Movie Madness

When I was in high school I went to the movies a lot. I mean A LOT. I went so much that I had a column in my high school’s paper with my movie reviews. But somehow, the amount of movies I see has dramatically decreased. And I have realized why.

I used to go to Showplace 8, or even to Rivertree (the sketchiest movie theater ever) and go see a 7:30 or 8:00 movie for $4.50. How cheap does that sound now?! Student pricing, and suddenly my entire night  is under $15 if I get something inexpensive for dinner. When was the last time you spent under $15 for dinner and a movie, and maybe even a snack at the theater?

That was back when Kerosotes operated Showplace 8. They had student pricing and they also gave discounts to our active duty soldiers. But that doesn’t exist any more.

I get that we are in this horrible economic crisis that started in 2008, right before I finished high school. But I don’t understand the logic of making movie prices upwards of $8 and not changing anything in the theater. If I want a nice movie theater that’s clean, etc. then I used to go to Lincolnshire because the tickets were more expensive so everything there was nicer. But that’s not true anymore. Ticket prices have become about supplying a sub-par experience to people and then charging  an arm and a leg for it.

But ever since AMC Theaters bought Showplace 8, not only have prices gone up, but now there are no discount options for anybody. Not just students, but seniors, and the military. I just think that’s wrong. Those are some of your most loyal moviegoers, and just by getting rid of the discount you are losing opportunities.

I would even go so far as to say that expensive movie tickets are discouraging high school students and other underage kids to go to the movies. One might even say because of this they start drinking earlier. I never drank in high school, in fact it wasn’t even something I thought about. I went to the movies on Friday night, and maybe even Saturday night too. There was always a new movie to see, and the price was good. Maybe if they had student pricing again, that would help  encourage kids to do something sober on the weekend.

But now, even if I want  to go to the movies, I hate the idea that I’m spending at least $10 when I go. What if you don’t like the movie? Before, it was okay because it was less than $5 to go see a movie. So if it was awful, then you’d just think “well it wasn’t that expensive so that’s kind of okay.” But now, I think if I spent $10 and I hated the movie, I would want my money back. But somehow that logic doesn’t quite work. 😛

I unfortunately don’t have a solution. I only know that I’ve seen way less movies this summer than I wanted to, simply because I can’t afford to go. So because of that, I think I saw 3 movies this summer. I must say I used to promote Netflix, but now that they’ve hiked their prices up so much, I don’t foresee myself continuing my service anymore. I don’t understand how you can charge so much for a service that you barely do, and then seem surprised when people don’t want to pay that much money.

If anyone knows how I can get cheaper movie tickets, feel free to let me know. 🙂

Puzzled by Pedestrians

So I commute every day to downtown Chicago on the train for my summer internship. I have learned to appreciate the commute, losing about 10 hours a week to the train. Whatever, I read a lot.

The other day it was raining. Actually pouring. If you’re from the Chicago-area it was the day of the storm that knocked power out for the second time in three weeks. And I get it. Rain sucks. You don’t want to get wet.

So I was expecting a lot of traffic of pedestrians as usual when I got off the train. But much to my surprise it took me 10 minutes to get from the train to the exit of the station. I was like what is happening?! And then when I finally got to the top of the station to leave, I saw it. A HUGE group of people just standing in front of the exit under the overhand so they wouldn’t get soaked.

Seriously, you are going to stand there and back up the exit from the train at 8:30 a.m.? Are you joking?!

I’m sorry that you don’t have your umbrella, but maybe you should watch the frickin’ weather channel in the morning. Or even get a stupid APP for that.

But come on, this storm wasn’t a surprise. The sky was basically black. BLACK. Not blue. It looked like a tornado or some sort of STORM was going to happen.

Maybe it’s because i go to Colgate where the weather is ridiculous and awful basically 90% of the time. Or maybe it’s because I’m from Chicago where the weather is also bad.

Oh wait.

They are in CHICAGO too.

Well now I’m a little confused…

MAYBE they are all related to the Wicked Witch of the West? That would explain why they had to stay under the overhang…I didn’t realize she had so many offspring…

The End of an Era

I can remember when I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the first time. I was nine, and my brother had just finished it. At that age I had to do whatever he did, so of course I had to read it too. From the Dursley’s house to Hogwarts, I followed Harry’s life as mine quickly fell into the story, being so enthralled that I didn’t hear anything, see anything, or want to do anything. From page one to page three-hundred and nine, I was IN the wizarding world.

And it just continued as the books continued to come out, meanwhile fully knowing that it would have to end at Book 7, I couldn’t help but be excited at every midnight book release, racing with my brother to finish the book (I don’t think I ever won though–but he always had two years on me of reading stamina).

I was in fifth grade in November of 2001, when the movie came out. So shortly after being addicted to the book, I was SUPER excited to go to it opening night for a friend’s birthday party. Despite the frequent changes in producers and the variation sometimes a little too much from the books, I can’t help but get excited for each movie. As the movies came out along with the books, it gave me two things to be excited about. And when the last book was released, my brother and I were the first people in line at our local bookstore to get them. That was a great day.

