Blahsmopolitan No. 10: “Urbana-Champaign for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends” AKA “You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Show His D**k”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one sophomore’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago. New stories are posted every other Monday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist, and an audio reading, to take the journey yourself. This week, our columnist meets the four Fates of U of I, crosses paths with a probable murderer, and goes skinny dipping in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.


I hear people tiptoeing around me. Floorboards make little creaks and doors are opened and closed ever so gingerly. All talk is kept to a hushed murmuring. Am I still wearing my boots?

Ohmigoddddd, how are we gonna fit the Omega through the dooooooor?”

“I don’t know, Sylvie. I just don’t wanna chip it. The girls were up so late painting it last night.”

God is doing the Hoedown Throwdown on my skull and has injected fire ants into my temples.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 10: “Urbana-Champaign for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends” AKA “You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But You Can’t Make Him Show His D**k””

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UIC Radio’s Fourth Annual Battle Of The Bands!

This past Friday, UIC Radio held its fourth annual Battle of the Bands at The Bar 10 Doors on Taylor Street. The lineup included UIC bands August Hotel, Lettucehead, Brian Sees Stars, The Red Flag Boys, Turbulence, and The Land Lines.

After an energetic set from all the bands, the top 3 winners included: 1. LETTUCEHEAD, 2. Turbulence, and 3. August Hotel.

UIC Radio sincerely thanks all the bands for their hard work and dedication to performing, and helping create a night full of music and fun for all who attended!

photos by Pearl Shin

The “Friend Zone” Isn’t Real, Maybe I Just Don’t Like You

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NOTE: The friend zone is a social construct which originated from the inter-workings of instances of unrequited affection in heterosexual courtship. While it is in no way permissible for females to impose this dynamic on males, this piece emphasizes the roles of the friend zone phenomenon from the perspective of those who the social system oppresses pervasively, females.

A majority of the men in my past will tell you I placed them in the “friend zone.”

Two words, noun. One word, verb.

A man feels that he has been friendzoned” when a woman, whom he is sexually interested in, does not reciprocate sexual interest and sees him as “just a friend” despite all of the nice gestures he has done for her.

But the “friend zone” isn’t a place and you can’t actually get “friendzoned.”

Throughout our lives we categorize our relationships. We have our friends, our family, our co-workers, our colleagues, our neighbors, our significant others, and so on. These categories are complex and can be unpacked further and further into specific sub-categories.

In the broadest sense of categorization, there are two spheres of people in our lives: the people we have sex with and the people we don’t have sex with. Sex can only occur when there is consent.

The way the social dynamic of the “friend zone” operates is problematic because it strips women of their person-hood by placing the fault on them for their lack of consent.

When a man gets upset with a woman because she has placed him in the “friend zone,” he is upset that after all of his kind efforts, he is being denied access to her body. She has broken the social contract and has not kept up her part of the transaction.

I have been verbally threatened on many occasions for this very reason.

This is shameful, not only for the fact that no one is entitled ownership to a body that is not theirs, but because bodies are not something to be owned. Women have no obligation to lay with men because no such contract exists.

And yet, under this frame of thinking men develop a sense of entitlement which the internet likes to refer to as “nice guy syndrome.”

Nice guy syndrome (NGS) is a term designated to men who describe themselves as genuine “nice guys” and use kind gestures as thinly veiled disguises in order to emotionally satisfy women into a romantic relationship and/or sex.

A man with NGS, will hold open the door, pay for your meal, bring you a rose, buy you a “just-because” gift, among other nice gestures, with the expectation that there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

But women are not coin-operated machines. There is not a proper combination of nice, coercion-coins men can offer women who are sexually and/or emotionally disinterested that will convince them into dispensing their vaginas.

There is not a single damn thing that is sexy, romantic, or respectful about starting a relationship by having to coerce someone into giving you a chance because you’re such a “nice guy.”

Maybe I just don’t like you.

