Millenium + 12

Confessions of a college student, writer, and soon to be lawyer or professional journalist.

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V i s i t o r s ♡

Sunsets

Sunsets

If I had to identify myself as a morning or night person, let me assure you that I would go with the latter. Like many kids college-aged, I am a night owl. One thing that I have been doing a lot this summer is taking special notice of the sunsets. They say that life imitates art. I would even go so far as to say that God imitates life. And what I mean by that, is that you don’t get something as extraordinary as a sunset without some kind of divine intervention. You just don’t.

I like the idea that no matter where you go everyone sees the same moon, but not everyone sees the same sunset. That’s why I pay special attention and differ myself from whatever it is that I’m doing to see what the sunset is telling me on a particular night. Now, that probably makes me sound like some nature freak who is about to embark on an adventure only talking to birds; or like something out of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. While I like technology and rely on my iPhone just as much as the next person, I actually would consider myself somewhat of a naturalist. It has taken me many years to come to realize how much I appreciate the earth and the natural aspect of it. And I am not just saying that because I drive a Prius. Ask just about anyone who knew me when I was younger, and they would tell you the closest thing I’d come to camping was bringing a flashlight outside to help my dad fix something on our porch.

But that was then.

We are CONSTANTLY changing, figuring out what drives us, what’s important to us, and ultimately, the way we want to live our lives. One of my greatest fears about this life is a double-edged sword. While I am so appreciative of technology and everything that it does for us, I am worried that some of the beautiful aspects of the other part of this world will go away forever.

While it is possible to take a photo, and a video, and to capture the essence of a beautiful photo, it is nothing compared to what is ALIVE. And no matter what, technology will NEVER be able to do that. If I see a sunset, I want to be able to sit on my roof, and feel the world around me. I want to feel the presence of nature, the very thing around us that is alive and living. No matter what a life saver it is, technology is not alive. It is dead.

And I think some of us forget that.

And I don’t think the solution to this is to “take a break from phones for a week” or “try not to text so much.”

What it means is to appreciate and use the conveniences that technology has given us, but never let a photograph of a sunset take the place of a real thing.

Oh and by the way, when I look at the sunset tonight, it’s brighter than I’ve ever seen it. I would provide a picture, but I think it’s this vivid for exactly that very reason. It radiates light and life because it is alive, and let me tell you my friends, a picture may be worth a thousand words… but a sunset as beautiful as this you have to see it to believe it.

So tomorrow, whether you are a morning or a night person, go outside and see the sunrise or the sunset. And sit in that moment and know that life will never take the place of technology.. and hold onto all that is real, before it goes away forever.

When people ask me why I get fit…

^what I live by.

^where it all began, as a swimmer at CF.

^some of the coolest friends I met while a swimmer at ASU, sasha and ashton

^my team at Arizona State taught me a lot.

^but I learned the most at this place-the Rec at the University of Arizona.

When people ask me why I get fit, I tell them this: it saved my life. It has been my saving grace through hard times, kept me out of trouble, and most importantly, helped me to find it within myself to push myself physically past anything that I ever even knew was possible. People ask me: how do you buy into fitness? And I say that there is nothing to buy into. It just is. And that is the absolute truth. There is no fad or ploy behind getting a good work out in. There is nothing you must give in exchange for pushing yourself. All it does is truly, honestly, makes you feel better about yourself.

When I first started working out this year and was not as comfortable in the gym or the weight room, I would look around and see what everyone else was doing. I would try to see myself through their eyes, making sure that I wasn’t making any critical errors that would get me noticed. The only thing that I did right in that situation was to watch my form. While keeping everyone else in mind in order to be considerate in a gym is important, let me tell you this: DO YOUR OWN THING! Working out is a time not to be concerned with what everyone thinks. And you know what? Nobody even cares! If they are doing it right, they will be too busy focusing on themselves to see if you could only manage to do a half of a pullup rather than a full one. You rob yourself of precious time when you are too heavily focused on everyone else. I’m not saying you need to plug in your headphones at full blast and be dead to the world. A great fitness trainer once said it perfectly: “find a perfect mix of seriousness and smile while working out.”

