The Ukrainian people deserve better than Putin

In a country that is starving, one man was living large, almost like a king in his palace.  While the people in the Ukraine ar stuck in poverty and making approximately $4,000 a year, their former president Viktor Yanukovych was sentencing his people to ultimate poverty.

 He was money laundering from his own people and lying about everything.  At first the president fled to his “friends” in Russia who he initially thought would help him take back power in his country.

Hearing this on the news when I woke up one morning really ticked me off. Why would one country help put back a tyrant and just a horrible human being back in power?  This would just return a evil man back to his corrupt ways of abusing his people and getting rich off the deaths and starvation of his people.

Thankfully a few days later I heard that Russia was not going to help this tyrant.  However a few hours after hearing that, Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, decided not to help Yanukovych.

I was told by my humanities teacher that Russia had put soldiers in the Ukraine and wanted the Ukraine for itself.  This further complicates the situation, and I’m not so sure if this is a better option.

The Sochi Olympics showed the world how corrupt Russia truly is as is evident in how poorly they facilitated the games.  I’m not so sure one corrupt government replacing another corrupt government is a good idea, as history has shown.

I would hate to see the people of the Ukraine, who finally kicked out their former president/elected dictator, be taken over by the Russian president who might just do the same thing to the Ukrainian people and continue their long-existing poverty and starvation.

Boys, take the hint

Boy meets girl.  Boy falls in love.  Girl avoids eye contact and all other forms of interaction.  Classic tale, right?  Boys, if you ever find yourself in a scenario like those described below … take my advice and take the hint.  Perhaps you will recognize some of these stories, and perhaps you know that they have have a happy ending.  But remember, that’s exactly what makes them only a story in the first place.

If you lived in a post-apocalyptic era in which you were both forced to fight to the death in an arena with 22 others. If, when you declared your love for her, she shoved you into a potted plant.  If in the arena she dropped a nest of deadly hornets on your camp.  If you find out your best chance of survival is to convince the nation that you’re in love.  If either of you could LITERALLY DIE AT ANY SECOND, and she STILL has reservations about kissing you,

take the hint.

If you two were both on this huge boat about a century ago.   If said-boat suddenly hit a large body of  ice and was sinking.  If the only thing between you and your freezing cold watery graves was a wooden door you had to use to stay afloat.  If she won’t scoot over just a little bit to make room for you and save your life,

take the hint.

If you were both at a ski resort on New Year’s Eve and you think you two just made this huge connection because some random guy FORCED her to sing karaoke with you.  If the clock struck midnight.  If all of these other couples are kissing.  If she would (supposedly) never see you again.  If she makes up some lame excuse about having to “go find her mom,” this is not the start of something new.

Take the hint.

If you met her at a ball.  If you had been dancing all night.  If you think that you’re making this big connection.  If suddenly she said she had to go but didn’t really give you a clear reason why.  If when you tried to follow her, she was in so much of a hurry her (very pricey) glass shoe fell off.  If to get away from you she didn’t even stop to grab her (but seriously even though shoes were 20 percent off she still paid way too much, but it was just like they were made for her, you know?) glass shoe.  Before you even consider scouring the entire kingdom for her,

take the hint.

If you had to scale a Ferris wheel to convince her to go out with you in the first place.  If she and her family moved away 364 days ago.  If you’ve been writing her a letter a day ever since without so much as a “k” or “:)” response,

take the hint.

Boys, no means no.  Girls, you’re welcome.  Now hopefully you won’t have 10 unread messages and 16 pending Snapchats when you check your phone. Hopefully you will be able to walk down the street without constantly checking over your shoulder and hopefully there will be no more pebbles hitting your window in the dead of night.

There are plenty of ways to beat the cold

If you are like me and you hate snow and cold weather, then my advice to you is get the heck out of Michigan.  It’s really cold in this state and not pleasant at all.  However if you can’t migrate out of this freezing cold, then here are some tips to beat it.

