Daily Archives: March 6, 2013

Taboo Talk: There’s a reason “assume” has its own cliche

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Feelings that cross the line between friends and more than friends can be complicated and confusing. They oftentimes get messy. And there are times when things don’t go the way you wanted them to.

Everyone has been in a situation where they have liked someone as more than a friend and the feeling was not returned. Everyone has also been in the reverse situation. Everyone has been rejected – everyone has had to reject someone. And if you are going, “Nope, not me,” just wait. Your time will come.

No one likes being in either one of those positions. It’s awkward and uncomfortable. Someone’s ego is bound to get bruised and it’s hard for both sides. But it is a fact of life and it’s nothing to get upset over.

As hard as it is to be in either one of those positions, there is a situation that is even more awkward and uncomfortable. Unlike the situations just described, this one can be avoided – and should be avoided – at all costs.

The assumption: Boy and Girl are talking. Boy thinks Girl is flirting. Boy starts to think Girl likes him. Boy assumes so, talks as if so, and in reality, Girl doesn’t like Boy. So when Boy decides to gently let Girl down, Boy makes a pretty big fool of himself. As a result, Boy feels moronic and Girl thinks he’s rather narcissistic.

Honestly, just because someone is friendly, doesn’t mean they want to get with you. In life, people are going to be nice to you and they are going to be nice to you without the intention of sleeping with you. Going around with a head full of hot air will only hurt your relationships and make you seem rude and arrogant.

The same situation with two people of the same sex is even more of an embarrassment. A lesson to learn early on is just because a person is gay does not mean they are attracted to all members of the same sex – and, for the record, bisexuals are not attracted to every person on this earth. The sad thing is, a lot of people hold these beliefs.

It goes back to someone being friendly – one detail about a person is not a reason to assume anything; especially that they like you more than you think.

If you feel like someone is into you, but you are not sure, don’t worry about it. If you like them, by all means, tell them! Life is short and it’s not a big deal like everyone makes it out to be. But if you just get a vibe that someone likes you, let it go if doesn’t mean a thing to you. Live and let live; just like Lennon said.

Review: The Walking Dead

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CAUTION: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” may have saved the entire show from becoming its namesake: a lifeless, pointless shell of what could have been that somehow still trudges along week after week.

With a break from the Woodbury drama and the epic (however morbid) return of Morgan, we got to see Rick, Carl, and Michonne undergo much needed character development. Although the reason for these three specifically banding up for a gun run was shaky, I was willing to ignore the gap in logic and see what the writers had in store for a group I was really beginning to despise.

Let’s go character by character.

Oh, Rick. In my last “Walking Dead” review, I argued that the show will eventually deviate completely from the comics, turning the overall plot of the series into Rick’s ultimate downfall as he struggles to maintain his humanity in the undead dystopia.

I think this still holds true. Each major villain (Shane, and now the Governor) has served as a major obstacle for Rick to overcome, but more than that, they paint the picture of what Rick may become as he is further desensitized by unending cannibalism and the extinction of human decency.

This week, this method of foreshadowing bled over to Rick’s friends.

With the anticipated return of Morgan (who hasn’t made an appearance since the pilot), we see a man who started in almost identical conditions to Rick. Two and a half seasons later, we are left to fill in the gaps for Morgan’s unfortunate journey. Though the death of his son explains his lunacy to a certain extent, we must complete the chilling task of picturing how slow and tortuous his descension into psychosis really was.

If it happened to this man, why not Rick? Morgan’s wife died. So did Rick’s, and I would argue in a much more horrific way. Morgan is insane to the point that he holed himself up in a self-made armory, shooting at and stabbing his one friend in the world (Rick) while spewing psychobabble. Though not as intense, Rick has had a habit this season of chasing hallucinations outside the prison wall all by his lonesome self, pointing toward his growing instability.

So what’s to say Rick won’t eventually let his hallucinations take over, much like Morgan?

Carl, of course. For one, the turning of Morgan’s son Duane is the most apparent reason for Morgan losing it. Furthermore, the death of Laurie is what caused Rick’s own beginning stages of psychosis, so the death of his son would arguably complete the job.

