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life. and how to have one.

January 15, 2009

CALLING THE SHOTS
students on the other side of the bar

Anarchy in the USA Taking back the aisles
it’s not just a bunch of ‘crusted punk kids’ prop. 8 opposers protest theater chain

7 PLAY: alternative politics

6 Q&A: the felt show

Photo by Chance Dibben

Cover photo illustration by Tyler Waugh

5 TOMORROW’S NEWS: stylish helmets 13 CONTACT: bitch and moan 14 HEALTH: run, baby, run 15 MANUAL: download your textbooks 16 JAYPLAY SAYS ... : things we love 19 SPEAK: dance of life

10 BARTENDERS: the secret life

4 NOTICE: no Milk money

Photo illustration by Jerry Wang

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January 15, 2009

Photo by Ryan McGeeney

calendar
thursday, jan. 15
The Noise FM/The Abracadabras/Many Moods a Day/Ample Branches. The Jackpot Music Hall, 10 p.m., 18+, $5-7 Airwave the Messenger/American Lowlife/From Quite Arms. The Jazzhaus, 10 p.m., 21+, $3 Lawrence Soul Club/ Sadie Soul/Hector the Selector. The Replay Lounge, 10 p.m., 21+, $2 Superfresh and DJ Cyrusd. The Eighth Street Tap Room, 10 p.m., 21+

friday, jan. 16
Stolen Moments: The First 100 Years of Jazz. The Lied Center, 7:30 p.m., all ages, $9-24 Brandon Jenkins. The Bottleneck, 9 p.m., 18+ Billy Wasung Band. The Jazzhaus, 10 p.m., 21+, $4 Latin/Mouth/David Hasselhof on Acid. The Jackpot Music Hall, 10 p.m., 18+, $5-7 The Dactyls/Rooftop Vigilantes. The Replay Lounge, 10 p.m., 21+, $3 Scenebooster Soundsystem’s “Sweat”/Miles Bonny. The Eighth Street Tap Room, 10 p.m., 21+, $3

saturday, jan. 17
University of Costa Rica/KU Baroque Ensemble. The Lied Center, 7:30 p.m., all ages, free The Schwag. The Granada, 8 p.m., all ages, $8 Cedric Burnside and Lightnin’ Malcolm/ Brody Buster Band. The Bottleneck, 9 p.m., all ages, $8-9 Thee Fleshapoids/ Sinks/Fag Cop. The Replay Lounge, 10 p.m., 21+, $3 ManChild. The Jazzhaus, 10 p.m., 21+, $4

sunday, jan. 18
One Blood/Trapped Under Ice/Dirty Money/Full Blown Chaos/Reign Supreme. The Jackpot Music Hall, 7 p.m., 18+, $10-12 The Gloves. The Replay Lounge, 10 p.m., 21+, $2

monday, jan. 19
Fag Cop/Girls of Gravitron. The Replay Lounge, 10 p.m., 21+, $2

venues
The Jazzhaus 926 1/2 Massachusetts St. Lawrence, KS 785.749.1387 The Jackpot Music Hall 943 Massachusetts St. Lawrence,KS 785.843.2846 The Eighth Street Tap Room 801 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 785.841.6918 The Replay Lounge 946 Massachusetts St. Lawrence, KS 785.749.7676 The Lied Center 1600 Stewart Drive Lawrence, KS 785.864.3469 The Bottleneck 737 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 785.841.5483

wednesday, jan. 21
My Dear Disco. The Bottleneck, 9 p.m., all ages Karaoke. The Jackpot Music Hall, 10 p.m., 18+, $2 The Acoustic Jam Thing. The Jazzhaus, 10 p.m., 21+, $2 Pride Night. The Granada, 9 p.m., 18+, $5.

I was rightfully duped. I was scrambling for a second job (the 12-hour-aweek campus job wasn’t cutting it) and the bills needed to be paid. In a lapse of judgement or maybe out of innocent curiosity, I called the “BARTENDING. UP TO $300 A DAY. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY. TRAINING PROVIDED.” ad in a newspaper’s classifieds. I’d skipped over the ad a hundred times before, but this time it was too perfect to pass up. $300 a day? Score. No experience? Right down my alley. Training provided? Easy cheesy. Upon reaching a party on the other line, a gruff-sounding man clicked on and I knew it really was too good to be true. Turns out, all the training was from home with a convenient kit they mail you. When he started explaining how simple it was to pass the final test with a mere 70 percent, I gave him the click. I’d known that bartenders around Lawrence worked their way up from table washing and clearing jobs when everyone lumbered out of the bar, but I figured maybe I

editor’s note
could work my way in via an 800 number. Bartending, though, as I learned in Brianne’s bartending story on page 10, is more than a perfect pour. It takes a certain kind of person to handle intoxicated strangers. I don’t think I could take cleaning up an inebriated stranger’s vomit, breaking up a fight between two drunk parties who don’t even remember what they were fighting about, or socializing in an attempt to get a bigger tip as part of my job description. A mysterious atmosphere surrounds most bartenders of the bars I frequent. I never know how friendly I need to be to get the best drink, or if a tip even really matters. I sometimes want to take my $2 tip from my $3 drink and wave it in front of their face just to make sure they know to liquor me up upon my refill. I did end up finding another part-time job that semester: yard work for two hours once a week at about 23 dollars a pop. It was no $300, but I got a nice tan out of it. And yes, the job was from the classifieds, no training required. Matt Hirschfeld, editor

Editor Matt Hirschfeld Associate editor Jessica Sain-Baird Designers Erica Birkman, Lauren Cunningham Contact Elliot Kort, Stephanie Schneider Health Sachiko Miyakawa, Megan Weltner Manual Becka Cremer, Adam Schoof Notice Madeline Hyden, Ross Stewart, Zach White Play Kelly Breckunitch, Tanner Grubbs, Kristopher McDonald Contributors Mark Arehart, Drew Anderson, Alicia Banister, Chance Dibben, Mia Iverson, Carly Halvorson, Daniel Nordstrom,

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Meghan Nuckolls, Abigail Olcese, Brieun Scott, Kelci Shipley, Amanda Sorell, Derek Zarda Creative consultant Carol Holstead Contact us jayplay09@gmail.com Jayplay The University Daily Kansan 111 Stauffer-Flint Hall 1435 Jayhawk Blvd. Lawrence, KS 66045 785.864.4810

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January 15, 2009

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notice

No Milk money for Cinemark
By Nina Libby nlibby@kansan.com Organizers of the “No Milk for Cinemark!” Facebook group and website are boycotting Cinemark Theaters, a Texas chain that is showing Milk on its screens but whose CEO, Alan Stock, donated $9,999 to the “Yes on 8” campaign. A YouTube employee, San Franciscan Justin Green, co-created the Facebook group and website for the boycott. Green and fellow Facebook member, Matt Rooney, were aiming for 1,000 people to commit to avoiding Cinemark’s Milk showings. The group currently has more than 29,000 members. “The group is specific to the promotion of Gus Van Sant’s film and raising visibility around Alan Stock’s donation to ‘Yes on 8,’” Rooney says. Proposition 8 was a California ballot proposition that changed the state’s constitution to restrict the definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. According to the official “No Milk for Cinemark!” website, www.nomilkforcinemark.com, if 50,000 people commit to see Milk at a competitor instead of Century, CineArts or Tinseltown theaters, at an average cost of $10 per ticket, that’s half a million dollars in lost revenue for Cinemark. The site currently reports $291,340 in lost revenue. Josh Dieker, owner of Mix Media in Osage City, is a member of the Facebook group and is committed to boycotting the showing of Milk at Cinemark theaters. “I researched Stock’s donation before I joined the group and sure enough he donated just under $10,000 to ‘Yes on Prop. 8,’” Dieker says. “My partner and I are making an effort to see the movie elsewhere.” According to an analysis based on campaign finance reports submitted to the California Secretary of State’s Office since 2007, Alan Stock donated $9,999 to “Yes on 8,” on October 28, 2008. James Meredith, Cinemark’s vice president of marketing, issued a statement denying any companywide stance on Prop. 8: “Any individual act or contribution is just that, individual acts of personal expression, and do not reflect company positions or policy.” Drew Galleni, co-founder of San Francisco Movie Bears, a gay men’s social group who gather together to watch movies at local theaters, announced the group’s boycott against