First, when you wake up in the morning, make yourself some hot chocolate before you depart.  Hot chocolate not only tastes delicious, but it will also keep your hands warm.

I would also suggest starting your car five to 10 minutes early and blast the heat, so when it is time to leave, you can at least be a little warm.

And when the weather is below zero and it’s almost too cold to go outside, I suggest wearing two pairs of gloves and socks. For me at least, the parts on my body that get the coldest are always my hands and feet.  So wearing two pairs of gloves and socks only further insures your feeling of ultimate warmth.

I also suggest buying a surplus of hand warmers in the fall, so every morning you can just heat one up and you’re set for the whole day.

If you follow all of my tips to stay warm for the treaturous winter, I assure you, you will be in the clear in your quest for escaping the cold.

A cup of Joe for Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day. The loveiest doveiest day of the year. If you’re like the old me, this is probably a terrible reminder of the loneliness and rejection that constantly haunts you.

But the new, improved and current me loves this time of year.

For me, I like to keep it interesting so I use all kinds of different methods to reel in the big fish. Since I am such a nice guy, I will share a short work of my genius. Here is my newest bait that is sure to be a big catch:

 

Roses are red, lilies are yellow

If you give me a chance, I’ll prove I’m a fine fellow.

My game so good they call me Carmelo,

All I have to do is start with a hello.

 

You may think I’m just a friend,

But I can no longer just pretend.

I want to be with you to the end,

Even if I have to spend, spend, spend.

 

I wish you could understand how much I care,

Continuing to just stare is too hard to bare.

Can I please just touch your hair and treat you fair?

I really think we’d make a great pair.

 

I’ll put you under my spell.

Trust me, I don’t kiss and tell.

Just ring my bell, and I’ll treat you well.

For you’ll never have to dwell,

Even if you smell.

 

Choose to be with me, and I’ll give you a show.

I’ll love you from head to toe and our love will grow.

Pick truth not dare, I want you to know.

Give your boy some love, Sincerely, Joe.

Laurence Carolin's memory lives on through Make-a-Wish Foundation

For those who knew him, Laurence Carolin was someone who put others before himself at all times.  He cared for people, helped others and cheered people up on daily basis.

Carolin died in January 2010 at the age of 15 from a brain tumor which developed in the center of his brain.  When his doctors told him that he didn’t have much time left, however, he didn’t fear death. His attitude was that if it was time to die, it was time to die.

“Some people die sooner than others,” he said at the time.

Accepting death is one of life’s biggest challenges.  Fighting for life is another.  Regardless, Carolin didn’t let his brain tumor stop him from staying positive.

He was offered a wish from the Make-A-Wish foundation and said that he’d like to meet Bono from the band U2. Carolin credited the band’s lyrics as with helping to raise his spirits and keep him positive about his situation.

Make-A-Wish said that they were unable to make the arrangement so Carolin then said that he wanted the $5,000 that was going towards his wish to go towards the UN Foundation.  This act of selflessness is how we should remember him.  He has helped raise over $20,000 dollars in donations to the UN Foundation.

He was truly a one-of-a kind kid.  He is not the average Joe who would just cruise through the day and do everything for himself.  Carolin went out of his way to support and care for the people in his life.  For him it was a priority, not just a side gig.  Carolin is respected because of actions like these.

And one of his most important legacies is Airplane Day, so named because it was the day when the adopted Carolin flew into the United States from South Korea.  Today, the Carolin family still celebrate Airplane Day.  They get together to remember how great the day was and its importance.  They give gifts to each other share stories related to Laurence.

This year’s Airplane Day is going to be celebrated at Foggy Bottom as an awareness/fundraiser/music festival on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 6-10 p.m.  Admission is free, but donations to the United Nations Foundations will be accepted at the door.

If you can’t make it to the celebration, please consider donating to the UN Foundation online at unfoundation.org/

Laurence Carolin inspired more people than I can count.  His strength and fight are what kept him moving forward.  We should follow his example.  We should put others before ourselves and pay it forward.

