V-Day: An Open Letter to the Loveless

 Features, The Well  Comments Off on V-Day: An Open Letter to the Loveless
Feb 142013
 

Author: Jack Krause

Dear whoever finds themselves alone on Valentine’s Day,

Another year has come and passed and the dreaded holiday that celebrates those who can manage to support a relationship and alienates those who can’t is upon us. I’m here to tell you, it’s not so bad. For those who fall into the latter category, here are some tips and bits of advice to let that day come and go.

Remember one thing, your life is incredibly cheaper when out of a relationship. Cheaper in a monetary sense, but also in a time sense. Your time is yours and your money is spent how you want. When you want to do something, it isn’t up for debate, and you have the excess money to pay for it. You have the ability to work on yourself and not worry about another’s romantic emotions.

The other benefit to being single on Valentine’s Day is the fact that you have just joined a large club. This club is filled with other people like you, single and possibly ready to mingle. The ocean is filled with hope and you’ve been given the tools to reel in the right person for you. Also, remember one thing above all else. Love is not defined as being between two people; you are not alone because you have friends and family that love you all the same. Take that normally sorrowful day and make it one of celebration. A happy time for those who may not have romantic love, but more than enough people to call their own.

2013 is a year of new beginnings and fresh starts, make the most of it, and appreciate the present moment. Keep your head up, and love will find you.

Buy this, not that: a Valentine’s Day guide.

 Beats, Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Buy this, not that: a Valentine’s Day guide.
Feb 042013
 

Author: Jack Krause

With the upcoming lovelorn holiday that reaffirms couple’s love and devastates the single’s heart, we all haven’t a clue as to what to get our significant others, be it a love or a love for oneself. Here are some ideas on what you should steer away from and move towards while navigating this tricky time of year.

Get it like its hot.

  1. Chocolates – Can’t go wrong with this cliched gift; everyone who loves anything loves chocolate. In case of allergies though, they sell various allergen free chocolate delights.
  2. Flowers- Still cliched, but it isn’t going to break the bank, and its going to make your lover swoon.
  3. Poetry- Now this gift can be made or commissioned, but regardless of the author, nothing says “I value your existence” like some words that rhyme together.
  4. Date Night- While this can be expensive, the investment usually can justify the end. Standard date package is dinner, dessert, and a show.
  5. A playful joke- Now this one can backfire on you, in case you don’t have a significant other with a sense of humor, have the flowers and chocolates on stand-by.
  6. Adventure- Now I know what you may be thinking, how does one give adventure? Just go out and plan a day of sightseeing and cheap fun all over town; they’ll love you for it.
  7. “A day-off”- Everyone could use a day off from responsibility, so make plans to let your other half sleep the day away, eat what they want, and just relax. It’s probably one of the best gifts you can give.
  8. The Vintage Homemade- Nothing says I love you like a prepackaged box of candy, but if you want to join the major league of love, you’re going to have to shell out your time instead of money. Make them something they will keep forever. Just make sure it doesn’t easily burn, because if your relationship goes south, you don’t want them to be able to easily destroy it.
  9. Music- This one may seem broad, but if you have any inkling of musical talent, learn their favorite song and play it to them under candlelight.
  10. If all else fails, go look at their Pinterest or Esty pages. It is literally a list of things your significant other wants.

Avoid like an ex during flu season.

  1. Elaborate and consistent pranks- Seriously, one is funny, two is pushing it, three is you punching your single card. Its Valentine’s Day, not April first.
  2. “Protection” – Nothing is more romantic than handing your loved one a thin piece of rubber. Seriously, you’re a modern day Casanova.
  3. Anything in a D-I-Y kit- Don’t buy your lover a kit for them to do unless its something they love. It’s like buying someone an obligation.
  4. Any movie or concert only you want to see- You will hear complaining, and you will learn to hate what you once loved.
  5. Fast-food date night- Just don’t.
  6. Anything that is an implication- This is the time of year that we see news headlines talking about that person who bought their loved one a weight scale, and how their body was just found.
  7. Cheap Jewelery- its the lazy-man’s cliche. Last minute shopping leading to long-hour regret.
  8. The Twilight Book series- If you’re a guy, this one makes sense. Don’t need any mythological sparkly men distracting your lady. If you’re a girl, well… I’m sorry honey, but you may have bigger problems then just figuring out a V-day gift.
  9. Any plant that isn’t a flower- Nothing says I love you more like a potted plant or better yet, a cactus.
  10. Seriously, just look at the Pinterest or Etsy boards. It will save you time and embarrassment.

