Friday, March 5, 2010


I was listening to a man on campus the other night who quoted a man, who quote a man who said that all good stories have an antagonist. This, in fact, is one of those stories. Let me lay a backdrop.

I have a job (two in fact). One of those jobs comes with a perk. I get free tickets to any drama or musical held on campus. It's a pretty great deal if you are the type to attend productions on campus (I'm usually not the type).

A few weeks ago I went to the ticket office to try and cash in on some free tix. When I handed the teller my pass, she told me that I could not use that pass for anything other than the free events on campus. I told her that I had used the pass many times in the past for non-free events. I may have also questioned the purpose of a pass that only allows one to get ticket for free events. That day I walked away with a nemesis and no tickets.

That day began a silent battle with the ticket lady. Every day when I go to work I walk pass that countre and we both stare at each other. Neither of us have to say thing - we both know what the other is thinking. There (s)he is, acting like (s)he's better than I am - what an IDIOT.

Today, our conflict came to a head. I went to get tickets for the opera. I walked up the window - canned insults in hand. I asked for my tickets and she said they were not allowed. I explained that some of my colleagues had already redeemed their set of free tickets, and she was in fact misinformed. She held her ground and I held mine. Finally, I asked to speak with her boss. The main office attendant came around the corner and I knew what was about to happen. I showed her my pass, got my free opera tickets and went on my merry way. I beat the ticket lady.

I understand that at this point some of you are seeing dollar signs. If you're planning on turning this saga into a piece of great literature - send me a message, we'll work out a deal.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bad Words

Lately I have been saying more offensive things than usual. I don't necessarily think I'm being offensive, but more people are offended by my words. I wonder why that's happening?

This "offensiveness" has been happening when the person I'm talking with and I have a "deal," or so I think. Generally, I start a conversation - an innocent conversation. As the conversation progresses, something is said to make me think the other person is open to joke or sarcasm. I test my hypothesis with a few light stabs - everything seems fine. Then, in the course of our conversation, some biting remark comes to my mind. I think to myself, "we've been joking for some time, surely they won't be offended by this comment." I spew the venom - low and behold they are offended. Awkward silence ensues. Then, I have to go on explaining that I was joking, I didn't mean what I said to be taken literally, etc.

I'm working on controlling my tongue, rather, what passes through it. I don't know why I thought I could say anything I want without any social ramifications. Maybe you're the problem.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I've started to notice that I spend a good portion of my day just watching people. I sometimes have an out of body experience when I realize that I'm part of the herd. That's weird.
It seems like everyone can fit into some type of box. The hipster box, the nerd box, the non-box box. They're all there.
Right now, I'm in the Sooner box. Now that I have spent a considerable amount of time at the university I cannot erase it from my past (to my knowledge, at this time). When people ask about college, I will have to tell them (if I choose to tell the truth) that I went to OU. I will then be put into a box.
I'm about to graduate, and I'm trying to pick my next box. How do I want people to stereotype me for the rest of my life? Do I want to be in the seminary student box? The plasma-donating-homeless-man box? I can pick any type of box I want.
Ideally I would like to be in some sort of amorphous box. I think it would be great to keep people guessing as to which box I'm in. Not because I have a desire to be different or unique; I just want to mess with people's heads.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lasting Community and the Airport

I've been traveling a lot lately which has left me alone for many hours. Most of my time has been spent in the airport, sitting and waiting. I have been interested in seeing the people who pass through the worlds holding zone.

People who travel seem mostly unhappy. Flying, for most, is nothing but a means to an end. I wish there was a more enjoyable means of transportation. I wish people were happier.

It amazing the anonymity that traveling provides. It's frustrating to see businessmen, civilians and the like passing each other, just inches away from true community. I'm not suggesting that a one hour conversation in the airport is lasting community, but it could be a start.

I would like to know people better. People who are not like me. I am around those people all the time, but I'm too scared to talk to them. It seems like somethings got to give.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Celebration of Pants

Most of the time I have a difficult time wrapping my head around things (metaphorically, in this instance). One of those things (at this time) is the holiday season. I love the holidays, don't get me wrong, I guess I'm still trying to figure out what we are all celebrating. I know, on a personal level, what Christmas means to me, but what is it as a collective culture?

I've finished a lot of my shopping for the season, and I feel like the reason I celebrate has been cheapened by stuff. I know that for me, I don't get a new pair of pants for Christmas and think, "Oh, pants! This makes me love Jesus more." I usually just think, "Oh, pants! I'm glad someone gave these to me, because I'm too cheap to buy them on my own."