Which brings me to my rant on Carl. We’ve all hated on Carl at some point, and this week seemed like another dose of “Carl, stay in the house… Wait, where the hell is Carl?” However, we see that the true intention of his mission this time around is to provide his baby sister with a somewhat normal upbringing by finding the one remaining picture of his family in his hometown diner.

Maybe it’s just the fact that I have younger sisters, but for some reason, I kind of liked Carl this week. For those who still hate the character, this is actually good news.

Think about it. First, it is much more effective and heartbreaking to kill off a character that audiences like, especially one that they have grown to like over time. Second, the war between Woodbury and the prison has to end with at least one major character being killed off. Lastly, Carl is one of Rick’s few motivations for staying sane, with the baby coming in a distant second. Killing Carl would drive Rick that much closer to insanity, his only link to real world being his baby daughter.

But I think the greatest beacon of hope for the future in this week’s episode was Michonne. I won’t say much, but it’s nice to see that a comicbook fan favorite has finally went from a mopey, background character with the occasional katana slice to a full-on badass who actually has speaking lines and the ability to crack a joke. Maybe the writers do care about what fans want.

And my final point: the hitchhiker. The gang won’t stop for a desperate man on the street as they drive past, but they will stop to pick up his backpack amidst his torn remains on the way back.

If this show is really about the downfall of the average human (centered in Rick), then this was the greatest way of showing that these people have stopped living and instead are only trying to survive.

It makes you wonder: Who are they really referring to by calling it “The Walking Dead”?

iPick, YouListen

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“Be Still” by The Fray
In the early hours of the morning, band member Isaac Slade got a phone call from his younger brother who was having problems sleeping. Slade calmed him down enough to go to sleep, and later that morning, Slade grabbed a guitar next to the bed and started playing this lullaby. As a huge fan of The Fray, I will admit that this is perhaps not the best song they have ever written; it is repetitive, simple and quiet. But it is also one of their most powerful songs. Slade’s love for his brother radiates through the lyrics and is a hauntingly beautiful, simple melody accompanied by the piano. Slade’s message: “If you forget the way to go/And lose where you came from/If no one is standing beside you/Be still and know I am.”

“Sometime Around Midnight” by The Airborne Toxic Event

The most perfect song about heartbreak ever written. It’s a simple but moving song about that awful feeling of seeing the person you love out with someone else. After a brief instrumental introduction from various string instruments, the song is broken down to a simple bass and guitar riff with light percussion in the background. The simplicity of the music is transformed into desolation by Mikel Jollett’s vocal performance, which paints the perfect picture of midnight-hour drunken loneliness. He sings in second person, forcing listeners to feel his increasing distress as the night progresses. More instruments are added verse by verse, and Jollett’s performance becomes more and more impassioned as memories begin to overwhelm him. In the climactic moment, he can only yell over the full range of instruments that “You just don’t care what you look like, the world is falling around you.” The song winds down, returning once more to the single riff before quietly ending and leaving behind an incredibly cathartic silence in its wake. Genius.

“This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both of Us” by Sparks

This song is just silly and ridiculous and fun. I first encountered it while watching the movie “Kick Ass” (which, as a side note, has one of the greatest soundtracks of all time). Because the lyrics are mostly nonsensical, I don’t understand half of what goes on in the song. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t awesome. The energetic, upbeat rhythm from the drums and guitar riffs are contagious. The “shootout” in the middle of the song adds a fun theatrical element to the song, as does the generally dramatic performance of the lyrics. But perhaps my favorite part of the song is the vocals, and that is solely because this song is sung by a man. I have seen YouTube videos of them performing this song live, and I still cannot believe that the high voice in the song does not belong to a woman. Maybe that’s why I can’t stop listening to this song.

“Come Out and Play” by The Offspring – I will admit that I only own the “Greatest Hits” album from The Offspring, but it’s hands down one of the best greatest hits albums of all time. Every song on there is gold, including “Come Out and Play.” This song has everything great about The Offspring and 90s punk rock: heavy guitar, iconic solos, strong percussion, attitude and half-yelled, slightly off-key vocals that for some weird reason work. It’s a great song to pump you up so you can beat the crap out of your 10-page paper due in two hours.

