Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can Conor Get Any Worse?

Over the past week and a half we have seen Conor fail miserably twice now. He failed to comment on my post, or even acknowledge it, even though I specifically gave him a shout out in a very nice way. Also, his grammar is atrocious.

I'm here to tell you that that shit is weak.

His name is Conor O'Brien. You may know him as Springfield High's DRAMA QUEEN. You also may know him as that one orange guy from that one mediocre musical. You also may know him as the guy who never stops talking about his band Band Practice. If they had a band t-shirt, he would wear it. You may also know him as the captain of that improv troupe that find themselves funnier than anyone else finds them to be. You may know him as a DRAMA QUEEN. You also may know him as the guy who is awkward at parties and openly admits he has sexual feelings for Eliot Sill. I think you get the point, fellas. Watch your backs. Or Conor will rape you.

Let's clear some things up right off the bat (SPORTS!). He thinks he's really, really talented, and he tries really hard to be so. A comical combination. If he acts like he's better than you, let him have his little victory in his own mind. His victory will be hollow and meaningless, because we all know we let him win just to get him to shut up already. We could sell him into slavery, but I don't think we would get all that much money for him, because I hear that price is based on work ethic and not how sorry you are that you aren't being helpful.

If he hadn't spent the first half hour at Ty's house PLAYING THE PIANO, he might have gotten his blog posted on the appropriate day. What a douche.

- Classic Brian

Can I Get Any Better?

Over the past week and half we have seen a number of different styles of post. Eliot's rant over growing older, Cory's fictional story, Mada's fear that her condition will never improve. A variety of people, a variety of styles.

I'm here to tell you that shit's weak.

My name, as you know, is Conor O'Brien. You may know me as Springfield High's Homecoming King. You also may know me as the lead in Springfield High's recent musical hit, Chad. You also may know me as the frontman of the award-winning local rock band Band Practice. You also may know me as the Assistant Stage Manager of Muni's Seussical! You may also know me as the Captain of the Easily Amused Improv Troupe. You may know me as the recipient of the Superintendent Award for Drama. You also may know me as the guy you have a crush on. I think you get my point, ladies.

Let's get some things out of the way. I'm really, really talented, and I also don't really try that hard. A lethal combination. That means that I'm naturally going to be better than you at most things, and even when you do manage to beat me at anything your victory will be hollow and meaningless, for I will accept my loss with a mixture of apathy and unscathed overconfidence. So suck it.

As a singer-song writer, I see the world in a different way than normal people do. I view it better. I'm more interesting than the average person, and if I were being sold as a slave, I would probably be worth more than your average person, too. Part of me wants to be captured and sold into modern slavery just so I can prove that last point.

I've learned a lot of things throughout my eighteen years of life. Here are the important bits:
1. If someone's doing something, I should loudly inform them of how they can do it better.
2. If there's a piano, play it.
3. It's completely okay to override anyone who's talking by talking louder than them. What I have to say is probably more interesting, anyway.
4. If a joke I make isn't laughed at, it simply wasn't heard. I will say it again and again, progressively louder, until it earns the reaction it deserves.
5. My stories are all good stories.

I could go on and on about myself. I will, if you want, in real life, but I only have so much time. My time, like my skin, is precious. Sorry my post is more than a hour late. I know you'll forgive me. Peace.

- Conor O'Brien

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Day I Found Jesus

I suppose that because of the title of this post, everyone is going to assume I am going to ramble on about how something tragic came about in my life and the only way I could resolve the conflict was by accepting the love and teachings of Jesus Christ. Oh how very wrong and foolish you are; this has nothing to do with such things. No, I am far less predictable than that (you merely underestimate me!).

