The well is dry, so here’s a list of things I want to buy

Hi there.

Haven’t blogged in a while, but here’s something – I’m out of ideas. Tapped out. Sorry about that. I no longer have the gusto to write about topical, career-oriented subjects or even about things happening in my life because:

A) topical stuff is boring,

B) the only thing happening in my life is school and you’re all thoroughly over that subject.

So here’s a list of things I want to buy but probably cannot afford, with accompanying images. Who wants to buy them for me?

  1. Red Wings. These ones, specifically (they’re $350 – thanks in advance):
  2. A new tattoo. Something like this. (Also probably close to $350. Thanks again): 58790_compass-rose_lg
  3. A suit. Navy or light grey three-piece. Didn’t include a picture because I don’t really want to look like any of the models. ($600 at least. Thanks.)
  4. Three new pairs of Zanerobe pants, because each of them has a crotch hole big enough for you to see my inner thighs in some great detail. ($120 a pair, at least. Thanks):sureshot chino
  5. A fishtail parka ($200. Thanks):
  6. About thirty-five Carhartt toques ($19 each. Thanks):
  7. A MacBook Pro ($2000) and a Canon t5i DSLR ($800). Thanks.

Okay, that’s all that comes to mind at the moment. Anything else I should want to buy but be unable to afford?

Let me know.



In praise of the wee hours

The house isn’t empty, but it might as well be.

Next to the miscellany of creaks and rattles that intermittently force you to wonder who’s walking around up or downstairs, air flowing through ducts is the loudest sound you can hear. Occasionally, you hear a four-legged feline tumble from their perch and walk across the floor above or below. You convince yourself it’s only them – not a villain with murderous intent – and you’re right.

It was a long day, it was a long evening, and it was a long night. The tinnitus of the rat race echoes through your brain as you sit in your basement bedroom, firing up whichever technology will distract you from sleep and help you put off tomorrow. Your phone’s vibrations have finally ceased; everyone on the outside is asleep, too. You rest as your booze-induced buzz readjusts itself into a fuzzy afterglow.

You’re finally alone. The week is over. The house is quiet. You’ve swapped your out-of-doors clothing in favour of sweats and the hugest, thickest hoody you can find.

No talking, no moving, no responding. No obligation. Your bed awaits, and you’re tired, but being awake is more valuable at this point; the witching hour lulls you into calm and will release you when it’s done with you. For now, rest is more important.

Every unwelcome sound fractures the illusion of calm and you quietly resent the source of any disturbance. This is your time to be alone, your time to be free. It is dark, and it is quiet, and it is so, so fulfilling.

You play your video games, you watch your TV, you read your book. It’s not your life anymore. You move into an altered state, similar to the one brought on by the four-or-so beers you drank earlier in the evening, but this one is more pleasant. You’re drunk on solitude and you don’t want it to end, so you stay awake in spite of heavy eyelids and a yawning mouth.

You start to get hungry again. You know you shouldn’t eat at this hour, but if anyone else were awake right now, they’d be hungry too, you say. This is the time people would eat a meal, actually; about eight hours past dinner and about seven hours before breakfast. You’re awake, and they’re not, so you eat. No one cares. It’s OK.

Contented, you play. You read. You watch. You lie. You sit. You rest.

Eventually, you notice the room’s darkness fading. You check the clock. You sigh. Shadows begin to shorten, and you can almost see colour emerging from the grey, dirty clothing piled in the corner of the room. You silently curse the rising sun and you dread the day it signals. At least you can sleep in today.

Don’t worry. Your haven will be there tomorrow.

A very predictiveable script: GORD and FARRAH

A nice dramatic tune for a dramatic post. My iPhone wrote the following script with my help using iOS8’s predictive text. I’ve named the characters Gord and Farrah. Let’s see what happens.

(GORD and FARRAH are not the same thing as the most beautiful girl. The fact is that it was not immediately known if the world is full.)


You are the only thing I don’t know if you want me.


I love you so much for the rest of the year.

(GORD is so cute and fun to play with FARRAH.)


I have to go back to sleep.


You can get it together for me. I’m at work today and I’m still waiting for you.


I don’t think that I have no clue, but I don’t know if you want me too much for me and I love the fact I have a great way to get my nails done.

(GORD is a good idea. He is not a fan. FARRAH the best thing ever.)


