Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mock Trial Regionals...

I guess this is shameless self promotion, but I just wanted to mention that this weekend was the Notre Dame Mock Trial Regional Competition. There were over 21 teams from 11 universities present. Notre Dame, as a program, took the top three spots in the tournament, including the two bids for the national tournament to be held the weekend before Easter in Iowa. My team (Team 924, nicknamed "Ramrod") finished in first place as the only team with a perfect record. Two of our attorneys, one other witness, and myself (for my role as a witness) won awards for our "Outstanding Individual Performance" (the other three on my team were seniors). All told 10 of the 22 individual awards went to ND students on our three teams. Generally, the top 10 witnesses and top 10 attorneys are honored in this fashion, but there were 12 honored for each at our regional because of ties in the voting. All told, it was quite a dominate showing for ND, one we will hopefully continue in April at Nationals.


And now I need to catch up on the sleep I didn't get this weekend.

-JB

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Why We Fight

I don't know if any of you have heard of this documentary, but I cannot encourage you enough to go see it if you get a chance. Marquette had a screening of it yesterday along with a Q & A session with Eugene Jarecki, the director of the film. It was amazing. Before people start jumping to party lines, I have never seen a documentary which truly tries to present the various reasons for going to war, rather than critisizing hawks and doves.

There was actually a bit of controversy at Marquette (apparently) over whether or not Jarecki was liberal or conservative, the College Republicans were angry that they told their memebers to attend the screening after they heard Jarecki was against the war. Personally, I believe Jarecki blew them out of the water. He is not a liberal. Nor is he a conservative. He truly believes that America should not be in a war which only furthers the military-industrial complex we live in, which Dwight D. Eisenhower warned America against so fervently in his farewell speech. Jarecki was extremely well-spoken and well-informed about the present situation of the American government, which I believe made the College Republicans who showed up only attempting to bash his film, look like idiots.

After leaving the event I was handed a flier from the College Republicans at the door who said, "Come to this speaker if you want to hear the other side." I was utterly shocked. The other side? The other side of Jarecki's film would be compelling Americans to be apathetic. Jarecki encouraged people to get involved in the Eisenhower Project, which he started in order to increase awareness of the government's flow of money to certain businesses, universities, and corporations which in actuality propel the war machine America has become.

Again, if you get a chance to see this film, please do. Even if you believe the war is right and justified; Jarecki has shown the film to cadets at West Point and was given permission by the Pentagon to interview their personnel, this is not a one-sided argument and he is not Michael Moore. Milwaukee people: "Why We Fight" will open at the Oreintal in March.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Here's the post that I was thinking of not posting after Ben's post.

In my hall there is a really terrible painting of a guitar/guitarist. Actually, I didn't think it was as terrible as my other hallmates were making it out to be, but then again, I didn't even know it was a painting of a person playing the guitar til recently. I just thought the squiggly lines behind it were for decoration. Anyway, Jon (the guy in the 5th picture) wanted to paint another mural to put that one to shame. We couldn't just paint over the old one because there's some sort of policy that requires it to be left alone for a certain number of years in case the person who painted it suddenly felt sentimental and wanted to come back to see it. Lame. So with the help of Barney chalk, 'Nsync plates and advice from various hallmates, we painted our mural next to it (the crappy mural is on the left side of the door). Jon might add "Fender" to the head of the guitar but it's about done. You have to see this mural in person, the pictures don't do it justice. And no, it's not of any particualr guitarist, it's just based off of a photo Jon found on the internet. I suggested that we paint a Harry Potter mural next.













And here's the mural we put to shame:

Firewall

Let's get one thing straight here...it's FIREWALL. It's not high art. It's not even really good suspense and definitely not good action. But y'know...it's FIREWALL. And while this will doubtlessly not help the cause in the current (read: monthly) war between male and female intellect, I did enjoy it quite a bit.

Why? Because Harrison Ford kicks ass. He just does. I don't care how old he is. He'll kick more ass when he's dead than [insert current overcast prettyboy "action star" here] could ever dream of. The fact that he can make the line "I'm going to go find my dog" sound badass is pretty impressive itself. And Paul Bettany makes a pretty good British bad guy (for all the times people complain about prejudice in movies, no one ever bothers to point out that action movies always makes British people look like the most evil bastards since the Nazis). And Virginia Madsen (fresh off Oscar-nominated SIDEWAYS) turns in some decent work as well.

