Sunday, February 20, 2022

Vlaad-Netflix Original (Music Video)


Marcus Vigil is an MPCC student and a recovering drug addict, trying to piece his life together and make amends for the mistakes of his past through positive action. He struggles with being bipolar and uses music as a way of self expression. His favorite part of this video is the Father's Day present from his daughter, which includes the main theme of the video and his latest life motto, "DO YOUR BEST."

Monday, December 13, 2021

Revitalization Of The Vinyl



Chloe Walchesky

Music has always been a vital piece of American culture.The music city of Nashville is home to underground artists clawing their way up the chain of popularity. Musicians craft words of passion used to unite and spread messages to the masses. As our country shifts, so do our forms of expression.

The record player, first named the phonograph and was invented around 1857. Since then, music accessible to the family home has come a long way.Families would gather around and listen to music together.

In the 1980’s cassette tapes became popularized and allowed for mobile use. For once, people could carry music on their person and listen to it virtually anywhere. The late 90s and early 2000s brought a new form of music to the public, CDS. These disks could hold a large amount of songs and were extremely thin. These differed greatly from the large vinyl disks formerly used. Pretty soon, record stores faded into obscurity and CD stores popped up. These CD stores were like the blockbuster for music, housing anything from hip-hop to heavy metal.

The late 2000s brought forth something never seen before, online music stored within a cloud. Users could upload playlists with hundreds of songs that simply get stored on a digital cloud. These songs could then be accessed in one click. Long gone were the days of picking out your favorite CD or vinyl and carefully placing it in or on a machine. Buying CDs was relatively deemed pointless with the younger generations. Why would you need a physical copy when you could access any album online? The same goes for movies and streaming devices.

Like most things, record players seem to have struck a chord with the younger generation and come back for a new life. This came out of left field for most older outside observers. The moderate price of a new generation record player allows accessibility to thousands. There is a certain charm factor about hearing your favorite artist on a crisp vinyl. The delicate needle is placed on the record, emitting a melody with every spin. The recent popularization of vinyl records has even benefited CD stores that now carry modern artists LP albums within their stores. Collecting vinyl records is no longer a niche activity among the youth.

The revamp of these ancient relics from the past poses a question for the future. Will everything make its way back to popularity? This is a hard prophecy to fulfill, but as the years pass most things seem to resurface. The typewriter, invented around 1867 has crept its way back into the hearts of big city poets and quaint writers. Are these simply fads or are they staples of culture destined to stay for longer than anticipated?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Keep Stocking The Shelves



Chloe Walchesky

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, stores have been struggling immensely to receive item shipments. Stocking shelves has proven difficult due to lack of warehouse workers. This poses concern during the upcoming holiday seasons. Families across the country are scavenging grocery stores for a Thanksgiving turkey. While many corporate stores refuse to speak on the matter, the empty shelves do not lie.

According to the owner of Fort Cody Trading Post Nick Henline, “Some things are harder to get than others; and some suppliers take months and months” Henline said. An employee at the store added, “Possibly because of Covid, there is a hard time finding workers to ship the goods,” store employee Nedezdha said.

Christmas season is approaching closer by the minute, with no sign of the shipment speed changing. This will likely lead to customer limitation of certain items during black Friday shopping. These times remind the public to purchase only what they need, to allow others access.

Items that may be difficult to obtain this year may include foreign imports such as: electronics, toys and furniture. Backorders of shipments are to be expected. Smaller holiday gifting is the route many families are taking to doctor this dilemma. However, holiday food shipment seems to be the most concerning aspect of these delays.

A possible reason for the shortage may be traced to over purchasing.  Many households are allegedly hoarding items and purchasing in mass bulk. Taking into consideration the late shipment times and hoarding of goods, this can explain a shortage of items. As of now, most stores do not have an item limit per customer on common goods. This has been speculated to change with the upcoming holiday season of Christmas.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

When Life Gives You Lemons


Chloe Walchesky

The hazy sky illuminated August’s warm air. The summer of 2021 sparked a new journey in the form of a family business. Spending summers in Washington led my family to the realization of what we were missing in the vast state of Nebraska: Lemonade. The fresh hydro-pressed lemonade that resided in the farmer’s markets of Washington is exactly what we were missing.

The endeavor started off with the purchase of a hydraulic press that would compress the lemon to a pulp at the bottom. Once the press was purchased, there was no going back. Taste-testing the flavors commenced shortly after the purchase of a hydraulic press. An abundance of empty cups lay on the counter after the testing trials. If an occupation could have the duties of lemonade connoisseur, I would surely pursue it. Typically, a lemonade stand reminds masses of the adolescent years of starting your first “business”.  While the business was created for a fun summer pastime, our goal was to share how we perceived the farmers market, in the form of a delightful beverage. After achieving various permits, we set up shop in a small venue with other vendors. Waiting patiently, we watched families wander around aimlessly. The other family-oriented businesses included organic honey, handmade painting, and smoked BBQ.