Buy this, not that: a Valentine’s Day guide.

 Beats, Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Buy this, not that: a Valentine’s Day guide.
Feb 042013
 

Author: Jack Krause

With the upcoming lovelorn holiday that reaffirms couple’s love and devastates the single’s heart, we all haven’t a clue as to what to get our significant others, be it a love or a love for oneself. Here are some ideas on what you should steer away from and move towards while navigating this tricky time of year.

Get it like its hot.

  1. Chocolates – Can’t go wrong with this cliched gift; everyone who loves anything loves chocolate. In case of allergies though, they sell various allergen free chocolate delights.
  2. Flowers- Still cliched, but it isn’t going to break the bank, and its going to make your lover swoon.
  3. Poetry- Now this gift can be made or commissioned, but regardless of the author, nothing says “I value your existence” like some words that rhyme together.
  4. Date Night- While this can be expensive, the investment usually can justify the end. Standard date package is dinner, dessert, and a show.
  5. A playful joke- Now this one can backfire on you, in case you don’t have a significant other with a sense of humor, have the flowers and chocolates on stand-by.
  6. Adventure- Now I know what you may be thinking, how does one give adventure? Just go out and plan a day of sightseeing and cheap fun all over town; they’ll love you for it.
  7. “A day-off”- Everyone could use a day off from responsibility, so make plans to let your other half sleep the day away, eat what they want, and just relax. It’s probably one of the best gifts you can give.
  8. The Vintage Homemade- Nothing says I love you like a prepackaged box of candy, but if you want to join the major league of love, you’re going to have to shell out your time instead of money. Make them something they will keep forever. Just make sure it doesn’t easily burn, because if your relationship goes south, you don’t want them to be able to easily destroy it.
  9. Music- This one may seem broad, but if you have any inkling of musical talent, learn their favorite song and play it to them under candlelight.
  10. If all else fails, go look at their Pinterest or Esty pages. It is literally a list of things your significant other wants.

Avoid like an ex during flu season.

  1. Elaborate and consistent pranks- Seriously, one is funny, two is pushing it, three is you punching your single card. Its Valentine’s Day, not April first.
  2. “Protection” – Nothing is more romantic than handing your loved one a thin piece of rubber. Seriously, you’re a modern day Casanova.
  3. Anything in a D-I-Y kit- Don’t buy your lover a kit for them to do unless its something they love. It’s like buying someone an obligation.
  4. Any movie or concert only you want to see- You will hear complaining, and you will learn to hate what you once loved.
  5. Fast-food date night- Just don’t.
  6. Anything that is an implication- This is the time of year that we see news headlines talking about that person who bought their loved one a weight scale, and how their body was just found.
  7. Cheap Jewelery- its the lazy-man’s cliche. Last minute shopping leading to long-hour regret.
  8. The Twilight Book series- If you’re a guy, this one makes sense. Don’t need any mythological sparkly men distracting your lady. If you’re a girl, well… I’m sorry honey, but you may have bigger problems then just figuring out a V-day gift.
  9. Any plant that isn’t a flower- Nothing says I love you more like a potted plant or better yet, a cactus.
  10. Seriously, just look at the Pinterest or Etsy boards. It will save you time and embarrassment.

A colorful blend of beliefs and the universal spiritual journey

 Features, The Cache, The Well  Comments Off on A colorful blend of beliefs and the universal spiritual journey
Dec 042012
 

Author: Mary Willson

At the Shambhala Stupa, in Red Feather, Prayer flags serve to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom.

At the Shambhala Stupa, in Red Feather, Prayer flags serve to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom.