The first time I see you, I haven’t seen it all. I’m so excited for the rest of my life and I love you so bad but it would mean the world to me that you can be used.


I don’t know if I could be better than this. I’m so tired… I’m not sure if you want me, and I love you too. I’m so tired…

FARRAH get the best way to go. GORD is so cute.


The same time I try to get my money, but it was not immediately clear whether it was not the best. You can be found in my head and shoulders and the best of the best way for me to be able to do with it is the best way for me.


I don’t have a great day, but I think I can. I’m at work today and I don’t know if I could go to sleep. I’m so excited for my phone to be able to do it again.

(FARRAH from teen wolf and the best way of saying it. GORD a new song on my iPhone.)


You can be a little bit of a sudden urge. I’m not sure how to make it so hard, I think it would mean the world to me to get my hair done. The factory workers to the gym and I don’t know if it’s the best thing about being able to do that for me.

(FARRAH to the gym. GORD is so cute.)

Incredible… What drama! That’s it for this week’s installment of the Gord and Farrah saga. Check back next week (maybe) to find out how Farrah’s workout went and if Gord is still cute.

Do you need help picking a major? Part two

Crunch time is coming up, first-years.

Here’s a follow-up to last week’s blog post – profiles of some cool kid 2014 grads with answers to questions about their CreComm experience and some information about what they’re doing now. I’ve also their photos and I’ve included links to their online profiles, and their photos.

Again, feel free to approach anyone in their second year and they’ll have some additional pearls of wisdom about IPPs, majors, electives… All that stuff.

Here goes:


Stefanie Cutrona, 2014 CreComm Ad grad and Marketing Assistant at Herzing College.


What attracted you to Creative Communications, and what was your favourite thing about the program?

I had heard a lot about CreComm and what an exciting, esteemed, and fun program it was.

When I did some research, I quickly realized it was exactly what I wanted to do for my post-secondary education – and I couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather pursue.

There were a lot of things I loved about CreComm, but my favourite really was just being around such great, likeminded people everyday – sharing ideas and laughs and discussion, and learning how to turn the things I love to do into a rewarding career.

It was an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.

What attracted you to ad, and what was your favourite thing about the major?

My penchant for social media is ultimately what lead me to the advertising major.

I definitely wanted to learn more about traditional advertising, but my true motivation was online advertising – learning the inner workings of digital marketing and online communication strategies. I loved writing and designing ads, but my favourite assignments were those that were online.

The prospect of turning something I love to do everyday into a career was exciting to me.

What did you do after you graduated? Where are you working now, and do you like it?

After graduation, I took a little bit of time off, and then headed straight into the workforce.

I am currently working full-time as a Marketing Assistant for Herzing College Canada, where I assist with the national marketing for our six campuses across the country: Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Scarborough, and Oshawa. I design marketing collateral, copywrite, plan strategy, and manage social media for each campus.

I’m really enjoying it, and I look forward to growing my career in the years to come.

Check out Stefanie’s portfolio.

P U B L I C  R E L A T I O N S

Larissa Peck, 2014 CreComm Public Relations grad and Marketing & Communications Coordinator for Downtown Winnipeg BIZ.


What attracted you to Creative Communications, and what was your favourite thing about the program?

I was always aware that I had strong writing skills, but I wanted to go into event planning after high school.

I started Hospitality & Tourism Management at RRC, but realized it may be more beneficial to have the diversity of skills associated with PR event planning. So I applied for CreComm and the accompanying U of W Rhetoric Writing & Communications program.

I’m a big fan of using time efficiently, so my favourite thing about CreComm was learning an absolute ton in a short two years.

What attracted you to PR, and what was your favourite thing about the major?

I initially chose PR for the event planning aspect, but quickly realized that strategy and proposal writing were more in line with my strengths and style.

I was attracted to PR because it’s a challenging combination of creativity and strategy, and the industry will change, grow, and be fast-paced for as long as long as my career is.

The best thing about the major was the instruction and exposure to the industry by working very often with real, external clients, and feeling like our work was meaningful because of that.

What did you do after you graduated? Where are you working now, and do you like it?

After graduation I continued to do some freelance/contract work for The Forks (where I’d done my second work placement) and a few others, and aimed to have a relaxing summer, because school was exhausting!

Recently I was hired as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ. They’re an organization I’ve admired for a long time for both their purpose and the communications work they do. I think I’m going to like it!

