Saturday, June 19, 2010

Conor - Cats

These things are crazy.

They operate differently than everything else. Not logic, not instinct, but a combination of the two. Whatever system they use to determine their actions, it's extremely interesting to me, and most other cat owners.

A note on cat owners: Cat owners are unreasonable when it comes to their cats. I am unreasonable. I had one cat, and I was really into it. I was able to forgive it for scarring me for the rest of my life because it was cute, and occasionally curled into a visually appealing ball. Then it died and later we got two new cats. Later, when one of these cats ran away, my mom got another cat within days that looked just like the cat that had escaped. The next day, that cat came back to the house and it was awkward. But I was okay with all of this. Because kittens.

I was at Petsmart a couple of weeks ago with a friend, staring at kittens. There was another lady in there, and I asked her if she was looking at adopting one of the cats. She said that she already had 5 and her boyfriend would kill her if she brought back another one. See, she has 5 cats. She's fucking crazy. She's what I'm afraid of being. She's what I'm afraid I've become. See, I have 3 cats, and I know if I had 4 cats I would be that guy. That crazy guy. But back when I had 2 cats, I probably would have said someone who had 3 cats was crazy. So I might already be there. Damnit.

Cats are interesting. Cats are the only creatures that can come up to you, unload large quantities of hair onto you, and make you like it. If I did that no one would like me. If I slept 16 hours a day or whatever, no one would like me, but some would maybe be impressed. I can't really fight my peers and get away with it. Wait. Here. We made a video about this.

Cats are the best. Cats are the worst. Anybody with a cat could go on for hours about their cat and why their cat is the best cat ever despite the fact that we know all cats are not created equal and Sebastian and Mr. B are waaaay better than Belle and whatever Mada calls her cat.

I guess that's what I have to say for now.

- Conor

Friday, June 18, 2010

Most Likely to be Late

Ever since I was a child I have been really shitty at getting to where I need to be when I need to be there. Also I have had a problem with turning in assignments on time. In short, I'm going to be fucked over when real life starts.

I was late to Owen Marsh (reppin!) Elementary about two days out of five in a week. Why? Because it didn't matter; that's why. It was fucking elementary school and I even skipped Kindergarten. I had the brains so I didn't need the, well, anything else. I lived two minutes away from Owen Marsh and still fondly remember hearing "Writer's Almanac" on the radio, an NPR show that comes on sharply at 9 (the same time school started).

At Franklin my only issue was missing the bus all the damn time. I missed the bus a lot. My dad would take me to school. Usually wouldn't be late, but still.

Then high school came. In my face. I racked up countless tardies and served tons of meaningless detentions for no reason. I hated detention. What the hell was the point of that? Sit around in a room for fifteen minutes and do what, feel bad? I never learned a SINGLE thing from detention and never changed my ways. Fuck that shit. Anyway, I signed up for Newspaper my junior year and was super excited to do some journalistic writing (that sounds lame but fuck off) . When I got in the swing of things, I quickly realized something. I was pathetically horrible at turning my articles in on time. I can write them in no time but I just wouldn't get my shit together ever. I was horrible at it.

That fact is sure to be the source of my doom as a journalism major. OH WELL!

So there's this problem I currently have at home: I don't have a working computer. I have yet to purchase my college laptop and our one house computer is waiting on a repair. I didn't get my shit together last Wednesday, plain and simple. I'm sorry everyone. I really didn't mean to fuck up. But what can I say, I did. The hole in Classic Brian's daily regiment caused by my gaff makes me sick to my stomach. I was an advocate of this whole idea and now I've disappointed all (three) of my faithful readers.

I felt obligated to put something out there, maybe the next day. Just to give you some food for thought, a line of advice, but it just wouldn't be right. I fucked up, so I don't get to tell you anything. Well I am confirming here and now that I have learned from my mistakes. But not confirming that I will do anything about it. I'm just a late person. I miss my deadlines, I'm late to tell you when my graduation party is. I assume it will never take more than ten minutes to drive anywhere. I see good movies way after they come out and I realize I'm doing/saying dumb shit after the deed is already done. Be glad that you don't have to live your life that way.

