Articles by " Adam"
20 May
2015

KU Book Club Prep: A P.G. Wodehouse Primer!

wodehouseblog

I can hear it from here!  All of you out there say­ing, “My good­ness, Adam, there are so many P.G. Wode­house books at KU, how did you pick just one to read for book club?!  And, more impor­tant­ly, how should I choose some of them to read this sum­mer, since they are great for sum­mer read­ing and are the fun­ni­est books ever?!”  First­ly, let me say that you are very ver­bose.

Sec­ond­ly, yes, it can be dif­fi­cult to know where to begin with Wode­house (that’s wood-house, p.s., not woad-house) but the truth is that you can start any­where you like.  Wodehouse’s books are usu­al­ly short sto­ry col­lec­tions and while there are over-arch­ing plot lines, he’s very good at fill­ing his read­ers in on what they need to know for the present moment.  Most of the Wode­house books we car­ry (he wrote over 100!) come from two main sto­ry­li­nes, Jeeves and Woost­er and Bland­ings Castle.

Jeeves and Woost­er is about wealthy and scat­ter­brained Bertie Woost­er, the unfor­tu­nate sit­u­a­tions he and his friends get into, and how his inge­nious valet, Jeeves, extri­cates him from them.  If you’re a stick­ler for chronol­o­gy, the first three books pub­lished were My Man Jeeves in 1919, The Inim­itable Jeeves in 1923, and Car­ry On, Jeeves in 1925.  Car­ry On, Jeeves con­tains the sto­ry Jeeves Takes Charge which is about how Jeeves came to work for Bertie in the first place, so from a nar­ra­tive per­spec­tive, it’s a good place to start and that’s why we chose it from the oth­ers for a book club selec­tion.  Oth­er great J&W books include Right Ho, Jeeves and Mat­ing Sea­son.

Bland­ings Castle is con­cerned with Lord Emsworth and the res­i­dents of Bland­ings Castle, who also get them­selves into unfor­tu­nate and hilar­i­ous sit­u­a­tions.  The first BC book is Some­thing Fresh (1915), but we rec­om­mend start­ing with Heavy Weath­er or Lord Emsworth and Oth­ers.  One of Wodehouse’s most beloved char­ac­ters is Psmith (the P is silent, as in pshrimp) and he is part of the BC series.  His first book is Psmith in the City, but we love Leave it to Psmith the best.

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15 May
2015

Raison d’etre: An Acknowledgement

Happy birthday to all and to all a good night!

Hap­py birth­day to all and to all a good night!

We all love Kards Unlim­it­ed.  I do.  I know you do.  Pret­ty much every­one who expe­ri­ences us loves us.  Because, let’s not mince words, the store rocks.  It’s the best place to be.  Peri­od.  So, on her birth­day, I want to thank (blame?) the par­ty respon­si­ble, our boss, Kris­ten Ker­sh­n­er.

Work­ing at KU attracts a cer­tain type of per­son.  We don’t take our­selves too seri­ous­ly.  We’re fun-lov­ing.  We’re smart.  We rel­ish a good book (and some bad books.)  We also rel­ish cham­pag­ne (with one or two notable excep­tions.)  To vary­ing degrees we exhibit a charm­ing blend of sweet and tart.  And we are fam­i­ly.  I don’t know where I’ll be in twen­ty (or even ten or even five) years, but if or when my time at KU is done, I know that I will nev­er for­get it.  I know that every job I ever have will be mea­sured again­st my time here and prob­a­bly found want­i­ng in at least one aspect.  All of the­se are a reflec­tion of Kris­ten.

I’m going to stop writ­ing now in favor of going in to work ear­ly to hang out with the birth­day girl a bit.  Hap­py birth­day, Lady.  Many hap­py returns.  And thank you for every­thing.

 

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4 May
2015

No, I didn’t do my homework. But yes, I love learning: A Not So Good Student’s Perspective on Teacher Appreciation Week

Are you freaking kidding me.

Are you freak­ing kid­ding me.

I’ll be frank with you guys.  Some­times I was not a very good stu­dent.  Oh, I was clev­er enough, but I fre­quent­ly didn’t pay the most atten­tion and even more fre­quent­ly just straight up ignored work that I didn’t want to do.  Despite the­se fail­ings, I did rel­a­tive­ly well in school.  Nor­mal­ly this is where I’d make a joke about how it was def­i­nite­ly because I’m so freak­ing bril­liant.  But that is decid­ed­ly false.  At best, it’s an incom­plete and over­ly sim­pli­fied expla­na­tion.  The real rea­son, or the lion’s share of the rea­son, was that I had (by and large) excel­lent teach­ers.