Check out Larissa’s portfolio.

M E D I A  P R O D U C T I O N

Jared Gauthier, 2014 CreComm Media Production grad, Multimedia Coordinator for Farmery Estate Brewery, and Technical Operator at 92 CITI FM and 102.3 Clear FM.


What attracted you to Creative Communications, and what was your favourite thing about the program?

I first heard about the Creative Communications program when I was at the University of Winnipeg. I was ready to give up on being a journalist until I spoke with someone from Red River College about the program. She told me everything, and within a week, I had already applied and started my portfolio.

My favourite thing about the program was being able to step out of my comfort zone. If I didn’t step out of that zone, I would have never thought of pursuing a career in radio.

What attracted you to Media Production, and what was your favourite thing about the major?

What attracted me to Media Production was my love for radio, and the fact that you get to work with equipment hands on (I’m not great with learning by the book).

I wanted to be behind the camera, instead of in front of it.

My favourite part had to be every Thursday at 8 AM scrambling to work with my J-Major partner and put together a story for Broadcast Journalism. That class combined my two favourite subjects, journalism and production, and for nine hours every Thursday, whether the story was great or crap, I probably learned ten new things about the industry.

What did you do after you graduated? Where are you working now, and do you like it?

After I graduated, I didn’t really have to scramble. I found a job in the field as the weekend news announcer at Classic 107.1 FM that someone in my class had referred me to.

Flash forward a few months, and I’m the Multimedia Coordinator with Farmery Estate Brewery and a Technical Operator at 92 CITI FM/102.3 Clear FM.

Even though I don’t have a typical nine-to-five office job with my name on a plaque (just yet), I love the opportunities I get each day with both jobs, being able to practice what I’ve learned in my time at RRC.

Check out Jared’s portfolio.


Graeme Coleman, 2014 CreComm Journalism major and Videographer/Interviewer at Daily Xtra.


What attracted you to Creative Communications, and what was your favourite thing about the program?

I was attracted to Creative Communications because of the diverse classes it offers. Learning about things like PR, journalism, advertising and media production gives students a well-rounded knowledge of the media industry. I would say that is the most valuable thing about the program.

However, my favourite part was interning and getting real work experience.

What attracted you to Journalism, and what was your favourite thing about the major?

Choosing a major was pretty easy for me. I’m interested in telling and uncovering stories, as well as changing people’s perspectives through my work. Journalism seemed to be the major that matched my goals the best.

I think video is one of the strongest tools for reaching mass audiences, so my favourite part of the program was learning how to use cameras and editing software in my broadcast journalism course.

What did you do after you graduated? Where are you working now, and do you like it?

On my last day of classes, my partner and I filled his vehicle with all of our things and drove to Toronto. For the final work experience requirement of the program, I secured an internship as a reporter with Daily Xtra. I freelanced for them afterward and signed contracts to help cover WorldPride and the Toronto International Film Festival as a videographer and interviewer. I had the opportunity to interview stars like Al Pacino and Kiera Knightley on the red carpet.

Through the work I did over the summer with Daily Xtra, I discovered how much I love using video. Daily Xtra saw my passion and desire to learn, so they offered me a position.

Now I’m working there as a full-time videographer/interviewer. Also, I do freelance work on the side. I helped Gays With Kids launch a YouTube channel and I shoot for a cruising website called from time to time. is based in the same office as Daily Xtra, both owned by Pink Triangle Press, and they often need someone to shoot events for them.

To clarify, I have not filmed porn for

Check out Daily Xtra’s YouTube channel to see some of Graeme’s work.

And there you have it.

Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions whatsoever, be sure to ask. You’re going to be neck-deep in your major next semester, and getting stuck in the wrong place wouldn’t be fun at all.

Do you need help picking a major?

Hello, first years.


Now that you’ve completed one whirlwind semester of Creative Communications at good ol’ RRC, it’s time to decide what you’ll do for the rest of your life. Makes sense, right? Good, because you don’t really have a choice.

It’s hard to pick, I know. I didn’t have a fucking clue what I was going to take.

I didn’t like journalism because it somehow made me anxious and bored at the same time. I liked PR, but I didn’t know if I could handle a whole semester, having heard the workload was awful (little did I know…), and it seemed too severe. I hated the sound of my own voice and I couldn’t focus a camera very well, so media production was out of the picture; and my father the lifelong, stereotypical Ad Man took every opportunity to tell me how soul-sucking that particular industry was.