--Eliot Sill

PS. I felt worse about this before two other people did the same thing. Go team.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cory - Rambling On: Odd Words

Today I woke up with that burn behind and on the fronts of my eyes; a burn that only follows a night of not-enough-sleep. The burn persists: it won’t for the life of me leave me alone. Then it’s rushing out into a car to drive three hours, just so I can take off again for another hour and a half so I can arrive home and make due for a couple more weeks until I’m back at home, surrounded by the few familiar faces I have left. There are faces here that my mind recognizes, that my personality stimulates, that are friends, even though they’re still so unfamiliar to me. And I love those people, they’re all so nice to me and it is very nice to have such friendliness to surround me. Like a puff of smoke, filling the air around my face, they become an environment I neither love, nor hate.

Still, the burning in my eyes persist and I’m looking out the car window, looking up into the dark sky full of clouds; but the sky is bright, not dark; and the clouds are bland. I’m feeling very empty. I’ve lost something, but my phone, wallet, iPod, backpack, are all sitting in front of me in the floor of the car. So what’s missing?

It’s my sense of existence. I feel so miniscule that I am meaningless among everyone and everything: friends, strangers, trees, the wind. All things come before me. I’m not a slave, chained to a fence, but I’m not free. Something is restricting me, taking away from my soul (if those are real), eating at my eyes and robbing my mind. Is it my lack of God? Ever since I revoked my beliefs earlier on, I’ve felt this odd sense of emptiness; this almost irritating persistence of uncomforting emotional unbalance and unstable mindset. A whole lot of un’s. My life has become a giant un, it seems. Unhappiness: but also, unsadness. Unexcitement and unfamiliarity. Is anything right anymore? Is anything actually happening around me? How can it if I do not exist? What if none of us exist?

This isn’t philisophocal bullshit. This isn’t me trying to cope with the question of philosophers past. People always assume that when someone is trying to explain their existence, they’re trying to be prestigious. Why can’t someone try to find their place without being coined a term?

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about love. Love is probably one of the most fascinating things to me. Does it even exist? Maybe it’s like the rest of us. But anyways, it’s interesting. It comes in many forms, but it is unshapeable. Another un. So; I am destined to fall in love: two un’s are meant to be. Maybe I’ll fall in love with some who is unconfident, or understanding. Not that I believe in fate completely. Nature doesn’t have a pre-determined path, it is what we make it. Love makes it beautiful. But love also makes it ugly, uglier than anything. As humans, we love, but we don’t know why we love, or how we love. It bothers me that I don’t have it; this golden cow, this idol of all men, this untouchable gift from the heavens (I only joke), I do not have it. Hey look, another un. Maybe I’ll have it sooner than I think. Or maybe I won’t. Maybe there is a God and he will send me into a life of lovelessness and despair; a punishment as well as a reward, because with no love comes no loss, but without love comes depression and a feeling of isolation.

There is this girl I know; this girl who I think might actually understand me if I spoke to her more openly. I’m a lock without a key so she’ll never get inside my secure heart unless I break that lock and spill it over her. Shower her in broken dreams, broken promises, unexplainable feelings, unwanted memories, some of them figures of my imagination. Maybe she could decipher my dreams, and pick them apart and tell me why I dream of her. Is it because she is beautiful? But then again, how many think that word suits her? Because I sure do, and I would gladly use it at any time to let her know I think so. But that is a lie, because I fear her: her rejection, and losing her friendship (which is already running thin). I’ve no initiative: for fear has grabbed my steering wheel and brought me to this road I didn’t want to take (Robert Frost would understand). I’m lost in a world of Huxley: where did we go wrong? Or, to be more correct: Where did I go wrong? I feel this is more my fault than our fault collectively (whoever we are). I guess to sum it up, this girl has taken a big part of my mind and conquered it. She’s invaded my dreams, too. Dreams of sun, shining on my face and some birds whistling; of the 1920’s and flappers, the days Fitzgerald wrote so vividly of; days filled with adventures, and nights by fireplaces with cups of coffee, speaking of Literature and art and whatever the fuck else pertains to culture. These are the broken dreams I mentioned.

