An Idiot, A Superman in Training

“You must write every single day of your Life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders and sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads…May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake the world.”

- Ray Bradbury

100 posts ago, I started this blog. It all began with a promise to tell the Truth and a vow to always try to try my best.

Here we are on my 100th post, and I am writing to you for the Last Time. Around 7:00 this afternoon, I’ll be walking at graduation. I’ll be taking my Last Steps as a High Schooler and my First Steps as a college-bound seventeen-year-old. I’m happy to be walking with two kids who have been there for me ever since that fateful day in 5th Grade when I sat next to them on the bus: Jacob and Zach.

It’s an honor to walk with those two. And it’s an honor to graduate with Gull Lake’s Class of 2013. I’ll see you all on the other side.

I feel as though this blog has served it’s purpose. 100 posts comprised purely of Life as a teenager in the 21st Century.

100 posts about the Life of an Idiot.

I can’t express how much I troubled myself over what to say here. I mean, this is it. This is the Last Post. What do I want my Good-Bye to be? My Au Revoir? My “The End”?

I suppose I’ll just try to say what’s been on my mind from the very start. I’ll just try to express how important it is to Live. After all, this blog is called The Life of an Idiot. It’s all about Life and the willingness to Live it. Because the world is going to keep spinning, regardless of our desires. It’s our job as humans to take advantage of the way the world works, it’s our job to find joy in everything. The simple things, the complex ones. It’s our job to Live the Lives we want because, ignoring what we may believe about the afterlife, this is our one shot on Earth in this body. This is the only time in the history of everything that Brian Henry Wiegand will exist. So…I better make it worthwhile. I better respect the opportunities the cosmos has given me by taking advantage of them. I better go Live it up.

You know, this whole year I kept looking at things like it was “The Year of Lasts” and that it was “all over” and that this was “The End”…But it was also a Year of Firsts. And as much as it was all over, it was also just starting. As much as it was The End, it was also The Beginning. I know I have so much to look forward to. So much Life left to Live.

The best part about it all…is that as I go out into the world, I carry with me the flame of everything I gained from Gull Lake. I carry with me Coach Portis and all he taught me about hard work, I carry Coach Hawkins and all he made me realize about myself, I carry Coach Flynn and all she taught me about standing up for what I believe in, I carry Mr. Nott and all he taught me about love and imagination, I carry Jason and the Playwright and Carter White and Will Rawlings and Juror No. 8, I carry Peter Pan, I carry Superman, I carry every last one of my friends, I carry my father and all he taught me about what it really means to be a man, I carry my mother and all she taught me about this world, I carry Molly and all she taught me about growing up, and I carry my High School self…my foolish, Idiotic, goofy self.

I don’t want to drag on too much longer…I suppose I’ll wrap up with one last piece of parting advice. It comes in the form of a Sylvia Plath quote I heard Coach Hawkins read at the Senior Honors Assembly: “Everything in Life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

I’ll only say this one Last Time…Write. Go out and Live Life, then write about it. Reflect on it and uncover the Truth. Because this world is filled with absolute beauty, if you’ve got the boldness to see it and call it out.

I can only hope that this blog uncovered beauty for anyone that read it. I can only hope that…

Maybe…just maybe, it held Truths for Idiots everywhere…

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

In Advocation of Video Projects

I’m trying to say what really matters. Because I don’t have much time left.

None of us do, really.

So, I’m trying to say what I need to say.

I thought for a long time what I would make this blog about. And it took a while before I decided I would write a post In Advocation of Video Projects.

I decided this because Video Projects were one of the most fun things I did in High School. This has less to do with the projects themselves, and more to do with the people I did them with. Video Projects were this ultimate excuse to spend a day with a great group of people, just joking around on camera.

Whether it was reenacting a scene from Shakespeare for English or explaining a theory in Math or…teaching a lesson in AP Chemistry, Video Projects were always a blast.

Most recently, I made a video for AP Chemistry. More specifically, I made:

An Idiot’s Survival Guide: How to Survive AP Chemistry (In 10 Simple Steps)

Before I paste the link in here, I’d like to clarify a few things. First! I’m a sap. And the end of the video gets pretty sappy. Second! Unfortunately, Mr. Portis felt that if I wanted to get a grade higher than a C…I had to actually put “educational information” in my video. It had to be “worth-while“. Sometimes that Mr. Portis can be pretty crazy. Anyway, that means that there are  a few…serious parts in the video.

