Tenant Horror Story

By: Blake Osborne

The following is a true story that happened earlier this year.

IMG_0734Rewind. It’s May of my junior year at the University of Montana. I finally got the call saying my four good friends and I were approved for the house we applied for and in a couple weeks, could start moving in. My last two years were spent in a small apartment, miles from campus. Finally, I’ll get to experience what it’s like to live in a college house.

Time went on and we started to get some personal belongings moved in before we all went back to our hometowns for break. Multiple times over the summer we took turns bringing pieces of furniture or personal belongings to the house trying to make it feel like home. On a few different occasions we even came down and spent multiple nights in the house, and for the most part, everything felt… right.

By this time, it was the beginning of August and Kevin, one of the four roommates, decided to move in. This would be Kevin’s first semester at the University of Montana as he had just decided to transfer from Orange County California. Although he still says he is glad he came, I doubt Kevin ever would have moved if he knew what was in store for him. He had just spent the early part of his summer backpacking across Europe by himself and had become very familiar with sleeping in strange places, spending a lot of time reading and journaling, and frankly just being with himself. So the move to Missoula felt very normal for him. At this point he was the only roommate living in the house and barely knew anyone in town. His days consisted of long drives, reading, and trying to stay sane in a house without tv or internet. For the first couple nights everything went great. Then, things started to get weird.

Kevin had never been superstitious and was never one to shy away from a frightening situation so when he started to find lights turned on in the basement, that he couldn’t remember turning on, or items in the house mysteriously being found in new locations, he would convince himself that it was his own doing and force the thoughts out of his mind. He kept doing this until the bizarre happenings got out of control. He started to hear whispers and laughing late at night. One night the sounds were so loud Kevin went room to room, closet to closet, but still found nothing. When he called me and told me about these events, I convinced him that he was going crazy. I would say; “You’ve spent too much time alone” or “You probably had too much to drink,” so once again, Kevin convinced himself the noises where nothing to worry about. Looking back, I feel bad for not believing him.I convinced myself Kevin was crazy and everything was fine! But man was I wrong…

A couple weeks went by and Kevin was still experiencing these strange occurrences but never got to the point of brining it up again. Finally, Kaitlyn (one of the other roommates), and I decided to move down to zoo to get settled in and have some fun before the semester started. Kevin couldn’t have been more relieved that he wouldn’t have to spend another night in that house alone.

The first couple nights with the 3 of us in the house turned in to a non-stop party. Friends were back in town and we had the prime house for a college party. Immediately all the fears that Kevin, and even I had about the house vanished and the semester looked promising. After a few nights of constant partying, Kev decided to take a break and escape to Canada on a photoshoot. Now it was just Kaitlyn and I, and this is where things got interesting.

Kaitlyn and I decided to go out one night and have dinner at a friends. Before leaving we were sure to lock all the doors even though we would only be gone a couple hours. It was around 11pm when we got back home and we were both exhausted. We did one more walk through to check the doors and Kaitlyn went to her room in the basement and I went to mine upstairs. At 3:30am my phone started ringing, it was Kaitlyn. “Hello?”

“You need to come downstairs”

“Is everything okay?!”

“No… Not really… Please get down here!!!”

Immediately I hung up and scrambled to put clothes on. As I ran out of my room Kaitlyn met me in the laundry room at the top of the stairs. “What’s wrong?!” I asked. Her response, “there is somebody in my room” I stared at her in shock.

“What do you mean there is someone in your room!?!”

“I woke up to a girl standing over me staring at me asking where the attic was cause there were people looking for her outside and she needed to hide.”

Immediately I started to think, if there is one person in the house, how many others could there be, and why the hell are people looking for her!? Kaitlyn and I immediately ran outside and called 911. The police showed up and 5 officers rushed inside. After 10 minutes went by, the officers came out but with no one in custody.

“House is clear; no one is in there but the back door was open wide” the officer exclaimed.

Kaitlyn gave a formal statement about the description of the girl and any other facts we could remember. The officer and I then went door to door to make sure everything was sealed tight. At this point Kaitlyn and I knew we weren’t getting any sleep and I told her to come stay with me til the morning. Understandably, Kaitlyn was terrified, and called her mom for some motherly comfort. After explaining the story, her mom advised us to go back down to the room to check for all her personal belongings and to be sure nothing was stolen. So we did… I’m still not sure if that was a mistake or if it was a good thing but either way… we did.

As we were walking though the laundry room I noticed a shower curtain rod that we had taken down and grabbed it more as a joke and to comfort Kaitlyn then as a serious choice for a weapon. I looked at Kaitlyn and said, “just in case anyone pops out at me,” and gave a smirk. We got to her room and started to check for her belongings, at this point Kaitlyn was on the phone with her mom and I got down to check under the bed, then… Kaitlyn screamed.