Boycotters want people to see the movie Milk, but not at Cinemark movie theaters
Who is Harvey Milk?
In 1977, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay man elected to any substantial political office in the United States. Milk served almost eleven months as city supervisor of San Francisco and was responsible for passing a stringent gay rights ordinance in the area, which barred anti-gay discrimination. On November 27, 1978, Daniel White, an anti-gay conservative and fellow supervisor, shot and killed Milk and San Francisco Mayor, George Moscone. A little more than two weeks earlier, White, who had recently resigned because he claimed the annual salary wasn’t enough to support his family, demanded his job back. White became angry when Moscone denied his requests to return. Milk was 48-years-old and Moscone was 49 when White returned to city hall 17 days later to assassinate the two. A jury found White guilty of voluntary manslaughter and he was sentenced to serve seven and two-thirds years (his sentence was eventually reduced to five years for time served and good behavior). White’s defense attorney brought in a psychologist to testify that junk food had intensified White’s depression. The so-called Twinkie defense was later banned. — The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk by Randy Shilts

Contributed photo

A donation to the “Yes on 8” campaign by Alan Stock, CEO of Cinemark Theaters, led to an effort to get 50,000 people to commit to see Milk, a film about California’s first openly gay elected official, at a competitor’s theater.

Cinemark theaters in an e-mail to members after he learned about Stock’s donation. The boycott marks one of the few times members of the bear community have been actively involved in a political issue, Galleni says. “Hundreds of people in our social group see movies at Cinemark,” Galleni says. “We have bought thousands of dollars in movie tickets from Cinemark so after hearing about Stock’s donation, we decided to boycott Cinemark by not going there anymore.” Scott Winer, 2008 graduate, says he would

choose to see the movie somewhere else if Cinemark was in Lawrence. The closest Cinemark theaters to Lawrence are in Merriam and Kansas City, Missouri. “For me, I don’t know how you could support Cinemark whose CEO encourages antigay rights,” Winer says. “I think this boycott is great, especially with the past election. Everyone is looking through rose colored glasses because Obama won but we can’t forget that on that same day, people’s rights were actually being taken away because Proposition 8

passed.” Alex Earles, Salina sophomore, says he was against Prop. 8 and will encourage his family and friends to see the movie, Milk, but not at Cinemark theaters. “I wanted to change my Facebook status when I heard about Stock’s donation,” Earles says. “I’ve encouraged my friends and family to see the movie but now I’ll have to persuade them to see it somewhere else.” JP

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January 15, 2009

notice

Stylish safety
Though wearing a bicycle helmet can save your life, being caught wearing one can make anyone into an instant fashion victim. Danish hat-maker Yakkay (www. yakkay.com) has found a stylish solution. Yakkay starts off with a topof-the-line helmet, which comes with various inserts and a stainless steel buckle to ensure a snug, comfortable fit with plenty of ventilation for Contributed photos those hot rides. But the street appeal comes in the form of a cover that is placed over the helmet. Yakkay makes a diverse line of helmet covers that are made to look like hats. From a 1920s-style cloche to a modern newsboy cap, Yakkay has got you covered with cautious panache. Michael Eide, CEO of Yakkay, says that the goal of making these helmet covers is to equally unite style and safety. But bikes are not the only place for potential noggin injuries. Winter sports carry a huge risk for cranial affliction because of high speeds, unforgiving trees and inexperienced participants. The Breckenridge Hat Company (www.breckenridgehatcompany. com) makes snazzy fleece covers for helmets worn during skiing, snowboarding or tubing for extra warmth, an added fashion statement and more reason to wear protective headgear. — Madeline Hyden

The Pieroguys
It’s easy to get tired of the typical late night snacks. Hamburgers. Pizza. Burritos. But it’s 3 a.m. and you want something a little more interesting. A different late night snack has arrived in Lawrence: pierogies—though it is a new late night snack that takes some forethought. A pierogie is a dumpling stuffed with a variety of fillings spanning from the traditional breakfast burrito to apple pie to a meat lovers pizza. They’re now made locally by The Pieroguys. “We want to appeal to college students,” says Frank Gazella Jr., Pieroguys owner. “It’s different than any other late night food in town.We want to start a new tradition in Lawrence with this food.” Buy them frozen, take them home, and then cook them in whatever fashion suits you—frying, boiling, baking or microwaving. “Pierogies are a popular food in northeast Pennsylvania,” Gazella said. “I transferred here for school and was out late one night with a bunch of my buddies when I wanted something to eat. I said I wanted a pierogie. None of them knew what that was.” This is not to label a pierogie as only a snack. They’re workable into Contributed photo most any meal. “They are good for everything. Great side dish, appetizer, late night food, snack or entrée,” said Gazella. I had them recently and my only word of advice is to serve them with sauce. Otherwise they’re a little too dry for anyone’s taste. For more information about The Pieroguys, visit www.pieroguys.com. — Ross Stewart

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COAT CHECK
January 15, 2009

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notice

Question & Answer

with Paul Santo of the Felt Show

Combining both prepared video and live skits, 2006 graduate Paul Santo’s puppet troupe, Felt Show, perverts the warm, fuzzy childhood associations most people have with puppets with dark adult themes. Over the past four years, Felt Show has grown to a cast of 20 puppets. After performing at local venues such as Hashinger Hall, Jackpot Music Hall and the Granada, Santos and crew are looking toward a more ambitious platform: television.

How did you get involved with felt puppets?
Mostly by accident. I found out that a friend of mine made puppets and we started to do shows after we got an ensemble cast to be able to do it.

mixing formats? Which excites you more as a performer/artist?
The video has its problems because you always have to wonder if the venue’s going to have a projector or how the audience is going to react. Sometimes the audience reacts differently to the video than they do to some of the live stuff. Sometimes vice versa. But the thing that excites me is that to be able to something video that incorporates something live. To be able to have a video tape segment bleed into a live segment.

How long have you been working with puppets and what drew you to them as medium for live comedy?
Puppets are really dynamic in the way that they allow you to have a different experience with an audience. They get used to music and bands and such but with a puppet they get something they haven’t really been accustomed to.

Photo illustration by Chance Dibben

Paul Santo, 2006 graduate, says the Jim Henson studio was one of his biggest influences.

How does scripting work for you and your crew? Is the process more democratic or is there one person guiding sessions along?

What were your inspirations and It’s democratic in that if anybody has an idea influences in building your puppet they want to write I give them credence to be able to do that. But usually it’s me pushing ensemble?
I would say the work from the Jim Henson studio and most of that stuff. Not really into a lot of the puppet stuff that’s been going on right now, like Wonder Shozen and Crank Yankers. it forward because I have the total vision to combine everything together.