All in all, I hope you enjoy it. The link is below.

Click here.

I had so much fun making that video. It was the perfect way to finish off my Senior Year. Especially my Senior Year in AP Chem. Because whether we like it or not, AP classes start to hold a sentimental value as the year progresses. It’s hard to spend an entire year with 20 other kids in one class and not feel some kind of attachment to them.

Anyway, to all the teachers of this world: Maybe video projects don’t always work the best with helping students understand material…but they sure are fun.

They sure are worth it.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The End, Pt. 2

May 31, 2013

The End, Pt. 2

Well, that’s The End of High School.

Perhaps some will say that High School isn’t really over until we walk at graduation or take our diploma. But I can’t help but feel that it’s really…done. Because this next week will be filled with the formalities of graduation, it’s not actually school. As of yesterday at 9:59, we no longer had any obligations to attend a class at Gull Lake High School. If you ask me, it’s over.

But that’s okay. Because after 9:59, I spent the afternoon with some of the greatest people on the planet.

The Group

The trip we took to South Haven was a huge success. After setting up camp, we spent the afternoon having a blast on the coast of Lake Michigan. The sun was high, the sand was hot, the water was frigid, the times were good, and the chips were warm and greasy from laying out.

Feet

In general, there was a buzz of joy in the air. There was also quite a bit of sand flying in the air. But that was mostly due to the hole Logan decided to dig. He even brought shovels and everything. For some bizarre reason, he felt this intense desire to…dig a hole. I suppose he’s free to do whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t slightly odd. I’m trying not to see symbolism in the fact that a bunch of High School Seniors dug themselves a hole on their first day of break.

Logan

Anyway, when we weren’t helping Logan dig, we were chasing each other into the ice bath that was Lake Michigan. Or we were playing a rag-tag game of 500 (a game played with a football and points are given out to those that can catch it). Or we were taking walks down to the impressive pier that stretched proudly into Lake Michigan’s waters. Or we just…laid around.

Carly

Later, as the afternoon began succumbing to night, we moved camp to one of the grills located by the pier. Logan and Maxson fired up the grill and threw hot dogs, burgers, and pizzas on there for us all to eat. We had ourselves a little picnic. Storm clouds threatened to dampen the party’s mood, but there were very few things on Earth that could ruin the elation we felt.

Digging

Because we had finally done it. It doesn’t even seem real to me yet. But it’s true. It is all over. Every single class since the first one I took on our first day of High School, Freshman English, all the way to the last class I was in before we left, AP Literature. They’re over.

If I had to look at this blog as a story, I would say this is the climax. The moment of highest tension. The moment when that last bell rang at 9:59 and High School ended. The moment that I’ve marked as: The End. Of course, there’s still a little bit of resolution to get through.

In any case, a day at the beach with a great group of kids was the perfect way to end High School.

Zach

When I started this blog, I mentioned pretty frequently that I was scared of this moment. The End. But I think I’m okay. It’s not so bad. My time at the beach made it strikingly evident that I’d still have my friends. What more could I ask for?

Jacob

So, I’m looking forward.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Forward

The End, Pt. 1

May 29, 2013

The End, Pt. 1

Today was my Last Full Day as a Gull Lake High Schooler. Tomorrow will be the Class of 2013’s Last Day as Gull Lake High Schoolers.

You know, a lot of the Seniors have been phrasing things like that lately. They say things like: “Today is our Last Monday!” or “This is our Last Full Week!” or “This is our Last Seminar!” So and and so forth…And it’s gotten me thinking about why we do that, why we phrase things like that.

I mean, we do the same thing in Track and Cross Country during hard workouts. In particular, Ben and I will analyze the number of repetitions we have left until the entire team gets a little math lesson. Say we’ve got a workout consisting of 400 repetitions. Say…10×400. After one, Ben and I might say something like: “Hey! After we do eight more…we’ll only have one left. So, we’re basically done.” Or after we do five, we’ll burst into Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi. Get it? Because we’re “half-way there”. Then at six, we might say: “We only have to do everything we’ve done over again…minus two!

