Archive for March, 2010

Funny thing happened the other day at the paper.

We ran a piece (written by me) about how the Oakridge Apartment Community was offering discount rates to USU Ambassadors for no reason other than their membership in that organization.

For those of you not privy to USU organization, the Ambassadors is a group of students who get a full tuition scholarship for looking pretty. They also give the occasional campus tour — and yes I do mean occasional.

For those of you not familiar with Logan’s off-campus student housing. Oakridge is where you live if gaining an education is low on your list of expectations for attending college and gaining a Sexually Transmitted Disease is high.

In the article, we detailed the discount being offered. Detailed the school responsibilities and perks of the Ambassadors, and included quotes from both a current Oak Ridge resident and an Ambassador, speaking under terms of anonymity, that is taking advantage of the new deal.

As can be imagined, the Oak Ridge resident didn’t see any justice in giving the AmBers a lower rate than the average student and the AmBer said that were it not for the discount she would never even considering living in the whorehouse that is Oakridge (I’m paraphrasing here).

Needless to say, the AmBer movers and shakers and the corporate owners of Oakridge were not pleased. Not one bit.

I was tipped off by my anonymous source that the AmBers had received an earful from their advisors and were warned to never again speak to The Statesman and last week my Editor-in-Chief got a call from “corporate.”

Oakridge’s manager claimed that I had entered into contact with her masquerading as a USU AmBer seeking housing. They also cried foul at my failure to mention the discount rates available to other students other than AmBers.

Lets work that one first. Oakridge gives a small handful of “scholarship” rates out to individually selected students on an extremely limited, mostly promotional marketing ploy-style, case-by-case basis. The only students guaranteed a discount are those cute-as-a-button AmBers.

For the latter. When I was interviewing Oakridge management the first thing I said was “Hi, this is Benjamin Wood, I’m a writer for the Utah Statesman.” Later when I asked for the spelling of the managers name she asked me
“Is this going in the paper?”
“Is that Ok?” I asked in reply.
“I guess, we’ve just been in the paper a lot lately.”
Yes, I can see where she was confused about who I was. I guess I’m just handsome enough to be an AmBer.

Never at any point did either of the injured organization claim the story was false.

So I sat down with Patrick and we called up corporate and what ensued was one of the funnies conversations I’ve ever been privy to witness take place.

I won’t bore you with the details except for this little slice. At one point Patrick began relating the different rumors that he had heard about Oakridge and offered up this little nugget.

“I’ve heard that if you want to party, you go to Oakridge. If you want to hop into a pool with some horny co-eds, you go to Oakridge.”

I could hear the squawking that this induced out of the receiver from the other side of the room.

But all’s well that end’s well. We suggested getting all parties in a sit-down for resolution (a near impossible task) or having The Statesman pursue an investigative report onto life at Oakridge (with the caveat that anything negative we found would be printed).

Corporate eventually ran out of steam and gave a pleasant farewell.

I guess I’m doing something right.


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Listen to the Music

So every now and then I like to give a blog shout-out. My brother Jake has a little music-oriented bloggy-blog called Woody Style that he updates once every 8 moon cycles.

Nonetheless, when he does it’s pure gold.

So, if you’re like me and love music but don’t have the time or energy to research it for yourself head on over here to get a list on some of the best (mostly) non-radio deliveries of 2009.

And in case you don’t know yet:

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The bulk of my recent activity has taken place in California (spring break). Since I don’t have the pictures yet, I’ll leave those shenanigans for a later post.

Last Friday I put up the first set of my allotted number of posters for the Peter Breinholt Concert. I was successful in personally placing fliers at great harvest (where I work), Cafe Ibis (if I drank coffee, THIS would be my place) and the Eccles Theatre (the lady I showed it to was thrilled that Peter B was coming to town (a good sign, no pun intended).

Other than that I was forced to leave a poster behind at the discretion of an approving third party. I left one with the grumpy secretary of Logan High School’s LDS Institute, another with…someone…at Why Sound and yet another I merely discarded in the pile of Statesman newspapers waiting outside the not-yet-opened True Aggie Cafe. Later that day I called True Aggie man, explained why I had left a orange and blue poster loitering outside his establishment and he said it would be fine to post.

Then I went to California.

Yesterday I made the rounds to see how my babies were doing. GH and Ibis were still happy as clams, I couldn’t see Eccles but I’m pretty sure it’s up somewhere in that enormous building. As for the Institute, there was no one there but I could still see my poster lying nonchalantly on the desk, well out of sight of any potential audience member and the True Aggie? I have no idea where that poster went but it is certainly not being displayed.

So I got some more posters.

I personally taped one into the window of Books of Yesterday (an AWESOME used book and video rental store conveniently placed on the corner of 1st North and Main), tacked one to the Wall of Jamba Juice with my own two hands (Jamba, so good, so yummy) and the community board of The Book Table (the pinnacle of shameful Mormonist profiteering) and gave one to a coworker to lias in a Brigham City grocery store (money in the bank).

Today, I drove past the Books of Yesterday and my poster was gone. I asked the employee but they “only work on saturdays,” clearly more investigation is necessary.

Out of my 10 posters, only 4 are confirmed standing, 2 possibles, and 4 pending/disappeared.
Time till concert, 18 days.

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Just an update on the Peter Breinholt concert.

Our feeble attempts at securing sponsors has come to naught. Now we are relying almost solely on ticket sales to cover our costs and turn a profit. In addition, we are forced to pay out of our pocket for any and all advertising costs, with the hope that we get those investments back in the end. As for me personally, I haven’t had to pay a dime. There’s a reason I didn’t apply to be team leader, this is it.

Still, this should all work out. We haven’t sold a single ticket yet but it’s still a little early to really start banging the gongs. We’re having posters made and will start hitting the streets soon.

If we build it, they will come.

Still, we have over 2000 seats to sell. If we can just manage to pull a decent crowd will be made in the shade.

We were finally able to get on the phone with Peter and talk technical stuff. Trying to do this all over e-mail was definitely beginning to show its constraints. Peter is a really chill guy, he could’ve gone all prima-donna on us and demanded thousands of dollars worth of lighting and sound equipment but he knows were strapped for cash wanting us to keep our costs down just as much as we are.

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I got my first C last week. To be even more accurate, I got a C-. Prior to this my lowest was a B maybe even B+.

The class? Mass media law with Penny Byrne.
The assignment? Case study #1.

With almost no instruction or prior knowledge whatsoever, we were given the task of writing the defense brief for a hypothetical newspaper sued with defamation. We needed to argue the reasons why this Jane Doe had no case, using other cases as precedent, and ask the judge for summary judgment.

I pride myself on being a good writer. I can’t built a bomb, I don’t know the molecular structure of iron, but if you do I can interview and tell everybody else.

When I got my Case Study back, quickly scribbled notes of “Poor Writing!” “Weak Argument” and my personal favorite “Nonsense!” adorned the margins of the page.

The best part, I have no idea what I did wrong. I worked hard and early on that assignment and even now I’m not sure what I would change if I were able to re-write.

Se la vie, this is Media Law. I guess 23 is about old enough to finally get a non-passing grade on an assignment. Still, I’m praying, literally praying to be able to pass this class. I turned in my midterm last week and if I get a C+ or better I’ll be doing backflips down the hall.

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