The Earth’s population lives on a single mass of land, yet through cultural divides it

Michael Lichtback lights a menorah at the Chabad Jewish Center located in campus west shopping area. The menorah is part of Hanukkah, an eight day Jewish festival also known as “the festival of lights,” which falls over finals week this semester.

Michael Lichtback lights a menorah at the Chabad Jewish Center located in campus west shopping area. The menorah is part of Hanukkah, an eight day Jewish festival also known as “the festival of lights,” which falls over finals week this semester.

can feel as if the seven billion inhabitants of this seven continent globe are disconnected by galaxies.

Through the religious divides based on morality, upbringing, culture and political pressure—society and religion can easily become intertwined. The melting pot of the United States and a very diverse campus blurs these lines and creates an accepting atmosphere. Despite the commercial Christmas trees—red, green and white merry making—and the overwhelming Christian symbolism throughout the winter months, diversity is celebrated—a unique asset in the grand scheme of the world.

“I feel like I can practice my religion freely here in the US,” said Fares Alotaibi, freshman computer engineering and computer science major, whom is here from Saudi Arabia.

“You can see that in said Arabia they say that Muslim is 100 percent  of the population, but I think that is impossible,” Alotaibi said. “I think you need to accept that there are other people and religions.”

Alotaibi will work for an oil company in Saudi Arabia when he graduates, an opportunity only the top 3 percent of a national test get the opportunity to do. His main objective for a United States education is for the degree, yet the accepting culture is something that has changed his own perspective on the way humans view each other. Which, as a practicing Muslim, comes as a pleasant surprise.

“A different country means different culture, so you get used to it,” Alotaibi said. “That was a big change, I love the US in the way that everyone can practice their own religion and people respect all religions. I respect that. If you people respect my religion, I will respect yours.”

Culture, family roots and society are three main assets to the formation of personal spiritual beliefs. Yet, within the realm of college and a fresh slate for personal growth, new paths can be shared creating new belief systems.

“It kind of started out with not necessarily agreeing with everything that came with the Catholic or Christian religion in general,” said Darrel Suer, junior marketing and CIS business major.

Suer started the Meditation and Buddhism Interest Club on campus last year after becoming passionate about the Buddhist belief system from a series of CSU religion classes. He was raised Catholic.

“The Catholic Church is very hierarchical. I don’t think that’s the best way to practice religions because then it feels almost like government rather than spiritual. At the end of the day, we’re all the same,” he said. “You’re a person, I’m a person, we should be treated that way.”

Within the worldwide pie of major universal religions, Christianity makes up 33 percent, Islam makes up 22.5 percent, Hinduism makes up 13.6 percent, Buddhism makes up 6.7 percent and Judaism makes up .3 percent according to Britanica.com, an online encyclopedia. Although these international numbers do not depict the personal lives committed to a certain belief system, through cultural pressures based on location and communal practices, religious pressures many times follow.

As December 24 comes around the corner, Christian churches see their pews fill, and a weeklong shift into religion many times takes place. This is just as prevalent as ever, even with different religions and in difference practices.

MacMcGolrick, a religious studies professor, is focused in teaching eastern religions and personally practices Buddhism.

“Religion and culture are extraordinarily important, and the religion and expression there is similar to the practice and expression here,” he said.

Through the hype that is depicted from the societal-made holiday, Black Friday, and onward through New Years, commercialism and present giving is ballooned into an economical monster. Yet, when pulled back inward it is structured on the practice of giving, a universal act.

“It’s just a matter of keeping it in perspective, I mean this was one holiday that used to mean something else. Its not a bad thing, I just think sometimes people mis-proioriatize what is going on,” Suer said.

Suer’s mother is Catholic, but feels her spirituality within herself, and it is not based on going to church or other societal practices.

“She feels so strongly that there is a god—she beliefs in that so strongly. I have a lot of respect for that,” Suer said. “She has just as strong of a faith as anyone else. I think that’s more the emphasis, the family sides of things.”

Although within the US, an attitude of acceptance is practiced and felt overall—the logistical side of a diverse practice of religions can ignite logistical problems for holiday practices.

