My Favorite Halloween Costume Ever

I was a sophomore in college, living at His House campus ministry at Western Michigan University.

The previous year, I had dressed up like my philosophy professor and attended his class dressed as him. This year, I needed something better.

Something Bigger.

Something Equally Cheap.

And so I went to the Dollar Store with absolutely no idea of what my costume should be. And then I saw them. inflatable dinosaur toys. I knew right then and there what I was going to be for Halloween. I would be “Jurassic Park”.

The whole park.

My roommate had some caution tape somewhere in our room, and between that and my dinosaurs, I would be all set. Well, almost all set.

After attaching the dinosaurs to my sweatshirt and sweatpants with clear tape and adding a healthy dose of caution tape, I knew that I was still lacking something essential. So I quickly crafted a paper that hung suspended between two pencils atop my winter hat that read “Welcome to Jurassic Park.”

In retrospect, the awesomeness of the costume was a bit wasted on the fact that college students are too old to trick-or-treat and Christian college students don’t get invited to the typical Halloween costume parties that happen on and off of campus. Oh well.

At least I still have my inflatable dinosaurs and memories to keep me warm on this cold October day.

What’s your favorite costume?

josh_halloween_2001

I am a Natural at Self-Promotion.

Last week, I told the origin story of the “I Love Josh Mosey” t-shirts, as well as how they helped me achieve semi-stardom in Big Sky country.

But I skipped some of the story…

Liz in the t-shirt. Josh stuffing his face.

If you didn’t read last week’s post, I made a bunch of t-shirts with my face on them for my friends as graduation gifts. What I didn’t tell you was how the visiting-from-out-of-town family of one of my friends wanted the shirts too. Of course, I was only too willing to give away more things with my face on them, so my friend Liz and many of her cousins got the shirt too.

Fast forward to the graduation ceremony. It is the year 2000, the ceremony is halfway done, people have been reminded a few times now to hold their applause for the end of the program.

My name is called.

All heck breaks loose.

Unbeknownst to me, all of my friend’s cousins who got my t-shirts had worn them to graduation. At my name being called, they stood proudly, stretching their shirts so that everyone could see them, shouting things like “We Love Josh Mosey!” and “Josh Mosey for President!” and “Woo Hoo!”

The announcer kindly reminds the crowd to wait for the end of the program to applaud while I shake hands with the principal, receive my diploma, and walk to the side of the gymnasium completely red-faced. It was wonderful.

His House, an awesome campus ministry.

The next fall, I went to Western Michigan University where Liz’s brother and sister-in-law, Jesse and Rachel, attended. After a week or so of settling in, the pair paid me a visit and introduced me to His House Christian Fellowship, the campus ministry where they were involved (and the one where I would become involved as well).

When they picked me up, Rachel was wearing her “I Love Josh Mosey” shirt, as she had been for a little while around campus. So when I came to my first His House event, a lot of people came up to me, recognizing my face from the shirt and I instantly had friends, albeit ones whose names I did not yet know.

If there is a lesson to be had in there somewhere, it is this. T-shirts with your face on them are great gifts, every time. Maybe I should be selling them through this blog…

Stay tuned for that.

Back to School & Book Club Reminders…

I just got an email from the fine people at Coursera and thought I’d share it with you.

How does the Internet work? Why were LinkedIn passwords easier to break into? What is the time value of money? What do the novels Alice and Wonderland, Dracula, and Frankenstein say about the relationship between science, technology, and our hopes and fears? Did my 3rd-grade teacher explain only a suboptimal algorithm for multiplying two numbers?

Come geek-out with us over these and tons of other interesting questions explored through our summer courses!

We’ll be sending out this newsletter 1-2 times a month to keep you updated on new course offerings and Coursera news. We hate spam too, so we’ll only send out our newsletter with information that we think will be useful for you. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to get the most current updates.

Happy studying!

Your Coursera Team

If you remember, I am signed up for the free course being offered by the University of Michigan called “Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World“. Back then, I asked if anyone would be willing to do this with me. My good friend Bob volunteered and a few of my Facebook friends showed interest, but I thought I’d mention it again for any newcomers to be able to join us. If you are curious check out the link here.

And not so long ago, I blogged about the book club that my friend Bruce and I were starting. Anyone is welcome to join us, either in physical form (if you live in the West Michigan area) or in a digital form (if you live anywhere else).

We’re reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, and we’ll be meeting to discuss it in mid-August. That means that you still have time to pick up a copy and read about 100 pages per week to finish in time for the discussion. Even if you are reading other books at the time, you can squeeze in 100 pages of this book. It is a fast read and engaging so far, and I’m only about 100 pages in.