My eyes no longer burn, for I slept the fire away, but now my hands are cold, and the pollen outside makes me sneeze and I hate sneezing. My feet are also cold. I can’t understand myself. The things I want don’t reflect the things society projects against my face, the things they want me, like they want all of us, to want. I don’t want to grow old and die, grow old and get a job, grow old and be so despairingly bored that I mow the lawn for something to do. I want to stay young, I want to be a writer, I want to remain doing things that make me happy. My happiness is important to me, since it is so faint and unnoticed amongst my own mind. But it is an un, so I feel it should be mine always. But it’s rare.

My foot currently reflects my emotional state: numb. I don’t feel anything significant lately, just this sort of emptiness that eats away at one’s very being. This void is unable to be filled, it just persists, sucking in parts of my greater whole and vanquishing anything that interferes with it. I want to sleep. I want to stay asleep for a long time, where I can exist in my dreams, and know I exist there, because if I didn’t, then there’d be no reason to sleep. Exhaustion builds character, I hear. But I sleep to dream, to experience things I’m deprived of in the real world. Things that don’t really exist, except for inside the mind of a foolish boy, naive and far too wishful for his own good.

Things I feel, no one else can feel, because if I exist, I exist in my own state of being, not human, not in nature, but inside of everyone’s mind. I’m a mural, painted by the hands of everyone I’ve ever met, ever spoke with, or shared an idea with. My image is entirely up to the people who have had an affect on me or likewise, I’ve affected them. I wish that were true, too. I want to be able to be invisible one day, so that maybe I could be missed by those who know me. That’s been bothering me a lot, lately. I’m not missed. People say they miss me, but that term is so generic, so overused. Am I missed of just forgotten until I reappear again? I just need some sort of reassurance that I am worth missing, that my existence is valid and when it’s gone I’ll be thought of as someone who mattered. Many people won’t ever read this, or glimpse at it, or if they do, much less understand it. That girl mentioned earlier may go unnamed for all of time, an un that only I know. That’s how it will be with my entire mind though. I never say enough, or rather, enough of what matters. So once I’m gone, so will a mind full of things that deserve their place on paper or in the ocean that is sound; waves that may strike up a storm or bring that ocean to a calm. Words that will travel with a breath warm like that fireplace.

The morning moves on, and I feel tired now, but that still isn’t enough to bring me to bed. I need to dream. And I know I will. I always know that I will, because my mind, much like a book or a movie, is there, it exists, it projects its wants and needs against a screen and I watch it in my sleep; and it’s beautiful, truly incredible, and if I could really describe it to you, you would agree. But I can never find the words, or my tongue ties itself in a knot, or my mind makes me think so. One day I’ll get better. All these un’s will be put to rest.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mada- Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend was Hot Like Me

So remember that post I wrote about the procrastination problem I have?...

So anyway. You know what I hate? Facebook. Yeah, I use it all the time I still think it's one of the worst things in my life. First of all, I hate the fact that it is so central in people's lives. How many times have you witnessed a first meeting that includes "HAHA YOU'RE REALLY FUNNY BTW ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK." Or --more realistically-- when you meet a person you wouldn't mind "getting to know" on a "more personal level" if you "know what I mean"-- and you immediately look them up on the FB. (By the way, I was talking about sex back there. Sex.) This is the beginning of completely legitimate method of research called "creeping." But while I take part in this activity and am defending it here, I hate the idea of it. I should know that you love Muse based on you telling me you love Muse. And while we're on the subject of "creeping", can I just say how unsettling the activity is. People will literally spend hours on Facebook looking through people's pictures, wall posts, stati and about me's so that they can figure out exactly what that person is about. No matter how long you "creep", you're never going to really know the person until you have real conversations with them. Just because we both watch Arrested Development does not mean we're going to get along. You have to talk to people. You have to. Sending an inbox message does not count.

