Archive for the 'Essay' Category


The Top 5 Things CJS Doesn’t Miss About College

(Here is our companion post for MDAMB, the way it should have looked. It’s here for your enjoyment.)

College was awesome. Given our current workaday grind, we all miss it from time to time. If college was not the best time ever for you, then clearly you’re either some impossibly rich asshole now, or you rowed crew and pointlessly woke up at 4:30 every morning to play a sport no one likes or cares about.

Despite generally being the best time of our lives, it’s possible we’re looking back at things through rose-colored glasses. You seem never to read a single line about the things from college that sucked. And despite your likely failure of being able to call even a single one of those things to mind at the moment, that’s why we’re here. Here are five things the Cru Jones Society DOESN’T miss about college. Continue Reading »


The Top 5 Things I DON’T Miss About College

(Today’s post comes courtesy of J. Gustav, a guest blogger for our new friends My Dog Ate My Blog. We posted an article of the same basic thrust (heh heh, thrust…) over at their homebase, ri’chere. So let’s make Mr. Gustav welcome. Give him lots of love and lots of comments. Take it away, new friend!)

Just one year removed, I miss college. It was a time in my life without real responsibility and made for some great memories. I lived close to or with all my friends, it was easy to meet girls, and I could drink myself stupid on a Monday afternoon completely guilt free (and without being tagged as an alcoholic). Those were the days. But in hindsight, it was not simply an idyllic time in a booze-filled Eden. There were actually some parts of it I am glad I will never have to experience again. Here are the top 5 things we don’t miss about college life. Continue Reading »


Frequent Flyer Smiles

Even though I was unfortunate and wasn’t able to go on the trip to Tucson, or maybe because I couldn’t go, I have been thinking a lot about vacations. I am more than ready to take one and I keep thinking about possible ones. However, it seems silly to speculate about how future vacations will turn out, after all I don’t know which vacation it will be that I get VD, hopefully none, but you never know. So instead, I though I would look back on my favorite trips I took as an adult.

I wanted to specify adult trips because there is something different about the trips one takes as a child and the ones as an adult. As a child almost every trip seems awesome. There’s no school and no cares. Your parents are taking care of all the arrangements and planning and everything. You just get to show up and have fun. But at the same time you’re at the mercy of your parents. They call all the shots and are just there. Plus the one key element that can change a lot of trips: booze.

Now that that’s set, let’s get on with it. Continue Reading »

Essay, Television

Why You Don’t Need a Home Security System

Oh no, an intruder! Where’s my alarm? 

One of the only benefits of being home sick – by the way, I’m in that super awesome phase of hacking my lungs out all day on the road to recovery – is that you get to watch awesome daytime television. Even though Drew Carey is redefining levels of awful as the new “Price Is Right” host, the games are so much fun, you can’t help but still love the show. And did you know they remade “Let’s Make a Deal”? (I’m) Wayne Brady (Bitch!) is the host and people still inexplicably dress in costumes and win things like outdoor theaters and get zonked. Although it feels more sanitized than the 1970s version (what doesn’t?), I still got a big kick out of it, which is about all you can hope for on a sick day.

Of course, neither “The Price Is Right” or “Let’s Make a Deal” hold a candle to the sheer entertainment value and unintentional hilarity of a Brinks Home Security commercial. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then you’ve obviously never had your front door kicked in Van Damme-style while you casually jogged on the treadmill, have you? Continue Reading »


Questions of the (Marvel) Universe

Warning: Nerd Alert 

Halloween season is upon us and seeing all the costumes got me thinking about people who were costumes all year around, no not actors, or police officers, or athletes; I’m talking about super heroes. It has been a while since I nerded the place up and I figure it was time to do it. What I have here are four things that have always bothered me about the Marvel Comics Universe. Now it’s clobberin’ time so let’s get to it. Continue Reading »


An Open Letter To Men’s Wearhouse

  I gaurantee it

Dear Men’s Wearhouse,

I have been dressing in business casual clothing for nearly a decade now and despite having a couple of friends who once worked at a Men’s Wearhouse, I never visited your establishment until I was made best man for a wedding. The grunt work was done and all I had to do was go in to be fitted and eventually pick up my rental. That is when things got ugly. Continue Reading »


Powering Through

Power through that door 

Upon waking up after I fell asleep on the couch in my own hotel room, and Limon telling me so, I knew that I had to power through. There are often times in our lives when despite feeling like complete vomit, we power through. In Vegas there was pride and fun at stake. In this tale, there are hockey tickets. Continue Reading »


