Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2008: Endorsement Video Script

Hahaha, okay, so you may or may not know this about me: but I am a packrat/hoarder. Not really, I definitely know when it's time to throw things away and I hate clutter -- but I like to keep records (digital and otherwise) whenever possible, and if it doesn't need to be deleted, it can be hidden somewhere else.

So, waaay back in the day, circa January 2008: the University of Akron CKI held a meeting to endorse candidates for District Office (if you don't know what any of this means, now is not the time to explain.) At the time, I wanted to run for District Treasurer (haha, I remember the days when we could convince people - MULTIPLE people to run for this office!) Anyway, part of the process is to get endorsed by the club. I was worried, for some reason, the club would not endorse me if I was not present (because they happened to hold their club meeting on a day I was going to be down in D.C. for President Obama's inauguration!) So, I prepared a script for a video I was going to film, and have them show at the meeting. Unfortunately, I did not get to filming it (ANY of it, actually.) But the script is none the less entertaining, and I thought I'd share it with you.

Treasurer Endorsement Video - 01/2008
[Me in my dorm, at my Desk]
"Members of the University of Akron Circle K,

[Look to "back left of room"]
Kiwanis Representative,

[Back to Generic stare]
and guests. Thank you for coming to tonight's meeting. If I could just have a few moments of your time, I would like to ask for your endorsement in my campaign for District Treasurer.

[Cut to me in DC/Capitol in Background]
Now, unfortunately, I cannot be with you at the meeting tonight because I'm in Washington D.C. for the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. But trust me, I wish I could be there, and not just because the temperature here is _[cold]_ degrees.

[Cut to me at Location 2]
As you may know, in Circle K politics - there is the club, district, and national level. The district is in our case analogous to the state of Ohio.

[Indicate my Ohio Poster behind me]

I am running for the Treasurer of our district, and would be responsible for tracking and assisting club treasurers in the dues collection and financial planning for all 24 clubs in Ohio, as well as  monitoring and reporting on the district budget to the district governor and board.

I believe I am the right person for this position because I am excellent at keeping detailed accurate records, skilled at financial planning and budgeting, and I also believe I have the leadership qualities to promote the fellowship between the clubs of our district.

[Photo from Colorado ICON]
This summer, I attended the Circle K International Convention in Denver, Colorado and served in the house of delegates to discuss and understand the recent changes to the dues system. A vital requirement of a district treasurer.

[Cut to me]
"Now you may disagree with me politically, you may not find any of my jokes funny, but I think you know I'm a pretty good guy. So now I am asking you, my peers, to vote to endorse me, Andrew --, for District Treasurer. Thank you.

[Logo, fade to black.]
[Come back!]
*puts change in cup.*
"And I'm perky because I GOT TO GO TO INAUGURATION! EEE!"

[cut to black, end.]


Haha, I did not end up running for Treasurer unfortunately, but I do believe I was endorsed without the video. Man, I shoulda did this, it'd be hilarious to look at now.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rocking a Vest

I have wanted to, for some time now, be able to rock a good vest. Some people can easier than others, but I am still determined to find that perfect vest out there that I look awesome in. I bought one today because it was so cheap at Burlington Coat Factory, but I will probably return it after trying it on with practically every combination of my button-up shirts (which, suffice it to say, is alot.)

On a separate note, I also bought a square-bottom knit tie which I think I could pull off with a spare few outfits, but only in the fall. It was also really cheap at Burlington Coat Factory, so I will probably keep that.

Lately in particular I have been searching, after this past year of Once Upon a Time with character Sherriff Graham -- who consistantly wore a vest and leather jacket and looked fantastic doing it. (Googling now, I wonder if some of his badass image is in fact the piece he carries...) He also has a Scottish accent and that "rough" facial hair look -- so maybe he's like Hugh Jackman and can just make anything look badass.

(Actually, upon closer inspection -- I'm not sure this and the above image aren't the same outfit.)

Also lately, been watching Political Animals, and Sebastian Stan's character of T.J. Hammond (son of Secretary of State Elaine Barrish-Hammond) was rocking the same basic idea. I want that look: he is not armed, nor does he have facial hair.

