Starter Kit: Inadvisable Endeavors

Alex Reviews: All 24 Versions of "Life is a Highway" Currently Available on Spotify

Provost-level contributor Alex Speed // Issue 6

These are all real-life songs available for listening on a playlist I made.

Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts: This is the OG song that asks the questions we all have wondered privately. Is life a highway? Am I gonna ride it? If so, for how long? Will Someone be going my way? Good stuff. Great stuff.

Life is a Highway - From "Cars" Soundtrack - Rascal Flatts: Yeah this is the same song, but like the cover on this version is pretty cool. That red car - Lightning McQueen. Pretty cool, pretty cool.

Life is a Highway - Tom Cochrane: Supposedly this is the original and the Rascal Flatts version is a cover? Even if that's true (and I'm not convinced it is) this "Tom Cochrane" character should surrender to the voice of the people. The cheering thunderous voice of the masses begging for more Rascal Flatts.

Life is a Highway - Remastered Version - Rascal Flatts: You know how people make sequels and there's not even any story it's just very obviously some executive trying to make a money grab?

Life is a Highway - Home Free: I think I, like most good Americans, try to forget there was a weird craze for a cappella groups somewhere in the early/mid 2010's. This version is the example of why we should all choose to forget this unfortunate time.

Life is a Highway - Chris LeDoux: Hey look I get that this was like a funny bit, but do I really have to listen to all of these? This is just the same song but it feels like it was made by some random republican in his garage with too much access to MIDI instruments.

Life is a Highway - The Madhatters: Okay remember what I said about the whole a capella thing? This one is worse and kind of makes me think that maybe we shouldn't try to forget it happened, you know, like wars and stuff.

Life is a Highway - Kidz Bop Kids: I dunno, generally I think children singing is really creepy but for some reason it's kinda working for me here.

Life is a Highway (Explicit) - DJ Crazy J Rodriguez: It seems like this would be a weird country rap version but it is just the exact same as number 1.

Life is a Highway - Six: You guys know how I feel about a capella groups, right? The further down this list we get the worse these versions get. It's astounding. What sort of horrible things did I do in a past life that have led to me writing reviews of different version of Life is a Highway? Whatever I did, this is too severe a punishment.

Life is a Highway - Juice Music: I've noticed that people take a lot of pride in the little yell thing at the beginning of the song. This song has the most intense "wwhhooooo-yyeeaahh."

Life is a Highway (Crossfit Workout Mix) - CrossFit Junkies:

Life is a Highway - Andrew Butcher: This guy seems like he's trying his best, and I admire that.

Life is a Highway - Pickin' On Series: Oh shit, this is pretty cool. Nice bluegrass vibe is much less abrasive than people doing different shades of "Ye-haws."

Life is a Highway - Lost In Time: They somehow made it sound like this version was recorded in my Oklahoma cousin's basement somewhere in the back half of 1986. First version with female lead vocals though, pretty cool.

Life is a Highway - The Nashville Riders: This version's vocals sound like someone is being shown a video of their deepest fears whilst he sings a cover of a song he neither likes nor dislikes. 6 potential hostage situations/10.

Life is a Highway - The New Country All-Stars: I'm gonna level with you guys, I think this group was lying about their name.

Life is a Highway - The Superstarz Kidz: The person singing this is very clearly in at least his thirties? I don't really hear any children on the track despite the album cover being a trio of Bratz dolls.

Life is a Highway - Wild Stylerz: This is the worst one. Beware.

Life is a Highway - Looking for Treble: Oh for fuck's sake.

Life is a Highway - Luke Marsden: This version sounds like I am the only person in the vast variability of the internet to ever hear this random guy play a song into his laptop. I guess there's a weird sort of hope in that. The idea of putting out a creative endeavor that one day has the ability to be heard by people you didn't anticipate. But also, this guy shouldn't be releasing music.

Life is a Highway - Dynamite: "Hey Dale, do you and the boys want to take our hogs down to my buddy's shed? He just bought a keyboard and a laptop with GarageBand."

Life is Like a Highway - Rebound: This is not Life is a Highway, just an impostor.

Life is a Highway (Cars) - 8-Bit Misfits: Another really cool song. Some sort of like 8-bit techno instrumental that reminds you the melody and everything is pretty catchy. No mentions of highways though. 8 state troopers pulling me over for using my laptop while driving/10.

The Trunk Administration

Chief Blood Feud Correspondent Wendy Fernandez // Issue 32

I'm the first to admit I hate Ryan Seacrest, especially when no one asks. Hypothetically, I'm also the first to climb into my trunk for curiosity's sake only to be locked in there. I'm not saying that scenario has ever happened to me, but what do these two things have in common? Last Saturday night.

Again, I did not not get stuck in my trunk. I could've left whenever I felt like it. But since it was night and I had a solid hour and a half alone with my thoughts, all I could think about was how much I hate that small, vapid man. Do you remember when he tried to high-five a blind man? Yeah, me too.