I made my choice at the last second, scratching it with a dead pen into the majors/electives sheet and running it up to W308 in a huff. Advertising it was. Call me idealistic.

Anyway — last semester the ad majors did an app content assignment with some of the third year graphic designers. The audience was prospective CreComms — people who were considering going into the program, but weren’t sure if it was for them. Our job was to guide them through the sales funnel, teaching them about CreComm in order to cull the unfit and seduce the appropriate.

Part of the assignment I handed in was a brief description of each of the majors, coupled with descriptions of the “typical ____ major”. I’m going to post them here in hopes this makes your major decision a little more minor. Sorry if they sound stuffy — I’m too lazy to rephrase them in normalspeak.


CreComm students in Advertising will learn skills essential for working in the advertising and marketing communications industry.

You might be an ad major if:

  • You’re interested in what makes people tick. Ad majors want to understand the ways people interact with the products and environments that colour their lives.
  • You have a flair for creative, profound, punchy writing. Ad majors understand the power of emotional connection and they have a knack for creating that connection effectively under deadline and restriction.
  • You pay attention to detail in words and images. The ad major knows the right word or image can change a good creative execution into a work of emotional art.
  • You’re a gifted empath. Ad majors know what people want and when they want it, whether they’re clients or potential customers.

Students in the ad major learn to write copy, brainstorm and develop concepts, and deliver executions of those concepts over traditional and new media. They learn the basics of search engine optimization and media planning. They study ad theory. They do major projects for real-world clients, developing and pitching an advertising campaign for a non-profit organization in Winnipeg and entering marketing contests for real business clients. They write content for a mobile app, and they create video, radio, online and print advertisements for various clients, theoretical and actual.

Graduates of the advertising major look to futures with advertising agencies, small businesses, or corporate in-house advertising or marketing departments where they work as copywriters, media strategists, account representatives, social media managers, or communications coordinators.

P U B L I C  R E L A T I O N S

CreComm students in Public Relations learn essential skills to working in public relations, communications for non-profit organizations, and corporate communications.

You might be a PR major if:

  • You’re interested in learning what motivates people and how to engage them in conversation. Public Relations students like using insights that come from research and analysis to find effective ways to communicate with audiences to achieve an objective.
  • You like writing. Clear, concise, accurate writing is the hallmark of the PR major. You will write persuasively and precisely, taking every opportunity to get your message across effectively and efficiently. And you will write a lot.
  • You understand people. In order to effectively engage with audiences, you must understand what you can offer that they want. You must take into account their desires when formulating strategies and developing tactics for the mutual benefit of client and customer.
  • You like planning. Public relations is about relationships, and many strategies take months or years to develop. Time management and detailed planning is vital to the PR major at school and in future careers.

Students in the PR major learn to conduct and analyze research to develop insights about different target audiences; they will conceive of and write publicity plans for a number of clients, theoretical and real-world; they will learn the essentials of media relations and the necessary skills to effectively represent a client as a spokesperson; and they will creatively develop communications strategies and tactics within established budgets and confines to create the most value for their client.

Graduates of the PR major look to futures working in all areas of public relations and communications with non-profit organizations, corporations, government, or self-employed as a consultant. They hold jobs as communications coordinators, information writers, marketing communications coordinators, social media strategists, and any number of other communications-related titles. Public relations is a lot like accounting – every organization needs it, and the job market for a PR professional is optimistic.

M E D I A  P R O D U C T I O N

Students in Media Production learn skills they need to work with all forms of media. They produce television, radio and digital media for communications agencies, studios, newsrooms, radio stations, television stations and corporations with in-house production capabilities.

You might be a Media Pro if:

  • You have an eye for photography and composition of images and shots. Media Pros use video and still cameras, lighting kits, and a number of different microphones to produce media for radio and television, and it’s important to know which equipment to use to create the most effective shots and visual communications.
  • You’d rather be behind the camera, not in front of it. Media Pros are camera operators and sound and lighting technicians. They use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit sequences on tight deadlines, and they handle all the behind-the-scenes work that really makes media shine.
  • You like technology. Keeping up with the latest technology ensures Media Pros are producing work to industry standard, and they love getting their hands on the latest gear.
  • You prefer to tell stories with your voice or with images. While the other three majors are heavily focused on writing, Media Pros are more comfortable telling stories with images and sounds, communicating in multimedia instead of written media. This is especially true for those interested in radio.

