Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

I went to my Lutheran Church today on November 1- All Saints Day . There was no mention of Martin Luther or The Reformation, nor any allusion to the fact that it was even All Saints Day. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed given that it is one of the consummate holidays on our church calendar. Here's one of my favorite hymns to help with the coping.

"For All the Saints"

1. For all the saints, who from their labours rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
2. Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
3. For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!
4. For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
5. For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
6. O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
7. O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
8. And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
9. The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!
10. But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

11. From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Be back with some actual writing soon! Keep checking. I have a feeling we're going to be seeing much more frequent posting.

Friday, October 24, 2008

808s and Heartbreak

Okay, here is another new post. It is once again a recycled paper from my writing class. Its a so-so essay that I wrote last night from the hours of 2-6:17 a.m. I have now been up for the past twenty-seven hours straight. The paper is an analytical essay in which you ask yourself a question, then proceed to answer it. I asked how much my Beanie Babies were worth. Since Wikipedia was expelled as a formidable source, understandably so, nevertheless it was difficult to find legitimate information on my topic. So I basically, just went on Ebay and found one stat. You may as well call me Tony Reali. Anyway, here it goes, once again, it's mediocre.

Now that it’s 2008, the 90s satellite should detach itself from the present and become its own decade in history. New Kids on the Block had a bunch of hits, Nancy Kerrigan was struck, Michael Johnson struck gold in Atlanta and on his feet, and as far as fidelity, everyone’s favorite Arkansan simply struck out. These events, along with some of the most watched, recorded, or followed happenings in history took place in the 90s. But nothing took the spotlight more than the plush critters we all used to and still probably have: Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies, remembered for their vestigial, yet wholly important heart-shaped tags, cuddly frames, and sweeping, universal appeal captivated an adolescent generation, and ultimately translated into parents spending incredulous amounts of money to buy their child plush morsels of satisfaction. But like the 90s staple VH1 inquires— “Where are they now?” Consumers who bought innumerable amounts of Beanie Babies have nothing left to show for their fanaticism but useless novelties, and are left to inquisitively wonder: “How much are my Beanie Babies worth?”

Launched in 1993, Beanie Babies made it big by staying small. Their creator, Ty Warner used several marketing strategies for this success; namely, keeping the Beanie Babies out of monopolized toy stores. Rather they were sold for less than $10 in specialty gift shops. In the early years, they went highly unnoticed with only nine models, but popularity heightened quickly. They flew under the radar, a tactic that ultimately ushered in success. They were more falsetto than fad. With cheap prices, market demand began to increase, and Ty Warner pulled the stuffed animals off the shelf faster than Vanilla Ice went platinum. Warner retired them, only to mass produce many more. In this cyclical fashion, Beanie Babies became increasingly popular, and by Christmas of 1995 these basic toys became a cultural phenomenon (Dyson).

Everyone wanted in. The menagerie of Beanie Babies increased from the Original Nine to over forty in a year. (Dyson). First Edition, became Second Edition, which became Special Edition, and of course, you always needed mint condition. Special interest Beanie Babies were incorporated: Princess Diana, Jerry Garcia, the Easter Bunny— all were immortalized in stuffed animal history. Naturally, McDonald’s shrewd eye for greasy consumerism even pandered the exploitation. Impressible parents drove to every McDonald’s in the city to purchase a happy meal with the special edition “Teenie Beenies” for an additional $1.99 (Dyson). These plastic-wrapped miniatures became all the rage just as quickly as their larger counterparts. Raking in $250 million in 2006 alone, needless to say, Ty Warner controlled the toy market.

The unforeseen Beanie Baby craze rocked the nation, but the romp fizzled after roughly six years when, in 1999, Ty Warner released a bear called “The End” signaling the end of an era (Dyson). Later, new collections were developed but maniacal craze was no longer existent. Incessant amounts of money spent on these toys seemed to have gone to waste. In fact, many people bought them solely as prospectors attempting to profit off of them as future collector items. Unfortunately for them, acute consequences were waiting on the other side of the millennium.