How do you deal with feeling out what is funny and what is not funny? What’s funny in you and your crews eyes, as to opposed to how people react?
We try to tailor our shows after what an audience reacts to. So we’re really a rough draft kind of thing in that we go do a show and after that show we evaluate what people laughed at and what didn’t get laughs and then we change the show accordingly. We want to give the audience a singular experience. We do try to tailor things depending on how each show goes.

What’s the local response been like?
It’s been really well. If we perform in front of 200 people we get a lot of laughs. If we perform in front of five people we always get a lot of laughs. It’s one of those things that brings me back to it ... that if we had crickets to every joke that we were doing, eventually I’d just give up.

Have there been times when you felt like maybe you crossed a line with a skit that was too offensive?
Uhhh … a couple times. We had a skit that a Christian person labeled anti-Semitic, but then a Jewish person found it really, really funny.

How is the pilot coming along?
It’s coming along well. We just have to shoot two more skits that we have and then I’ll ship it off to a couple screeners and see what they think. And I think that we’ll—hopefully—be able to do something in the upcoming year.

Your shows combine live puppet work with video. What have been some challenges you’ve faced by

— Chance Dibben

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January 15, 2009

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By Brianne Pfannenstiel bpfannenstiel@kansan.com

Solidarity in the Sunflower State

Alternative politics finds a home in Lawrence
Eventually the project outgrew its roots and moved downtown as the Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library, which now offers a free lending library of about 6,000 alternative and radical political books, free computers and Internet access, meeting spaces and events for the public, including speakers, film showings, art exhibits and musikitchen of to find a stranger perusing the cabi- cians. Everything is free to the public and is nets for food or maybe some familiar faces coordinated and run by volunteers. “I don’t think there’s anything Solidarity ofusing the free Internet provided down the hall. But more often than not, they might have fers that the community couldn’t offer,” says found a living room full of people enjoying a volunteer Erika Shearer. “But it doesn’t. Most communities this size don’t have something meal together and discussing politics. “This was all right after Sept. 11 happened,” like this.” The main work at Solidarity focuses on Strano says.“There would always be huge group discussions. People would sit on bean bags or helping out residents within the community who are struggling on the floor just talking. It was a lot of people and to invite from all sorts of political spectators backgrounds lookMaybe you’d expect a to become more ing for a place to out of a little more involved with come together politics within their and examine what space that identifies itself own community.The was going on and with politial anarchism. Solidarity Center try to decide what undergoes major the heck to do with this new type of world that we’d all found fundraising campaigns every year to cover the ourselves in. People were really energized and costs of operation, but funds are also used for simple things like buying food to give to people politicized.” who can’t necessarily buy their own. “We want to be able to help our community survive this impending economic collapse,” Strano says. We want to feed more people, house people and be able to take care of people in our neighborhoods. We already have a lot of people involved in our space that come out of middle class backgrounds who are dealing with hunger, or their landlord being foreclosed upon. We just want to try to help each other out and help out the rest of our community.” But volunteers and activists associated with the Solidarity Center know that there’s a darker, more difficult side to what they do. “We have friends facing major terrorism charges,” Strano says, adding that a chunk of their fundraising goes to help out fellow activists facing legal trouble. He says that he has also had trouble getting jobs before because of his political and, consequently, legal history. “In Photo illustration by Ryan McGeeney a lot of places people might try to water down their politics for fear of being pigeon holed and stereotyped, but we try to be up front about who we are,” he says. Shearer says that she sometimes has trouble reconciling her political beliefs with her daily life. “It’s a constant conflict,” she says. “I’m trying to be realistic to how is the world actually functioning now but sometimes I wonder if I’m being holier than thou or you know, do I have a right to be angry when someone does something that seems small? The horrible example is driving your car when you could walk. Can I get mad at people? It’s a fine line. It’s frustrating and complicated and constantly a struggle inside because the world doesn’t always function as I think it should.” JP

The living room has a warm feeling to it. There’s a fireplace along one wall and bookshelves along the other. The furniture was probably picked up off the side of the road during move-out week on campus, but it’s still in good condition. The glass coffee table is Windexed and nearly always smudge-free. If it weren’t for the inflammatory political posters that line the walls or the bookshelves filled with radical anarchist publications, this could be anybody’s house.
Maybe it’s not what you’d expect from a group of Lawrence radicals who opened up their home to the collective public in September 2001. Maybe you’d expect something more reminiscent of the crust punk era of the ’60s and ’70s. Maybe you’d expect a little more chaos out of a space that identifies itself with political anarchism. “I think when we first started people expected to see a lot of dirty patched up crusted punk kids,” says Dave Strano, a 27-year-old Lawrence resident who became involved with the Mother Earth Collective, 1305 Tennessee St., shortly after it began. “We’ve done a lot of work to dispel that image. We try to make our space as clean and comfortable as possible. A lot of people aren’t used to the subject matter we’re talking about and it can be kind of intimidating. We want people to feel comfortable.” On any given day, residents of the Mother Earth Collective might have walked into the

[

chaos

]

Anarchism?
According to Infoshop.org, an “online anarchist community,” anarchy is about more than being purely antigovernment or anti-state. Anarchism is a political theory that believes the best society is one without political, economic or social hierarchies. They believe in anarchy, the absence of rulers, as a viable social system which would address man’s most basic needs of liberty, equality and solidarity. In general, anarchists aim to create a society based upon individual freedom and voluntary co-operation. The website says that “liberty without equality is only liberty for the powerful, and equality without liberty is impossible.” For anarchists, a person cannot be free if they are subject to state or capitalist authority. Many different variations of anarchism exist but all share the common belief in opposition to government and opposition to capitalism.

What is

The Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library offers a free lending library, free computer access and Internet, and free meeting spaces.

January 15, 2009

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overwhelmed
by the cost of

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We

Let’s take a road trip. Gather the friends, the old Corolla, a few scarves and maybe the dog. Let the windows hang loose, open just enough for your hand to ride the currents and flick pumpkin seeds. Make a few sideways glances, smiling, to your comrade in the back seat—but not too many. Tap your foot on the floorboard blanketed with old receipts, all the while knowing how important this moment truly is. Andrew Frederick, Shawnee junior, has that certain way with words—to create a world at the flick of a beat and the hum of a lyric, such as experienced with the song, “AA Batteries.” As lead singer and songwriter for Frederick and the Six Angry Contributed photo Telephones—a seven-member ensemble of violins, horns, saxophones Frederick and the Six Angry and the occasional (subtle) owl noise—Frederick creates music to Telephones is playing at The Wonka House, 726 Misemphasize and contextualize moments born out of peaks and rhythms. souri St., 9 p.m. on Saturday. With help from co-writer and long-time friend, Austin Quick, sophoThe band plans to release more, Frederick aims to unfold a story, in dramatic structure, for each a nine-song album on both of their songs; adding each instrument, or the coalescence of all, only CD and cassette soon. when crucial to the lyrical plotline. All the subtleties of a chime or the bellow of a horn become necessities. While growing up watching musicals like West Side Story and attending live orchestras at Theatre in the Park in Shawnee, it’s no surprise Frederick has a talent for composing unique melodic pop. Check the group’s Myspace page for news and to a few songs from the upcoming album, including “AA Batteries,” to see where they take you. — Tanner Grubbs