I learn so much about myself while I’m at the gym, sometimes even more so than in the classroom. I found out what works for me, what I’m capable of, and how hard I’m willing to work at something that some people give up on. As a former division 1 athlete, of course I know what it’s like to work hard in the pool, in dry land, in the weight room, and on the track. But during the time that I was a swimmer, I wasn’t always doing those things for myself. I was doing them because I was part of a team, and also because there was a lot of pressure to be great and to become a college athlete. While I was good enough to get recruited by some good schools, somewhere along the way I would temporarily lose that element of doing things because it was what I really WANTED to do. In college, every morning we’d be up at 5:30 AM, head right to the weight room for an hour, swim for two hours, go to class, head back to the track or dry land, do circuit training for an hour and a half or run up to 7 miles, get back in the pool for 2 or 2 and a half hours (no end time for afternoon practice) then wake up and do it all over again the next day. While I can say I’ve never swam with rocks in my hands before I went to college, there was ZERO down time to reflect on what we were doing and why we were there. It was an intense amount of physical stamina to keep up with their training, and there wasn’t much time for anything else.

Somewhere along the line, being JUST GOOD ENOUGH starts to be good enough. But most people don’t want to just be good enough. They want to be great. And when you want to go from just good enough to great, something has to give. Whether that’s training harder, keeping more focused, or just to set your sights on other things. Some people would say to me “wow, that’s great that you were even good enough to make a team like ASU as an athlete” and I would say yes, but the key word is GOOD ENOUGH. It boils down to this: how do you envision your life, and what do you strive for? It is a big deal to be a college athlete. It’s difficult, it’s exciting, and it’s something that I won’t forget during my time. But the thing that I took away from it wasn’t something that developed while I was there. You would think that I learned my biggest lesson about fitness while doing my most physically challenging regime as a college swimmer. But I didn’t. I learned it afterwards, in the gym, at the UOFA rec center, just like everyone else.

I learned that it doesn’t matter how good you are, if you’re just starting, if you’ve been doing it forever. It doesn’t matter what your goals are. What matters is that you have them. You are NEVER going to be happy until you start doing what YOU want for YOURSELF. 

So don’t look at your life and ask yourself what you’re supposed to do, or what you think people want you to do. Who cares?! This is about you! I will always have great memories of being a part of a team, and being a team player is of course a key element in many parts of your life. But when you’re at the gym, or when you set goals, do it for yourself! So many people get so caught up in the small things that they don’t see the big picture. Like Brad Pitt says in Fight Club, “this is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” So whether it’s fitness, or getting a new job, or changing your lifestyle, or doing something unconventional that you’ve always wanted to do, just go do it! What’s the worst that can happen? You fail? So what! Even if you can only do half of a pull up, that’s a start. And remember, nobody’s looking anyway.

:)-Alaina

My take on Eminem

So, here’s the thing about Eminem. Okay so I get that it’s no longer 2001. It’s 2013 and house music is in and angry rap is out, etc. See I’m all for house… Hey, I was practically front row at Tiesto… don’t really remember being front row, but I guess I was. I can get my EDC on at 11 in the morning, don’t get me wrong. Maximal crazy, all day, every day. Or not really. Whatever. I paid my dues. I paid homage to the stoner music fad in ‘11 with Rebelution, Slightly, (check out my abbreviations, I got cha) Bob Marley, etc. But when I was doing all that, and the only mary j i had any real interest in was for that soul singer who had that one decent song in like ‘97 or 2001 or whatever, i didn’t think it was quite the right fit. Like I was at Rebelution wearing like a short ass dress feeling all stressed out for a test I had and everyone else was like high and having way more fun. So I was like c ya, I’ll just go home and be stressed and not chill and so on.

