Monday, November 27, 2006

Give Thanks

During the season of Thanksgiving, we are encouraged to celebrate the many gifts that life has afforded us. For the past few months, you have each been blessed with the opportunity to read my blog, and in doing so you have learned a little something about yourselves- or at the very least, me. So, I just want to take this moment to say, "You're Welcome."

Till Next Week, do something nice for someone else...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Undergraduate Curriculum


As I enter the obligatory quarter-life crisis, I take steps to weigh the possibility of pursuing a graduate education. Even as undergraduate student loan creditors fire off strongly worded letters, I start to consider the pros and cons of grad school, and its potential impact on the future of my life. While I delve into this investigation, I can't help but remember being back in this position as a senior in high school.

At this point in my life almost ten years ago the choice was simple. "My name is Patrick, and I want to dance, Dance! DANCE!" As a result, I found myself at Syracuse University pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I hold a BFA in Musical Theatre. Now, the importance, validity and usefulness of a degree of this nature is certainly debatable. However, in all fairness the same could be said for a degree in anthropology. That isn't really the point. The point is, "Who the hell knows what they want to do with their life when they are 18 years old?"

Most people, upon graduation from high school, are not mature enough to enter the world. College works to create a sort of half way house to bridge the gap between high school and the real world. It isn't necessarily the lessons learned in the classroom as much as it is the lessons in social growth that shape these students. With that in mind, I feel it is my responsibility as a concerned cultural contributor to create my own undergraduate curriculum to mold well-adjusted, savvy, people who don't suck: our leaders of tomorrow.



GARRIGAN COLLEGE'S
Bachelor of Sciences (BS) in Interpersonal Relationships and How Not to Totally Mess Up Your Life

PROGRAM OVERVIEW:
The goal of this interdisciplinary program is to create well-adjusted, savvy people who don't suck. The curriculum is composed of (6) requirements, each worth (3) credits. In this program students are versed in general trivia, interpersonal relationships, alcohol awareness, C.Y.A., creditor avoidance tactics, and general grooming. All the necessary skills to 'not totally mess up your life!' Sound good? Let's take a closer look at these classes and our esteemed faculty!


BS 205 "Merda taurorum animas conturbit"
Assistant Professor Bob Ringwald
3 credits

"Bullshit Baffles Brains" is the school of thought behind this thrilling class! Prof. Ringwald, a pioneer in his field, will teach you a little bit about everything, so that you can carry on bullshit conversations with people you meet in your everyday life. Don't worry about long hours studying, the core value of this class is that you only really need to know a little bit about a lot of things to hold long, seemingly intelligent conversations. "Riffing," repeating back to people what they have just said in different words and thoughtful nodding are all skills our alumni have been able to take into the workforce.


BS 220 Romance Dynamics
Professor Cookie Ramone
3 credits

This course enlightens students as to the ups and downs of romantic relationships. Students learn vital lessons such as: when is the right time to say 'I love you,' how to break up with someone without them stalking you, and many more valuable tools to help our students grow in the the lessons de l'amour. Cookie Ramone, THE original Latin lover and reason d'etre for the term 'coyote ugly,' guides students through this tumultuous time with her unique hands-on approach.


BS 299 Alcohol and You
Adjunct Professor Chas "Chunks" O'Reilly
3 credits

For many students, college is a time of independence. A chance to party and live it up. We at the Garrigan College feel that it is our duty to educate our students not only on the dangers of alcohol, but also how to attain and maintain a proper buzz in order to get the most out of your party-going experience. World renowned expert, "Chunks" O'Reilly draws from his extensive experience and brings his passion to share these experiences into the classroom. Class topics include: What to Do When You Get the Spins, Gatorade and Popeyes Chicken: How I Cured My Hangover, and Gettin' Rid of that Puke Smell, to name a few.


BS 002 Covering Your Ass*
Assistant Professor Carl Bucksworth
3 credits

"Eh, it's not my fault!" From day one, Professor Bucksworth instills this, his mantra, in his students. "Hey, a lot of messed up shit happens out there in the business world, don't get caught with your pants down," Bucksworth confides. "If I can help one poor dumb bastard not get fired for being stupid, then I'm going to sleep more soundly after I drive my Maserati home, make love to my smokin' hot wife, and curl up under my comforter made of baby seal pelts," he continues. As a former WorldCom / Tyco / Adelphia / Westar executive Professor Bucksworth brings real world experience to covering your ass.

