Archive for November, 2011

Emeka Leads the People: Column #2

Monday, November 21st, 2011

I like a boy, but he’s so ugly, will people judge me if I say I like him? What do I do?

-Anonymous

Going on intuition, I’ll assume that you’re a girl. That’s important, because if you are, it will be exponentially harder for you to overcome the image paradox. Boys can just say they have low standards or that they just want to raw dog the world. Girls, however, are genetically inclined to actually like their partner I think. You probably want my real honest advice, and not my this-advice-column-crap-is-a-good-late-night-alternative advice, so I’ll try giving you some. If I were you, (which let it be known I’m not) I would go out with this guy a few times but keep it on the low. If I feel we have a little thing going (let it be known I wouldn’t) and he’s cool and I don’t give a damn about his looks, then I wouldn’t be afraid to say why we’re together and why, though I probably wouldn’t blazon it either.

Let it be known that this is all COMPLETELY hypothetical.

 

How many heavy hooks will it take to knock someone out or daze them?

-Anonymous

If I were asking how to daze somebody by hitting them, thus revealing my utter lack of knowledge on anything physical, I would post this anonymous too, so good job there. Now I know this definitely isn’t big Johnny Tsatsaros, because he knows about infinity ways to knock someone out using everything from fists to eye contact. Therefore, he is like magic 8-ball when it comes to questions like this, so ask him. I personally have never been in a fistfight without the aid of Sock’em Boppers, so all I can say is give it your all, and hopefully you’ll daze them in just one punch and be able to flee. Or in my case, your one punch will be so pitiful that they’ll fall to ground laughing, thus getting “knocked out” and giving you ample time to flee.

 

My roommate eats candles, sniffs wood and chews ice in secret. Is there something wrong with her?

-Emma from Yahoo answers cause ya’ll don’t never ask me no questions.

Haha yes. Talk to the RA or something; just take care of that. The candles, I mean. Ice tastes good and wood smells quite delightful to the cultured nose. It has an earthy essence like a good fine wine.

 

I have an embarrassing habit, which is drooling in my sleep. Is it at least normal, and how do I prevent it?

-Anonymous

There is nothing wrong with your little habit; it is very normal. I, being an avid drooler, believe it is more than normal. I have a theory, recently proved through a survey by me, which goes like this: Since the flow of saliva over the teeth strengthens enamel (that’s why you chew gum), and drooling causes excess saliva flow, droolers have stronger, healthier teeth than the average beaver. So instead of you asking how to prevent drooling, all you non-droolers/Englishmen (bad stereotype joke) should be asking how to drool artificially.

Emeka Uwakeneme ‘12 Staff Writer

Turkey Day Struggles

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Thanksgiving at my house brings fond memories of running, shrieking children, football on the front lawn-weather permitting, stories of Thanksgiving past from grandparents, aunts and uncles and eating until we are literally about to explode. There are some pretty universal “traditions” that occur in many households that make us all laugh on this most delicious holiday.  Do any of these seem familiar?

Kids table or the adult table?

Anyone with a family larger than five knows exactly what I mean. The adults are at one table while the kids are relegated to the ‘kids’ table’. It may seem simple, but what is the qualifying age for the ‘kids’ table’. Can there be a teen table for those who deem themselves far too cool to sit with their little cousins? At what age are you promoted to the adult table? What happens when the adult table reaches capacity? Even the second grandchild, a twenty something is forced to sit at the kids’ table and glance longingly at the real table that he or she might someday be allowed to sit at, maybe when they turn 30!

What are you thankful for?

Every year we are invited to (forced to) share what we are thankful for with everyone at the table prior to digging in.  A wonderful idea but with 20+ people this can be a challenge -no repeats not to mention this takes a while and the turkey is making your mouth water. The first person has it easy “I am thankful for my family and that we can all be here together”, a very good thing to be thankful for, and, funny, that is exactly what I wanted to say!

Who should or gets to carve the turkey?