But come now...Harrison Ford's last five movies were HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, K-19, WHAT LIES BENEATH, RANDOM HEARTS, and SIX DAYS, SEVEN NIGHTS. It's been almost 10 years since Harrison was kicking ass, telling people to get off Air Force One.

Does it make sense that the head of bank security could totally take ANYONE in a fight, or stunt-drive his way all over town? No. But Harrison Ford can. And if that's what's wrong with Hollywood movies, then that's just fine by me.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Boys Are Indolent Fools

and to think i just sent you mail Benjamin!

Girls are dumb

It's a pun, see, because we haven't had a post from Team Estrogen for over a month. Yeah, I've still got it.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Keep Away From Children's Reach

So I was just walking to the cove, not 2 minutes ago, when I pass by two sets of parents each with a child about 5 years old or so. and they are just stopped in the middle of the sidwalk like they were walking and then just suddenly stopped. There was one little girl who was about five and they were all staring at her. I didn't think anything of it until the little girl said, "Christopher was watching the porn too." WHAT! Oh my Gawd i almost fell over laughing. then the lady who was (i assume) her mother, said, "Who turned it on?" and thats the only part of the conversation that i heard. But wow, that was interesting.

So the moral here...lock up your porn.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Most Amazing Video Ever

It's just a guy running around Russia free-climbing buildings. It wasn't working so hot when I just watched in on Google, but click the link to download it for your computer.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Back with a Vengeance, and Pictures and Drunk Guys


We honored the beloved saint, Mr. Valentine, by beating the crap out of each other. There are two guys at Varsity House that weigh less than I do. I boxed the tougher one the first time. This time I was just being mean. I couldn’t knock him down, but at least he said he got pretty dazed a couple times. He was cool about it too. He wants to box me again. He said next time I’ll have stronger arms (they’ve been sore all week) and he’ll have a stronger face. He also says that since he learned something every time he got hit (like don’t lower your gloves, ever), he’s like a genius at boxing now. Plus he gets to go around showing off his black eye.

Next, the match was between Alex and Dirty Jon. I can’t really call it a fight. Alex is a black belt at something, but that really screwed him up. Dirty Jon came out jabbing like none other. His arms were even moving too fast for the video to catch. Then he got tired, and Alex got some good hits in. In the second round, Dirty was out of gas; Alex punched him in the forehead, and Jon threw in the towel. Dirty Jon’s a pretty extreme character. Let’s say he’s a quirky, awkward version of Joe Vendehey.


Then, some loud, drunk, black guys came in and started boxing. They were walking down the street, heard the boxing going on, came in, and a couple of them put on the gloves. They looked like they knew what they were doing. During one of the rounds, one guy put his gloves down and stuck his chin down and kept goading on the other guy to take a good hit (“yea, give me some, come own, yea, I like dat”). For the whole three rounds, it was really entertaining. Then they left.

The few other matches don’t really stand out. I’m trying to work my way up so next time I challenging somebody who’s got about 20 pounds on me (mainly all muscle too). I wanted to post this right away, but my New Year’s resolution was to stay off of blogs and Facebook during winter term.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Now For The Easy Part

It is quite stormy here in Indiana. A nice thunderstorm tonight accompanied by high winds and a tornado watch. So I'm pretty sure what I saw as I walked towards our 14-story tall library was indeed about an F1 tornado. Not sure, would have to discuss it with A for a few minutes. It was very fast, but it wasn't big enough to scare me away, I had a blog post to write. (Though I did step into the nearest dorm for a few minutes, because I am just the slightest bit yellow.) Anyway, I just wanted to say that I made the weight I was shooting for (it changed as of last weekend when I had to to drop it lower as I discovered the weight class I had worked to achieve didn't actually exist) and that my (first, hopefully) boxing match is Tuesday evening. So I have five days to bulk up before stepping into the ring as an underdog freshman. Please send prayers/steriods. But don't worry too much. Worst case scenario is that I get hit it in the head a bunch of times and let's face it (ha, pun!), I can only get better looking. I also had a Linear Algebra test this morning and finished and handed in a term paper for Theology this afternoon. So I've decided that if I get A's on both of those (unlikely), I will from this year forth celebrate the third Thursday (say that with an Irish accent) of every February as a holiday, which I will call Trifecta Day. And every year I will attempt three grand feats on Trifecta Day. So keep your fingers crossed, though the math test is already graded and I can't possibly have done as well as I think I did. I will say, however, that Monster, a Mountain Dew product (and thus Pepsi), may be the greatest thing since, well, since this blog was founded. I know, a bold statement indeed.

