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Posts Tagged ‘University of Florida’

Things that lasted we didn’t think would make it

In Other on April 28, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Everything about college is designed to be temporary. At the same time, everyone plays their role in a giant scheme to make it appear that everything from college lasts forever. (Hello Gator Memory Book. No I will not be filling you with photos of the french fry statue and Century Tower.)

Everything about college is just an acquaintance. You get acquainted with a subject, and then forget it. Same with most people. You see someone at a holiday party and realize it’s Tim, the friend of Kevin, who you met in your first class of the semester a year and a half ago when you asked to borrow a pencil. You spent six consecutive Mondays meeting them and their group of friends at Boca Fiesta for movie nights, the most memorable of which was the showing of Arachnophobia. Seeing Tim at the holiday party makes you realize that you used to call and/or text a certain group of people during a certain chunk of time and then it just stopped. And though this does happen in real life, it happens in college life ALL THE TIME. Things finally came full circle when Kevin saw you in the library studying for finals on Monday and asked to borrow a pencil.

Few things are designed to last the entire four years of the thing that is college except for maybe a sturdy pair of rubber boots. If you are a transfer student, like moi, you have two years to participate in the farce that is everlasting friendship and knowledge. (My journalism degree is already six years behind the times.)

So without further ado for a post that is actually supposed to be humorous, here are the things that actually lasted two years that we didn’t think would make it:

Fake Cheese!

When I first got to Gainesville, I had me a craving for cheesy Ramen because who would judge me for that in a college town. I proceeded to buy a stack of individually wrapped slices thinking that somehow I would find uses for the seemingly appropriately portioned fake dairy. Though I knew it was fake cheese, Claire confirmed this with Science by noting that it’s melting point is too low for it to actually be dairy as it began melting to our counter at room temperature. Alas, after a couple cheesy Ramens, my craving was satiated for a few years and we still have tons of fake cheese.

200 square feet of aluminum foil!

Decorating our apartment with aluminum foil seemed like an AWESOME idea around the holidays. I spent a few hours making aluminum foil and tissue paper bunting chains AND aluminum foil wreaths. But still, I had aluminum foil. We wrapped ham in it. We wrapped cookies in it. We baked a bunch of shit with it spread all over cookie sheets. And still, we have aluminum foil. Crazytown, I know.

TOMS!

Most of my friends have busted holes in their TOMS by now. Clearly, I have tried to break these stinkers down, but they keep holding on and smelling bad.

Condoms!

And this is not because I condone unsafe sex. I’m just not that good at that part of college, which in the end, is a good thing(?). Thank you Alachua County County Health Department for giving me massive quantities of little reminders of this fact.

“You’re in college, you must take these.” “Nope, really, it’s fine. Save ’em for the sorority girls.”

Kitten calendar!

I got my roommate this calendar in 2010 to make her happy. We liked it so much that when our friend got us an almost equally awesome zen calendar, we just decided to make the kittens last for two years.

Roomies forever!

While many roommateships don’t last, Claire and I have a real love that transcends “many roommateships.” Seriously, I’m not quite sure what we would have done if we didn’t carpool to visit UF together, only to end up co-signing a lease with a fingers-crossed, “you seem unpsychotic” naive gleefulness. I would have either been a total recluse and driven four hours each weekend to Tampa to visit friends and my mamma. Or I would have made a big ole messy party, courtesy of alcoholism. Claire would have had a more severe mental breakdown during second semester and only talked to chem students. Thanks to me, we talked to a whole variety of batshit crazy, narcissistic journalism students.

But seriously, Claire has become one of my best friends and confidantes, listening to a litany of problems, real or imagined, on a relatively daily basis. We also like to do our make-up together and listen to music. And I shall be a bridesmaid in her wedding this September.

You passed, Chuck Klosterman!

In Other on April 7, 2011 at 1:09 am

Chuck Klosterman passed the beer test.

The beer test was invented (to my knowledge) by Professor Mike Foley who uses it most often as a yardstick to judge whether or not a profile is adequate. The test is: “Based on what you have read, would you know whether or not you want to have a beer with this person?”

If you did a skillful and professional job of conveying that someone is, for instance,  an eloquent public official and porn-hater, a person sharing his views should want to have a beer with him and a person who does not share his views would not.

At the same time, the subject of the profile should not be offended when he reads it but should find it rings true, at least to some degree.