Carving the turkey: an art that has yet to be perfected by anyone. First, who gets to carve the turkey (or rather, who is given the challenge to please a large group of people with varying preferences). At my house, the carving knife usually falls into 3 separate hands before someone actually begins to carve. Furthermore, there is always a critic. The slices are too thin, too thick; do you want dark meat or white meat? Who gets the leg? Did I mention the turkey never looks like it does on the cover of Martha Stewart Magazine. That doesn’t exist. The bird is taken out of the oven and carved on the cutting board  with 20 people watching. I wish the carver good luck.

Who gets to break the wishbone?

Let’s be honest, everyone under the age of 20 (and sometimes even the people older than 20) wants to break the wishbone. So, if you have never had the opportunity, here is the simple, yet covert, strategy:

  1. Approach turkey carver well in advance of the carving and express interest
  2. Approach turkey carver while carving and renew interest
  3. Remind turkey carver when he is done carving, have him set it aside in a secret place to dry
  4. Find a partner
  5. Sneak into the kitchen at the very end of dinner while no one is there and break the wishbone

 

So this Thanksgiving, I hope that you know that you are not alone in the navigation of Thanksgiving dinner and that you can come up with something unique to be thankful for. I know I am thankful that this article is turned in on time.  Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Kelsey O’Connor ‘14 Issue Contributor

Yes, It’s Completely Hollywood!

Monday, November 21st, 2011

“I will never think of movies the same again!” cried my younger brother between laughs as we exited the theater. He summed up my feelings perfectly. The new fall show, Completely Hollywood, is brilliant and hysterical, and it surprises the audience at every possible moment. It takes everything you know and love about the movie industry, and breaks it down in a masterful and charming way. You’re hooked fast and proceed to go on a roller coaster filled with every movie reference known to man. Some of the jokes may fly over your head, but the show barrels ahead and keeps throwing the references your way. Sometimes you catch them, sometimes you don’t, but you find yourself not caring and just hoping you can catch the next. As you watch the show, you find yourself smiling without even realizing it. Witty and brilliantly written, the show is incredibly entertaining and comical, thanks to the perfect timing of every actor in the production.

Each actor pulls his own weight and adds a unique and fresh turn to the show. The cast consists of 6 actors, 2 boys and 4 girls. The interesting thing about this show is that there are no definite characters. All the actors play various roles that require different skills, proving how talented this cast truly is. They don’t just play one part well, but play multiple parts perfectly. Also, none of the actors appeared fazed by the close proximity of the audience, something that is shocking considering that only one member of the cast is a veteran to Deetjen Theater.

That veteran is senior Ed Rosini, who is returning to the black box theater for his final time. He, as per the usual, lights up the stage with energy. And although the audience is given very little information about his character, he is still incredibly relatable. Ed has become known throughout the entire school as a talented actor that Detjeen has been very lucky to have, and when he leaves for college next year the school’s theater department will suffer a terrible
loss.

But the stage will be in good hands after the departure of Mr. Rosini, thanks to the 5 talented new actors of this fall show. They each bring their own fresh twist and are all comfortable in their own skin, which reads on stage. The cast is separated into two groups, the people who explain the outrageous rules of movies, and the people who act them out. In the first act all the rules are laid out, and in the second a show is put on using all of them.

The first group in the cast consists of three people. In addition to Ed, there is freshman Sam Cleverly. He impressively holds his own with the his two older partners. His British accent also fits perfectly with the various roles he needs to play, such as a mad scientist or a director. The final actor in the trio is junior Sarah Finn. Sarah has been an amazing actor for sometime now, but has not been able to audition for the fall play because of cross country. Thankfully, however, she decided to perform in the play this year. She is charming and just as relatable as Ed, and not afraid to take chances. The various conversations that take place between the two of them are rapid fire and impressive. Hopefully, Sarah will continue to act in Deetjen’s shows from now on.

The second group in the cast consists of three girls. They work well together and play off of each other perfectly, exhibiting how comfortable this cast seems to be with each other. There is one sophomore, Maggie Dancy. Maggie shines in her roles. She plays many different ones and shows how versatile she is, from pulling off a Russian accent that would make Dr. Kan proud to being a space alien. The second member of this group is freshman Krissy Bylancik. Krissy is just as versatile as Maggie, and brings her own spin to the show. Almost all of the different parts she plays seem genuine and effortless. The final member of the group is freshman Heather Milke. Heather is adorable and compelling, and perhaps takes the biggest risks of all of the members of the cast. From rolling across the floor as a tumbleweed to playing one of “Darcy’s Angels” (Pride and Prejudice and Charlie’s Angels, get it?), she gives each part all of her energy. All of the members of the cast do, and that is what makes this show so special.