I realize that HBO recently made this book into a mini-series that was well-received, but I ask that you take the time to read the book. I’m sure that people who have both seen the series and read the book can attest to the fact that books are almost always better to their on-screen counterparts.

Anyway, I just wanted to remind you about what we have going on here at my blog. If you are interested in joining the book club, but you can’t afford the book (or if you don’t have access to a good library), send me an email. I have an extra copy for the first interested party.

Be sure to mention in the comments if you are thinking about joining me in either of these endeavors!

I am smooth.

Since I started thinking about my college days again for last week’s post, I thought I’d share another college story.

When I first moved to Kalamazoo in order to attend Western Michigan University, music was something that was still primarily enjoyed by listening to the radio (that makes me feel very old all of the sudden). Illegal file sharing was yet to be made illegal, and the iPod was only a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye. While searching the dial for a station worth listening to, I stumbled across my college’s radio station, WIDR, and instantly fell in love.

WIDR | Radio EvolutionI still get nostalgic for WIDR and many’s the time when I wish that I could get the signal where I live now. All of the DJs were students, long awkward pauses and dead air were not uncommon, and I had never heard of most of the musicians they played, but it all worked. WIDR had the perfect mix of loveable amateurism and exposure to the underground music scene.

But enough of my gushing and on to the story.

I learned where the station was located after being invited to speak about the Valhalla Norwegian Society, of which I was president at the time. As it happened, WIDR’s studio was located in the same building as the registered student organization mailboxes, so in the weeks following the interview, I would stop in at random to say hi to the DJs who interviewed me with whom I had struck up a friendship.

On one such visit, rather than ask if my DJ friends were available, I stepped up to the main desk and said, “I’m here to pick up my prize pack.” Now, there was no prize pack waiting for me, but I thought that on the off chance that I could get a free t-shirt or something, I’d try my luck.

“Prize pack?” said the receptionist. “Did someone call you and tell you that you won something?”

“Um,” I replied. “Well, no.”

“Then, why did you come in?” asked the receptionist, and rightfully so.

“Um,” I replied. “I just wanted to see if I could get something. Maybe a t-shirt or something.”

“Oh,” said the receptionist. “Well, I can’t give you anything.”

“Okay,” I said. “Would you mind telling John that I’m out here then, if he’s not on-air at the moment, I mean.”

“Actually,” said a woman sitting against the wall who I had completely missed, “I was about to go record an interview with John, so he’ll be busy for a little bit.”

“Oh,” I said. “It’s cool. I’ll just check back later.”

“Wait a sec,” said the new woman. “I heard what you were trying to do with the prize pack thing. Clever and ballsy of you. If you wait around until after the interview, I’d love to give you a couple tickets to my show tonight. Maybe you could bring a date.”

I waited. True to her word, this mystery musician put my name down for two tickets to her show that night.  This turn of events gave me sufficient reason to ask out a girl that I’d been interested in a for a few weeks. What a great first date story that would be, I thought (isn’t it funny how we want to make our lives fit into clever story arcs?). To my surprise, the girl agreed and off we went.

The seats were prime. The music was good. My date and I were enjoying ourselves. And then, around the middle of the set, the musician stops and says, “Where’s Josh? I met Josh earlier at the college radio station and he told me that he was going to be on a first date tonight. Josh, are you here?”

I raised my hand. People from all directions stared at me… and my date. I should probably say that the girl that I brought to this event was a shy girl who didn’t like the spotlight.

“How’s the date going so far?”

I looked over at my date. She gave me a thumbs up, but the look on her face was not happy.

“Um, great!” I lied.

“Cool,” she said, and then she finished her show. The first date became the last date, and that was okay. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Afterward, I stopped back into the radio station to thank them for doing the interview with the musician that led to me getting free show tickets. My DJ friends invited me to talk about the evening on the air. I told them that it was a good evening, but that things didn’t work out.

That was when they decided that it would be a fun show segment to have girls call in to the station and go on dates with me (WIDR would be footing the bill) and then I would talk about my experiences the next day. At the time, I thought nothing of being pimped out by my college radio station and thought it would be a fun way to see concerts and such for free.

The promotion never came together however, and now I’m really glad that it didn’t. Now, I’m married to a wonderful woman (a bit on the shy side, I guess I have a type). And though I’m sure that my wife would never have left me when confronted with a spotlight on us, I’m glad that our story started differently.

I love my wife more than old people love racism and talking about diseases.