Song of the Day: "Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)" by Simple Plan. Haha, I totally thought this was a Good Charlotte song apparently. Found a Simple Plan CD I didn't know I owned and put it on my iTunes today, finally getting around to listening to it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

2012 Presidential Election Map Prediction

I've been in a political mood lately, and with that, comes predictions for the 2012 Presidential election. First of all, I am hopeful and supportive of President Obama being reelected. Romney has no foreign policy stances, his understanding of the plight of the common man is abysmal, and overall has done nothing to identify with any issues important to voters. He's not "going to beat Obama on the economy" or on "healthcare" or by riling people up over this or that, he wants to beat Obama because he's "the Republican challenger."

I am hopeful and optimistic, that Ohio will go for President Obama. (As they say in politics, "So goes Ohio, so goes the Nation.") I have also, after playing with CNN's election map app - given Nevada, the Carolinas and Florida to Romney (and his homestate of New Hampshire, which I think I was being generous about.) But rather than the "sideburn" states that Kerry won, I think there are distinctive in-roads that Obama will carry -- Colorado has been leaning more progressive lately I think, and New Mexico's high latino rate will recognize how much the President has tried to do only to be held back by the Republicans.

I will probably revise this in the future, but this is what I see happening right now.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Muppets: CDE Chart of 100 Things in Pop Culture

Haha, I remember when I saw The Muppets (2011) in theaters -- which by the way is an OUTSTANDING movie, definitely on my list of movies to buy on DVD -- there is a scene talking to a TV producer about what is and isn't popular these days (producer played by Rashina Jones.) The chart has 100 little icons on it, and I remember thinking "haha, one day I'll freeze frame that and identify all the little jokes.

Today I did. It's not complete though, because upon reading the title: "Key Demographic Analysis of Top 100 Things in Pop Culture" (Subtitle: Ranked in Order of Relative Popularity.) Then at the bottom of the chart, if you look closely, it reads: "Updated.... 4th week of June of the current Year...", subtitled: "Prepared by the Research & Analysis Department of CDE Television..."

Gonna have to click that for the most detail. I ran out of room to draw lines, and I don't think I could make out every single image, but this is a pretty good job. I love that Lady Gaga is square at the center. But I'll try to list what I can here. (I also found this website that has a working list forming, but incomplete.)

Central Target of Popularity
  • Lady Gaga
  • Justin Bieber
  • Johnny Depp
  • Text Messaging
  • Justin Timberlake

Second Tier of Popularity
  • Sandra Bullock
  • Robert Downey Jr.
  • Beyonce
  • Facebook
  • C___ (?)
Third Ring of Popularity
  • Robert Pattinson
  • Oprah
  • Tina Fey
  • Music Downloading
  • Vampire Moves
  • J___ (?) Somebody in a Fedora
  • Russell Brand
  • Scarlet Johansson
Fourth Ring of Popularity
  • Alicia Keyes
  • Leonardo DiCarprio
  • Taylor Lautner
  • Eminem
  • Jersey Shore
  • Katy Perry
  • Taylor Swift
  • Ellen Degeneres
  • Michael Cera
  • Fantasy Sports
  • Harry Potter
  • Ryan Reynolds
  • Wii
Fifth Circle of Coolness
  • Kristen Stewert
  • Brad Pitt
  • Rihanna
  • Shia LeBeouf
  • Amanda Seyfried
  • Peyton Manning
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Alec Baldwin
  • Stephen Spielberg
  • Joseph Gordon-Levittson
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Twitter
  • ....2 guys, a girl, and some group
6th Circle
  • Michael Phelps
  • Jason Bateman
  • Zac Efron
  • Ben Stiller
  • Ben Afleck
  • Will Ferrel
  • Betty White
  • Matt Damon
  • J.J. Abrahms
  • Julia Roberts
  • Angelina Jolie
  • Heidi Klum
  • Cooking Competitions
  • Carrie Mulligan 
  • ...some girl with black hair
7th Circle
  • Uggs
  • Jay-Z
  • Sarah Palin
  • Britney Spears
  • Tiger Woods
  • P!nk
  • Donald Trump
  • Ellen Paige
  • Chad Ochocinco
  • Lauren Conrad
  • Heidi [Montag] and Spencer [Pratt]
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Jonas Brothers
  • Usher
  • Courtney Cox
  • LeBron James
  • Conan O'Brian
  • Jay Leno
  • Kobe Bryant
  • Serena Williams
  • Kanye West
  • Megan Fox
  • Paris Hilton
  • George Clooney
  • Simon Cowell
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Jennifer Aniston
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Jeff Probst
  • Lindey Lohan
  • Kate Gosselin
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Myspace
  • ...and 4 others (2 guys, a couple, and some item)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Foreign Language Options of Ohio Colleges (North East Ohio)

I'm considering doing some post-bac work in a foreign language, either get another degree, or teaching certificate. (I'm really just considering all my life options this summer.) But I can't find a very comprehensive list of Ohio schools and what they offer anywhere. When I can't find something, I presume others can't find it eather, so I should try to make it easier for the next person by posting what I find on my blog. That's my logic anyway, so here are my findings.