Santa is not the real spirit of the season

Disclaimer: If you are under the age of 12, please do NOT read this.

I ran downstairs on Christmas morning, seeing presents under the tree and filled stockings.  I frantically searched for the magical present that would be all mine, the one that would say those glorious words: “To Noah, From Santa.”

But once I found it and began to open it, I realized what it was. What it had to be. Clothes.

What 12-year old wants clothes for Christmas?  I looked closer at the handwriting on the tag.

Suddenly, it dawned on me.

It was the exact same handwriting as my mother’s.  I looked up at her suspiciously, and at that moment, she knew I was getting closer to revealing the secret all parents try to keep from their children as long as possible.

“Noah, we need to talk,” my mom said.

“No. If this is about the birds and the bees again, I don’t need to know anymore.”

But then she broke the news to me, and it all made sense.

How can a fat man travel around the entire world in one night? How could reindeer carry that fat man all night, let alone fly? And how could that fat man, the fat man that so many continue to believe in, fit down a chimney without getting stuck?

Let’s say Santa is 6 feet tall, even though people who live in colder climates are usually a couple inches shorter. There are 6 billion people in the world.  No man on this planet could ever consume that many cookies in a lifetime, no matter how big and tall he is. But somehow Santa does it in one night.

So why do parents continue telling lie after lie to children, making them believe in Santa Claus? Shouldn’t we avoid lying to kids? If we keep this big of a lie going for so many years, all we’re doing is setting a bad example. We’re saying that lying is OK.

I’m not saying that we should end all the usual Christmas activities like getting a tree, making egg nog and trying to lure that one girl, who we all know is way out of my league, under the mistletoe.

But we can get in the holiday spirit without the big man in a red jumpsuit. I’m perplexed about why he’s even relevant to the season.

So when should we stop believing in Santa? The answer to that is that we should never have believed in him in first place.   I’m sorry, faithful parents and children, I just want to stop the heart-breaking moments children have when they find out there is no Santa Claus.

Running downstairs with the same Christmas spirit is not affected by knowing that the tags on the presents say “From, Mom and Dad.”

Prom's moves to Michigan Stadium is a step in the right direction

The Dexter prom experience in the past has been all about games and karaoke and no dancing.  Dexter’s prom is not comparable to the traditional prom.  We have cared more about how the “dance floor” has looked like than the dance itself–If you can even call it a dance.

However, this year, the Dexter High School made a step in right direction.  We are having our prom at the Michigan football stadium, which is awesome compared to all of the previous years.

Previously, Dexter’s prom has worked like this: first you buy tickets for you and your date for seventy dollars.  Next, you rent a $200 tux.  Then you take your date out to a fancy restaurant that costs way too much money.  Then you and your date go to the prom.

This process for prom night is normal.  However, Dexter’s prom differs from the norm.  Instead of keeping the night classy and going to the dance at a specific venue, we go back to our school, where we play games like putt-putt golf and card games.  Most of our prom is spent walking around and waiting in lines for our favorite games.  And in my opinion prom was a huge waste of money, to dress up and play games.

Finally, Dexters prom will be like other schools prom, where it will actually be a dance instead of like a “carnival”.  I definitely support the change in venue as well as the change in prom style.

Expensive gifts may be the way to go

Gift giving between significant others during the holidays is more complex than you would imagine.

Being a guy, I realize that the gift most men would love more than anything is the gift of not having to buy a gift.  But that just won’t happen.

So, guys, maybe think of these things when buying a gift for your special significant other.

Don’t do the following: buy a gift that you want more. In other words, don’t get your significant other Grand Theft Auto. Don’t get them something from the dollar store.  You might enjoy buying something cheap, but I guarantee they won’t like it.

Do the following: What you really want to do is listen and hear what they actually want and then buy the knockoffs because the real deal is probably too expensive.

For example if they wants Uggs, buy Fugs which will still tell her that you care as well as save you a ton of money.

Candy might be a great gift for an anniversary or Valentine’s Day, but on a holiday like Christmas it’s not that great of a gift.