This Weekend:

for early mornings and late evenings, get a jolt from Scooter’s

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Slowly, begrudgingly, we allow ourselves to realize a new semester is upon us. For many students, the zombie-like jaunt to classes starting just after the break of dawn seems daunting. For others, those long, sleepless nights spent crafting papers and cramming for tests are once again becoming a frightening reality. When it feels as if your motivation has peaked and subsequently plummeted, you may want to stop at Scooter’s Coffeehouse Drive Thru, Ninth and Iowa streets just behind Zarco 66. From coffee to smoothies (piping hot to fingernumbing cold), hot chocolate to iced tea, Forbidden Photo illustration by Kristopher McDonald Fruit to Mocha, Scooter’s has a seemingly endless array A new stop for anything from coffee to of choices to satisfy that mid-morning hunger pang or smoothies to tea has made its debut at late-night caffeine craving. Scooter’s is open 6 a.m. to Ninth and Iowa streets. Scooter’s Coffeehouse Drive Thru provides its consumers 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with energy, says manager Steve Martin. Sunday. A recent excursion through Scooter’s yielded a 16-ounce iced latte and a 16-ounce Caramelicious smoothie for $7.08. Scooter’s manager Steve Martin says the coffee shop works hard to satisfy its customers’ needs. “Our coffee definitely provides our consumers with energy,” Martin says. “Energy to work, energy to study or energy to do whatever it is they need to get done.” The store’s proximity to campus also makes Scooter’s appealing to students, Scooter’s employee Katy Poff says. “It’s so much easier for students to come by here when it’s so close to them,” Poff says, “rather than driving all the way downtown to shop at Starbucks or another coffee house.” — Kristopher McDonald

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January 15, 2009

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Out About
[ what would you do with a million dollars? ]
Monica Roberts, Overland Park sophomore: “I’d blow it all. I’d just go shopping and pay off my credit card debt.”

Grayson Ediger, Lenexa junior: “I would go backpacking across Europe and travel the world.”

Brandon Komp,Wichita freshman: “I would invest it in the stock market, make sure it’s secure stocks though, not volatile stocks.”

Katie Sanders, Lenexa junior: “I would probably save some of it and probably travel around the world and buy a nice car.”

Jeff Hays, Kansas City, Kansas, junior: “I would buy a minor league baseball team.”

Adam Weigel, Brookville junior: “I’d buy a seat in the donor section of Allen Fieldhouse and actually cheer during the game.”

Maria Carr, Kansas City, Kansas, junior: “I’d probably buy an island and live on it.”

Millie Angleton,Towanda junior: “I’d buy a house and invest in it.” Kelsey Allen, St. Louis, Missouri, senior: “I would probably travel all over. I’d have to travel first class and do everything first class.”

Josh McCullough, St. Louis, Missouri, senior: “I’d probably retire and not invest it in the economy right now.” — Kelly Breckunitch

January 15, 2009

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feature

No Holds Barred: The seCreT life of bartenders

By Brianne Pfannenstiel bpfannenstiel@kansan.com

But bartenders have a lot more on their plates than just pouring drinks. They have to be able to deal with the stress of serving an unrelenting wall of customers and they have to put up with all of the stupid things we won’t remember saying in the morning. It’s their job to make sure the party runs smoothly, and tonight they’re calling the shots.

‘everybody loves the bartender’
“My graduates tell me they love the job because it’s the only job they don’t dread going to work at,” says Beth Merrill, director for the Kansas City, Missouri, branch of Professional Bartending Schools of America. “You walk in that door and everybody’s happy to see you because everybody loves the bartender.You have a good time.” Bartenders exude a sense of mystery and charisma. They’re untouchable, and, let’s be honest, they just seem a hell of a lot cooler than the rest of the mere mortals standing in line for our It might be one of the most recession-proof jobs in America. vodka tonics every As long as there are reasons to drink—and who can’t think Friday night. Merrill’s stuof several?—there will be a need for people who pour, mix dents must learn to and serve us alcohol. Enter bartender—the mysterious and intriguing character working behind the scenes. Celebrities accurately mix 175 in their own right, bartenders are the rock stars of the Friday different drinks from (and Saturday and Sunday and Monday … ) night bar scene. memory to graduate from bartending school. They also learn to free pour alcohol without using measuring jiggers and they memorize basic product information about different types of alcohol so that they can substitute brands and improvise when necessary. They learn how to spot fake IDs and how to judge the intoxication level of customers. “You have to grow another arm, an eye in the back of your head, another ear,” Merrill says. “You have to be able to put a lot of pieces together and do a lot of things at once. It’s not just standing there making drinks.” At bars that cater to a mostly college-aged crowd, bartenders generally get the job by working their way up from a different position. Bartenders at upscale restaurants say that taking a class like Merrill’s, though, is necessary. “There’s no reason to go to bartending school if you’re going to work at a bar where you just make rum and Cokes all night,” says junior Logan Sack, a graduate of Professional Bartending Schools of America. “Working at a place where you’re a legit bartender, that means something. It definitely says you know what’s going on.”

Anyone who frequents the bars knows the difference between good and bad bartenders and the ones who keep you coming back every weekend have that certain je ne sais qua that extends far beyond accurate pouring skills. “It’s very much about hospitality and about making people feel welcome,” says KU graduate and Teller’s bartender Whit Bones. “You have to keep a smile on your face, have a good attitude and keep a quick wit.” It’s important for bartenders to make that connection with customers, which sometimes can mean stepping outside the prescribed role of simple bartender. Colin Mermey, a Rochester, New York, senior, bartends at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri, and says that he occasionally finds himself fulfilling the psychiatric needs of his customers. “You have to deal with the people who tend to bleed themselves emotionally to you,” Mermey says. “All you can really do is be an active listener.You learn to kind of nod and repeat what they’ve said a couple times.” Thad Haverkamp, who has been a bartender for seven years at various Lawrence locations, including the Replay Lounge, the Jackpot Music Hall and currently Liberty Hall, says his job as bartender also frequently encompasses the role of peacekeeper. He says it’s not uncommon for him to have to step into a hostile situation and try to diffuse tensions before they escalate and become dangerous. But worse than that, he says, is the role of the babysitter. “It’s our job to make sure everyone’s having a good time and enjoying themselves so we do try and take care of the people who aren’t doing so well.” Matt Uritis, a 2008 graduate and Louise’s West bartender, says that he has even gone so far as to drive a drunk customer home after a night at the bar. “He’s a regular and one of my favorite people who comes into the bar,” Uritis says. “If it had been someone else I wouldn’t have done it. It’s like one of your friends—you take care of them and they take care of you.” This is just the first on a very long list of reasons why you should always try to get on your bartender’s good side.Your bartender will ultimately determine how well you get served each night and it’s generally in your best interest to avoid a few simple things they say can get you kicked to the back of the line.

psychologist, chauffeur, babysitter, bartender

the line. I’ll serve everyone else before you.” Other seemingly common sense no-nos to avoid include yelling, cursing or throwing small objects at your bartender. “I’ve had people throw stuff at me,” says the Sprint Center’s Mermey. “Say you give the customer a pen to sign their bill and they’ll take the pen and throw it square back in your face.You know, their whiskey, god forbid, wasn’t this high, or you forgot to give them a straw or something stupid.” General verbal abuse is also a good one to steer clear from, says Uritis of Louise’s West, who once told a couple “thanks guys” only for the man to respond with, “I didn’t spend five grand on a tit job for you to call her a dude.” For better service, be friendly by striking up a conversation and leave the attitude at home. On a slow night, a good way to get conversation started is to ask them to surprise you with a drink. Let them know what kind of liquor you like and then let them take it from there. “It’s kind of like research and design at the bar,” Haverkamp says. Bartenders also like to develop camaraderie with their customers. “I like the people who will only come to me for service,” says Nathan Schriner, a Lawrence junior who bartended for a Club Med resort in Ixtapa, Mexico. “I love for a customer to say, ‘You’re my bartender and I’m only coming to you.’”

