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Tag Archives: English

Five College Football Bowl Games That Need New Names

27 Dec

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Every year between the end of the college football season and the national championship game we’re forced to endure a series of overly-sponsored match-ups by slightly-better-than-average football squads.  They are given a shot at eternal glory by conquering opponents in bowl games whose names leave even the most experienced commentators tongue tied.  So, whether we’re fans of the sport, fans of a team in the game, or someone who happens to be watching television over this holiday season, bowl games like the “Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl” often leave us with an overwhelming sense of confusion as to why teams are playing and who is watching.  Here are five bowl games whose names stand out as horribly mis-matched with the teams competing in them:

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A Sonnet for the Evanston City Council

18 Aug

Shall I compare thee to a bag of dicks?

Thou art more floppy; tougher to inflate:

Rough winds do shake the flaccid shafts like sticks,

And just one bag hath all too light a weight:

Sometime too short a baggèd dick may stand,

and often is the tan complexion dimm’d;

And many dicks do find themselves unmanned,

With pubic hairs so horribly untrimm’d;

But thy bag-dickery, it shall not fade,

Thy dicks are forged in all thy shitty pride;

With character as cunty as Dwayne Wade,

The strength of all thy dicks shall not subside.

A late-night mugging I will have in store;

if shuttles stop at Sherman/Noyes no more.

Graduating High School Senior Writes Hand-Written Love Letter to Crush

8 Aug
Lavecki included, along with the letter, the above photo of the sun rising over Lake Michigan, with the caption “one of us is the sun, one the city.”

Lavecki included, along with the letter, the above photo of the sun rising over Lake Michigan, with the caption “one of us is the sun, one the city.”

GROSSE POINTE, MI – With only a few weeks before he is set to begin a new life at college, recently graduated high school senior Michael Lavecki has decided to “go for broke” with his long time crush Jessica Peterson-Caruso – by writing for her a hand-scribed, deeply confessional letter, detailing the vast array of feelings he has and has had for her for the last four years of his life.

“After this, dude, things are gonna be totally different,” he commented. “After she reads this letter, she’s finally gonna realize that what she’s wanted has been in front of her all along.”

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Russian to Sell American Dream to Saps

31 Jan

If Morty thinks buying a sports complex is enough to get him adequately ripped for this position, it’s going to be a sad, amateur routine at the commencement.

I was recently reading the Facebook news and was shocked to find that Russian Mikhail Kalishnikov will be speaking at the Northwestern commencement address. I had likely received this information in the sprinkling of Northwestern news and race-scandal e-bulletins sometime in the past 48 hours, mailed direct to my spam folder. It was as I finished reading the title of the article and promptly commenced writing this article that I found the selection odd. (Are moments that happened within the past minute and a half, thoughts still knocking around in your skull, considered the past or present? They haven’t stopped happening, but they definitely started in a period before the present.)1

Not only was I blown away that they had managed to book the 65-year-old former former Soviet Union athlete/ballerino/Magic Mikhail spinoff Caucasus Films production co-star, but that Morty was willing to pay the postage for correspondence to Siberia. I guess I gave him more credit, but than again I am a Sherman Ave writer.

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Italian Madness

20 Nov

Wait, that’s not the David!

I’ve begun to wonder what marks the difference between sanity and madness.

Sure, I’ve been reading Moby Dick off and on, you know, for pleasure.  And of course the diary of an Italian suicide that I’m studying doesn’t particularly pop with, let’s say, cheeriness.

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The Official Sherman Ave Drinking Decathlon!

20 Mar

Laurel wreaths optional.

Teams
There will be two teams. Teams may consist of between 1 to 4 people.

Playlist
There shall be a playlist composed specifically for the purpose of this game. It must include no less than eight (8) songs by Adele, five (5) songs by Rihanna, three (3) Outkast singles, and at least seven (7) songs that topped the charts before the last U.S. military intervention in Latin America.

Game Pieces

  • Copious amounts of alcohol (at least one (1) case of shitty beer, at least one (1) handle of shitty alcohol) and necessary mixers
  • One (1) Sorry! game set
  • One (1) Battleship game set
  • One (1) puzzle of 100 piece puzzle
  • One (1) deck of cards
  • One (1) box of AP United States History flashcards
  • One (1) beer pong table with sufficient cups/balls
  • One (1) golf ball
  • One (1) three (3) iron golf club

PROCEDURE

Opening Ceremonies
Each team will be randomly assigned a country well beforehand. The team must don the colors and/or flag of that nation, obnoxiously blast that nation’s national anthem, and list their nation’s grievances against the United States in chronological order and/or list the top ten STDs contracted by their nation’s citizens, in decreasing order of prevalence. The game shall begin with a ceremonial shot of said shitty alcohol, taken by each player. The shot must go unchased. Each team also has the opportunity to parade its team flag, if they are unreasonably heinous enough to design one.

THE GAMES

1. Bubble Spinner
A pitcher of mixed drink must be made and poured into a shot glass for each player partaking. Each team will nominate one player to serve as its Bubble Spinner delegate. The two opposing delegates will engage in a match of Bubble Spinner. Each time a player advances a level, each player of the opposing team must drink a shot of the aforementioned mixed drink. When a team loses, each player on said team must drink a shot of the mixed drink. The winning team will be awarded ten (10) points.