 

 

UIC Radio – Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems Awards 2017

This past weekend, UIC Radio attended the 2017 Intercollegiate Broadcasting Systems conference in New York City. UIC Radio was nominated for 7 awards. Categories included: Best Specialty Show, Best Show Promo, Best Station Promotional Poster, Best College Radio Streaming Station (More Than 10,000 Students), Best Website, Best Blog, and Best Use of Social Media.

After an educational weekend filled with informative ways to improve your radio station targeted at high school and college students, as well as hosting a panel on blogging, UIC Radio walked away with the trophy for Best Website in the nation and finalist trophies for the six other categories.

From all of us at UIC Radio, we would like to thank all of our readers and listeners for all the support!

Chicago Donut Fest 2017: A.K.A. Easier to Wake up for Than My 8am Class

Friends, I have a confession. Y’know how sports are the utmost reverenced and widely accepted pinnacle of American culture? Well, I have never cared for these competitive sportsball games, of any kind.

But this year I’ve learned there is one competition I can get behind, one where everyone ends up a winner (ish).

Donut Fest is an annual celebration—held in Chicago, New York, and Cleveland—which invites the best local restaurants and bakeries to bring their doughnut A-game in hopes of receiving the most votes to earn the title of “Best Donut.”

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The most rewarding part about being a fan of this sport is its simplicity: you show up, you receive tickets, you give the tickets to the booths, you get donuts and coffee, and then, finally, you eat the donuts, release several satisfying moans and wonder why you haven’t been starting every morning prior to this very moment with donuts.

The worst part was definitely having to wake up at 6am on a Sunday, but it was a small price to pay to have been granted early access to donut heaven before the general public and earning the official title of “Donut V.I.P.” which, for the record, better be engraved onto my future tombstone.

This year’s Donut Fest featured 11 donut vendors including Chicago donut staples like Stan’s Donuts, Glazed and Infused, and Doughnut Vault and suburban underdog shops like B’s Sweet Bites (Des Plaines), DeEtta’s Bakery (Naperville), and Gurnee Donuts (Gurnee).

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Left to Right: S’mores (Beavers Donuts), Chocolate Sour Cream Old Fashion (DeEtta’s Bakery), Mango Sriracha (Glazed and Infused), Pretzel Style Donut (B’s Sweet Bites), Dark Chocolate Butter Finger (Stan’s Donuts), Cinnamon Sugar (Beavers Donuts), Cookies ‘n’ Cream (Doughnut Vault), Mint Chocolate Chip (Glazed and Infused), Vanilla Glazed with Sprinkles (Cochon Volant)

I wish I could say that I didn’t eat 80 percent of what is pictured above in one sitting—in addition to the donuts from 4 other vendors that I ate immediately because I sadly only have two hands—but I did. #Healthy #CleanLiving

However, as justification, it was for the greater good.  As a Donut V.I.P., it was my duty to assess the flavors of each donut and cast my vote for the most deserving candidate.

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I did my best to leave my predisposition for Glazed and Infused’s donuts far from my decision-making, and ended up casting my vote for Gurnee Donuts’ Buko Pandan, a young green coconut glazed donut inspired by a popular Filipino dessert.

The official judges awarded DeEtta’s Bakery of Naperville with a trophy for their Chocolate Sour Cream Old Fashion, while the crowd deemed Doughnut Vault’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream best in show.

Until next week!

X,

Katerina

Blahsmopolitan No. 7: “No Crying in the Uber” AKA “Help! I’m Stalling and I Can’t Get Up!”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. (Not this week, though!) This week, our columnist breaks his leg, breaks the same leg again, and considers a conspiracy theory in hopes you can learn from his mistakes.

The first week of my first semester, I did a celebratory kick at my first college party, tore a ligament, and fell in blinding, screaming agony in front of everybody. Within seconds, a circle of staring sorority girls had cleared around me as I frantically tried to pull myself off the ground to no avail. In retrospect, I probably looked hilarious, but at the time, it was no joke. I could straight up not stop screaming. Not, like, cute groaning and embarrassed smiling. No performance- dead eyes, and full-bodied shrieking. Water on the Wicked Witch of the West. Not kidding.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 7: “No Crying in the Uber” AKA “Help! I’m Stalling and I Can’t Get Up!””

