Wednesday, May 06, 2009
I am a horrible care-taker of pets
My final days in the dorms are coming to an end. Dorm life has been good to me; I’ve been able to make some really great friends, have a safe and comfortable room, and take long hot showers. But, I’m definitely ready to move out into the new house a couple of my buddies and I are leasing. No more silly open house hour restrictions or bed-shaking reverberations from Halo 3 machine gun fire at two in the morning. One of the things I’m particularly excited about is getting a pet. My family back in Arkansas has a basset hound named Jabba, but we were never really friends.
So, in preparation for my eventual purchase of a really cool and lovable animal companion, (baby gorilla, koala bear, walrus, etc.) I decided I’d start small and buy some goldfish…
(Warning: Graphic Content Ahead)
Sunday, April 26, 2009
A beautiful (rainy) day at the beach
I have a weather icon on my desktop, a link to daily weather updates on my phone, and was the meteorologist here at Calvin for last semester’s news show. Yet I apparently managed to ignore all of that as I made plans to travel to the Grand Haven beach yesterday. Donning my swim suit and grabbing a beach towel and a frisbee I set out with my roommate and friends Liz Eckman and Priscilla “the Egyptian.”
We arrived to a cloudy and chilly Grand Haven. We walked down the boardwalk to the tall red lighthouse at the end of the pier and watched the dark skies above Lake Michigan.
The waves were exceptionally big that day and would occasionally surprise us with a jolting soak.
Sidewalk Chalk Flood
I spent this past Saturday defacing public property. It was the first Annual Sidewalk Chalk Flood and hundreds of perpetrators traveled downtown to chalk up sidewalks, walls, lamposts, and fire hydrants. By the late afternoon, Grand rapids was awash with peace signs, rainbows, globes, flowers, poems, giant bannanas, hearts, and tye-dyed bricks.
Friday, February 27, 2009
This past Friday was Airband! Airband is a timeless Calvin tradition in which students lip-sync to a medley of their favorite songs. Last year I was a swing dancer in a High School Musical performance. This year I was one of the hosts!
I did not put much preparation into my hosting position. I just drank an energy drink, put on my best pair of leather pants, and hoped for the best. My good friend Kristen and I were assigned to the positions of “backstage hosts.” We would hang out backstage and wait for the different bands to finish their acts and then interview them about their performances. Needless to say, the organization for the show was pretty loose and most of the time I had no idea about what was going on or what was coming up. At the end of the show we had about five minutes or so to kill while the judges calculated the scores. So Kristen and I were pushed out on stage in front of hundreds of people and told to stall. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I did my best to follow the example of my favorite New Zealand folk band (The Flight of the Conchords) and banter away the time. I believe it went ok. Nobody threw tomatoes, at least.
As far as the performances went, we had some quality bands this year. There were the “Newsies” who had fabulous choreography and very authentic constumes. They wound up taking the first place prize. Then there was the crowd pleasing “Wonderboys.” This all Korean boy band thrilled the audience with their crazy/cool dance moves and won the opportunity to perform twice by taking home the People’s Choice award.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The Language of Jazz
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an excellent January series. I went to what I thought would be a lecture on Jazz and it turned out to be a forty-five minute jam session with the Xavier Davis Trio. Mr. Davis would talk about the dynamics of communicating through music and answer questions betweeen numbers.
I hadn’t ever been to a Jazz concert before and this was an eye-opener. Listening to great music is a pleasure in itself, but to actually watch it being performed was spectacular! Mr. Davis was on the piano, his brother was rocking the drums, and a friend from Germany was plugging away on the bass violin. Mr. Davis was a very happy and rapid pianist. His fingers danced up and down the grand piano so quickly it made me wonder how he managed to hit all the right notes. The best part, however was when the bass violinist had a solo. The piano music would dim and the drummer would go to work tapping on the high hat. Then the bassist would start strumming away in low beautiful tones. His hands looked like he was a very indecisive catcher, rapidly changing his calls for different pitches!
My friend, Paul “Big Poppa” Mcmorrow and I were just sitting in the audience bobbing our heads to the beat. As I looked out over the crowd of mostly gray and white heads, I noticed that many of them were grooving just like us. The January Series is a very prestigous series of lectures and should be taken advantage of. Sure, every once in a while you’ll get soporific speaker that’ll leave you yawning, but the majority of the time the talks come from facinating and opinionated individuals that give intriguing messages.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The New Gym
For Christmas I got a couple of books, gift cards, and some wool socks. Calvin got a beautiful new gymnasium!
As you can see the new courts are flippin sweet and the opening basketball games played there were packed with spirited fans, all cheering in maroon T-shirts. Another great improvement is the new weight rooms. The old ones that we had to use last year were very small and always smelled like week-old sweat. Just reminiscing makes me want to take a couple showers! These new weight rooms have state-of-the-art equipment and no matter how many students are in there working on their bikini bodies there always seems to be enough room.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thanksgiving is the time of year in the Sonheim family where we all migrate to Springfield Missouri to see my mom’s side of the family. This year was an especially fun one, and despite the fact that I had to write TWO papers for my history of theology class, I still managed to thouroughly enjoy myself.