In attempts to unload some of their Beanie Babies, many people list them at online auction sites such as Ebay or Amazon. Most remain unsold. If the stuffed animals are bought, it is usually at minimal price. Going rates for mint condition Beanie Babies barely top $2, if they are even sold, a mere fraction of the initial investment (“Beanie Babies”). One of these toys with a bent or missing tag won’t even be marketable. Other collectors try to package their sets, but still can barely get more than $20 for multiple models (“Beanie Babies”). Clearly, they are as worthless as those Pokemon cards gathering dust in the drawer. Most Beanie Babies are nothing more than a nose diving fad.

Certain, rare models are worth money though. In the 90s, the average consumer may have unknowingly purchased a defected toy or one of the original editions. Randomly, the consumer may have paid a small price for a grand fortune. High demand was created for Princess Diana Bear with the wrong pellets inside, and for wrongly colored Chocolate the Moose, but those gaffes were quickly ameliorated by Ty Warner Inc., making those models rare, yet valuable. Upper-echelon collectors will have to shell out $6,999.99 for #1 Bear (“Retired Beanie Babies”). Few Beanie Babies have this type of worth though, and a vast majority can be considered invaluable.

Merely orphaned on their shelves, Beanie Babies became somewhat of an afterthought. The craze was so grandiose, that inversely their importance rapidly declined when the fad cooled. It’s not that they are altogether worthless, but the high expectations for resale value and collector status remain unfulfilled. Those that spent hundreds of dollars collecting Beanie Babies have to wonder what they were thinking over ten years ago. Nevertheless, these cuddly creatures still carry great childhood memories. So look back with a fond mind and a pristine heart— after all, I know your Beanie Baby still has one.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Okay, this next post is to satisfy the easily disappointed critics. I wrote this paper for my writing class at U of M. The first half was crafted in a thirty-five minute time span between classes right before the rough draft was due- quite reminiscent of other stunts I've pulled in the past. It's called Home.

Living in a dormitory is quintessentially collegiate. Freedom from parental restriction, repulsive nearly artificial cafeteria food, and community showers are all part of the grimy college experience. I paid my dues. Dorm life was so difficult for me, but I persevered. The minutes passed by and by, drowned in the omnipresent hum of the air-conditioning wall unit. Faced with so much to do and an environment with no capacity to do it, I stared at the ceiling in disbelief. The arduous task of dorm life was the most taxing, everlasting experience ever. Then orientation was over. Two days in a dorm room were enough. I bought a condo.
In actuality it was my friend Chuck’s parents who paid for it, but I was certainly going to be living there. Faced with initial indecision when the offer was first submitted, my decision was finalized after the orientation mishap. My conversations about college were peppered with warnings about missing out on the dorm experience. Nevertheless the decision was made. One month into school, living in a condo has already paid generous dividends and is a highly recommendable alternative to a dormitory.
A condo away from the flippant rebellion of a dorm room is much more conducive to studying. Not only the quiet calm of a literal home, but also the general environment bolster the atmosphere. Studying at 70 Fahrenheit while sipping on Evian from the GE Profile refrigerator is simply more comfortable than craning your neck under your lofted bunk bed. The primary principle of college is education. The so-called dorm experience is everything pejorative to this finality. Admittedly, I will miss out on certain positives of the dorm such as meeting people and that phantom, enigmatic experience, but living in the condo promotes a much better atmosphere for the primary aspect of school- studying.
The overall cleanliness factor of the condo also far outweighs dorm room life. My daily routine is marked by zealous teeth brushing, hair washing, crevice cleansing, hand sanitizing hygiene. I would rather do so in my personal domain, not in an industrial sink cleaned every other Tuesday. At the dormitory, cafeteria dishes are carelessly tossed at workers. At least I carelessly wash them myself. Mom isn’t around anymore. So cleaning toilets and mopping the floor have become weekly routine. Perhaps easily overlooked, the condo actually promotes independence and self-sufficiency.
This independence translates to my new arena: the kitchen. Living in a condo rests the weight of cooking on my shoulders. While a meal plan is convenient and affordable, these cursory advantages are eclipsed when thoughtfully considered. You can’t put a price on health. The freshman fifteen isn’t reference to the number of credits you have. Cafeteria food is watered down fast food. Fried, battered, or greased- take your pick, because chances are that’s what is being served today. Living in the condo removes the comfort of walking to the cafeteria, and if this opportunity is properly utilized offers a great opportunity for health improvement. Cooking and cleaning do not loom over studies. In fact, they help with organization and balancing an already newfound busy schedule. Living in a condo grants true independent experience.
The innumerable warnings and criticisms about missing out on dorm life have rung empty. Understandably, going to college is a life-altering experience. Some students cope with instability and insecurity, while others thrive tremendously. Dorm experience universalizes the freshman condition. It is a common denominator, a rite of passage. College veterans never forget their first year in the dorms: where they met their new best friend or participated in endless shenanigans. This is the proverbial experience encompassing dorm room living. But these invaluable experiences are not exclusive to living in a dorm. Classrooms, football games, and weekend activities all provide enough opportunity for meeting friends. As a generality, dorm room living is a pitfall for the positive behaviors a condo exhibits. Academics as the cardinal concern are addressed much more easily in the private condo setting.
Living in a condo my freshman year has offered many unique experiences and avenues. Three weeks into the school year, positive aspects are already shining through the veil of doubt. The comfort of home, the independence of college, and the responsibility of both are all encompassed into condo life. Living in a condo is by no means an elitist measure or a vain attempt at the good life. It is simply an opportunity taken advantage of. My condo is a renowned library, a hot dance floor, a chic coffee spot, a sophisticated Manhattan loft, it’s more than quintessential, it’s home.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse

Lutheran High North has issued thousands of detentions in my four year stint, a total of zero belonging to me. Sure I've received the occasional tardy, even had to stay after lunch to clean up trash, but I have never been kicked out of class. Until today. Today, I was ousted. Don't have too much to say about the extraction other than it was unwarranted. It was by an unnamed teacher, for what seemed to be an unnamed reason. Further details are unnecessary, but let's be honest, that just doesn't happen. My record was nearly tainted, but remains uncompromised. I wonder what I will do next to fuel this life of crime. Hopefully I don't end up like Cory Worthington, party liaison.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fool's Gold

Ross Perot in '92, USA Men's Basketball in Athens, MJ in the '84 Draft. An unfortunate thread forever intertwines these well-remembered occasions. 3. Third place; bronze medal; never be as good as some guy named Sam Bowie.

And now I am also forever associated.

Wednesday night the Lutheran High North Badminton syndicate witnessed the inaugural Single's Tournament. Single elimination, winner-take-all battle of agility mixed with power to crown the badminton king, and I was feeling golden. No one made claim to their prowess, so I found it necessary to guarantee: The 'Ship. I had all the confidence I need, and admittedly so, not enough game.

Early round opponents Megan Gentile and Cameron Sylvester were flimsy opponents and easy victories, scores 15-6 and 15-1 respectively. A well-hyped, and predicted match against Kyle Sylvester didn't live up to the hype. 15-6 again was the final score. I had reached the elusive Final Four and was set to play lefty, DJ Hagen. It was not pretty. DJ quickly gained a 4-0 lead and playing catch-up isn't easy is this game of momentum. He ran over me, and steamrolled his way past Andrew Siekmann, to become the Champion. Being then pushed into the third place game was a joke for me. I had lost the ultimate goal and then casually won the third place match, and all I got was a lousy cross country trophy. Pool B mind you.

The story doesn't end here however. Last night began pool play of doubles, and I was playing single. Apparently, the Lutheran High North Handbook has stringent policy barring participation for an hour and a half a week for one lousy grade. So, I was left partnerless. I understand, but the school board doesn't have to play Big Murawski or feel the wrath of his bullseye. I'll have to speak with my connect to make some threats, some Arab I know, Nabila.