One of the unique parts of this show was the impressive work of the sound and lighting crew. Some of the show’s most memorable parts could not have worked if the special effects were not in place. For example, during a parody of The Matrix, the strobe lights and soundtrack were what made the joke so hilarious. This can be credited to the skillful work of all of the crew.

Completely Hollywood is a show that is rapid and charming. Though you may not know what is going on at some points, you still enjoy yourself. Jam-packed with puns and crossovers that you would not have thought possible (When Harry Met Sally and aliens!), this show does not stop surprising you. This is not only because of the amazing writing and directing, but also heavily thanks to the talented and promising cast.

Madeleine Colbert ‘14 Staff Writer

Working with Horses: My Experience

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Last winter I was given a working student position with Phillip Dutton, a two time Olympic medalist for Eventing in West Grove, Pennsylvania. After I was given my working student job this past winter, I mainly kept in touch with Phillip’s wife Evie, until the time of my arrival, during the first week of July.

Tragedy struck in May, two months before I was to arrive at the farm, when one of the five barns on the property had an electrical malfunction in the middle of the night, causing it to go up in flames. There were eleven horses inside. Four of the horses were pulled out; sustaining severe burns and smoke inhalation.   One horse escaped on his own, unharmed, and six perished in the fire. Of the six horses that were trapped, a majority of them were on the short list for the 2012 London Olympics. A couple weeks after the fire I contacted Evie on whether my job was still available and she informed me that if I still wanted to come I could.  All of my contact with the farm still remained through Evie until I showed up in July.

The day I arrived at True Prospect farm with my horse, was the day I realized that no one at the barn knew that I was coming. I had called earlier to inform the barn manager Kelly of my arrival, something that Evie had told me to do a week prior.  But when I told her that I was new working student, she sounded as if she had not known that a new person was coming.  Thankfully when I got to the barn there was a stall for Kelly, Emma and me, Phillip’s head groom’s, were extremely welcoming.  It appeared as if all of the people working at Phillip’s were a few years older than me, had been at the farm longer than me and had obviously bonded over the events that had occurred at the end of May. The next day was my first day of work and the most awkward day of my life. The only person who talked to me was Kelly, and I thought I was not going to make it through the summer.  But I held in the back of my head that this opportunity was to good to pass up so I took on a “don’t speak until spoken to” mentality, taking on every bit of work that was given to me. My attitude must have helped me, because within a week I was helping Ryan Wood, a well-known professional in the Eventing discipline.  I helped get his horses shown and vetted for prospective buyers.

After a few weeks my relationship with my fellow working students had become a great bond.  I know I will keep them as friends for a long time. But as soon as I became comfortable, tragedy struck again. It was my third week working for Phillip Dutton, and his most experienced horse, Woodburn, had randomly fallen fatally ill in the field over night.

We all knew that Woodburn’s prognosis was not hopeful. Kevin Keane, the renowned vet that board’s on the property took charge of Woodburn’s care. Kevin began giving orders on what needed to be done for Woodburn. The job I was given was to assist Keane in hooking up Woodburn’s IV bags. It was surreal to me that I had just arrived a mere three weeks ago and now I was aiding one of the top vets in the country.

Jenny Osbun ‘12 Issue Contributor

Photo Courtesy of Brant Gamma

An In-Depth Analysis of the Enigma That Is Kevin Jonas

Monday, November 21st, 2011

(Disclaimer: I do not mean to offend any Jonas Brothers fan. I am as much of a fan as you are, if not a bigger one.)

They’ve changed the face of music with their skinny jeans and high-pitched voices. You know them, you’ve heard of them, and you sing their lyrics subconsciously. They are the Jonas Brothers, small town boys who pursued their dreams of becoming Disney Channel stars. When one thinks of the Jonas Brothers, two names come to mind: Nick and Joe.