Women’s Basketball defeated by Marist on Senior Day

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The Fairfield Women’s Basketball team celebrated their Senior Day on Sunday, a day designated to celebrate and honor the members on the team for their four years of hard work and dedication.

The festivities included pre-game ceremonies and gifts for graduating seniors Katelyn Linney, Brittany MacFarlane, and Laura Vetra.

The one thing that was left out of the celebration? A victory in the game, as they were soundly defeated by the Marist Red Foxes 70-33.

A week earlier, their male counterparts had their Senior Day, but they too could not capitalize on the emotional day, falling in the Bracketbuster game against Albany 58-50. By the end of the day Sunday, the women’s team might have wished they had come even that close.

“We just took an old-fashioned butt-whoopin’ today,” said Head Coach Joe Frager after the loss.

“With only having Katie [Cizynski ‘14] out there, we only had one low-post presence, and they were able to double- and triple-team her, so it was very hard to get anything going inside,” said Frager. Cizynski was without fellow junior forward Brittany Obi-Tabot, who did not play due to an injury. Frager said she was day-to-day with the injury, and wasn’t sure of her full availability for the MAAC Tournament.

The Stags kept pace with Marist for awhile, as they were trailing just 16-13 with just over 11 minutes to go in the first half. But Fairfield would go on an unconscionably long cold streak for the rest of the first half that even extended into the second, as they would not score any more points until nearly the 14 minute mark of the second half; after they had been trailing 38-13 at half, and after the baskets were trailing 43-15.

“We missed a lot of open looks in the first half,” said Frager. “We were down by 25 or so at half, but if we make some of those shots, maybe it’s a 10, 12 or 14 point game at halftime, and the emotion and the complexion of the whole game changes.”

The Stags shot a dismal 8 percent from beyond the arc, going just 2 for 26 from three point range and just 13 of 55 from the floor overall, good for 24 percent for the game. The leading scorer for Fairfield was Cizynski with eight points. The three seniors scored just 2 points each in the loss.

For the seniors, it is a tough way to say goodbye to the court where they have played for the last four years, but they know that it is not the last game they will play, and they still have at least one more game in the MAAC Tournament to make up for Sunday’s loss.

“It’s bittersweet, we’ve done a lot and I think we’ve grown up [while at Fairfield] … but I think we’re really proud of what we’ve given,” said Linney.

“After this game, it was tough to think positively, but that game doesn’t dictate what we’ve done here in four years,” said Macfarlane. “… It was really nice for those fifteen minutes for them to honor us, but then we quickly had to switch back to focus on the game.”

During the pre-game ceremonies, both homeland national anthems were played for MacFarlane and Vetra, who are from Canada and Latvia, respectively.

“That was crazy, I didn’t think they were going to find the Latvian national anthem and the flag,” said Vetra, “I don’t know where they got it, but that was awesome.”

Despite the loss, Frager made it clear that the game was in no way a reflection of what the seniors on this team meant to him.

“I told the seniors during the last timeout, ‘This is not indicative of the last four years that you’ve given us’ … we’re still really, really proud of them,” said Frager. “It was a really touching beginning of the day, it was a nice ceremony with the respective anthems and everything, and I actually felt myself getting a little bit misty eyed during both international anthems. They’ve meant a lot to us and what happened today doesn’t change that.”

“This game was really hard to swallow,” said MacFarlane, “but it’s really important to come out on Friday and show how we really can play.”

“As coach was saying, we just have to come back on Friday and take care of business, so that this is all forgotten,” said Vetra. “That’s when it matters.”

For Marist, they finish the season undefeated in conference play for the third time in six years, and will head to Springfield for the MAAC Tournament with the number one seed. Fairfield falls to the three seed with the loss, and will play sixth seeded Siena on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the MassMutual Center.