As much as I hate to say it, an expensive gift is the way to go for the holidays.  It shows that you care. And if your gift is better/ more expensive than your significant others, it makes them feel bad.

Also if you don’t know exactly what your significant other wants or you just weren’t listening when they said it, you can never fail with good old fashion jewelry.

At the end of the day, something that comes from deep in the heart and even deeper in the wallet shall set you free from gift giving worries.

Holiday meals can be a huge health problem

Families gather. Sleigh bells ring. Chestnuts roast over open fires.  But is there something not-so jolly about this holiday season? How about the excessive eating habit that is somehow always associated with this time of year?

The excessive overindulgence is even pictured in the symbolic images of the holidays we celebrate this time of year: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and every other religious holidays. 

For Halloween the tradition is to go from house to house with the purpose of  acquiring as much candy as possible.

For Thanksgiving, we celebrate by literally eating a ton of food, (stuffing, ham, pumpkin pies) and at the end we eat a giant turkey. Also for the whole following week after Thanksgiving, Americans stuff their faces with leftovers.

For Christmas we celebrate “Santa Claus,” a fat dude who brings gifts through the chimney.  In return we feed him cookies and milk.

Sure, the holiday season is fun, but it can be dangerous to your health and is a huge cause of obesity for common Americans trying to get in the holiday mood.

Find it in your heart to love Miley like I do

I was in bed, eating my peanut butter Pop Tart and a glass of cold milk when I checked my Twitter feed late on Aug. 25.

And then I saw them. Tweets that I couldn’t handle. Everybody hatin’ on Miley.

“LOL WTF MILEY WTF.”

“Ew Miley WTF.”

“Miley you have no booty WTF ew.”

Well you know what? I don’t hate Miley. Miley may be on a bit of a roller coaster at the moment but she’s fantastic. So stop hating.

I’ve loved Miley since her first season of “Hannah Montana,” and I’ll love her until the last season of “Real Housewives of LA” or whatever trashy reality show she ends up on at the end of her career.

Miley first was put on the map with Disney Channel’s, “Hannah Montana” which happens to be one of the best TV shows ever.

The show brought me laughs and pure joy as a young girl lived a double life that I  could only dream of, just trying to make the best of both worlds. Hannah Montana/Miley Stewart taught us that we can be whoever we want to be with songs like “Who Says,” “Rockstar,” “I Got Nerve” and “Life’s What you Make It.”

Once Miley was done with Disney Channel, I was crushed. But then there was a sign of hope. Miley starred in my favorite chick flick ever and started her new music career with a bang. “Party in the U.S.A.” quickly made its way onto my MP3 device, where it stayed on its own playlist for weeks. I repetitively listened to “Party in the U.S.A.” until I had it memorized both forward and backward.

With genius lyrics such as, “I put my hands up, they’re playin’ my song, the butterflies fly away. I’m noddin’ my head like Yeah! Movin’ my hips like Yeah!” this song was easy to love, sing along to and get super pumped up with. In fact, I usually listen to “Party in the U.S.A.” before all of my golf matches to pump up in preparation for some stern competition.

Yes, recently, Miley has taken a rather eccentric, unhinged path as she decided to cut her hair short and dye it blonde. Yes, this is different, a bit erratic, but it’s no reason to hateS.

Miley is doing something we like to call in the celebrity business “a publicity stunt.” She is gaining unheard of attention in order to promote her new album “Bangerz” featuring amazing songs like “We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball.” She began a consistent streak of twerking whether it be in music videos or on Robin Thicke on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.

Miley is attracting public attention and many haters in the process. But I’m here to tell you haters to stop being so jealous. Miley is making millions off every weird thing she does. When you twerk, you can’t even make a dime.

Miley is amazing. She’s already been Hannah Montana and the new Miley Cyrus we see today. I’m here to ask you to find it in your heart to love Miley and remember that no matter how angry she makes you, love her.

She’s forever my girl.