Bones says the woman was a slow eater, but the man, who had finished, kept refilling on wine until he became completely trashed. But Bones says it’s all part of the entertainment. “Sometimes it’s a bit fun to play with those situations and give them heavy pours just to see where it goes.” It started to get awkward about the time the man started emotionally professing the many secrets of his personal life. “I could tell that she was just playing with him,” Bones says. “He didn’t realize I could hear everything. It was terribly awkward. She left alone that night and he left with all the hope in the world of seeing her again, but I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen.” He wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last guy to leave the bar alone. Haverkamp says he sees many of the exact same situations played out by his customers over and over again each night. “There’s not a lot of variation on what people do in bars,” he says. There are many stereotypical character types and plot lines that he and his fellow bartenders frequently see acted out. “I don’t see too many college students at our bar. It’s mostly older people, but I kind give them the same stereotypes because I can definitely see what they were like when they were younger. It just hasn’t changed,” Mermey says. “You’ll definitely have the really loud

overconfident macho guy who is totally going through a mid-life crisis ordering all the drinks he possibly can and spending a lot of money. Then you have the woman who definitely hasn’t left her college years even though she’s well into her 40s and will hit on all of the guy bartenders regardless of her age.” Uritis says some of his most annoying customers belong to the newly 21 crowd. “I hate the kids who are really young and come into the bar and don’t know how to act and end up treating the bartenders like shit. That’s my biggest pet peeve,” he says. “They’re finally 21 and they feel like they finally deserve to be there so they’re going to be really loud and obnoxious.” Then, of course, some of the bars’ patrons just don’t seem to fit any stereotypes at all. Haverkamp says he was bartending at a wedding at Liberty Hall when the father and brother of the groom became so belligerently drunk that they had to be removed from the building. “The father of the groom at one point harassed my manager with a cake spatula,” Haverkamp says. “He grabbed it off the serving plate and was gesturing at him menacingly with this silver decorative cake spatula in his hand. It was possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen somebody do. I can’t imagine what the bride had to be thinking.” JP

Photo by Ryan McGeeney

10

January 15, 2009

Matt Uritis, 2008 graduate and Louise’s West bartender, has driven a drunk customer home in the past. “He’s a regular,” Uritis says. “It’s like one of your friends—you take care of them and they take care of you.”

1) a. lemon twist 2) Pineapple juice and cream of coconut 3) about half an ounce 4) ale 5) cut, squeeze, slide on rim and drop in drink 6) a. .08 percent 7) ’57 T-bird With Florida Plates 8) b. 5 to 8 seconds 9) Sex on the Beach, Woo Woo Shooter, Silk Panties 10) pinot grigio, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot blanc, pinot gris, Riesling, chenin blanc

Snapping your fingers at your bartender is at the top of the “definitely don’t” list for Liberty Hall’s Haverkamp. “Don’t snap at your bartender. Snapping puts you at the back of

the dos and the don’ts

You should also be aware that all of your actions—every pickup line and every awkward dance move—are just another twist or turn of plot in your bartender’s own personal soap opera. “I always eavesdrop,” Haverkamp says. “It’s the best part of the job.You hear the worst pickup lines, but the scariest part is when they actually work.” One of the most common plot developments that Haverkamp witnesses is the attempted pickup. “Probably the worst stereotype are the guys who for some reason really think that their moves are working on the women who are obviously not interested,” he says. “It’s usually the drunk guy who sits down next to the girl who’s in the middle of conversation with her friends and no matter how many times she turns her back to him, he keeps talking.” Bones, of Teller’s, says that he has seen his fair share of pickups and awkward situations. He recalls a situation recently in which a man and woman appeared at the bar separately, alone and seemingly on business. “They started chatting for a while and it seemed like they were doing pretty well, talking about this and that, then he got really excited,” Bones says. “I think he realized that he was talking to a really attractive woman who was here alone on business and he started to realize he might get some that night.”

the drama

think you’ve got what it takes to be a bartender?
1) What is the optional garnish for all mixed drinks made with white wine? a. a lemon twist b. orange peel c. pineapple slice 2) What two ingredients are used to make pina colada mix? 3) How much is “a splash”? a. about half an ounce b. one ounce c. two ounces 4) Which classification of beer takes longer to ferment? a. ale b. lager 5) Order the four steps of serving a lime garnish. 6) What is the blood-alcohol content limit for Kansas and Missouri? a. .08 percent b. 0.8 percent c. 8 percent 7) Which tall drink uses all top shelf alcohol? a. ’57 T-bird with Florida plates b. Seth Allen c. Mexican Slayride 8) How long do you blend an iced cream drink? a. 2 to 3 seconds b. 5 to 8 seconds c. 9 to 10 seconds 9) Name one shooter drink that contains vodka and peach schnapps. 10) Name three types of white wine.

January 15, 2009

11

Bitch&
MOAN
with Carly Halvorson and Elliot Kort
Christina, senior

contact
known that my lack of relationship with him is a principal factor in why I run from every romantic relationship I’ve ever known. How do I start over? Elliot: One of my personal credos is that
every person has to live on his or her terms. If you’re really going to start over, you need to keep this in mind from the get-go. Let it become your mantra. If you need to walk out of your father’s life to have a healthy one of your own, then that is what you must do. With regards to starting over with other relationships, I’d say you need to be constantly aware of your own state of mind. Know when your impulses and instincts are being thrown off by something, some past baggage that’s still holding you down. In time, you’ll probably manage to let go of it all. But if not, by being conscious of everything going on in your head, at least you’ll be mindful enough to keep it all from hurting you any longer. Do everything on your terms, and you should be just fine.

Jodie, junior

Lately, I just haven’t been interested in sex. I’m too tired, stressed out, insecure and worried about money. How do I get over this? Elliot: To start, let me state the utterly obvious: It is clear there’s a lot on your mind. That being said, you’re going to have to face a cold, hard truth.You can’t always be in the mood, no matter how much you hope for the opposite. If you’re looking to “alter your mood,” the biggest key is not to force it. Try to do little things every day that relax you and that might (hopefully) take your mind off of whatever is bugging you. Take time for yourself. And also, if your current mood fits you, don’t pressure yourself to change it! Just because we can get laid all the time doesn’t mean we need to. And besides, what’s the point of getting all hot and bothered if you don’t want to be hot and bothered? Carly: I agree with Elliot–the first and most important thing you need to do is take care of yourself. Women are more prone to getting distracted during sex than men, so having a lot on your mind can easily rob you of your libido. Take practical steps to get rid of your stressors, like creating a budget or doing some simple workouts at home. Don’t expect your sex drive to magically appear–just help it come back. Make your bedroom a “no bummer” zone. Once you get inside, don’t think about what’s stressing you out. Instead, light some candles; research shows that cucumber scents can heighten arousal. Have a date night with your partner that’s accompanied by some natural aphrodisiacs, like champagne and chocolate. For the finale, wear something that makes you feel sexy and put on your favorite lacy bra. When you look at yourself in the mirror and think, “Damn, I look good,” then you’re more likely to want to have sex. Around the holidays, when I’m finally home and spending time with family after months away at school, everyone is longing to ask me the same question: ‘…so are you seeing anyone?’ Whether I am or not is irrelevant. If I say ‘yes,’ the game of 20 questions begins and I’m wishing

I could disappear. If I say ‘no,’ the conversation comes to a screeching halt and I’m still wishing I could disappear. How can I equip myself to handle this sticky situation without disappointing my family and desperately wanting to hide under the table?
Hannah, junior

Carly: A lot of girls have that one male figure in their lives that looms ominously over every new relationship. For some, it’s an ex. For others–like you–it’s their fathers. This is especially tricky, because it is often said that girls seek out men who are similar to their fathers. It’s important that you learn to separate his qualities from any prospect you may have.You can’t help getting caught up in that fear that your new partner is going to turn out like your father, but once you do feel that fear, do something about it. Have a close friend sit down with you so you can distance your issues with your father from this new relationship. Don’t linger on the hypothetical, “What if he … ?” because those situations simply reinforce your feelings and give you justification for walking away. It won’t be easy, but with a good support system to pick you back up, it’s doable.
Have relationship questions or need some advice? E-mail bitchandmoan@kansan.com. *Bitch and Moan is not to be considered as a substitute
for professional help.