For exam­ple, when I start­ed fourth grade, I switched from a pub­lic school where I was basi­cal­ly just coast­ing by to a pri­vate (Catholic) school where I actu­al­ly had to do things like pay atten­tion and turn in home­work.  As you might expect, that was not a grace­ful tran­si­tion for me.  I had one teacher in par­tic­u­lar whose home­work I didn’t do a lot of the time and who gave me deten­tion sev­er­al times because of it.  Need­less to say, she wasn’t my favorite per­son just then.  She taught sci­ence and while I tend to be more of a lan­guage-ori­ent­ed, lib­er­al arts type, sur­pris­ing­ly she made me love what she taught.  I had her for home room the next year and she became one of my all-time favorite teach­ers.

Seriously, honk.

Seri­ous­ly, honk.

Anoth­er exam­ple: my junior year in high school I had a teacher for Eng­lish who expect­ed a lot of us.  And by that I mean she expect­ed us to do home­work and turn it in on time.  Prefer­ably hav­ing fol­lowed her instruc­tions with regard to length and con­tent.  Tor­ture.  Even by eleven­th grade I had not yet mas­tered home­work doing and I didn’t do par­tic­u­lar­ly well in her class because of it.  Nev­er­the­less, the end of the year came and I dis­cov­ered that not only had she real­ly helped my writ­ing skills, her class had changed from a time of day that I had dread­ed to one of the best.

My point is that even kids who do well in school don’t always make their teach­ers’ jobs/lives easy.  And even when the stu­dents do make their teach­ers’ lives easy, teach­ers do a ton of home­work of their own.  It’s com­mon knowl­edge that teach­ers work much longer hours than kids are in school.  And that they pay for a ton of their class­room mate­ri­als out of pock­et with lit­tle or no reim­burse­ment.  (My sis­ter, who teach­es first grade, told me the oth­er day that the total amount she can claim on her tax­es for class­room sup­plies is $250.  I.e. what she spends in about 2 months, max.)

All this is to try and explain to you why Teacher Appre­ci­a­tion Week (May 4th through May 8th this year) is impor­tant to me.  Teach­ers make up a sur­pris­ing­ly high per­cent­age of peo­ple who are per­son­al­ly impor­tant to me, but even if you don’t know any teach­ers in a non-pro­fes­sion­al set­ting, remem­ber that at least one teacher had an impact on your life.  More than like­ly, a bunch of teach­ers spent more time and effort on you than you know.  So if you have the chance, try to show some appre­ci­a­tion this week.  And, real­ly, always.

To all my teachers, thank you.

To all my teach­ers, thank you.

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3 May
2015

Get excited, May is Get Caught Reading Month!

So here at Kards Unlim­it­ed, we love books.  We real­ly can’t stress that enough.  I can’t speak for every­one, but books are the air I breathe.  Books make con­scious­ness worth­while.  Books, in short, are life.

'Nuff said.

Nuff said.

Get Caught Read­ing Mon­th is part of the Get Caught Read­ing ini­tia­tive by the Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Pub­lish­ers.  It encour­ages peo­ple of all ages (but, I think, most­ly kids) to remem­ber how much fun it is to read.  Now, let me just add this: Read­ing is fun.  It’s one of the most fun things a per­son can do.  But (so so so much) more impor­tant­ly, read­ing is good for you.  In the same way that eat­ing cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles and exer­cis­ing reg­u­lar­ly are good for you, so too is read­ing.  But where­as broc­coli and marathons are good for your phys­i­cal self, read­ing nour­ish­es your mind; it tones and strength­ens your soul.

Yes, it may some­times be incon­ve­nient.  Of course it is fre­quent­ly chal­leng­ing (both chal­leng­ing to the mind and chal­leng­ing sim­ply to find a time and place.)  But read­ing is worth it.

So whether you’re sup­posed to be doing math home­work, doing your job, doing the dish­es, doing what­ev­er, don’t be afraid to pick up a book and Get Caught Read­ing!  A lit­tle sub­ver­sion for the sake of men­tal health nev­er hurt any­body!

Look at this subversive bro.

Look at this sub­ver­sive bro.

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1 May
2015

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: May!

This is what comes of all those April showers.  Worth it.

This is what comes of all those April show­ers. Worth it.

Hur­ray!  It’s May!  May is real­ly great, you guys.  Everything’s all spring-y, the flow­ers are out in force, the out­doors are con­stant­ly beck­on­ing.  Basi­cal­ly it rocks.  KU has every­thing you need to make your spring (and sum­mer!) awe­some, so come on down and stock up on fun! Click READ MORE to find out what all is hap­pen­ing in the wide world this mon­th!