Now, when it comes to hard workouts I can pinpoint the two reasons we do this. One: Simple math is a good way to get your mind off the pain of running. Two: When we look at the workout in a certain way…it doesn’t seem all that bad. Hard workouts are rough, and we can’t wait for them to be over. Because the best part of running is the satisfaction of being done.

But running isn’t quite like High School. I mean, I’m sure there are a few kids out there that are just itching to get out of here. But I’m sure there are also a few, myself included, that are kind of saddened by it. So, why would we mark each passing Last with loud pronouncements? With running, we just want it to be over. But do we really just want High School to be over?

No, I think we phrase things in ways that make us feel best about the situation at hand. It’s all about perspective. It’s all about how we want to see things. It’s like Coach Hawkins said today in his end of the year speech: “There’s a silver lining in anything. You just need to see it.” So, with hard workouts…Ben and I look to The End. Ben and I mark each passing 400 with celebration. But with High School, we mark these Lasts as a sort of salute. We’re saying good-bye to all the great Mondays or Fridays or weeks or Seminars that we had at Gull Lake. We see The End coming and we pay homage to it by celebrating each little step that draws us closer.

So, I hope every Gull Lake Senior had a great Last Full Day of High School…despite the exams. I know I did. I got to spend one more day as Coach Portis’s student. I said good-bye to Mr. Belz. I got one last speech from Coach Hawkins. And I spent one Last Lunch with a group of people I truly treasure.

Tomorrow, it’ll really be The End. Tomorrow, it’ll all be over. Everything this Year of Lasts has been leading to: The Last Races, the Last Shows, the Last Tests, Days, Weekends, Meets, Practices, Dances, Banquets, Rehearsals…It’ll all converge.

I’ll walk the halls one Last Time.

And then I’ll go to South Haven for a day at the beach.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

20130527-000916.jpg
Things evolve. They develop over time, they change. This weekend is my Last as a High Schooler. And because weekends are very precious to us in the public school system, I want to pay homage to all the weekends that I’ve experienced in the past 13 years.

See, there’s a very apparent trend in the way that weekends have adapted to our changes in interest. Back in elementary school, I remember waking up early with Molly every Saturday to watch cartoons. Both of us with a big ol’ bowl of Cap’n Crunch or Reese’s Puffs. We’d watch That’s So Raven, Kim Possible, an occasional episode of Power Rangers, Lilo & Stitch, all of that good stuff. Back then our priority was mindless entertainment. I suppose our priority is still entertainment, but we seek it in different ways.

When I was in Middle School, Saturdays were spent sleeping in. Those were the good days. The good days quickly evaporated when I reached High School. The instant Middle School was over, I said au revoir to sleeping in…even during the Summer. Summer mornings were spent at Cross Country practice. And when school started, Saturday mornings were spent at practice. But it was always worth it. I suppose I really would prefer spending time with the team as opposed to sleeping.

Nowadays, my weekends are spent trying to get out of the house. After a week of school, it’s nice to spend a night out at someone…anyone’s house. Or maybe at a movie. Or at a dance. Just as long as I’m with people. Real Life has become more entertaining than That’s So Raven or Lilo & Stitch. I suppose it always has been, it’s just taken till now to realize it.

The thing that always remained constant, though…was that the end of a weekend meant returning to school. It meant returning to Gull Lake. And now, well this is the Last Weekend where that will be the case. This is my Last Weekend as a High Schooler.

So, I tip my hat to Saturday morning cartoons and sleeping in, I tip my hat to Saturday morning practices and big bowls of Cap’n Crunch.

It’s been one heck of a ride.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Our Personal Therapist

May 23, 2013

So, I wrote a blog about my father.

And I wrote a blog about my sister.

And as I near the end of my High School career…I can’t help but notice there was one person I left out: My mother.

I think the reason I put this off so long is because it’s hard to describe the relationship between a mother and her kids. It’s easy to look at Dad and recognize him as a role model. He’s hilarious, he’s happy, and he seems to have it all together. It’s easy to look at Molly and know that she’s one of my best friends on this planet. And she always will be. But it’s hard to look at Mom and sum her up in one, quick swoop. I don’t say that to belittle the relationships that I’ve built with my other family members…but I’d be surprised if anyone could accurately describe the intricacies of motherhood.