Elliot: It seems to me that you have to find a middle ground.You want two things to happen: First, you want to assure your folks that their daughter isn’t a shut-in. Second, you want to avoid an all-out interrogation. The next time you’re home and your parents start to ask questions, throw them a curve ball. Say, “Well, I’ve been seeing someone. But I’m not sure if there’s much to it, yet, so I don’t want to blow it out of proportion.” This way, your parents will feel assured that you’re out there meeting people. Also, it’s unlikely that they will dedicate a lot of energy to grilling you with questions. I mean, honestly, what kind of parents ask when you’re bringing home a special someone if you’re even hesitant to mention his name? With any luck, you’ll be out of the woods until you want to fill them in on more information. Carly: I’m a big fan of those interrogations, actually. I don’t get asked a million questions about anyone I’m dating anymore, though, because I relied on my sarcasm instead of being straightforward. If you really want to end the interrogations once and for all, just tell them that you met your new dating buddy downtown one night after the bars were closing. He was the rugged backpacker asking for money on the corner of Mass. Street.You knew it was fate when he asked to come home with you so he could use your shower. Mention that you really wish you could see him and talk to him more often, but it’s difficult when he doesn’t have a cell phone, a car, a bike or however much change is required to make a call on a pay phone. Say all of this with a straight face, and you should be okay. I used this story two years ago, and since then my holidays are much less intrusive. I made a resolution this year to walk out of my father’s life. I’ve always

How We Met
It was more than luck that Maddie O’Connor and Bill Murphy met in Ireland just about a year ago on O’Connor’s study abroad semester. The local pub, the Old Oak, set the scene for the Irish couple. O’Connor says Murphy roped her in with his Irish accent. O’Connor and Murphy, both juniors at the time, laughed off the cultural differences by examining Murphy’s pronunciations and his use of slang terms. Kansas City native and senior O’Connor considers herself Irish because of her great ancestors, but Murphy tells her otherwise. Having Irish ancestors doesn’t make you Irish per se, but who’s really checking, Murphy tells her. Both families have welcomed the idea of a long distant relationship and are happy for the couple, but the logistics of what would happen if the two were to marry scares them: Who would live where? How do you get a visa?

Contributed photo

For now, the couple talks every day through Skype, web cams and cell phones, just as much as most couples do, O’Connor says. Every three months the two visit each other; the last visit was in Ireland over Christmas break. It must be the luck of the Irish. —Stephanie Schneider

January 15, 2009

13

Welcome back S tudents!

health

taking the stairs
We are all busy, and making time for a workout may not be a priority. But before giving in to the hustle of school life, use the stairs instead of taking the elevators. Regular stair climbing can be a good daily exercise, says Amber Long, fitness coordinator at the Student Recreation Fitness Center. “You can do it in regular clothes,” she says. “Every little bit that you can do helps throughout the day.” Long says taking the stairs helps your body burn more calories and keeps your muscles in a stronger state. According to the Calorie Control Council, three minutes of Photo illustration by Sachiko Miyakawa stair climbing can burn 31 calories. Walking up the stairs may make you out of breath, but it’s a good sign that your body uses a lot of oxygen. Long says stair climbing can be aerobic exercise, which increases heart rate and stimulates blood circulation. Walking up hills has a similar effect, she says. Long also recommends including small exercises as part of lifestyle activities, such as walking from home to school, and stretching and squatting during study breaks. VERDICT: GOOD FOR YOU — Sachiko Miyakawa

running marathons
Sure, running is a great way to stay in shape, but is there a point when it becomes too excessive? How about running or training the 26 miles of a marathon? Training for a marathon or half-marathon is a great way to stay fit and lose weight, but Lance Snyder, orthopedic surgeon at the Kansas City Orthopedic Institute in Leawood, says that running marathons is not for everyone. “There is a reason the first two people who ran the marathon died,” Snyder says. “Marathons are meant for extremely athletic people, not your average Joe.” Snyder says he has many patients who decide they want to run a marathon and six weeks into their training they are struck with ailments such as Planter Fasciitis, torn ligaments, hip displacement and the list goes on. Photo illustration by Jerry Wang The stress of your body constantly hitting the hard pavement is meant for only a select group of athletes. On an average body, the stress can do much more damage than good. Snyder recommends other ways of staying in shape such as joining a gym or a local intramural group. Lauren Gray, Leawood senior, is training for her second half-marathon. The half-marathon will be held October 12 in Kansas City, Missouri. “I like it because as I train, the muscle throughout my body becomes much more toned and I am able to build my endurance,” Gray says. “However, there are times after long runs where I have pain in my knees and hips.” Gray says that the positive mental gain outweighs the physical pain. VERDICT: BAD FOR YOU, but a half-marathon in the near future isn’t unrealistic. — Megan Weltner

14

January 15, 2009

digital books
Save a tree or two by buying a digital textbook or finding required texts online. Many textbooks are available in digital form at the KU Bookstores or online through publishing companies or websites such as www.cafescribe. com. However, the KU Bookstores sell fewer than 10 digital textbooks each semester, says Estella McCollum, business manager for KU Bookstores. She says it appears to be a good deal at first, but many of the digital textbooks are sold as subscriptions that expire and digital textbooks have no buyback value. So if saving money is as important to you as saving trees, check these places for free digital texts. Christian Classics Ethereal Library Find full texts of classic Christian writings such as St. Augustine’s Confessions and Dante’s Divine Comedy at www.ccel.org. Project Gutenberg Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) provides free access to content with expired copyrights. Download books such as Virgil’s Aeneid (required for “Western Civ I”) and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein (required for “Western Civ

DIY:

jumpstart your laptop battery

manual

Photo illustration by Becka Cremer

II”) and save a tree and some money. Stanza Download the Stanza application to your iPod Touch or iPhone through the iTunes App Store or to your computer at www. lexcycle.com to access more than 100,000 books. Many of the books are free, and most are less expensive than their print versions. Also check out the Read Green Initiative at www.goreadgreen.com, where you can get a free one-year digital subscription of your favorite magazine. — Becka Cremer

If your laptop battery has lost its spunk, then you may be able to regain some of its charge. Most modern laptops use lithium-ion batteries. There is a processor in the battery that measures the charge left in the battery. Over time, the processor can misreport the charge. If your lithium-ion battery has become inaccurate, then it is time to recalibrate it. The following method is recommended by Apple for its computers.You should check with your manufacturer for its approved method, though the process will probably be similar. First, fully charge your battery and wait two hours with the AC adapter plugged into your laptop. Then unplug the AC adapter and let your computer’s battery run out.Your computer will go to sleep.You can either turn off your laptop or let it sleep at least five hours. Finally, plug in your AC adapter into your laptop and let it fully charge.Your battery should now give a more accurate reading. Older laptops use nickel-based batteries. These batteries can develop a memory if not charged correctly, so you should consult your