But anyways, ever so often when I’m shuffling through my iPod/iphone/itunes/whatever i come across an Eminem song. And I’m like, hey I really like Eminem. So I’m at the gym blasting like Lose Yourself or Cleanin out my Closet on the stair master, and I’m checking over my shoulder to see if anyone else can hear what I’m listening to or laughing or what not. But no one seems to be paying much attention, so I decide I’m safe. But ever so often when I think someone’s looking, I quickly change to like Kaskade or Afrojack or something normal. But then a part of me is kind of annoyed that i even have to do that. If i’m on the stair master listening to Eminem what’s it to you, you know? I’m not wearing like baggy Carolina basketball shorts and a backwards hat with Air Force Ones, i’m seemingly normal looking and don’t appear to be angry/wigged out, so too bad. I like Eminem. sorry.

So, The Slim Shady LP of 1988 was a little too angry for me (Bitch Skit, etc, plus i was only like 7 years old so, whatevs, give me a break). When Slim Shady—-> Marshall Mathers it was a different game. Like Slim Shady is too sketch for me, but Marshall Mathers could or could not be waiting for me in a dark ally… but not guaranteed. So Em revealed his real name, and I was shocked to be honest. In a good way.

Anyways, his 2000ish album Marshall Mathers LP gifted us with The Real Slim Shady, aka Chris Kirkpatrick you can get your ass kicked. Luckily we aren’t related, although I told some people in elementary he was my uncle. As well as Stan, which supposedly he stole from Dido but her original song sucked anyway so whatever. Anyways, by 2000 Eminem (Marshall Mathers omg, real name) was in my CD player. I’d alternate between like my scratched B*Witched CD, some Daft Punk, Eiffel 65 (i had to do spell check for this one, i guess eifeil 65 is spelled incorrectly), Britney Spears, you know the underground hipster musical choices. But as much as I loved Britney, somehow Eminem would always end up back in my CD player at the end of the day.

So it was like ‘02, I was potentially angry but not, and then Em came out with The Eminem Show. Sorry but Hailie’s Song and Sing for the Moment had me hooked. This hardass who supposedly hates the world goes and dedicates a song to his adorable daughter… so cool. I mean, we all know how you feel about Kim. I actually don’t even know her/don’t think she really did anything, but I think she’s a bitch too. And Sing for the Moment? Aerosmith’s original was brilliant. But if Em can remix it without totally fucking it up/making it sound more badass…so game.

Okay so fast forward to 2002-2006ish (all of those years kind of blur together, sorry). You get Encore, which was basically some of his best material (Mockingbird) combined with the beginning stages of his identity crisis (Ass Like That/Just Lose It/ potentially Yellow Brick Road). Okay so Mockingbird was the highlight of that CD. B-/C+ on that. Oh and not sure exactly when D12 came to be, but that was a little embarrassing Em.

Next CD, Curtain Call aka back with all of his old classics. I mean to be honest, if Japan would have so kindly informed me how to burn a CD back during this time I could have easily made Curtain Call like way before it came out. But whatever.

Then finally, we come to Relapse/Recovery. Not sure if I liked Recovery better just because I am a positive person, or because Recovery had No Love and Space Bound (love is evol spelled backwards let me show ya) and the always motivational I’m Not Afraid. I realize it was about him beating his drug addiction, but I kind of use it for other purposes like if I have to go to the grocery store but don’t really feel like it. I know. It is what is is.

But either way, after this many albums most singers would be over by now (Taylor Swift, hate to say it). But I think that Eminem’s latest album was one of his best. He’s honest and matter of fact, and to be perfectly honest…pretty relateable. As much as I love house music, I can’t listen to a song by like Skrillex and think to myself “Man, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites really does describe exactly how I’m feeling today.” Although idk. You never know.

But, no I don’t want to listen to Eminem all day every day. But if I feel like it ever so often, I have nothing but respect.

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<3

The music resides and it thrives in a place that takes my heart and soul.
And the way it plays for me… the world will never know.

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Nick Piecoro got his shot at sports journalism after answering phones for the Arizona Republic his freshman year of college. Now as the Republic’s current sports beat writer, Piecoro shares his love for baseball, Buster Olney, and his success story of one journalist’s journey from the bottom to the top.

 

Q: You are considered one of the most prominent sports writers to ever work for the Arizona Republic. How did you get your start in sports writing?