*Additional Class Fee: $1,500 (payable to Raul Manuel c/o Grand Cayman Investments)

NO PHOTO AVAILABLE
BS 357 Tactical Creditor Avoidance Certificate
Professor James Doe
3 credits

In the spirit of providing our students with the latest in applicable educational tools, the Garrigan College is proud to offer its Tactical Creditor Avoidance Certification for the Fall 2007 semester. This certification program gives students the tools they need to avoid student loan creditors and assorted collection agencies. In an ever changing economy, it is important to instill in our students evasive, passive-aggressive techniques to avoid these ruthless hunters. Techniques such as using an answering service as your primary telephone or paying your mailman to throw away collection mail, start our students off on the right foot and free up valuable time and money that can be applied towards going out or buying a nice pair of shoes.


BS 280 Looking Fly: A Historical Textile Retrospective and its Socio-Economic-Political Implications on American Fashion in the 21st Century
Dr. Clipz Jeffrey
3 credits

Hailed by the New York Times as "one of the truly great fashionistas of this or any generation," Dr. Jeffrey combats clothing apathy, as displayed nationwide with pajama-bottom-sporting college students, by outlining the great strides America has made in overcoming European fashion dominance in what he refers to as "The Coldest War." Students are challenged to face the age old question, "Do the clothes REALLY make the man? -and if so, should that man be wearing a cotton / poly blend?"



As always, I seek to become part of the solution as opposed to participating in the problem. I only hope that this curriculum can be implemented to cure the undergraduate education crisis in our country. With this in mind, I'm starting a foundation to fund this plan for higher education. If you are interested in financially pitching in, please e-mail me at omcgarrigan@hotmail.com and make your checks payable to our treasurer, C. Ash. Class dismissed.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Great Potential

"Potential is a promise yet to be delivered."
-R.S. Hudson

This has been such an incredible week: the Democrats take the House, Nancy Pelosi positioned to become the first female Speaker of the House, Rumsfield resigns his post, the Democrats take the Senate with Jim Webb's Virginia victory, and most importantly Brittany files for divorce from K-Fed. Yes, quite a week, indeed.

After this week the overwhelming urge to gloat is more than I can suppress. In 2000, when Bush first won his initial victory, my response was a passive, "that sucks." In 2004, when Bush was reelected my response was more along the lines of, "WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!!" ...or something to that effect. In all seriousness, I have never felt more disenfranchised from this country than this period from 2004 to, well, Wednesday. What a difference a day makes.

To all of you hypocrites, hawks, crooks, moral crusaders, bigots, and traitors I say, good riddance. To the people of America I say from the bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you for not being distracted. Thank you for paying attention. Thank you for not letting social differences keep you from the task at hand. Thank you for listening, reading, researching, and most of all, voting. I am so proud of you all.

Under Republican rule the poor American people have had to suffer through scandals [see Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, Bob Ney, Gov. Bob Taft, etc.] and mishandlings [see Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan]. For the longest time I thought to myself how much worse do things have to get before people wise up?

Well, to my great pleasure the the answer to that question was November 7, 2006. Democrats finally stepped up and took a page out of the Republican playbook. The strategy is quite simple. Carefully groom your candidates, keep them funded, supported and on message. The last is probably the most important strategy in this whole election. The Democrats did an EXCELLENT job of making this election a referendum on Iraq. Not letting Republicans hide from the egregious mistakes of this war, and making brilliantly clear the costs in REAL human lives and taxpayer dollars. Keeping this issue in play and not letting Republicans fall back on wedge issues such as gay rights, abortion, stem cell research and so on; worked to provoke an electorate that would no longer settle for "stay the course."

Now in light of my Monday morning quarterbacking, there is a bigger issue at hand. The issue of Democratic Potential.

One of my professors in college once said to my conservatory acting class, "You're all talented. You wouldn't be here if you weren't. You all have great potential. However, potential is a promise yet to be delivered. It is your job to deliver on that promise." -The moment was burned in my memory. I remember what I was wearing, what room I was in, what my shirt smelled like. Why? The deep emotion attached to that statement. A promise yet to be delivered. What incredible responsibility that statement held for me. It is this responsibility, that I wish to impart to our next phase of political history.