ANYWAY, I digress. The point is, I wanted to have a beer with Chuck Klosterman after I read his books, and now that I have heard him speak, I really want to have a beer with him.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure that Klosterman was going to pass the beer test. I had seen videos of him during interviews, and he seemed bored and boring. Also, in his books, he talks about being resistive to interviewers, as he is a professional interviewer himself, knows what they are after and is not really into being on the other end of the deal. What I came to realize was that Klosterman sort of absorbs the mood or tone of his interviewer.

This, however, was not an interview. It was a talk. To a bunch of college kids. I thought I would see more j-students. But it was really just the bar crowd from the Toplantic. We can never really get away from each other short of moving (t-minus 24 days).

BUT that meant that he had free reign to do or say as he pleased. Chuck dissuaded all my worries and put on a bully show.

My notes are as follows:

Bad-Acid (He talks about bad acid, which he has never himself had. The cool thing about him saying “bad acid” out loud is that it sounds like “badass-ed.” So it sounds like, “That’s some badass-ed shit.” I’m not sure if this is funny anymore. Now it just seems like an inside joke with myself.)

1) technology fluency

2) humor

3) networking

(Chuck’s tips to me for surviving post-grad.)

Ha, Care Bears! 1:08:08

1/2 sports questions

1/2 journo questions

2 snobby literary reference “questions”

and hipsters murmuring snark for the entire hour and half

The last words he spoke to us were:

“It’t not the quality! It’s the size!”

UF grad’s piano bar offers musical variety

In Journalism on February 10, 2011 at 11:16 pm

Take a step into Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar downtown and enter the world of Billy Joel. And T-Pain. And Garth Brooks.

Brad Heron shares a toast with the crowd at Rockeys Dueling Piano Bar in downtown Gainesville. (Photo by Britt Perkins)

Rockeys, 112 S. Main St., opened New Year’s Eve but is already one of the few bars downtown that can pack in a crowd by 10 p.m. And, unlike other spots in town, variety is not lacking here.

Last Friday, the crowd la, la, la’d along to “Crocodile Rock” and didn’t miss a beat during the transition to “Low (Apple Bottom Jeans).”

Two pianos back-to-back and a drum kit fill the raised stage where crowd requests alone determine the set list Thursday through Saturday. Local live music reigns on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

A $6 bid can get your request bumped to the front of the line, but an opposing $7 wager can make sure the first chords of “Party in the U.S.A.” are also the last.

It’s all about interaction at Rockeys. The players banter with one another and are not shy about talking directly to the crowd. And sometimes, they do more than just talk. While on stage, each player has a hand-held spotlight, ready to select volunteers for games and serenades. Recently, Rockeys hosted an impromptu “booty-shaking” contest with participants ages 21 to 61.

Brad Heron, owner and house piano player, said the “ageless” factor where everyone checks their egos at the door is one reason people can have a good time at Rockeys.

After graduating from UF in 2004, Heron toured the U.S. playing professionally, building his repertoire. But Heron, a self-proclaimed diehard Gators fan, said each college town reminded him of his alma mater.

“I missed Gainesville,” he said. “And I had such a good time here, and I was having such a good time in other college towns, I thought, ‘Man, I’d really like to do Gainesville.’”

Heron partnered with Scott Schmailzl, owner of Blue Moon Dueling Piano Bar in West Des Moines, Iowa, and longtime friend from the piano circuit.

Tim Buie of Savannah, Ga., also joined Heron in Gainesville as a house player.

Although there are regular appearances, the lineup doesn’t always stay the same.

Every week, a guest player from another town joins the regulars on stage with a different background and different skills, which helps keep things interesting and fresh, Heron said.

After going through “a million” names, Heron said they settled on the combination of the words “rock” and “keys” to brand the new piano bar downtown, but that’s often how people still refer to it.

However, naming was not the biggest challenge people said they would face. The 21-plus, non-smoking requirements, on the other hand, were. But instead of being a problem, Heron said those two factors are what he gets complimented on most, besides the friendliness of the staff.

And as for Heron’s favorite song to play?

“I probably wouldn’t sit in a room by myself and say, ‘Oh, I feel like playing some Lady Gaga right now.’ But in front of a crowd of people that want to hear it, I mean, there’s nothing more fun than Lady Gaga.”

Story in the Independent Florida Alligator on Thursday, Feb 10.