Because mothers are so much to children. Life-givers. Care-takers. Wound-healers. The list goes on. Most apparent, however, is a mother’s ability to understand human nature. It just so happens that my mother also majored in psychology. So…I mean…that was kind of nice for Molly and I. She was like Our Personal Therapist. The public school system can get a little sticky at times, it’s nice to have someone to talk to. And Mom is always understanding. Sure, she could apply a little tough-love sometimes, but it never took long for us to realize that she was right. She was always right.

You know the funny thing? And I know, I just know I got this from my Dad: Sometimes, it would take me forever to realize I had an issue only Mom could solve. (Stupid pride.) I would be faced with a moral dilemma and it would worry me for days before there would just be some night that I’d look at her and think: You Idiot. There’s the solution right there.

And, without fail, the solution was right there.

She’s brilliant. She’s the taker of blurry photographs. She’s funny. She’s the inventor of the middle-aged-woman-friendly dance move: “The Margie” (which mostly just involves snapping your fingers to either side of your head.) She’s got great stories. She understands people better than I ever will. And she was always this constant support in my Life that I know I would be nowhere without.

As I go off to the college where she got her doctorate, I want to raise a glass to her and say: This one’s for you.

This one’s for the Track meets. The PAC shows. The Cross Country races. The Homecomings. The Destination Imaginations. The banquets. The books. The Proms. Everything. This one’s for you.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Our Personal Therapist

Quotes

May 20, 2013

Quotes

You know, there’s something really chilling about a good quote. A nice, solid, thought-provoking line. I figure, people really enjoy good quotes. So, why not write a post about some of my favorites? Sentimental Seniors like myself eat this crap up. Don’t believe me? In AP Literature we do this thing called “Favorite Lines” where we share our favorite quotes from novels and poems we’ve read in class. There’s usually a fair amount of Seniors (myself included) quoting things like: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,/I took the one less traveled by.” How inspirational, right? And I’m not pointing any fingers, I pick some pretty cheesy lines too, like…

“The big show is inside my head.” – Kurt Vonnegut

That’s a quote from Breakfast of Champions. In context, the line is strictly speaking about one of the characters omniscient mental power over the situation at hand. The big show is literally inside his head…because he is essentially God. But I think it can be used to mean quite a bit more: That we all have the capacity to be creative and inventive. Perhaps that’s a pompous or arrogant thought. But I suppose that’s youth for you.

“One loses everything when one loses one’s sense of humor.” – Ayn Rand

From Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. I absolutely love this quote. So much so, I made it my Senior quote. I just think it’s True. Really, really True. I’m firmly of the belief that laughter is mankind’s greatest ability. That satire is the perfect way to get a point across. That comedies are the best form of entertainment. That humor is what makes us human. Also along those lines…

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.” - Kurt Vonnegut

Don’t we all, Kurt.

“There is no safety to be found in a sword. A sword brings death, it does not give Life.” – Zac Gorman

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” – Edward Bulwer-Lytton

I put those together because I felt like they meshed well. I wholeheartedly agree with both of them. I’m a self-pronounced pacifist and while I do agree that we should fight for what we believe in, I don’t think violence is the way to go about it. Alright, that’s enough soapbox snootiness.

“And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS. So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.” – Dr. Seuss

Of course, with my Last Monday of High School come and past…Dr. Seuss is coming to mind an awful lot. Especially Oh, the Places You’ll Go! I like this quote because not only does it tell us that we’re capable of great things…but that we have to work to achieve those great things. Dr. Seuss himself is telling us all to “get on our way”.

And as a member of Gull Lake’s Class of 2013, I think I’m ready to be on my way.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Dinner of Champions

May 17, 2013

Dinner of Champions

Today, I ran my last competitive race ever. I ran a single mile at our Regional Track Meet. Come Monday, I’ll be turning in my uniform for the last time. I’ll be saying good-bye to the bold GL I’ve worn on my chest for four short years.

Ben and I both ran the mile. And we both got PRs. I got around 4:41-42. Ben got about 4:46-47. Our coaches form of “listen for the gun, look for the finish” timing is not an exact science. So, we were somewhere in that range.

