Another Starbucks, Another Planet

February 24, 2009

Sitting in yet another Starbucks, this time in Brooklyn, I am really starting to hate myself for being here.  Let me describe my surroundings.

Sitting to my immediate right is a mid-twenties gentleman on his brand new Mac.  He is wearing black thick rimmed glasses, a plaid shirt, tight jeans, and has big headphones on (he is blasting music and it sounds like he’s got the Shins on repeat.  I currently just threw up in my mouth over the thought).  In addition to having his Mac laptop open, he’s got a novel open to the side of it.  Shocking, he can read a novel, check out the latest Shins news online while listening to the Shins.  I’m pretty sure you need six eyes to do this, but he is doing it with two.  Quite impressive.

To my left is a woman in a pantsuit (no, not Hillary Clinton).  She is middle aged and is yelling at no one it seems, but in one of her ears she has a little blue tooth piece.  She is caling some guy an idiot and complaining that her coffee isn’t hot enough.

Meanwhile, I am sitting here, drinking my vanilla bean frappucino.  The reason why I seem so mad is that little pieces of ice keep clogging my straw, so I’ve been working on this tall (small for normal well-adjusted people) cup for a half hour.  This, in combination with the people here, are why I will never come to a Starbucks again.

Sitting in a Starbucks Makes You Reflect on Life

February 23, 2009

Sitting in a Starbucks (I know–how trendy and Mac User of me) on 5th ave. and 12th street in New York City, I sit here reflecting on something a young lady asked me on Route 1 outside a Saki restaurant in College Park: are you excited for the next chapter of your life?  Well, with a half hour until a tour into my potential next chapter, I am starting to reflect on this.

I’ve always felt that one should never overstay a welcome or get too comfortable in one place.  No, this isn’t some defense mechanism by an emotionally stunted 21-year-old–it’s more of a way to always keep me on the top of my game because, if you get too comfortable you get complacent, and when you get complacent, your performance goes down.  So yes, I don’t want to move on from my current life chapter because quite frankly, it is awesome.  However, nothing has gotten stale yet.  I am continuing to try new experiences and am always up to chill with friends and go out.  Accordingly, the second this does get stale, there is the potential to not try as hard on friendships, schoolwork, work, etc.  This is why college is four years.  At this point in our lives, a 21-year-old should not be settling for anything and know what they are going to do for the rest of their life.  So, although College Park has become a second home, and my friends a second family it’s always good for a change (yes, I’m Barack Obama), even though sometimes it’s not what one wants or is best for him or her.

For me, I know this change has to happen.  I hate the idea of it, but I know if I want to achieve my ultimate goals, I need to move on.  We all need to.  No one in staying in College Park (or wherever you go to school) after graduation.  Whether it’s D.C., New York, L.A., Tora Bora–wherever you go–it is a necessary step forward in life.

So, because my tour is in ten minutes, I need to wrap this up.  For the next six months, the final pages of my college chapter will be written.  It will be filled with memories and although I will be moving on (as will all of us) we will bottle these memories and cherish them.  Wherever I am, I know I will.

An Interview With Myself

February 18, 2009

So a couple days ago, a friend asked me to see more of my writing.  I then proceeded to answer him, “You’re not special.  Go read my blog.”  He then said, “I read your blog, but I want to see more.  How about that first draft of a script you wrote.”  I told him that was it wasn’t ready for people to see (except if you are truly awesome), but this gave me an idea: what if I showed a sample of my writing, not from my script, but in the same writing style?  I answered my own idea (apparently I talk to myself) with, “Brilliant!” (apparently I also watch too many Guiness commercials).  So here it is, a conversation with myself…

Not Mike:  Thank you for joining us, Mike.  We really appreciate your time.

Mike:  Not a problem.  Now, I have to know, how do you pronounce your name?  Is that a soft “o” or a hard “o” in “Not?”  Also, “Mike” or “Mika?”

Not Mike:  Well…

Mike:  I don’t care.  That was a test.  You’re the one asking the questions, not me.

Not Mike:  Touche.

Mike:  Damn right, homie.

Not Mike:  Anyway, let’s get to the questions.

Mike:  Let’s.

Not Mike:  Okay.  So you have this blog.  What has been your response to the astounding amount of readers?

Mike:  Well, quite frankly, I’m shocked.  I hate my own writing so I don’t know why anyone else would want to read it.  I am very appreciative, however.

Not Mike:  That’s great.  So tell me what a normal day in the life of Mike is like.