I’m A Day Dream Believer

Hey Hey we’re the Monkees 

We just got back from Vegas. And while I am completely aware that I am not 22 anymore and I still feel like ass two days later, I still believe Vegas is the best place for a bachelor party. Talking to Dagger a few years ago he casually mentioned he would like to go sky diving for his bachelor party. At that point I was a little nervous as I have a fear of heights and could not fathom throwing myself out of a plane. But that has had me thinking about things I would like to experience in this life. I can thank Rick Reilly for scarring me out of flying in a jet, but the rest of these all have real possibilities. Continue Reading »

Essay, Television

Silly Hart, These Cereals Are For Kids!

It’s a bowl of cereal that is also a light! Why don’t I have this!?! 

 Much like the only guarantees in life are death and taxes, there are also guarantees in advertising. These guarantees are sexy broads will try to sell beer, Taco Bell will continue to focus on the drunk college aged demographic, and cereal will use cartoons to appeal to children. The thing about these guarantees are one, beer sells itself. Seriously, have you had beer? The stuff is awesome. Two, Taco Bell is always the best option when you’re drunk (unless you are near that gyro vendor in Old Town Ft. Collins) and only when you’re drunk. And three, is it absolutely necessary to use cartoons to make sugary cereals more alluring to children?

It’s this last thing that I have been focusing too much attention and anger towards lately. I should really watch less children’s programming and act my age. But there are a few things about this advertising practice that have really been bugging me, and few things that I am ok with.

I figured the best way to go about this was to break it up by company. Then look at their top offenders or characters. Let’s pour the milk on this thing and spoon our way to the bottom. Continue Reading »


Eternal Sunshine of Hart’s Mind

 I wish I could forgot that I watched The Number 23

On the walls surrounding my desk are three cork boards covered with pictures. When I am feeling over whelmed I will just stop and stare at these frozen memories. It is a little like having my own time machine as I travel through the years and relive all the good times in my mind. While I do love looking at the goofy faces of my friends, these pictures only represent half of my memories.

The other half consists of times less joyous and more sucktacular. But those times often don’t end up on film, and if for some reason they do they wouldn’t make it onto a board for daily viewings. But these, along with a discussion I recently had with Dagger; I can’t help but to think about Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. More specifically whether or not I would indulge in the service offered. Here are my thoughts. Continue Reading »


Thoughts on Gender w/Def Jam, Adam Carolla, G.I. Joe, and Barbie & The Rockers

I know what you’re thinking: This post is going to be awesome. 

Having a Master’s Degree in communication is both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, I believe communication (more specifically language) is all we have to differentiate ourselves from animals. It is the paramount quality standing head and shoulders above all others in what makes a human a human, which renders its study the most vital prism through which we understand our world. And on a practical level, having a sophisticated understanding of communication makes you better at getting jobs, maintaining relationships, and seeing through bullshit. It’s philosophically interesting and utilitarian, therefore rare in terms of its dual usefulness.

On the other, you study so many different aspects of communication, otherwise immediately pointless bullshit seeps into your consciousness years after the fact rendering your ability to focus on imminently important things (i.e. buying a house, planning a wedding, doing the job you’re actually paid to do) goes completely out the window. This is one of those times for E Dagger. Continue Reading »

Essay, Music

Punk Rock Show Part Two

I wanna rock. ROCK! 

When we last off, we had just gone to two of Denver’s premiere punk rock venues. But there are still two more I frequented over the past 12 or 13 years. We have had a long enough intermission, so without further ado here are the other two venues where I learned what life was about.

Continue Reading »

Essay, Nonsense

4 Real Guilty Pleasures

“We find these pleasures… guilty! May God have mercy on their soul.”

Last month CJS dedicated its Monday Confessional to “guilty pleasures.” In general, we find the concept of a guilty pleasure to be patently ridiculous, and said as much in the preamble to each question. No one should have to feel guilty about something they genuinely derive enjoyment from when it comes to music, movies, booze, or innocent homosexual crushes.

In 2004, Chuck Klosterman wrote a terrific essay deconstructing Entertainment Weekly’s Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures. In it, he asserts:

“What the authors of The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures (and everyone else who uses this term) fail to realize is that the only people who believe in some kind of universal taste-a consensual demarcation between what’s artistically good and what’s artistically bad-are insecure, uncreative elitists who need to use somebody else’s art to validate their own limited worldview. It never matters what you like; what matters is why you like it.”