Tonight, I went out for fast food. With four of the greatest guys I’ll ever know. Ben, Jeremy, and the two Sams, the Distance Squad.  Now that most of us are no longer running competitively, we feel absolutely no guilt about throwing a greasy burger and fries down our gullets. Not that I usually have an immense amount of guilt anyway…We had a Dinner of Champions. And it was so tasty.

While it’s great that I can be a fully satisfied, guilt-free customer at McDonald’s or Burger King…the taste of saturated fats is a little bittersweet. Because it’s all over. It’s really all over. Running was how I helped define myself throughout High School. I was Brian Wiegand. I ran Cross Country and Track. That’s what I did. And now…well, now what? What do kids do with the free time they get after school?

High School is really about to end. There’s less than 10 days of school left. That’s nothing. Nothing! Next week will hold my Last Monday, my Last Friday, and it will be my Last Full Week of School. See how I capitalized those? It means they’re important.

I think I’d like to offer some advice. Granted, I’m not some wise sage full of brilliant advice, and the tokens of knowledge I do think I have to offer…may be tokens of foolery. But I’ll give it a go.

Life is a high speed train. It zooms along the clock’s face endlessly and unceasingly. There are certain moments in it’s trek that it may slow down just enough, offer just a slim enough window, for you to jump aboard and take over for the conductor. This is a good thing to do. These windows are things such as tryouts, auditions, sign-ups, meetings, etc. Get on that train. Because things like Track, things like PAC, things like Cross Country. Those things are worth it. So unbelievably worth it that if I lived a million, trillion Lives…I’d go do something every single time. I’d go meet amazing people like Jeremy or Ben or Sam or Sam.

As I’ve said before: I think the success of a Life can be determined by how eager you are to tell someone about it on your death bed. Getting involved as much as you can is one way to make yourself excited about Life.

There’s nothing like the feeling of being on a team, being a part of something bigger than yourself, it’s absolutely glorious. That Dinner of Champions wasn’t great because of the Big Mac, it was great because of the people I was with.

Unfortunately, my days of High School extracurriculars are over. Cross Country has long since finished. PAC ended earlier this week. And now Track has vanished as well.

But it’s all just part of it, it’s just part of growing up and heading out. The good thing is, I get to go into the world knowing that I’m carrying with me a little bit of Coach Portis, of Mr. Nott, of Coach Flynn, of Coach Hawkins, of Mrs. Stahr, of Jeremy, of Ben, of the Sams. I’m a Gull Lake boy, through and trough. Which is kinda cool.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

That Brief Moment

May 14, 2013

That Brief Moment

“You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming?”

Personally, I love that place. I love That Brief Moment before sleep when your mind begins to go a little wonky and the world sort of collapses. Your body feels heavy against the bed and you couldn’t move if you wanted to, not that you’d ever want to. With paralysis creeping over your limbs, you’ve never been so comfortable.

I find that in this Brief Moment, my mind sort of melts. My thoughts form this endless stream of absurdities with myself as the only sane constant. The laws of physics fall to shambles as the world spins and blackness slowly consumes my consciousness. Any flicker of thought instantly takes over my mind and manifests itself before me. It is in That Brief Moment that I can have the most vivid fantasies.

Not fantasies that I can control. I’m usually too tired to focus or to try and wrangle in the loose cattle of my mind. It runs rampant and paints whatever picture it wants for me. Usually, these visions are ones of hysteria. Everything seems heightened, exaggerated, and they only last for a few seconds before something else takes their place.

But these vivid images that take over my mind in That Brief Moment are usually…spectacular. One second, I’ll dive into an electric blue ocean, then I’ll open my eyes and find myself in a free-fall. Or maybe I’ll simply be running. Or sometimes I’m struggling to squeeze through a quickly closing gap. More often than not, however, I see myself grab someone’s hand. Someone that was just about to fall from a very high height. And I say: “Gotcha.” I don’t see my face or the person’s face, I just see our hand’s clinging.

That Brief Moment only has one flaw. It’s brevity. Couldn’t it last a few seconds longer? Isn’t there another ocean to plunge into? Another cliff to fall from? Another person to grab? But I suppose I can just look forward to the next time my body becomes filled with sand, and my brain filled with illusions.

I suppose I’ll just wait.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve

“To Live would be an awfully big adventure.”

“An adventure well worth taking.”