Mike:  I mean, I could get into some intense depth here, which would freak people out, but I won’t.  Fact is, I wake up, do many recreational drugs (i.e. heroin, crack cocaine), and live my life in a high blur.

Not Mike:  Really?

Mike:  That was another test.  And you failed.  Of course I don’t do that shit.  My life is quite boring.  I play a lot of Madden and watch a lot of porn.

Not Mike:  So what are your thoughts on family and friends.

Mike:  I love my family.  I love my friends.  Family friends?  Eh, they’re alright…  Sounds like the name of a Fall Out Boy song.

Not Mike:  You like Fall Out Boy?

Mike:  It’s a guilty pleasure.  I listen to it in the car every once in awhile when no one is around.  It’s like when I say I’m at the gym on Sundays from 9 to 10 when I am clearly watching Desperate Housewives…  This is of course off the record, right?

Not Mike:  Right, yes, of course.

Mike:  Good.  Wouldn’t want anyone knowing that.  People would start to see me as less than the man I truly am.

Not Mike:  Right.  Well, I want to try a little word association if you don’t mind.

Mike:  Sure, this could be fun.

Not Mike:  Ok.  Let’s start easy to warm your brain up:  White House.

Mike:  Obama.

Not Mike:  Black.

Mike:  Obama.

Not Mike:  White.

Mike:  Obama.

Not Mike:  Blogs.

Mike:  Obama.

Not Mike:  You’re not good at this.

Mike:  Obama.

Not Mike:  Okay, let’s move on.

Mike:  That was fun.  Let’s do that again.

Not Mike:  No, let’s not.  Ever.  Let’s go back to questions.

Mike:  Okay.

Not Mike:  What is something that your readers don’t know about you that you would want them to know?

Mike:  Hmmm.  Good question.  It’s like that question that potential employers ask: what is one negative quality you have?  How are you supposed to answer that?  You can’t say you are bad at something important otherwise they won’t hire you!  And if you say you are not bad at anything, then they think you are a pompous jackass, and you won’t get the job!  Back to the question… what was it again?

Not Mike:  What is something that your readers don’t know about you that you would want them to know?

Mike:  Oh, right.  Hmmmm.  Here’s a good one: I am not heartless and care aboot people.

Not Mike:  Aboot?

Mike:  Yeah, like Canadians say.  You know, what are you talking aboot?

Not Mike:  Sure, whatever…  What are your thoughts on women?

Mike:  I love women.  A lot.  But they are retarded.  Maybe I should write a full blog about this.  So that’s all I’m going to say about that.  But I have to say, I do have thoughts on dating sites.  I think you get to a point where you’re not in college anymore and you can’t meet people, so you do that.  If you’re in college and signing up for a dating site, you are pathetic and don’t deserve to find an equally pathetic person on a dating site.

Not Mike:  What are your thoughts about bars?

Mike:  Bars are nice.  Clubs are not.  When you try to mix the two together (see every college bar), we have problems.  Let me use a metaphor.  Say you try and mix an elephant’s genes with human genes.  What do you get?

Not Mike:  I don’t know.

Mike:  You get a humaphant!  It’s screwy.  And nobody likes that.  The humaphant will end up being tested and shunned in society.  That’s what I think about bar/club combinations.  We don’t need them.  Just like we don’t need humaphants.

Not Mike:  Do you have any interesting projects coming up in the near future?

Mike:  Well, besides continuing this blog, what else do you want from me?

Not Mike:  I don’t know.

Mike:  Well, my script is on an indefinite hiatus because, quite frankly I am too busy enjoying my last semester of college.  I am always writing though.

Not Mike:  Very nice.  Well good luck with everything.

Mike:  Thanks boss.

My Thoughts On Valentine’s Day 2009

February 12, 2009

As you can tell below, I was quite an angry teenager (ah, teenage angst).  Looking back on it now, it is embarrassing to read.  I put in profanity just to show how angry I was (now I feel like profanity isn’t necessary and should be put in only to add to a story).  I was incredibly bitter.  At the time, I thought that this piece was clever, but now it just looks pathetic.  However, to battle the feeling of patheticness (I don’t think that’s a word, but go with me) let me give you some context to that very angry 19-year-old: I was coming out of an ugly break up and was not quite out of high school mode.  Let me just mention briefly that “high school mode” is incredibly unhealthy in regards to love, friendship, family or anything having to do with living a well-adjusted life (and I learned the hard way).  Anyway, 2007 Mike loved shock value, and that combined with my bitterness towards love created this monster of a human being.  In fact, I thought my blog would be based off shock value (whatever, I still like shock value a little bit), but instead I went a completely different route (I believe some people call it evolving as a human being or a writer… or maturity).