It was December 21st, 2009, very cold, and very dry for the amount of cluttered moisture which was on the ground. Amy and I were lying on top of my black 1998 Ford Escort, conversing while staring into the large dark face of space.
Amy looked over to me and softly asked "Sam, do you believe there is a God?" Much to my surprise, she was one hundred percent serious. Her eyes focused in on mine while she bit her bottom lip and awaited my answer. I thought hard, but I couldn't seem to formulate an answer. I felt pressured; maybe this was a test to see if we were right for one another. So instead of answering, I returned her gaze, and shrugged my shoulders casually.
Honestly, I couldn't grasp my mind around the idea of a "higher being." It just didn't make any sense to me. I could tell by the look on her face that Amy had something to say on the topic, so I turned to face her.
"I think that there is," Amy said, "because if there wasn't, then how would we exist?"
I shrugged again and then hopped down of the top of the car. I opened the driver side door and reached in to grab my iPod. I put on a song by The Smiths and then shut the door and rejoined Amy. She looked cold, so I took my overcoat and put it over her. Her eyes closed as she drifted into a state of comfort. I put my arm over her and we got real close together.
It started to snow, but I was unable to get up. The moment, just lying here on a car in the middle of nowhere with this girl, was too perfect to be interrupted by fucking snow. But I did feel myself growing a bit tired, so I decided that I would rest my eyes a bit.
They wouldn't open back up.
When they finally did, I found myself alone. Amy was nowhere in sight, just a large mound of snow in her place. I panicked and fell off the car (my ass hurt pretty bad). Where had Amy gone? I yelled her name as loud as I could, but to no avail. Then, I saw footprints leading from the car into a small forest. The forest was about a mile off, so I began my journey into the oblivion ahead.
My feet began to ache, and after only ten or twenty feet. The snow had penetrated my shoes and stabbed my toes a thousand times. The pain shot through my nerves like a bullet train, reaching every inch of my body instantly. My breath was growing faint, and I could feel the veins in my head pulsing, straining themselves to keep me going. My eyelids again became heavy and I fell to my knees in exhaustion. Tears ran from my face and froze on my cheek.
Amy had to be dead. It was too cold for her to have made it in what she had on. She even left my overcoat on the car.
I thought back to earlier in that day, in the afternoon. We had decided to start dating, to much surprise. We'd practically been dating for 4 years, we just never made it official. And once we did, things changed a bit. I had to call her my girlfriend, and not Amy. I had to buy her gifts, and take her on dates. It was strange. Sure, it made it more proper for us to fuck and be dating and not just fuck, but who cares about proper nowadays? I just wanted things to stay the same. But already in one day they had become different. She wasn't worried about where we would have sex tonight, she was worried about whether or not I believed in God; and truth be told, I don't. But she does, so I can't just write it off as I don't because now I'm in a position where I can seriously screw myself over.
Although if she's dead, what does it matter?
I picked myself up, sluggishly but with a certain boldness, and I stared up at the night sky once again. I took a deep breath, and I said in avery indoorsy voice, "I do not believe in God."
Then I was back, lying next to Amy, looking straight at her as she began to smile a little bit, blushing softly.
"Well, my little rebel," she said.
All along, had I been imagining things? I thought maybe I was going insane. Time and space were flowing through my fingers like water.
"You're not mad?" I asked.
"Hey man, to each his own, right?" Then she kissed me.
We lied a bit longer, just looking at one another, smiling and sharing this warm loving feeling with one another. She put her hand on my cheek and began rubbing the small amount of facial hair I had. She moved closer to embrace me, and just as I closed my eyes, they opened again to reveal a hospital room.
I fumbled around a bit, looking in every direction, completely baffled by what was happening. My mom was sitting next to the bed and she calmed me down a bit.
"Mom, what's going on?"
"Oh dear. You don't remember anything?"
"No, what's happened?"
"You were out with Amy, and it was snowing heavily. When you were driving her home - or at least they think you were driving her home - you slid off the edge of a hill and your car rolled sixteen times. Amy was thrown out of the car and you were thrown around inside the car. She died after her head smacked the ice, but you made it out alive. Unfortunately though, they said you wouldn't be able to remember anything from the accident."
"How long have I been in here?"
"It's been about twelve hours, Sam."
So that was it. I killed my girlfriend on the first day she was my girlfriend. My eyes filled up with tears and I started cussing really loud, saying 'Fuck you' to every single God that existed. Sure, it was immature of me, but I was in more pain than I'd ever been in.
Since then, I've changed. I started attending church every Sunday. The funny thing is, I'm still an atheist. I just know how much Amy loved going to church. So I do it for her. Maybe one day my eyes will open again and I'll be back on top of my car, lying next to her, listening to The Smiths and enjoying time being frozen like the water on the ground as we looked into each other's eyes.

Thanks for reading!,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

GI Joe's and College Apps.

I love senior year. It's the best. There's absolutely no parallel in all of anything. It's like you can do things and seem like a mature person and you can do things and seem like a young kid. Both are okay. For instance, only in senior year can you make a campus visit, have a serious talk about your future with a college advisor, come home, go throw yourself down a slip 'n' slide for two hours, then go to work and earn a decent paycheck. You can never act too old or too young.

Fact: I have a box of GI Joe's by my toilet that I play with during my spare time when I take dumps.

Fact: I have a good reputation as a hard-working busboy at a Country Club. I treat members respectfully and they commend my good behavior and work ethic.

Fact: I have gotten drunk while staying up until three in the morning playing Super Mario Galaxy 2 with both of my older brothers on more than one occasion.

Fact: I run three to five times a week, along with carrying out a steady push-up/crunch regiment to keep myself in passable shape.

Fact: Yesterday I was playing with GI Joe's and using the bathroom while talking to a financial aid advisor at the University of Illinois about my epic fuck-up I referenced last week. (Long story short: What's my name?)

I think you get the point. The point we're at now in our lives is a perfect cross between maturity and relishing these last moments of childhood. The phrase "act your age" has almost no bearing on me because I might go to a symphony performance or play an hour of Robot Unicorn Attack when faced with that prompt.