I watched Jonah and Jossie clamber out the window, accompanied by Mikea’s piano playing. And I knew it was over. Just as soon as it’d started, it was over. That’s the thing about One Acts, we only have two show nights. One second it’s opening night. The next it’s time to close up shop.

But I suppose I should just listen to Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

And I am so unbelievably happy that it happened. Even as I sit here thinking about the past two nights, I can’t help but smile. Jonah, Jossie, and Claire did an amazing job of becoming everything Erica and I envisioned and more. It was almost eerie, sitting there watching the Trinity perform our play. It made me think about the first time Erica and I talked about Peter Pan. It made me think about our first draft. These characters that were coming to Life before our very eyes…they were our characters. We created Eve and Peter and Delilah. And there they were.

So, The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve had it’s first showing. The future of the script and of the play is still a little foggy. But I’ll always remember it’s debut cast. I’ll remember getting chills every time Jonah recited his monologues. I’ll remember bursting with pride the second Jossie became illuminated in that single spot of light. I’ll remember laughing at Claire every time she delivered another silly punch-line. Each of them became more genuine interpretations of their characters than I ever thought possible. I’m so happy Erica and I chose the actors we did.

I could go on all day.

Overall, I think the Festival was an amazing success. I enjoyed all of the plays. I thought the art gallery was really impressive. I even got a few chances to be enchanted by some of the singing performances.

Alas, it’s over. And after this week, Track will be over, too. In one fell swoop of a week, I’ll lose my extra-curriculars. And there’ll be nothing to do but wait. Wait for school to end.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The Festival Upon Us

May 7, 2013

The Festival Upon Us

This weekend is the 2013 Gull Lake High School Festival of the Senses. It’s basically Gull Lake’s way of celebrating all the arts in our school…in one weekend.

Artists display. Musicians play. Choirs sing. Dancers dance. And thespians perform.

Of course, the entire Festival is awesome. The art is really impressive (and all made by Gull Lake students). The Jazz Band is always good. The choir is a harmonic troupe of singers that usually perform the works of a popular musical. The dancers work daily in their EFA dance class and it shows when they do their stuff. And…well, maybe I have a little bit of bias, but I personally enjoy watching the One Acts most.

This blog is a little nudge for anyone in the Gull Lake Community that finds their weekend plans are lacking a little…flair. Why not come out to the Festival? It’s free to get in. It’s entertainment. And it supports small-town arts.

In case there’s anyone that needs a bigger nudge, I asked the other One Act Directors to provide me with a brief synopsis of their play, just as a little teaser for any Curious-Cathy’s out there.

Check Please – Aija Rozentals (Friday, May 10th 8:15 PM; Saturday, May 11th 7:20 PM)

“After a particularly nasty break up, a boy and a girl are encouraged by their best friends to rebound and head right back out into the dating field. This one act comedy follows these two lost souls in their bizarre and unnerving search for love. What awaits them as they journey into the unique world of dating in the 21st Century?”

Types & Timing – Shelby Hoxworth (Friday, May 10th 8:35 PM; Saturday, May 11th 8:00 PM)

“Fabulous business woman Priscilla in her controlled, perfect Life is thrown a curve ball when the Sharizer Phoebe shows up out of the blue. Sent to check things out by his boss/girlfriend, MacArthy will do anything to get the promotion he wants too badly.”

Debating the Days – Shelby Cartwright (Friday, May 10th 8:55 PM; Saturday, May 11th 8:20 PM)

“A comedy about the seven days of the week. They receive a letter from America, stating that one of them has to be eliminated in order to help the economy. Each day sets off having to state their reasons as to why they can’t be cut. Each character has their own special quirk about them that adds to the overall humor of the show, and the ending may come as a surprise. It falls on the edge a bit with some of the language and themes, but is a really good show to come along and enjoy.”

No Such Thing As A Vampire – Kristen Russel & Mikea Lapierre (Friday, May 10th 9:15 PM; Saturday, May 11th 9:00 PM)

“On a warm night in the 1800s, Alexis Gheria awakens with a bloodcurdling scream. there’s blood and two puncture wounds on her neck. Could it be what the entire village has been fearing? Her husband, with the help of his loyal maid Carol and helpful colleague Michael Vares, searches for answers to uncover a shocking truth.”