Turn up Katy Perry, turn down Taylor Swift

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California girls, we’re Unforgettable

Toned, tanned, fit and ready. Yes, that’s Katy Perry.

Last week, there was an article written about the infamous Taylor Swift that sparked my interest. Not going to lie, sophomore year of high school, Taylor Swift was the peanut butter to my jelly. I belted out every word to every song of her “Fearless” album on the way to track practice and the song “Fifteen” felt like my autobiography. But, as time has gone on, Taylor’s songs have gone from being passionate to being plain creepy. Her serial dating and intense songs and lyrics written about nearly every guy she’s ever shared something as small as a hand hold with get boring after awhile. It’s all become too routine. When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s best not to force it or go into every relationship with the attitude that he is your knight in shining armor. Sometimes, you need to let boys chase.

As I entered college, my favorite female artist quickly evolved from Taylor Swift to Katy Perry upon hearing the first guitar strum of the song “Teenage Dream.” To this day, that song never gets old. We could all learn a lot from Katy Perry. I’d like to share with you the top 5 reasons why we should turn up the Katy Perry and turn down the T-Swift.

1) Her songs don’t make you want to sob. I don’t know about you, but I like music that makes me want to roll the windows down and scream the lyrics – not something that gives me the urge open up a jar of Nutella and wallow in my sorrows. Taylor Swift has relatable lyrics that talk about experiences we’ve all had, but some things are better left unsaid. Katy Perry’s songs are fun, upbeat, different, and empowering. Her songs share real emotion, but not in a depressing way. For example, “Part of Me,” a song clearly written about a breakup, builds you up instead of breaking you down. It’s the kind of song that makes you angry. It makes you want to put on boxing gloves and let out your frustrations. It reminds us that we are strong, and nobody can ever take that away.

2) She’s different. When’s the last time you saw a girl in your class walk in with blue hair? What about a cupcake bra? Odds are, you haven’t. Katy Perry is her own person. She does what she wants, and that’s what makes her so unique and lovable. She had an extremely religious upbringing and most people would be shocked to learn that her first album was bible music. She didn’t have much success because it was clear that is not what she wanted to be doing. Once Katy was herself, she gained success.
3) She has her own movie. Enough said. And, if it adds anything, it made me cry. Her movie showed the reality of her life and all the hard work she puts in to make herself the success that she is today.
4) She eats. Probably one of the most annoying habits of girls is the perpetual “I’ll have a salad with the dressing on the side” order at a restaurant. Well, fear not, Katy Perry is not one of those girls. In her movie, she eats everything from pizza to taco bell. Who doesn’t love a woman with curves? Taytay should take a little advice from Katy and trade the skinny Starbucks latte for a cheeseburger.
5) She shows emotion – without being creepy. Taylor Swift’s bluntly honest lyrics have evolved over the years from cute to plain creepy. In her song Last Kiss, Swift sings, “So, I’ll go, sit on the floor wearing your clothes / All that I know is I don’t know / How to be something you miss.”

Not sure which boyfriend of hers she is referring to in this song, but if I were him, I’d probably be on my way to my lawyer’s office to get a restraining order. The way Swift feels is a relatable feeling, but that is normally something you wouldn’t want the whole world to know about. Katy Perry, on the other hand, has songs that illustrate real, relatable emotion without the creepy aura. A perfect example is “Not Like the Movies,” a song that delves into a common problem people in relationship experience: lack of feelings, or something in your relationship that doesn’t feel right. But, you smile and pretend everything is OK because you know you should.

One of the most important things in life is to be you, love who you are, and not care what other people think. Katy Perry mastered this skill. She dresses how she wants, sings what she wants, and does what she wants. We can all learn something from Katy Perry, and maybe if we did we can live our very own “Teenage Dream” at any age.

Men’s Baseball looks ahead

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Before last season, the last time Fairfield’s baseball team qualified for the MAAC Tournament, all of the current players were in grammar school, still playing in Little League. But last season changed all that.