Blue Monday: The Reason Why You Feel Super Bummed in the Month of January

How many of you have ever felt personally victimized by the month of January?

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If this semester is already bumming you out worry not, friends—you are not alone.

I kick off every “spring” semester equipped with the same distressing bag of emotions: exhausted, frustrated, dissatisfied, stressed, and straight up down-in-the-dumps.

The holidays are over, the weather is dreary and, worst of all, classes resume and we all have to return to our crappy jobs.

Seriously, if January was a color it would be the same shade of putrid brown-green as the cup of water an art lover uses to clean their paintbrushes.

And if my griping isn’t enough to convince you that January is a soul-sucking harpy, maybe a super neat science equation will do the trick.

According to psychologist Dr. Cliff Arnall, Blue Monday—the third Monday of every January—is  “the most depressing day of the year.” Spoiler alert: today’s the big day.

Dr. Arnall created a formula to facilitate our understanding of this winter times sadness:

[W+(D-d)]xTQ/MxNA   OR  [weather + (debt – monthly salary)] * (time since Christmas * failure to attempt to give something up) / (low motivational level * the need to take action).

And while my stats professor would probably scoff at the subjectivity of this equation, I can’t help but feel relieved by its existence. With such a daunting amount of negative factors preying on us, it’s no wonder why we feel blue.

My equation looks a little something like this:

(The air hurts my face + I am super poor) * (Christmas was 3 weeks ago * I cannot leave my bed in the morning) / (I want to do nothing * I need to be doing everything) = my depression has depression.

All sass and Mean Girls quotes aside, the winter months are a challenging time for all of us, but especially for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), major depression, and other forms of mental illness. Many people are fighting battles invisible to our eyes, so please remember to be kind to each other.

X,

Katerina

P.S. – B’s and C’s get degrees—so don’t wig out.

Blahsmopolitan No. 5: “Lullaby for a Roommate” AKA “Hello Daddy, Hello Mom, I’m Your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Child With Mental Illness”

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This is Blahsmopolitan, a weekly column about one freshman’s misfortune as he navigates his New Adult Life in Chicago, and the songs that soundtracked it. New stories are posted every Thursday, alongside a curated Blahsmo playlist available on Apple Music and Spotify to complement your reading and get you through the week with some new music. This week, our columnist heads home for the holidays, writes an actual advice column, and repents for his dorm life sins in hopes that you can learn from his mistakes.

Stream this week’s playlist on Apple Music or Spotify. Blahsmopolitan and its playlists contain mature themes. 

I get that it’s super corny to be the person who goes away to college and then can’t shut up about how much they miss home. College is supposed to be the holy Mecca of good times, the cure-all to high school’s nine circles of social hell, the place where you go to become your true self and never look back. Don’t get me wrong, my first semester of college has given me tastes of all of those things, but there is no such thing as an overnight cure to having a terrible and mostly pointless life, and there’s no such thing as a semester-long cure either.

My qualifications to say this are as follows: I’ve gone to a city college with a 60% commuter population for about three months. I’ve made about four friendships that I could see becoming deeper than just someone to get wasted with, I’ve been passed out drunk almost every weekend, and I’ve taken strictly 100-level courses in areas mostly unrelated to my major. Despite all these deeply formative experiences, I am incredibly excited to go home.

Continue reading “Blahsmopolitan No. 5: “Lullaby for a Roommate” AKA “Hello Daddy, Hello Mom, I’m Your Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Child With Mental Illness””

The 9th

I wrote this piece, or whatever you would call it the day after the election. I was at the library, and was thinking about all the people I had interacted with in the day, how they felt. A large portion of the students at UIC aren’t fans of Trump, and all of my friend aren’t either. If you are a fan of the president elect, this isn’t an attack on you. This isn’t even an attack on the man himself. This is just what I observed as a conscious feeling that I believe I observed among the people around me, as well as some contribution of how I felt that day.