I do realize I am being hypocritical since I use Facebook on the daily and do a bit of my own "creeping", but that doesn't change the fact that I hate it. It's like cigarettes. You hate them and swear you'll never smoke, and then you try them and they make you cough and hack and smell bad, but then one day you look around and you're addicted. Facebook is a drug, the perfect time killer. But I rediscover it's pointlessness every time I log in. I have considered deleting my Facebook multiple times but as I ready myself for that most difficult release, I realize how important it has become to social networking. Facebook has become necessary and there's no way around it. Besides assisting in my personality research, it really does help you connect with old friends. And by "connect," I mean think briefly about how you don't talk anymore whenever their photo albums pop up on your news feed. Then go through every single picture in said photo album. In short, Facebook sucks but is a necessary evil. It feeds my addiction to petty judgment and makes me unsure as to whether I know someone in "real life" yet, but it also makes me think about people who would otherwise have been lost to the past.

We love it, but we can't truly trust it. Remember, even though my info is great, I may still suck.



PS I am in a relay for life team (Conor's team actually) and I need to raise a bunch of money by Friday. If anyone is willing to help me out by donating let me know. I would really really appreciate it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Nick - I Didn't Notice Until It Was Too Late

Recently I ran into a friend at a party. "Hey, we need to get together and watch Arrested Development again!" She shouted to me as we passed through a crowd.
"Yeah! We definitely do!" I shouted back enthusiastically.

It's been a couple weeks, I think, and I haven't called her or anything. I put it in the back of my mind as one of those things that I need to get around to when I get caught up with all my stuff and start hanging out with friends more.

The same excuse I've been telling myself for longer than I can remember.

I've met some amazing people these last four years. I've met some amazing people just this past year, even. And looking back, I can't say I've done more than chatted with these people when we meet by chance. Exchanging greetings at a graduation party, quickly catching up after an improv show. All my contact with friends was coincidental.

I like to tell myself that I have such sparse contact with my friends because I'm busy; I've got a girlfriend and a job that takes up a lot of my time, plus I try to work on my piano and drum skills and get to the gym a couple times a week. But really, this has been going on before any of that stuff came into play.

Eli Seidman used to be my next-door neighbor, ever since he was born and I was maybe ten months old. And he would come over to my house or I would go over to his house every day and we would do what we did at that age, be it building things out of his little connecty toys (I can't recall the name) or playing Freddie Fish on the computer or whatever project we embarked on. And then I moved down the block, and we kept our close bond; we still saw each other every day.

And then Eli moved off of our block. We kept frequent contact, still seeing each other every week for a few months. And then school started and he called every couple of months to play. We still saw each other at tennis lessons until I stopped going to them.

And all of a sudden, even though it seemed like I had been at his house just yesterday, I ran into him at a mutual friend's house for the first time in probably a year. The bond was still there, but I just felt ashamed. Ashamed that I had let this happen.

It's easy for me to let things like this go, pushing them to the back of my mind. "Sure," I would tell myself. "I'll call him soon. Just after my schedule clears up in a couple weeks." But I had stopped taking initiative, and one person can't make the initiative all the time. First we were calling each other every week; then he was calling me every month; then he was calling me almost not at all. And I never took the initiative and called him.

I would never call myself a lonely person. I've always been happy with my limited social contact. But now that I'm going to college in a couple months I'm realizing that I screwed up the opportunity to get to know all the fun people in my life. Now that I have maybe another two months with them. Now that it's too late.