Anyway, I think my life has changed completely since then, and when I look back on that time period in my life, it looks more like a fiction novel than something that actually happened.  For this reason, I present to thoughts on Valentine’s Day by the happy, satisfied with life and the way things are going Mike…

Valentine’s Day sucks (I guess some things never change).  I say this for many reasons.  Sure, it’s on a Saturday night this year, meaning that alchohol can cure all angst towards this holiday, but the fact of the matter is, Valentine’s Day makes you reflect on your life.  Follow me here.

Situation one: you’re in a relationship (and I’m referring to a young adult-college-ish relationship because once you get to a certain point in a relationship or marriage Valentine’s Day is kind of cheapened).  Valentine’s Day now becomes the bar for which you measure your relationship.  For girls, this could mean one of two things: one, your boyfriend is good and he went all out; or two, your boyfriend is lazy and he sucks.  This could be interpreted in many ways.  Let’s look at the first situation: the guy goes all out.  Now the standard is set for the rest of the 364 days of the year.  And, as a male, we are screwed for those 364 days.  It’s just impossible to keep it up all year long (even A-Rod had days off… even when he was on steroids).  The second situation is stickier.  The guy fails the girl, so the girl begins to question the validity of the relationship.  Is that healthy?  No.  This will probably result in more problems for this couple in the future, just because of one stupid day.  Oh, and let me reiterate what Mike Circa 2007 said: girls don’t do shit for this “holiday.”  Period.

The other situation is if you are single.  Old Mike talked about us men watching basketball and girls going out together (and by the way, I still extrememly dislike (not hate) Sex and the City for this).  But, as the Christopher Columbus of Valentine’s Day, I have discovered another route that I have seen over the past two years.  First, both sexes start to think about where they have been and where they are going in life (sounds like a Dave Matthews song, which is why they suck).  You start to think if you have passed your prime with the opposite sex or if you will ever find a girlfriend or boyfriend.  First off, in my opinion get over yourself.  It’s just one stupid day, not the rest of your life.  Second, shut up.

Also, in addition to the Mike 2007 option, single girls and guys go either the depressed route or the rebellious (“screw Valentine’s Day”) route.  I have seen countless girls mope around in sweatpants and claim they are too busy for Valentine’s Day.  I also see an equal amount of girls get incredibly drunk and make bad life decisions.  All because you don’t have a date for Valentine’s Day?  Seriously?  For guys you see a similar situation.  You will see more men at the gym on this day than probably any other day of the year.  They will also probably abuse alchohol and end up injuring themselves in an attempt to show how awesome they are.

So there you go.  Valentine’s Day continues to destroy society.  Good luck with the other 364 days of the year.

Why Mike (Circa 2007) Hates Valentine’s Day

February 12, 2009

This is a little something I wrote for Valentine’s Day 2007.  I will comment on this later and how my outlook has changed drastically since then.  In fact, some of this is actually embarrassing to read again.  But, anyway, here it is…

So I told you why I hate Christmas (see “Why I Hate Christmas”). Now I am going to tell you why I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s probably one of the most ridiculous holidays ever. Let’s think about this holiday logically for one second. Some asshole decided that there should be one day in the entire year when you celebrate love (as opposed to the rest of the days when you don’t give a flying fuck about your significant other). Now, I don’t know about you, but if I’m celebrating my love for my girl for one whole day of the year, it’s not a very good relationship (see “All of Mike Rosen’s relationships”). In my opinion, shouldn’t you celebrate your love for your girlfriend or boyfriend every day? I don’t know. Just a feeling I have.

Let us start our dissection of Valentine’s Day starting in the second grade. Everything prior to February 14th is grand. You finger paint, learn about Kenya and Japan, and eat cupcakes (trust me, I wasn’t fat until second grade—damn you Mrs. Amster, you sweet amazing teacher, for fattening me up). Then the terrible day comes when you have to go to Walgreen’s and buy those queer Valentine cards that say, “Bee my Valentine” with a fuckin bee on it (clever, right?). Then you question, “Do I give a card to everyone? What if I give a card to the hot girl and she doesn’t give me one back? Should I even give cards out?” You start to question your dignity, your self-respect. You start questioning whether hot girls give cards to the fat (and may I add brilliant) kid. Now what kind of social situation is this for a second grader? My god. I can’t even handle it now.

