Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Leach Center Spa FSU

            The Leach Center is one of a half dozen places I bother to be on campus.  Bellamy and HCB teach me things, the Student Union allows me to get food (when I'm desperate enough to buy a $4 slice of Papa John's rather than just eating one of the various squirrels that race around the campus), the SLC is where I watch movies (in a room filled with shit heads who ruin the mood), the Library is where I all-night at the last minute an assignment that decides my GPA to a startling level.  But Leach is where I go to exercise, hoping to get fit, maybe inspire lustful glances from beautiful women.

What? I like women who prioritize a good health regimen.

            Here is my random complaint: the spa needs work.

            There are two hot tubs, two steam rooms, and one sauna, all of them have problems, not the least of which being I think they pose the threat of giving me meningitis some day when they have not been cleaned properly enough.

They got rid of a lot of equipment and put in a lot of stuff that sucks to use, so now all the good stuff is constantly taken.  Good luck.
            Sauna, honestly this is the least problematic of the three, sure the wooden frame used screws rather than wooden pegs because the carpentry going into this was by lowest bidder and was not up to the standards of common sense.  See, metal... in a room that is 180 degrees... GETS FUCKING HOT!  You will be laying down, or leaning back and be suddenly scaled by the head of a screw.  What is more, metal expands when hot, wood expands too, but slower, which causes the screws to stretch the holes they were drilled into, making the whole thing rickety as the screws loosen the frame's hold on them, and the boards that make it up.  So, rickety, pinchy, and occasionally branding.

            Now the Steam Rooms.  Or, at present, Steam Room, as one of them has not been in service for a couple weeks.  Which one is out of service?  The good one.  What makes it good?  The door shuts on its own.  Yes the one that is currently in operation has a door that doesn't close until the fourth or fifth try, because they don't put a handle on the inside so you just pull it shut behind you.  this means you are walking into a Steam Room that slowly turns into "Room", a wet room mind you, but devoid of steam.  The place is also filthy from the constant use, people wear shoes in there in spite of the rules and track in dirt, which turns to mud.  Mud you can see, because all the steam has left the room.

            Now the cesspools-- Hot Tubs.  Let me say this, if you turn on the bubbles, and the surface gets covered not only in bubbles, but bubbles that have a rainbow-on-an-oil-slick color to them, and have density enough to hold small coins out of the water... THEN YOU NEED TO CLEAN THE WATER!  More chlorine is not enough, it's not just germs in there, it is enough dead skin and skin oil to make a slick.  That is disgusting.  And why, did the life guard just turn on the bubbles?  There are two tubs, I chose to sit in the one that had no bubbles going, and they turn on the jets without being asked; if I wanted jets I would have sat in the other one with the insanely old Asian guy.  Here is an idea, why not just put a timer next to each tub that controls the jets, or a switch; like every other gym in the universe so the life guards, who should be guarding lives (lives of college students who chose to swim recreationally and need a life guard like I need a sippy lid for my Sprite, but whatever).

They don't even have Tiki bar.  I need something brightly colored and full of alcohol.  Also, the phrase "Filthy Hot Tub" in Google Image gives back a lot of pornography.  Like, a lot.
             Then there is also the company, for every gorgeous woman doing yoga stretches in a bikini or shorts so short that they would allow a Med student a quick review for a gynecological exam, there are 200 frat guys who mostly just want to say the word "Bro" or "Braa" every second they are there while inferring to incidents of date rape; not to say all the women are great, if I hear one more hollow headed "Like" or "You Know" escape the lips of a sorority girl I think I will have to beat their head to a steaming splatter of gore on the hot coal machine in the sauna.

MORE LIKE THESE, PLEASE.  So long as they have something to talk about.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My 5 Favorite Books

            As a random little thought I figured I would do a top 5 list because lists are mentally very easy to digest and a recent movie release, along with anticipation for a movie coming out later this year has me thinking.  What are my top 5 favorite books?

            Number 5, and the spurring to write this, "The Hunger Games".  Since the movie is a very accurate and faithful adaptation, and it has made half a billion dollars already I feel redundant explaining the premise of young woman chosen to participate in a gladiatorial combat with other children.  The book is violent, and does an excellent job satirizing modern television, the disparities that exist between the rich and poor, all while framing through a single character that is ostensibly unlikable, having grown very bitter because of the absolute boiling crock-pot of shit her life has been.  It also has some good lines in it, strangely, my favorite line did not make it into the movie, even though the scene it is in did.  Whatever.

Have not read the other two... And I don't know if I ever will.
             Number 4, the movie adaptation of this, or at least part 1, will be out later this year, "The Hobbit".  As a kid the animated adaptation of this book was frequently, if not constantly checked out from the library, and while I read huge numbers of books (mostly Goosebumps, Animorphs, Spooksville, and other kids series) I actually didn't know that "The Hobbit" was a book for a long time, and only got around to reading it in high school, and I have since re-read it.  It is a lot of fun and the definitive classic in its genre, it is tightly written, and that works to its advantage, something its sequel does not have working for it.  This may make me a freak by nerd standards, but I find "The Lord of the Rings" over written and poorly paced.  Currently my epic fantasy thirst is being quenched by the "Game of Thrones" series (which I did a blog of) and I refuse to call it the "Song of... Whatever" because that is a stupid title for series of books, again something that might make me a freak among nerds.