The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve – Brian Wiegand & Erica Heathcote (Friday, May 10th 9:35 PM; Saturday, May 11th 9:40 PM)

“A one act drama/comedy all about growing up. In Small Town, USA Eve finds herself faced with her sister Delilah’s departure for college. The night before Delilah leaves, Eve is visited by a nighttime prowler, also known as her best friend: Peter. As Peter desperately tries to get Eve to sneak out with him, the two delve into the thing that haunts us all: Growing up.”

I urge anyone in the Gull Lake Community to consider setting up their weekend around this spectacular event.

The Festival of the Senses has always been worth the evening.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

The "Friends Forever" One Month Rule

I’m going to type out some lyrics. Some very well known lyrics. And I would be quite surprised if you were able to read them without hearing the annoying tune playing in your head.

As we go on, we remember

All the times we had together

And as our lives change, come whatever

We will still be friends forever

I despise this song. Absolutely despise it. I think it’s got a rotten tune and the lyrics are as cheesy as the end to every bad romantic-comedy you’ve ever seen. I’ve got nothing against the artist, Vitamin-C. I think the girl did a great job with the song “Vacation”. (Which plays at the start of the animated short Pikachu’s Vacation, the opening to Pokemon: The First Movie.) But every year, right around this time, I hear “Friends Forever” played and I…cringe.

And yet…

Well, here we are in our last month of High School and…I might’ve caught myself singing it a few times. After about the 30th time I absentmindedly heard myself hum the chorus (the only part I know) of that terrible song, I decided to make a rule in my mind.

The “Friends Forever” One Month Rule: Most sane people will spend their entire lives despising the song: “Friends Forever”…Except in the one month before graduation…Then it’s kind of okay…

I think this rule has a few clauses, like certain times during that month where it may sound a little better than others. For example: The day after your last High School dance. Now that Prom has come and past, things are starting to seem a lot more real. After the Conference Track Meet and the Festival of the Senses (both happening this upcoming weekend), the next big event I’m looking forward to is Graduation itself. And that means I’ll probably be hearing a lot more of “Friends Forever”. I guess I’m all right with that.

Heck, there’s only four weeks of school left. That’s chump change, chump change in the grand scheme of things. Might as well just say school’s over now.

Four weeks.

I better get my “Friends Forever” kicks while I can. I better listen to “In My Life” before it gets old. I better jam out to “Forever Young” before it makes me wanna blow my brains out.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Everything At Once

May 1, 2013

Everything At Once

Have you ever thought about everything that’s happening, all at once?

With 7 billion people on planet earth, I think it’s fair to say that there’s usually at least one person doing just about…anything. Right now, there’s someone out there lighting the fuse on a firework. There’s someone throwing up. There’s someone eating a steak as rare as the day is long. There’s someone out there that just broke their hand or maybe their wrist. There’s someone watching The Italian Job. There’s probably even someone out there that just pulled the cord on their parachute and they’re laughing until they cry.

Isn’t that a weird thought?

Here we are, on a very average day like May 1st where maybe nothing exceptional happened to us. But there’s probably someone out there that just had the single most amazing day of their entire Lives. Or maybe there was someone out there that just had the worst. It’s all in the way the world spins. Days slip by so easily and some go unnoticed to us, but there’s always someone out there that’ll say: “I’ll forever remember January 5th, 2006.” Or: “I’ll never forget June 21st, 1986.”

And I think that’s one of the more marvelous things about the human race. That we can pick out these little moments in our Lives, our own personal fulcrums and say: “That was an important day.” And we might even celebrate it annually, out of respect. Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, reunions, private mournings, memorials, remembrances…reflections. We never pass up an opportunity to mark a day as one more important than the rest.

Along this train of thought…Sometimes, if I’m not having the best of days, I like to think about the somebody out there that just got the job of their dreams or they were just proposed to or they got their acceptance letter to some Ivy League school or…Who knows? But it makes me kind of happy to know that there’s someone out there with their heart pitter-pattering and their face filled with a foolish grin. It makes me happy to know that this day was marked down in someone’s mind as the best day ever.

Just food for thought. Mindless speculation. That’s what I’m in the business of.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

A Bump in the Night

April 28, 2013

A Bump in the Night

Last night, I was over at Alan’s house. It was just a small get together that eventually fizzled down to us watching movies on Alan’s computer, which was hooked up to David’s projector. It was like our own personal movie theater.