Fast forward to the present day. Valentine’s Day is a pressure packed situation still. You have two options: one, you are all alone and Valentine’s Day sucks. Two, you take out your loved one for a stressful night. I shall start with the lonely situation. If you are a guy, this is tough. You get home from a long day at work or school and realize that you are all alone on this fateful night. But you think to yourself, “Why should this night be different then any other night? (Passover-ish for all the Jews reading)” (See, “Mike’s Life”) So, to prove to yourself that you are truly a man, you pop open a beer and watch an old Knicks-Bulls game on ESPN Classic. Truly a testosterone filled evening, however, it is a tad lame. Now if you are the girl, you just don’t settle for a night at home. You go out with three of your best girl friends to dinner. And a fancy one at that. You sit with your girls and think you are “above” Valentine’s Day. You drink your red wine, gossip all night, and think you are soooo Sex and the City (fuck you Sarah Jessica Parker, you fuckin god forsaken whore. You have made mankind, and by mankind I mean us men, worse). But what you don’t realize it that every couple is looking at you and thinking how lame you are. This showing right here is the most obvious way to say, “I am single and I am not happy about it.” Enjoy your wine.

The other option is that you have a significant other. And although it might not be as estrogen filled as the girlie night or sad as beer and ESPN Classic man, it is much more stressful. From the perspective of the guy, this is one day that you do not look forward to. Your girl tells you she doesn’t want anything big (or maybe she says she doesn’t want to go out at all). But that bitch is a god damn liar. So, you’re ahead of the game here—you know she wants to go out. So you get reservations at the local semi-fancy restaurant. You buy the five dollar chocolate in the heart shaped box at CVS and a tacky card. You bring her to the restaurant and give her the shit you spent perfectly good money on that you could’ve spent on more manly things (i.e. beer, chicken, strippers). And you know what the ungrateful bitch says, “That’s so sweet of you.” In other words, it was a nice gesture but I wanted a more expensive gift. And in other words, you are not getting any tonight. And if you do, it will not be that good. From the girl’s perspective, you do jack shit. You expect an amazingly romantic night—something that you would see from the movie “The Notebook” (including making out in the rain and a dude with a beard to build you a house). Sorry woman, your man doesn’t have a beard and there is two-day-old snow on the ground and no chance of rain. But you still expect this bullshit. You expect your man to forget that he has balls for the night and be a romantic bitch. And then when it doesn’t happen, you tell your girlfriends, in another self proclaimed Sex and the City moment (see “What Poisons Women’s Minds”), how disappointed you were. Reality check—this doesn’t happen to anyone, and you are no one special.

So now you question what Mike is doing for Valentine’s Day. Well, first off he is single and apparently girls don’t really like him (fuckin women don’t see the greatness right in front of their faces). But I will be working all day in the government, trying to change the world, while you assholes waste your time (and speaking of wasting time, I can’t believe you are still reading this). I will then come home, cook myself some dinner and sleep. Sure, it may be a tad depressing, but hey, I’m not spending my time pretending I’m a whore from Sex and the City or spending money on a woman who thinks she is a whore from Sex and the City.

And yes, I got a card from the hot girl.

The Weekend Ended Well, But This Is The Icing On The Cake…

February 10, 2009

It’s actually more than icing.  More like adding an enitre new and more delicious layer to a cake.  Of course I’m talking about the reunion of my favorite band ever (by a long shot) Blink-182.  They announced this Sunday night at the Grammy’s, although I had a hunch seeing how I obsessively follow them on Blink message boards (I know a little nerdy, but I love this freakin’ band).  Years ago I made a pact with one of my closest friends to go to their first show back and in honor of that, the following is my dream playlist, in order of how Mark, Tom and Travis should play it (which will never happen since a lot of the songs are only true fan favorites):

1.  Dumpweed

2.  Rock Show

3.  Easy Target

4.  Don’t Leave Me

5.  Family Reunion

6.  What’s My Age Again?

7.  Online Songs

8.  Red Skies

9.  Stockholm Syndrome

10.  M&M’s

11.  Man Overboard

12.  Always

13.  Waggy

14.  Adam’s Song

15.  Everytime I Look For You

16.  I Miss You

17.  Dysentary Gary

18.  First Date

19.  Carousel


20.  All The Small Things

21.  Going Away To College

22.  Dammit

Many will disagree, but I am right and they are wrong.