This was a big part of me starting into fantasy.
             Number 3, this is actually my favorite part of a series of books that are all pretty good, though I think the last 2 are the weakest ending on downer notes rather than the jokes and good fun of the other 3, this is "Life, the Universe,and Everything".  It is the third book in the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy in five parts.  It takes place as a group of renegade killer robots dressed as Cricket players set out to find and activate a weapon that will destroy all of creation.  The origins, the machinations, and the way all of the heroes of the series are drawn together to help solve the problem are bizarre and fun.  Sadly, since they tried to turn this book series into a movie franchise, and got someone infinitely unqualified to write and direct it doubtless this movie will have to wait another decade or two before it gets its turn at bat, hopefully with Edgar Wright or Steven Moffat at the helm.  Or both if there really is a Santa Claus in the hearts of children everywhere.
This really doesn't come up in this installment.
             Number 2, this one makes me think back to how my brother told me, "you (Josh) always identify with assholes in control of things," a fact I can't deny, this book is "Ender's Game".  Written by an author who has in recent times gone Christ-crazy and rages against the liberals of the world, the book explores how the smartest boy in the world is shaped by a militant world alliance to save humanity from the Alien bug menace which has twice invaded our space to horrifying result.  Ender, so nicknamed by his sister who could not pronounce Andrew, is a misanthropic child murderer who grows more and more distant as he figures out how to outsmart everyone.  Actually this book is considered the holy script of nerds everywhere because it isn't about a meat-head who gets handed power by a wise old wizard, but instead gets put through hell by his mentor figure, you know, like every father who has ever told their child, "You can be anything you want to be... So long as you are some kind of Doctor."

The timeline of this series gets a bit complex.
             My favorite book, much like the others follows a rather misanthropic person... Huh, just realized that... Huh, that probably means I am less than stellar person... Moving on, it is about the nature of religion in American society, it's "American Gods".  The man called Shadow is released from prison and encounters a con man called Wednesday who takes him down numerous rabbit holes to meet the living ideas of various traditions and superstitions that came over from the old world, and they are dying off in favor of modern ideas made of silicon and celebrity.  The author, Neil Gaiman, said he started off writing it in the first person but found he had to switch off because the main character was so listless and detached, rather a fish out of water story in which the fish was happy to suffocate without flopping.  It also does the original Heroes Journey to great impact.

I'm 70% sure this man is not a wizard.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Political Language and Children

            This is just a random thing that shows how learning worked for me as a kid.  I was born in 1985, and don't have to many memories before 1990, and the three strongest memories I have from that year was my brother falling and hitting his head at a house we lived at in Bradenton, moving into our house in North Port (I actually remember saying something like, "I turn 5 next week", in our soon to be living room that was completely devoid of furniture), and a conversation I heard between my parents about the first Gulf War (I remember my dad explaining how little military Iraq had and my Mom being concerned that the war was going to get out of control, I believe she was concerned because my uncle John was 17 at the time and a draft would have been a hard thing for our family).

Yeah, looks pretty bleak.
             The thing is I had no conscious memory of a presidential election, and I had always heard President Bush referred to as a Republican, and when he ran for reelection in 1992 I heard Republican and Democrat a lot, but did not really know what they meant, but I assigned them a definition in my head that I wasn't consciously aware of, I was 7 and really didn't care at the time so it was not something I really labeled out loud.

            Cut to 4 years later and President Clinton was running for reelection against Senator Dole and Ross Perot.  At some point I said this, "So now President Clinton is the Republican." and my dad responded with, "No, son he is a Democrat."  Which confused us both really so I explained my definition of Republican, "I thought Republican meant the guy who was in the office, and Democrat meant challenger."

            I had never heard the word incumbent, and had heard President Bush referred to by party so frequently as a child that I had come to think of the word in those terms.  Conversely, I had never heard anyone refer to President Clinton by his party, he had always been called President Clinton.

            I didn't really realize why that was until I read the book "Bias" Freshman year of college, that this is the sort of thing you don't notice until it is pointed out.  The major networks refer to Republican Presidents and other Republican office holders as Republicans, but they don't do that for Democrats, Fox News refers to Democratic officer holders as Liberal or Democrats, but just refer to Republican office holders by name and title.

            My family didn't have cable and watched ABC nightly news, so my mind had this engrained into it without noticing.  And since read "Bias" I have noticed something more, people in news who are not aligned with the President of the time, Bush or Obama, don't refer to them as President Bush or President Obama.  When Bush was President, ABC would call him Mr. Bush, while Fox would refer to him as the President.  Now things have flipped, Fox calls the President, Mr. Obama, and ABC calls him President Obama.  I am starting to wonder if these things are intentional slights or not, because it is rather consistent, and these "journalists" are reading from a teleprompter.

            Regardless, right now, lots of kids who don't chose what channel their parents watch are hearing either directly or indirectly the President getting referred to a certain way, and it is changing the way they understand the language of civics in the country.  changing the way they understand the words Socialist, Muslim, and Liberal.  I wonder how this will shape them.

Might make them all a bit cynical.