Going forward through senior year summer, we have time for the bitter-sweetness and the nostalgia, but in these last breaths of childhood air, we have the opportunity to act like dumbasses for the last time. We made it through whatever educational path we chose, but soon we enter the transitional phase where education transforms into a working career. As of now the two are totally separate. So as I cross the bridge between childhood and adulthood, ready to be an adult, I go down it looking forward, but make no mistake, I have eyes in the back of my head. A four-eyed creature, savoring the past and salivating at the future.

Only kids can act like monsters.

--Eliot Sill

Will I get any better?

It has come to my attention that it is a Tuesday. Well shit. One thing I like about summer is that you're not always quite sure what day it is so this kind of thing can creep up on you. Luckily, I remembered that today is Tuesday and am therefore bringing you this wonderful post. Anyway, let me get to the point.

I am an incoming college freshman and therefore just finished my senior year of high school. Senior year was unlike anything I had experienced before in many ways, including the way I viewed school work during my senior year. See, when you are a senior, homework takes a backseat to more important things like friends, sports, music and experiencing the world. Saying it like that makes it sound like I am a cultured person who has learned to choose her priorities, but in a lot of ways I was just lazy.

All year, it was incredibly rare for me to show up to school with all of my homework done and ready to go. In fact, the handful of days that I did do that, it was so alien that I did not know how to handle myself during my classes when I was stressing out about what I had to get done before lunch. I was not alone in this however. In fact, most of the the students in my class put the same or less effort into their school work as I did. Luckily, during senior year you can get away with such antics. You can do next to no work at home and still pull off good grades .Unfortunately I don't think that's going to fly in college.

In college I am going to have to start working for my grades again. I am going to have to start studying and researching and writing multiple drafts of the things I turn in. Things I have completely forgotten how to do and am not sure I will be able to just pick back up. Who is to say this "senioritis" is temporary? Who is to say that this isn't just me actually unlearning all my work skills. I really don't think i am going to go to college and just magically remember how to do work. I'm not sure I'm ever going to get better. I think college is about to kick my ass and I'm freaking terrified. I'm not going.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Nick - Make It A Priority To Learn

There's a lot of sentimentality going on in these posts this week; I want to take the focus off of the sadness of leaving behind the people you know, and try to look to the future and new opportunities. Today I want to talk about a couple of qualities that are instrumental to the success of our college careers.

Priority and learning.

My name is Nicholas Dietrich, but you can call me Nick. I know nothing about pop culture, but I read about politics and science every day. But more on that later. Let me introduce myself.

I grew up in private schools from kindergarten to freshmen year of high school, when I made the decision to stay at home and homeschool. And I'm not talking about the wacko Glen Beck-style "your kids are being indoctrinated" homeschooling. I wanted to quit being taught and start learning.

It was the best decision I ever made.

All of a sudden, I could tell you exactly what I've learned this year. I could explain all about the behavior of fish in an aquarium and the nesting habits of wasps; I took two math courses my first year so that I could get to calculus before going off to college. I was reading books every day, solely because I wanted to and had the time to. Freshman year I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life; this year I went and saw an autopsy at a hospital, and next year I'm going to be starting pre-med at University of Illinois in Champaign. You have undoubtedly heard that homeschooled kids are awkward and lack social skills, and I'm here to tell you that you heard wrong. I'm part of an improvised comedy troupe which I love, and I have friends and a girlfriend (!) despite deciding to stay home.

The reason I'm telling you this isn't to try and brag. I certainly don't think I'm smarter than the average person; I just have more time and I'm willing to put in an effort. The reason I'm telling you this is so that you think about these things, and maybe consider homeschooling when you have kids. It can be awesome when done right.

Now, back to the overarching theme here; priority.

When I say "overarching," I'm sure that I raise a few eyebrows. "You only mentioned priority in the first paragraph," you think to yourself. The point I'm getting at here is making it a priority to learn; don't waste your time when you could be learning. Use your common sense, and instead of finding out who is in what movie or what funny groups you can join on Facebook, go learn something real.

I'm challenging you all to pursue your interests, or find some if you don't have any you want to read about. You could go read up on the science behind climate change or the BP oil spill, you could study the anatomy of insects and witness the balance of an entire ecosystem by simply starting a freshwater aquarium. The only way you're going to make a difference in your life is if you know what you want to change and make it a priority to do something about it. And to do that you need to start learning as much as you can right now, because life is short.

Prioritize. Get out there and learn while you're still young. I'll even throw you some links to get you started.

News and Politics:
Think Progress
The Young Turks
Huffington Post
Al Jazeera

Animal Behavior, Anatomy, and Psychology:
Fabre's Book of Insects - edited by Rodolph Stawell
King Solomon's Ring - by Konrad Lorenz
All Creatures Great and Small - James Herriot

All Sorts of Science:
A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Reddit Science

That's just the most interesting and fun entry-level stuff I can think of off the top of my head, in case you don't know where to start. But go to wikipedia and look up something you're interested in. There's a whole world of material out there you haven't even heard of yet.