Michael Lichtback, senior mechanical engineering major and president of the Jewish club, had an engineering exam on Hanukah last year, and regularly have important schoolwork on equally important religious holidays. His family is culturally and religiously Jewish.

“We just have to negotiate all kinds of things. It really bothered me when I was younger and classmates would say ‘Merry Christmas’ and I would respond with ‘you know everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas, right?’ I would be really bitter,” he said. “And now I’ve kind of come to peace and it doesn’t bother me as much because they have good intentions.”

Through the explorations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, which have been taken on at CSU with confidence, the spiritual journey seems universal.

“It’s not about this practice or that practice because someone said so,” Suer said. “It’s about what is most effective for the person. There might be really great facets of all religions for human beings living in all different ways, but it’s about incorporating and not divisive in any way.”

Through the search for fulfilling spirituality, exploring out of ones culture can be revealing, whether to commit yourself to the roots personally, or to grow within a practice that has been within oneself all along.

“I think there’s a negative mentality where we need to appease everyone,” Lichtback said. “There’s this binary idea where you’re either religious or not. I think of it as more of a continuum where you can just do whatever you want.”

And for some, a path for change motivates pride in religion. Through the world of college, a melting pot of religions, ideas, ages, life stages and places are mixed together. With acceptance as a goal, there is always progress to be made.

“In the last 10 years there been a big bad idea about Islam. I know there are bad Muslims, but there are a lot of good ones,” Alotaibi said. “I think it is kind of going away, I am very grateful for that. You never know what a person is or who people are unless you go and talk to them. That’s the thing I want to bring to this conversation.”

In a diverse world full of seven billion unique and differing personalities, minds, soul and hearts, just as many belief systems manifest themselves. What is key is that the importance of our colorful world is never lost.

“I am learning diversity and actually when I get back to my country I will try to change the point of view,” Alotaibi said.

DIY edible holiday gifts

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on DIY edible holiday gifts
Dec 012012
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” like the taste of a homemade treat. For a simple (but delicious) gift or party platter, try these recipes.

Hot Cocoa Mix

Give adorable little gifts people can enjoy like Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar. Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients:

2/3 cup cocoa powder

2 cups sugar

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)

1 cup marshmallows

 

Suggestions:

Layer these into a decorated jar for a perfectly festive gift. When ready to use, the recipient can separate out the marshmallows, mix the cocoa, sugar and cinnamon together, and add two or three tablespoons to a cup of hot water or milk (possibly with a little eggnog). Add marshmallows to preference.

 

What a cheap and easy gift to give, homemade chocolate turtles are everyones favorite! Photo by Michaela Koretko

Ingredients :

2 dozen candy caramels

2 dozen pretzels

1 23 oz. bag of chocolate chips

2 dozen pecan halves (optional)

 

 

Directions: Put the pretzels out on a microwave-safe plate. Unwrap the caramels and place one on each pretzel.  Microwave the caramel-pretzel plate for 30-60 seconds, until the caramels start to get soft. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (following the instructions on the bag). Put a spoonful of melted chocolate on each  caramel-pretzel. If desired, press a pecan half onto each one. Put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Package them nicely and give them as a gift, or put them on a plate and enjoy!

 

Rice Krispie Wreaths

Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies Treats (Photo credit: stickyii)

Ingredients:

6 cups Rice Krispie cereal

4 cups mini marshmallows

3 tbsp. butter

3  drops green food dye

red-hot decorating candies

 

Directions: Melt the marshmallows and butter in a large bowl by microwaving and stirring the mixture in 20 second intervals. When melted, stir in the food dye. Stir in the rice cereal. Spoon onto wax paper and make into wreath (donut) shape. Add red-hot decorating candies. Allow to cool and harden, then package or serve.

Hard candy for the holidays

 The Munchies, The Well  Comments Off on Hard candy for the holidays
Nov 302012
 

Author: Victoria Hawn

Hard candy. Photo by Tori Hawn.

Hard candy. Photo by Tori Hawn.

In addition to the plethora of baked goods during the holiday season, hard candy is becoming increasingly popular.