Photo illustration by Adam Schoof

laptop’s manufacturer for the proper way to maintain your battery. For both lithium-ion and nickel-based batteries, you should avoid running on AC power for extended periods. Laptop batteries are like any other battery, in that they eventually die. If your battery cannot hold a charge, then you will have to buy a new one. You should not throw away your old laptop battery because it may contain toxic chemicals. AT&T, Lawrence Battery and RadioShack will recycle your laptop battery. — Adam Schoof

$1,000 cash drawing on Saturday
(must be present on Friday and Saturday to win)

BACK TO SCHOOL BASH
1 to dance. 21 to drink. 8

FRIDAY @ 9 $2 Bud Lights &Bacardis SATURDAY @ 9 $2 Domestics & Bacardis
F Free cover Saturday 21 & up
meet ame e on oo r. t h e d n c fl
1 to dance. 21 to drin 8

abejakes.com

84 1-5855
January 15, 2009

15

Jayplay
16
January 15, 2009

says. . .
KU Fit classes
Whereas a workout class downtown may cost in the double-digits— nearly a fortune for a college student—similar classes are offered every day in the Ambler Photo by Jon Goering/KANSAN FILE PHOTO Student Recreation Amber Long leads her yoga class in exercises at the Ambler Fitness Center for Student Recreation Center. a much more affordable price. And because KU Fit classes are taught by student instructors, that rare trip to the fitness center won’t feel as strenuous as attending a class taught by a professional. Classes offered vary from cardio, strength training, cardio and strength mix, and mind and body exercises. Each class is only $3, or you can get a pass for each semester or school year. Even better, all KU Fit classes are free today and next week, and are free again during finals week.

go to

listen to
Jaydiohead
If it’s hard for you to find a happy medium between your favorite hip-hop and alternative music, a new album by the name of Jaydiohead may be able to cure your musical misery. The album, created by New York City producer Minty Fresh Beats, features 10 songs that mash up two of the most popular acts in music, Jay-Z and Radiohead. In addition to putting some of Radiohead’s catchiest beats over Jay-Z’s most familiar raps, Minty Fresh Beats probably enjoyed putting together the creative song titles, such as “99 Anthems,” “Dirt Off Your Android” and “Fall in Step.” Jaydiohead is available for free download at www.jaydiohead.com.

throw

an ABC party
You won’t be learning much at an ABC party. It’s an Anything But Clothes party, and a time to get creative. Everything and anything imaginable can be strung or glued together to create an outfit. Whip out the duct tape, string and hot glue gun and piece together an ensemble that would put a kindergartener’s craft project to shame.

Plastic bags, playing cards, bubble wrap and CDs can make fun outfits.

Contributed photo

Here’s some ideas to get started on an outfit: 3 playing cards as a shirt or skirt 3 duct tape bra or underwear 3 a vest of paper plates 3 a gift bag tube dress 3 a old 30-pack beer box with ribbon suspenders 3 wrapping paper with strategically placed ribbon and bows

3 a skirt of CDs 3 a bubble wrap tube top 3 plastic or paper bags fashioned in every which way 3 a Twister gameboard 3 a smartly draped sheet 3 an envelope pantsuit or dress

watch
the new season of Real World: Brooklyn
The drama, struggles and problems of the cast of eight (a departure from the usual seven) seem more real this time around. Chet is one of 10 children from a strict Mormon family in Salt Lake City. His bleach blond hair and tight clothing make him seem like a typical party boy, but he sticks with his firm beliefs of no premarital sex and no alcohol. This eccentric conservative has no qualms about voicing his opinions, which could cause conflict with … JD, a gay man who became one of the youngest dolphin trainers in the world at age 18. His grandmother took him to Sea World when he was 5 and he asserted to become a dolphin trainer from at that point. He eventually graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in marine biology. His homosexuality has caused a connection with … Katelynn, a transsexual person who started living as a woman at the age of 17. She was raised by a religious Italian family and is also a black belt in martial arts. This past July, she traveled to Thailand to undergo the last set of surgeries and completed the transition from man to woman. Some of the cast picked up on her diverse nature, including … Ryan, an Iraq veteran who enlisted in the Army at 17. He was in the Army for three-and-ahalf years and experienced many near-death experiences. He is an amateur musician who likes to express himself through playing the guitar.Within the first episode, he has already expressed his taste for booze and refereed to Katelynn as an “it,” which may cause problems with … Sarah, a bisexual woman who is currently in her first relationship with a man. Until now, all of her relationships have been with women. JD and Katelynn have formed a bond because of what they have experienced in the LBGT community, which could make her feel excluded, but she could be distracted by … Scott, a personal trainer who has been working out since he was 14. He started his own DJ business and is the first in his family to graduate college. He obsessed with staying fit and wanting to break into the modeling industry. Another cast member fixated on beauty is … Devyn, who was Miss American Teen 2005. She hopes to break into the entertainment industry and could have an easier time by standing by her mantra, “It is easier to get into Heaven than into Devyn.” She aspires to be an actress, singer and dancer. Another cast member who moved to New York to become a dancer is … Baya, who’s passionate about hip-hop culture. She occasionally suffers from panic attacks, but does not want her condition to get in the way of becoming a professional hip-hop dancer. So there you have it: eight people, one house, a whole lotta legit drama. This cast has more to offer than drunk young adults lusting after each other or the necessary alcoholinfused pick-me-up every morning that has been a staple of past seasons. Check out Real World: Brooklyn at 9p.m. central time Wednesdays on MTV.

Best Pool Hall
by Students
$ 2 Imports $ 3 Jager Bombs $ 3 Guinness

Voted

Tonight

$1 WELLS
(Every Saturday)

GAME DAYS
10 ft. HD TV

POKER

FREE POOL

Sun & Wed Cash Prizes Sun-Thurs (after midnight)

925 Iowa

(Behind the Merc) 785.749.5039

January 15, 2009

17

reviews
MOVIE: Gran Torino
Clint Eastwood has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards for a reason: The man makes damn good movies. Gran Torino is no exception. Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a bitter and racist old man who is recently widowed. The story is centered on his relationship with the sullen Thao, played by Bee Vang, a kid plagued by pressures to join his neighborhood gang. Walt takes it upon himself to teach Thao about tools, life and his baby, a 1973 Ford Gran Torino. Walt talks like your average geriatric, pissed off at the world for changing and hating any car not made in America. The racial slurs roll off his tongue like an everyday hello. But he is revealed to be an honest and decent man, who more than knows his way around a firearm. Eastwood plays a character reminiscent of the past with his fists flying before any questions can be uttered. His performance is the best so far this year, and might just hold that title for months to come.

MUSIC: Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Animal Collective’s ninth studio release, is one of those albums that managed to garner plenty of attention and excitement long before its release, and it doesn’t disappoint. Animal Collective, which is made up of David “Avey Tare” Portner, Noah “Panda Bear” Lennox, Brian “Geologist” Weitz and Josh “Deakin” Dibb (although Deakin did not take part in this album), has created music that is equally strange and beautiful. With a unique sound that doesn’t overpower its appeal, Merriweather Post Pavilion is a nearly perfect combination of eclectic and alluring sounds and harmonies. While listening to the album seems at times like a dream or even a bit otherworldly, the band manages to bring the songs into a sphere that is personable and easy to relate to—on “My Girls,” Panda Bear sings about wanting to provide a home for his family amidst synths and claps, and on “Summertime Clothes,” Avey Tare tells of wanting to take a walk with his lover, a simple desire delivered in an original way that only Animal Collective

Sharing the name of an old muscle car, Gran Torino is a film that beautifully covers a host of emotions. Could you expect anything less from someone as dedicated as Eastwood? He not only starred in and directed the film, he even sings the title song.

can deliver. This album is an innovative, eccentric, evocative and exhilarating release—it lives up to the hype that came before it, and will generate hype for years to come.