I looked up to see a girl emerging from the sheets just a couple feet away from me. She was covered in bruises and scabs, her eyes were sunken in, and her shirt was covered in dirt and blood. When people ask what she looked like, the best explanation I can give is, “you know the meth billboards? Yeah like that, but 10 times worse.” As she came out from the sheets she was violently waving her arms scratching and clawing at me. Immediately I jumped back and pushed her away with the shower curtain rod I was now not joking about having. She continued to attack me and used Kaitlyn’s laptop as her weapon of choice throwing it at me and hitting me with it repeatedly. As this confrontation was unfolding, Kaitlyn hung up on her mom and called the police. We joke now that it would be hilarious to hear that 911 call. You know when you get really scared and your voice drops to levels you didn’t know possible? Well that is what happened to me. On top of that I probably confused the hell out of the intruder. At first I would scream and tell her to get **** out of our house, then I would realize I didn’t want her to leave cause I wanted the cops to catch her so I would scream telling her to get on the ground… in her tweaked out mind she was doing nothing wrong, all she could probably think is, “what do you want me to do?!?” Any ways the confrontation went on and the girl jumped to the window opened it and kicked out the screen. I then tried to hold her back from escaping out the egress but was hesitant to touch her since she had visible open sores and scabs. She kept making the motion as if she was about to jump on me and it created enough space that she was able to climb out the window and escape.

Kaitlyn and I sprinted upstairs to try and catch her but she was long gone. The cops then came racing up and advised me to put the shower curtain rod down as I stormed up to them furious they missed the trespasser in plain sight. At this point we went back into the house with an officer to find the back door unlocked and open again, leading us to realize there was more than one intruder in the house. The cops advised us to stay somewhere else that night until we could figure out what was going on, so we packed bags and got the hell out of there.

The next morning mine and Kaitlyn’s parents came down to help us figure out the situation. We made contact with the landlord and informed him of the events from the previous night, however, he was very standoffish and aggressive towards us about the situation. That day we started to go through the house and discovered some peculiar items. The utility room had holes drilled into the air ducts that pumped outside, a trashcan hidden in the same room contained respirators and soldering tools, there was a red substance that had the smell of sulfur, and there were many signs pointing towards us living in a meth lab. With all of this information we decided to have the house tested for meth, within an hour of the testing service showing up, they told us with complete certainty that someone had used this house as a meth lab very recently.

Now Kevins’ stories didn’t seem so crazy, the girl that broke in told Kaitlyn she was looking for the attic and said multiple times, “I know there’s an attic in here.” All those nights Kevin heard voices and laughing but never could find anyone, and found doors unlocked and lights on. He wasn’t crazy, there were people in the house but they were hidden in the attic. The neighbors behind us confirmed this when they said they saw groups of people coming and going from the back door all summer long and at all times of the day. Big groups, small groups sometimes just one or two people… but just about every day… all summer long. It was at this point we knew we had to get out of there, so, we moved. The Friday before school started we found a great house walking distance from the U and signed the papers.

Although the whole situation was terrifying and has been something we all have had to deal with, we ended up in a better spot because of it and we can’t help but thank God it wasn’t someone who was trying to hurt us in the house that night. The situation could have been so much worse. Instead of having a complete horror/tragedy story, now we have a crazy, pretty scary, and at times hilarious tale to tell.

So overall, the moral of the story is to be leery of landlords, always check under the sheets for possible intruders, and keep a shower curtain rod handy. If you do those three things, life as a tenant should be easy.

How many road signs can you guess right?

When did you get a driver’s license? I assume that it was a long time ago and you are an expert of the road signs in the United States. What if it’s road signs from other countries? I found some unique road signs around the world! Let’s try to figure out what they say so you can drive in foreign countries :)  The answers will be at the end of these signs.

 

  1.  What does this sign mean?

 

Road sign in New Zealand

HINT: This is a road sign from New Zealand.

 

 

2.  The sign says “_____” in Japanese.

Road sign in Japan

HINT: It’s a hexagon in America.

 

 

3.  What does this sign mean?

Road sign in China

HINT: Explosion! This is in China.

 

 

4.  What does this sign mean?
UK sing

HINT: What is the red car trying to do?

 

5.  This is an exaggerated depiction of ______.

Road sign in UK

HINT: The car is not in a gymnastic class.

 

 

6.  What does this sign mean?

Road sign of school ahead

HINT: It’s not a giant lollipop.

 

 

7.   Can you guess what country this sign is in?

Road sign in South Africa

HINT: It’s not in America.

 

 

The answers are here:

  1. “Kiwis are crossing the street so be cautious.” (New Zealand)
  2. ”Stop” (Japan)
  3. “Do not load explosives in your car and drive” (China)
  4. “Do not pass” (United Kingdom)
  5. “Accident Ahead” (United Kingdom)
  6. “School Ahead”
  7. “High-Jacking hot spot” (South Africa)

 

 

How did you do? Did you guess all the road signs correct? I hope you enjoyed these quizzes!