The 700th Post

So today I went to Burger King for lunch. And there I was just sitting eating my double-whopper when suddenly, completely out of the blue this guy walks up to me and says, "Are you from Boston, Massachusetts?"

I said no I wasn't and he proceded to sit down next to me and tell me how their is this kid in Boston who runs a bike shop and he looks "95%" like me.

And then he said, "So you're Irish then."

And I was like, "um no. a little bit of everthing, Croatian, German, Scottish--mostly Scottish."

And then he says, "So you like to work, huh?" I'm like, "what?" He says, "Oh yeah those Scottish they love to work, they're good workers." And this whole time he is kind of talking in this creepy Mr. Rogers-soft-but-elegant type of speech. I was really confused by now, and was kind of hopping that he would leave, but he didn't.

Determined to know where I was from he said, "But you weren't Born and raised here in portland." as if he were stateing a fact. I turned to him and noded my head, and said, "Yeah I was acctually."

He looked at me dumbfounded, "No way! You look too healthy to be an Oregonian! Everyone here is just hideous and overweight." I was a little confused so I laughed and he said something along the lines of him not likeing Oregon, and such. Not wanting to get into a fight with a crazy guy, I just laughed and continued eating my whopper.

But then he asked if school was out and I said that I was my lunch break, and he asked if i went
to PSU, I said that I didnt and that I went to UP.

He then said, "Oh yeah, thats just like Notre Dame...They have a good Soccer team don't they?" I was so confused, I just said, "Yeah, we won National Championships, there is a poster right outside on the lamp-post there." (And there was, because Mayor Potter had them put up Pilots-National Champions" posters all over Grand Ave.)

Hmm... this was getting wierd, finally he got bored and decided to leave, saying goodbye. Well I ate for another few minutes and then lef--half expecting him to jump out of the bushes yelling and tackleing me to the ground with a knife or something. Fortunatly he didn't. But as I got to my car I noticed that three or four of the cars parked in the BK parking lot all had suspicious looking men sitting in them, all of them had earpieces and each was holding either a book or a newspaper but not acctually looking at it, instead they were looking around--surveying the area, like a stake-out, it was strange.

Yeah, so now I have a gun sitting on my desk.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Spring Break

When do you all have it? I'm in Portland from the 21st to the 26th. (One reason I ask: just realized I'll actually be home for the first DCfC/FF concert. I'm definitely going, does anyone else want to go?) Another reason: want to hang out.

P.S. From my New York Times news summary e-mail this morning:

" 'We're seeing a very angry population, and they don't go to fists anymore, they go right to guns.' NANNETTE H. HEGERTY, police chief of Milwaukee, where the number of homicides has jumped."

Stay cool, Marquette friends. Remember: Fistfight First!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

He may be a dirtbag but he's my(and the other 600 people's, including the guy who continually plays reggae) dirtbag

I miss my bed.

Actually, I don't. But it has been two days since I slept in a bed and I am developing a greater appreciation for its non-rocklike characteristics. For those who don't already know, I am currently sleeping in a tent that we(The Campion Crew) set up on Mulligan Field. Why? For possibly the greatest thing to come to Gonzaga since a man named John Stockton(heard of him?) was a student here. The first ever ESPN College Basketball GameDay broadcast west of the Kansas. First EVER! So basically we set up a tent on Tuesday morning and have been living out of it since. And even though most people only show up periodically, I'm here all day, every day. So I've basically been living out of a tent the past three days, leaving only to go to class, eat, and shower. In other words, I've been in this tent for far more time than anyone else has. And I'm loving every second of it.

Also, the whole team came by yesterday and handed out coffee and hot chocolate. I ended up having a brief conversation with Jordan Mast, which was cool. It also produced my favorite quote from this experience.
Me: "So Mast and I were talking and Mamery Diallo(a 6-9 center) walks between us like we weren't even there."
Barry(my roommate): "That's because he couldn't even see you."

Finally, our tent is awesome. As they walked by, the players declared it the best tent on the field. So there. And Amy Dunn is my tent neighbor, so how could it be bad?