Students in the Media Production major learn to use state-of-the-art video equipment, lighting kits, microphone and sound kits, a radio station, a television studio, Adobe Premiere Pro and ProTools to tell effective stories and create effective media. They make short films, video sequences, montages, radio shows, radio spots, radio newscasts for clients real and theoretical. On Broadcast Journalism day, Media Pros pair with journalism majors to create a professional-quality newscast on one day each week. They host their own radio shows, and they pitch and produce documentaries for local television networks.

Graduates of the Media Production major look to futures in production for web, television or radio with corporations, studios, radio stations, communications agencies, media outlets, television stations, and as independent contractors in photography and videography.


CreComm students in Journalism learn the skills they need to work in the rapidly changing fields of broadcast and print journalism. Their skills are in demand at newspapers, TV stations, online media outlets, and in communications departments at corporations and non-profit organizations.

You might be a J major if:

  • You like getting to the bottom of things. Journalism majors are interested in people and their stories – every nuance is important to the J major, and they know how to dig a story out of the most seemingly mundane events or activities.
  • You like telling effective stories. Journalism majors like hunting down details and using them to present a clear, concise and precise story in whichever medium they choose to tell it.
  • You are good under pressure and under deadline. Journalism majors often have to file stories and finish broadcast production within hours of the work being assigned.
  • You have a strong moral compass. Journalism majors operate with a high standard of ethics – they know something as simple as accepting a drink at a media event can compromise their objectivity and bias them.

Students in the J major learn to research, fact-check, write and edit stories in tight deadlines for various media. They choose a story to follow throughout the year, developing a comprehensive body of coverage on that story. They examine sensitivities in reporting on different topics and they work on assignments relating to situation-specific or time-specific subjects like elections and scandals. On Broadcast Journalism day, students pair with a media production student to develop and produce a story for an evening newscast.

Graduates of the J major look to futures working with newspapers and magazines, either in print or online. They write and edit stories and they may work as news anchors in radio and television. Their skills are in demand in communications departments for non-profit organizations and corporations alike.

Well, that’s it. If you’re still not sure which one is for you, get in touch with any of the second years — you can comment on this post, direct message me on Twitter, or just come talk to me. I can point you to a student in any of the majors for advice, or simply dish it out myself.

I’m also going to post another part of the assignment — profiles of some recent grads in each of the majors — next week, so you could wait for that. Or I can just tell you right now: Advertising is the best major and you should all take it.

Second years — feel free to add in the comments anything I may have missed.

Until next week.

Why I’m an idiot on Twitter

Some Joey Bada$$ for ya.

Most of us are familiar with Marshall McLuhan, the patron saint of media studies. We’re also familiar with his quote:

“The medium is the message.”

So why am I an idiot on Twitter? Well, it boils down to this quote.

The strength of Twitter is in its brevity. You have 140 characters to say something. This isn’t really the best length for ruminations on life and sadness, or on anything serious for that matter. While some people can do short-form punch really well, it’s a skill, and one that most people don’t have. One hundred and forty characters also isn’t enough to give any meaningful advice, unless the person you’re advising is blissfully ignorant. You can’t provide any academic value, and contrary to BJ Fucko’s Marketing Tips, Twitter will not make you a better businessman.

One hundred and forty characters, however, is the perfect maximum length for jokes. And not stand-up jokes, either – a lot of stand-up comedians who are funny in real life are downright awful on Twitter. Twitter is a writer’s medium. A smart writer’s medium. As a matter of fact, like many of their stand-up brethren, a lot of comedy writers are awful on Twitter, too. 

You need to know the limits of your medium and you need to know how to deliver a punch in your medium with the tools available to you. Don’t tell me how much you love your friend on their birthday. It doesn’t mean anything more because everyone can see it — It’s actually just annoying. Don’t tweet a picture of your gym workout with a comment about how sweet it is that there’s only one other tank-top wearing neanderthal sharing the squat rack with you. Nobody gives a shit. Don’t try to promote your awful band. I can see your ratio. You follow 100,000 people and 10,000 people follow you. You’re fishing.

Tell me a joke.