Don't get me wrong people. Please buy me presents. I'm just saying that celebrating the birth of Jesus and getting generic, made-in-China trinkets, seems like a non sequitur.

I'm certainly pro celebration-of-Jesus, I'm just not sure if I'm pro my-current-form-of-celebration-of-Jesus.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello Hurricane

This morning when I woke up it seemed like any other day. I went through my morning routine, part of which is checking various sites on my computer. Since the Switchfoot concert was swiftly approaching, I was keeping tabs on their latest Twitter updates. The one this morning read: "Tulsa! Come to a free show at Qdoba- accoustic suprise on 71st and memorial." I read this Tweet, which was immediately followed by: "Almost forgot, the show it at noon. See you at Qdoba, Tulsa! The cat is officially out of the bag.." This was great news.

I'll pause here to mention that I may have a slight man-crush on Jon Foreman. I can't get enough of his music, and meeting him is on the top of my list of things to do.

After reading these updates I left to meet Anna at Cafe Plaid. She called me because she was running late and I told her that Jon Foreman would be in Tulsa and I was sad that we couldn't see him, especially since Tulsa is 2 hours away and the time is currently 10:01a. She immediately responded, "Let's go!" So we did.

After several quick stops, we sped to T-town where stood the great JF in all his splendor. He played a few ditties, which were awesome, and said he'd stick around to chat. He did, and it was great. I won't say we had a great conversation, because we didn't. He was, however, very warm and friendly. He seemed very down to earth. I can now take "meet Jon Foreman" off my list.

Once we got our autographs and such we said hello to my parents and got back on the road; just in time to see Jon Foreman. We made it back to Norman to get tickets, then headed back out to OKC for the show.

Once we were inside, Anna and I were close to the back of the crowd. About 15 minutes before the concert began, a chain of people pushed there way through the crowd telling people they needed to get to the front. This seemed like a lame thing for them to do since we all needed to get to the front. I opted to capitalize on this moment by following them. We just attached to their chain and before we knew it we were 4 or 5 rows from the front. As the concert went on people would leave or shift around until we finally had front row seats!

The show was phenomenal. Seriously, it was great. I'm wondering how it was on an objective scale, but for me, it was everything I wanted. The band played flawlessly through their new CD, Hello Hurricane. JF sang with passion and enthusiasm. He even came down and walked through the crowd. At different times he would stand on the railing about 5 feet from where I was standing. I couldn't ask for much more.

All in all I was thoroughly entertained. Job well done.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Deception and the OU Parking Services

I frequently receive emails from the Communication department asking for participants in various social scientific research projects. I typically only do the ones that give me money. Monday was no exception.

Monday morning I arrived at the Center for Applied Social Research. When I pulled into the parking lot I was surprised to see how many spots were in the lot. I looked around and saw no signs informing me that parking anywhere in the Wal-Mart sized parking lot was prohibited. I parked and went inside.

Once the study began I was asked to answer a series of questions ranging from preferences in social interaction to individual ethical standards. I completed the survey and was told that the next part of the study was research on the dynamics of teamwork. I was then moved to another room where a classmate of mine was to be my partner. We were told we had 5 minutes to answer 8 trivia question, and we would be rewarded and extra $5 for every questions we answered correctly. The main stipulation was that we were only allowed to use our minds (no text messaging, internet, etc.). Once the proctor left the room, we quickly realized we didn't know the answers to any of the 8 questions. My partner noticed that the computer we used to take the survey was left on the table, and suggested that we use google to find the answers. I told him I thought it was a bad idea and that I didn't want to do cheat (I was pretty sure someone was watching us). He continued to insist and finally said he was going to do it regardless of what I thought. He typed in a few searches and wrote down a few of the answers before our time was up. Needless to say I was fairly p-oed.

From there I went into an interview room where a lady asked me questions about the exercise. She asked how we worked together as a team and how we came to consensus when answering the questions. I answered honestly, but may have omitted the cheating portion of our exercise (exact game in practice). At some point she asked if I knew what the University Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Action was. This made me uncomfortable. She then asked me point blank if we had cheated. I immediately confessed, and ratted my partner (not my finest hour).

Turns out my partner was in on the scheme. He was working for the researcher and tried to get me to cheat and the lie about it. The study was actually on deception, not teamwork. If I would have cheated and lied about it to the interviewer I would have earned $40 extra dollars. That annoyed me.

So, I took my $20 and headed back out to the large parking lot (again, no lack of empty spaces). I get in my car, and as I'm pulling away I notice a yellow envelope lodged underneath my windshield wiper. It was a $25 ticket, issued 2 minutes before I got back to my car.

I lost $5 going to a study where I was penalized for being honest.