s amazing how unproductive someone can be when they just don’t have anything to do. I slept in till noon, watched Despicable Me, played guitar, hung out with Noops and Sneezy, did some back exercises, and went on a bike ride. This occupied all of my time. It’s actually nice to do this for a few days since I’ve been doing a lot (questionable) lately but I don’t know if I can keep this up all break. I was thinking about reading a book or something but I just can’t see that happening. I need to go Christmas shopping so that will occupy one day this week. I can’t run that much so that’s out the door and I don’t have a single video game that I can play. As long as I don’t have to worry about doing any work for school then I don’t mind doing nothing all day. I literally read the entire history of Vegeta along with some Goku, Frezia, and Buu from DBZ today for about an hour. Something to make me feel like I’m not a complete waste of life would be appreciated.

Tomorrow will be a day out of the ordinary. I’ll be going in to Stortz Tools for the first time in about 3 years. As a really little kid I loved going there, it was fun seeing all the machines and tools and not having to do work. As I got older I grew to dread going there because I did the bitch work every time I went there. Granted this is what I should have been doing, but it just wasn’t fun at all. When I think of Stortz Tools I think of waking up at 7, driving in, standing for 8 hours in the back room with an endless amount of tools in front of me, then driving home at 4 or 5 dead tired. Hypothetically, my future could be working there so I guess I should try to get used to it.

 

Missing Out

It seems like I miss out on a lot of things. Now I personally didn’t really acknowledge this fact but so many people have pointed this out to me in recent years that I think I should talk about it.

The most recent incident which actually inspired this post involved my Christmas traditions. My Christmas traditions involve buying my family some gifts and receiving mine, that’s pretty much it. Mark made a reference to Ebenezer Scrooge a few weeks ago and my response was “… who?” His response was something along the lines of “Oh my god you’re the biggest jew ever.” I can honestly say 20 years went by and I had never heard of Ebenezer Scrooge. I didn’t really think this was a big deal but when I texted eight people, four jews and four non jews, three of each knew who he was and one of each didn’t. I suppose I was in the minority. Apparently this ‘Scrooge’ character was in A Christmas Carol which is some famous movie written by some famous guy. Christmas movies have never been my thing but not know Scrooge was pretty much a sin

On the note of movies, there’s also plenty of other classics that I’ve never seen. Most notable was when I told everyone that I’d never seen the Wizard of Oz. Honestly, that movie was made like 70 years ago, how good could it possibly be. I know the gist, there’s a tin man, a lion, a scarecrow, and a drugged up girl who go on an adventure together. Disney movies in particular I seem to struggle with. Up until 12th grade I think I had only watched The Lion King, Free Willy, Fox and the Hound, and The Land Before Time. Senior year of high school Emily was so appalled that I had never seen other ones that she made me watch Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and a few others I think. Movies have never been a strong point of mine but I suppose it’s odd for a child not to have watched the usual ones.

Food seems to be another big one. I can count on one hand the number of times that I’ve had ketchup. I see absolutely no appeal to ketchup and I think it’s just disgusting. I can count on one finger the number of times that I’ve had mustard and the only reason I tried it was because Jeff Centafont said he would have a beer for the first time if I had mustard for the first time. There were/are tons of fruits that I’ve never had. One day last summer though I went with Mike to George’s house in Jersey and we had a fruit eating frenzy. I tried a pear, blue berries, nectarines, kiwi, and many others. Vandegrift even cursed at me in high school when I asked why this mystery fruit was so fuzzy (it was a peach). I had one pickle senior year of high school and hated it. I’m sure there are more but I’ll move on.

I can’t think of any big name books that I’ve read aside from a couple of classic books in high school such as Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, The Catcher in the Rye, To Kill and Mocking Bird, and The Great Gatsby. Even those books I didn’t really read, I just kind of know what happens because we talked about them so much in class. Big ones seem to be Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. I’ve never read a Harry Potter book or seen a Harry Potter movie. I never tried to get into them and I don’t think I ever will. I saw the first LOTR and the 2nd Star Wars with Samuel L. Jackson but none others and definitely didn’t read any of those books.

Just to show you that I’m not what some people call a “Scrooge”, I’ll make the song a nice little Christmas tune that I heard yesterday.

 

Long Weekend

The past few days have actually been pretty eventful. My last night as Ursinus was on Saturday. There was only a small number of people still on campus but we still managed to have fun. We drank for a while and nothing was really going on so Wacker and I decided to walk to the diner. Randomly we bumped into Gabe halfway there so he opted to join us. We got there and Wacker was struggling. He almost excused himself to go to the bathroom and throw up. Fortunately he didn’t. All three of us ordered a bacon egg and cheese on a bagel. Gabe and I were done before Wacker even took a bite. Eventually he managed to finish it but it was a pathetic diner run for him. We walked back, I broke a glass with a pillow, and then went to bed.

I woke up early and was on my way home. I got home at 11 or so and my dad invited me to a family holiday party. I haven’t seen any of cousins in over a year so I felt obligated to go. It really wasn’t bad at all. I made pretty good small talk with everyone and there were only two screw ups along the way. My hello and goodbye with my cousin Michelle were absolutely terrible. She’s maybe 20 years older than I am so it’s always a little awkward but both times I went in for the hug and she went in for the kiss on the cheek. Both times we were so out of sync and I almost laughed at how embarrassingly awkward it was. To quote Dom Mazzetti on how college has changed him, “…kiss her mom on the cheek because I’m an adult now”, I’m just not at that level. It seems that everyone who’s older does it but I’ve literally never tried to do it. It’s not a weapon I have in my arsenal and I don’t know if it ever will be. The other screw up was telling W’s female friend who was probably 70 years old “it’s good to see you again!” because I didn’t know who she was when really it was the first time I’d ever met her. Other than those two, the party went smooth.

Last night a few of us met up at Jonny’s to hang out. A somewhat unique group showed up of people that I haven’t seen in a while so that was interesting but cool at the same time. Later in the night Gourlay and I made a trip to see the donkeys at Robins Park. They didn’t seem too happy to see us. Also, it was probably 25 degrees outside so we left quickly and called it a night. We woke up at 9 and Jonny drove us home. I was pooped so I took a 2 hour nap. After my nap I had big plans, a 3 mile run. I drove to the track and clicked off three 7 minute miles and felt good doing it. My back isn’t 100% yet but it’s definitely going in the right direction.

Today we also had big plans. Jonny, Gourlay, and I went to Abner’s in Philly for cheesesteaks. The place was really good but two nights in a row of hard drinking capped off by a greasy, cheese wizzed up cheesesteak made me feel pretty bad about myself. Dan Day showed up and then we went to the free Sixers scrimmage to get geared up for the NBA season. They did over an hour of drills and stretching which was really boring to watch but once they actually started the scrimmage it was fun to watch. Gourlay and I then took the train home to end a long weekend.

I don’t have anything to do this week besides Christmas shopping so I don’t really know what the plan is. I’m just glad to be done with finals and everything so a week of extreme boredom is okay with me.