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Snapshots: gambling, reading break, vinyl, and expectations

Curtailed commentary on current conditions on gambling, reading break, vinyl, and expectations.



Print Edition: February 4, 2015

Illustrations by Anthony Biondi

Illustration: Eugene Kulaga

I like to gamble

I like gambling. It’s a simple enough form of entertainment that it can happen anywhere and can be about anything. As I sit here and write this, I’m betting $1.50 on the Super Bowl that could make me $12, and making another bet that could see a payout of $170 for only putting up $8.50. But here’s the thing: I like to bet low and usually not for a lot of money. It just provides simple entertainment value while I’m with friends.

Back in the day, I used to have poker games every Friday night. Those went on for a number of years but have petered out in the last few. The buy-in was only $10, but again, hanging out with friends and trying to beat them was the really enjoyable part of the experience.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is gambling is really fun, as long as you don’t put too much on the line and the real entertainment is in the social aspect.



Illustration: Eugene Kulaga

Forget the books this reading break

February has arrived, and with it the weight of first papers and projects. The miserable damp promises months of grey and cold; the novelty of your winter-wear has long since gone; and the sunless sky subtly impinges on your mood. Seasonal affective disorder (aptly acronymed “SAD”) reigns.

All this accumulates and despair encroaches — but never fear! Reading week is nearly upon us. The chance to catch up on coffee dates and Oscar winners we missed has arrived. While reading week is named as a plea to actually do some schoolwork, its purpose and mid-winter placement is a little more sinister than that. Reading week is traditionally a suicide prevention week for students plagued with stress, anxiety, and seasonal depression.

So my advice? Forget the schoolwork. Do stuff that makes you happy. Take a walk outside, get some sunshine if you can, drink Bailey’s and hot chocolate, and catch up on sleep. In between, educate yourself on the warning signs of suicide.

Your schoolwork will be waiting for you when you get back, but your mental well-being needs your attention right now.



Illustration: Brittany Cardinal

Vinyl un-victorious?

So, the hipster movement has been returning to vinyl and record players. I keep hearing, “The sound is better!” or, “It has a more natural sound!” or, “Vinyl is the way human ears were meant to hear sound!” But is it really? I always thought it was just another one of those “vintage” trends that would die out as the hipster movement did, but it seems it hasn’t. More and more bands are releasing their stuff on vinyl and records can now be purchased at Walmart, Target (for a while), and Best Buy. Does this mean that there is some merit to it all? I’ve listened to both vinyl and digital music, and while it could be argued that vinyl has a more “natural” sound, is it really worth going through the trouble for it? Vinyl has good reason for making a moderate comeback outside of hipsterdom, but I can promise you it won’t ever become mainstream again.



Illustration: Shyanne Schedel

Unrealistic expectations

We all graduate high school thinking we’ll know exactly what we’ll be doing for the rest of our lives. But then university walks into our lives and suddenly there are so many possibilities. They’re endless! We can actually do anything we want. Which makes everything that much harder, because we don’t know what we’ll be good at, what we’ll have money to study, where we want to live, or if we can even see ourselves in that career path for the rest of our lives. Why are we expected to know what we want to do for the next 60 years when we don’t even know what we want to order at a restaurant? It’s unfair for all those expectations to be piled on our shoulders. Give us a free trial run so we can test the product before committing to it for life.


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