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9 Apr
2015

Forget everything you ever thought you knew about competitions, because you never knew what you were missing.

For­tu­nate­ly, I am here to tell you all about it.  First and very much fore­most, there is such a thing in the world as the Amer­i­can Pie Coun­cil.  Yeah.  Just let that sink in for a min­ute.  Are you imag­in­ing the best gov­ern­ing body of any orga­ni­za­tion in the his­to­ry of the uni­verse?  Some­thing like the White Coun­cil of Deli­cious­ness?  Yes.  You are.

Is there a more beautiful sentence in English than "Pie buffet opens at 11 a.m.?"  I think not. I literally have tears in my eyes right now from the beauty.

Is there a more beau­ti­ful sen­tence in Eng­lish than “Pie buf­fet opens at 11 a.m.?” I think not. I lit­er­al­ly have tears in my eyes right now from the beau­ty.

And the Amer­i­can Pie Coun­cil holds, every year since 1995, the Nation­al Pie Cham­pi­onships!  Yes!  Lit­er­al­ly the best com­pe­ti­tion in the his­to­ry of the world!  The Tro­jan War?  Please!  The Sum­mer Olympics?  As if!  The Super­bowl?  Don’t make me laugh!  Nation­al.  Freak­ing.  Pie.  Cham­pi­onships.  That’s basi­cal­ly all you need to know.

If I pray to any higher power it's to the god of pie.

If I pray to any high­er pow­er it’s to the god of pie.

So the Nation­al Pie Cham­pi­onships are on April 10th and 11th in Orlan­do, FL this year.  If you need me dur­ing those days, that’s where I’ll be.

Because:

'Nuff said.

Nuff said.

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6 Apr
2015

Happy birthday, Paul Rudd! Appreciating a National treasure.

A good friend of mine once told me, “Paul Rudd is like ice cream.”  And he was not wrong.

Look at that freakin' beard.  Come on, man.

Look at that freak­in’ beard. Come on, man.

On April 6, 1969, one of the fun­ni­est men of our times was born.  And his name is Paul Rudd.  You prob­a­bly know him from his roles in movies like Anchor­man and The 40 Year-Old Vir­gin.  My per­son­al favorite of his is prob­a­bly Role Mod­els.  But here’s an inter­est­ing thing about Paul Rudd: (And actu­al­ly about the whole cohort to which he belongs) he’s lit­er­al­ly been in every­thing.  

Remem­ber Clue­less?  (Lol, of course you do.)  He was Josh!

Step-brother/bf?  The 90s were weird, you guys.

Step-brother/bf? The 90s were weird, you guys.

Leo DiCaprio may have had the star­ring role in Romeo + Juli­et, but Paul Rudd was there too!  As Paris!

Yes.  The man who brought you I Love You, Man is a Shakespearean actor.

Yes. The man who brought you I Love You, Man is a Shake­speare­an actor.

Wet Hot Amer­i­can Sum­mer?  Don’t pre­tend you don’t love it.  And Paul’s char­ac­ter Andy kind of makes the film.

Oh man, jean jackets, you guys.

Oh man, jean jack­ets, you guys.

Oh hey, remem­ber when he was Phoebe’s hus­band Mike on Friends?  Yeah, that’s real life.

That's a project, right there.  And her name is Phoebe Buffay.

That’s a project, right there. And her name is Phoe­be Buf­fay.

Basi­cal­ly what I’m say­ing is that if you like any­thing in tele­vi­sion or film from the past, like, 20+ years, Paul Rudd (appar­ent­ly) most like­ly had some­thing to do with it because he rocks.  Did I men­tion he’s also a writer/director/producer or that he’s host­ed SNL 3 times?  Well I was try­ing to avoid mak­ing people’s heads explode.  Oh well.

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31 Mar
2015

Kards Unlimited Calendar of Events: April!

Just like this.

Just like this.

Oh man, April.  You are so cute!  April is like, the cutest mon­th, you guys.  Because it’s all, like, try­ing to be so spring-y and ver­dant and flow­er­ful, but it’s most­ly just a ton of rain forever and ever.  Like, I just imag­ine April stand­ing some­where, drip­ping wet, like, “hey guys! What’s up?”  So cute.  ANY­way and as usu­al, there’s a ton of fun hap­pen­ing at KU this mon­th, so click READ MORE to find out what’s on our agen­da!

Read more »

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