The strength of Twitter for me is in its situational humour. Affectionately known as “weird Twitter”, there’s a circle of hilarious guys and gals that have slowly become some of the only people I don’t know in real life who I follow on Twitter out of actual interest and not out of politeness and propriety. Some of these people have more than 100,000 followers – all from tweeting things as stupid as

As dumb as their humour is, as improper their grammar and sentence construction, these guys get Twitter. They use typos and arbitrary capitalization to create inflection and humour where classic writing rules fall flat (I’m sure you’ve been in a text conversation with someone who types like they “should”. It’s excruciating. They’re always mad at you.) They carefully craft their idiocy and irony like so-called comedy writers never could.

It’s more than that, too. They’re often on to news stories before they become news stories. They know trends, and they know how to lampoon those trends in the most insightful ways. We recently talked about coolhunters in class, and these folk are the ones to be hunted. I’d go further into this, but I’m really only blogging to keep up with a class assignment.  If you’re interested in seeing what I mean, follow me on Twitter and then follow everyone I follow.

I’ll never keep up with the best, but I try.

News is hard sometimes.

On Wednesday, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau shot Cpl. Nathan Cirillo dead in Ottawa before Sergeant-At-Arms Kevin Vickers shot the terrorist dead in turn.

We were in class learning how to make a rudimentary webpage playfully titled “(insert name here) likes beer”. We were stressing over the machinations of code and joking about how bad the title of the site would look if it were drop-shadowed or over-bolded.

At the same time, Winnipeg police announced the number of dead infants found in a storage container the day before by U-Haul staff was six instead of the presupposed “three or four”. Initially I was disgusted that people were unable to tell if there were three or if there were four. My imagination ran wild. The reality was even worse.

At the same time, Winnipeggers took to the polls to vote in an election rife with racial conflict and accusations of scandal.

Earlier in the semester, a man approached me on a bike as I was arriving at school around 7:45 a.m. I was unloading a camera, a tripod, a sound kit.

“Hey,” he said. “Did you know Canada was stolen from the natives?”

It was an odd question (an odder circumstance, really,) but I did know that. I had learned it in… Grade 10? Grade 11? It had become intrinsic knowledge to me throughout the rest of my high school career and, later, throughout my history degree. Intrinsic guilt.

“Yeah,” I said. His face was blank and he biked away. I heard the woman he was with scolding him. I walked into school.

Later in the week, another shooting. This time in the states. High school student Jaylen Fryburg opened fire at his school, killing one other person before killing himself.

It just seems like too much to handle, sometimes. Horrific story after horrific story.

Patrice VincentJames Foley, Steven Sotloff, Faron Hall, Tina Fontaine, Michael Brown, Ferguson, New Hampshire.

It never seems to end. I pore over these things, trying to understand what could motivate someone or some group of people. I try to empathize with a lifetime of cultural and societal oppression, a war-forged upbringing, a mental illness.

The rage someone must feel to self-righteously load a weapon and unload it on a stranger. The unholy fervor someone must feel, the brutal and fiery metamorphosis someone must go through to think it’s OK to sever someone’s head with a knife. the horror and fury a group of people must feel to take it upon themselves to drag the bottom of a river for bodies.

I just can’t understand. I’ve tried to understand. There’s so much anger. Everywhere you turn, anger. Boiling tensions all across the globe, horror worldwide. The past few months have hit me hard in this respect. This week especially. Sometimes it’s better to turn off the news.

I wish I had more time and energy to flesh this post out a little more. I can do better, I just don’t have the time because of school. If you take anything away from reading this, make it this other, better article from Esquire about the mentality of mass shootings and the people who work to prevent them.

It’s an important story.

Here’s an excerpt:

IT WASN’T JUST THE GUNS. It was how the guns shaped his thinking—how they fedhis thinking. They were always there. There were fourteen of them in a locked closet. They were military-grade weapons. There was an M1 rifle. There was a Swedish Mauser. There were Russian SKS’s. And there was ammunition, loads of it. It was all just right there, a few feet away, and not just physically. Spiritually. In his memories. One of his earliest memories was of his father sitting on the couch cleaning his guns. He always knew they were readily accessible. But in his mind, they were more than that. His father was a member of the NRA. He believed in the God-given right to bear arms. But what did that mean, God-given, to a boy like him? It meant that God wanted him to have a gun. It meant that deep down he was a warrior. It meant that he was born to be something other than what he was. “You take someone with very low self-esteem and put a gun in his hands, he feels like a movie hero…”