 

Just looking around it seems as if the same tan ghost is haunting us all. I cannot find a better way to explain it. It is a perfect autumn day, where we still have time before the cold embrace of winter. Yet, the air still somehow hurts. Every head is staring straight into the ground, as if afraid that they may be catch someone’s eyes, as if they are afraid of what they might see. All of us afraid to be reminded that; yes we are haunted by the same terrible ghost.

But there are still the few that seemed find joy in our new ghost. Though they don’t even consider him a ghost, no he is their savior. But don’t be confused their reason for believing in him varies greatly. Some believe they will thrive under someone is different that the norm, they think that is the only criteria he needs. Others love the money. It does run the world doesn’t it? If he has gathered such a large amount of money, why cannot he do the same for them and their loved ones? But lastly there are the ones who have been quieted for years now. The ones that have been had their opinioned characterized as offensive, and belong in an age that has long past. They believe that they have lost what has belonged to them for two centuries, they believe that we stolen it from them. Ironic isn’t it? But now they can breathe, now they can parade in their hate, for they have proven that the hate is not just a major presence, but it has been thriving.

So here we are, those that despair, wondering if they should finally lose hope. Yet it is only temporary, the worst despair arises from fresh wounds, and these wounds will heal, and our despair will wash away. But until then we will walk with this ghost haunting us.

Doubt, Stress, And Genetic Professors

My original plan was to write about my experience abstaining from sugar this past week, which has also carried into this week, but I wasn’t able to do the research that I wanted to make it sound legitimate and knowledgeable in all the ways sugar is not so good for us. I didn’t have much time to do so because I spent all weekend trying to breathe life into a paper I’m writing about Hillary Clinton and her lack of situated ethos, or why people seem to really hate her.

This leads me to this Monday’s blog topic. HRC’s ethos and I wrestled all weekend, and well into this morning, which won me only four pages out of the ten I need to write. Basically I didn’t get much done and feel that I’ve wasted a ton of time that I could have spent studying for my other classes. That is rather beside the point here because what I really felt during my peer review in class today is that I’m not even capable of writing well, which is something I take some pride in. So if I can’t write, then what can I do?

As I’ve mentioned in my last post, I’m a Neuroscience major, but I’ve fought my entire way through it. I’m not naturally good at math, nor do I excel in the sciences. But the brain, and especially the mind, fascinates me. From a more practical standpoint, I also felt secure studying a hard science. What I do well is be stubborn and work hard. I’ve accepted my inability to maneuver through coursework with ease, but I’ve also accepted the challenge. However, today was a day where I questioned my major, my capabilities, my aspirations, and of course, my existence because stress isn’t as much fun if you don’t over do it.genetic-ethics1Today I thought a lot about whether I had made the right decision or if I should have chosen something that was better suited to my strengths. I still don’t have a single clue what I’ll be doing once I graduate, but struggling in my science classes makes me feel that I’m not cut out for graduate school, or anything at all really.

I caught my breath and stalled my brain, and made sure I didn’t complain to my friends. I bought myself an almond latte and listened to Frank Ocean on repeat while I did my homework. I thought about the work, instead of if I could do it or not. Then, I turned on lecture capture for a class I had missed, and listened to my genetics professor talk about an experience he had in graduate school.

He told the class how, after an exam, his professor called him to his office and told him that he shouldn’t be in graduate school because he had confused transcription with translation. After looking over the exam, my professor acknowledged his mistake, but let him know that he was aware of the difference. And as he walked out of his office he told him that he most certainly belonged in graduate school. My professor finished his story by reminding us to never let anybody, especially a stranger, tell us what we can’t and cannot do. The class applauded, and I too applaud.

He also didn’t fail to mention that his professor died prematurely of lung cancer. So, ease the mind and collect yourself. Don’t let the bastards get you down, and don’t be one either.