Upon finishing the last book, I was sad. It was over. There would be no more excitement about Harry Potter. But that wasn’t true, I told myself, we still had more movies to look forward to. The fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; had come out ten days before. This left two more movies.

And then they divided the seventh book into two parts. While some people think that Warner Bros. was just utilizing the Harry Potter phenomenon to make even more money, I was secretly happy for two reasons. 1) This meant the movies will be more accurate as they have more time to include more specifics from the book, and 2) My anticipation would last even longer.

I cannot wait to see the final movie tomorrow night, don’t get me wrong (This whole summer job thing means no midnight madness for me, much to my dismay. For some reason, getting no sleep  and then going to work was not something any of my friends wanted to do 😛 ).

But a little part of me is going to be sad tomorrow as I leave my seat in the movie theater. This will mean there is no more Harry Potter-ness to look forward to any more. No more wondering about what will be included, and what will happen. I will know. Knowledge is funny that way–you wonder and wonder about something, and sometimes when you get your answer you miss the wonderment you used to have.

I guess all I can really do is congratulate J.K. Rowling on what she has done. In ten years she wrote a series about a boy in a world similar to ours and yet so drastically different. She went from struggling to have money for heating to being a global bestseller, selling over 400 billion copies. The movies have also lasted a decade, the first one in November 2001, and now the last July 15, 2011. According to CNBC last year, the Harry Potter movie series is the highest-grossing film series of all time, having over $6 billion in worldwide box office revenues. And that was BEFORE this last movie. I can’t even imagine what their numbers will be on Monday.

Bicyclists

I like to bike. Just like the many bicyclists who are on the roads this summer–and the many who will continue to appear as the weather gets better. I would just like to say a few words to those bicyclists.

Um, hi. Remember those things called sidewalks? They are FOR YOU. Not the road where cars (like mine) are going 40+mph. No, no, no, no, no. The sidewalk is a safe place for you, where you can safely not be hit, and instead avoid the dog-walkers and people walking.

I’m sure it might be thrilling to know that you can get hit by a car as you bike on the roadway, but let me just clarify: as a driver, it is not thrilling to know I could hit a bicyclist. Instead I feel relieved when I park the car and haven’t killed anybody.

So to back my argument up I looked into some bike-fatality statistics. The Bicycle Almanac says that if you compare bicycle-deaths to automobile-deaths, you are “either 3.4x or 11.5x as likely to die as motorists, per passenger mile.” Woah. That makes me nervous about biking down the street.

I also attempted to look up the fatalities of bicycles hitting pedestrians. That number does not really exist. I found it on one website which suggests that it ranges from 0-3. Wow. Doesn’t that sound a LOT better?

Do you really want to make life more stressful? This is what I truly don’t understand. When these bikers drive their cars (that they surely must have) don’t they get angry with the bicyclists as well? This would lead me to think that if you almost hit a biker, then surely you would be nervous and aware of yourself when they are biking to make sure you do not get in a position like this. And the solution to that is to not bike on a busy street.

And hey, remember that there are some places that have a BIKE PATH for you. You know what I’m talking about, those lovely mini-roads that are so much nicer than sidewalks, as well as being expensive to build? Yeah, it is extremely unappreciative when instead of riding over there, you and your five bicycle buddies take up half the road. Which by the way, most towns have a law that bicyclists can’t be more than three abreast. FYI. So now I’m stuck wasting my $4.30 gallon of gas to go 10 mph behind you because it is rush hour and I can’t pass you, much to the grievance of the other cars behind me. Maybe I should start using the bike path for my SUV anyways. That’s almost like off-roading, right?

The End of the World?

So apparently the world is going to end tomorrow, or so says California preacher Harold Camping. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/may/19/rapture-end-of-the-world)

And other people are apparently believing him…some even making sure they have no money as of tomorrow. (http://www.christianpost.com/news/family-radio-spokesman-may-21-rapture-is-guaranteed-50326/)

Well if that’s the case I have a lot to do between now and tomorrow. What time do you think it will end tomorrow? Early in the morning? Lunchtime? Dinner? Supper? Afternoon tea? 😛

Obviously the only people who truly know when the world is going to end are the Mayans, and the men who arm our WMDs ( Weapons of Mass Destruction).

If the world ends tomorrow I will be very sad that I never got to see the last segment of the Harry Potter films, that’s for sure. Also, Jay Sean will most likely be extremely embarrassed that his song is entitled 2012 and not 2011. Just saying.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JENxA_eRB8)

So I must cut this blog post short, my friends, as obviously we all have a lot of livin’ to do between now and sometime tomorrow!

Osama is Dead

In case you have been oblivious to the world in the past 20-something hours, Osama Bin-Laden is dead. Thanks to American troops. We have been avenged after almost ten years.