My Weekend

February 9, 2009

This weekend was quite an experience where I had a lot of emotional ups and downs.  So, I present to you two posts in one.  It’s like that time Limp Bizkit released two videos at once (I think it was “Rollin” and something else that nobody cared about…  but hopefully you care about both of these posts).  No?  Okay, maybe not.  Anyway, I’ll start with the good first.

Last night (Saturday) was one of my closest friend’s birthdays.  As expected, there was a party and it was huge.  Legendary, if you will.  At one point in the party, the song “Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys came on–a tradition my crew has had for about the past six months.  As we were all jumping around and going crazy, I had a moment of drunk sincerity, and realized how lucky I truly was.  I realized right then and there that four years ago, I could not have imagined having a tight knit group of friends like this.  After this moment of sincerity, I told myself to stop being a pussy and chug a beer.  But in all seriousness, this group was truly incredible.  We are truly a close group and a bunch of people that I could trust.  Sitting today and reflecting on this, I know that in the past I haven’t had the greatest friends and I have, historically, not been the greatest friend, but with this group, I feel like they have brought the best out in me.  It’s something unique that I wish everyone could experience.  It’s a shame that in May, many of us will go our separate ways–to New York, California, Miami, Baltimore, D.C., Chicago, etc., etc.  In fact, many of us probably won’t ever talk to each other after graduation.  I am very aware of this, and how hard it will be to stay in close contact with everyone in my group.  I will try my hardest to stay in contact with everyone, but I know this is only a pipe dream.  However, I take consolation in the fact that for the past two years, I have had memories to last a lifetime and I will always take that with me and cherish them.

Onto my second post… On Friday, I woke up to a very cryptic e-mail from the College Park Scholars, a living and learning program that I have been in since my acceptance into the University of Maryland.  In fact, it had been one of the factors that made my decision of which college to go to easy (that and the high quality basketball program… but we all know how that ended).  I became nervous over the e-mail because it was, quite frankly, very unsettling: an e-mail telling us we had a meeting at 2 o’clock and that we should make it our business to be there.  I had a terrible feeling I knew what it was, but I immediately called one of my friends and she called one of her friends to find out.  Unfortunately, my gut feeling was right: my Scholars advisor, Ken Joseph, unexpectedly passed away of a heart attack.

When I found out I was devastated.  I will try to put in words why (it probably won’t be very good but I have a lot of thoughts on this).  Ken was such a huge influence on my early years of college.  During orientation, he took our pictures and memorized our names, which was quite a surprise when moving in, when he said, “Hey Mike!” (my response to this was, “Who the hell is this guy?”).  Well, “this guy” was and will continue to be a great influence on me.  When I say Ken was one of the most kind hearted and enthusiastic people I have ever met, I am not exxagerating. 

When Ken saw I wasn’t exactly getting into the material in Scholars he and the student representative for my program Media, Self and Society, got me interested and involved in the program by getting me involved in something I liked: sports.  He had me be captain of the Media charity softball team.  I immediately became more enthusiastic about Scholars and grew a personal relationship with Ken.  I remember in the championship game (which we unfortunately lost on the last out), Ken pulled us all in and said (I will never forget this), “I know this game is for charity, but I want to win this FUCKIN’ GAME!”  It made us all laugh and get pumped.  He then pulled me aside and said, “Do whatever it takes to win.”  I was shocked that this guy was competitive enough to want to win a charity tournament so badly.  He was as competitive as I was! 

Although we didn’t win that championship game, our relationship grew from there.  Ken wrote me one of the nicest recommendations I have ever read.  I showed it to my parents and I remember my mother jokingly say that this letter finally made her proud of me.  It was a shining recommendation.   When I reflect on all Ken did for all of us, and more specifically me, I just regret that I took this relationship for granted.  I meant to stop in to his office this week, first to buy a Media sweatshirt since I will always support the Media program, and second to thank him for the recommendation and just for everything.  Unfortunately, I never got the chance.

When really reflecting on this unfortunate situation, it really has dawned on me that life could change in a second.  The quote by a wise man, “A little death makes life more meaningful,” really hits home for me.  Reflecting on the past 72 hours, I have seen some of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  Because of Ken’s untimely death, I reflected a lot on his life and how he affected mine.  I realized that things can change instantly and that I shouldn’t take people for granted.  I am extremely lucky that I have a healthy and happy family.  In addition, I also have the greatest of friends.  And for all of this, I am thankful for them and thankful for the impact and continuing impact Ken had and will have on my life.