I was picked up from the airport on Wednesday night. The very next morning my brother and I and three of our cousins ran in a five kilometer “Turkey Trot” race. It is something of a tradition for my brother and I to talk about how we just want to “jog” and not really try to race each other, yet as soon as the gun blasts, brotherly competition kicks in and we kick in. So far I have been able to maintain my superior status and beat Will in the past two years. This year I extended my winning streak, pushing past him and a man dressed as a pilgrim on the final hill. Here is a picture of us post-trot. I believe Will was doing his Andy Sandberg (the comedian from SNL) impersonation and I was doing my impersonation of being cool.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
The fruits of my summer
Ever since my mom and dad bought my brother and I a cheap camera when we were kids we have been almost addicted to making movies. High school presentations, promotions for youth group events, nothing to do on a Sunday aftenoon? Our solution was always to make a movie. It was during the long months of summer vacation that we truly put forth our efforts into video production, however. We would go over to our friends Adam and Bobb’s house (who also happened to be siblings) and eat their snacks while we brainstormed crazy ideas for films. The goofier, the better. Each summer we would create long and epic tales of dysfunctional friends on quests and documentaries of absurd and hilarious events.
This summer we decided to take a different route. Bobb is currently a senior in high school and he is strongly considering attending a film school in none other but the “Big Apple.” Part of his entrance requires that he make a film to showcase his talents. So we banded together the old crew and set about developing a action flick. My brother and I worked together to write the script. I was chosen to play the villian (which is always more fun) and Adam the hero. We filmed for about two hectic weeks before turning the footage over to Adam who is a wizard in the editing room!
And now, without further ado, I present to you, the just recently released hopeful blockbuster hit, “Handguns”
Saturday, November 01, 2008
This Thursday night downtown Grand Rapids was overrun with the undead. A 20 year-old community college student named Rob Bliss organized the largest zombie walk the world has ever known! The turnout of well over two thousand people mutilated the previous record held by Portland. I am very proud to say that I was amoung the hoard shuffling our way around the city. Check it out.
I heard about this event on Facebook. At first it seemed impractical. I didn’t expect many people to show up and I thought that it would just be a small group of goofy ghouls walking around downtown. But my friend Joel told me that he was going and so I eagerly decided to tag along. Playing dead seemed like a great way to spend my Thursday night. We busted out the make-up and went about making ourselves look grotesque. We bloodied and ripped old clothes and painted our faces white and our eyes dark.
“You look horrible!” Joel said sweetly.
“Thanks. You too.”
Thursday, October 09, 2008
How to Get a Date
Calvin is renowned across the country for its great academics and successful sports teams, but ecspecially for its large selection of beautiful students. This is a true fact. Calvin has loads of good-lookers! So, I can probably guess what you are thinking right now, “Wow Joe, you’re right. There are some very georgous guys and girls here! But, how do I go about meeting these lovely people?” Well, you are reading the right blog, my friend. I happen to be the assistant to the activities coordinator on Third VanderWerp Hall (its a very high-ranking job, I promise) and together the AC and I organize floor dates with girl’s floors in both Noordewier (our sister dorm) and other dorms as well. Basically these floor dates are opportunities to meet beautiful people under the pretense of having a great time doing fun and affordable activities! Below is a somewhat hazy picture of a recent trip to Reed’s Lake and Jersey Junction with the ladies of second Timmer.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
My second Orientation
My summer went by pretty quickly. I saw old friends in Arkansas, took some classes, and got a tan working at a local Aquatics Park. The month of August seemed to speed by excepionally fast because I returned to Calvin a little early this year due to my job as an Orientation Leader. Being an OL is kind of like being a theological cheerleader addicted to Red Bull, you alternate between times of energetic talks about the Christian faith to leading energetic games designed to make freshmen more comfortable. If the pope had a mascot, he or she would have probably been an OL at some time or another!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I don’t really get homesick at college, but I do miss people from back home. Due to the fact that I live in Arkansas, I rarely get to see my family throughout the school year. But this weekend, the entire family (with the exception of my beloved basset hound, Jabba) came up to see me! Both of my parents are English professors at the college in my home town so they were able to get some funding to come to Calvin’s rather famous “Festival of Faith and Writing.” My brother tagged along for the ride, but also did the “Friday’s at Calvin” program while he was up here. The weekend I spent with them consisted of gardens, dining, and lots of smiles.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
80’s Roller Skating
This weekend I had a blast in a party from the past. My dorm combined with BHT to host a roller skating party at the Woodland Mall roller rink. But not just any roller-skating extravaganza, this one had skaters with teased hair, mohawks, and short shorts. It was an 80’s roller skating party that would have made any punk rocker proud.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
The Sun returns to Calvin College.
This past winter was my first one spent in the North. Every morning when I woke up I would check the weather report. Usually the weather service would forcast a “wintery mix.” This is a deceptive Michigan euphemism for snow, sleet, ice, and really really cold weather. I hope that I don’t sound bitter, it’s just that I am a Southern boy, and my body isn’t as conditioned for the cold as most Michiganders. But now Spring has finally come and I wake up to sunlight streaming through my window every morning! The Sun has come out, and with it so have Calvin’s students.
Friday, March 28, 2008
The First Post and the Finale
For my first post I thought of nothing better to talk about than the first annual Rock, Paper, Scissors championship. It was coordinated through the Calvin Video Network and seemed to be a great success. I joined CVN during the “Cokes and Clubs” activity early in the year. One of their first projects was the planning of a campus wide tournament of determination, luck, and intricate strategy (a.k.a Rock, Paper, Scissors.) This plan only came to completion after Interim, however, under the very capable direction of Mike Rohlfing. It all began with a group of us CVN folk holding tournaments at each of the seven dormotories as well as a special wild card tournament. That footage can all be seen on the RPS website at http://vimeo.com/calvinrps After two weeks of intense filming, Calvin’s sixteen best Rock, Paper, Scissors players had been found. Finally it was time for the finale.