I'm hoping this is a trend I can reverse in the next couple of months. I want to make up for lost time. And I keep telling myself that I'm going to try harder with my new friends in college. But for my first friends, for my real friends, it's already too late. I had years of chances that I wasted. It's comforting to know that some of them are going to U of I with me, but it doesn't make up for the ones I've missed the opportunity to get to know.

So if you're reading this and you think of me pleasantly but haven't seen much of me recently, I'm sorry: it's my fault. I'm going to try harder, but old habits are hard to break. I hope nobody has held this against me, and I hope nobody thinks that I just don't want to hang out with them. Because honestly, I can't think of a single person I've met that I don't want to get to know further.

I had to, like some of you, get some sentimentality off of my chest about college. I hope I didn't ramble on too long. And I want to give a shoutout to Mada Larson; I don't think you noticed, but she dedicated her last post to setting Conor up for a joke about the similarity of their titles and the juxtaposition of their statements, and Conor and Brian got pretty much all of the credit.

It's been good talking with you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lady WhaWha?

-Robert Langellier

Disclaimer: Guys I was really uninspired today to write anything substantial, so I just kinda rambled on about Lady GaGa. Sorry.

I’m at a crossroads with Lady GaGa. For the duration of her existence on the radio airwaves, I cast her off as yet another synthetic pop label output. For all intents and purposes she still is, but there’s a cog in the wheel: I can’t stop listening to her, and I know my reasons to are faulty. But I can’t stop.

I’m not going to pretend like her music is good or decent, but at the same time, she’s also proven that she (Stefani Germanotta, not Lady GaGa), has immense talent as a singer-songwriter. I’ve known this for a long time, though, and that wasn’t what pushed me into my GaGa binge. At some point a couple weeks ago Tynan metaphorically sat me down and gave me a little 5 or 10 minute schooling on what he thought Lady GaGa was all about. Suddenly this poppet of the mass media was a fully conscious artist with a mastermind blueprint for social criticism. The outfits, the now-shallow songwriting, the “Fame Monster”, all fit well into the theory that GaGa the Warhol Protégé was making more than pop; she was making pop art.

I dismissed this at the time, because the idea seemed a little far fetched to me, and I still doubt its truth, as that would already make Lady GaGa arguably one of the most all-around skilled pop artists of our era. In all likelihood GaGa is simply a girl with a good body, a great voice, a piano, a fashion team, and a modern lust for celebrity. However, that didn’t stop the ideas from spinning in my own head, and even though I knew they weren’t true, I’d built up an image in my head of Lady GaGa as more brilliant than Tynan could have made. It was no longer Lady GaGa the Artist, it was Lady GaGa the Hell-Sent Pop Demon. The outfits, the creepy songwriting, the “Fame Monster”, all fit well into the theory that Lady GaGa was making more than pop art; she was becoming and consuming pop art.

The most terrifying creature in the media, she was both haunting and seductive. “Bad Romance” - from the bass beat to the animal-like, “Ga ga ooh la la” hook to the “Lahve, lahve, lahve” backing vocal to the French “I want your revenge” to the music video itself (creepy enough if she wasn’t making eye contact with you the entire time) - is a terrifying pop song. Ideal Lady GaGa was supernatural and omniscient in the media, a real-life sphinx with the body of Madonna and the heart of Marilyn Manson. She was a veritable Fame Monster transcendent of all human limitations, conquering our culture with an almost disinterested ease, and she would virtually own our eyes and ears as long as she so wished.

Of course, like I said, that was all in my head. I mean people are all just people, and no one is truly transcendent of human nature. I know that none of the above paragraph is true, but it’s still interesting because she’s clearly incredibly smart and conscious of whatever she’s doing. I know she’s no monster, but simply the idea (almost the hope) that it’s true keeps me fascinated enough to put her on repeat on almost a daily basis.

But wait! Now the very idea of her image has her in control of my eyes and ears as long as she’s in the media. So now the lines are blurred. Is she shock rocker, pop rocker, or pop monster?

Oh, Lady, GaGa, who are you?