Apr 222003
Authors: Ken Hamner


About this time every semester, it becomes difficult for columnists to not hate writing about “X” current war (Iraq, this time), “X” lame tax and/or state budget cut (this time, Colorado cutting higher education budgets) or “X” silly ASCSU thing (none come to mind right now, actually). That is why every term I decide to voice my opinion about fun things to do around Fort Collins. It is an opinion column, after all.

Stressed? Hate school? Like music? Great bands are coming to town. One band I sincerely recommend is coming to town tomorrow (Thursday, the 24th) to play at Linden’s, called Orion’s Room.

Ever hear of the band Rusted Root? This band covers some Rusted Root songs so well that if you closed your eyes, you’d swear you were listening to a Rusted Root CD. But that’s not all. Rusted Root doesn’t have a fiddle or a saxophone (or “saxomaphone” for all you Simpson’s buffs). Orion’s Room does – virtuosos, in fact.

Orion’s Room is famous for their original songs featuring duets and even duels between these contrasting instruments that some how end up blending together perfectly. Orion’s Room is sure to make even the most rigor-mortis-laden individuals stomp their feet. Too poor to go to a show? Thursday night is free. Too poor for a pint? Orion’s Room gives away at least a couple pints to audience members every show.

In short, if you don’t see this band tomorrow, you’re either under 21 (sorry) or an idiot. Other shows that you can’t miss include Dick Dale and Wesley Willis. Who is Dick Dale? Remember that surfer guitar music that played so prominent a part in “Pulp Fiction”? He did that. If you like guitars and good times, see Dick Dale at the Aggie on May 2nd. He’s so cool, he’ll even sign your jacket!

As for Wesley Willis, he’s a bit harder to describe. He’s pretty much a giant African-American from Chicago who banged his head into street lamps and other people’s foreheads one too many times. Armed with only his mid-1980’s Casio keyboard, he’ll sing songs such as “Birdman Kicked My Ass,” “I Whupped Batman’s Ass,” and “Rock ‘N Roll McDonalds.” If you get to the show early, he’ll usually greet you with a friendly head-butt at the bar (it doesn’t hurt – too much) and either a smile or a rant about how much he hates Michael Jackson. Wesley is coming to the Starlight May 30th for all you in town this summer.

There are other ways to alleviate the end-of-the-semester blues/anxiety/boredom. One of my favorites is to journey to the Eddy Building Chamber of Whales. It’s simple. All you do is travel to one of the West Eddy Building stairwells, fill up your lungs with air and shout like a whale at the top of your voice.

You will be immediately pleased with the way your stress ebbs away as you shout and how the calm, meditative whale-song that you produced washes over you. Another stress relieving favorite is “Bowling With The Giant Caramel Ball Of Doom.” This relaxing activity is a little more involved, but it pretty much entails buying 10 pounds of cheap caramel from the bulk section at Safeway, mushing it all together into a giant ball and tossing it down the North stairway just outside of the Lory Student Center. Sure, your hands will get a little sticky, but it sure is a good way to forget about school for a while.

For the more daring, there are plenty of ways to feel good about yourself by spreading special messages. One of my favorites is to get yourself a bumper stickers reading, “I don’t care about the air! Ask me why,” and slap them to those giant, freakish SUVs and trucks that take up two or three parking spaces in our campus parking lots. If that is too close to vandalism for you, how about going to the plaza to pass out something?

In the Spring, there is always an onslaught of folks passing out flyers, coupon books or Bibles that most people don’t want. You, however, can be different by passing out something everyone would want, such as a tempting saltine cracker. Get a warm feeling in your heart as hungry students rushing to class accept your crackers with a smile and say, “Thanks! I’d love a saltine!”

These are just a few examples of ways to reduce stress and forget about annoying things like totalitarian Iraqi overlords and exams. Have fun, folks. You deserve it.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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