 

 

9 Totally Random Lifehacks

By: Charlie Freyn

#1. Make an improvised life jacket

Instant Life Jacket (how to)

  1. Take your trousers off
  2. Tie the legs together with the fly facing down, to hold air better.
  3. Pull the legs over your neck.
  4. Cup your hands and splash air into the waist
  5. Open the waist to add more air as needed
  6. ????
  7. Success

#2. Use a plastic bag to watch shows or movies on your next flight

  1. Throw your phone/tablet in a plastic bag
  2. Attach the plastic bag to the folding tray clamp
  3. ????
  4. Success

#3. Seal a bag of chips without a chip clip

How to seal a bag of chips without a clip

  1. Fold the top of the chip bag over several times
  2. Fold the edges of the bag inside
  3. Execute a reverse fold
  4. ????
  5. Success

#4. Make a camping lantern using a headlamp and water jug

  1. Place headlamp on the water jug with the light source facing in
  2. ????
  3. Success

#5. Casually drink a beer in public

  1. Empty a soda can
  2. Vertically cut the side of a soda can
  3. Place the soda can over your beer
  4. ????
  5. Success

#6. Cut a rope without a knife

How to Cut Rope in an Emergency!

  1. Place a rope on the ground
  2. Step on the rope with both feet
  3. Use the excess rope to saw the gap inbetween your feet
  4. ????
  5. Success

#7. Use a fork to balance your taco while you add toppings

  1. Stand the taco upright on a plate
  2. Put two prongs of the fork on the inside of the taco
  3. Fill the taco with your favorite toppings
  4. ????
  5. Success

#8. Clean a dirty record with wood glue

Cleaning a record with wood glue

  1. Spin a dirty record on the record player
  2. Apply wood glue while the record is spinning
  3. Let the record dry
  4. Peel away the dried wood glue
  5. ????
  6. Success

#9. Sneak liquor into a concert or festival

  1. Hollow out the inside of a baguette
  2. Pour your favorite liquor into a small water bottle
  3. Place the bottle into the baguette
  4. Insert the baguette into the original bag, open side down
  5. ????
  6. Success

 

5 Songs That Will Bring Happiness To Your Day

By: Charlie Freyn

#1. Nujabes – “Feather”

Jun Seba (Nujabes) was born in Tokyo, Japan, on Februrary 7th, 2010. Nujabes mixes hip hop, rap and jazz samples. Unfortunately, Nujabes passed away on February 26, 2010 in a traffic accident. His music lives on and brings joy to countless listeners around the world.

 

#2. Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky”

Electric Light Orchestra are an English rock band from Birmingham that formed in 1970. Their music falls into the following genres: progressive pop, symphonic rock, art rock, and progressive rock. “Mr. Blue Sky” is featured on Electric Light Orchestras 1977 double-LP Out of the Blue. “Mr. Blue Sky” is a great song to add to your playlist as the warmer weather is approaching.

 

#3. Lettuce – “Move on Up”

In 1992, the Lettuce band formed in Boston, Massachusetts. Lettuce brings the sounds of funk and jazz to their vibrant live shows. In 2008, Lettuce released the Rage! Album that pays a tribute to Curtis Mayfield’s “Move on Up.” If you’re ever looking to attend an extremely funky show, I recommend you check out the Lettuce band.

 

#4. Nappy Roots – “Good Day”

In 1995, Nappy Roots formed their rap group in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Nappy Roots adds an energetic twist to the hip hop and alternative hip hop genres. During the month of July, 2007, Nappy Roots released the Innerstate Music album which included the single “Good Day.” Give this song a listen if you are on the search for feel good music.

 

#5. Earth, Wind & Fire – “September”

Earth, Wind & Fire is an original Chicago band that was founded in 1971. Their music focuses on a number of genres: R&B, soul, funk, jazz, disco, pop, and psychedelic soul. “September” was released as a single by Earth, Wind & Fire in 1978. If you haven’t heard of Earth, Wind & Fire, I highly recommend you go listen to several of their albums.

The Dad Bod and Me

With all the “fads” that have happened over the last 5 years its hard to keep track of them all. From Man Buns to Flash Mobs, and the Harlem Shake to Tebowing, there have been a lot of fads, and like all fads, they peaked, and then faded out (thank god). However, the Dad Bod was arguably one of the most interesting fads we have ever experienced. Anyone that knows me at all knows that I jumped all over the Dad Bod.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. First we need to talk about what the Dad Bod is. The Dad Bod really hit its stride when a sorority girl from Clemson wrote an article for a class (literally exactly what I am doing now) about how this new phase of male physical appearance. The “official” definition of a Dad Bod is “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time. It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either”.