NP: Am I? Haha, thanks. I guess I got started just by working hard and getting lucky. I worked on my high school and college papers, worked for a local weekly paper out by where I grew up in the West Valley and thanks to a friend at school started answering the phones in the Republic sports department when I was a freshman at ASU. I slowly earned their trust and wound up working two internships at the paper before I graduated from college. I went away for a year to work at a small paper before returning to cover preps. About a year later I was covering baseball. 

 

Q: You are the beat reporter for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Does baseball have a personal significance to you?

NP: Yeah. I’ve always been a baseball dork. I probably wouldn’t be a sports writer if I wasn’t writing about it. 

 

Q: You post a lot of your news updates on twitter. How has social media changed the course of your reporting?

NP: It is definitely provided an easy way to interact with readers and created more of a 24-hour aspect to my job. I try to post news there and links to my stories. I mean, the job is still the same as before in a lot of ways but there’s just far more avenues for news to get out these days. 


Q:  How are the Diamondbacks looking this year?
NP: Pretty good, actually. They’re near the top of the division despite some injuries. Things are going really well for them. 

 

Q: In comparison to sports like basketball and football, do you think that baseball gets the same amount of media coverage?

NP: I don’t know, actually. Not in phoenix, I guess, where I think football is definitely king. I mean, I guess football gets most of the attention everywhere in this country. But in places like New York and Chicago and San Francisco I think baseball narrows the gap a little bit. 


Q: What is something surprising that people do not know about you?

NP: Oh gosh, I don’t know. I don’t feel like I have any crazy secrets. 

Q: Are there any sports journalists that have inspired you? How has this affected the way you cover sports?


NP: Oh for sure. When I was in school, I used to love to read Buster Olney, who was then covering the Yankees for the New York Times, and also Gordon Edes, then the Boston Globe’s Red Sox writer. They were terrific (and still are) and definitely influenced the way I cover the game. 

Q: Some critics believe that sports coverage is not news. How would you respond to that?

NP: Meh. We take ourselves pretty seriously and are ultra competitive about breaking news. It might not be life and death stuff, but I can assure you I work just as hard, maybe harder, than a lot of people in news departments.

Reminiscent Beach

 

Reminiscent Beach

By: Alaina Kirkpatrick ©’13

 

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Surrounded by purple skies
As I live in this moment tonight
The glow of the ocean reflects your eyes
The dark clouds divide and I can finally see the light.

His smile is nothing but a memory
My feeling of longing is dead and gone
As I let the twilight darken around me
The past no longer feels like home.

As the sun sets I looked behind me
I saw nothing but a stretch of shore
Footprints were visible but just as quickly
The ocean washed away the people I didn’t care about anymore.

It’s called Reminiscent Beach
Purple skies calm the waves, they’re never alone
It’s a place to reflect, a place that forbids you to forget
It’s where you remain when you can’t let go.

The beach is the epitome of beauty
But it’s an illusion that’s tricking you to stay
Because underneath the exterior there are cracks
Past memories hold you underwater as you try to swim away.

Darkness has replaced the waves crashing in your eyes
Instead they are filled with moments from your past
I try to take your hand and guide you ahead
I look to you but you’re still looking back

Your footprints don’t disappear in the darkness
They stay vividly lit as we continue through the sand
Ocean waves aren’t enough to make you forget
And I’m struggling with something that I can’t understand.

I decided to give it one more try
And looked behind me to try and see what you see
The waves swiftly commanded me to move forward
And you stayed behind to live in your memories.

The beach knows that I don’t belong here
It knows that my past is no longer a part of me
Rain starts to pour, and I knew for sure
That I had to say good-bye to Reminiscent Beach.

I’m walking a little faster now
I reach for your hand and realize you’re far behind
I’m miles ahead as I start to run
Leaving the past further buried in my mind

I start to slow down, I’m waiting on you
I can see you standing in the distance
But your eyes aren’t dry as you stare at the sky
Still thinking about what you’re missing

I run towards the past in the opposite direction
The stars sparkle as they show you what you could have had
I call your name but you’re walking away
I try to catch your eye but you’re still looking back.