Last night I rebounded, sortof, by going 2-1, losing only to Team Bullseye in a 15-13 run in which, Mr. Wesley stated: "That was the closest match we've had all year." A bit maligned, I am deteremined to keep the record perfect and make it to Tournament time, a top seed. Once again, I will guarantee: The 'Ship.

So third place didn't do much in the beginning, but as far as I know Ross Perot is currently worth 4.4 Billion, USA basketball claimed Gold in Sydeny, and MJ is the best player in basketball history: The outlook is very promising, see you all at tournament time.


due to my lack of partner, I am currently courting offers for a talented player ready to join the Silver Snakes. Let me know. I hear faculty are allowed to play. Nah, I know that would never work out, I said talented.
also, stay tuned for more posts, they will be coming soon, and i mean very soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's Too Late to Apologize

I will not feign this entry as an actual post; it clearly does not qualify. It is merely an apology and a vow. It has been a long while since the last post, for which I am regretful. Consequently, I am aware that there are still a few dedicated fans left. Fear not! I have not forgotten about you. Time can only tell, but believe that I will not do anything else until I make an entry into this blog. Oh, except take time out of blogging to study for Dumar's Duo: Calculus and Honors Physics tests on the same day, which isn't so bad when compared to a certain looming Hamlet oppportunity, as any reasonable person can
assume is much more important than any other undertaking.
And the picture, well it was either that or Hova.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Merriam-Webster would seem to dictate...

Andrew Fluegge \and-roo, fleh-gee\ n Of Philip and Nabila Fluegge 1989
An aspring applicant, blossoming blogger, and conspiring essayist, Andrew Fluegge can be seen walking briskly through the hallways of Lutheran High North; galloping at times to ensure his clean tardy record. He is always seen toting an abnormal quantity of textbooks around, fumbling with his car keys, as a befuddled look overtakes his face confused as to why his peers are not doing the same. At a glance he seems unorganized and scatterbrained, but a toothy grin gleams on his face as he realizes, it’s not so bad being different. His knack for conversation comes from his mother; his yearn for knowledge of the niceties of this world from his father. He knew the States and Capitals at three and is fluent in the ’89 Pistons and ’72 Knicks, Bill Bradley is his favorite: Rhodes Scholar and Renaissance man, the model citizen. The 36 has eluded him, as have the fleeting 1000 lb. Club hopes. Three sisters prepare him for the perils of women. Enough attitude is supplied by any of the three; the sum is almost unbearable. Fret not; he is not stifled by their selfish attempts. YooHoo and Reese’s Puffs are not Andrew’s Breakfast of Champions, they are his lunch and dinner as well.
Syn see: A Flu, apf4, Money
A Flu- In the vernacular of his cronies, an unoriginal name for an original character. A well-received byproduct of the name shortening craze that has engulfed Lutheran High North; A Flu can be seen chatting with chums and conversing with educators in the classroom or on extracurricular turf. A weekend warrior, he enjoys College GameDay, Clive Staples Lewis, and calculating molar heats of formation.

apf4- Affectionately known to those on Comcast, YouTube, Blogspot, and StubHub, apf4 is not just a User ID, but a personality. Adamant readers daily peruse his discourse on all
information pertinent to high school life. He has been known to generate a profit or two, selling tickets to uneducated consumers who offer unscrupulous amounts of money just to see middle-aged, former entertainers make fools of themselves in the latest tour of Dancing With the Stars, or to take Free Enterprise’s Dream Jr. to see Finding Nemo on Ice.
Money: An apparent appraisal of athletic prowess, Money continues to live up to his name; as long as the football is not thrown to him. The dedication in the weight room, winning sprints in practice, and even the starting spot are indicators. Just don’t throw Money the ball when he is wide open and it’s raining, chances are you’ll come up just short. In fact, the term hasn’t been recently circulated.

Conventional or quintessential? Both. Neither.