When I first saw the article I was thrilled. First of all, I saw that the trend was taking the nation by storm, so naturally that made me feel comfortable. Secondly, girls liked it? Apparently girls no longer wanted wash board abs and ripped biceps, they wanted someone fun, someone who didn’t take them self too seriously, and someone who would go to Taco Tuesday or $4 pitcher Wednesday  (Missoula, we could really use a bar that does this).

During the peak of the Dad Bod phase many celebrities also joined in, including:

Leo

Seth Rogen

Chris Pratt

Jason Segal

Robert downy Jr.

 

Obviously with all these A list celebrities embracing the Dad Bod, I figured I needed to as well. When I came to college I was relatively fit. I played competitive soccer 4 nights a week, ran track and cross country. I generally respected my body and my physical appearance. My first year of college I did a good job of working out and trying to eat right. I gained a little weight, which was to be expected. The next two years however, that’s a different story. My Liam Hemsworth esque physique quickly turned to an Owen Wilson esque physique. I traded in my 24 pound dumbbell curls at the gym for 24 ounce IPA curls downtown (that a type of beer for those of you that don’t know). Just like the definition says, I started working out less and enjoying adult beverages and pizza more. By the second semester of my Junior year the trend was in full swing and when people thought of the dad bod, they thought of me……… the following are all from my personal Facebook page

dad bod is dead dad bod 1 dad bod workout my post

I was so into the Dad Bod that I even bought a shirt, and people posted pictures of me in that shirt on my birthday

bday

 

But like every other fad, the Dad Bod inevitably died. However, I did try to ride it out as long as I could. I even wrote a speech for my Public Speaking class titled, An Ode to the Dad Bod. I would wear my Dad Bod shirt and embrace the Dad Bod mentality for an entire semester in the Fall. I did finally give up on the Dad Bod and decided to get my life back in order. I cut down on my beverage intake, watched my diet, and lost 25 pounds (shout out to Pneumonia). Unfortunately for now the Dad Bod seems to be dead, and that truly is a shame. I am fully prepared for its return, and hopefully this blog post can jump start that. I know that I will gladly lead the comeback tour of the Dad Bod.

The Value of Deep Work

 

keep-calm-and-deep-work

What a time to be alive, am I right? We live in an incredible day and age where unlimited information is at our very fingertips, billions of people are connected through the internet and innovative technologies are advancing at an unprecedented rate. Technology has truly affected every corner the world, and has drastically impacted life as we’ve all come to understand it.

With great access to information and the age of global connectivity, humans are bombarded with more stimuli and information that we could ever hope to process and make sense of. It is for this reason that so many of us find ourselves constantly distracted and engaging in multiple technologies at once. Think about it: how often do you find yourself studying with multiple entertainment browsers open and periodically flipping through various social media platforms? How about listening to music or absentmindedly watching Netflix while studying? Sure, we still get work done, but is it truly our best work? Are we maximizing our time and productivity? Most likely not, and there’s a lot of research that proves quite the opposite.

There’s a whole science of learning, concentration and productivity that seeks to prove that humans fundamentally are not built to multitask, and cannot maximize efficiency while doing so. And in a world filled with distractions and noise, the reality is that we live in a time where it is harder to focus now than perhaps ever before. Which is why I’d like to write about the true value of deep work –  the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. With graduation just around the corner in a few weeks, I couldn’t think of a better time to write about the value of working in a deep state of concentration. I believe everyone should take steps to learn this skill, because no matter who you are, you’ll benefit from it. I promise.

Deep work is, fundamentally, a very valuable skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Working in a state of deep mental focus free of distraction helps cultivate many of the core capabilities that we need to survive in the world today. So why is this important? Why is working in this deep state of mental concentration more valuable than working in a state of constant noise and distraction? Because people who possess certain skills and characteristics in this new digital age are fundamentally more equipped for success and prosperity

What does it take to be successful? The theory of deep work outlines two core abilities that people need in order to thrive in our new economy.

  1. The ability to quickly master hard things.
  2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

Let’s face it, our world is getting damn competitive. Where many technologies used to provide a competitive advantage to organizations and individuals who possessed them, we’re steadily moving in a direction where they playing field is leveling and ultimately the world is demanding other sources of differentiation and value. And where is the world demanding this added value from? That’s right, the individual. It is more important than ever to build our personal skill sets, work habits and abilities as we enter a world that puts a tremendous pressure on us to be outstanding performers in everything we do. So how does this relate to deep work?

There is a lot of research that shows that when we work in a deep, uninterrupted state, we are more likely to optimize our time and productivity. When we are 100% mentally engaged and focused, we are able to more quickly learn and master harder tasks. When we are completely mentally engaged, we are able to produce higher quality work, faster.