I write your name in the sand
But the waves are swift and they wash you away
I have to keep running towards my future
Hoping your past memories will start to fade

I know you’re not ready to leave this place
The sun shines all the time, time keeps you close
If only to remind you that the darkness will eventually find you
Theres still something you can’t let go

Reminiscent Beach consumes your days
Sitting in the shade and surfing the waves
Past memories still swimming beside you
Winter comes but yet you still remain.

One day your shadow asks the burning question
His image overwhelms you as the sun shines
How long are you planning to stay here,
You know that you can leave at any time.

You looked down at your shadow
And you said with utmost certainty
I’ll leave this place when I can can’t see her anymore
I’ll return to the world when my past is ready to leave me.

Your reflection looks back at you
You can sense the confusion in the waves
“But your past is already gone,” he said
I’m afraid you’re a little too late.

The more time you spend at Reminiscent Beach
The less you are able to see
That your chains want to break to stop the heartache
So that you can finally be free

Time goes by and I venture back to the beach
I come across your footprints still vividly lit
And as much as I don’t want to see the truth
I know that you still don’t want to forget.

I continue down the path towards the ocean
Surrounded by a purple sky and I know that I’m free
Running towards my future I can’t help but look back
And wonder if you’ll ever catch up to me.

 

Sunflowers

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You told me happiness grows along the weeds like sunflowers

It’s my guiding light when it grows cold

The look on your face, hard to contemplate in windows streaked with snow

Running free for awhile,

Minutes pass like miles

In fields spun with gold.

Lost in time

Hard to climb when I’m drowning in those April showers

If I walked past you on the street now,

You would never know.

 Darkness revealed, running through the fields,

You found a way to make me grow tall

Do you remember that dance,

Hold the world in your hands,

It’s yours.

I look to the sky

It never seems to shine

The way it did before.

 Clues in a cracked mirror

Three places

Did I tell you I got your letter?

Never let the rain cloud your spirits

Hold the world in your hand,

It’s yours

You told me happiness grows along the weeds like sunflowers

While I swam in that river you would try to hold me up

Rocks all along the water, marking the way to rock bottom

I wanted it all,

But did I want it badly enough?

 I didn’t want the sun to shine on me

Not without you there to see.

Moments I can’t seem to find, years undefined
As I struggle to plant seeds of time,

A sunflower can’t grow in a broken home.

Trying just to rewind, but you’re running far behind

I catch a glimpse of you but then I’m alone.

 You told me happiness grows along the weeds like sunflowers

Smile on your face,

Hard to contemplate in windows streaked with snow

Lost in time

Hard to climb when I’m drowning in those April showers.

If I walked past you on the street now,

You would never know.

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Future Ft. Kelly Rowland

—Neva End (Remix)

for [Future] reference

The Celebrity

By: Alaina K image

Don’t look now, the world is watching

Make way for the queen of notoriety

A camera flash, it all happened so fast

You’re the celebrity you never wished to be.

 

Queen of the night, international flight

Black ink says the promises are seamless

But there’s a darker side to a name in lights

One day you’ll wake up to a world in pieces.

 

We sit on a high horse, unaware the world looks different,

The world is not as in love as they might seem

The ones who are quick to bow down are the ones who dish it,

Hit speed dial number 3, to reach the magazines.

 

That night you regret, no way to forget

Printed on the front page and the world’s not done yet

 

If it’s all black and white then where do we draw the line?

Deadline redesign, we’re always running out of time,

A star is born without even wanting this life.

 

Our version of the truth is crafted carefully

Delivered by an update to our twitter feeds

But how do we question what we’re told to believe,

When the news is now just another word for hyperbole.

 

So many words but so little proof,

With one simple question we put it to the test:

How fast can a lie spread, when it’s 140 characters or less,

Depends on how fast the page is refreshed.

 

It’s the battle of character and reputation

It’s the fine line between a lie and the truth,

And it’s determined by the man with the most imagination.

To win or to lose, who said you get to choose,

The media will decide it for you.

 

Don’t look now, the world is watching

Make way for the queen of notoriety

A camera flash, it all happened so fast

You’re the celebrity you never wished to be.

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