I have found the most interesting thing about this to be the response in America. Thousands of people were in front of the White House last night to hear President Obama announce Osama’s death. Not only were there people storming in D.C., but there were people going crazy in Manhattan, and even here at Colgate.

I was completely surprised by the response that occurred on our campus last night. From fireworks to hearing the National Anthem played in the library. There were even people who started drinking in honor of his death, as well as numerous parties planned with an American theme–despite finals that started today.

I’m sorry. What? Is this just a Colgate thing? Why is drinking an appropriate response to this. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Osama is dead, but that doesn’t mean I think we should go shotgunning beers. I thought, maybe it’s just Colgate. Maybe we are all crazy and alcohol oriented. But I am wrong. My Facebook news feed has been filled today with people relating comments of Osama’s death and America’s victory to parties that are happening later. Yes. Of course this is the right response. How stupid of me. How could I celebrate the death of such a horrible man in any other fashion?

So what does this even mean? I don’t know. I started this post thinking that I was going to right about Osama being dead, and how this is good news for Obama’s politics–he is finally getting something right. But this has instead emerged into the importance of youth.

The Egyptians as well as many other North African countries have displayed how protests and Twitter can help topple a dictator. Our supposed slacker generation now has a chance. We can step up, and show the rest of the world that the American youth can stand up for what they believe in, and get stuff done. Or we can fall off the face of the earth, doomed to be second place to those who are true not only to themselves, but to their country. If we keep drinking ourselves into oblivion every time something happens, who will stand up for what is right? The Egyptians got Mubarak out of office in 18 days. EIGHTEEN DAYS. Just think what we could do with ourselves if we even had half that motivation. We are already given so many liberties that they aren’t, and we could continue to make a difference because of this. Instead we throw themed parties and listen to Miley Cyrus’s “Party in the USA” and call it a night. This isn’t patriotism. This is just plain sad.

What is SANE about Colgate?

Colgate’s drinking culture is thoroughly connected with the hook-up culture that embeds our campus. Not only is this a work-hard, play-hard school, but sometimes the playing gets a little out of control.

Sexual assault and rape are problems on our campus. It happens here. Just like it happens on every other college campus across the country, and across the globe. Statistically, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted every two minutes.¹ This statistic is staggering as a female college student when you also learn that “girls ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.”²

These statistics are awakening for college students. It happens. And it might even happen to you. Or someone you know. That is unfortunately the reality we live in today. Statistics from Colgate’s Campus Climate Life Survey of 2009 showed that more than 70% of Colgate students have reported some form of sexual harassment.³

This is a rampant problem on Colgate’s campus, and unfortunately there are not enough people trying to do something about the problem in the administration. Additionally, it is not clear at all to me that students know the proper venues to take following an assault or rape.

One thing that many students probably do not know is what a SANE Nurse is. A SANE Nurse is a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, and they are a nurse that is specially trained to go through a Rape Kit with a victim in such a thorough way that they can testify in court. They focus specifically on the patient and helping her (or him) begin to cope with the situation at hand, as well as collecting evidence for court if the victim decides to testify. They are extremely comforting in such a difficult time and they are always up to date on the most current medication you may need–to test for date-rape drugs (of which there are over 800), to test for STDs/STIs, to decide if you need Plan B, or a HIV preventive medicine. All of these things are extremely important, which is why victims need to go to the hospital, but many do not go.

Hamilton Hospital does not have a SANE Nurse. The closest ones are in Oneida, a 40 minute drive. I learned recently that Campus Safety will drive you if you call them. But let’s just pause there for a second. If you have just been victimized, are you really going to want to get driven for 40 minutes by some adult you don’t know, especially considering that they will then have to sit in the waiting room and wait for you to go back to campus? No. The answer is just no.

So then the answer is that you can just go to Hamilton Hospital and have a non-SANE nurse examine you. However, I have heard from multiple sources that the nurses there are hesitant to do them, to say the least. And that they then claim that if they had a SANE Nurse that they would not see enough cases to keep their status as a SANE Nurse.

I’m sorry, what?! Just because you think that sexual assault and rape doesn’t happen on this campus doesn’t make it true. It does. And by not providing such a service the hospital is ignoring a need of a large majority of students–which make up a large part of their patients for most of the year.

Something that Colgate needs to work on is honesty. Honest about the fact that everything here isn’t hunky-dory, and that there is a problem here that needs addressing. Not only does sexual assault, rape, and date-rape happen here, but “48 percent of men and 44 percent of women did not know what constituted sexual assault, 36 percent of males admitted to being in an ambiguous situation where they did not know whether a woman was too drunk to hook up.”4 These statistics suggest that there needs to be more of a clarification between the administration and the students. The fact that basically half of campus does not know what sexual assault is  means that the numbers are most likely dramatically lower right now than they actually are. A terrifying thought.

I don’t have an answer. I think that for change to happen on our campus, we need to start with having the right resources, namely a SANE Nurse at the hospital, and ends with changing our social attitudes about women and their right to have a fun, safe time when they go out at night.