Mark Sanders
April 1, 2007

I never considered myself susceptible to seasonal affect disorder. Normally the months switch, the weather changes and the days expand or contract with little more impact than an increase in my allergies. But for some reason this year has been different.

Alice Marie
May 14, 2006

The Scenario:

I am writing from the bowels of the Social & Behavioral Sciences Building, where I have barricaded myself into a third-floor office with the latest batch of take-home exams from students enrolled in my survey course, Europe, 1815-1914. Below I have provided 1) the question that served as the basis for these papers 2) excerpts from a particularly polemical paper slipped under my office door last night by a particularly disgruntled student and 3) the exact text of the ‘teacher evaluation’ stapled to the paper. I have also included a few observations that I’m trying to craft into coherent comments that I will pencil onto the final page. Any insights and observations are welcome from Gutsy readers, many of whom, I know, are very well-versed on the subject of modern art.

Guido Alvarez
March 12, 2006


Heather Manske
January 30, 2006

(Disclaimer: I wrote this on a much colder day, before my Internet went down... now that it's back up, of course it's 60 degrees in January in NYC. Oh well, I'm going to post it anyway.)

Living in the northeast gives me an opportunity to remember some of the most exciting winter days of my youth... snow days. Growing up in the deep south, these wondrous days occurred once a year, on average. And they always included a complicated dance... from the weather person braving the cold as he/she reported from main street, to the scroll across the bottom of the television screen announcing school closings, to the rush to buy bread and milk before the storm set in and in effect, stranded everyone at home. Snow days were a true event.

Guido Alvarez
January 28, 2006


I like playing with people's minds. I like observing their reactions to the stimuli I put before them. It makes me feel more alive. Lately a question hatched in my brain: How do you know when you are in love? Surprisingly, most people questioned came up with the answer: "I don't know, I have never been." Adult people, married people, unmarried people; it wouldn't matter. Most of them would admit to not having been in love. So I have begun a quest, to define what love is really about but since love, as we think we know it, has become so hard to define. I am looking for a definition of a new set of feelings that I call "loBe," as a chunk of rational decisions performed at the nerve and brain cells level. So, how do you know when you are in loBe?

Guido Alvarez
January 17, 2006


Guido Alvarez
December 10, 2005


Evan Mann
November 20, 2005

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7:00 PM, early winter, NYC

Guido Alvarez
November 11, 2005


Mark Sanders
November 8, 2005

I stand at the end of my street when a passenger jet screams by overhead. In a steep bank and at too low an altitude, the plane looks to be desperately trying to reach the end of the runway nearest my house. I cover my ears to prepare for certain impact. And with a gentle but swift motion the airplane's left wing tip makes contact with the ground before the rest of the fuselage crumples on top of it. In a much shorter distance than I than I expect the jet comes to a rest leaning against a tree. There is some smoke that turns into fire but otherwise little commotion. So I wait . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

David Steadman
October 23, 2005

Remember the father in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" who, as a dentist, deprives his son Charlie of all things sweet? Well, I've discovered the real deal: my wife's orthodontist. We received a strange letter from him last week; excerpts follow.

Mark Sanders
September 21, 2005

This question was posed to me years ago: when starting a new job, what three items should you bring? Keenly aware that first impressions last a potential lifetime, this is how I answered.

Evan Mann
September 9, 2005
Paul Pereira
August 31, 2005

In the original topic I think I confused people and didn't make my point clear. Here I will clear up everything by just asking a simple question.

Paul Pereira
August 25, 2005

Recently I have been discussing this, is having kids a selfish act?

Paul Pereira
August 14, 2005

In recent years religion has lost all its meaning for me. Through high-school I created my own type of religion. I believe in a being and not necessarily God, but a mix of a supreme being and science (I am NOT a scientologist). I practice it my own way that is not dictated by the Bible and in fact I do not believe in Old Testament or New Testament. Basically I don't believe in the Bible. Rather I think the Old and New Testaments are incredible stories that are fiction. They never happened and it is just used as a device to bring fear and conformity. I think of it as a story with a moral you would tell a child so he would do something nice instead of something bad.