But there IS another Jonas Brother.

An MKA survey asked the question, “Can you name the Jonas Brothers for me?” Kevin Jonas was often the last name mentioned, or even worse: FORGOTTEN. How would you like it if your siblings made a band together and all the credit, fame, and ladies just went to them? Think about how hard it is for Kevin to wake up in the morning and squeeze himself into those tight, tight pants only to stand in the shadow of Nick and Joe.

This needs to change.

Kevin is, arguably, the best Jonas Brother and the most mysterious. First is the obvious mystery of his age. Some claim that he is 23, but he just seems much older than that. In a teen magazine, Kevin neglected to write down the year of his birth in an interview. Why, you might ask? BECAUSE HE HAS EXISTED SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME. I believe Kevin rode the dinosaurs, invented the wheel and even lived through the ice age. Kevin will live forever, and that’s pretty awesome, so what I don’t understand is why Nick and Joe are the more “likeable” ones.

Kevin has so much potential to be a brilliant talent, but Nick and Joe just stick him to the side of the stage with a guitar. WHY? Wouldn’t you want the immortal brother front and center stage?! They never let him sing (and I’ve heard he has a beautiful voice) and sometimes I am sure they tell him to fake play the guitar, so they can steal the spotlight with their flips and cute bouncy hair. Kevin should be in that spotlight. Kevin needs the recognition he deserves, and you can help. By simply mentioning Kevin Jonas’s name, you’re doing something. Together we can make a difference.

Rebecca Strickland ‘12 Issue Contributor

MKA Cracks Down on Hammocks

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Some men just want to watch the world burn.  They lie, cheat, and steal, never thinking about potential consequences for their actions, remaining firm in the face of the law.  An iron fist must be brought down upon these men.  We have at least one of these people within our very own MKA community.  The mysterious hammock child of Block 6 must be brought to justice.

What kind of person takes a hammock into school and sets it up at his leisure for a 75-minute nap? A man with no regard for society and its petty laws.  A freak and a miscreant. This man lives in his own world, a world without reason and one without logic.  This hammock, which was crafted out of materials used in military grade parachutes and wraps around its owner like a cocoon, is a danger to the entire school.  He could slip out of his hammock, barreling down the hill into the math wing at frightening speeds.  He could provoke other students to act with as much reckless abandon as he does with his deranged endeavors, planting a seed of impulsive behavior in the very impressionable freshmen.  He could even, heaven forbid, oversleep and miss a class.

Justice must be brought down with force on this cloaked vigilante, before his influence spreads and it is too late.

Billy Lennon, ‘12 Staff Writer

MKA Football on a Successful Streak

Monday, November 21st, 2011

40 Verona- 6 MKA. This was the score from 2010 when MKA lost to Verona. 35 MKA -0 Verona. This was the score from 2011, when MKA asserted its dominance over Verona High School. This years football team has been extremely successful, improving its ranking from 340th in the state two ago years to 104th this year.  On the other hand, Seton Hall Prep, a previously desirable school for aspiring football players, sits at 125th in the state.

MKA demolished Morristown- Beard 70-6, starting out the season strong.  The team has only gone uphill from there. The football team edged out Cedar Creek with a narrow victory of 25-21.  This win was collectively agreed to be the hardest earned win of the season thus far. And one of MKA’s oldest foes, Glen Ridge, who MKA has not beaten in over ten years, got a first hand demonstration of MKA’s exceptional football capabilities when they were ran off the field, beaten 40-12.

MKA is now 6-1, its only loss to Cedar Grove High School. So why has this years football team been so dominating? Head coach Lance Ramer says the team’s sterling record is a result of an aggressive attack each week, and working to always get better. “Football is a physical game, but the mental aspect of it cannot be ignored.” Says Coach Ramer.  During the pre pre-season this year, which started two days after school ended, the dedicated football players acquired a lot of the skills to play physical and smart football. “This years summer was our busiest and most productive,” says Coach Ramer.  In the 2011 season, MKA has scored a total of 253 points against its opponents.  In contrast, 61 points is the number of points scored by every other team that MKA has played so far…combined.  As far as individual stats go, quarterback Gabe DiMasi has thrown over 20 touchdown passes and is currently averaging over 222 passing yards per game.  Power Lawrence, MKA’s star running and defensive back ran the ball 12 times against Glen Ridge and totaled an impressive 218 rushing yards. That same game he scored two touchdowns, one rushing, and one receiving. Because of the football teams multiple victories and impressive statistical numbers, MKA’s football pride has been restored and its dominance has been reasserted.

