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January 31, 2008


$6 for gas at EZ-Stop

Analysis of American Gladiators

American Gladiators Episode 100 – What does it mean?

The American Gladiators show, to use Roland Barthes words, is a “spectacle of excess?. Strobe lights, large flames bellowing from the floor, repeatedly showing participants splashing into water, sweat, swinging arms, muscles flexing, a booing crowd, the howling of Wolf, are some of the images and sounds one is subjected to. “Battle with the greatest athletes“, “they’re bigger and badder than ever?, “bigger. faster, stronger, Gladiators? with names like Venom, Stealth, Fury, and Militia are what “ordinary men and women? are up against. These "contenders" compete for “more than just the money – the honor.? One contender couldn't wait to rip their opponent “to shreds?. Terms like “grueling?, “brutal?, as well as “quest, “fun game?, and “opportunity? are used to describe their task. One contender wants to make her children proud; another wants to make a better life for her parents.

The audience comes into play during the more emotional moments, such as when a contender is “injured? (looking on motionless and speechless), or upon failure (booing and thumbs down gestures).

All of this is reminiscent of the Roman arena where gladiators fought to the death. Many of those gladiators were in fact slaves of the Roman Empire. One could say that today’s 21st century gladiators and contenders might be slaves of corporate capitalism.

In roman times, these gladiators kept the masses of people occupied which in turn kept them from turning on the emperor. To paraphrase Karl Marx, these spectacles of excess then and today serve as the “opium of the people?.

January 30, 2008

I needed to get away from the computer screen

To get away for a bit from the computer screen (and avoid going outside in the bitter cold), I went to a vending machine and purchased my usual mints (50 cents) and, no, NOT a nut roll - a bag of Mars M&M's (80 cents)! I haven't consumed them yet - I will see how long I can not eat them. Regretably, they may end up being my energy booster to get through class, unless I splurge on a more substantial item.

January 29, 2008

Due to being cold...

I purchased hot chocolate from a University of Minnesota vending machine for 50 cents to warm me up. It helped me to recover from my visit to a frigid UofM restroom after being in a cold classroom.

January 28, 2008

A snack before class

Pearson's Salted Nut Rolled saved me from fading - let's hope it lasts.
I got it from a vending machine on the University of Minnesota campus for 80 cents.

January 27, 2008

Bus Pass

Paid the $64 balance on my tuition bill which covers the bus pass good for Spring semester.

While I was attempting to make the payment I was frustrated by the process. For one thing, the valuable info on the screen is at the bottom and can be missed (the statement). There is way to much text on the screen ("instructions")...there are way too many options to click. Make it simple. Give me the statement and a PAY NOW tab. Then add a "for more information" option at the bottom for those who want it. Thank you.

January 26, 2008

Mostly stocking up

Went to Office Max to get an Ethernet cord: $14.99
Also, I had some papers bound: $2.49
With 7.15% tax, the total came to: $18.74
I can't recall any emotions.

Went to Cub Foods to stock up on some things:
2 bags of NutriPlan cat litter: $2.98/each (they were on sale and supplies were low)
1 loaf of Cub Foods bread: $1.49 (the usual, lately)
2 bags of Farm Fresh Russet potatos: $1.99 (2 for 1 deal and supplies were low)
1 bottle Cub Foods Reconstituted Lemon Juice (for back up - I use this if I don't splurge on real lemons, which has been often lately)
Crystal Farms Pepper Jack cheese $2 (on sale and cheese supply was low)
Crystal Farms Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese $2 (on sale and cheese supply was low)
LandOLakes 2% milk $2.59 (was totally out for a few days now)
Farm Fresh lettuce $1 (was totally out)
Farm Fresh yellow onions $1.49 (had only 1 onion in stock)
2 Roma tomatos $1.03 (to stock up)
2 cans Fancy Feast gourmet cat food .50 cents each (to stock up)
6 cans Purina Friskies cat food .49 cents (to stock up)
1 garlic .30 cents (for back up)
So with 6.5 % tax and a .50 cent coupon for the Friskies cat food the total is: $26.36

My emotions during the Cub Foods excursion:

I recall being annoyed that it is so hard to handle the cat litter - two don't easily fit into the bottom of the cart. And it is such a drag to lift one out of the cart to get scanned.

The cheese section is a bit stressful due to the various brands available and the various sizes they come in.

Cat food is even more of a challenge to select since the quality is getting worse every day. I can't rely on any brand for quality except Fancy Feast. My cats have rejected food from 9 Lives and Friskies cans (recently even the cat that until that moment ate everything). It's getting BAD! When I smell the stuff they reject, I don't blame them! Should I start mixing up a recipe of my own? I ask myself...

Phone Feature

I ordered Caller ID over the phone
Cost: $7.50/month
I was feeling annoyed that I forgot to order Caller ID when I switched phone companies. I'm also annoyed because the cost of my phone bill will be $7.50 higher than I thought. So, while I was buying the phone feature I WAS FEELING ANNOYED!

January 25, 2008

Needed a Refreshing Mint

After eating my bag lunch, I had to replenish my mint supply:
12 pack of Foxes Pepermint Refreshing Mints: 50 cents
Purchased at U of M vending machine

I had the unpleasant ham/cheese/mayo aftertaste feel and it had to be eliminated.

January 24, 2008

Textbook Purchases

I bought the following books from or through for a total of $71.85:

"Becoming a Graphic Designer: A Guide to Careers in Design"
Steven Heller; Paperback; $18.90

"Universal Principles of Design: 100 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach Through Design"
William Lidwell; Hardcover; $21.60

"Introducing Postmodernism, Third Edition (Introducing)"
Richard Appignanesi; Paperback; $10.36 total: $50.86

"Designing a Digital Portfolio (VOICES)"
Cynthia Baron; Paperback; $17.00, Shipping & Handling: $3.99

Textbooksnow total: $20.99

My choices were based on price though I only bought one used (which saved me about $4 dollars). I was a bit anxious when I started ordering but now that I am done I am relieved and happy that the cost wasn't higher.

January 23, 2008

Bought nothing today!

Today I bought nothing. That makes it a good day for me.

January 22, 2008

Venting Machine Goodies to get me through the evening

80 cents: Pearson's Salted Nut Roll
50 cents: Hot chocolate (the cup says Aramark)

They both were purchased from a vending machine on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota. I was fading and needed something to keep me going 'till the real meal happens.

Overview of this Blog

To fulfill a class assignment, this blog will contain my documentation all of the things I will consume from January 22 through February 29, 2008. I will be listing the name of each item (or service, event, program, etc.) consumed, its cost, where I purchased it, and why I purchased it. I will also document my mental or emotional state at the time I purchased each item or group of items.

While writing this I consumed a few Foxes Peppermint Refreshing Mints which were purchased last week for 50 cents at a vending machine on the East Bank of the University of Minnesota. Why? I was thinking about what I was going to nourish myself with between now and 9:30PM and remembered that I had some mints in my bag. So I consumed them for not the typical reason (which is for fresh breath after eating a meal away from home), but merely to put something in my mouth, perhaps for a tiny bit of energy?! A hope that it would sustain me until 9:30PM?! Just because I had it? I don't know! In any event, the mints WERE refreshing....