(Note: I am not including American Sign Language in my research.)

The University of Akron
Only French and Spanish are offered as majors.
French, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese are offered as minors.
But I know classes are offered (at least 2 years worth) in Russian, German, Latin and Japanese. Also a single semester of Korean. Not enough to qualify for a major or minor, but they meet the "Foreign Langauge" requirement many have.

Kent State University
Major: French I think, German, Latin, Russian, Spanish
Minor: Arabic, Chinese, Latin, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish
Masters programs are also offered in a couple of these languages.
A few classes that satisfy foreign language requirements are offered in Hebrew, Italian,

Hiram College
Major: French and Spanish
Minor: French and Spanish
Foreign Language requirement classes offered: Arabic and Chinese; they also have a number of options partner universities abroad.

Baldwin Wallace University
Major in Spanish, French and German.
Minor in Spanish, French, German.
Requirement Coursework: Arabic, Chinese, Italian

Walsh University
Majors in: French and Spanish

Cleveland State University
Major: French and Spanish.
Minor: Arabic, French, German, Spanish
Coursework: Chinese, Classical Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin

Case Western Reserve
Major: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portugese, Russian, Spanish.
I think, their website seems to be a bit outdated, and the links don't work.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Speech for Kim's Wedding

Kim asked me to speak at her wedding, so I wrote this here. Was still writing it as I arrived at the reception, haha, and I think I could have done a better job if I had recorded the speech I kinda prepared in my head driving home from the rehersal dinner but oh well -- I've been told this one went off pretty well anyway.

 Hi, I think the best man does all the jokes that make this an “Adult Reception” and I’m supposed to provide the sweet, awe-inspiring anecdotes as the BFF that was there when these two started dating.

My name is Andrew, and it’s crazy to think that Kim has been one of my best friends for almost 10 years now. I was there, in the summer 2004, at the Garfield Heights Homedays when all this started.

Knowing what I know now, I would have told Kim that Ross was a fine, upstanding young man with a good head on his shoulders and a heart of gold, that would become the love of her life, and an inspiration to anyone who sees them together.

At the time, I think I said something more akin to “Don’t talk to him, he’s as old as the 2001: A Space Odyssey ride and probably as creepy, don’t get caught alone with him.” Lucky for her, she did not heed my advice, which I proudly recant.

My friendship with Kim is pretty much based on these random tangent stories, so bear with me: the other day, I was helping my mom enroll to pay her credit cards online, and one of the security question options was “What was your High School best friend’s last name?” I asked mom, and she couldn’t remember. She hadn’t seen the person in thirty years.

It would be sweet to say “let’s keep in touch, and prove the people wrong” that say ten years after college you don’t speak to any of the friends you had in college. But today marks the change in Kim and Ross’ priorities. They’re married now, and their family (including little future Kim jr.s and Ross jr.s) is their top priority. So I’ll understand if planning those birthday extravaganzas, theme park outings, movie parties, New Year’s parties, Christmas parties, end of semester parties (we have had a lot of parties) – is not at the forefront of your mind as much.

Your top priorities is to love each other, and provide for each other, and help  each other through any hardships you come across. Because like I told you the other day, when you were trying to figure out how many people were coming to your Rehersal Reception and how to buy shoes and pay for this wedding – or as I wanted to tell you today when the cake slicer was missing, the rings were forgotten, no one knew who was picking up Macie, and the gazebo had lost power: working together to get through these hardships now, will prepare you for real prosperity later. One day down the road, you will look back and say “Haha, I’m so glad times are easier now.”

So Kim, Ross, best wishes, I speak for the whole room when I say: we Love you both and know you will be infinitely happy together.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Reading

Well, I may still be unemployed -- but at least I have been catching up on my want to actually read books! Even better, some of the books contribute to potential careers I'm studying up for.