 Graham Glusman ‘15 Issue Contributor

Photo by Kristyn Morisseau ‘13 Staff Photographer

Odd Future Kills It At the Wellmont

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All or Odd Future is a rap group out of Los Angeles, California. Though most people have yet to hear about them, they have had a sudden rise from their beginnings in the underground. Much of their appeal has dealt with their raw skill as a lyrically and musically creative group. Much of Odd Future’s music has been labeled Horror Core, after their tendency for profanity, homophobia, and violent imagery. However, those who are unwilling to explore more deeply into the group’s innovation and themes of youth disenfranchisement, have branded OF in the popular media. (WHAT IS HE SAYING?!)

One of the rap group’s more prominent members, Earl, has referred to himself as a “reincarnation of ’98 Eminem.” Those who are familiar with both artists will have no trouble seeing the similarity between the two – both are known for their shocking songs as well as their extreme lyrical skill. Either rapper could have asked the question: “Oh, now he’s raping his own mother, abusing a whore, /snorting coke, and we gave him the Rolling Stone cover?” Though this line is Eminem’s, it is representative of the kind of ruthlessness and arrogance that both rappers embody. While Earl is not on the cover of Rolling Stone, his audacity more than makes up for it.

Earl is the more lyrically skillful yet less meaningful of the group’s two front-men. Tyler, the Creator, is the group’s architect and his lyrics are imbued with all the youthful resent and anti-establishment attitude that the group is known for. Tyler has always clashed with his critics- good or bad- though he basks in the attention that the music media has given him: “They say success is the best revenge/So I beat DeShay up with the stack of magazines I’m in/Oh, not again! Another critic writing report/
I’m stabbing any blogging f****t hipster with a Pitchfork.” A frequent theme of his music has been rapping because he claims he does it for himself rather than for fame or money.

On October 20, this audacious rap collective (there are over 10 members that contribute to their musical releases) came to Montclair to perform at the Wellmont. Their shows are often characterized by crowd violence and relative insanity, and though I did witness a few mosh-pits, there was not much to fear – the whole crowd turned out to see if the music was all it was hyped up to be- and it was, and more. There is no way to relate how epic it was to hear Sandwiches live – a song that was designed to dominate the crowd mentality (what…?). The group was and is loud, in your face, and revolutionary; its music appeals to a generation looking for a tangible thing to represent an omni-present resentment for modern world conventions.

Jordan Walters ‘12 Issue Contributor

The Kooks Shock No One

Monday, November 21st, 2011

This September, the kooks released a new album, “Junk of the Heart”. The first thing that I noticed about the new album is that the kooks still have their sound: they kept their classic Beatles influenced choruses where they repeat the title of the song about six times over. In addition, they keep the same core to every song; almost every song starts with a clean guitar riff. If you’ve liked what the kooks have done before, you won’t be disappointed. Now, you may ask what’s different about this album: they took their same, distinct sound and had some fun with it; the drum beats stand out more in this album, similar to beats that Sublime would typically use. Instead of having one big British pop album like Inside In/ Inside Out, there are more traces of reggae and even some funky 80’s elctro-vibe. The transition from Inside In/ Inside Out to Junk of the Heart can be compared with the shift from MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular to Congratulations; in other words, both bands clearly established their sound in the first album, then experimented with it in the subsequent one. Junk of the Heart no longer skims the surface of pop but instead dives deeper into riskier songs like “Time Above the Earth,” which features an orchestral sound with beautiful strings. Even the song titles underwent a noticeable evolution: moving from titles like “Ooh La” or “If Only,” to titles like “F*** the World Off” or “Killing Me.” The same risks can be seen on the album cover, where instead of a picture of the band peacefully sitting in a circle, the cover art now features nearly topless woman. However, one should understand that the Kooks did not become angrier, but rather they let go of the prevalent fear of seeming to risqué which then would inevitably lead to criticism. In their first album, which is mostly mainstream pop, they play music and songs that are acceptable and appeal to everyone; tn the new album, they take some risks knowing that they might lose a few fans and played a little more what they wanted to play. In my opinion, this is always a good thing in music because when a band becomes comfortable with themselves they usually produce more authentic, better music. That being said, it’s really not that radical of an album; and to it it simply, yes, the new album is good. Yes, you will like it if you like the kooks, or if you’ve never heard the kooks. But no, you will not be shocked. There is nothing radically different in this album, but it’s worth giving a listen.