During this family-oriented part of year, it is only appropriate to share a family recipe.  It is one that has been passed down generationally, and given out to neighbors to share the seasonal togetherness.

The recipe goes as follows:

 

Ingredients:

Powdered sugar

3 cups of sugar

1 cup of Karo Light Corn Syrup

1 cup  of water

1 teaspoon of desired Lorann Flavoring oil with desired food coloring

 

Directions:

  1. Pour powdered sugar into cooking sheet.
  2. Mix sugar, corn syrup, and water into large heavy saucepan.
  3. Boil the mixture in the sauce pan, without stirring, until temperature reaches 310 degrees Fahrenheit or until drops of syrup form hard and brittle threads in cold water.
  4. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Stir in flavoring oil and food coloring to match flavor.  For example, if you use spearmint flavoring, you might want to use green food coloring to distinguish flavors.
  6. Pour onto cooking sheet with powdered sugar on it in thin lines.
  7. Let cool and break into pieces.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

 

Ten holiday gifts under $10

 Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Ten holiday gifts under $10
Nov 222012
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Are you having trouble finding the perfect holiday gift on a college budget? Are you looking for gifts for roommates and friends? Here are ten gifts each under $10 that are sure to crack a smile without breaking the bank:

These bracelets are available at outdoor stores and hobby shops.

These survivor bracelets are available at outdoor stores and hobby shops.

1) A mug and a box of tea or cocoa is a classic comfort of the season.

2) A scarf is sure to warm anyone’s season. Nobody ever has enough scarves!

3) A warm pair of socks and a deck of cards is a good way to remind someone to take a holiday break.

4) A set of bangles or a survivor bracelet can be suited to the fashion forward or the practical person.

5) A memo board, perhaps with its first memorable moment tacked on, is the gift for someone who has everything else!

6) A stationary set, whether prepackaged or personally assembled is a holiday reminder to keep in touch.  

7) A desk calendar will certainly inspire hope or laughs on New Year’s and beyond.

For that friend who teases you, and then turns sweet.

9) A coupon for an “I’ll buy” coffee date is the gift for that person you wish you could simply give some time.

10) A chocolate bar and a heartfelt note or letter— because sometimes, it truly is the thought that counts.

 

Holiday giving without all the spending

 Goods & Gear, The Well  Comments Off on Holiday giving without all the spending
Nov 202012
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

The holiday season is here. Snow is on the ground, the lights are hung in Old Town and the careful calculations of your bank account commence. If snow or lights is not your thing, there is not much you can do to avoid them. Pinterest can help ease your bank account though.

Pinterest, a blog-like website with countless creative ideas, is a hub for do-it-yourself projects. Here are five easy and affordable do-it-yourself gift ideas from this site that will give you extra hot chocolate money.

Rein-beer

For this you get a six-pack of beer, or any other drink of your choosing, and decorate each beverage with pipe cleaners, googly eyes and a little nose. In the end, the six-pack will look like a gang of reindeer. According to Wilbur’s, the average six-pack is around ­­$9.99 and the crafty items are all available at Dollar Tree, making this an affordable gift costing you ­$12.99.

Manicure in a Jar

This gift needs a mason jar, which Walmart has available for $6.97; nail polish, $3.97 at Walmart; nail polish remover, $2.96 at Walmart; and a manicure set from the Dollar Tree. Arrange these items in the mason jar in a manner of your choosing and decorate. The nail polish color and your choice of decorations allow you to specialize this to your loved ones’ tastes.  Your complete gift totals to $14.90.

Nutella Cookies

All you need to make these cookies is a cup of Nutella, one whole egg and one cup of flour.  Combine these ingredients and bake at 350 degrees for six to eight minutes. A 26.5 oz. jar of Nutella is available at Walmart for $6.56, making this a very affordable gift idea.

Painted Wine Bottles

For the craftier, there is the painted wine bottle gift. You will need empty wine bottles (or an empty bottle of some kind) and chalkboard paint, available at Michael’s from $1.99 to $5.99. Paint the bottles with the chalkboard paint and wait to dry. Gift with chalk and your loved one will have a new kind of message board.