2. Sorry!
Each player will pour themselves a cup of mixed drink. Each team will control one (1) team on the Sorry! board. Players must take one drink whenever:

  • The opposing team takes a game-piece home
  • Following the Greek tradition of mental and physical excellence (nudity optional)

  • There is a “Sorry!” card played (everyone drinks)
  • A “power-slide” is implemented (everyone drinks)
  • A member of the team says the word “Sorry” (offending team drinks)
  • A seven is played (the player who played the seven gets to dole out seven drinks)

After the game has been won, everyone on the losing team must drink. The winning team will be awarded ten (10) points.

3. AP US History
Each player will be paired up with a player on the opposite team. Each player will quiz the player on the other team with fifteen (15) cards. The player must drink each time he/she misses a question. After all is done, the teams will tally the aggregate number of questions missed, and the team with fewer questions missed wins. If there is a tie, the game must be played again, in its entirety, until the tie is settled. The losing team must all drink, and the winning team will be awarded five (5) points for each question by which they’ve beat the opponent.

4. Battleship
Each team will take a side in Battleship. For each miss, one person on the missing team must drink (this person may, and should, change throughout the game). For each hit, one person on the hit team must drink (same goes). At the end of the game, everyone on the losing team must drink. The winning team will be awarded five (5) points for each grid-space by which they’ve beat the opponent.

5. Sporcle
Each player will be paired up with a player on the opposite team. Each opposing pair will randomly select a Sporcle quiz. The losing team of each quiz will have to distribute drinks however they choose among their team; one drink for each point by which they’ve been defeated. After all player pairs have gone, the team with the most aggregate points will win. The losing team drinks, the winning team will be awarded fifteen (15) points for each Sporcle quiz won.

HALFTIME
Each player must shotgun a beer. If a player abstains from shotgunning, his/her team will be penalized ten (10) points.

Uncle Sam wants you!

6. Beer Pong
Two players from each team will nominated as delegates to play a game of beer pong. The team that wins said beer pong game will be awarded twenty (20) points, and will also be awarded an additional five (5) points for each cup remaining on their side at the end of the game. Celeb shots shall be limited to two per team, and only players who can quote a full minute of Mean Girls shall be eligible to take a Celeb Shot. If the game results in overtime, the winning team only will be awarded twenty (20) points.

7. Flip Cup
The two teams will play a best of five (5) tournament of flip cup. The winning team will be awarded twenty (20) points. If a team wins in four (4) games, they will be awarded twenty-five (25) points, and if a team wins in three (3) games, they will be awarded thirty (30) points. Throughout the competition, the two teams must debate each other regarding one of four potential topics: partial-birth abortion, affirmative action, the causes and consequences of the Arab Spring, or the sexual capacity of President Morty Schapiro.

8. Facebook
Each team will nominate a delegate to compete in Facebook. Players will be awarded points for the following:

  • Poke five (5) friends from high school (five [5] points overall)
  • Comment “8==D” on two (2) statuses (five [5] points overall)
  • Challenge one (1) friend of Asian descent to a game of Words with Friends (five [5] points overall)
  • Post two (2) statuses, each quoting a song from Katy Perry or Adele in all caps (five [5] points overall)
  • Accept all friend requests that have been ignored thus far (one [1] point per friending)
  • Post four (4) pictures of the teammate winking onto the walls of any of their Facebook friends who are 40 years old or older (four [4] points overall)

9. Kings
All players must partake in one (1) game of Kings. Whichever teams breaks the circle will be penalized fifteen (15) points. Whichever team opens the beer can must go up to the roof and try to hit a Northwestern landmark with a golf ball using a three (3) iron. The team whose delegate successfully strikes the landmark will be awarded fifteen (15) points, but a failure to hit the landmark will result in a five (5) point deduction.

Bonus points for disappointing your parents

10. ACT Sample Test
A subject (Reading, Science, Math, or English) will be randomly selected. Each player will have to do one set/passage. A strict time limit must be adhered to (15 minutes each for English, 12 minutes each for Math, 10 minutes each for Reading, 5 minutes each for Science). After all players have completed their portion of the test, the scores will be totaled up, and the winning team will be awarded five (5) points for each question by which they’ve beat the opponent. A team that scores higher than the projected NU average score will be awarded two (2) points for each question they answer above the projected results, but a team that scores lower than the projected NU average score will be deducted one (1) point for each question they answer below the projected results.

CLOSING CEREMONIES
At this point, the score must be totaled. The losing team will have a chance to come back and gain one hundred (100) points, if they can complete the 100-piece puzzle in the amount of time it takes the winning team to walk to BK, eat something (documentation required), and return. If the losing team completes the puzzle by the time the winning team returns, the losing team will be awarded one hundred (100) points.

If, somehow, the teams have equal points at the end of all ten events, each player must take one shot after toasting “All men are created equal.” All players will then proceed to skinny dip in Lake Michigan.