Complete Book #1 of Summer: Decision Points, by George W. Bush. The memoirs of our immediate past President were at least slightly interesting, and offered a different view of his thought process than I'd ever really been exposed to. He did focus a lot on the decisions that developed him into the person he was, he candidly spoke of his battle with alcoholism, his military service which was a contested point in the 2004 election, and various other "how he came to that conclusion" on policies like embrionic stem cell research. Not particularly ground breaking though, at least I didn't feel like I came away learning "WOW! I NEVER KNEW THAT!" stuff.

Complete Book #2 of Summer: Living History, by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Published in 2003, this basically told the story of Hillary's childhood soon followed by the real story behind many of the Clinton scandals they faced in the early 1990s, the ones that most people generally agree weren't true. Still not a whole lot of groundbreaking stuff here, but I personally found it interesting. I remember hearing back in the 2000s that she probably used a ghost writer for part of it: one of my favorite games I played during this book was identifying the "SAT word" that cropped up every 5 minutes, like clockwork. She would use a word that NO ONE uses in conversation that just sounded odd where it was used, and forced me to go to to even know what the word meant (even though I could figure it out pretty easily from context clues.) This was the perfect lead up, actually, to the Bill Clinton Presidential Library trip.

In-Progress Book: Memo to the President-Elect, by Madeline Albright. Published 2008. The beauty of this, and the previous two books, is that they are double-y valuable for my History-teaching hopes and State Department dreams, in interviews for both these are valuable books with useful information and anecdotes. (Madeline Albright being Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, and the first Woman Secretary of State.) This book is going slower than Bush and Hillary's though, it's basically what a retired Secretary of State wishes every President knew before taking office. It's targeted at Hillary, John McCain, and/or Barack Obama -- because it was written when we didn't know which would be President. I like Madeline Albright, I remember her promoting this book on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and her personality and writing are both surprisingly entertaining for someone of her advanced years. I am also constantly reminded of a clip from Gilmore Girls she randomly appeared in. (Arg, I can't embed the video...)

In-Progress Book: I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, by Tucker Max. Published c. 2006, I have seen this book on bookstore shelves COUNTLESS times in the last couple years, and I always consider reading it, but I want to find it from the library. Well, I can never find it at the library - so yesterday I considered buying it with my leftover Student Teaching giftcard, instead decided to download the eBook from the Stow Library. So now I'm like a third of the way through it, and it's pretty funny actually, definitely a mature read - it's basically Barney Stinson's autobiography. Told through his blogposts; the writing style is unconventional, he uses a lot of sentence fragments because that is how someone would really recant a story. I think that would be less annoying if I had a normal eBook reader, because my computer screws up the spacing sometimes and throws the page number in at random places making me reanalyze a sentence once a page.

And I considered starting A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, by Mark Twain. But then I set that down, that's a bit of a mission to tackle, so I think I'll finish these two books first.

Quote of the Day: "Hold on now dude - fate may fuck with you, but I fuck with fate right back." - Tucker Max, p. 39. A way of life I can relate to, if in different ways.

Song of the Day: "Wish You the Worst" by Katy Perry. I kinda like this early Katy Perry song, definitely a "revenge"-y song that feels good to listen to when you're angry at someone. Not that I'm angry at anyone today, I'm actually pretty happy with life overall. =)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Torn Down Aurora House/Farm

Well, explored this abandoned building back in July of 2011, but it was after my ex had broken my camera so I only have pictures from my cellphone, which went massively unorganized until I decided to empty it a few weeks ago. So now I'm getting back to blogging about the adventures I missed over the last year do to lack of pictures.

I first spotted this house en route to Aurora Outlets I think from the street, and we had to park in like a cul-de-sac artificial suburb and run across a busy street to explore it. And then it started raining, so we didn't explore it in that much detail -- but I was more eager to actually get inside the structure and take some pictures so I have something to show for it.

Alas, within a few months, the house, barn and any evidence of the place has been torn down.

Song of the Day: "Both Sides Now" by Carly Rae Jepsen. This came up on "recently added" on my iPod while I was in the park last night, and I actually listened to it and it's not that bad. It starts with her seeing clouds "from both sides," ya know, being down to Earth and being on top of the world in the airplane of success (or w/e.) And then it's about having seen love and life "from both sides," acknowledging once you've seen life from both sides you "really don't know life at all." Oh well, I may not be able to explain it, but it's still kinda cool.