In Head Coach Bill Currier’s first year at the helm of the Stags, he led them to a program record 27 wins, good for third in the MAAC and enough to get them to Albany. However, their run in the MAAC Tournament was short-lived, as they were the first team eliminated, losing two games in two days.

As for this season, Currier is looking to see a lot of growth out of a team that he sees as “the youngest team [he’s] ever coached.”

“We got 22 freshmen and sophomores, so we’re teaching a lot, shaping them a lot, trying to get them thinking and doing the right things,” said Currier. “We think in the next couple years we’re going to be pretty good, and that’s really the goal. If we achieve success before that, then we’re ahead of schedule and that’s good too.”

In addition to leading the Stags to their first MAAC Tournament since 2000, Currier also won MAAC Coach of the Year Award for his efforts, which he called a “nice honor.”

“When I came here, they hadn’t made the playoffs in quite a number of years, so to finish third and get that [three] seed, I think it was nice of them to recognize that we are making some in-road progress here,” said Currier.

A major part of that run to the MAAC Tournament, of which only four of the league’s nine teams qualify for every year, was the strength of Fairfield pitching, which was one of the best in the MAAC. That strength will be tested this year, as the vast majority of Fairfield’s pitchers this season will be sophomores and freshmen, which Currier said can be a little “frightening.”

“With the young pitchers, you get a three or four run inning, you get the blow ups, and then they pitch well for four innings. You get that a lot more with the young kids, which we’ve already seen this season,” said Currier. “We have a little more depth this season, but it’s all unproven, so they’re all kind of shooting to show us that they deserve to throw and get the ball when the games are closer. It’s going to be competitive.”

One position that won’t be changing this year or next year (unless he gets drafted sooner) is right field, where Ryan Plourde ’14 has started since his freshman year. Plourde has been at the heart of the Stags’ lineup for each of his first two seasons, where he has won All-MAAC Second Team honors last year, and this year was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Team.

Currier said that he has seen Plourde make tremendous growth as both a player and a person in his time at Fairfield, and that combined with first baseman Anthony Hajjar ‘13, he doesn’t think there is a better third and fourth hitter combination in the conference.

“We’re getting the football mentality and football legs and strength out of him,” said Currier about Plourde, who was the starting quarterback for his high school football team three years ago. “He’s a little leaner, but he’s still strong, he’s running better, training more like a baseball player now. If he keeps up the consistent hitting this year, he’s a real [professional] prospect.”

“If you were to ask me in high school if in two or three years, I would be in this situation, I would have told you ‘No Way,’” said Plourde. “It means a lot to me to get these accolades, that some is out there recognizing my play. I mean, I’m a modest kid, I don’t think of myself too highly, but it means a lot to me knowing that all the hard work is paying off.”

“As much accolades mean a lot, or stats mean a lot, I just want the team to do well, and anything I can do to help the team win and succeed is definitely good with me.”

Plourde says that after the season, he plans to play in the New England Collegiate Baseball League (the first time in his life he will be playing regularly outside of his home state of Connecticut) for New Bedford, but is still focused on the success for himself and this team right now.

“My personal goal is to do well in conference, make the MAAC Tournament, hopefully win the MAAC Tournament,” said Plourde, “And if we can do that and I get good stats out of the deal too, maybe perhaps back up that preseason all-MAAC [selection], that’d be great.”

Plourde also said that he has seen how much work it takes to get to play in the next level, through his former teammates Tucker Nathans, who just signed with the Baltimore Orioles, as well as last year’s draftee Mark Bordonaro, who is still in the Mariners’ organization.

“I really am trying to follow in their footsteps. I love this game, I’ve been doing it for so long, you know, why not give it a shot at the next level,” said Plourde. “What I’ve learned from them is that their work ethic is what really sticks out for me and that is what they emphasize to me. If you work hard, someone is going to give you a look. If you put up numbers, someone is going to give you a look. Having that right demeanor, on and off the field.”

The team this year is predicted to finish fifth in the league this year, but that doesn’t seem to bother Plourde too much.

“We’re underdogs again. I would rather be in the underdog situation, no one expects us. And just to come up and surprise some teams, our coach loves it, we all love it.”