An elderly man with a kind smile and baby blue eyes approached our lemonade stand inquiring about a strawberry lemonade. The press let out a futuristic humming noise and the process had begun. Shaking the lemonade, my eyes met two separate families forming a line. My urgency levels peaked as the line size rose. Suddenly, the line of customers stretched to a waiting span of thirty minutes.

As a waitress on the weekends, quick-moving was essential to my performance. Fast-paced environments are where I thrive. While waitressing requires a skill set of quick thinking and fast movement, this was rather overwhelming. The memorization of complex orders and pricing needed to be stored in our memory for a period of time until the order has been completed.

The night ended with sore arms and exhausted minds. We had not anticipated the turnout and had greatly underestimated how many lemons we would need. I had a vast appreciation for family businesses and the tremendous work that is put in behind the scenes. The summer venture installed the mindset of trial and error in my core beliefs.


Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Art of Moving


Chloe Walchesky

The life of a military brat can be greatly contrasted to the life of a railroader’s child. Growing up I have experienced many moves. Changes in scenery and dialect have cultivated the way I see the world. With every license plate change and moving truck came trees of beautiful color and foreign mountain ranges.

Shady oaks and sandy stemmed palm trees lined the suburban neighborhoods in northern California. Hot cement burnt the feet of kids racing towards the ice cream truck. An endless amount of vibrantly orange poppies never ceased to light up the freeway exits. This warm town of mine was familiar and what I identified as home. I spent my younger years in a quaint home built in the 1930s. My next door neighbor would become my best friend. Ripping the wood fence down, I created an entrance between the two backyards. Adventures were had and many mysteries solved within our small spaces. She was an only child seeking a friend and I was a rambunctious trouble maker with friendship to give.Troublemakers is an understatement when explaining our youth, we colored on walls, played with worms and broke plenty of vases. 

I was less than thrilled to discover we were moving to a new home. Thankfully, I would be in the same state, just one town over. My new bedroom was painted with a faint yellow tone that resembled sunshine peaking on an adobe wall. This house was huge in my eyes, I had stairs to slide down and a big backyard with plenty of greenery. When imaging my childhood, this home on Eureka street comes to mind first. The ancient resident black cat with emerald eyes died a few weeks before the big move. 

As a railroad kid, I had the expectation to move, but never believed I would adapt to the art of moving. The first step to moving began with acceptance. I was thrilled. Washington? The state the president lives in? Surprised to find that we were moving to the evergreen state opposed to the white house state. I closely examined the decoupage globe on my shelf. Grabbing the home phone I dialed my best friend’s number, punching (530) as fast as my fingers could type. Goodbyes were swift and sweet, full of ignorance. I would not see my best friends for years following this move. Packing was a blur of excitement, my life fit into a million brown boxes. We loaded the canary yellow truck with precision. I sipped my bubbly soda and ran into the backyard one last time. I grew up in this house, swinging from the willow trees and sliding down the never ending stairs. Passing fruit fields and roadside orange stands, we left Sutter county.

The sun dimmed to an oceanic grey cast as we made our way into Oregon. Black berry picking and memories with old grandpa Bill ricochet in my mind. The drive continued upstate, we stayed the night in a kitschy Klamath Falls hotel. In the morning, I scarfed down a giant pancake from Starvin Marvin's diner. This trip felt like a family vacation rather than a change of atmosphere. The high desert was not how I pictured Washington. Where are the evergreen trees? In this town there was an actual mall, restaurants filled with pacific northwest decor and a Starbucks around every corner. I would be in 5th grade at a new elementary school. The idea of public school frightened me, what was it like? My whole idea of school up to this point was held within the familiar walls of my private school. The teachers were like family to me, I knew all of my peers. Adaptation is arguably the most challenging aspect within a move, this would ring true for me.

Scraped knees and skateboards wandered in through the gates of this elementary school. I walked to my classroom held in a portable building. Scanning the room I realized there was not a single familiar face. The room was warm and smelt of popcorn with no clear indication of why in sight. Picking up my feet and walking to a seat was my first step to making new friends, I thought. Immense chattering arose when the teacher announced that the seats were pre arranged. Finding the “Chloe” tag on the desk, I sat down. These desks had wobbly legs that made a peculiar noise when jostled with.