Ann Whitehurst
August 8, 2005

I just returned from the post office to purchase some stamps for paying bills, even though we already have a couple sheets of the really cool Modern Architecture ones.

Does anyone else feel a sense of waste when using a "pretty" stamp to send off a bill? I feel much better about using the small stamps with boring designs for bill-paying as opposed to the really cool ones with big graphics depicting architecture or cartoon characters.

The utility companies, credit card companies, etc. just aren't worthy of the good stamps, even though they cost the same and are usually just as plentiful as the others.

Guido Alvarez
July 27, 2005


David Steadman
July 14, 2005

A band of volunteers self-dubbed as "Minutemen" is patrolling the border between the US and Mexico, reporting illegal immigrants to the authorities. To call these vigilantes "Minutemen" is a misnomer: their cause is far less noble.

Guido Alvarez
July 8, 2005


David Steadman
June 23, 2005

The year of 1997 was a pivotal time for me. Fresh out of undergraduate school and wielding a ratty portfolio of personal design projects, I travelled to London with the hope of finding a job in a design studio. I wound up perfecting the art of bagel baking, working long hours in the basement of a café in Covent Garden. But during my six months abroad, something else happened that touched me far beyond the art of bagel-making. I met one of my heros.

Paul Pereira
May 22, 2005

This story was originally going to be called, The Greatest Oppressor in the United States? It was just going to be me bashing television and television watching in general. But, then I though about it some more and realized the greatest oppressor is not television but the greatest oppressor is us. In oppressing ourselves I mean we are holding ourselves back from achieving things. Why haven't we had another "Age of Enlightenment" since the eighteenth century? Maybe it's just me, but I haven't heard or seen any new ideas, new approaches or great revolutions. It's easy to blame an inanimate object for these problems and not blame ourselves. But we make these decisions, we all make choices. We have all these freedoms and seem just to waste them.

Evan Mann
May 19, 2005


Alice Marie
May 15, 2005

In Confessions of an Opium Eater (1821), a book in which he detailed his slow descent into a tortured state of insatiability and endless agitation, Thomas de Quincy proffered an apology for "breaking through that delicate and honorable reserve, which, for the most part, restrains us from the public exposure of our own errors and infirmities." There is nothing, he wrote, "more revolting to English feelings that the spectacle of a human being obtruding on our notice his moral ulcers or scars," or "tearing away that 'decent drapery'" that separates gratuitously self-humiliating individuals from the "decent and self-respecting part of society." Despite his heightened sense of propriety, de Quincy went to great lengths to explain his addled state. It was his hope that, by providing instruction about the seductive qualities of opium, he might save his readers from harrowing addictions.

Guido Alvarez
April 24, 2005


Paul Pereira
April 17, 2005
Pete Hofmann
April 15, 2005

TOOL is a band of the heavy variety. I once knew a guy who played some TOOL for me. The guy was very into x-treme everything: snowboarding, moto-cross, mountain biking, bong hits, the whole thing. And TOOL. The guy loved TOOL. So I heard the heavy heavy guitars and bass and drums and voice before I saw them at Lollapalooza '93 when they came into St. Paul.

Ann Whitehurst
April 14, 2005

Last spring, our ancient, decrepit washing machine finally broke down for good. So we had to buy another one.

Bob Holling
April 13, 2005

On my commute in to work, I have one fairly important subway - bus transfer. If I don't make it, it adds about 6 long blocks to my walk, which is not always a bad thing, but today I was in the mood to bus it. As I climbed the stairs out of the subway, my head cleared ground-level and I saw the bus pulling into the stop across the street. I made a dash for it, realizing that I'm starting to look like an old man when I run. The crowd was too thick and the bus pulled away just as I got to it. Cursing my luck, I set off for the long walk, slightly comforted by the Radiohead playing on my ears.

Guido Alvarez
April 12, 2005


Paul Pereira
April 10, 2005

Sundays always fill me with anxieties, just knowing that the next day (Monday) I have to go back to work and start another week all over again. I just feel as though time moves way too fast and there is nothing I can do to slow it down. I feel like my weekends always go to waste. For example today 4/10/05:

Evan Mann
April 6, 2005

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