Oh, she didn't actually write this song (surprised?) apparently it's a classic "Joni Michell" song...

Quote of the Day: "I just feel like she's going to pull out all the southern cliche's, like "Eric, ya know, sometimes, ya just don't know sometimes.""  - Eric, mocking Jemmey from Real World: XXIV New Orleans, first episode.

Watching this while I reminisce about my ICON/LSSP trip and do some online work.

A Couple Cool Pictures

First, Panda eventually unknowningly convinced me to get a Tumblr through her reposting things on Facebook and I eventually wanted to know what this thing was. Now I go to it daily - there's always something entertaining on there. (My profile, name is AJHalliwell of course.)

First cool picture I want to share: Sunday night while watching Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (which, by the way, is the most awkward of the Harry Potter movies. There are so many awkward scenes, between poorly made [IMO] romantic scenes and just odd conversation that I don't think was carried out properly.) The best of which would have to be the Girl drama while Ron is unconcious, while ALL the teachers are there just silently watching it play out. Prof. McGonnagal shooting her head back and forth like a Tennis match and Snape's stone-solid face, to Dumbledore's eventual "Oh, to be young..."

 But I'm getting off topic: What I'm trying to say is back when I read the books, before the movies came out, I always imagined Prof. Snape as "Dr. Otto von Scratchansniff" from Animaniacs -- and I thought I'd make a visual of what that meant, lol.

Second, so one of my random interests are NASA-style mission patches. I even have a frame filled with them on the wall in my room. But way back in the day I drew up a Star Trek-style one, and posted it on DeviantArt, but never really went any further with it. Well, some other person found it, and was compelled to render it in vector art -- and it looks Fantastic! I am honored that someone else took one of my designs and flushed it out.

My initial sketch, c. 2008 (?)
Their final product. (2012)
I love that they kept little stuff like the 3 stars (that I don't think had any significance, I dunno, I made this like 4 years go) and the shape of the land on the planet.

Song of the Day: "Somebody that I used to Know" by Gotye, because it's on pretty often, it's like #2 on the charts right now, and my mom really liked the beat to it when I was driving her to buy new clothes on Sunday x_x. I don't actually like it all THAT much, I mean it's okay, I'm not blown away by it though.

Watching the music video now, Spoiler Alert: It opens on an unattractive naked man. ...aaaand, stares at him the whole video, as he gets taken over by something that would have won 3rd place at the Homedays Art Contest back in the day. Simba, the featured artist that I always thinks sounds like Katy Perry, wouldn'tchaknow, even looks a bit like Katy Perry.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer Pop

Wow, I have fallen dramatically behind on blogging I see. It's already freakin' a third of the way through July! :( Summer is going by so quickly. Well, I guess I'll focus on the fact that I went to Cedar Point the other day with Brittany, Tea and Mike L. and it was fun. It was also, oh, THE HOTTEST DAY OF SUMMER. After LSSP/ICON in New Orleans reaching heat indexes of 105 degrees, I figured it surely wouldn't get that hot back home.

Wouldn'tcha know, I come back, only to get the same unseasonably warm temperatures here. The 7th it was 99 real degrees with a heat index of 105ish. Everyone in the park was disgustingly sweating, and even I was relegated to stripping down to ONE LAYER of clothing x_x

Oh well, it was fun, most of the lines were shorter because people in their right minds chose to stay home. Then we saw Carly Rae Jepsen perform (after having to wait OVER AN HOUR after she was supposed to start, lol.) The others didn't actually want to see her perform much after we had waited all that time, which I don't really understand, but at least I got to see her some, it was kinda cool.

Song of the Day: "Tug of War" by Carly Rae Jepsen, trying desperately not to be a one hit wonder -- she of "Call Me Maybe" fame, 27-year old Canadian artist Carly Rae Jepsen actually has a few other songs wouldn'tcha know! Well, she was at Cedar Point on July 7th, and Brittany chose that day to organize a trip to go. (Ironic, because she hates Carly Rae Jepsen.) Well, anyway, I kinda like this song and while I downloaded her other songs, I can't seem to find this one, giving it that certain "harder to find" value in my subconscious.

Video of the Day: Traveler's Insurance: "Good Job" (Dog Commercial) -- omg, this is the most awesome dog ever. I want a dog that does these things! He even recycles! Lol, I was watching TV during dinner and this came on and I was more entertained by it than I probably should have been, but seriously, this would be the most awesome dog.