We absolutely agree, but this isn’t to say that guilty pleasures are non-existent. Continue Reading »

Essay, Music

Punk Rock Show Part One

 What are we looking at?

I have been going to punk rock shows for 12 or 13 years now, who can really keep track, also I can’t count. This thought struck me as I was watching Unwritten Law play the Bluebird Theater the other night. Aside from the few shows I have seen at Red Rocks, and the countless Warped Tours, I have seen the bulk of my shows at four different venues in the Denver area. They are all more or less the same, but for some reason there are still ones I like better than others.

I thought I would take a stroll down memory lane (and Colfax) and revisit each venue as well as the best and worst shows I have seen at each. The sound check is done, the lights are dimming, and it is time to rock this bitch. Continue Reading »

Essay, Nonsense

Climb Aboard the (Freak) Shuttle

“C’mon in! It smells weird!”

As a workaday slave reporting to my 18th floor office gulag everyday, I get all the privileges and headaches associated with urban employment. There’s a ton of cool places to eat, but nowhere to park. I walk past a large cast of colorful characters each morning on my way to the office, but most of them ask me for money. There’s a free shuttle taking you right through the heart of one of downtown’s main arteries housing abundant shopping, assorted and tasty restaurants, and plenty of otherwise cool shit to do, but you have to share the bus with the weirdest collection of freaky and confusing yardbirds this side of a gay pride parade in the deep South.

And that’s what we’re here to discuss today. Continue Reading »


Home Is Where The Hart Is

 Holy Cow!

I just renewed my lease; they raised my rent, God Dammit! But this is the first timeI  have ever renewed a lease. I spent the last few years changing homes like a hermit crab as I had roommates who were using a college education to move on with their lives, which meant I had to find somewhere else to live. But I have spent the last year living alone for the first time ever. Here are a few of the reasons why I have loved living alone. Continue Reading »


The Things I Carry

Hart recommended 


We don’t often talk about books on this website. So you may be surprised to learn we do read things other than what we find on the internet. Now mostly I only read Dr. Seuss books, but I occasionally find other things, like cereal boxes. All jokes aside, I do read real things. I recently re-read my favorite short story, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, and I was amazed at the way I found the story related to the way I was feeling in my life. Continue Reading »


5 Places Strangers Inexplicably Want to Chat You Up

Different kind of chat, but same idea. 

I’m a very polite young man. I don’t ruffle feathers when I don’t need to and am largely inclined to go about my day in a very unassuming, congenial way. But that doesn’t mean I want to hang out and chat with every Tom, Dick, and Quasimodo I encounter as I’m taking care of business.

I’m not on Facebook because I believe I have the correct number of people in my life. I keep in touch with those I want to through various means, and everything else just sort of works itself out. And like Melvin Udall in As Good as It Gets, I find most small talk exhausting. I suspect many of the random people I encounter in a day mistake my politeness for an invitation to friendship, so I end up in some inescapable conversation vortex many more times than I’d like. Here are five bastions of unnecessary small talk that seem to drag on forever. Continue Reading »

Essay, Movie, Television

Why I Love The Muppets

 I can name damn near everyone of these guys

As you may have noticed, I often allude to the Muppets on this website. I don’t do this out of nostalgia or irony, nor are the Muppets a guilty pleasure of mine, but more on that on Monday. I reference the Muppets because I genuinely and sincerely love the Muppets. Now it’s time to light the lights; it’s time to dress up right; it’s time to get things started. Continue Reading »

Essay, Television

The Loneliness of Dr. Lightman

Dr. Lightman at work 

In my last post about the show “Lie To Me” I compared Dr. Cal Lightman, the main character played by Tim Roth, to House, the title character of a similar Fox show. On the surface, both of these characters are similar – both are basically entertaining jerks, both have a staff of people who seek to impress them, both use a methodology of detection that no one else can seem to figure out, and both speak with a British accent.

And while I’ve never seen a full episode of “House, M.D.,” I’ve read enough about both the character and the show to feel to have an adequate grasp of them both. As I watched the season finale of “Lie To Me” I was struck by how the similarities are not only skin deep, they run much deeper. The stories of each character are really nothing more than updated superhero allegories. Continue Reading »

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