I don't know if it's his lack of personality, or his stupid hair, but I want to vomit every time I see Seacrest on my screen. His unwanted rise to fame started with his work on the Dick Clark show, and skyrocketed after Clark's death. Obviously, Seacrest killed him. There's literally no other reason I can think of why some guy named Ryan from Georgia would matter. I suspect it was a fatal mixture of Seacrest's hairspray and teeth whitening chemicals that caused Dick Clark's stroke and heart attack. The family had to scatter the man's ashes in the ocean so Seacrest would never find him again. The family wanted peace.

It was in the darkness of my alleged trunk at midnight that I lost feeling in my legs. I wish I could say the same for Ryan. I refuse to believe for a second that this man is 5'7. Clearly he underwent some height-altering plastic surgery in the mid 90's where they filled the bottom of his feet with latex implants. Maybe they even added some leg above his knees, or skin to his hips. If he had lost feeling in his legs after the surgeries, his obsession with shorts never would've come to fruition. We would never have been subjected to his line of custom designer shorts, or have had to watch him parade his knee caps and lack of scars around like a demented monkey freshly bathed from a lion attack. I wouldn't have to stand the man because he wouldn't be able to stand himself.

Listen to me, the empty eyes of Seacrest haunted my Saturday. Through a small crack in the window I could see Mars rising high in the South East sky, high above the car that I was definitely not in. Despite its beauty and magnificence, the red tint of Mars reminded me of the evil Seacrest carries within him at all times. This man creates nothing but empty chaos in the world. He founded Typo keyboard, a literal oxymoron that failed miserably and ripped off the Blackberry. Afterwards, he moved onto a fashion line with Burberry. Have some originality, Ryan. Burberry and Blueberry are two Vienna Sausages from the same can. He has no talent to his name but an obscene amount of wealth that he hoards like a sack of garbage. God I hate him.

Unlike Seacrest, I'm lucky that I have a friend down the street. If I were ever to call her at, let's say, 1:27 a.m. to ask her to come get me out of my trunk, she would. Ryan's longest lasting relationship has been on/off at its best. Not to mention he holds an honorary doctorate so really, he hasn't accomplished anything on his own. What a sad, unwanted man. He's as fake as his height.

Moral of the story is that, theoretically, if you were to lock yourself in the trunk of your car to see if you could fit comfortably, the answer is yes. Since I can only speculate about this, I feel like no one has to fact check me because it's just a solid feeling I have in my gut. Again, I did not lock myself in my trunk by accident, but if it were to happen, I would definitely fit well. Also, if I ever see Ryan Seacrest in person, I will kill him on sight.

Getting Older, or: Just Coming to Grips With Your Own Stupidity

Mathlete-level contributor Alex Speed // Issue 18

This is an excerpt from a conversation Matt and I had the other day:

I ate one piece of this salad and thought it was gross

so I'm just moving it around on my plate

like when you go out to eat as a child with your parents

and they let you order what you want but with the stipulation that you eat all of it

and as soon as the plate hits the table in front of you, you realize the full weight of your adult-sized mistake

It is normal for us to take small, relatively minute instances and apply them to some sort of ideological conglomerate -- like a moral snowball gaining traction through the course of our entire lives. In this case the lesson I'm learning is the significance of making decisions as an adult human being.

Last week I took a solo trip out to Marfa/Big Bend because I'm a drama queen and my life isn't going all that well so I thought it beneficial to run away to the desert for a few days. I didn't book any hotels, I had no plan, and I was "emotionally compromised" eight hours away from anyone I know. Immediately upon getting out of my car I felt the full weight of this specific adult sized mistake except instead of having to eat too much food I had to feed and house myself and focus very intently on not dying to death inside of Big Bend.

This approach to the trip reached both a metaphorical and literal peak my last day in the park. I heard about this very long and rewarding hike called Emory Peak that starts at base camp and goes to the tallest point in the park. I decided that I am an Athlete and an Adventurer so I did what any idiot would do - I barely slept, skipped breakfast, and started what turned out to be an eleven mile hike with less than one liter of water. An hour in I was sure I was going to die, and that feeling pretty much persisted the entire hike.

A few miles in I reached the first peak and a group of older gentleman noticed my eminent dying so they pretended like they had too much water and gave me some of their excess. They were very kind or maybe they didn't even exist and I was having a heat stroke? At the bottom of the summit trail I dropped off my heavy pack so I wouldn't be hindered by useless things like water or sunglasses or my wallet. The final stretch was awful and involved a pretty hey-there-is-no-way-that-this-is-allowed free climb to get to the very top of the peak. At the top I just sat there and stared at the mountains. It's very comforting to confront the unique smallness that comes from being on top of a mountain looking out at miles of mostly beautiful nothing. I felt conflicted by the accomplishment and nausea that came from finishing something you should not have started to begin with. I reflected on the decisions that brought me there: my recent breakup which served as a catalyst for feeling things, a lifetime of choosing to run away to process complex issues, and how dumb it was to wear a sleeveless shirt for a seven hour hike with little to no shade.

The hike down was pretty brutal and I definitely threw up at least once. In the end I didn't die so I celebrated life by eating a burger and driving eight hours back to Fort Worth to see my dog. I guess the conclusion is that life is strange and the even stranger tension to be maintained is trying not to die while also trying to live in a way that allows you to learn and grow and enjoy what is happening all around you. The decisions you make dictate where in this tension your life sits. Also drink more water.