MH Johnson ‘13 Issue Contributor

People Under the Stairs Album Review

Monday, November 21st, 2011

From the moment I first played the track, ‘Acid Raindrops’ by People Under the Stairs many years ago, I knew I had stumbled upon something special. Over the course of 14 years and 8 studio albums, along with several mixtapes and EP’s, PUTS has established itself as one of the best, if not the absolute greatest independent Hip-Hop group of all time. Two things have characterized the reign of Double K and Thes One: quality and consistency. After hundreds of venues and over a thousand sold out shows, the two LA artists have become poster boys of underground Hip-Hop.

I have had the privilege of seeing People Under the Stairs once live in concert, at the Governor’s Ball Music Festival last June on Governor’s Island in NYC. For a full account of that experience, check out my review of the festival on my blog (Insert Link?/Omit?). Imagine my delight, when Thes One and Double K announced their 8th studio album, ‘Highlighter’ live on stage at the end of their extraordinary set at Governor’s Island. And so I waited eagerly for 97 days until 9-23-11, the album’s release date. Due to “unforeseen issues” Thes One apologetically announced that the album would be pushed back one week. Such a delay might seem out of line from a less established artist, but to me it just affirms the fact that PUTS are extremely concerned about delivering a quality album to their fans, and we weren’t to be disappointed. ‘Highlighter’ is the first album in history ever to be commercially released in 24-bit HD-AAC format. This means that the album will sound marginally better at the cost of a lot more hard drive space. The album is only available from People Under the Stairs directly (more specifically their website pl70.net) and is not yet for sale on iTunes and Spotify. Thus I paid $10 directly to one of my favorite Hip-Hop groups for the 1 gig pleasure that is ‘Highlighter.’

On many levels ‘Highlighter’ carefully follows the well-established People Under the Stairs album model, which by no means is a bad thing. You’ll recognize the rhetorically smooth, jazzy percussions. You’ll hear the vibrant staccato vibe and synth leads that have made appearances in PUTS albums since ‘The Next Step’ (1998). And you’ll even experience some completely new styles in the core of the album on tracks like ‘Ascension to Nowhere’ and ‘This Lifetime.’ Structurally, I feel the album resembles ‘Question in the Form of an Answer’ (2000) and stylistically, either ‘Fun DMC’ (2009) or ‘Stepfather’ (2006) although it lacks the upbeat feel of ‘Fun DMC’ so perhaps ‘Stepfather’ is the closest match. ‘Highlighter’ is missing the one or two alpha-tracks that artists these days use so enthusiastically to advertise their music. Instead, each track serves as a “playmaker” in its own respect. And how could PUTS produce an album without a few tracks standing out? ‘Mean Spirited’ ‘Can’t Hold It Back’ and ‘Too Much Birthday’ – enough said.

To sum it up, ‘Highlighter’ gives us a bit of everything. Some tracks are clear throwbacks to PUTS’ formative years, and some are representative of their new styles. If you’re new to PUTS, try listening to “O.S.T” and if you can dig that, ‘Highlighter’ won’t disappoint you.  As much as I hate spending $10 for an album in this new age when digital music is so readily available, I love the thought of supporting two of underground Hip-Hop’s greatest champions.

Alex Amari ‘13 Issue Contributor

Photo Courtesy of www. pl70.net