Anyway, we started with Mama and eventually worked our way to Superman: Doomsday. As we worked through a few movies, we progressively got more and more slap-happy. Late night movie watching can get that way. Stupid things made us laugh hysterically. Small scares in Mama made us scream. And the ground started to feel like the plushiest bed we’d ever lain in.

While we were watching Mama, a few of the guys expressed a distaste for scary movies, and it got me thinking about why I enjoy a good (or bad) scary movie. When I was younger, I thought I hated scary movies and I refused to watch them. Especially because I was already scared of the dark. I didn’t need another reason to be afraid every night before bed. Nowadays, I look forward to watching crappy scary movies on Netflix.

Once you start perusing through horror flicks, you notice some patterns. There are only a few kinds of scary movies. There are ones with senseless gore like Saw or Final Destination. There are ones about explorers or scientists that “went too far” like The Cave or Splice or The Descent. There are ones about demons or possessions like The Exorcism or The Possession. There are ones with spooky, little, supernatural jump-scares like Paranormal Activity or Mama. There are shaky camera movies like Cloverfield or The Blaire Witch Project.  There are ones about killers stalking through the night like Friday the 13th or My Bloody Valentine or House of Wax. And finally, there are classics like the works of Alfred Hitchcock that realize the scariest monsters are the ones we don’t see.

Whether I’m sitting on the edge of my seat watching a suspenseful Paranormal Activity or looking for a barf bag as I cringe at a gruesome Saw, I enjoy scary movies. And I think it has a lot to do with feeling alive. Scary movies (like haunted houses and roller coasters) are like this safe way to electrocute your entire body with excitement. It’s a way to be reminded that you’ve got a heart ready to pump adrenaline through your veins at a moments notice. It’s a way to unashamedly let out a scream you didn’t realize you were holding in. It’s a way to laugh at yourself as you contort your body in weird ways to shelter it from the cinematic threat. It’s a way to feel human. Because being scared is what makes humanity great.

Without fear, we’d never be courageous. As the Third Doctor said: “Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.”

Scary movies are great because they give us all a chance to be courageous, to be Supermen. Then, maybe someday when we’re faced with something truly scary…We can remember that we escaped Jason and Freddy Krueger and Mike Meyers. We survived the Bates Motel. We vanquished Toby and eradicated Jigsaw. What’s left to fear, right?

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Speculations

April 25, 2013

Speculations

Ah, yes. Springtime in Michigan.

The Track season is in full swing.

Prom is just around the corner.

Talk of graduation is becoming more frequent.

Mock Election pictures are being taken.

And today, it was hailing one second and sunny the next!

Yes, it certainly is a Michigan Spring.

With the talk of graduation, comes Speculation about who will win all the different awards that are given out to the Senior Class. For example: Who will be Valedictorian and Salutatorian? Or: Who will be honored by each of the different departments? Or: What athletes will be recognized for their impressive achievements?

From what I’ve heard, Valedictorian and Salutatorian are neck and neck. We’re talking about two kids who’ve taken so many AP Classes, their GPAs can be brought down by an A in a regular class that isn’t weighted by AP standards.

At Gull Lake, just to clarify, Seniors are awarded in a number of different ways. Primarily, there’s the Valedictorian and Salutatorian; they’re determined by GPA. Then, each different department (Math, English, Science, Social Studies, Publications, Business, etc.) honors one or two students for their achievements in that subject area. Lastly, there are things like Class Musician, Class Poet, and Class President (of course, Class President has been decided for quite a while) who all speak or perform during the graduation ceremony.

I think these awards are exciting to Speculate about because it gets me thinking about my class as a whole and the sort of people that fill it. It’ll be cool when we finally hear who wins what because I think it will helps define who we are as the graduating Class of 2013. We’re the class that had Cara as our Class President. We had so-and-so as Valedictorian and what’s-their-face as Salutatorian. Our Math expert was [insert name here]. The Class Musician sang that song at our graduation.

Or maybe Lance will just get every honor. A very real possibility. Kid’s a freakin’ genius.

Anyway, it’s just another reason to be excited for the rapidly approaching graduation season.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74 other followers