Ross Packingham (with Evander Jones)

Authors That Would Make Bad Writing Infinitely Better

6 Jan

As a manipulator of the English language myself, I hold several beliefs dear to my heart. They are as follows:

1) If you are over the age of 12 and still cannot successfully distinguish when words should have apostrophes (confusing “it’s” and “its,” “your” and “you’re”), I cannot respect your education. Why are you stupid?
2) If you can’t write something nice, don’t write anything at all. I’m not talking about pleasant or polite; I’m referring to “nice” writing as the opposite of writing that is bad, boring, poorly written, wrong, pointless, confused, frustrating, or Rick Perry.

Yeah, I know. It’s radical. Of course, not as radical as Rick Perry. But let’s face it: there is some literature/film/music that simply should have been penned by someone other than the original author. In some cases, aforementioned art is a slice of brilliance that got tarnished in the current writer’s incapable hands; in other cases it is an unsalvageable failure whose only option is to get worse so as to become presentably heinous.

In fact, may I make a few suggestions?

Twilight
by Terry Pratchett*

We’d all like this series so much better if Ms. Meyer’s attempt at a love story about a girl next door (translation: exposition on How To Have A Dysfunctional Relationship) had relatable and quirky characters with different fonts for every time they spoke. P-rad knows exactly how to make a totally impossible instance (Death playing Santa Claus? Criminals becoming post-men? Women in the army and not in the kitchen?) plausible, insightful, and funny — qualities which are all completely lacking in the hands of its current author.

Miley Cyrus’s memoir, Miles to Go
by Lemony Snicket

I haven’t read the original, but here is what I imagine it will read like, “My daddy is the only reason I’m famous. My brother croakmoans uncomfortably horny music to an audience that hasn’t got boobies yet. My boyfriend is way too old for me. I like drugs.” Are you attached to any of these characters? Do you care if the melancholy wit of Lemony Snicket creatively kills them off? Me neither. Just add a narrator who regularly urges you to stop reading, a meaninglessly depressing end,** and illustrations by Brett Helquist, and we’ve got ourselves acceptable piece of literature. It might even be appropriate for children, unlike everything else about Miley. Which brings us to:

“Party in the USA”
by Adele

Face it. She’d sing it better. Adele’s been so angsty lately (trying to set fire to the rain and all. She must be so frustrated) I’d like to see her getting down and shaking those God-given gifts. We know that when a Jay-Z song is on in Adele’s taxicabs, you better believe she puts her hands up.

Freud’s Early Theories
by Tara Gillespie

If you think about it, it wouldn’t be too different: My Immortal (the world’s worst fanfiction) and Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams are both mostly about sex/mostly wrong about sex. But if our favorite “goff” wrote it, we’d have the added pleasure of trying to decipher what words were behind the awful spelling in addition to laughing at his concept of penis envy and her concept of orgasm. Maybe she’d throw in some Harry Potter references*** along with her My Chemical Romance worship, extensive description of fishnets, and use of the phrase “passively frenching.” On the negative side, there will undoubtedly be a morbid amount of it’s/its confusion, but on the plus side, as far as we can tell, Tara wasn’t on cocaine, unlike Freud.

Glee
by Tommy Wiseau

Oh hai: it’s another artist who lacks command of the English language. Be honest with yourself — you don’t watch Glee for its**** gripping storyline. Having America’s most multi-untalented artist write/direct/produce/star/fornicate in the musical TV show can only make it more interesting. You know you want more of the writing that made Tommy’s masterpiece, The Room, so fantastic — what better way than to sit down with a bowl of popcorn to a fusion of pop culture featuring quotable magnificence such as, “You ah tearing me apaht, Wachel!” and “I did NAHT hit on Kurt. I did NAHT.” Best of all, we get to hear more of his wonderfully attractive accent/speech impediment as applied to music. Which, of course, he’ll arrange and sing entirely by himself.

Unfortunately for you, I have no suggestions on how to improve your terrible English paper. And so, I leave you with the immortal words of Dr. Seuss:
You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes,
You have heinously read all Sir Twattingworth spews.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose
(Just as long as it sounds like Erman Shmavenues).

——————————————————————————————————————————
*Another soul who understands the beauty in a footnote. All I want for Christmas is his semen in a petri dish with the reproductive cells of Bristol Bacchus. Bristol, dibs on being godmother.
**I’m all for realistic children’s literature, but I was really attached to Uncle Monty. And did anyone else develop a phobia of Lachrymose Leeches in Lake Michigan?
***Godwin’s law of NU: the longer a conversation continues between two NU students, the more likely a Harry Potter reference becomes.
****Did you see that apostrophe? No, you didn’t, because it does not belong there. It belongs in the first sentence of that paragraph.

Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: Academics

10 Aug

So apparently, Northwestern University is a pretty damn good school. But what should you do after you get in? Here at Sherman Ave, we have been painstakingly researching the answers to all the questions incoming freshman were always too afraid to ask, as well as the questions that we totally wished we had thought of before entering this bastion of academic integrity. Our first topic? How to navigate Northwestern’s sea of academic options to engineer the greatest education possible.

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