The Democrats have great potential. My hope is that they will deliver on that promise: The following are my personal suggestion as to where to direct that potential.

1.) To seek out a new path for our involvement in Iraq

2.) To re-evaluate the damage our actions have had on our National Security, and take immediate actions to rectify it.

3.) Work across party lines to create a real, actionable, fair and prudent immigration reform

4.) Raise the minimum wage

5.) Take up the recommendations made by John McCain regarding our interrogation tactics (there should be no gray area with regards to torture)

6.) Permanently protect social security from privatization

7.) Federally fund and regulate reponsible stem cell research. There is no reason that people should suffer for when a cure could be on the horizon.

8.) Supply the funds to rebuild New Orleans infrastructure. The destruction and insufficient response are a national embarrassment.

9.) Encourage and cultivate working in a bipartisan way. There are far more things that bring us together than separate us.

10.) Lobbying reform. Create a zero-tolerance structure and clear cut rules for appropriate relationships.

These are my hopes for this new era. A wishlist of sorts. I think the Democrats have the a great deal to offer and incredible things that they can achieve. It is my sincere prayer to all of our elected body that they will take on these promises, whatever they can latch on to, and deliver to us. We deserve so much better than what we have now.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

AXIOMS

As I have shared in past postings, I have opinions about just about everything. Throughout my opining I have come up with a few constants. A few axioms, if you will:



Axiom 1 - THE HOT GIRL COMPLEX
The axiom of the hot girl complex contends that any [hot] girl who is aware of her own hotness becomes, through this self-awareness, "not hot" or "repellent."

This axiom was initially created during my first trip out to LA. Despite these seemingly superficial beginnings, the hot girl complex has gone on to become a metaphor for those expressing this over-confidence in intellect, talent or piousness.

Axiom 2 - THE LAW OF HUMOR and AGING
This law dictates that if you do everything with a certain degree of mirth, it will keep you young.

In my current marketing position, I come in contact with a lot of very serious people. Most of whom are only in their late twenties or early thirties. A majority of these twenty and thirty-somethings are so tense and boring that you would guess them to be ten years senior their actual age. Then there are others that I have met aged in their 50s and beyond, who are so vivacious and full of joie de vie, that you would guess them to be that same ten years shy of their birthday. Also, I think it is scientific, and stuff....


Axiom 3 - THE RULE OF THE BLUETOOTH
The axiom of the rule of the Bluetooth states that if you have a Bluetooth headset for your cell phone and you keep said headset on your ear in the off chance you MIGHT get a call, you are by default, a douchebag.

This rule has come to pass through extensive in-the-field testing. Please note that this is not a knock against persons with this technology. I know many people who are extremely responsible in their headset use, putting it on as needed.

Of the people who DO keep them on, there seem to be a few consistent traits:
1.) If / When they do finally get a call, they speak too loudly and without and consideration for those around them

2.) Constantly fiddle with their phones, earpiece, or crotches (in an obvious display of overcompensation)

3.) Usually wear poorly fitting suits

Axiom 4 - PEOPLE, STUPID PEOPLE
The root of this axiom reflects the ideal that, "People are generally stupid, but people are generally good."

This rule comes out of my own personal experiences, hard historical evidence, and a flair for paradox. When I look back on choices that I have made, it is fair to say that not only have a I made stupid choices, but I have made them on a semi-consistent basis. The flip side of this is that despite these consistently poor choices, in most cases they were made with the only the best intentions.


Now, of course their are more than (4) axioms, but I don't want to overwhelm you. I hope you have found the listed axioms helpful. Basically, I think the thing we can all take away from this is, Tony Robbins ain't got shit on me. Have an enlightened day.

POLITICAL UPDATE:
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE [DEMOCRATIC] ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 2006!










HALLOWEEN COSTUME UPDATE:
Text Vote Tally:
WINNER - L. Ron Hubbard (7 Votes)
Star Jones Skin Suit (3 Votes)
Mexican / US Border Fence (2 Votes)

Thanks to all who participated!

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