Your friend, Horseradish tree

So if Ken's not flying you into Ithaca to see that concert, you can replicate my typical Friday night and sit on your couch, wrapped in a quilt, knitting socks with a cat on your lap (it takes practice! or a really lazy cat) and watch Death Cab play on Austin City Limits on PBS. Not being a huge fan myself, I am more looking forward to the second act, My Morning Jacket. Usually I watch my soaps, but I'll make an exception for that. ACL has some good concerts this season. There's a dry period for a month after this show, but on March 11 they have Wilco and Bright Eyes, and the following weeks have Modest Mouse, Damien Rice, The Flaming Lips and The Shins, Jack Johnson and Rilo Kiley, Ben Folds, The Killers and Spoon, and then the season is wrapped up with Franz Ferdinand. There are some oddball shows peppered in there, but I'm excited, mostly because now I have something to tell Doug to do when he whines to me about his lonely Friday nights. Saturday nights are even better, because you can hear a whole hour of Shakeer doing his radio show online, starting at two in the morning eastern (they're archived for you sleepy kids on the East Coast). That's at wbar.org and you know that if you don't listen, in about two years you'll hear about some band that all your cool friends dig and you'll be the unhip one and then Shakeer will levitate by, cross-legged, and tell you in the most non-condescending way possible, that he played them on the radio a few times a couple years back. But wait, there's more (favorite line of the kid who used to play pretend Yu Gi Oh with me at daycare). When you've decided there just aren't enough ways to hear good music, NPR decides to do this thing where they get great bands, play them live on the radio, then save a streamed version on their website. Sometimes you can even download them. That's the thing that's linked, because I thought you kids might get lost. Our boy Colin Meloy is the newest one up there (Wilco, Interpol, and Bright Eyes are in the archives.) So there you go, some stuff to listen to while you wait for that mix CD I'm making you that will take forever because I've decided that composing those will be my token artistic effort in life. I could have been an artist, but at the age of six I was told to study geography.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Quick Question

Hey, who was rooting for who in the Super Bowl? Just curious.

(Yes Mike. I know. But it sounds awkward with the "m.")

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Another Round Eye Bites the Dust

Japan is amazing.  You have to go. My week there was like being in a dream world.
 
Firstly, the flight was great. They had flat screens in the back of
each seat so you could watch anything from a selection of about 25
movies.  We also flew over an erupting volcano, which was so cool.  The
food was even good too.

*
So we get in late on Wednesday and go to our host families.  Mine had a
23 year old daughter (no Ben, that didn’t happen), 21 yr. old son (no Ian, that didn’t happen), an 11 yr. old son, and a dog (no Alex, that didn’t happen).  I saw the Dad a grand
total of ten seconds.  The mom was really cool though.  I liked them a
lot. The older siblings spoke English, but my Japanese is good enough that I got by without them.

*
On Thurs, we went to Odori Park and saw the house size ice
sculptures that they are making for the snow festival.  We then trained and our gym was tiny.  On fri we went to a middle-school, which was the high light of the trip.  Japanese
middle-school is grades 7-9 FYI.  Everyone went nuts, especially the
girls.  We were like rock stars, seriously.  I'm surprised we didn't
get any panties thrown at us. So many love letters....

*
The weekend was mostly gymnastics and a bit of sightseeing. I ate a lot of sushi and said goodbye to all the Sapporo girls. OK, just one. We also went bowling. The screen told you how fast your ball went, that was cool.  My host family also took me to the entertainment district of Sapporo. There were so many lights you almost felt dizzy.

We left for Tokyo on Tuesday.  We went up Tokyo Tower to the top observatory at
250 meters.  Tokyo is indescribably huge.  The next day we went
shopping, visited a temple and learned how to use a katana from a true
master, and then did gymnastics. I think they had the “special” smoke burning in the temple that day. Let’s just say I’m glad we didn’t have to take a drug test that week.  We left the next day.
 
I don't really know how to describe Japan anyway but an even more first
world county than the US.  Everything seems, at least, to be perfect.
You've got to see it for your self.

This post turned out worse than expected as there is just so effin much that I could talk about. Sorry.

Oh, and never play pachinko.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Death Cab and Franz Ferdinand!

Check it out--Portland (Memorial Coliseum, really a step or two up from the Crystal Ballroom), Duke, Cornell, and Washington DC. Pretttty sweet. Anyone want to come up to Ithaca to watch? (That's not a joke? Please do? I'll buy your concert ticket?)

I also had a great idea right when I was about to fall asleep the other night. The United States builds this huge nuclear reactor complex, and then they connect it to a giant laser gun, aimed into--get this--THE GROUND. Then when we want to take someone out, we just aim it the right direction, shoot a huge hole in the ground, the laser travels through the core of the Earth (or wherever) and the person on the other side of the world gets disintegrated FEET FIRST. Can anyone top that?