Hot Chocolate and Bailey’s

This gives a twist to the traditional holiday drink. Pair hot chocolate with a shooter of Bailey’s for $2.99 at Wilbur’s. You can use store bought hot chocolate for anywhere from $1.28 to $7.71 at Walmart or you can look up your own recipe. With hot chocolate from the store, this present could cost as little as $4.27. There are limitless ways to package this.

These are just a few ideas that have been posted on Pinterest for the holidays.  Liana Guerin, a freshman apparel and merchandising major, enjoys Pinterest because of its variety.

“It gives me ideas for my hair and clothes, but also things you normally wouldn’t look up,” Guerin said. “Like recipes and gift ideas. “[I am on Pinterest] about an hour a day.”

Too School for Cool: Regifting without the regret

 Blogs, The Well, Too School for Cool  Comments Off on Too School for Cool: Regifting without the regret
Nov 162012
 

Author: Allison LeCain

We college students are hard to shop for. Usually I end of getting rolls of cash instead of tangible items for holidays, which is great. Other times I receive items that I would rather live without, such as girly smelling lotion, my fifteenth pair of sunglasses, or jewelry that is not my style.

Since it’s uncommon for gifts to come with receipts, these presents get thrown into my closet and forgotten about until moving day. Seems like a waste, but fear not, for there’s a solution.

Christmas gifts.

Christmas gifts. (Photo credit Wikipedia)

No one wants to turn into a hoarder and the holidays can be a stressful time of spending money. You can eliminate both these fears by regifting unwanted presents from years past.

For example, in the case of the girly smelling lotion I received to my dismay, I prefer softer, fresh scents, like oatmeal and vanilla. I recall that my roommate loves floral scents, so the lotion would be a perfect thing to regift to her this holiday season.

One of the keys to regifting is that you should still put as much thoughtfulness in it as you would if you were buying something new. If you got a punk CD you dislike for your birthday, don’t give it to your friend who also hates punk music. This is inconsiderate and doesn’t show how well you know them as a friend.

Also, avoid regifting a present back to the person who gave it to you in the first place, unless you’re prepared to pull-off the old “well I liked it so much that I thought I’d get you one too!” No one likes a liar. Keep it clean, people.

When regifting, be sure to consider the item’s condition. Don’t regift something that has been used or has missing parts. The gift receiver will know it’s been used and won’t appreciate your gesture.

While regifting is a perfectly practical way to ‘shop’ for the holiday season, it is better not to tell people when you are regifting to them. In addition, don’t tell the person who originally bought the item for you that you gave it to someone else. No hard feelings are necessary in this practice.

If you own something that you don’t need that doesn’t qualify for regifting, remember that there are homeless shelters and donation spots in town that would be more than happy to receive gently used items, especially this time of year. So either way, the joy of giving is always an option.

Souled Out: Lets get weird, embrace your inner Gaga

 Blogs, Souled Out, The Well  Comments Off on Souled Out: Lets get weird, embrace your inner Gaga
Nov 092012
 

Author: Cassandra Whelihan

Creativity is at the heart of snow sports. Its common knowledge that making it down the mountain in a unique manner gets you major bonus points.

The mountains are home to all sorts of weird riding techniques where style and flare are highly encouraged.

Having worked at a resort, I’ve witnessed people of all types in costumes embracing their inner Gaga on the slopes. Everything from bunnies and intense camouflage to Pocahontas, you name it; I’ve probably witnessed it.

Yes, I have even watched a bride and groom take their first shred as a married couple decked out in wedding attire with their camera crew ensue.

It must be something in the air, but people are definitely letting their freak flags fly high.

Maybe the mountains help reawaken forgotten dreams; Halloween-like dreams of course. Where even the most established, professional people can get down with their free-spirited side.

Regardless of the reasons, I support these innovative peoples ability to laugh at life and more importantly, themselves.

It sure made my job enjoyable and reinforced my enthusiasm for the human spirit.

So this one is for all you love-lifers and snow-goers out there. Keep it weird ya’ll!