Bike riding became a favorite pastime of mine, the hills allowed for an intense rollercoaster of downhills and inclines. My parents surprised me with a baby blue bike with faint pink handles and a wicker basket upfront. The winter came swiftly and I deeply anticipated a white Christmas. I had never experienced snow in large quantities before this move. My closet was suited for warmer temperatures so in the fall, it received an update. I had never needed a winter coat living in California, but this year I received one. The jacket was puffy and tri colored with pink, blue and white. My brothers and I played in the first snowfall as if it were in a movie. Following middle child stereotypes, I chucked a ball of snow towards my older brother. Rosey hands and noses entered the living room frozen to the touch. 

After a year of new experiences we decided to stake our claim in a home. The realization that Washington was most likely our forever home sank in, and we were ecstatic. Once again we packed all of our belongings from the rental home in a moving van and hit the road. The new home was a few miles uphill, the view from the top was magnificent. A million tiny lights blinked their eyes as we stared down on the sleeping city. The Columbia river curved its way into our viewpoint for us to admire. Dark bamboo floors perfectly encased the living room. An aromatic overload of fresh paint wavered in. A kid that moves will always admire the smell of fresh paint. Our backyard was small but had good hills for rolling down. This home would see me grow from a meek middle schooler to a tall Sophomore in highschool. I loved my bedroom, weekend trips to Seattle and my farmers market adventures. Downtown was a hipster's paradise, I spent hours filing through the vinyls in the underground record store. My town was small enough to feel safe, but full of growth and opportunity. I picked out my dream college, Washington state.

This dream would come to an immediate halt when the news of a move came about. I had lived in Washington for 5 years and adored it, how could this be happening? News of the move came about the same week my guinea pig died. I was used to change but this was all so unexpected and sudden. Once again I was packing everything up, this time it was bitter. I was saddened to leave my friends and beloved town. I walked around the empty house wondering what life would hold next.

Nebraska was a state that had never once grazed my mind. What was in this landlocked state? I had no virtual idea of what was going on in the state of Nebraska. We entered the flat state with no expectations of what to see. I was astonished by the lack of trees and stores. I had never lived anywhere quite like this. My new home was unlike anywhere I had resided before, I had a basement and lots of land. The porch looked like it was staged for a hallmark movie in the Midwest. It was my junior year of high school, everyone had already made lifelong friends. I walked into the school without a care in the world. My goal was to graduate and move swiftly. Quickly, I made friends to my surprise. Never would have I guessed that I would find friendship with people in this foreign town.

The adaptations to small town living included finding adventure in minute things. Longboarding down empty roads and late night slushie runs occupied my weekends. Slowly but surely I was starting to think maybe Nebraska isn't the worst place I could be right now. By senior year I had made friends that were so very precious to me. Goodbyes senior summer were the hardest ones of all, though a majority of my friends left a few stayed local with me. My next move is approaching soon, this time it will be a solo trip to a university. I am thankful for the adaptation abilities moving gave me and it is sound to say that I wouldn't trade them. I have a solid understanding towards the art of moving, and I'm ready for my new quest.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Artists of North Platte


Chloe Walchesky

North Platte Nebraska is home to the largest rail yard in the world. The humble town contains more than what initially reaches the eye.

Just ajar to the bricks, lies a large building with a sign reading Prairie Arts Center. The first floor is home to galleries displaying local sculptures and paintings for sale. The positions at the arts center are mainly on a volunteer basis. You are able to find friendly volunteers from 11-4 Tuesday through Saturday. Local volunteer of five years Sheri Polk says, “North Platte is surprisingly full of talent.”

Having a creative outlet for those artistically inclined is vital to the growth of a community. A multitude of classes is available to the public, including painting and pottery. The cerulean blues and midnight black cartons of paint settle on the wooden shelves of the third floor. The third floor is home to pottery open studios Friday and Saturday. Participants choose a piece to paint, and the teacher will fire the piece within a week.

Subtle piano hymns echo through the quiet hallways rising from the marble slab it resides on. Children pour out of the dandelion colored school bus. They wander around in amazement taking in every ounce of the world around them. This hall is truly an artist's paradise. Childlike wonder is fascinating, an elevator becomes the vessel to a new reality.

The basement is accessible to those wanting a refreshment on the art of acrylic painting. To an artist, the mundane pale colors of the fields transform to a dystopian fantasy. Starting October first and continuing throughout the month, a Tim Burton style exhibit is showcased in the museum. Tim Burton is a director with American roots, his art style often reflects big eyed creatures and a dark underlying tone. His art style may resemble that of Margaret Keane. Big eyes and helpless blank stares echo throughout her work. This is perfect for the Halloween season. The exhibit is judged and will be shown in the gallery room on the first floor.

While the North Platte exhibits alone are quite interesting, traveling exhibits rotate into show. Currently, “The Artist As Muse” from the University of Nebraska Lincoln is in the halls. If one is interested in the arts, the Prairie Arts Center would be the perfect weekend escape.