— Amanda Sorell

— Mark Arehart

MOVIE: The Unborn
Little is to be said about The Unborn except that it is a predictable piece of Hollywood garbage. It is the horror movie equivalent of those over processed packaged cheese slices you find in grocery store dairy aisles. But it’s hard to expect anything less from producer Michael Bay, who has made a career of specializing in big budget artistic travesties that crush the souls of critics. The poorly constructed plot is this: Casey Beldon (Megan Fox look-alike Odette Yustman) starts having crazy dreams involving bull terriers, formaldehyde-encased fetuses and a ghostly little boy.Then the psychotic child she’s babysitting starts giving her ominous warnings about something “wanting to be born.” Turns out Casey had a twin brother who died in the womb.This and the strange mental decline and suicide of Casey’s mother cause her to seek out her grandmother, who claims the family is being cursed by a dybbuk, a bad spirit whose origins can be found in the Kabbalah. Weird stuff keeps happening until the movie turns into a flimsy Jewish, mysticism-infused version of The Exorcist, complete with possession victims crab-walking down flights of stairs (this movie gets negative points for lack of originality and besmirching the good name of William Friedkin’s classic). In an attempt to make up for the horridness of the rest of the movie, writer and director David S. Goyer gives us plenty of gratuitous shots of Yustman doing sexy things. The audience sees Casey in her underwear about 50 percent of the time.Apparently, she also likes to take showers and sleep in the nude. Go figure. The Unborn has a pretty decent supporting cast, but most of the screen time goes to the
prettier-looking, younger lead actors. Blink, and you’ll miss Idris Elba, Carla Gugino and, most disappointing of all, the great Gary Oldman, who gets about fifteen minutes onscreen as a rabbi performing Casey’s exorcism. Do not waste time or money seeing The Unborn. This bland, hardly frightening heap of flaming dog poo is not worth it. It’s not even so bad it’s good. It’s just bad.

— Abby Olcese

18

January 15, 2009

speak

Danceof life
By Vicky Lu editor@kansan.com closet to pretend I was busy. But I just could not help looking at my roommates’ pretty dresses and imagining how beautiful they would be on me. And then an hour before the formal, I decided to go. I had to go. My decision was not just about dancing; it was about daring the challenge of something unknown. I walked in to the room and told them I was going. After a moment of silence, the entire room burst into a cheer. Lauren danced with a curler still on her hair. She was cheering because room 209 could go together. I was cheering because finally I was being true to myself. The night was a fun blur. I met a Mongolian guy named Ider, who taught me how to do the traditional Mongolian dance. I was a little bit nervous at the beginning, but by the third song, Ider and I were in the spotlight. I couldn’t follow his steps exactly, and it was probably my clumsy movements that caught the attention of the crowd, but I threw myself into the music. I knew stepping out of the comfort zone might be difficult at first, but
the courage would somehow be rewarded. In my first reporting class one year later, my journalism professor, Scott Reinardy, said if we wanted to be reporters, we’d have to go out and talk to people. It sounded simple, but it was hard starting a conversation with a stranger, especially for me, whose native language is not English. But every time I was nervous knocking on the door of a city manager or calling someone I did not know for an interview, I thought of that night. I knew exactly what a reporter should be equipped with—courage. Each time I summoned the nerve to talk to someone, I got great interviews. I still can’t dance today, and I am on the edge of forgetting the Mongolian dance. But I remember that winter formal night, when I took, what was for me, a huge risk. That same courage has helped me with my academic goal—being a reporter, a storyteller who goes out of her comfort zone in search of the unknown. JP

When Chinese student Vicky Lu found the courage to go to her first formal, she learned a powerful lesson
I was sad. I tried to pretend that I really had homeIt was the night of the winter formal. All work to focus on. I kept checking my mailbox, the girls in my hall were running door-to- I kept refreshing Blackboard, and I kept my door looking at each others’ dresses, giv- head low so people did not see the sad look ing compliments and advice on makeup. My on my face. No mail, no updates. I started three roommates had been busy trying out calling people on my phone to avoid hearing different outfits and hairdos four hours be- my roommates’ conversation on makeup. No fore the winter formal started. Our room one picked up. I even tried to organize my floor was scattered with heels, headdress flowers and colorful nail polish bottles. The sweet scents perfume flooded the hallway. It was a lovely picture on a mid-November night. And yet, I was sad. I turned down my roommates’ suggestion of going to winter formal for the third time. I decided not to go because I did not know how to dance, and I was afraid of being embarrassed. In the Asian culture, I am taught to behave properly in Contributed photo every occasion, and I never atVicky’s (third from left) daring leap onto the dance floor left her with an tempt anything if I don’t have lesson that has also helped her career aspirations. control over it. Since arriving in the United States two years ago, I’ve been observing and trying to learn the American way of life so I would fit in. This winter formal was on my list of things to master, too. But while my roommates were crossing the days off on the calendar, looking forward to the this night, I had been hoping it would never come. That was not like me. I was usually active in all hall events such as the tie-dying party, pumpkin patch and “big sis, lil sis” sleepover. However, this formal was different. After watching some 19th century European love movies, I was filled with the preconception that in the formal, girls would be dressed up like princesses and circle in the ballroom. I was ashamed of my dancing skills. I was afraid I’d step on someone in the ballroom or do something inappropriate. I had wanted to go to the formal from the beginning, but like any other girl, I wanted to look my best, and I was afraid I would embarrass myself. This struggling feeling almost swallowed me, and I found it hard to breathe. “Vicky, you sure you don’t want to go?” Lauren asked. “No, I guess not. I have homework to do,” I said. It was obviously a lie—my fading voice gave it away.

Illustration by Catherine Coquillette

January 15, 2009

19

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Thursday
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Friday
$3 MILLER HIGH LIFE LITERS $2 BOULEVARD DRAWS $2 CAPT. MORGAN

saturday
$1 WELLS $2 MICHELOB ULTRA

Sunday
$1.50 Screwdrivers

Monday
$3 MILLER HIGH LIFE LITERS

Tuesday
$1.50 Domestic Bottles

Wednesday
$2 SMIRNOFF (ANY FLAVOR) $2 HONOR VODKA

$4.75 Premium Pitchers $3.75 PBR Pitchers $3.75 Natural Light Pitchers $3.50 JÄger Bombs $5.00 Double Grey Goose

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$5.25
skyy, Absolut, Stoll, & Tanquerray Martinis 1/2 Price Appetizers

Friday & Saturday
pizza and pasta for $9 Sandwich or Salad $7.50

$5 for wine by the glass

1/2 Off All Wine Bottles $1 Off All Import Draught (No $20 or Reserve Bottles) & Bottle Beers

$8 Flight of 3 Wines

1/2 Price Appetizers 1/2 Price Appetizers 1/2 Price Appetizers

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Friday & Saturday: Back to School Bash
$2 Budweiser Products $2 Bacardis $2 Domestics $2 Bacardis

Party Rooms Available Free Cover 21+ on Saturday 18 to enter, 21 to drink

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